July 20, 2023

coaching culture, high school hype videos, caddies are us, and a road trip

Coaching culture - Not sure if this has made national news, but Northwestern University has fired their football coach and their baseball coach for hazing /bullying type behavior. I want to email our principal:


I think the high school needs to clean house and get rid of a ton of coaches and especially the athletic director, but MOSTLY I feel like Ego should not be able to continue to be involved in the basketball program, or any coaching position. Yet, there he is. 

'Wildcat Mafia' - Wildcat Mafia at our high school was started by one of Ed's friends, 'Kyle', when Kyle and Ed were juniors. (Not the real name, we are not the wildcats). It's a spirit campaign shared on social media, which is organized by a few senior boys each year. They post funny, hype-type videos before games, etc. 

When Tank was a freshman, Kyle featured him in most of the videos. Tank's cousins were dying watching him rise to stardom with his silly antics. Picture him running down empty high school halls screaming like a super fan, etc. When Tank was a senior, he ran Wildcat Mafia.  

Each year the seniors hand over the account password to a guy or two who are rising seniors. They choose someone with a sense of humor. 

Tony and Nathan are both seniors who played varsity basketball with Reg. Both boys were involved in Wildcat Mafia. Nathan transferred to our high school as a sophomore. Reg, a freshman on zoom at the time, took Nathan under his wing and introduced him to guys his age and shot hoops with him often. 

During the season, Nathan saw Ego for what he was. He commiserated with Reg. Tony, on the other hand, thought Ego was a hoot. He liked that he was just one of the guys, while also being bummed that he didn't get much playing time. 

According to Nathan, Tony didn't want to give Reg the password to Wildcat Mafia since Reg got Ego fired. (Ego is not gonna coach varsity, but he's FAR FROM fired. That'd be dreamy). Ridiculous. 

Tank's sign: 
We're not Italian, but I did let Tank know that I wanted this thing with Tony 'handled.' FYI  - Tony caddies at the same course as the Shenanigan kids.

Member-Guest - Last weekend was the member-guest tournament. The four youngest caddied 27 holes on Friday and then another 18 on Saturday.

Tank woke up early Friday and prepared waffles for 'his brethren'  - what he calls his fellow caddies. He asked Alexa to play We Are the Champions. They posed for a rare photo.

*Ed caddied in some big tournaments over the summer when he wasn't studying for the CPA exam, but this time he was in Orlando for orientation for with his PWC job. He's gone 10 days and I miss him. 

Welcome to Tank's pancake house.
Saturday evening, our four caddies were exhausted after caddying in crazy hot and humid temps. There were stories. We sat around the kitchen table for a few hours after dinner as they compared notes and told tales. 




Boom, ROASTED. I'm thrilled that my people would enlightened Tony. Honestly, I bet he still thinks less of Reg, but at least the sibs let that twit know where we stand. 

Roadtrip On Monday (or maybe Sunday evening, if I'm not too tired), if all goes as planned, Mini, Uncle Marty, and I will be road tripping to Youngstown and Cleveland. Returning on Wednesday night. 

Why? Because nothing says time for a road trip like a genius uncle with a couple of fab Midwest art museums on his bucket list. 

If you're in Ohio and you wanna catch a glimpse of us, we'll be the ones driving a car with Texas plates (need to find time to get to the DMV), with a mom/daughter 'did-she-clone-her-kid' duo, who will be alternating pushing the wheel chair of a tall, rail-thin man with sticking up gray hair (think Albert Einstein) who is overjoyed and contemplating every artistic treasure, possibly for more time than the mom/daughter team thought possible. 

Uncle sees his oncologist today. He's concerned she'll say he can't go in order to start chemo. Praying we can make this trip happen. Later I'll share our logistic challenges, our convincing Marty moments, followed closely be our give-a-mouse-a-cookie scenario. Also, there has been some poo-poo-ing from my sister, Ann. But you saw that coming, didn't you in?  

* keep in mind - tomorrow I drive to Notre Dame to get Curly (Reg is going back with the group). From there I drive her to play b-ball in Franklin, Ohio, then I leave her there with her team and I drive home Sunday, 

AND THEN the above road trip begin-ith.

Suggestions for upcoming 'Wildcat' mafia videos that I can pass on to Reg? Have you been to the art museum in Youngstown or Cleveland? Any guesses on how much a caddy makes in a tournament like this?


Life of a Doctor's Wife said...

I have been to the Cleveland art museum! It's spectacular and totally free (outside of special exhibits). Lots of other cultural attractions nearby, too.

I hope your trip happens and that your Uncle gets to enjoy it with you all.

Bijoux said...

I’ve been the the Cleveland art museum many times. It’s one of the best in the world. The knight room is very popular and not to be missed. I’ll look for you out on the road! LOL! Safe travels!

Pat Birnie said...

The politics of US high school sports boggles my mind. I’ve watched documentaries that shocked the heck out of me. It’s very different in Canada where the coaches are all volunteer not paid. A lot less pressure.

I do hope your road trip happens. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Very curious what the caddy's made. My guess is 300 bucks for the weekend each.

mbmom11 said...

I envy you the art museum trip! Hopefully chemo can be delayed for a week.
Glad Tank has your back!

Nance said...

I love the Cleveland Museum of Art and have been there many, many times. There are several special exhibitions currently, one being medieval books of hours--beautifully hand-lettered and hand-illustrated personal devotionals from the 16th century. And their regular collection is extensive and gorgeous. I hope you have enough time to fully enjoy it all.

Kari said...

I just discovered in the comments that the Cleveland Art Museum is free! That's pretty cool. Why didn't you take him to the art museum here? Just curious because it's so close and less of a drive.

I learned everything I know about caddying from my husband (who caddied throughout high school and college) and my ex-husband (no explanation needed). 🤣

Safe travels! 😘

Busy Bee Suz said...

You are so sweet to take Uncle Marty on this trip; I know you are hella busy, but goodness, how sweet!? I hope he is healthy enough to go or for his Dr. to let him go.

You need to call Joey BagaDonuts or Petey The Pants to handle Tony; he needs to be set straight, I tell ya!
People get a little power and they just can't handle themselves. CLEAN HOUSE, and start with the AD!!

How sweet of Tank to take care of his Bretherin; I bet your kids are a hoot as caddies!

Ally Bean said...

Some school systems have cut out sports altogether. My initial thought about that was it seemed sad, BUT after reading about the egoistic coaches out there I think it might be a great idea. Probably a happy medium though between lousy coaches and no coaches.

Franklin OH is kind of in nowhere. Tried to go to the Cleveland Art Museum once, and it was closed when we got there despite them selling us a ticket online to enter. Left a bitter taste in my mouth about the place. Youngstown has an art museum? Fancy that.

Jenny in WV said...

Are there any movies with your mascot name that they could spoof? My high school mascot actually was the wildcat, the movie Wildcats came out a year or two before the high schools consolidated and needed a new mascot and the movie influenced the choice.
I grew up in Ohio, a couple hours south of Cleveland, but I've never been to the art museum. I have visited the Christmas Story house (kind of cool) and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (not really worth it). I look forward to reading about your road trip.
I went on a work trip recently and one evening attended a reception hosted by a major vendor in the industry. Part of the evenings entertainment was a performance by some Irish dancers. So I finally got to see some dancing in person. Their speed, timing, and the height of the kicks was amazing!
I have no idea how much caddies make. I'm going to guess $150-200 for 27 holes plus a tip.

Ernie said...

Suzanne - The trip is on. Uncle was unsure if he should go on the trip. He's worried about having to decide about a change in chemo or treatment, etc. We are still going, but it was an ordeal to convince him. I'm hoping we have smooth sailing. Been a crazy, fast paced couple of days full of chaos, because I'm currently in Ohio RIGHT NOW with Curly for AAU ball. Life is funny that way.

Ernie said...

Bijoux - Good to know. I'm excited that we are still going. Uncle's bloodwork came back sort of discouraging. He was not sure he would be up for the trip because he is so anxious. It took some convincing, but I played the ALL THE MORE REASON TO GO DO SOMETHING FUN, PUT YOUR CONCERNS ON THE BACK BURNER.

Ernie said...

Pat - I think I could film my own documentary on our high school sports encounters. It is so senseless. These kids are too young to be ridiculed and harrassed.

I am confident there will be lots of stories about our trip.

Ernie said...

Anonymous - That is a good guess. I'm going to share more in my next post.

Ernie said...

mbmom11 - Chemo can be delayed - the doc has asked him to think about what he wants to do. She talked about being comfortable and living life to the fullest. What a tough job she has. I am looking forward to the art tour - minus the drive. I have to remember to bring a beach towel. On my way to Cinncinnati today, I laid my dryfit jacket on the ground at the gas station and did some press ups in order to give my back a break. A towel will work better.

Ernie said...

Nance - One day he told me he wanted to spend all day in the Youngstown museum and only a little bit of time in the Cleveland one. The next time we spoke, he switched gears. He wanted to do a few minutes in Youngstown, but he wanted to add a national park in Cleveland. This is gonna be INTERESTING.

Ernie said...

Kari - How amazing that a museum is free? Chicago should take a page from Cleveland's notebook.

Uncle is supposed to go to the Chicago Art Institute with my sister Ann and my dad. She's taking them to see the Van Gogh exhibit. Uncle came in town to visit his parents from Texas and used to go to the Art Institute on every visit. Cleveland and Youngstown are a few of the art museums that are on his bucket list . . . along with a few in other cities. Des Moines, maybe?

Did J caddy? I didn't remember that.

Ernie said...

Suz - He has the go ahead from the doc to go, but he was hesitant, because he is so anxious over his test results. It took a little convincing, but my Dad called him up and sort of ordered him to go. It isn't that he doesn't feel well. He's just worrying about what to do next for his cancer. I assured him that Mini and I are ambassadors of fun and we are gonna enjoy this trip.

BagaDonuts indeed. Ha. Yes, let's clean house with the lazy, incompetent AD.

I think my kids are fun caddies, but the best part is when they get home and they tell the stories. So funny.

Ernie said...

Ally - I think it would be sad if a school eliminated sports, but I really think schools need to tune in a bit more to how the coaches are treating the kids.

What is the deal with the museum being closed when they were supposed to be open? Franklin IS in the middle of nowhere and I have seen all the farms to prove it. Apparently Youngstown has an art museum called Butler and I believe it features American Folk art? But I could be wrong. I will know soon enough.

Ernie said...

Jenny - Oh, that is a good call on the mascot. That's funny that the Wildcat movie influenced the mascot at your high school.

I can't believe you saw Irish dancers up close and personal. Yep, the high kicks and the timing to the music are amazing.

I like your guess. I will share more in my next post. Let's just say, you might re-think your career choices.