June 30, 2015 |
THIRTY-FIVE years ago, the foremost American comedian of his day, Richard Pryor, returned from his first visit to Kenya and declared that he would never again call another black person "n-----" or use the word in his public performances. He sparked a movement that gained near universal affirmation if not participation. In time, it seemed that the euphemism "n-word" had vanquished its dark shadow. Then President Obama spoke the word "n-----" out loud in a podcast interview aired this week.
June 20, 2015 |
For a moment, assume the worst for Sam Bradford. Picture him at Lambeau Field on Aug. 29, dropping back to pass against the Packers during the Eagles' third preseason game. The third exhibition game is a team's most important preseason game. It's the dress rehearsal for the regular season. It's Bradford's best chance, maybe his only chance before the final score starts to matter, to answer the questions about whether, after tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament twice in a 10-month span, he can make Chip Kelly's offense purr like a Ferrari 458 over 16 games.
June 19, 2015 |
This may sound odd, but the Phillies need to be more in a rush to hire rather than fire right now. It's time for a new club president to take a long look at all that needs to change. Current president Pat Gillick was unavailable for comment Wednesday and it's reasonable to believe that he was in the process of completing a deal to bring on Andy MacPhail as his replacement. CSNPhilly reported Monday that the Phillies have targeted MacPhail, a baseball lifer with an impressive resumé as a general manager and team president.
June 11, 2015 |
SOON AFTER he was hired to run the Chicago Cubs in the fall of 2011, Theo Epstein named Dale Sveum to be his manager. As the Brewers' hitting coach, Sveum had a reputation not just for developing young hitters, but for being a tough, no-nonsense type and requiring accountability from those who played for him. The Cubs needed that discipline as their organizational philosophy veered toward perennial restocking and patience, much as the Phillies have...
June 2, 2015 |
A funny thing happened on the way to the 21st century: The definition and importance of marriage shifted, gayness came out of the shadows and proliferated in public, pop cultural, and political life, and Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's Company turned into a period piece. Bucks County Playhouse's current production brings out the bright side of single-and-searching 35-year-old Bobby-baby-bubi and his well-intentioned married friends. But not even the casting of Bucks County celeb Justin Guarini in that central role can mask the fact that the time may have passed for this version of the show.
May 28, 2015
WE KNEW we were being naïve when we imagined that City Council would come back from the last week's campaigning and roll up its sleeves to address the hard issues of school funding in Philadelphia. Any one of the issues would have been fine: how to come up with the $105 million the district requested of the city, how to fill the $85 million deficit, the erosion of essentials like school nurses and books, or maybe the discouraging disparity - 33 percent, according to a recent study - between funding for rich districts vs. poor ones like ours.
May 27, 2015 |
It's no wonder the players on the Tampa Bay Lightning have respected and responded to Jon Cooper, now in his second full season as head coach. They can look behind their bench and know the guy standing there was a great player in his time, a four-year letterman at Hofstra University . . . in lacrosse. And it's far from a shock that the Anaheim Ducks have gotten deep into the conference finals this season because they have a coach in Bruce Boudreau who played for 20 years, all but 141 games in the minors, then needed 15 years as a minor-league coach before getting his shot in the NHL. This is his eighth season in the NHL and the first time he has gotten a team beyond the second round of the playoffs.
May 21, 2015 |
THE OTHER big news in Grand Forks on Monday was that the University of North Dakota quickly found its new coach, a guy who had been a well-regarded assistant coach at both the NHL level and at the college level, a guy who had logged 241 games in the NHL and who has gained renown for developing young defensemen. North Dakota promoted Dave Hakstol's 50-year-old assistant, Brad Berry. If you're trying to figure out why Flyers general manager Ron Hextall, weaned entirely under the traditional hockey substructure as both a player and administrator, would reach into college for his all-important first coaching hire, start there.
May 15, 2015 |
Legislation that would create a state-run system for low-performing Pennsylvania schools could devastate the Philadelphia School District, its superintendent told the Senate Education Committee in Harrisburg on Wednesday. William R. Hite Jr. said he favors accountability for additional funds he seeks for Philadelphia. But as written, a bill that would compel struggling schools across the state to improve rapidly or face relegation to a new state-administered system would "create an unfunded turnaround mandate, resulting in the stripping out of supports and programs from schools left under district control," he said.
May 11, 2015 |
For Pat O'Brien, Feb. 15 was just another winter Sunday. The Huntingdon Valley nurse had always had job-based health insurance. So she didn't realize Feb. 15 was the last day to buy Affordable Care Act marketplace coverage for 2015. But on that unseasonably warm day, O'Brien and her husband, Joe, a retired police officer, needed health insurance. Two weeks earlier, O'Brien had lost her job, and with it, their benefits. "I had no idea, because I didn't need it," said O'Brien, 60. "I've had insurance my whole life.