Metro Phillies World Series package: Fans in the wrong city and best bars

Second page of Philadelphia and New York editions of Metro on Oct. 28, 2009.
Second page of Philadelphia and New York editions of Metro on Oct. 28, 2009.

As I normally do for a story, last Monday I publicized on Twitter and Facebook and my instant-message status and through e-mail that I needed sources for a story for Metro, the free daily newspaper with editions in Philadelphia, New York City and Boston.

Looking for Yankee fans living in Philly and Phillies fans living in NYC for a story. Who can help me out? [Source]

Just a few hours later, after wading through the responses, I had more than a dozen examples and more trickling in.

Last Wednesday, the day that the Phillies would win the first game of the World Series against the New York Yankees, I had a small package on the rivalry’s fandom, highlighted by small profiles of three fans in each city that cheered for the opposing team.

Like pictured above, see how the print version looked in Philadelphia and in New York. As always, below some background and extras that weren’t fit to print.

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Broad Street Run: my first organized race

I finished today’s Broad Street Run, my first organized race ever.

I finished then 10 miles in more than 90 minutes. Not exactly lightning quick, but good for, of course, quicker than 10 minute miles over the run.

It is a great experience to be running along the damn -near straight and flat Broad Street 10 miles through the city of Philadelphia, through various neighborhoods, with fans lining up much of the way, and 30,000 people shouting at you and cheering you along the way.

My lessons? Pee early because the lines get crazy the closer to launch time.

Peep video kicking off the rainy race below. Smokin’ Joe Frazier’s feud with Muhammad Ali cools

Boxing legend Joe Frazier is again the focus of a story of mine, though this time I’ve filed a Frazier piece for Sports Illustrated, likely the most recognizable brand in sports reporting for a half-century.

“Smokin'” Joe Frazier is still fighting.

The former heavyweight champion of the world is 65 now, and his mind isn’t nearly as quick as his fists once were. His days are often spent traveling for appearances, doing interviews and signing autographs. He maintains the same workout routine he had in his prime, and he still rises at 4 a.m., restless and beholden to a schedule he no longer has to keep. [Source]

Go read the full story, comment and then come back here for some of the backstory.

Continue reading Smokin’ Joe Frazier’s feud with Muhammad Ali cools

Newspapers need to dominate local sports coverage

New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles in November 1960. (Photo by George Silk)

Everyone in this country, I figure, ought to be watching the again flourishing NFL rivalry between the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants in today’s NFC divisional playoff contest.

So who would be scrolling the Internet? Still, this game made me think about how newspapers are losing ground for which they need to fight harder – local sports.

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Broad Street Run 2009: I'm joining, are you?

Runners near the Naval Yard finish of the 2007 Broad Street Run.
Runners near the Naval Yard finish of the 2007 Broad Street Run.

I never was a runner.

I played basketball in high school, something with which I’ve kept up a bit. I wasn’t a runner.

Still, I am – fairly early on – throwing my hat in on this year’s Broad Street Run, the busiest 10-mile run in the country, to be held this year on May 3, 2009. Who is with me?

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Why Can't Us?: I'm on the Phillies bandwagon

Why Cant Us?
Why Can't Us?

Tonight is game three of the American baseball World Series. The Philadelphia Phillies are tied with the Tampa Bay Rays one game to one in the best of seven game series.

But out of these playoffs, a rallying cry has been born. Too bad some are embarrassed by it.

It began as a caller’s remark just last Thursday.

In short order, a local sports blog and one of the nation’s leading sports blogs began singing its praises as a Phillies rally cry.

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Best sports cities in the country

Looking for the best city to cheer for the blue team over the red team?

Forbes magazine begged for attention as it often does with a new list. This gets personal, ranking 29 sports metro areas in the country by winning percentages and ticket prices compared to cost of living.

What do sports fans spend the most time grousing about? Above all else, it’s lousy teams or high ticket prices.

Woe is the fan forced to put up with both at once. Who wants to pay premium prices to sit in the stands and watch the losses mount? Fans in Miami know about that. Over the past year, the city’s four major sports teams–the Dolphins, Marlins, Heat and Panthers–have combined to win just 40% of their games while fans have forked over money for tickets and accouterments at the seventh-highest rate among 29 major sports metros.

As the Inquirer points out today, Philadelphia was neither among the 10 worst nor the three best – no others were ranked.

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ESPN: Temple University Top 20 college basketball programs


It came as no surprise that Temple University, my alma mater, was among them – ranked 20th.

20. TEMPLE OWLS, Atlantic 10
Positives: 13 conference titles (6 regular-season, 7 tourney); 15 20-win seasons; 17 NCAA berths; 5 Elite Eights; 6 NITs
Negatives: 1 losing season; 0 first team All-Americans; 0 Final Fours
Total points: 179
Did you know? The 2007-08 season was the first 20-win season for Temple since the 2000-01 season, but the Owls have been respectable in that downturn, falling under .500 just once (2006-07). The Owls have five Elite Eight appearances since 1985, a tally that helps them fly up the charts, but we’d be remiss not to mention that they are 0-5 in those chances to reach the Final Four.

I was an avid fan myself. The same research ranked the Atlantic 10 the No. 8 conference in the country of the modern era.

Image courtesy of PBase. Source. See Top 10 here.

Finals: Michael Jordan flu game in 1997

I rarely go a day without posting something, however, it is an extremely rough week. The last finals week of my college career. So, because it will be slow, I’ll give you other “Finals” themed fodder.

Here, your man Michael Jordan in the 1997 NBA finals. Game 5, our hero had been suffering flu-like symptoms the entire night before. …Yeah, we all knew the Jazz were in trouble.