April 15, 2012 |
They are young and he is not. That shouldn't matter, but eventually, inevitably, it does. If you have ever been a parent who survived those wonderful teen years, then you can relate. Doug Collins has been there, done that. Not only as a father, but as a grandfather. There is, on average, roughly 40 years distance between them, the children of the 76ers and their baby-sitter, the coach. They may find it difficult to fathom, but he knows more basketball than they do. Tons more.
April 8, 2012 |
First come the beards. You can't have the competitions for Lord Stanley's cherished chalice without the growing of the beards. And neatness definitely does not count. None of that trim and thin sissy stuff. No, we're talking great clumps of facial forestation. Beards so thick and tangled that birds could nest in them. Think Grizzly Adams. Or a boatload of pirates. Who don't wash. It's unclear exactly what prompted this ritual of the hirsute, but it probably had something to do with superstition.
April 1, 2012 |
So there he stands, on the 10th tee of a golf course of intoxicating treachery and shadow-streaked splendor, a fabled arena celebrated in lore and legend, and there it is, shimmering, spreading out before him in the soft spring of a Georgia day, invitingly, seductively. It is the time and the place of unfailing high drama: Sunday at the Masters, the back nine. Fore, please, for Rory McIlroy. He is all of 21, this lad of Northern Ireland, and for four days he has strode the swales and hummocks of Augusta National remarkably poised and apparently unflappable, clutching resolutely at the lead of the 2011 Masters and not, as so many before him have, coming undone.
March 25, 2012 |
The 3:10 to Panicsville . . . And so once again the rush is on, that great migration of front-runners, and with each new Phillie going down with injury the crush to board the 3:10 to Panicsville, alias the Phillies Express, has become a contagion. But then this is what we do best, isn't it? Expect the worst. Light candles. Count prayer beads. Fret and pace; pace and fret. Our glass is not only half empty there are cigarette butts floating in it, and lipstick smearing on the rim. The Fightin's are entering the last week of games that don't matter, and they do so limping homeward, fleeing from what has probably been the most destructive and costliest spring training in their mottled history.
March 18, 2012 |
Nineteen members of the Flyers Fan Club made the 10-hour trek to Toronto on a bus with no bathroom. - The Inquirer, March 10, 2012 Now that's loyalty. And those hearty and patient fans, and their impressively voluminous bladders, were rewarded for their pluck and persistence with a 1-0 shootout victory over the Maple Leafs and another shutout by the suddenly impregnable Ilya Bryzgalov. That trip also gave rise, yet again, to that long-running, and unresolvable, debate about those sturdy creatures, the Flyers Frozen Faithful.
March 11, 2012 |
I got the horse right here, The name is Paul Revere . . . Can do, can do - From "Guys and Dolls" Your first thought is, Lord but he's big. Freight train big. And that white blaze that runs down his forehead, it reminds you of a lightning bolt. Could it be an omen? Is this, at long last, The One? Steady there, Pilgrim. Throttle back. We know you're ready to fall in love all over again, that you've been standing out here in the rain waiting forlornly and forever and a day for the next Big Red. But it's not fair, and you ought not to be saddling this one with all your Secretariat expectations.
March 4, 2012 |
Comes now, once again and not a moment too soon, the fine Madness, bringing to us, soaring and swooping, the Dunkateers, those sneakered scholars, those acrobatic aerialists who sky and fly and throw down rim-quaking thunder dunks, and yet for the life of them cannot make a simple free throw, which, in a perverse way, is part of the allure of the delightful delirium of March. They are, after all, eminently human, some still not yet out of their teens and hence subject to rash and regrettable decisions, but being extraordinarily tall children, also capable of some stirring heroics.
February 26, 2012 |
"If any player ever asks me about playing in Philadelphia, what I thought it was and what it actually is, it's completely different. I've never had anyone yell at me. " - Doc Halladay, The Inquirer, Feb. 22, 2012 In the dead of winter, circa 2002, in South Philadelphia, a stretch limo, windows darkened, purrs down Broad Street and slows to a crawl where a majestic new ballpark is rising and where...
February 19, 2012 |
The calendar flips back a generation or so and in your mind's eye you see the two of them striding purposefully down a long, sweeping fairway, a duel in the sun, men intent on a mission, jaws set and eyes locked on a target only they can see, one golden-maned and recently shed of 30 pounds, and the other hitching at his pants and flipping away one of those damnable cigarettes he's trying to quit. Jack and Arnie. Arnie and Jack. They were golf. And vice versa. Arnie's Army.
February 12, 2012 |
He always did have a craving for ice and rarely hesitated to indulge it. That ice is melting now. So diamonds, it turns out, really are not forever. A Georgia judge has ordered Allen Ezail Iverson to pay a jeweler about $860,000. But apparently he can't, so his bank account has been commandeered, and his earnings, whatever of them may be left, are to be garnisheed. The King of Bling, it would seem, is about to become the Prince of Pawn. The man who is the best small scorer in the history of the NBA, who lit up Philadelphia nights with his pyrotechnic play, is said to have worked his way through the better part of - big inhale here - $150 million.