Football playoffs, the ‘Skins & Mr. Krattenmaker

Written by Tom Williams Wednesday, November 06, 2013 12:54 pm

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This weekend is the deadline weekend for NJSIAA football. Only the first eight games played, including this weekend, count toward a team’s power rating. And all that matters this year is that power rating.

We know some things for sure.

Defending champions Holy Spirit and St. Joseph will be at home in the first round of the tournaments. Hammonton should be at home in Group 4, regardless of how the Blue Devils do on Friday against Millville. The Thunderbolts are safe in Group 5 but to get a home game Millville has to win the game in Hammonton and get some help in other games.

St. Augustine Prep is in Non-Public 4 (a ridiculous 89 percent of non-public schools qualify) and could get a home game. The Prep won’t get many points against Pleasantville Friday so it may come down to what Don Bosco Prep does.

In Group 2, Bridgeton and Cedar Creek are both qualifiers but both will probably be on the road in the first round. Buena is No. 9 in Group 2 (the top eight make it) but the Chiefs already have played eight games so their chances are very slim.

The most interesting situation is in Group 5. And the two teams that make it interesting are playing each other Friday night on the new turf field at the Jack Eisenstein Memorial Athletic Complex.

Absegami and Atlantic City will play Friday night for a playoff spot. The winner of the game will not automatically qualify. They will need help.  

If Washington Township beats Clearview and Southern Regional beats Toms River East, that would hurt – though the Atlantic City-Absegami winner might still finish ahead of Southern, even if Chuck Donohue’s Rams do win. And then there is Lenape, which upset Rancocas Valley last weekend. If Lenape can upset Eastern on Friday, it will jump right into the playoffs.

As far as the Cape-Atlantic League races are concerned, Holy Spirit can clinch the American Conference on Friday at Oakcrest. After that, even if Atlantic City upsets the Spartans again on Thanksgiving, Spirit would still win with one loss because it defeated the other two teams with one loss – St. Joseph and Hammonton.

The National Conference, however, will not be over until Thanksgiving. It looks like St. Augustine-Cedar Creek will decide the championship again. Assuming The Prep beats Pleasantville Friday, they could clinch the conference for the second straight year by beating Cedar Creek on Thanksgiving. But, if the Pirates can beat St. Augustine, then Cedar Creek would tie them in the standings but win the conference because they beat them head-to-head.

Football is still interesting in the CAL.

Here's the Skinnies?

So, what do you think? Should that NFL team in Washington think about changing its offensive nickname? Because, it IS offensive. Calling a Native American the “r” word is like calling an African-American the “n” word, a Puerto Rican the “s” word, a Jewish-American the “h” word – you get the idea.

As Hall of Fame sportscaster Bob Costas said in the latest discussion about the nickname, nobody is suggesting that the ownership of the team or its fans are racist. They didn’t pick the name. It was originally selected in 1933 when the team played in Boston. They changed the name from the Boston Braves to the Boston Redskins when they moved into Fenway Park. The team moved to Washington in 1937 and kept the nickname.

Dozens of colleges and high schools that have used the nickname have changed. Some others resist. On the NFL level, it could also be pointed out that a new nickname could lead to a lot of demand for merchandise with the new nickname.

One person suggested they just drop the “red” and officially become The Skins. Kind of like the Devil Rays becoming the Rays.

Whatever, almost anything would be an improvement. There should be no objection to nicknames like Warriors, Chiefs and Braves. They all have positive connotations, though the chants and tomahawk chops can be offensive because they parody religious ceremonies. Mascots like the Cleveland Indians’ “Chief Wahoo” are pretty ridiculous, too. At least the Braves did away with “Chief Noc-A-Homa”.

It is time to stop insulting the original Americans. If an equal insult were used involving almost any other group it would not be tolerated.  

Youth baseball loses a legend

It was fun playing baseball for Charles Krattenmaker. He was one of the four original coaches in the Ocean City Youth Athletic Association and, after the first year, also coached Ocean City’s very first Babe Ruth team to a league championship.

Youth baseball was fun for Mr. Krattenmaker. He played to win but the most important thing was to learn, get better and enjoy the process. Though he was competitive, his son, Butch, actually played on a different OCYAA team that first year. Butch, who became an attorney in Boston, was a very successful athlete at Ocean City High School.

Mr. Krattenmaker died last week at age 93, having been married for 72 years. He lived his latter years in Egg Harbor Township after living in Ocean City for nearly 50 years.

Charles Krattenmaker served in the Air Force during World War II and then was an IRS agent for more than three decades. He served his country on many levels and was a great family man. But, to those who played baseball for him, he was a quiet leader who made a game fun.


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