When you look at the devastation that Hurricane Sandy caused to New Jersey, Staten Island and other areas of New York, it's scary to think how the slightest turn could have resulted in Sandy landing right on top of us here in Howard County.
As I was watching the coverage of the storm, I was reminded that the annual New York City Marathon was to be run that next Sunday.
The initial word was that the race was going to go on as scheduled, which drew sharp criticism from across the country. The resources and man-power needed to put on the race seemed to be coming at the expense of assisting those in need following the storm.
I must have received half a dozen calls by the weekend from people who thought the marathon should be canceled. Some of the runners had already begun pulling out because they didn't want to run through the devastation. Finally, by Friday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg decided to pull the plug. People were attacking him as being insensitive and he found himself in a lose-lose situation.
I applaud the final decision and, truthfully, it should have been made earlier. Sports can sometimes aid in the healing process following such a devastating storm, but this wasn't one of those times.
Healing has to come first and New York and New Jersey have a long way to go before the healing is complete. It is difficult to celebrate an event when so many of the neighborhoods that the marathon goes through have little left but hope.
Campanaro turning heads
When Mike Campanaro left River Hill High School for Wake Forest, he was considered by some to be too small to play wide receiver at the Division I level. Listed at 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds while with the Hawks, Mike certainly wasn't your prototypical wide out.
But I never doubted his potential. I said in this column that Mike would someday leave a legacy at Wake Forest and that's exactly what he's doing this fall as a redshirt junior. Over the weekend, he tied an Atlantic Coast Conference record with 16 catches in a 28-14 win over Boston College. Three of those catches went for touchdowns and he finished with 123 receiving yards.
The performance garnered Mike the honor of being named the ACC Receiver of the Week. His teammate at Wake Forest and fellow River Hill alum, Kevin Johnson, earned an ACC Player of the Week award as well. Johnson was named Co-Defensive Back of the Week after recording seven tackles, breaking up two passes and grabbing one interception against Boston College.
On the year, Mike now has 60 receptions for 604 yards despite missing two games due to injury. His efforts, ranking him statistically among the top 20 nationally for receivers, has opened the door for opportunities beyond college. I believe the National Football League is a distinct possibility if that's what he wants to do.
It's not always about size. You can't measure heart and Mike has plenty of that.
Calling a good game
When it comes to announcers at high school games, you never know what you're going to get. You have your good ones and then you have homers, who make it clear which team they support.
So it's worth heaping some praise on Gary Bruzdzinski, a Howard parent who has two daughters who play on the girls soccer team. Gary was in the booth calling the game between Wilde Lake and Howard last month and got rave reviews from the visiting school. It was definitely refreshing to hear and shows how the little things can sometimes go a long way.