Five steps to winning any play

I’ve got a six minute beach mile. I’m more than an unofficial mascot. I’m an unofficial captain. Bottom line is whether you are an intramural weeknight warrior or an FAU athlete with school issue gear, there’s something I, Pump, can offer in the way of game time poise and etiquette. I’ve taken the liberty of putting together a list of do’s and don’ts for anyone who might take a step across the painted line to the center of the action. On the court, the field, or the track, this is a list you got take to heart.

1. LOW AIN’T HIGH. I know hardcore competition. Times come when an athlete’s got to go all-out, play tough. But when you’re burnt or you’re called on to play physical, you are NOT allowed to take a man out low. You want to bump, push, or punch high above the waist, well that’s your choice. Ref calls the game. But when you clip a man, you might as well be trying to kill a man. And if that player gets up and takes out your eyes and Pump’s wearing the zebra suit, I’m looking the other way. If you can’t play without clipping a man, you just can’t play. You suck. Go home.

2. HAVE A STOCK SAYING. After you pound a man to the turf, save a silly shot, or spike a winning point, you should have something to say if the need arises. I played j.v. football with a dude who, after making a sack or tackle, would help the player up saying, “Welcome to the N.F.L.”

3. CHILLED, SLICED ORANGES. Find someone. A mom, girlfriend, wanna-be player, little brother – anyone – to arrange for chilled, sliced oranges to be made available for half-time, break, or seventh-inning stretch. After game cookies are optional.

4. TAPE YOUR SHOES. If your playing anything with cleats, tape your shoes shut. Quit trying to keep shoelaces tied. Strip the laces, tuck, and tape. You’ll be amazed at the difference.

5. HAVE A CELEBRATION. There’s nothing worse than witnessing a great play and two players who run toward each other without a clue as to what to do. They stop awkwardly and then try to improvise something that never works out. It somehow makes a great play look like a fluke.