NFL Redskins: A message from long ago

Thank you William Shakespeare for speaking through Juliet about the U.S. Patent Office’s ruling about the Washington Redskins.

“‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.”

From “Romeo and Juliet,” Act II, Scene II


Some battles are worth fighting

The query, coming as it did through a message, was simple.

“Hey man. I’m participating in the DeVos Children’s Hospital boxing fundraiser event. Was wondering if ya wanna get in the ring with me?”

That message came from my friend Cory Olsen, former photographer for The Holland Sentinel and current writer/photographer for The Grand Rapids Press and The event is “Put Cancer on the Ropes,” touted by organizers as “a family friendly event taking place on June 13, 2014 at The DeltaPlex Arena in Grand Rapids.

My question is, friendly for which family? Certainly not mine, now that I’ve had time to think about it.

After I accepted Cory’s offer, I started asking him about the Power90 (or something similar) program he had been on several months ago and the healthy eating that had been part of his daily posts for a while.

I wrote: “Are you in shape? I’m not. Will these be air-filled gloves and sumo suits?”

He replied: “Nope, I’m not. Been off my routine for a few months. It’s pretty tame, like 20-ounce gloves and headgear with nose protectors.”

So, that’s supposed to make me feel better?

Then I remembered. Gosh, Cory always was a little bit bigger than me. So I asked another question. And I got the answer I was dreading.

“I’m 6-2, 290,” Cory informed me.


And I’m like 5-11 and, at my latest doctor’s appointment, a measly 258 pounds. But I was 262 so at least the weight-loss thing is working. Kind of.

Then the trash talking began.

“Look out for the low blows,” I suggested. “With your height, I will have to go to the body. I can’t reach that high.”

“LAMBERTS GOES DOWN! LAMBERTS GOES DOWN!” he shouted in cyber talk. I suggested he wear some protection since I’m short and he’s not.

But seriously, it’s all for a wonderful cause. All proceeds will support the pediatric cancer program at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

In one way or another, cancer has affected all of us. The daughter of a former church member had issues with cancer for years. Olsen, in his bio on the Put Cancer On the Ropes facebook page (look it up), reports that “the family developed a special connection with Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital earlier this year when Gabriella (his daughter) was diagnosed with ITP (Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura). She’s currently doing wonderfully.”

I lost a sister to cancer at age 61 in 2002.

What about you?

Why don’t you join us? And others? Sports anchor Dan Harland from Channel 13 and sports reporter Casey Jones from Channel 8 are in the card. Some lady named Schmitty from 104.5 WSNX-FM is getting in the ring, too. Maybe I’d have a better chance with her.

Also, Grand Rapids native and Detroit Red Wings center Luke Glendening will be one of the judges. (Maybe I’ll wear one of my Red Wings’ hats to bribe him.)

Cory and I have been promised celebrities in our corners to encourage us. I’m hoping to have Johnny Garcia on my side.

I don’t know what’s going to happen, but it should be fun.

Join us, please. Several ticket and/or sponsorship packages are available by visiting Prices start at $15 for general admission season.

I would say “I’ll see you there,” but I’ll have to take my glasses off to fight so I might not see much of anything. Not even my 290-pound opponent.

I hope.


Michigan Division 4 track and field finals a record-setting affair

HUDSONVILLE — For high-school freshman Blake Dunn, life, at this point, can be covered in one of three categories beginning with the letter “S.”

“School, sports and sleeps, that’s about it,” Dunn, a ninth-grader at Saugatuck said Saturday afternoon after the Division 4 track and field state finals at Hudsonville High School.

Add a fourth “S,” state champion, to Dunn’s list. He won the 300-meter hurdle race with a school-record time of 40.22, breaking the previous mark by an estimated four-tenths of a second and beating Peck’s Kyle Abrego by 9/100th of a second.

Not bad for a guy who pitched six innings of a tournament baseball game earlier in the day.

“I just wanted to get out as fast as I possibly could and have those other kids try to catch me,” Dunn said. “I was able to keep my pace the entire time and I finished that last hurdle without stuttering on any of them.

“That helped me at the end when (Abrego) stuttered on the last hurdle and I got him right at the end there. I’m very happy as a freshman to get that (title). Getting the record was another thing I was happy with.”

That Dunn won the state championship as a freshman is a testament to his speed and stamina — two more S’s! That he was running hurdles is a credit to his coach.

“I started off with hurdles in seventh grade, but I didn’t like them so I stopped doing them,” Dunn said. “I’m a very competitive young man and I got second place in a race and I didn’t like that so I got made about it and quit hurdles.

“I was just going to do running events this year, but I did hurdles in practice and liked them and was able to win this race at state. It’s kind of crazy that I went from quitting hurdles in seventh grade to doing what I did today.”

Dunn also medaled in the 1,600 relay, teaming up with Wes Webbert, Andrew Poolman and Joe Brown to finish runnerup in that event in 3:27.68, trailing winning Concord’s Lower Peninsula record 3:24.19.

The Indians trailed Concord by about 4.5 seconds in that event. They also finished second to Concord in the team standings, 78 points to 46 points. Southfield Christian was third with 36 points.

Jacob Pettinga, Webbert, Clayton Springer and Joe Brown took third in the 3,200 relay in 8:14.26; Poolman, Dunn, Brown and Webbert were fifth in the 800 relay in 1:33.21; Poolman took fourth in the 400 in 50.90; Webbert was fifth in the 800 in 2:00.33; and Springer and Pettinga finished fourth and fifth in the 3200 in 10:05.99 and 10:06.70, respectively.

The Saugatuck girls finished ninth with 18 points keyed by three medalist finishes by Lauren Jenkins. The senior, in her final meet for the Indians, was eighth in the 3200 in 12:00.43. Jenkins also teamed up with Cammy Garvelink, Kit Huffman and Piper Harris for a runnerup finish in the 3200 relay in 9:55.94 and with Jessica Francis, Garvelink and Kalie Lavery to take seventh in the 1600 relay in 4:19.42.

The girls in the 1600 relay posted their time in the second of three heats, so that was a big move up from their qualifying effort.

The Saugatuck girls of coach Angelina Bauer also got points from Kaylyn Perry in the discus (4th, 109-05) and Audrey Flood in the pole vault (T-6th, 8-09).

Reading won the girls team title with 81 points.

Concord’s championship effort was keyed by Grand Valley State University-bound senior Nolen Bright-Mitchell. He set Lower Peninsula records with a 10.70 100-meter dash and a 21.62 in the 200-meter dash. He also ran legs on the winning 800 relay (a non-record 1:31.46) and the 1600 relay (a record 3:24.19).

Likewise, on the girls’ side, sophomore Holly Bullough made a splash for runnerup Traverse City St. Francis (56 points). Bullough, younger sister of Michigan State University linebacker Max Bullough, won the 800 in 2:15.52, the 1600 in 5:01.34 and finished second in the 400 in 58.40.

Other Lower Peninsula boy’s records set Saturday included Coleman’s Curtis Bell in the pole vault (15-01), Marion’s Tyrell Hall in the long jump (22-11.75),

Lower Peninsula girls’ records set Saturday included New Buffalo’s Jade Madison in the shot put (43-08.25), Ottawa-Whiteford’s Miranda Johnson in the long jump (18-06.50) and the 200 (25.15), and Reading’s Michelle Davis in the 100 hurdles (15.05) and the 400 (57.33).

Fremont’s Water’s Edge Golf Club; Water, edgy and a lot of fun

Dear Waters Edge Golf Club.

My friend, Geoff, and I enjoyed our visit to your place a little over a week ago. Since the state has scrapped my job plans for the summer — I teach special education in Grand Rapids and Lansing apparently sees no need for our students to get a continuing education — I decided to check out things like, groupon and the ever-popular Golf Discount book to try out courses I’ve never played before.

My parents grew up in Fremont, so it was fun to “go home.” And since your description of your course on both and in the advertisement sounded intriguing, I was. Intrigued, that is.

First the compliments.

We loved the layout. It was great that the lakes around which the course are built so came into play on Nos. 9, 10, 11 and 12 … what a great signature turn for this beautiful course.

We believe your course is fair and challenging, but not difficult, which is one of the reasons we had so much fun.

We REALLY like heading away from No. 12, going out into the nether reaches of your course and playing the next six holes. I mean, sandwiching the No. 18 handiap — the 120-yard, par-3 16th in between the No. 2, No. 8 and No. 4 finishing holes? Brilliant!!

Now the complaints, though they are few.

First, when I play new courses, I love to take a logo ball home with me as a souvenir to add to the display case hanging on my “Man Cave” wall. Unfortunately, you had none, but the girl at the counter did explain “they cost money.” True, but I kind of feel when you buy and renovate a business, no matter what kind of business it is, you pay the money up front and recoup the losses later. But then, I’ve never owned a business, so maybe I’m full of it.

As for the course, we liked the thickness of the clover rough, but in many places it wasn’t cut quite short enough and with the dandelions going to seed, it was difficult to find our golf balls in that thick grass. But that was partly our fault for straying from the fairway.

I don’t know if some of the following was posted in the clubhouse, but it should be on the scorecard for any other newbies who venture your way.

• What is the distance to the edge of the swamp on No. 9? That would have been nice to know. We thought we were hitting toward a flagstick directly down the middle, but it turned out to be the out-of-bounds stakes at the far edge of the weedy area and we both lost our balls.

• Also, what is the exact distance to the creek crossing the No. 11 fairway? I tried to do the math based on the white (150-yard) stake, but that didn’t work out at all.

• Perhaps because it’s early in the season, but many of the holes did not have stakes at the 150-yard marks … or at 100 or 200 yards either. That’s important for me. I believe it’s important for most golfers, especially out-of-towners.

• The scorecard — which has not been upgraded from your “Ramshorn On The Lakes” days — designates Blue, White and Red tee markers. When we played, we saw markers of four different colors which were badly in need of being painted the proper colors.

All in all, Geoff and I loved your course. Most of my issues are probably because we’ve never been there and we’re not familiar with distances to the green and off the tee. I’m still trying to figure out how, while trying to lay up on No. 11 with an easy 4-iron, I hooked the ball all the way across No. 10 and into the lake.

We will be back. And we will, no doubt, enjoy ourselves.