October 15, 2010 |
If he hadn't dedicated his life to baseball, Charlie Manuel would have made an excellent pro wrestler. Vince McMahon, the WWE patriarch, likes to refer to his employees as sports entertainers. That description fits Manuel perfectly. The man has both charisma and guts. One minute he's making you laugh with homespun witticisms, the next he's challenging ornery radio hosts to "stop by" his office to scrap. Give him a steel chair and a different type of uniform and he'd make Hulk Hogan tap out for sure.
July 11, 2010 |
Larry King is leaving the cable world of professional 'rasslin'. His departure reminds me of the Living Legend, Bruno Sammartino, and the heyday of the World Wide Wrestling Federation. On Saturday mornings in the early 1970s, televised (pretaped) matches from the old Philadelphia Arena were a staple in our rec room. My brother and I would yell at the TV when the Grand Wizard of Wrestling, Captain Lou Albano, or Classy Freddie Blassie held court. They were the heel managers, and everything they said was negative and predictable.
June 20, 2010
We all saw Maurice Edu's winning goal for the U.S. against Slovenia disallowed because of the foul that no one saw at the time, except the referee, Koman Coulibaly. So are we for or against video replay in soccer? I don't think instant replay fixes all problems, but there has to be a way in sports for wrong calls to be rectified, especially in cases where the ramifications are so huge. It's like when umpire Jim Joyce ruined that poor kid's perfect game in Detroit. Humans make errors, but thanks to technology, humans have a way to swiftly correct those errors.
September 17, 2009 |
PANDERING TO the masses. Weird hairstyles. Public battles choreographed by power brokers behind the scenes. Chest-beating bravado. Hitting below the belt. Gee, Congress is like pro wrestling. So why shouldn't World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon throw her name into the Republican ring to run against Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd? The five-term incumbent Democrat is seen as vulnerable, and four other contenders, including a Democrat, have come out swinging, too. But have they ever kicked a man in the groin?
May 26, 2009 |
Perhaps the only things missing from the LeBron James-Kobe Bryant duel in the NBA Finals will be LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. One night after James' Cavaliers went down two games to one to the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference final, Bryant's Lakers were routed by the underdog Denver Nuggets, 120-101, in Game 4 of their series last night at the Pepsi Center. The Western Conference final is tied at two games each. The Nuggets didn't need to worry about a botched inbounds pass in the closing seconds like the ones that cost them wins in Games 1 and 3, although Bryant had another monster fourth quarter in an attempt to put a stranglehold on the series that shifts to Los Angeles for Game 5 tomorrow night.
May 19, 2009 |
Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers are scheduled to be at the Pepsi Center in Denver next Monday night. Problem is, so are John Cena and a bunch of wrestlers - and they called it first. World Wrestling Entertainment said it is booked at the arena for an episode of Monday Night Raw, the same night the Nuggets are slated to host the Lakers in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals. WWE chairman Vince McMahon told the Associated Press he doesn't believe there was "any malice, just ineptness," on the part of Kroenke Sports, which owns the team and the building, but can't tolerate the company "just simply throwing us out on our ear. " Without a quick resolution, McMahon plans to send his trucks to Denver.
March 24, 2009 |
The action-hero deficit has grown so pronounced in Hollywood over the last few years that the unlikeliest actors are being pressed into combat, including, most recently, 56-year-old Liam Neeson in Taken. Enough of this charade. The silver screen is crying out for a real macho man. Calling John Cena. Calling John Cena. Please report to the film set. The larger-than-life - and larger than damn near everything else - pro wrestler stars in 12 Rounds, opening Friday. He plays a New Orleans cop who, in order to save his girlfriend, must complete a series of impossible challenges set for him by a psychopath.
February 19, 2009 |
Win or lose Sunday at the Oscars, Mickey Rourke has a standing offer to perform in tights at South Philly's Arena. It was in this same venue that Rourke's Randy "the Ram" Robinson was staple-gunned in the chest, lassoed with barbed wire, and ground up like cheap hamburger for scenes in The Wrestler. Just another day at the office for a brother on the "hard-core" circuit. And to habitues of the Arena - a shrine to "extreme" pro wrestling since 1993 - Rourke, at 56, is a natural.
November 23, 2008 |
On Wednesday mornings, with help from special education students at George Washington, Sharrif Floyd and Bryant Davis busily go about baking brownies. Profits from the sale of the treats, at $1 a pop, go toward Floyd's trip to San Antonio, Texas. Floyd, a 6-foot-4, 300-pound junior two-way lineman for the Eagles, recently was tabbed to participate in the annual U.S. Army All-American Combine in January. "I'm really happy for him," said Davis, a 5-11, 230-pound senior guard and linebacker.
July 12, 2007
IWOULD like to take this opportunity to thank Villanova University and the city of Philadelphia's many communities for their outpouring of support, care, generosity and compassion that was shown to me on the passing of my beloved husband, Howard Porter. The many comforting expressions of sympathy were a testament to what Howard had always said about the community he so passionately and proudly cared about - that it was the epitome of graciousness and kindness. Amid the sadness of his passing, the return to Villanova and the celebration of his life brought me a sense of strength, comfort and peace.