February 16, 2015 |
March 1997. A South Jersey Group 1 basketball game was scheduled for 7 p.m. at Pitman, and Ron Myers - along with some of his teammates - arrived at the little school on Linden Avenue about 4:30 p.m. "There was a line around the building," Myers said, recalling a magical time in his life and in the history of Pitman basketball. "You drove up with your buddies and you see that and you're like, 'Wow. This is a big deal.' " Myers was standing in a hallway off a locker room below the Cherry Hill East gymnasium Saturday afternoon.
November 6, 2014 |
The two push-button house phones outside the main entrance of the vacant Trump Plaza hotel in Atlantic City remain. A sign outlining access rules concludes with "Trespassers will be prosecuted. " They may as well also take down the "Valet Only" sign. Nobody's allowed in the driveway. There's a big fight next door at Boardwalk Hall on Saturday, Bernard Hopkins against Sergey Kovalev for the light-heavyweight title. There will be a strong crowd. It just won't be quite like the old days, certainly not next door.
October 24, 2014 |
All the baloney about winning and losing could wait. Emory Clark only felt glad not to be rowing anymore. That's how Clark described in his diary the end of the gold medal race of the 1964 Olympics, when a boat out of Philadelphia got to stop first. Clark remembered the "groove of pain" he was in that darkened October evening just outside Tokyo, how relieved he was that the United States Olympic eight didn't have to find another gear, another "more exquisite level" of pain to upset the heavily favored Germans.
July 7, 2014 |
In 2014, there are plenty of easy, unflattering analogies to be made about Germantown and U.S. tennis, which have both seen better days. The glorious history of both, however, can still be found in a splendid Philadelphia relic, one whose foreboding brick walls have shielded and conserved. The Germantown Cricket Club, a green oasis in that gritty urban neighborhood, is one of this city's greatest and least-known sports treasures. Now that another Wimbledon is concluding without an American in sight and Germantown's many losses have included even its namesake high school, this still-active institution stands as a stark reminder of both decline and preservation.
May 19, 2014 |
Each spring at Triple Crown time, when thoroughbred racing briefly flowers on the American sports landscape like an exquisite azalea, I think of Joe Bummer. His actual name escapes me these four-plus decades later, but I'm certain it couldn't have described him any better than the nickname my friends and I gave him. (The actual name we called him was a Yiddish word for perennial dissatisfaction, but after 40-some years I can neither pronounce nor recall it.) Joe was a railbird at Garden State Park and Brandywine Raceway.
April 25, 2014 |
Tom Kennedy has watched a handful of Cardinal O'Hara relays come close at the Penn Relays' most esteemed high school level through the years, but the Lions coach has never gotten his hands on a Championship of America plaque. Last year's fourth-place finish in the distance medley relay championship race ranks among the better chances in the school's history to earn the ultimate Penn Relays title. Kennedy will look for the distance medley quartet of junior Kevin James and seniors Connor McCullough, Nick Smart, and Jim Belfatto to give O'Hara another shot at Penn Relays glory Saturday, as the Lions relay will run the DMR as the top seed.
April 2, 2014 |
Five years ago, almost exactly to this date, fair-haired rapper Asher Roth - the toast of Morrisville and West Chester University - topped the charts when his major-label debut, Asleep in the Bread Aisle , soared to No. 1 on iTunes upon release. Then 23, a hot, fair-haired MC, a child of Pennsylvania's middle class, Roth struck gold on the back of his booze-and-weed anthem "I Love College" and its dedication to the high life and higher education. Heady days, for sure; a level of success Roth seeks to revisit with his official sophomore full-length, RetroHash , its singles ("Fast Lane" and "Tangerine Girl")
March 29, 2014 |
One day they will hold a ceremony for each and every one of them at Citizens Bank Park. A plaque with their likenesses, names, and career accomplishments will be attached to the brick wall in center field that is reserved for only the most revered of Phillies. They will receive a standing ovation and be asked to make a speech, and it will be a special night with their former teammates and other Phillies greats by their side. That's not just a forecast for the futures of Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Carlos Ruiz, and Cole Hamels.
February 26, 2014 |
THE GOOD THING is that every Olympic year when a bunch of Philadelphia bigwigs start spouting about what a great host that their city would make, we know they are just talking out of the sides of their necks for a publicity hit. It's not that Philadelphia could not pull it off; rather, the Olympic Games - Winter or Summer - simply are not worth the amount of costs, resources and inconveniences that come with them. Russia poured a record $51 billion into the just-completed 2014 Sochi Winter Games, but what did it really get out of them?
January 30, 2014 |
At 78, Albert "Tootie" Heath, youngest of Philly's jazz family the Heath Brothers, has a long career as a drummer that includes stints for John Coltrane, Red Garland, Nina Simone, and Herbie Hancock (all in 1957, Tootie's first year of label sessions!), to say nothing of work with Wes Montgomery, Anthony Braxton, the Modern Jazz Quartet, his saxophonist brother Jimmy, and double-bassist Percy Heath. The mighty yet sublime hard-bop acolyte might preen over his glorious albums as a bandleader, albums such as the African diaspora-inspired Kawaida of 1969 and 1973's Kwanza . He could point with pride to more recent work, such as his somber, solo drum workout, The Offering (1998)