June 10, 2012 |
TO SAY THAT Eagles' Hall of Fame wide receiver Pete Pihos lived a memorable life would be something of an understatement about a man who survived the bloody slaying of his father when he was 14, invaded occupied France under Gen. George Patton and helped the Birds win NFL championships in 1948 and 1949. That only made Pihos' last decade - as he struggled against ever-worsening dementia in a North Carolina nursing home before his death last August at age 87- all the more tragic for his youngest daughter Melissa.
June 9, 2012 |
When Kevin Turner retired from professional football in January 2000 after five seasons as a fullback with the Philadelphia Eagles, the letdown was steeper than he expected. "I just turned into a loser overnight and I couldn't figure out what was wrong," Turner, 42, told reporters Thursday. "It was a very scary proposition. " Turner's tally of ailments grew until August 2010 when doctors told him he had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the incurable, devastating neurological disease that killed baseball great Lou Gehrig.
May 30, 2012 |
In the 1970s, during eight years as a safety with the Atlanta Falcons, Charles "Ray" Easterling lived in a world bound only by the rules and dimensions of the football field. By last August, Easterling's world was limited to the walls of his Richmond rancher by a brain so battered he forgot why he walked into a room by the time he got there. It was then that Easterling and his wife, Mary Ann, - joined by six other retired players including ex-Eagles quarterback Jim McMahon and offensive lineman Gerry Feehery, and four spouses - sued the NFL seeking lifetime medical monitoring for ex-players.
May 28, 2012 |
Father's Day A Journey Into the Mind and Heart of My Extraordinary Son By Buzz Bissinger Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 242 pp. $26 Reviewed by Andrew Ervin Buzz Bissinger's list of accolades and awards could fill this entire review. He won a Pulitzer Prize as a reporter for The Inquirer and has since written two best sellers, including the enormously successful Friday Night Lights. I can't think of another writer working today who has achieved the same balance of critical and popular success.
May 20, 2012
With each passing day, the list of plaintiffs filing concussion lawsuits against the NFL grows. At last check, more than 2,100 former players have filed suit against the league in 74 separate lawsuits, most of which have been consolidated in federal court in Philadelphia. By the end of the summer, the number of plaintiffs could exceed 3,000. The list of plaintiffs includes Hall of Famers like Lem Barney and Joe DeLamielleure and Rickey Jackson and Paul Krause, and Super Bowl MVPs like Mark Rypien and Dexter Jackson.
May 14, 2012 |
Buzz Bissinger has already called someone a moron on Twitter this day, but really, the virtuosic vitriol that has characterized his Twitter feed has been somewhat subdued lately. Instead, Bissinger is sitting on a chair in a family room off the kitchen of his house in Chestnut Hill and talking about stuff so personal, so self-flagellating, that it would make you gasp if it weren't comically shot through with F-bombs. Next to him is his son, Zach Bissinger, 28, well known to anyone who ever worked with Buzz at The Inquirer or met Zach through work or at a party where Zach walked up to you, introduced himself, and wanted to know who you were, what's your birthday, and whether you ever worked with Vernon Loeb or Steve Lopez or the other people known forever to him through his familial and personal connections in journalism.
May 10, 2012 |
Assistant District Attorney Richard Sax at times spoke directly to accused killer Donte Johnson in his closing argument Tuesday as he described the rape, beating, and eventual killing of Sabina Rose O'Donnell. "He took everything from her," Sax said as Johnson, 20, stared back intently, his jaw clenched, his face expressionless. "Her dignity, her womanhood, her freedom, her life. And you've given us back zero in terms of remorse or contrition. ... He gave us nothing. " Gary Server, Johnson's attorney, described Johnson in his closing argument as "feebleminded" and "one can short of a six-pack" — someone whose childlike brain did not know what he was doing when he confessed to the June 2010 killing.
May 10, 2012 |
YOU PROBABLY haven't heard of him, but, among the insulated world of Philadelphia's journalistic and political cognoscenti, there's long been a very special celebrity, someone mayors and governors and editors and talking heads alike go out of their way not only to greet, but to befriend. He is perhaps the only Philadelphian beloved by both Democrats and Republicans, and by competing beat writers. He is not someone with a privileged position or a lot of power. He simply has a huge heart, a mischievous smile and an infectious way of looking at the world — and this makes people want him to like them.
May 9, 2012 |
A PORTRAIT of Sabina Rose O'Donnell's alleged killer emerged in a Philadelphia courtroom Monday as a forensic psychologist explained the conclusions from a battery of tests he administered to Donte Johnson, who is on trial in the 2010 rape and murder of the Northern Liberties waitress. Gerald Cooke, the final defense witness, who was paid more than $9,300 in taxpayer money for his services, testified via video recorded last week that Johnson, 20, was likely born withbrain damage, the origin of which is unknown.