December 12, 2014
WHEN I WAS in my second year of law school, my grandmother died unexpectedly of a massive heart attack in the backseat of my mother's car. She was just 70 and it was a crushing blow. I was unusually close to Mamie, given that I was the goody two shoes first grandchild who practically grew up in her West Philly house and loved her, sometimes, more than my disciplinarian parental units. Her death, 29 years ago today, came in the middle of first semester exams, and my first thought was "I can't do this.
November 11, 2014 |
IT TOOK 5 years, but it finally hit Mike McLaughlin. For years growing up, the Philadelphia native and Father Judge High graduate came to the hallowed halls on South 33rd Street and watched basketball games with his family. The game took him to Division II Holy Family, where his 1,710 points still rank fifth in school history. He played after college for a bit with the Washington Generals and Harlem Globetrotters, playing in more than 50 countries. He went on to coach the women's team at his alma mater for 14 seasons, where he piled up 407 wins vs. 61 losses.
October 24, 2014 |
One big question about Ivy League basketball: Is Harvard at all vulnerable? Coming off a second consecutive season in which the Crimson won a game in the NCAA tournament, they are the unanimous pick in the preseason Ivy media poll to win the Ancient Eight and make a fourth straight NCAA appearance. As strong as the Ivy hopes to be - and Princeton coach Mitch Henderson said it could potentially be as strong as it's been in his time as a coach or player - there's no reason to pick against Tommy Amaker's squad despite the loss of several players who helped take Harvard's program to another level.
October 3, 2014 |
PENN HAS BEEN in this spot before. That's what can happen when you open up at least 2 weeks after everyone else each year and Villanova is your annual second obstacle. So the Quakers have good reason why they haven't started 2-0 since 2003, when they put together their third unbeaten season under Al Bagnoli. It's not an excuse, merely reality. Now, for the third time in 4 years and sixth in the last 8, they are 0-2. Even though they did lead by 12 points in the fourth quarter in their opener at Jacksonville, which had already played twice.
September 21, 2014 |
Al Bagnoli has led a charmed life. But as the second-winningest coach (146 games) in Ivy history embarks on his 23d and final season as Penn's football coach Saturday with a game at Jacksonville - three weeks after the Dolphins began the season - he has has a bone to pick. League rules mandate that Ivy schools just play 10 games, meaning Ivy teams always begin the season two and sometimes three weeks after their opponents have played their first game. "It's a problem that we start so late," Bagnoli said.
August 7, 2014 |
One by one, the Ivy League football coaches took turns praising the coaching career that Al Bagnoli has fashioned in 22 seasons at Penn. Bagnoli will retire at the end of the season, and his counterparts paid tribute Tuesday in a conference call with reporters. "The pleasure has been all mine," said Bagnoli, whose Quakers will open their final season under him against Jacksonville on Sept. 20. "It's been 22 great years, and hopefully we'll have a 23d great year. " The Quakers, winners of three of the last five Ivy titles, were picked to finish fourth in the league by a panel of reporters who cover the team.
June 18, 2014 |
A herd of about 45 goats is expected to descend upon a small woodland park in Mount Holly this week to munch away the invasive English ivy that is choking the forest floor. The goats will be released on the 10-acre site to help themselves to free food - which includes poison ivy and small saplings - while their owners, Grazing Green Goats of Hummelstown, Pa., will be paid between $8,000 and $10,000, depending on whether it takes the animals three or four weeks to lick the plate clean.
May 31, 2014 |
Pat Gusoff had what Umar Mycka calls "a yard full of trouble" at her Bustleton home. It wasn't so much the honeysuckle, mulberries, bittersweet, chokecherries, and English ivy, although they can be a nasty business. No, it was all those shiny, three-leaf shoots of Toxicodendron radicans, the dreaded poison ivy. Mycka knows this North American scourge intimately from four decades of work as a gardener/groundskeeper at the Philadelphia Zoo. Since 2008, he has also had a small business (idontwantpoisonivy.com)
May 29, 2014 |
The goats are not coming. That is, the 70 goats from Maryland that were supposed to arrive in Mount Holly this week to eat the ivy that is smothering trees and shrubs at a woodland park affectionately known as the Mount. Normally, the herd indiscriminately consumes leaves, twigs, and other things found in nature. But it won't make a dent in the thick carpet of ivy that has spread across the Mount, says Brian Knox, owner of Eco-Goats, which bills itself as an environmentally friendly vegetation control service.
March 14, 2014 |
THE PENN women's basketball team boarded its bus from Princeton just after 8 p.m. Tuesday. Forty-eight miles stood between them and their desired destination. Music was blasting. They were dancing in the aisles. This is not typical of a bus ride back from a game, but the Quakers already had reached their destination - an Ivy League championship. Senior Alyssa Baron, who scored 23 points in the clinching game at Princeton, capped her 4 years with that elusive title. Those 4 years started with honesty from her soon-to-be head coach Mike McLaughlin.