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The Slice: Wise coach puts players’ health first

This Slice answer struck me as timely and important, so let’s lead off with it.

“Regarding your question about hurling at football practice,” wrote Steve Kent. “It should never happen! I’ve been a high school coach for 36 years in the Spokane Valley and remember only a couple of times where we pushed a kid to the point of vomiting. If the athlete is in any sort of condition the two-a-day experience, while strenuous, should never push a kid to that point.

“A player who lacks conditioning must be monitored so as to prevent any kind of incident.

“In short, pushing a player to that extreme is foolish and potentially life threatening. Hopefully all coaches are on board as we move toward the start of another high school football season.”

Red beer, continued: “Once upon a time, in 1968 and 1969, I was stationed aboard a U.S. Coast Guard cutter in Alameda, Calif.,” wrote Curt Eglin. “All the local bars in metro Oakland served beer with tomato juice, if you asked for it. Every bar called it ‘tomato beer’ but each seemed to make it somewhat differently, with anywhere between one quarter to one half tomato juice and the rest of the glass draught beer.

“What’s the beauty of tomato beer? You can use the cheapest rot-gut panther urine beer sold in the store and cut it with your personal proportion of tomato juice and it will taste just fine.”

And Mike Wirt offered this. “My wife, not much of a beer lover otherwise, has enjoyed ‘red beer’ (beer and tomato juice, for her at least as much juice as beer) for a very long time, predating our move to the Spokane area in the early 1970s. She said that she first had it when visiting relatives in South Dakota.”

Here’s hoping she wasn’t served panther urine beer.

Today’s Slice question: When contemplating your current level of fitness, does the memory of your former physical capabilities inspire you or is the difference between then and now just discouraging?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email The other day at the Washington Trust Bank branch Shirley Dicus frequents, when it was really hot, employees handed out water bottles to customers.

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