Go Ask Daddy About Age Limits, Pricey Tickets and Google Trick … ets?

Virginia Tech Hokies block punt vs Duke
This would be me – getting blocked. By a Hokie.
So, I used to have this wacky-ass idea.

After a non-descript high school football career that lasted zero games and about six practices, I wanted to make a comeback. Years later. Like, when I was in my mid 30s. But now that I think of it, can you make a comeback when you’ve never really had a career?

My wacky-ass idea was to finish my degree, at nearby Guilford College, as a punter. Guilford wears these cool crimson uniforms, and plays in a little campus stadium on their cozy brick-laid campus, with a backdrop of the changing Carolina leaves across the field.

No, linebackers wouldn’t care much about the bricks and fall foliage.

But, I was going to walk on as a punter, and maybe even write about it for the News & Record, where I worked. In the seasons I covered Guilford football, I never saw a Quakers punter get nailed by a rushing linebacker. Of course, they never had me punting for them.

But, it never happened. Guilford never had to issue me a practice jersey, or water bottle, or break the news gently that they were keeping the nearsighted freshman on the roster, and had only one spot for a punter. I’d definitely try to keep the shirt. And the water bottle though.

So now that we’ve sufficiently covered my broken dreams … let’s get on with some Go Ask Daddy. Quick, before someone asks me for my playbook.

1. Is there an age limit for college football?

Pat O'Dea

Let’s hope it’s 41, because I just turned 42, and I shouldn’t foster any more wacky-ass ideas. Even if my school, UNC Charlotte, does play football now.

The NCAA doesn’t implement an age limit on athletes. Any college student can play for four years, even if you can’t count to four. Chris Weinke played baseball in the Toronto Blue Jays minor-league system for six years before going to Florida State to play football at the ripe old age of 26.

He had the receding hairline and everything. And went on to win the Heisman Trophy as college football’s best player.

Way to go, gramps. Maybe my dream isn’t dead after all.

2. Has there been an All-star no-hitter?

photo credit: Leo Reynolds via photopin cc

No. Although, if there was one, I’d probably be the final out.

The last year I played baseball, I was the last out for three games. As a pinch hitter. Once, at South Mecklenburg High, with my school down just seven runs in the bottom of the ninth, skip nodded at me and I grabbed a bat to get things started.

My teammates started to pack up before I even got to the plate.

In major-league history, there’s never been a no-hitter – when a pitcher doesn’t allow a hit in a nine-inning game. There’ve been only seven all-star shutouts. I mean, you’re facing the best hitters baseball, right? The American League took a one-hitter into the ninth in 1990 at Wrigley Field.

And in 1991, the Committee on Statistical Accuracy (sounds like something in the government, doesn’t it?) declared 38 no-hitters not-not-hitters, because of rain or darkness, or if the home team doesn’t bat in the bottom of the ninth.

Sounds kind of fascist to me. Like when they made Pluto an un-planet.

3. Would you pay $15 for a ticket?

photo credit: terren in Virginia via photopin cc

Yes, I would.

I might even pay for one for you at that price.

That’s kind of steep, though, $30. My personal rule is, you can spend your age in dollars for a ticket. Which means most 5-year-olds can afford Charlotte Bobcats tickets on stubhub.com.

And I could probably afford a spot right next to Michael Jordan, courtside.

For $15, we ought to be able to get a couple of box seats at a minor-league baseball game.

And some ice cream in a baseball cap.

(We’ll smuggle in some candy in daddy’s cargo shorts).

photo credit: Stéfan via photopin cc

4. Can referees be fired?

If no hitters can be taken away and Pluto stripped of its dignity, then anything is possible.

Getting fired would be the least of some referees’ problems. I usually don’t have much of a beef with the zebras, unless they lose control of a game and the kids’ safety is at risk. I’m more vocal about the NFL officials who like to keep the patriots, ravens or steelers in the playoff race with shady penalties.

But I digress.

The NFL also once nearly allowed a paint-your-face-and-holler New Orleans Saints fan serve as a replacement official while the league’s regular referees were on strike. Someone checked out his Facebook page to see him all fanned up. Like me, he kind of had no place on a football field.

5. Is every question on Google?

photo credit: Oberazzi via photopin cc

I don’t know. Let me Google it.

Google says it answers more than a billion questions every day. In fact, I just asked Google “Who is Coach Daddy?” My blog came up first, with keywords Coach Daddy, Coke Zero, Hope Solo is Hot, and Tim Tebow.

Hmm. But when I asked Google “Is every question on Google?”, know what I got?

Something about WordPress. Which means Google’s algorithms, which fields questions in 181 nations in 146 languages (including rural Mainer), hasn’t seen anything like that question before.

Kind of like your dad, punting into his 40s.

Or Pluto, back in the planet fraternity.

Those are both kind of out of this world.


  1. NotAPunkRocker says:

    Go Hokies!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Where are they going, the Seattle Bowl?

      1. The Sun Bowl, baby! Time to show UCLA what Beamer Ball is all about!

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        They have no idea … this ain’t USC!

  2. laurie27wsmith says:

    Sport seems to hurt more when you get over 30 Eli. The sad thing is, the older you get the better you think you were. A truly sad state of affairs.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      At least in my 30s, I could do the same things,but would pay the next day. Now, at 42, I must rely on the wiles of my old age, because Mother Nature has left the building.

      I’m not as good as I once was, but I’m as good once as I ever was.

      1. laurie27wsmith says:

        Pass the muscle rub and anti-inflammatory pills. Mate 42, I was horse riding in a big way then, running, motorbike riding. Sigh.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        I have a feeling 2014 will see more of the good stuff for me.

        Don’t forget to email me your six words for Christmas, mate. The prompt: Describe Christmas as a parent, in six words.

      3. laurie27wsmith says:

        Let’s hope so Eli, I’ll get to work on the 6 words.

  3. ksbeth says:

    well, it’s a good thing you have another job to fall back on perhaps? ps – what about those hockey guys, like chelios and howe, who played into their later decades? and are not in jail. ps – i love to go to toledo mud hens games, our tiger’s farm team, and pay 7$, including hot dog, beg, ticket and unlimited fun with the mascots and fans. great post eli, and you were able to answer some pressing questions that have been on my mind for ages –

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Yeah – I could’ve been a football player … it was all the contact and athleticism I had a problem with. Chris Chelios, I’m convince, benefited from all those years in Chicago, eating D’Agostino’s Pizza.It kept him young.

      I know the Mud Hens. That’s a good deal there. $7 for all that? I’d consider that kind of heavenly.

      When you visit Coach Daddy, you might leave with indigestion, but you’ll also learn about something you didn’t know you didn’t know. That’s a promise.

      1. Rorybore says:

        Chris Chelios ❤
        now you're talking my language. 🙂
        they once clocked Chelios during a Montreal game and they said the amount of time he was off the ice added up to – I think it was – about 8 minutes for a 3 period hockey game. the guy was a machine.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        I had a feeling CC would bring you out of the woodwork, Rory. I hope that in your dreams, he’s wearing a Black Hawks sweater, at least.

        He was a freak of nature, he. I wonder what happens to a player post-hockey, who is used to that routine. I think your body would need the starts and stops and checks.

  4. I’ll start with how awesome it is to see my beloved Hokies doing what they do best! Major points for that pic, Eli. Even if it stirs up bad memories of this year’s Duke game. Shudder. Before I transferred to VT, I spent my freshman year at FSU. It happened to be Weinke’s Heisman-winning season when the Noles played the Hokies for the national championship. I was at that game! I bleed orange & maroon now, but a part of me is rooting for the Noles to go wire-to-wire again this year. If it can’t be the Hokies, at least another ACC team can shut the SEC up!

    And you should never give up your dreams. Heck, with the kicking year we had, you could probably walk on at Tech!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Special teams does seem to be a Hokies specialty, doesn’t it? I skipped over all the Duke jubilation pics in consideration of you. That didn’t turn out to be that bad a loss, you know.

      I’m all about the underdog, but I’ll be rooting for the Noles, too. Those were good years for me in Tallahassee, too, although that was just before the national championship against Virginia Tech.

      I was on the sports staff at the Tallahassee Democrat when Florida State lost 13-2 to Oklahoma. We’d worked for weeks on a championship book that never saw the light of day.

      I did kick a 25-yard field goal just a couple of summers ago at Bank of America Stadium. The legend grows on this one. They say it would have been good from 40, 50, maybe even 60 yards.

      They, meaning, me. In my own mind.

      1. Were you in Tallahassee in 99 when FSU lost to UT for the 98 championship? I lost a candy bar on that game!

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        I was there! Painful. I prefer to remember Tallahassee for the stellar Cubano sandwiches.

        Was it a Kitkat?

  5. Teri says:

    It’s still snowing on your page. I’m going to grab a sweater from now on. I can read when there’s precipitation on my screen, my fingertips are going numb.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      This is as close as I’ll get to appreciable snowfall here in the Carolinas, so I do what I must. Hot chocolate’s on, so there’s that. And when I write a post, I can see my breath. I even type with those gloves missing the fingertips.

  6. I always thought of myself as an all-star no-hitter.

    Love the idea of spending your age on ticket prices, although my grandmother would get screwed shelling out $100 for everything she does.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      The rarest kind. An apt assessment.

      Clarification: I think the most you should spend on a ticket is your age. When I was 25, that would have been 25 bones, and so on. I’d hate to pay $42 for Bobcats ticket.

      Unless it came with a jersey. And a spot on the bench.

  7. Rorybore says:

    Wait…..Pluto’s not a planet anymore? What the heck? what did it do to get kicked out of the planetary line up? Clearly I haven’t been paying close enough attention to the kids’ homework.
    maybe it’s just too cold up here to notice stuff like that.
    minus 22 today. so we went outside and got our Christmas tree.
    (that’s about minus 7 in American)
    But your snow is really cute 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I feel like I just stole your religion. Yes, I think American leftwingers and the Free Syrian Army (and probably Apple) stripped the ninth planet of his dignity and designated a “dwarf.”

      They ought to at least give them a chance to promote to planet status, like they do in the Premier League. Pluto’s been relegated, but with some positive results in 2014, ought to be able to.

      Plus, did you hear about the Canadian who once visited Pluto?

      She got there and took off her parka and mittens.

      I just hope this really is snow on my site, and I’m not just suffering from a bout of dandruff.

  8. That is pretty impressive you stumped Google! Going back to my college days, we had a guy on the cross country team who was way older than the rest of us…he had been in the military and came back to school. He had long red hair and a long beard and I remember his name but won’t mention it here. We were all in awe of him, because he could order a beer legally the night before a race, and did. The coaches never said a word to him about drinking before a meet.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’m sure they have a hummingbird on it by now.

      Wow – so you had a soldier running for you? I think Chris Weinke was the one who was so much older than his teammates, they called him gramps – no word on if he left his signal on driving down the highway or ate dinner at 4 p.m.

      1. Our soldier could party with the best of them…definitely not a gramps. He was quite a character.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        You should write about him someday.

  9. Rosey says:

    There does seem to be a favor bent where the Patriots are concerned…and the Packers too (hey, we’re Lion Country over here), but I won’t digress, I don’t want others to think you allow raving lunatics to come visit your blog. 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Raving lunatics actually get preferred parking at this blog.

      And I thought the NFL was going to give the Pats another one today. Thank goodness Jesus intervened.

  10. How did we ever live without google???
    I love your theory about prices to pay for tickets!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Everything’s true on Google, you know.

      I feel like NFL teams should take my sliding scale into consideration when setting ticket prices. It’s hard for a kid like me to get through the gates without a press pass.

  11. I had some of the same experiences as you in athletics. The coaches finally realized I was a better ref than an player. Worked for me!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I remember your story! Give that kid a whistle.

      When I was in baseball, they’d say “grab a bat and stop this rally!” And I normally did.

  12. LOL. I love you, GO Guilford College. I love when you talk about my home city… It makes me smile!!!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I coulda been a star, ADH. I know it. A Quakers legend.

      Greensboro’s the place Marie was born, and it holds a lot of great memories for me. It’s the last place I truly felt I had a family at my job, too.

      I need to write about those ruffians at the News & Record. At the darkest time of my life, they shone so bright.

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