Philly now giddy city, but soft pretzels quickly go stale

Live screaming never a good idea
October 7, 2022

Giddy City - Philly doesn’t wear success all that well, because sports fans talk too much too soon. The Eagles are the only undefeated team in the NFL just four games into the season, while the Phillies clinched a wild card spot and head into the playoffs as sixth seed. That’s not exactly Mummers Parade numbers. The Phillies are even money in a three-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals, while the Eagles are favored to win at Arizona, then host Dallas in a Sunday night game that will have everybody talking at me. The Eagles are 5.5-point favorites versus the Cardinals, while the Cowboys are 5.5-point dogs versus the Rams. 

Ride around radio - Merrill Reese, now 80 years old, calls the Eagles games. He is the best radio broadcaster in the business. Merrill has been broadcasting Eagles games for 45 years. He is a graduate of Temple University and Overbrook High School. His autobiography, “It’s gooooood!” was published in 1998. Reese is no pundit, but rather, he’s a pro. Contiguously to me, Reese is co-owner of 1490 WBCB (AM) in Levittown, Pa., a station that broadcast Bishop Egan High School games in the ’60s when my brother Tom and I played there. Sports is a connect-the-dots culture: “If you don’t know nobody, most likely, you ain’t nobody.” 

Them’s the rules - There are handbooks of rules and exceptions to rules that govern the transferring of athletes from one school to another. “A rule is a rule” makes as much sense as “It is what it is,” because the rules are always changing and make as much sense as a blue-chip athlete with three grandmothers. There are no manuals of rules regarding academics, but if a student transfers for academic reasons no one cares, unless he or she plays a sport, then pull out your pocket manual.  

Soaked and socked in - “We need the rain,” but not five days of windy dreariness. And if you’re a coach, you just push forward through postponements and gym practices, as is the case of Cape football with cafeteria practices. “Hey, coach, will I be a sub in the next game? I'm ready to pancake somebody.” I haven’t covered a game in a week, and now The Devil Dog goes “Down to Delmar” two days in a row for field hockey Thursday followed by Friday night football. But at least there’s a Wawa on the highway. Cape hockey has lost seven straight to the Wildcats, last winning 1-0 in 2016 on an Amanda Sponaugle goal off an assist from Alia Marshall. 

National Women's Soccer League - The NWSL has teams like the Portland Thorns and Houston Dash. I’ll admit I knew nothing of this league until a New York Times report published Monday followed by an ESPN special, where I learned the league and the United States Soccer Federation failed to act on years of reported abuses by male coaches, from belligerent bullying to sexual coercion and intimidation. One-third of the league's players make the minimum salary, which was just raised from $22K to $35K per season.

Live screaming - “You can’t scream at kids today; they are just different.” And that, my friend, is a good thing. I was screamed at often by adults in my younger days; not my parents, it was mostly coaches and some teachers. Looking back, I realize it was abusive, and the more the person screamed, the more they were fueled by their own energy. I found them to be pathetic, no-count characters, and I grew up to be a teacher and coach who never screamed at anyone, proving what I’ve always believed: Bad behaviors don’t have to be recycled. Pumping up the volume to make a point is not the same as screaming. Screaming is always a stupid manifestation of losing control.      

Snippets - Player of the Week - Franklin & Marshall field hockey's Darby Klopp has been named the Centennial Conference Offensive Player of the Week after recording three goals and an assist during the Diplomats' 2-0 week. The weekly honor is the first of Klopp’s career. Darby, a senior, is studying to be a physician’s assistant. The ninth annual Tommy 5K and 10K is Sunday, Oct. 23, at 8:30 a.m., at Rehoboth Ale House along the Forgotten Mile on Coastal Highway. Go to for registration information. The dedication of the Cape softball field in the name of Bill Cordrey will be Saturday at 1 p.m. The best news is that Bill, aka The Silver Fox, will be there. And so will my Silver Back Self. I got to support my boy! Go on now, git! 


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