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)
January 27, 2014 |
HONOLULU - LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson won't line up against each other on the field during tomorrow's NFL Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium. But the two Eagles stars will be on opposite sidelines, however, and there's plenty of friendly competition going on between the two this week. "I've got to get it," McCoy said this week. "Even if we ain't teammates, I've got to get it, man. " The four guys representing the Eagles at this weekend's Pro Bowl are divided up evenly, with guard Evan Mathis joining McCoy, the NFL's leading rusher, on Jerry Rice's team, while Jackson and quarterback Nick Foles will play for Deion Sanders' team after the two Hall of Famers drafted their squads on Tuesday and Wednesday.
November 4, 2013 |
PHILADELPHIA Infusions faced off with fusion and lobster bisque battled broccoli rabe on Broad Street on Saturday as hundreds of cooking hopefuls turned out to audition for Season 5 of MasterChef , the culinary reality television show. Tupperware in tow at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel, they were all taking their stab at becoming the next Luca Manfe - that is, the restaurant manager from Astoria, Queens, who won last season's competition, scoring $250,000 and a cookbook deal. "We are looking for passion," said casting director Erika Landin.
September 13, 2013 |
FOR DECADES, Miss America was all about beauty and "perfection," physical and otherwise. But like so much about the venerable competition, this has changed. Ever since Alabama's Heather Whitestone, who was rendered deaf after a childhood illness, was crowned Miss America 1995, disabilities have not been a hurdle to participation in the pageant at any level, local, state or national. As a matter of fact, in the wake of Whitestone's crowning, some cynical members of the media began referring to the "gimp factor" as part of the selection process.