December 7, 2015 |
First, you had to negotiate the pigeon droppings. There was a thick layer of guano on each of the steps leading up to the press box at JFK Stadium, that wrinkled old relic that had hosted some truly epic sporting events but now slumbered, waiting for the wrecking ball. The route to the press box was a spiral staircase, a tricky passage even without having to skate over a year's worth of pigeon deposits. There was also the matter of (mind your step) low-hanging pipes, which (ouch)
November 2, 2015 |
I encountered Sid Szymanski, a fictional softball catcher, earlier this year while browsing through a poetry anthology in a Midwestern bookstore. In the "City of Tonawanda Softball Championship," Szymanski is old and alone, the substance of his life as insubstantial as his broken body. But while wheelchair-bound in a crowded New York nursing home, he still can draw solace from a memory, the long-ago night he scored the winning run in a bar-league championship. At poem's end, he is: "Mumbling and lost, wrapped "in the soft cloth of memory: "The arc of the white ball, a pearl "in the jewel box of twilight sky. " What aging sports fan can't appreciate such an end-of-life, "Glory Days" reflection?
April 10, 2015 |
IT WOULD be in the eighth inning or so, or the fourth quarter, in whatever press box you happened to be sitting, and the routine would be the same. Stan Hochman would turn toward you and any other Daily News writers in attendance and say, "Tidy-up time," which was the signal that the business on the field had been decided to his satisfaction and the business of deciding who was writing what was about to begin. Tidy-up time. There was a physical act to it: Hochman was an inveterate note-taker and information-gatherer, and all of it was on paper, and on the top of the stack was a list of story angles torn from a notebook, things that he saw in the game that were worthy of a story.
March 15, 2015 |
LUKE SCHENN was curious. During the first intermission on Tuesday night, he asked his brother Brayden whether he managed to get a stick on Luke's point shot from the first minute of the game that found its way through Kari Lehtonen. Brayden was given credit for the goal. Coach Craig Berube even praised him postgame for tipping the puck. Luke wasn't sure. Brayden barely celebrated, later confirming to his brother that he never touched it. Rather than petition the official scorers to change the goal back to him, as some hungry goal scorers are wont to do, Luke didn't say a word.
March 12, 2015 |
R.J. UMBERGER ran his fingers through his hair and sighed. After he had struggled through 67 games this season, coach Craig Berube's patience ran out. He was a healthy scratch last night for the first time this season. That it's been a tough year is an understatement, Umberger saying he's been bothered "more than anyone knows. " Umberger, 32, has nine goals and six assists for a career-worst 15 points. He collected more points than that (18) in a subpar, 48-game, lockout-shortened season in 2012-13.
November 17, 2014 |
SLEEP WAS at a premium after covering Temple basketball's ugly opening-night win over American. The 40-37 victory Friday night was followed by a 5:15 a.m. alarm and a 185-mile journey from Manayunk up the Pa. Turnpike to State College to cover the football Owls in their attempt to reverse a 73-year drought against Penn State. After Fran Dunphy's Owls shot just 23 percent from the floor Friday night, a little more offense was expected from Matt Rhule's club. Unfortunately for Temple fans, the most offense from the weekend came while driving in the new 70 mph zone on the Turnpike.
November 21, 2013 |
THE FLORIDA Panthers are naming their press box after the late Roger Neilson, the franchise's first coach who also spent parts of three seasons behind the Flyers bench. A dedication will be held at the Panthers' arena on Monday afternoon. The Flyers play at Florida later that night. Neilson was known for his curly hair, loud ties and for occasionally getting lost on the way to the arena. His innovation with game tape earned him the nickname "Captain Video. " Neilson coached eight teams from 1977-02.
September 4, 2013 |
THE SETUP was ideal. Go to Chicago and cover a Phillies-Cubs day game on Friday and head down to South Bend to do Temple at Notre Dame the following afternoon. Temple had never played at Notre Dame, and for much of the weekend I'd wish they never had. The trouble started right after the cab pulled away from O'Hare on Thursday. It got onto the freeway and stopped. Rush-hour traffic everywhere. Heard from one of the locals that Labor Day is to Chicago what Mardi Gras is to New Orleans.
August 31, 2013 |
Ron Cohen, George Washington's 29th-year coach, knows as well as anyone what makes up a passionate, intense, and sometimes downright bitter high school football rivalry. And, boy, does he have stories to tell. In 2001, just before his Eagles were to play arch-nemesis Northeast for the Public League championship, he noticed Vikings assistant Chris Riley, previously an assistant under Cohen at Washington, standing atop the press box at Charlie Martin Memorial Stadium. Cohen thought Riley, with a bird's-eye view of the action, was trying to gain a competitive - and unfair - advantage.
March 14, 2013 |
ERIK GUSTAFSSON had his head buried in a program during the first intermission on Sunday night, sitting in the press box at the Wells Fargo Center among the popcorn, soda, former Flyers and other healthy scratches. For any hockey player, the press box is the last place you want to be seen. It's where careers go to die. For Gustafsson, though, seeing the game seven levels above the ice surface provided a unique perspective. His only other trips to the press box were as an injured player, with little need to focus on the details of the game.