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Travel ball leads to constipation: stay hydrated
eli cranor
Syndicated sports columnist Eli Cranor

 Dear Athletic Support: Every time we travel, my son gets constipated. I know this sounds silly, but since he’s currently on a travel-league baseball team, it’s actually pretty serious. The worst part is the constipation impacts his play. Generally, he won’t go number two the entire time we’re away from the house. We’ve tried MiraLAX and other types of stool softeners, but nothing seems to work. I know you’re not a medical professional, but I’ll take any help I can get at this point! — Clogged Up


Dear Clogged: I’m not a medical professional, but my wife is a nurse practioner. She deals with childhood constipation on a daily basis. The number one reason kids get stopped up is because they don’t drink enough water. This can be especially problematic when a family travels. The more liquids a kid drinks, the more stops a family will have to make along the way. In your son’s case, however, it might be worth making a few more pit stops instead of him having to play through the pain of constipation. 


Dear Athletic Support: Why are the salaries of key professional sports players and coaches getting so insanely high? Professional players, I guess I can understand. But college coaches are a whole different argument! If you cut their salaries in half or reduced them by seventy-five percent, surely there’d be other coaches still willing to fill these positions. Am I wrong to think this way? — Ken


Dear Ken: You’re not wrong to think this way, but sadly, I don’t think we’ll see any real restructuring in regard to college coaches’ salaries. There’s simply too much money involved. Primetime schools make millions from television deals and other donor contributions. For many universities, the profits from the football program fund the school’s other sports as well as numerous academic activities. More wins translate to more money for the school. It’s hard to argue with money! 


Dear Athletic Support: My son finished up his senior football season a few years back. At five nine, one hundred and seventy pounds, he was an undersized, hardworking offensive lineman. Needless to say, he didn’t get to play much, and I was okay with that… until Senior Night. My son went the entire game and didn’t even get to play one single down. Going into the fourth quarter, we were losing by more than three touchdowns — and he STILL didn’t get to play. Like I said, this happened years ago, but I just cannot believe this jughead coach didn’t play my boy on his Senior Night. Honestly, I’m not looking for an answer… I just needed to vent! — Hot Rod


Dear Rod: I once had a parent berate me for not playing his son enough on Senior Night. In my defense, I did play him. He got to go in for a few snaps at the very end of the game, but this was still unacceptable in his father’s eyes. 

Your situation sounds different, though. There is no excuse for a senior not playing on Senior Night. It’s an unwritten rule — a commandment — of coaching. Any kid who’s stuck it out for the duration of his high school career deserves to get on the field for Senior Night. 

The fact that this is still bugging you — years after your son already graduated — is no good. I seriously doubt the coach did it as a personal attack. He might not even be aware of his transgression. 

I’d urge you to call or email him about how you feel. Maybe he’ll apologize. Maybe not. Either way, you need to get this off your chest and move on.

Eli Cranor is a former professional quarterback and coach turned award-winning author. Send questions for “Athletic Support” to 

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