Heron's Nest

Syndicate content
Heron's Nesthttp://www.blogger.com/profile/14660975576038978211noreply@blogger.comBlogger7454125
Updated: 1 hour 9 min ago

The Dreaded Saturday Eagles Pick (Turkey Day Edition)

1 hour 42 min ago
That massive case of indigestion about to descend on the region has nothing to do with turkey and all the fixings.

This Bird is fowl all right, and I don’t see it getting any better today.

The Eagles’ effort last week vs. the Buccaneers - on their home turf - was inexcusable. It had all the markings of a team that had bailed on their coach. You never want to use the word ‘quit,’ but this one had all the markings of it. Mark Sanchez, in for concussed Sam Bradford, continued his career-long turnover act. It appears as if Sanchez gets the call today, which should be welcome news in Detroit.

On defense, the Birds were savaged by rookie quarterback Jameis Winston. Matthew Stafford should be able to at least match that effort.

Should the Eagles pull out a win, incredibly they could pull themselves right back into the race in the NFC Least. I don’t see it happening.

I have picked the Eagles every week this year. I’ve been a huge proponent of Chip Kelly, and the moves he’s made as general manager. No longer. This thing has the look of an implosion looking for a place to happen.

It continues today in Detroit.

A reason for thanks? Not for Iggles fans.

The Pick: Make it Lions 23, Eagles 16. This thing looks like it’s coming apart at the seams. I think Sanchez plays, and he showed me nothing to make me believe he is not the turnover machine he has been for most of his career. Don’t let it ruin your holiday feast.

Last Week: The Eagles scored on the opening drive of the game, then allowed the Bucs to run all over them. The Linc was three-quarters empty by the start of the fourth quarter.

Season Record: 4-6. That goes for both the Eagles and my prognostications. That changes today. One of us will win, one will lose. I am hoping the Eagles will prove me wrong. That is with my heart. My head says Detroit escapes with the win.

Game by Game: Falcons 26, Eagles 24. (My Pick: Eagles 37, Falcons 26)

Cowboys 20, Eagles 10 (My Pick: Eagles 31, Cowboys 26)

Eagles 24, Jets 17. (My Pick: Eagles 27, Jets 23)

Redskins 23, Eagles 20. (My Pick: Eagles 26, Redskins 13)

Eagles 39, Saints 17. (My Pick: Eagles 23, Saints 13)

Eagles 27, Giants 7. (My Pick: Eagles 27, Giants 16)

Panthers 27, Eagles 16 (My Pick: Eagles 26, Panthers 23)

Eagles 33, Cowboys 27 OT (My Pick: Eagles 23, Cowboys 13)

Dolphins 20, Eagles 19 (My Pick: Eagles 33, Dolphins 16)

Bucs 45, Eagles 17 (My Pick: Eagles 17, Buccaneers 16)
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Wednesday, Nov. 25

Wed, 2015-11-25 07:06
The Daily Numbers: 1 year less a day, to 2 years less a day, the sentence for convicted child abuser and former teacher Paul Hochschwender. The D.A.’s office has lost a fight over early release for Hochschwender.

97 years after his death, a priest from Holy Saviour Parish in Lower Chi is placed in a final resting place.

0 losses for the undefeated Chester Panthers 8-Under football team, which is hoping to get to Florida for a national tourney.

38 students who visited the hospital after a bus crash in Chester. No serious injuries were recorded.

5 cars damaged when leaves ignited in a parking lot at Delaware County Community College.

1 state trooper shot and 2 teens in custody in a wild chase and shootout on the Vine Street Expressway yesterday in Philly.

0, how much Bucks County officials say they will remit to the state until a new budget plan is in place.

300 dollars less expected to be spent by holiday shoppers in the Philadelphia region this year.

18 percent drop in holiday spending is being forecast.

1,532 dollars, what average shopper spent last year.

1,249 likely being shelled out this year.

1,462, what average shopper will spend nationally.

1921, when Haverford and Upper Darby first started playing their traditional Thanksgiving Day football game.

93 years of tradition between the two teams.

1967, the last time the two teams collided on Turkey Day with the Central League crown on the line.

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.

I don’t blame Lane Johnson for his foolish comments about Philly fans yesterday. I blame Chip Kelly. The team is developing its’ coach’s churlish personality.

I Don’t Get It: Black Friday. Never got it. Never will.

Today’s Upper
: Kudos to the Upper Darby and Haverford communities, which are not only embracing their holiday football tradition, but using the game as a way to raise money for a great cause as well.

Quote Box: “It’s a dream come true and the only way it can get much bigger is if we have ‘High School GameDay with Lee Corse.”

- Haverford QB Jack Donaghy, on Thursday’s huge holiday match with Upper Darby.
Categories: Pennsylvania

It's Upper Darby vs. Haverford, the tradition continues

Wed, 2015-11-25 06:28
Forget the Eagles.

At least for one day.

Thanksgiving belongs to high school football. And here in Delaware County, we will be serving up a special holiday treat. Upper Darby and Haverford will collide tomorrow in their traditional Turkey Day contest, only this time there is a little extra incentive. The Central League football crown will be on the line.

As you might expect, we will have full team coverage of what is being called perhaps the biggest Thanksgiving Day game in Delco history. And yes, that is saying something.

Today in sports, Matt Smith previews the big game. Make sure you check it out at our home for high school sports, PaPrepLive.com.

Columnist Matt DeGeorge takes a look at the last time the two teams met with this much on the line. Then in tomorrow's holiday edition (which will actually hit the streets later today), we delve into the way both the Upper Darby and Haverford communities are rallying around this huge game.

Don't miss this special holiday edition of the Daily Times, which also will be packed with all the circulars you will need to kick off your Black Friday shopping.

Oh, and one other thing:

Happy Thanksgiving.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Fans deliver a message to Eagles, Lane Johnson

Wed, 2015-11-25 06:15
Welcome to Philadelphia, Lane Johnson.

The Eagles offensive lineman is the latest athlete to learn that you are on very dangerous ground when you start ripping the fans. That is especially true when you are 4-6 and just got your backside kicked up between your shoulder blades by the Tampa Bay Bucs. Yes, the team got booed.

Here's a couple of questions for Johnson. When is the last time you forked over 40 bucks to park to get into a football game? And this after likely shelling out 100 dollars or more to get into Jeffrey Lurie's playpen. Add in the perfunctory trinkets, food and drink and you have a fairly expensive day.

Then you are treated to the display the Eagles put on Sunday?

Yes, you are going to get booed.

Fans in this town wear their passion on their sleeves, and they're not shy about delivering a message to players when they don't like what they see.

And nothing will get under these fans' skin more than the impression that players are not giving their all, which is certainly what that act looked like on Sunday.

Johnson came to his senses, or least someone in Lurie's PR offices did, and quickly made the talk-show rounds to offer an apology and indicate he wasn't talking about the end of the game, but rather the fans who were letting the team have it when the game was still 7-7.

Actually, it appears as if maybe this team is developing the personality of its coach.


Kelly's act - especially that staccato deliver of his that gives the impression he could care less - is wearing thin. It's tolerable when you're going 10-6. But when you're 4-6 and looking like the team is checking out on the coach, it doesn't fly.

Luckily, the Eagles are working on a short week. They can resolve all of this by going out there and thumping the Lions in a Thanksgiving Day special in Detroit. A win would put them right back into the playoff hunt.

A loss, and the prospect of then facing the undefeated Patriots?

Well, Lane Johnson may want to cover his ears.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Tuesday, Nov. 24

Tue, 2015-11-24 07:14
The Daily Numbers: 696,000 dollars, how much a man admitted to stealing from the Collingdale firm where he worked to fuel his gambling habit.

399 checks that Jeffrey McElwee admitted making out to himself over a period of 13 years.

3 Delco senators who all voted no on Senate Bill 76, which would have eliminated property taxes across the state and increased the sales and income taxes to make up the difference.

24-25 vote to nix the measure, with Lt. Gov. Mike Stack casting the tie-breaking vote.

5 month state budget standoff that could go on now that a deal is said to be “in peril,” according to Gov. Tom Wolf.

1 cat rescued from a house fire in Sharon Hill yesterday afternoon.

1 man shot in an ambush attack outside an Upper Chichester tavern over the weekend.

855 dollar tax bill for Springfield residents, that includes a tax hike this year.

0 tax hike planned in Ridley Park.

515 workers in Montgomery County who are looking at layoffs for the holiday season.

2 people found shot to death inside a home in Philadelphia.

160 billion dollar deal in which drug firms Pfizer and Allergan will merge.

0-for-November slump snapped for Philly home teams with Flyers win last night.

3-2 overtime win for the Flyers over the Hurricanes.

24 seconds into OT, when rookie Shayne Gostisbehere lit the lamp for the winner.

34 goals through their first 20 games for the Flyers.

24 of October, last time a home team won, also the Flyers.

15 straight losses for Sixers to start season.

100-95 loss in Minnesota last night.

32 points for Andrew Wiggins in the win.

25 points, 12 rebounds, 2 blocks for Sixers rookie Jahlil Okafor.

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.

Is Chip Kelly’s voice bothering anyone else? That staccato deliver of his is getting old.

I Don’t Get It: Rack up another victim of legalized gambling. A man yesterday admitted stealing $700,000 from the firm where he worked in Collingdale to fuel his gambling habit.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the firefighters who rushed into a house in Sharon Hill yesterday and rescued a family’s cat in a fire.

Quote Box: “It relies far too heavily on sales tax to replace the property tax.”

- State Sen. Daylin Leach, D-17, on why he opposed bill to eliminate property taxes.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A coat? No thanks, at least not yet

Tue, 2015-11-24 06:38
It should come as a secret to no one that I'm not exactly a fan of winter.

This from a guy who holds a degree from the University of Colorado. But as anyone who has ever spent a winter in the Rockies will tell you, the cold out there is not the same as what we get here.

I know it sounds weird but take my word for it. It has to do with how dry the air out there is. You dress in layers. Every day the sun comes up and makes it fairly enjoyable out. Plus, winter sports - namely skiing - is huge out there, and the sun glare off the snow can give you a sunburn that easily rivals a day at the beach in the summer here.

Don't ask me to explain one of the many oddities about my stint in Colorado, such as the fact that I had never been on skis before I went out there, skied my brains out for the three years I spent out there, but have never been on skis since I came back to the East Coast.

What can I say? I hate winter, at least the East Coast version of it.

That's why I was hard-pressed this week to keep my own personal pledge.

It is my way of hanging on to the last vestiges of summer.

I refuse to don a winter coat until Thanksgiving.

Yeah, I know, it's weird.

I knew I was in trouble when I walked out of the office yesterday for my daily lunchtime sojourn to the local Wawa for a coffee and realized I was freezing. When I left the office last night I was seriously doubting my decision. Then this morning, I donned a blazer and bravely headed out to the car. The thermometer registered a not exactly toast 24 degrees. The heater could not kick in fast enough.

Luckily, the forecast calls for a warmup through Thanksgiving.

Looks like the streak is intact.

Mission accomplished.

Now if only I could fast-forward until May 1.

Endless Summer? I can only dream about it.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A home win, and Chip digs in his heels

Tue, 2015-11-24 06:19
Our 0-for-November is over.

The Flyers won in overtime last night at the Wells Fargo Center.

It marked the first time a pro sports team in our fine city managed to win on their home turf since Oct. 24, when the Flyers stopped the Rangers.

The Sixers once again had a lead last night, but of course they coughed it up and fell to the T-Wolves.

And the Eagles. Well, you might have heard they are having a few problems of their own.

Of course, if you're Chip Kelly, you can simply stand up their in front of the microphones and rattle off those rapid-fire, staccato responses that just drip of a guy who has nothing but contempt for the gathered media, or the fans either for that matter.

Kelly is slowly learning what it took more than a decade for Andy Reid to realize.

That arrogant attitude is all well and good when you're rattling off 10-6 seasons and going to the playoffs.

But when things go the other way, such as Kelly's less than impressive 4-6 Eagles are after a brutal loss to Tampa Bay, it doesn't fly.

Kelly isn't budging. He has no plans to make any lineup changes, and thinks everyone else is in a panic simply because the Birds lost two in a row.

I hope he's right.

I don't think he is.

This is a fundamentally flawed team, one not especially suited to Kelly's offense.

Chip constantly preaches that his system works regardless of who is running it.

His team is proving him wrong.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Monday, Nov. 23 (Eagles Edition)

Mon, 2015-11-23 08:11
The Daily Numbers: 45-17 embarrassing loss by the Eagles to the Bucs yesterday.

5 TD passes thrown by Bucs’ rookie QB Jameis Winston.

3 interceptions, including a Pick-6, for Eagles QB Mark Sanchez.

235 yards rushing for Bucs running back Doug Martin.

2 yards shy of single-game record vs. the Eagles.

283 yards on ground surrendered by Eagles defense.

84 and 58 yards runs for Martin.

5-5 record for the Bucs.

4-6 mark for the Eagles.

19 of 29 for 246 yards for Winston.

26 of 41 for Mark Sanchez.

10 of 16 3rd down conversions for Tampa Bay.

3 days until the Eagles play again, vs. 3-7 Detroit on Thanksgiving.

39 yard catch and run by Josh Huff on 1st series of game to stake Birds to 7-0 lead.

4th most points every given up by a Chip Kelly-coached Eagles game.

10 TD passes given up by Eagles defense in last 3 games.

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.

No Philly pro team has won a home game in November.

I Don’t Get It: So much for all those people clamoring for Mark Sanchez to start over Sam Bradford.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the fans who stuck in there a lot longer than most towns would before flooding out of the stadium.

Quote Box: “It was embarrassment. Let’s get ready for Thursday.”

- Eagles defensive lineman Fletcher Cox.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Tax plan could scuttle budget deal in Harrisburg

Mon, 2015-11-23 07:05
Remember that 'broad framework' for an agreement to end the six-month-old Pennsylvania budget stalemate.

Not so fast.

The deal is predicated on an increase in the state sales tax to fund property tax relief.

Now, it turns out Republican leaders don't think they have the votes to deliver the tax hike. And this comes after Gov. Tom Wolf's hopes for a hike in the income tax, as well as a new levy on natural gas operations in the state.

Neither one of those are included in the new budget deal.

Now it turns out there may not be the stomach in the Legislature to increase the sales tax, from the current 6 percent to 7.25 percent. The sales tax is probably the most regressive tax, and usually takes a much bigger toll on those who can least afford it, the poor.

All of this comes at the same time the Senate today may vote on a bill that would eliminate property taxes altogether. The hook for that plan is increases in both the sales and income taxes in exchange for elimination of the property tax.

I don't think that is going to happen either.

Which leaves us right where we've been for months in Harrisburg.


We'll keep you up to the minute in the latest budget shenanigans.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Draining the life from Philly fans

Mon, 2015-11-23 06:43
The only thing that amazes me about today's print column is that I wrote it BEFORE yesterday's Eagles' debacle vs. the Bucs.

It's something I have been wondering about for the last couple of years. It hit home last week while I squandered a gorgeous afternoon sitting in front of the TV watching the Eagles stumble and fumble their way to another loss.

But actually it's more than that. I've been wondering why we expend so much emotion on our sports teams, especially when the losses seem to bother us - the fans - much more than the players.

Don't believe it? Did you happen to catch any of the Eagles players yukking it up with the Bucs yesterday while they were getting their backsides handed to them.

The fans live and die with these teams. In Philly these days, we only die. A Philly pro team has not won a home game in November. That's right, we're sitting on an 0-fer.

Yesterday afternoon and again this morning, my stomach was turned by what I saw on that field yesterday.

I wonder how many players feel the same way?

Nick Nolte's character from the classic football movie 'North Dallas Forty' was right.

Time to put away childish things.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Have the Eagles quit on Kelly?

Mon, 2015-11-23 06:31
This is no longer about wins and losses with the Eagles.

This is now about effort.

And the idea that what was put forth out on that ragged turf at Lincoln Financial Field yesterday matched the sod - raggedy.

It is one of the worst things you can say about a team, and a coach.

But it is one I was left wondering while watching a fairly mediocre Tamp Bay Buccaneers team dismantled the squad Chip Kelly put together.

Have the Eagles quit on their coach.

You could hear the whispers back when Kelly doubled down on his controversial decision to jettison DeSean Jackson and part ways with the team's all-time leading rusher, LeSean McCoy.

In return Kelly got linebacker Kiko Alonso. How has that worked out?

There was talk that Kelly did not deal well with today's athletes.

Then came a standoff with offensive lineman Evan Mathis, who soon found himself outside looking in after Kelly released him. There is nowhere else for Kelly to look to explain what has happened with this team than in the mirror. He won that offseason power struggle for full control over personnel in the Birds' front office.

You have to wonder what Jeff Lurie and Howie Roseman are thinking now.

Yesterday's 45-17 loss to the Bucs strikes at the heart of this Eagles team. Their defense, heretofore one of their strong points, was shredded. At the same time, it did not look like Kelly's players seemed especially upset at what was transpiring on the field.

At several points in the game, they could be seen yukking it up with Bucs players when play was halted.

Kelly dismantled a 10-6 team - albeit one that collapsed late last year, with three consecutive losses keeping them out of the playoffs, including a disturbing one to the Redskins that mirrored what happened yesterday, with an Eagles team that simply failed to show up.

I thought Kelly needed to send a message to his team last week, maybe by releasing wide receiver Miles Austin, who appeared to give less than full effort on several plays.

Instead, we got nothing but that aggravating staccato-style Kelly speech after the game.

Yesterday, the Eagles finally fully imploded. Billy Davis' job should be jeopardy after that effort by his defense. Mark Sanchez decided for some reason to call out Darren Sproles, the one person on this team that seems to give complete effort.

I'm not the only one wondering openly whether Kelly has lost this team.

Columnist Jack McCaffery offers similar thoughts.

Our front page pretty much sums up what has happened with this Eagles team:

Chip Wreck.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Dreaded Saturday Eagles Pick

Sat, 2015-11-21 05:45
There’s a part of me that understands exactly what Mark Sanchez was trying to do on that fateful play in the red zone last week against the Dolphins.

Second down at the Dolphins’ 8-yard line. Still 4:32 on the clock in the 4th quarter.

That’s when Sanchez reverted to his M.O. - the killer turnover. Sanchez tried to force the ball into Miles Austin in the end zone, rather than two safer throws.

If nothing else, I believe Sanchez is on a mission to wipe out that label that hangs around his neck - turnover machine. And of course, any memory of the infamous butt fumble.

He wanted to prove that the can deliver in the clutch. Instead, he delivered another killer turnover. I can’t blame him for that.

However, I will admit that up until that point, there is no doubt that the Eagles offense looked much more like the up-tempo blitzkrieg of the last two years, as opposed to the slower version installed for Sam Bradford.

There is also the plain fact that Chip Kelly’s run-option offense simply doesn’t fit Bradford. No one believes for a second that he is going to pull the ball back and run it. It negates the key aspect of Kelly’s attack. Defenses simply ignore Bradford and crash down on the running backs. All Bradford had to do once or twice a game is pull the ball back and wander around end. No one pays any attention to him.

That’s a moot point now. Bradford will miss Sunday’s contest vs. Tampa Bay, and maybe the Thanksgiving game in Detroit as well, nursing concussion symptoms and a separated left (non-throwing) shoulder.

Welcome to ‘The Sanchize, the Sequel.’

For some reason, I think the Eagles rally around Sanchez. He looked sharp when he came on for Bradford, if he could just stop tripping over DeMarco Murray.

The Eagles defense should be able to contain rookie QB Jameis Winston.

It won’t be pretty, but it should be a win. And yes, I realize that makes 10 straight weeks I have picked the Birds.

If the Eagles lose Sunday, their season could be in jeopardy of going down the tubes. I don’t think that will happen.

The Pick: Make it Eagles 17, Buccaneers 16. Get ready, Caleb Sturgis. You will win this one, booting a 43-yard field goal as time expires. At least I hope so. Please don’t tell me he misses it.

Last Week: The Eagles came out on fire, then watched a 16-3 lead slip away, while Sam Bradford, who had very good first half, went down in the third quarter.

Season Record: 4-5. Yeah, I didn’t expect this either, not for my prognostications and certainly not for this time. They’ve been a disappointment. And yet, with a win today, they could take the lead in the NFC Least. Hard to believe.

Game by Game: Falcons 26, Eagles 24. (My Pick: Eagles 37, Falcons 26)

Cowboys 20, Eagles 10 (My Pick: Eagles 31, Cowboys 26)

Eagles 24, Jets 17. (My Pick: Eagles 27, Jets 23)

Redskins 23, Eagles 20. (My Pick: Eagles 26, Redskins 13)

Eagles 39, Saints 17. (My Pick: Eagles 23, Saints 13)

Eagles 27, Giants 7. (My Pick: Eagles 27, Giants 16)

Panthers 27, Eagles 16 (My Pick: Eagles 26, Panthers 23)

Eagles 33, Cowboys 27 OT (My Pick: Eagles 23, Cowboys 13)

Dolphins 20, Eagles 19 (My Pick: Eagles 33, Dolphins 16)
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Friday, Nov. 20

Fri, 2015-11-20 07:22
The Daily Numbers: 170 people being held hostage inside a Mali hotel that was stormed by gunmen early this morning. Early reports indicate 3 people have been killed.

5 ethics charges stipulated to by Chester Magisterial District Judge Dawn Vann

2nd woman who was bitten by a rabid cat complained about a delay in warning the public during the Upper Darby council meeting.

2 more free rabies vaccination clinics being set up by Upper Darby authorities.

1st degree murder conviction for an 18-year-old Darby man who fatally shot a 600-year-old man in a confrontation.

880 turkeys needed by CityTeam in Chester for their annual Thanksgiving dinner for the needy.

3 year contract OK’d by Radnor Township School Board and its teachers.

5-11 years in state prison for a man who pleaded guilty in the armed robbery of an Upper Chichester woman in the driveway of her home.

3.25 percent tax increase being looked at in Haverford.

1.756 percent hike in taxes in Upper Providence.

110-86 vote in the House to sell off the state liquor stores and privatize sales in the state.

289-137 vote in the U.S. House to put up new hurdles to curb Syrian refugees from entering the country.

1-0 loss for the Flyers in OT to the Sharks.

34 saves made by Sharks goalie Martin Jones in shutting out the orange and black.

6 straight home losses for the Flyers.

0 wins in November so far for all Philly teams.

3 big high school football playoff games tonight, with Upper Darby, Marple Newtown and Academy Park in action.

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.It looks like we’re about to hand the season over to Mark Sanchez.

I Don’t Get It: Christmas music 24 hours a day. On Nov. 19. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the Nether Providence teachers whose quick action likely saved the life of fellow Dragon Boat enthusiast when he passed out on the river.

Quote Box: “He chose the easiest mark that he could find.”

- Assistant District Attorney Sean McNabb, summing up the case against Rashon Sargent on murder charges.
Categories: Pennsylvania

One more step on road to privatization of liquor sales in Pa.

Fri, 2015-11-20 06:47
Mike Turzai is moving up on my list of things that I'm thankful for this year.

Several months ago, the Republican state House Speaker sat in our conference room and all but guaranteed me that privatization of the state's antiquated liquor laws would be part of any budget deal with new Gov. Tom Wolf.

We're not there yet, but we're getting closer.

Yesterday the House passed a privatization bill. It would basically blow up the Liquor Control Board; selling off the 600 state stores and turning sales over to private enterprise.

That's the good news.

Now it goes over to the Senate.

Here's the bad news. If I had to place a bet, I would say this is going to be amended to death.

I think some version of privatization winds up a part of the final budget deal.

But I kind of doubt we're going to see the all-out privatization passed by the House yesterday.

But I will put it on top of my Christmas wish list.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Jingle all the way: Christmas music arrives

Fri, 2015-11-20 06:36
So much for Thanksgiving.

The Christmas season arrived yesterday.

At least the music did.

The folks at More 101.1 FM in Philly have gone all Christmas classics.

I like Christmas music as much as the next guy. To prove my point, I can tell you that the greatest Christmas song ever recorded is Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas."

Go ahead, slam me for not going with Andy Williams.

But the fact is I don't need Christmas music in the middle of November yet. We haven't even hit Thanksgiving yet.

What's next, a double-feature of "The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," and a "Charlie Brown Christmas"?

I have the same argument with my wife on this notion of rushing into the holiday.

I happen to have grown up in a house where the tree did not appear until magically showing up on Christmas morning.

Now we put it up in early December.

I'll offer the same response on the early carols:

Bah! Humbug!
Categories: Pennsylvania

The greatest moment in Philadelphia sports history

Fri, 2015-11-20 06:20
I refer to is as the single greatest moment in Philadelphia sports.

I was reminded of it when I watched the ESPN '30 on 30' piece on former Eagles owner Leonard Tose. I highly recommend it.

Columnist Jack McCaffery wrote about it yesterday.

As I watched it, I started to well up, as I do every time I think of that one specific moment in time.

I know the Flyers have won two Stanley Cups.

I know the Phillies have won World Series championships. As have the Sixers.

I attended the first Phillies parade in 1980.

But for me, nothing will ever compare with Jan. 11, 1981.

Maybe it was because I was there, a longtime season ticket holder in the infamous 700 Level.

It was as cold as I've ever been in my life.

And it was - in my humble opinion - the single greatest moment in Philadelphia sports history.

I can describe it in four simple words:

Wilbert off right tackle.

At that moment, we knew something we had not experienced in a long time. We were winners. If you there, you'll know why I consider it the apex of Philly sports.

The Eagles still have not delivered a Super Bowl title, let alone a parade.

But we'll always have this one moment.

It was electric. Just listen to it:

Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Thursday, Nov. 19

Thu, 2015-11-19 07:28
The Daily Numbers: 56 deaths related to heroin in Delaware County in 2014, according to new numbers from the DEA.

4th highest in the state.

77 deaths in the county attributed to heroin overdoses so far this year.

655 overdose deaths in Philly in 2014 to top the state.

307 for Allegheny County.

158 in Montgomery County.

118 in both Delco and York counties.

4 firefighters who suffered minor injuries battling blaze in Darby Borough last night.

76 senior who took part in Job Fair at Williamson School yesterday.

2nd raid by agents from the county D.A.’s office at the Colwyn Fire Co. yesterday.

4 new prosecutors who took the oath as assistant district attorneys under Jack Whelan.

.5 mill tax hike on tap in Clifton Heights budget.

3rd major expansion in state gaming in 6 years that passed a House committee vote yesterday.

10:30 last night, when workers at the Philadelphia International Airport walked off their jobs.

18 dollars a month that the Delaware River Port Authority is considering returning to those who use their 4 bridges at least 19 times a month.

29,000 people expected to be eligible.

6.4 million dollars, what it could cost the authority.

2 dead and 7 in custody after gunbattle between French authorities and suspected terrorists.

12 straight losses for the 76ers.

112-85 blowout loss to the Pacers.

31 tunovers for the Sixers.

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.

Anyone think the Sixers will win a game in 2015?

I Don’t Get It: The debate over killing off the property tax could be a problem in terms of getting a new budget in place.

Today’s Upper:
Kudos to Williamson College of the Trades, where students yesterday were offering their talents at a Job Fair to employees who were eager to sign them up for good-paying jobs.

Quote Box: “I got here when I was 17, and when I left at 20, I was ready for work.”

- Ed DeLeon, project superintendent for Mara Restoration in Oreland, Pa., and a Williamson alum.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A new wrinkle in the state budget battle

Thu, 2015-11-19 06:53
Don't pop the corks on that state budget deal just yet.

There's a new wrinkle in the process.

I know, you're stunned. Remember, this is Harrisburg we're talking about here.

The new twist is one more push behind legislation that would eliminate property taxes and replace it with a combination of increases in both the state sales and income taxes.

We've been reporting this week how Sen. Tom McGarrigle, $-26, of Springfield, who was an early backer of the plan, has now pulled his support.

We take note of the new dilemma on today's editorial page.

So what's the big deal with the budget? It's all in the numbers.

The "broad framework" of a budget deal announced last week by Gov. Tom Wolf and Republican leaders in the Legislature banks on an increase in the state sales tax. But it does not touch the income tax, which would put it directly at odds with the Senate and House Bill 76, the so-called Property Tax Independence Act.

A vote on the push to kill off the hated property tax is set next week.

Don't look for a state budget before then, despite Wolf saying he hoped to possibly sign something next week, before the Thanksgiving holiday.

Hey, it's Pennsylvania, we should be thankful these guys are still at work. Isn't it time for them to take another vacation?
Categories: Pennsylvania

More marching band news: Kudos to Marple Newtown

Thu, 2015-11-19 06:21
It turns out Delco is chock full of big-time high school marching bands.

The past few days I have been noting the accomplishments of the Sun Valley Marching Band, which took a state crown at the Cavalcade of Bands in Hershey over the weekend.

Reader - and proud grandmother! - Bette-Jo Readinger wanted to remind me that Marple Newtown has a spectacular marching band as well. And they also won a cavalcade last weekend.

I'm learning more about this notion of the marching band competitions, thanks to readers like Readinger and longtime Chichester band promoter Marci Malinowski.

As Bette Jo pointed out, marching band no longer means "march down the field and play." Today it's all about the "shows."

Marple-Newtown is in the Yankee Open Division, which held its championships Sunday afternoon in Downingtown. That apparently is a different competition from the one Sun Valley competed in out in Hershey. According to Readinger, Marple Newtown's marching band, 85 members strong, won the competition with a score of 96.65, an historic high. That makes the second straight year they've won.

And she believes their front performer deserves special kudos for performing with a broken rib and bruised ribs from an injury in the last official practice.

One of the things I did a few years ago was link from our site to a blog to allow band advocates to post information about their bands and the competitions. It's called Marching Band 411. You can check it out here.In the meantime, sweet music from Marple Newtown. Kudos to all involved.
Categories: Pennsylvania

When will the Sixers win a game?

Thu, 2015-11-19 06:02
They have to win sometime, right?

I'm beginning to wonder.

The Sixers lost their 12th straight game to kick off the season last night, and it might have been their worst performance of the young season, although it's hard to tell at this point.

Chris Vito has all the details here.

The Sixers were doomed by 31 turnovers.

The question now becomes two-fold: When will they win a game, and how long can management allow this to continue without sending some kind of message in terms of coach Brett Brown's job status.

Granted, this is not a great roster. And Brown does not have Tony Wroten and Robert Covington.

But you would think they'd be able to win at least one game.

All they have to do is get the ball down low and let rookie standout Jahlil Okafor do his thing.

Something has to happen.

For some reason, more than 11,000 decided to go to the Wells Fargo Center to check out the game. I don't think they were all there to see the Pacers.

Attention Sam Hinkie. Attention Sixers owners. We've been patient. We understand 'the process.' We know Joel Embiid threw a kink into the works when it turns out he needed a second surgery and will miss another full year.

But you've got to be better than this.

Win a game already.
Categories: Pennsylvania