July 4, 2016 |
This summer, I've been reading past columns I've written for both the Sunday Inquirer and the Daily News. I began as a columnist at the latter in 2001 and for the next 10 years, my work ran every Thursday. In 2007 I began writing separately for the Sunday Inquirer and for four years, I had the unique honor of writing for both newspapers. In 2011, I scaled back to just the Inquirer. By my count, I wrote a total of 489 columns for the Daily News and this is my 555th column for the Inquirer.
June 8, 2016
ISSUE | MUHAMMAD ALI A role model for us all Muhammad Ali was a near-mythical figure with a worldwide reputation and aura ("The Greatest," Sunday). He was arguably the best heavyweight fighter of all time, but we remember his life for demonstrating so much more than that. He was an iconic civil rights advocate and a prodigious fund-raiser for the Parkinson's disease that ended his life at 74. More importantly, he was devoted to his faith. Rather than be drafted and serve in the military, which he objected to on religious grounds, he was stripped of his boxing title and faced imprisonment.
May 1, 2016 |
Carson Wentz stared down at his brother, Zach, and smiled. For most of his life, the new Eagles quarterback looked up, both literally and figuratively, to his older brother. It's a common tale - the younger sibling chasing the older one until he catches up and finally surpasses him. But Carson Wentz's story is his own, and even if it rings familiar, that doesn't mean it's not worth the telling. The way Wentz recounts it, he wouldn't have been where he was on Friday - standing behind the podium at the NovaCare Complex as the Eagles' top draft pick, before an auditorium full of people and cameras - without his brother.
April 22, 2016 |
OSTENSIBLY, it was a celebration of the life of Philadelphia sports and philanthropic icon Ed Snider, but toward the end of the program, Jay Snider, Ed's son, revealed some of the last words his father spoke to him in their last conversation before he passed on April 11 at age 83. "This is what he said, not just for me or the family," Jay Snider said. "He told me, and so I'll tell you. "Quote - the last sentence he ever spoke was, 'I can't thank the Flyers enough for everything they've given to me and my family.' " Perhaps the most amazing thing about the event at the Wells Fargo Center, which was attended by thousands, was the variety of people who spoke to memorialize the man referred to as "Mr. Snider," but whose great wish was for people simply to call him "Ed. " From hockey representatives such as NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and Flyers captain for life Bob Clarke to businessmen such as Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and former PRISM/Comcast SportsNet president Jack Williams to even Mayor Kenney, the list of speakers illustrated the many segments of Philadelphia society Snider impacted.
March 11, 2016 |
BIOLOGICALLY, Ryan Ciolli was John Moffat's nephew. But after Ciolli's father left him at the age of 3, John raised him as if he was his son. Because of John's support, Ryan legally changed his name to Ryan Moffat in June 2011, when he married. "I wanted my kids to know who he was," Ciolli, now 34, said. "And to be able to identify with the last name of him rather than my father, who they'll never meet and never had any real role in raising me. " John Moffat, 63, a lifelong resident of Andorra, died March 6 of cancer.
March 3, 2016 |
Filmmaker Gilberto Gonzalez has fond memories of growing up in the 1970s in the Puerto Rican enclave of Spring Garden. On weekends - when he woke up in the morning or fell asleep at night - he listened to men in the nearby park singing and drumming songs from their island home. But those also were tough times in Philadelphia's original barrio , darkened by violence with non-Puerto Ricans and ongoing tension with law enforcement. And it's the reason the 20Gs came to be the protectors of the neighborhood.
January 17, 2016 |
Jason Richardson is the 76ers' latest special guest. The former Sixer attended Thursday's game and was on hand for Friday's practice. He said he expected to leave on Saturday. The Sixers (4-37) had reached out to Richardson about coming out of retirement to provide veteran leadership to the club before Elton Brand accepted the role. Coach Brett Brown said Richardson's visit didn't involve a possible position with the Sixers. "I don't think he's got any desire," Brown said.
November 22, 2015 |
CINCINNATI - To Otis Hackney, it felt like a wonderland. Inside Oyler Community Learning Center, a public school in a tough neighborhood here, were things the Philadelphia principal could only dream of. There were vision, medical, and dental clinics. A food bank. A day-care center and a mental-health wing with five therapists. Volunteers trooped into the school routinely, part of a rotation of well-trained help that works one-on-one with Oyler's kids. "I thought," the South Philadelphia High principal said later, "it was awesome . " Oyler is a "community school," a phrase about to become much more familiar in Philadelphia, where the mayor-elect has pledged to establish 25 of them in four years.
July 27, 2015 |
When it came time to clean out his office at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., Lou Lamoriello probably didn't have much work ahead of him. He decorated the place sparsely on purpose - no photos of his family or friends or former coaches and players, not a touchstone from his personal past to be found, nothing to obscure his single-minded focus. One day in February 2011, as Lamoriello sat behind his desk for an interview, the only accoutrements in the room were seven replica trophies atop a shelf: four of the Prince of Wales Trophy, awarded to the winner of the NHL's Eastern Conference, and three of the Stanley Cup. He added one more to that collection the following year, when the New Jersey Devils reached the Stanley Cup Finals for the last time during Lamoriello's tenure, and by now he's likely boxed up those trophies and shipped them to Ontario.
June 22, 2015 |
After years at the mike for WXPN, Michaela Majoun, the voice of morning for thousands of music-hungry people locally and worldwide, is stepping over to her other love: writing. She came to what was then a pretty good college station in 1989, the first professional on-air host the station had ever hired. Since then, and largely thanks to her efforts, XPN has become a cultural hub, connecting fans to artists they might not have known about, organizing concerts, conventions, and events such as the XPoNential Music Festival, with an especially splendid lineup Wednesday through Friday.