June 9, 2015 |
ELMONT, N.Y. - Racetrack lifers, those who knew Bob Baffert well enough to wander inside Barn 1 at Belmont Park, congregated in a corner as American Pharoah walked around the shed row. One guy held Baffert's coffee while the trainer signed a Belmont Stakes program for him. Out on Hempstead Turnpike, just over a fence, traffic spilled by, past a Wendy's and a Subway across the street, which seemed a world away. Inside the fence, there was an air of contentment. Why would the glow wear off?
April 10, 2015 |
After the Decemberists played the driving, lyrically ornate "The Infanta" at the Academy of Music on Tuesday night, singer Colin Meloy made a confession. The song, he told the audience, "serves no practical purpose whatsoever. " It was a strange moment, not because he was wrong, but because the issue of practicality is not one that seems to weigh heavily on the band's collective conscience. Over the last 15 years, the quintet from Portland, Ore., augmented on stage by singers Kelly Hogan and Nora O'Connor, has built a devoted, ever-growing fan base with elaborate, hyperliterary folk tunes - a cross between a medieval history seminar and an advanced vocabulary quiz.
March 7, 2015 |
Roman Catholic made a huge breakthrough by slaying six-time defending Catholic League champ Neumann-Goretti for its first league crown since 2007. And it repeated as the District 12 Class AAAA titlist. The big question now is: Can the 24-2 Cahillites also conquer the state playoffs? They have mostly struggled in the tournament, going 3-6 with four first-round exits in six appearances. Roman's bid for redemption is headed by guards Tony Carr, Gemil Holbrook and D'Andre Vilmar, and forwards Nazeer Bostick, Paul Newman, and Manny Taylor.
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")