September 11, 1998 |
Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi and Michael Chang all rejected Davis Cup invitations to play Italy in a semifinal tie Sept. 25 to 27 in Milwaukee. Their excuses, in order, were overscheduled, overlooked and overtired. With these top players occupied elsewhere, U.S. Davis Cup captain Tom Gullikson chose veterans Todd Martin and Jim Courier and new recruits Jan-Michael Gambill and Justin Gimelstob. Rino Tommasi, a veteran Italian sports writer and sportscaster, filed an immediate negative reaction to the U.S. roster.
September 8, 1998 |
They exist on the fringes. A loosely knit society of workers whose lives are divided between Mexico and the United States by the seasons, they follow the harvests, often without putting down roots of their own. But here, a group of migrant farmworkers have taken a step toward building a permanent community: They have set up the Bridgeton Soccer League. The 11 teams that make up the league are made up mostly of Mexican immigrants, but players also hail from Jamaica, Italy, Chile, Puerto Rico, Colombia and Ecuador.
June 1, 1998 |
While the rest of the kids are spending their lunch period in the cafeteria or playing out on Gaul Street, a handful of inquisitive young brown-baggers at Holy Name School in Fishtown are up on the third floor eating sandwiches with "Mr. Dolgin" and talking sports. They talk history, geography, and maybe a little English, too. No matter what they discuss, it's all part of Howard Dolgin's "Sport Geography Quiz," an amusing 45-minute break in which the kids research via phone calls, encyclopedias, public libraries, even the Internet, how sports teams got their names.
October 25, 1996 |
Owner Mike Agganis said he wanted to honor the nation's space program by tagging this city's new minor-league baseball team with a rocket-powered name: The Blast. But many here thought the name - not to mention the mascot, a space-suited cat called Kaboom - was a sick joke. That's because Akron's strongest link to space exploration was as the home of astronaut Judith Resnik, who died when the space shuttle Challenger exploded moments after takeoff in 1986. "Geez, it's in poor taste," said Wendy Ellis, a baseball fan who stood on the edge of downtown this week, watching construction workers build the team's $31 million stadium.
January 30, 1996 |
Australian Open finalist Michael Chang headed the U.S. team named yesterday to play Mexico in the opening round of Davis Cup World Group play next month. Chang will be joined in the matches by Todd Martin, Patrick McEnroe and Pat Galbraith. The best-of-five competition will be Feb. 9-11 in Carlsbad, Calif. Chang, ranked fifth in the world, has a 4-2 Davis Cup singles record. He was a member of the U.S. team that defeated Australia in the 1990 Davis Cup final. Martin, ranked 14th in the world, was a member of the U.S. team that topped Russia for the 1995 Davis Cup title.
October 30, 1995 |
It's time for baseball and other sports to get serious about changing team names that are considered offensive. This year we had two teams in the World Series with names - Braves and Indians - that troubled some Native Americans. So a record number of sensitive individuals went on TV to talk about their pain and anguish and wounded dignity. I have to admit that I've never understood this, because the players on these two teams were not wearing feathers, grunting "ugh" or staggering from drinking too much firewater.
August 24, 1995 |
It's been 16 years since running back Herb Lusk caught passes for the Philadelphia Eagles. A span of 20 city blocks separates Veterans Stadium from Rev. Lusk's Greater Exodus Baptist Church. But yesterday Rev. Lusk caught a long one from the Eagles. During a news conference at the Vet, club owner Jeffrey Lurie announced the formation of the Eagles Youth Partnership: a nonprofit organization that will contribute the Eagles' name, prestige, players and dollars to "improve the lives of children and youth" through greater Philadelphia.
March 22, 1995 |
Just two weeks after releasing a blistering critique of Superintendent David Hornbeck's reform agenda for the Philadelphia public schools, a Commonwealth Court judge pronounced herself "tremendously reassured" by his plans. Judge Doris Smith came to that conclusion after spending more than four hours yesterday listening to Hornbeck and Assistant Superintendent Katherine Conner explain in detail his 10-point "Children Achieving" proposal during a court hearing. Smith, who is presiding over a long-running school desegregation case, even invited the parties in the lawsuit to work together to find a way to provide equal educational opportunities for the city's poor and minority students.
December 20, 1993 |
Being the owner of a professional sports team has its perks. One is that you hire the coach. Chester County resident Scott Barker, owner of the Delaware Blue Bombers of the Atlantic Basketball Association, hired himself. Barker, of Franklin Township, was an assistant coach at Delaware Tech when he read a newspaper article this year saying that the six-team ABA, a successor to the Eastern Basketball League, was looking for people or organizations to purchase franchises. The ABA, a weekends-only league, began its first season Nov. 27. Barker became very interested when he found that a franchise "wasn't too expensive," meaning under five figures.
July 8, 1993 |
Denis Mercier sees himself as a modern Don Quixote. "But instead of tilting at windmills," said Mercier, a communications and popular-culture professor at Rowan College of New Jersey, "the target is Jack Kent Cooke!" Mercier, 51, whose colorful office walls display the fruits of his quest for examples of ethnic stereotyping in the media, now finds himself lined up against Cooke and his Washington Redskins football team. After seven prominent American Indians began a campaign to cancel the trademark term Redskins last September, Mercier was recruited to bolster their case by compiling examples of American Indian stereotyping in the media.