June 11, 2013 |
BILL FLEISCHMAN might have put it best: "Bobby Lyons was a genuine Philly sports guy. " Like many Philadelphia sportswriters, past and present, Bill Fleischman, longtime Daily News sports correspondent and auto-racing reporter, knew and respected Bobby Lyons as a consummate professional, yet one who never called much attention to himself. He was a sports reporter for the Associated Press and the old Evening Bulletin, author of several highly regarded books on different aspects of sports, former sports-information officer for La Salle University, head of its news bureau and operator of his own public-relations company.
June 9, 2013 |
Sportswriter Bob Lyons was so organized, so diligent, that he wrote his own obituary and left it for his family to disperse to the media. Mr. Lyons, 73, an understated, dignified man who wrote several books connected to the Philadelphia sports scene, died Wednesday of heart disease. One of Mr. Lyon's five children, Rick, said his father left an obituary "not because he wanted to write it, but because he wanted it accurate. He started his career writing obituaries for the Bulletin, and he ended it writing an obituary.
November 5, 2012 |
Fade in . . . Nightfall at sea. On the bridge of the USS Iggles stands a large rumpled man who favors black shorts even when it's colder than a well- digger's posterior. He cups a hand to ear, leans in against the wind, and anchors himself in that splay-legged stance of an immovable offensive lineman. Cap'n Andy. A man - we'll call him Jeff - scrambles up awkwardly to the bridge, barking a shin, cursing softly. Jeff: "What are you doing?" Cap'n Andy: "Listening. " Jeff: "Well, duh. " Cap'n Andy: "For whispers.
October 21, 2012 |
His face popped up on the screen and you were struck with this thought: Cap'n Andy is wearing his years. Out on the range, they would say he looks like he's been rode hard and put up wet. So whatever became of that apple-cheeked, roan-maned, walrus-mustached, naive NFL wannabe? Fourteen years, that's what. Fourteen years of family turmoil and unspeakable tragedy to endure with grace and courage. Fourteen years of palace intrigue and ruthless purging in the darkened hallways of Fortress NovaCare.
October 7, 2012 |
The camera caught him coming in low and aiming high, like a rolling ball of butcher knives, a middle linebacker steaming along on the base paths, his uniform pigsty filthy with a warrior's colors, telling you he's down and dirty, his face contorted with the effort, seeking out a collision, and you are struck with this thought: The prudent man steps aside. Mike Trout, coming through. Here is how he is introduced in the antiseptic world of cyberspace: Michael (Mike) Nelson Trout.
September 23, 2012 |
The spiral is perfect, the ball launched by a buggy-whip arm, and it arcs in majestic slow motion across a cobalt sky. Two are in lockstep pursuit of it, receiver and defender, each calculating where their thunderous intersection will be reached, and you see them rising and grasping as one, and it is all so real that you swear that you are, well, there. Right there! And Steve Sabol would smile a smile of modesty and satisfaction and lean back and thank you. On behalf of NFL Films and its gazillion Emmys, we thank you. To quote the song: Nobody does it better.
September 17, 2012 |
And comes now the bagpiper, with that music so mournful, so achingly familiar, so haunting in its melancholy beauty. Has any lyricist ever penned its equal? But come ye back when summer's in the meadow, Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow, Yes, I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow . . . - Danny Boy Comes now Rory Boy, freckled of face, curly of hair, determined of jaw, purposeful of stride, eyes set on the far horizon at a goal only he can see. He is, as they say, The Next Big Thing, at once precocious and poised.
August 27, 2012 |
And so there they were, nose-to-nose, chin-to-chin, veins popping, eyes bulging, F-bombs detonating, hot at it - Tom Brady, the Wonder Boy, and . . . and . . . help me out here, who is that other guy in Brady's grille, anyway? Bill O'Brien. Who? This was Dec. 11, as the New England Patriots were beating the Washington Redskins, and, much to the camera's delight there was a snarling sideline dustup between Brady and . . . and . . . Bill O'Brien - that Bill O'Brien, then the Patriots' offensive coordinator, who the next time the camera lingers on him will be as the new head football coach of Pennsylvania State University, which is kind of a big deal, seeing as how there hasn't been a new one for 46 years.
August 13, 2012 |
He had become, they say, a member of the Brotherhood of the Iron, those intrepid and devoted pumpers of weights in dogged search of the sculpted physique and, always, always, more tonnage to hoist. You wonder if Garrett Reid was searching for more than that. Searching for salvation, perhaps. Searching for release from the cruel hold the demons had on him. He was, by all accounts, a tortured soul, yet he managed to rise, again and again. His courage and fierce spirit were galvanizing, and celebrated in tribute by his father, who had the most wrenching duty that can be thrust upon a parent.
August 5, 2012 |
There is an unspoken covenant between the professional baseball team of Philadelphia and the raving lunatic loyalists who support it with what can only be described as impassioned, unconditional tough love. And that covenant is this: As long as you are trying, really, really, really trying to build a winner, we will support you. We will put up with those $20 beers (not yet but inevitable, along with the $30 parking, etc. etc. etc.). And we will continue to snap up those bobbleheads and those Hunter Pence tees (instant memorabilia)