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Updated: 1 hour 51 min ago

The Dreaded Saturday Eagles Pick

Sat, 2014-09-20 05:25
Welcome back, DeSean. Thanks for some great memories. Now prepare for a beating.

Much of the talk this week has focused on the return of the one-time Eagles wideout and his banged-up shoulder. In reality, he’s now what the Birds should be worried about. They should be focusing on the Redskins’ battering ram running back Aldred Morris. He’s exactly the kind of back the gives Billy Davis’ defense fits. With fleet QB Robert Griffin III on the shelf again with a bum ankle, Washington will be directed by Kirk Cousins, which should translate into a huge helping of Morris.

Not helping matters will be the likely absence of stalwart inside linebacker Mychal Kendricks, who has not practiced this week as he nurses a sore calf. That will leave a huge hole likely to be exploited by Cousins and the ‘Skins.

On the other side of the ball, this will be a big test for Nick Foles and the Eagles’ reconstructed offensive line.

The Washington defense is stout, and specializes in putting pressure on the quarterback. The Birds should not count on another second-half miracle, a quicker start is essential. The idea is get up on the Redskins, taking the game out of Morris’ hands and putting it on Cousins’ art. Make him throw early and often, DeSean or no DeSean.

I see this one as typical NFC East nailbiter. Can you say Cody Parkey to the rescue.

The Pick: Make it Eagles 24, Redskins 23. Another crucial kick by Parkey as time expires lifts the Birds to 3-0.

Last Week: The Eagles must have been trotting into the locker room at halftime in Indy licking their chops. “We got ‘em right wear we want ‘em.” They exploded again in the second half to overtake the Colts in a 30-27 thriller.

Season Record: The Eagles have now overcome two straight double-digit deficits in the second half to come storming out of the gates at 2-0. I suffered a hiccup that looked like it was going to be on the money in the first half. I was not expecting the Birds to be able to rally, and for Andrew Luck to be outplayed in the second half by Nick Foles. I’m idling at 1-1.

Game by Game: Eagles 34, Jaguars 17 (My Pick: Eagles 31, Jags 16)

Eagles 30, Colts 27 (My Pick: Colts 29, Eagles 23)
Categories: Pennsylvania

A face made for the newspaper

Fri, 2014-09-19 07:30
This Sunday morning I will prove - once again - that this is a face made for the newspaper.

Fox-29 is kicking off a new weekend morning news show this weekend, and one of the things they are doing is having Skype interviews with news people to see what is hot on their turf. I am going to be a semi-regular contributor.

Nothing is going to be hotter in Delaware County this weekend than the strike by nurses at Crozer-Chester Medical Center. I am scheduled to be on around 8 a.m. Sunday. That will be one hour after nurses say they will walk out.

Tune in to see how I loo. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The show is called #Fox29Weekend. You know, like the Twitter hashmark. I’m so tech savvy.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Friday, Sept. 19

Fri, 2014-09-19 07:22
The Daily Numbers: 600 nurses at Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Upland who plan to walk off the job Sunday morning.

7 a.m., when nurses vow to hit the bricks for 2 days.

5 days, how long Crozer will have replacement nurses staffing the facility.

38, age of man returned to Upper Darby yesterday to face murder charges in the slaying of his girlfriend.

5 times Masako Griffin sought a Protection From Abuse order against De-Schae Lowry.

4 shooting incidents that rocked Chester on Wednesday.

2,873 dollars that police say a Media man bilked from a local credit union to fee his gambling habit.

5-0 vote by Folcroft Borough Council to reinstate its 1 percent earned income tax.

29, age of Andy Reid’s son Britt, who has settled a civil lawsuit with a Springfield man in connection with a road-rage incident the former Eagles coach’s son was involved in.

0 people who have been charged so far in the beating of a gay couple in Philadelphia. Several people have been interviewed by police.

1 assistant basketball coach at Archbishop Wood High School who has resigned his post, apparently because of his connection to the case.

56 million credit and debit cards exposed in security breach at Home Depot.

109 point spike for the stock market yesterday.

17,265.99 close for the Dow, another record high.

1.7 percent uptick in Americans’ net worth

7-3 loss for the Phils in San Diego last night.

5 walks for Phils starter Kyle Kendrick, who gave up 3 runs on 6 hits over 5 innings. He also hit 1 batter.

3 days of practice now missed by Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks.

0, how many games Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen likely will play this year. He’s dealing with blood clots in his leg and lung.

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

Bring on the Redskins! And DeSean. Here’s one vote that hopes the wideout is able to play on Sunday, as he deals with a banged-up shoulder. Seeing his return to the Linc would be worth the price of admission.

I Don’t Get It: Another NFL star is under arrest in a domestic violence incident. Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer is alleged to have head-butted his wife after she refused his sexual advances. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to honors for longtime Media businessman Bill Gross, who has been added to the borough’s Walk of Fame.

Quote Box: “Did the administrators put you up to saying that?”

- Dem Pa. gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf, joking with Chester kids after one youth said she was getting a good education.
Categories: Pennsylvania

'Live From the Newsroom' previews strike at Crozer

Fri, 2014-09-19 06:29
As I opened last night's 'Live From the Newsroom' live-stream broadcast, I was hoping for some glimmer of good news in the dour mood that hangs over one of the icons of Delco industry.

No such luck.

Nurses at Crozer-Chester Medical Center, upset with a lack of progress in talks for a new contract that have been ongoing since April, are planning to walk off their jobs 7 a.m. Sunday. They are vowing to stay out for two days. But the hospital is bringing in nurses to staff the facility, and say they have to enter into a deal for five days. That means Crozer's nurses are likely going to be off the job for an additional three days.

Last night I was joined by Andrew Gaffney, a staff representative for the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals, the union that represents the 600 nurses at Crozer.

We also were joined by two longtime RNs from Crozer, Mary Trzeicak and Katie Eppehimer.

I was hoping to also have a representative from Crozer on the show, but the hospital declined, saying they preferred to do their talking at the bargaining table, not in the media.

That made for a somewhat one-side show. If you missed it, you can see the replay here.

I started the show by asking Gaffney for a quick update. I knew there had been several sessions with a federal mediator in the past couple of days, and that Crozer had offered the union a 'last, best offer.'

The union was not impressed. Gaffney said little progress was made and that no further talks are set. Nurses will hit the bricks Sunday morning.

There's been a lot of talk about the proper staffing in these talks. The nurses insist the hospital is dangerously under-staffed, pushing staff to the limit. But the hospital insists that's not the case, that Crozer is staffed at or above national levels. They also noted that for all the talk about staffing, most of the negotiations have centered on economic issues.

They are quick to point out that the average Crozer nurse makes $103,000 a year, and that the top earner last year checked in at a fairly healthy $167,803.

But Trzeicak said that number in itself is a sign of under-staffing at the hospital, noting the nurse who earned it "lived at the hospital." Both Trzeicak and Eppehimer said many nurses work a lot of overtime, again because of staffing issues. That's where the two sides stand.

Sunday morning Crozer's nurses will be outside carrying pickets signs, while replacement nurses will be inside doing their jobs. So much for cooler heads prevailing.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Thursday, Sept. 18

Thu, 2014-09-18 08:46
The Daily Numbers: 1164, that’s the number of the Pa. Senate bill known as the Good Samaritan Bill, which was passed by the House yesterday. It will provide immunity from prosecution for some drug crimes to individuals seeking medical assistance in drug overdose cases.

174 percent increase in heroin-related deaths between 2007 and 2013.

1 assistant baskeetball coach at Archbishop Wood High School in Bucks County dismissed after he was linked to beating of gay couple in Phillly. Several former Wood students are also believed to be involved.

1 person killed in a shooting in a house in Chester last night.

3 shootings recorded in the city Wednesday.

20 percent dip in middle class for Delaware County between 1978 and 2011.

50.9 percent of Delco residents now classified as middle class.

60,482, median income in Philadelphia region, down from $62104 in 2010.

4 states that will see cuts in food stamps under new program. Those are New Jersey, Michigan, Wisconsin and New Hampshire.

19, age of volunteer firefighter John Corcoran, who faces arson charged connected to several fires in Darby Township and Folcroft.

4 guns, a bullet-proof vest and several hundred rounds of ammunition found in possession of 30-year-old man detained in Upper Darby after a standoff with police.v 1 state trooper injured in accident on I-95 yesterday.

5th day of hunt for survivalist wanted in fatal ambush of Pa. state troopers. Hundreds of law enforcement officials are involved in the search in and around the Blooming Grove barracks.

50 million dollar donation to Drexel Law School by Philly attorney Tom Kline.

24.88 increase for stock market yesterday.

17,156.85, all-time high close for the Dow Jones.

27, age of rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix, when he died on Sept. 18, 1970, in London.

5-2 win for Phillies over San Diego Padres last night.

1 run on 7 hits, with 9 strikeouts for Cole Hamels over 7 innings.

21 straight starts in which Hamels has been charged with 3 runs or less.

2 hits and 2 RBI for Ben Revere.

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

The Phillies cannot even consider trading Cole Hamels.

I Don’t Get It: A group of young people beating up two gay men. Why? I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Lynne Massi for her work in getting the Good Samaritan Bill passed in the House. It will be a lifesaver for those suffering a heroin OD.

Quote Box: “I am crying because I am overwhelmed. I am so happy.”

Lynne Massi, after learning of the bill’s passage by the House yesterday in Harrisburg.
Categories: Pennsylvania

'Live From the Newsroom' talks to Crozer nurses as strike looms

Thu, 2014-09-18 07:05
It's the biggest labor issue in Delaware County, and tonight the strike looming over Crozer-Chester Medical Center will be front and center on our live-stream Internet broadcast, 'Live From the Newsroom.'

The 600 nurses, members of the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals union, has indicated they will walk off the job for two days starting Sunday morning.

The nurses have been in talks with the Crozer since April, but have failed to reach an agreement on the key issue, staffing at the facility.

PASNAP says the facility is dangerously under-staffed; Crozer vehemently disagrees. Sessions with a federal mediator this week have failed to reach an accord.

Tonight we will be joined by the head of the nurses union, as well as two nurses who actually man the sprawling medical center, one of the biggest employers in the county.

Bill Cruice, PASNAP Executive Director, will explain why the nurses will be walking off the job on Sunday morning, how long they will be out, and the company's response, which could mean nurses are actually off the job even longer. Also on hand tonight will be two Crozer RNs, Mary Trzeciak and Katie Eppehimer.

Unfortunately, our invitation to Crozer to have a spokesman join us has been declined.

If you have a question you'd like the panel to answer, email it to me at editor@delcotimes.com. Then join us tonight at 7 on DelcoTimes.com as we talk about a possible strike at one of the region's biggest medical centers.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Wednesday, Sept. 17

Wed, 2014-09-17 08:10
The Daily Numbers: 600 nurses who will strike against Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Upland on Sunday morning.

2 days, how long the nurses plan to stay out.

5 days, how long the hospital says it had to agree to in order to bring in adequate staff to run the facility. That means 3 additional days off the job for the union nurses.

400 community leaders who will be getting postcards from the union detailing their position.

2 million dollars, how much the union says Crozer will pay to bring in nurses, paying them a minimum of $55 an hour.

654, as in IBEW Local 654, which finds itself in the middle of a dustup in the 26th District state Senate race between Tom McGarrigle and John Kane.

25, age of Darby man who was acquitted of all charges connected to a shooting in which a 12-year-old girl was hit.

8,000 dollars in jewelry stolen from a store in Wilmington.

2 persons nabbed on drug charges in Upper Darby as part of an undercover police sting.

8 options being considered as Upper Darby looks to redraw its political districts.

7th grader who told authorities she was the victim of a luring in Ridley Park.

11,000 pounds of copper wire swiped from a Delaware power plant. 1 man is in custody in the heist.

31, age of Eric Frein, a survivalist with an ax to grind against cops, who is now wanted in the fatal shooting of 1 Pa. state trooper and wounding of a 2nd in an ambush attack outside their barracks.

14, age of student who police alleged was involved in a sexual relationship with a band teacher at Central Bucks High School South.

2 dollar a pack cigarette tax in Philly to help fund city schools that got OK by a House panel yesterday.

54 percent of Americans who are sporting ‘abdominal obesity, according to new study. That’ the pear shape noted by extra weight collecting around your middle.

3,000 American troops headed to Africa to help in the war against the spread of the Ebola virus.

4 patients at Children’s Hospital in Philly who have been diagnosed with the Enterovirus.

4 Atlantic City casinos that have now shut their doors. Trump Plaza closed yesterday.

100 point spike for the stock market yesterday.

17 losses for Phils starter A.J. Burnett.

5 runs on 8 hits surrendered by Burnett.

5-4 loss for the Phils last night out in San Diego.

3-1 loss for the Union to the Sounders in the Open Cup.

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.Darren Sproles has been the Eagles MVP through 2 games.

I Don’t Get It: A group of well-dressed Preppy types is being sought by police in the brutal attack on a gay couple in Philly.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to surveillance video. Police say their phones are ringing off the hook with tips in connection with the attack.

Quote Box: “It is neither easy nor inexpensive to find nurses willing and able to travel into different hospital under stressful conditions and provide the level of care our community expects.”

- Grant Gegwich, spokesman for Crozer-Chester Medical Center, on bringing in outside nurses to staff the hospital in the event of a strike.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The quest for fairness

Wed, 2014-09-17 07:13
I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to convince people that I - and the newspaper - really try to be fair in our coverage.

Not everyone buys it.

People charged with crimes always say we fail to get their side of the story. They insist the incident that got them in hot water - and which is almost always detailed in the affidavit police file in making an arrest - paints the situation in a false light.

Labor tiffs prove to be very difficult. I am sure the people at Crozer-Chester Medical Center think we are in bed with the union that is going to strike against them for two days on Sunday morning. They have not said much, instead preferring to do their talking at the bargaining table.

Then there's politics.

In Delaware County, there is always politics.

For as long as I can remember, the Republican Party in this county has believed we would like nothing more than to see them knocked off their lofty perch - and that we slant our coverage to do just that.

Meanwhile, we often don't make county Dems all that happy either. They believe we are beholden - if not in the pocket - of the powerful county GOP.

A lot of people in this state are watching the battle for the vacant 26th District state Senate seat created by the retirement of Republican Sen. Ted Erickson.

Aside from the governor's race (that is still a race isn't it? Someone please tell me it is since I'm on record as saying the embattled Mr. Corbett is going to win re-election) the 26th state Senate race might be the most high-profile race in the state. It's expected to set a record for spending for a state Senate race. Gee, what a surprise, in politics money talks.

On Tuesday, we ran a story on a bit of a dustup concerning a new campaign ad being aired by Republican candidate and County Council Chairman Tom McGarrigle, who is running against Democrat union leader John Kane. It features a local woman thanking McGarrigle for his work in helping save the local refinery business when it was teetering on the brink of collapse.

Full confession here: The ad features several front pages of the Daily Times proclaiming success in saving the refinery jobs.

The McGarrigle campaign issued a statement saying they believed the woman's husband was being harassed by union leaders, who are backing Kane.

That's when the serious finger-pointing began.

Kane denied any such pressure was put on Stephen Devenney for his wife's role in the McGarrigle ad.

We attempted to reach Devenney and his wife, but were unsuccessful.

It didn't take long after the story hit the street on Tuesday before I heard from Devenney. He didn't think we had been fair, that we had "jumped the gun" on the story since we hadn't talked to him and didn't have his side.

So I made the same offer I have made countless times since I assumed this job: Give me your side and I will run it.

Devenney's letter denying any harassment took place appears today.

We also followed up on the story with new comments from the two campaigns.

Yep, election season is heating up.

In Delaware County, politics is a contact sport.

I'll be the guy in the middle, trying - unsuccessfully according to my critics, to be fair to both sides.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Eagles provide a lifeline for embattled NFL

Wed, 2014-09-17 06:35
Roger Goodell and the NFL don't have a lot to be thankful for these days.

I'd like to offer them one.

The Philadelphia Eagles.

If there was ever a sports entity in need of a good story, it would be the almighty NFL. Who would have thought it?

Then again, when you handle a situation like the Ray Rice saga as poorly as the NFL has, it's not hard to figure out.

Then late last week the Adrian Peterson story blew up, with the guy many believe is the best back in the league facing charges of child abuse for beating his young son with a tree branch. Now there are questions about the scar a second son sports on his face.

Rice, of course, was the star of a surveillance video in which he is shown delivering a wicked left jab to his then-fiancee's face, knocking her cold.

For awhile there last week, you almost forgot that this league once was about sport, and games.

With the national spotlight focusing on them on Monday Night Football, the Eagles - at least for a few hours - put the spotlight on what is going on between the lines.

The Birds and Colts put on a great show, with the Eagles rallying for the second straight week from a double-digit deficit in the second half and snagging a huge win on a last-second kick.

Now we can go back to kicking around the NFL.

This morning we get news that the Vikings have had a change of heart. After announcing that they would play Peterson this Sunday after keeping him off the field last week, they apparently have had a change of heart. They have put their star running back on the shelf indefinitely until his legal issues are resolved. He must stay away from all football activities in the interim.

Coincidentally, the move comes just hours after a huge NFL advertiser, the beer barons at Anheuser-Busch, said they were disappointed at the way the league is handling its off-the-field issues.

The Vikings also heard from one of their local advertisers, Radisson Hotels, which indicated they were pulling their support. Roger Goodell and the NFL have always operated by a standard business mandate:

Money talks.

Now they're getting a view from the flip side of that coin.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Tuesday, Sept. 16 (Eagles Edition)

Tue, 2014-09-16 08:31
The Daily Numbers: 152 yards on 7 catches for Darren Sproles.

26 rushing yards on 4 attempts for the running back, the Birds big off-season acquisition.

2nd straight week he sparked a 2nd half comeback win for the Birds.

2-0 record for the Eagles.

0-2 mark for the Saints, the team Sproles and safety Malcolm Jenkins played for last year.

36 yard winning field goal from Cody Parkey with just 3 ticks left on the clock to break a 27-27 tie.

2 times that Parkey had to make the kick, after the Colts called a timeout on the 1st attempt.

38 yard field goal missed by Parkey in the 1st quarter.

21 of 37 for 331 yards and 1 TD for Eagles QB Nick Foles.

13-6 halftime deficit at halftime for the Eagles, which grew to 20-6 early in the 3rd quarter.

2 rushing TDs - one for Sproles and 1 for McCoy - that brought the Eagles back.

2 key turnovers by the Colts that led to 2 Eagles TDs.

6 yard TD pass to Jeremy Maclin that tied the game at 27.

20 of 34 for 172 yards for Colts QB Andrew Luck.

169 yards on the ground piled up by the Colts.

7 teams that are now 2-0 in the NFL.

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.This Eagles team doesn’t seem to get comfortable until it is behind. Can’t argue with the results. 2-0. Bring on DeSean.

I Don’t Get It: Jonathan Papelbon. I don’t get it even a little bit.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Darren Sproles. The guy has the city in the palm of his hand after 2 games.

Quote Box: “Without Sproles, we would be in some trouble, to be honest, we really would.” - Eagles star running back LeSean McCoy.
Categories: Pennsylvania

About that trooper headline

Tue, 2014-09-16 08:05
I have often said that working online is a bit like joining the Wallenda family. You remember them. They're the daredevils who walked tight-ropes across stadiums and did intricate high-wire acts.

They also often worked without a net.

I know how they feel.

The truth is in the early-morning hours, while updating our website, I'm also often working without a net.

Yesterday I fell.

Big time.

It started innocently enough. I wanted to get the latest update from the Associated Press on the tragic ambush shooting of two troopers in Blooming Grove, Pa. One trooper was killed and a second wounded by a gunman who had been lying in wait outside their barracks late Friday night.

The AP stories usually come across with a suggested hedline on them. It's not unusual for me to change the hed when I post the story on our website.

Here is the hed that AP supplied with yesterday morning's update on the trooper story:

Police: Trooper hurt in ambush conscious, talking.

There were a couple of things I wanted to add to the hedline. For one, it did not note that this was a fatal shooting, one of the troopers had in fact died. Second, it did not mention the dragnet that was out for suspects in the killing.

Unfortunately, in constructing the new hed, I made an egregious error.

Here is what appeared atop the new story on our website:

Pa. trooper killed in deadly ambush now conscious, talking; hunt for suspects pressed.

Really?

Obviously, in my zeal to note that this was a deadly ambush, I had botched the new hed, in about the worst way imaginable.

One of my favorite things about the Internet is that, with a few quick keystrokes, a mistake can be easily rectified. Voila! The hedline was fine.

Except we all know that it was not. That hedline was seen by a lot of people, many of whom emailed me to let me know about it.

I am actually glad they did. It allowed me to correct it.

It did not allow me to avoid the reaction that it sparked. And to be honest, that is not entirely a bad thing.

The hedline made its way to the Romenesko site, the popular journalism website that keeps tabs on the industry, and also occasionally displays our foibles and mistakes.

I actually posted a comment on the site shortly after it was posted. I wanted the public to know this was not a mistake by someone on my staff. It was mine.

In a perfect world, no doubt I would have taken more time to read that headline before I posted it. Or had someone else look at it before it went up on the site. I don't work in a perfect world. These days, the journalism world is far from it.

That does not excuse the fact that we displayed a particularly egregious hedline for thousands of people to see.

I was a bit taken aback by some of the comments posted online about it, as if I somehow did not realize that the hedline was wrong. It couldn't get more wrong. The trooper was dead, despite this clumsy hedline's effort to bring him back to life.

One of the themes many people noted is how the trooper's family would feel. I can only imagine. If I added at all to their grief, I sincerely apologize.

But it also struck me that it apparently did not dawn on the many people who went online to poke fun at the mistaken hed that their comments might also not be exactly respectful to the family. That's what we do these days online.

But one commenter went somewhere I had not expected. In this blog yesterday, I noted that Sunday night I had attended a viewing for a strong Irish matriarch who very much reminded me of my own mother.

A reader posted this comment on my blog: "How would you feel if you saw a hedline after your mom died saying she is conscious and talking?"

It was like a kick in the gut. But it was the truth and I told the person so in a comment of my own. I would feel awful.

We're doing a lot of things in the newspaper business that we did not used to do. Staffs are stretched thin, even as our world expands, delivering content in a 24-hour news cycle.

Speed also is part of this equation. We do everything in a hurry.

Sometimes we move too fast.

In print we get one chance to get it right. Once the newspaper comes off the press, there is nothing I can do to change that content until the next day's print edition.

The Internet allows us to correct errors in real time.

But some errors are easier to correct than others.

Lesson learned.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Saints go marching in - for Eagles

Tue, 2014-09-16 07:05
The Philadelphia Eagles are 2-0.

The New Orleans Saints are 0-2.

There is a common theme there. Two of them, actually.

Their names are Darren Sproles and Malcolm Jenkins. Last year, they both were playing in the Big Easy. It was Sproles' kick return that set up the winning field goal as the Saints walked out of Lincoln Financial Field with a playoff victory. Jenkins was the glue in the middle of the Saints defensive secondary.

Sproles and Jenkins were the Eagles two big off-season additions, moves that left many fans grumbling that the Birds had not done enough to upgrade their roster, in particular on the defensive side of the ball.

Last night, both played huge roles in the Birds' second straight come-from-behind win as they stunned the Colts - inside their noisy dome - 30-27.

For the second straight week Sproles was dominating. The pint-sized running back caught 7 passes from Nick Foles for 152 yards. He added another 26 yards rushing.

Jenkins came up with a crucial interception off the Colts' much-heralded QB Andrew Luck in the fourth quarter to set up the game-tying TD toss from Foles to Jeremy Maclin.

It was left to one more new face, cherub-faced rookie kicker Cody Parkey, to break a 27-27 tie by banging home the game-winner with just three ticks left on the clock.

Parkey admitted to being a bit 'antsy' when he missed a 38-yard attempt in the 1st quarter. But he was money when you want your kicker to be - and when the Eagles never were confident that Alex Henery would be - when the game is on the line and the clock is ticking toward 00:00.

Not only was Parkey not flustered, but he calmly lined up and drilled the game-winner again after his first try was wiped out when the Colts called a last-second timeout in an attempt to rattle him.

Not much seems to be rattling Chip Kelly and the Eagles these days.

Last week they overcame a miserable start and some shaky play from Foles. After being down 17-0 at halftime, they sprinted past the Jags in the second half, scoring 34 unanswered points.

In the process they lost two starting offensive linemen, left guard Evan Mathis and right tackle Allen Barbre, who was already filling in for Lane Johnson, who is serving a 4-game suspension for use of a banned substance.

The Birds never blinked.

Last night looked like an instant replay, with the Eagles falling behind 17-6 at the half, on the road, in front of a loud, hostile dome crowd.

No problem.

Foles and the Birds went to work in the 2nd half. Sproles again had a starring role, including a 19-yard bolt for a score in the 3rd quarter.

Perhaps most telling about this Eagles team is the reaction of star running back LeSean McCoy. For the second straight week, his star has been eclipsed by the effort of Sproles.

Do you think maybe McCoy, who bragged in the preseason about the possibility of putting up 2,000 yards rushing, was pouting as the ball wound up in Sproles' hands?

Not a chance.

" Without Sproles, we would be in some trouble, to be honest, we really would,," McCoy said. "When guys are struggling, he's picking everybody up. He's helping me out. I need to get my thing together. I don't feel like I'm playing to the level I should be playing at."

And all this as the Eagles sit at 2-0.

Next up on Sunday at 1 is that team from Washington, bringing in tow a certain wide receiver.

Anyone remember DeSean Jackson?

Darren Sproles is making fans forget him pretty quickly.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Monday, Sept. 15

Mon, 2014-09-15 08:17
The Daily Numbers: 1 Pa. trooper killed, 1 wounded in ambush outside their barracks in Blooming Grove, Pa.

50,000 dollar reward now being offered in the case.

50 college students who attended a rally for Dem Pa. gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf in Media yesterday.

15 years, how long they have been talking bout building a Town Center in Swarthmore.

40 room inn and restaurant at the heart of the center.

542, as in the union local of Operating Engineers who threw their backing to Tom McGarrigle in 26th District state Senate race.

100 people who packed the Yeadon Library on Saturday for the official opening of the facility’s new wing.

5 million dollar expansion project that is transforming the intersection of Routes 1 and 252 and along Rose Tree Park.

2 lanes being converted into 4 - 2 in each direction - via this project.

24 acres of the 318-acre SS. Peter and Paul Cemetery that will be developed.

350 Eastern University students who joined Chester Mayor John Linder Saturday for a city-wide cleanup project.

6 percent break on property taxes for most homeowners derived from slot machine gambling in Pa. Some low-income seniors got a lot more.

187 dollars, average knocked off most homeowners’ tax bills.

12 percent, property tax rise during the same period.

2 losses to open the season for the New York Giants. Both the Redskins and Cowboys won, while the Eagles wait to play the Colts tonight on Monday Night Football.

3 run lead blown in the 9th inning by Jonathan Papelbon as the Phils fell to the Marlins, 5-4.

19 for 19 in save attempts for Papelbon vs. Marlins until yesterday.

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.Raise your hand if you survived a gorgeous September Sunday just fine without the Eagles and the NFL?

I Don’t Get It: Jonathan Papelbon says he was not making a gesture to the fans when he ‘adjusted’ himself yesterday as he exited after blowing 9th inning save. Umpire Joe West disagreed and ejected him.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to those who braved the rain on Saturday for a city-wide cleanup project in Chester.

Quote Box: “Anything they can do to slow it down and force the college to spend more money on legal fees is a win in their book.”

- Swarthmore resident Billy Hodges, on the opposition to Roundabout and Town Center plan.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Farewell to an Irish matriarch

Mon, 2014-09-15 07:38
It has been almost 13 years since I lost my mother.

I still talk to her every day.

I was thinking about my mom as I stood in line last night at the Stretch Funeral Home in Havertown. I was there for the viewing of another strong Irish matriarch, Bridget McLoone.

She was the mother of my pastor, Monsignor Joseph McLoone, and a friend, Pat McLoone. Pat just happens to be the managing editor of the Philadelphia Daily News, so we have a tendency to commiserate.

I always tell people that day in and day out, the most important information we publish every day are the obituaries. Yes, I know that's a bit macabre, but it is an essential part of what we consider our mission, to be the paper of record for Delaware County. Those obituaries amount to the final legacy of a person's time on this Earth.

My mother always used to tell me that you can tell what kind of impact a person had by the length of time you have to stand in line at their viewing. I was in line last night about a half hour. I didn't mind it a bit.

My mother used to devour the obits, as well as the rest of the print edition of the newspaper. I imagine Bridget McLoone did as well. The obituary for her penned by John Morrison that appeared in the Daily News was a gem.

I couldn't help thinking how much she reminded me of my mother. They had something else in common besides ruling over a strong Irish Catholic family.

They both spend their final few months at St. Martha Manor in Downingtown. I can't say enough about the people who work there. They made my mother's final year, as she slowly slipped into the grips of dementia, much less painful - both for her and her children.

As I approached the casket I had to do a double-take. I could not believe how much Bridget McLoone resembled my mother.

I gazed at her face, said a quick prayer, and smiled. It was almost like seeing my mother again.

When you enter the gates, Mrs. McLoone, look for another strong Irish lady. She looks a lot like you.

Tell mom I miss her.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Two Chesters

Mon, 2014-09-15 07:12
I used my print column today to return to a familiar topic.

It's one that I deal with all the time, trying to portray stories that don't always present the city of Chester in the best of lights, while also striving to point out the positive things going on in the city.

I call it "The Two Chesters."

See if you agree.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Life without football? And all the drama as well

Mon, 2014-09-15 06:46
Maybe it was because there was no Eagles game.

Maybe it was because it was a gorgeous September day with more than a hint of fall crispness in the air.

Maybe it was because I was tired of hearing about Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson.

But this just might be something for Roger Goodell to think about, after what had to be one of the worst PR weeks in corporate history. I did not miss football at all on Sunday.

I was not about to waste a gorgeous afternoon planted in my usual spot in front of the TV. Of course, I'll be back there tonight, trying desperately to stay awake as the Birds collide with the Colts on Monday Night Football.

But I can live without it.

Maybe that is something that should worry NFL owners as they try to dig their way out of this mess of their own making.

They are, after all, selling a product. They have been phenomenally successful. The NFL is a money-making juggernaut. But we can exist without it.

We can do nicely without seeing Ray Rice cold-cock his girlfriend in an elevator.

We can get by without hearing about the way Adrian Peterson disciplines his son.

They did play games yesterday.

I was surprised to find out I really couldn't care less.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Dreaded Saturday Eagles Pick

Sat, 2014-09-13 06:05
Raise your hand if you were booing as the Birds trotted off the field at halftime of last week’s opener vs the Jags?

Someone forgot to tell Nick Foles and his buddies that this was no longer the exhibition season, that this was one of those 16 precious games that actually count.

Last year Foles stunned the league by throwing 27 touchdowns and just two picks. His turnover ration was just a tad higher on Sunday. The QB again looked like a fish out of water for much of the first half, holding on the ball for an eternity and fumbling twice. The Jags cashed in both turnovers in racing to a 17-0 lead. Luckily, they play two halves in the NFL.

After putting a goose egg on the board and earning the wrath of the feisty home fans, the Birds turned on the jets in the second half. They scored 34 unanswered points to win going away. They even covered to make all those degenerate gamblers happy.

Chip Kelly probably didn’t help much by ignoring the best back in the league, LeSean McCoy, for big chunks. This team needs to be fueled by McCoy’s legs, not Foles’ arm.

The Birds can’t afford a repeat of their struggles in the first half when they go prime time vs. the Colts.

I hope I’m wrong, but I still have not shaken the nagging questions I have about Foles and whether he really is THE quarterback this team needs.

The Pick: Make it Colts 29, Eagles 23. This is not the Jags. Look for Andrew Luck to skewer an Eagles’ defense that at times in the first half on Week One still had that dazed & confused look they sported so often last year.

Last Week: The Eagles are coming off an exhibition season that saw them get better each week. That’s a good sign. Kelly’s team should be revved up and ready to roll. Maybe the best thing I saw in this pre-season is that should anything happen to Foles - or if he struggles - Sanchez looks supremely confident in Kelly’s offense. That’s a huge plus.

Season Record: The Birds and I both got out of the gate at 1-0. Of course, it took them a half to wake up and realize this was no longer the preseason. I’d like to take them again Monday night, but I’m still suffering from nagging Nick Foles doubt.

Game by Game: Eagles 34, Jaguars 17 (My Pick: Eagles 31, Jags 16)
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Friday, Sept. 12

Fri, 2014-09-12 08:02
The Daily Numbers: 44,000 dollars, how much police say a woman swindled from an 85-year-old man in Prospect Park.

2 men facing charges in connection with holdup at the Walgreen’s in Brookhaven.

49, age of former O’Hara football coach Danny Algeo, who was remembered at memorial service at the school on Thursday.

19, age of suspect who was corralled by police after leading cops on wild chase through Upper Darby and Lansdowne. He was finally nabbed by a K-9 officer while hiding under the porch of a home.

24 point deficit for Gov. Tom Corbett as he trails Democrat Tom Wolf in latest Quinnipiac poll.

59 percent of those surveyed backing Wolf, with just 35 percent in the governor’s corner.

210,000 dollars missing from Visit Philadelphia agency that is subject of probe by Philly D.A. office.

3,780 patients of Temple University health care whose data may have been accessed.

48, age of Philadelphia teacher found dead in a hotel bathroom. She is believed to have taken her own life.

20,000 dollars in a safe that was taken from a Philly home.

19 point dip for the stock market yesterday.

74, age of Richard Kiel, the actor who played the villain ‘Jaws’ in the James Bond films.

26-6 win for the Baltimore Ravens over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first Thursday night NFL game of the season.

4-1 loss for the Phillies to the Bucs, who took 3 of 4 at Citizens Bank Park.

20 cent tip on a $62 tab that LeSean McCoy is defending. He says he got bad service and was disrespected.

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

Anyone else notice a muted aspect to last night’s NFL game. Yes, it involved the Ravens. And yes, talk of Ray Rice was everywhere

I Don’t Get It: Several women were in attendance at last night’s Ravens game wearing Ray Rice jerseys. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to all those who gathered at Rose Tree Park yesterday to commemorate the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Quote Box: “This is a day seared into our consciousness.”

- Delco Judge Chad Kenney, at 9/11 memorial service.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Road Warrior: The transformation of Route 252 at Rose Tree Park

Fri, 2014-09-12 07:31
A few weeks ago, when we wrote for the umpteenth time that the state had found the money to finally fix the 'Killer Conchester,' I kind of knew what to expect.

I wasn't wrong.

I was inundated with phone calls and emails, all with the same basic gripe: "I'll believe it when I see it."

It's a perfectly understandable reaction, given the number of times this horrific stretch of highway that connects I-95 in Chester with Baltimore Pike in Concord has been talked about being outdated and in dire need of repair to handle the amount of traffic - in particular trucks - that now rumble along it every day.

That is to say nothing of the horrific toll this deadly stretch of highway continues to take.

But this time I believe it's going to happen.

And I can tell you why.

First, this money is coming from that controversial $2.7 billion dollar transportation plan that the Legislature approved last year. This time I think it's actually going to get done.

But for those who insist they'll believe it when they see it, I suggest they take a slight road trip a few miles away.

They might want to visit Route 252 as it rolls past that county gem, Rose Tree Park.

Just don't do it during the morning rush hour.

This stretch of road, along with the traffic light at Rose Tree Road and the intersection with the Route 1 Bypass, also had been complained about for years.

There was forever talk about fixing it. They even moved the historic Rose Tree Tavern off the corner at Rose Tree Road back into the park to accommodate work.

And now it is actually getting done.

I go by there every morning, thankfully long before rush hour (it's one of the perks of the job!)

You can clearly see what was an old, country two-lane road being rebuilt into a modern, four-lane (two in each direction) thoroughfare. It's one of the busiest intersections in the county.

Make sure you pick up a copy of the Sunday Times for a special report on this crucial piece of road work, and the answer to many a driver's lament.

The down side? Yes, you guessed it. Right now getting through there is a nightmare. I actually heard something last week I don't think I've ever heard before. A morning traffic report actually was recommending drivers use the Blue Route to avoid the area of Route 252 at Rose Tree Park.

Call it the price of progress.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Knocking out the secrecy surrounding domestic abuse

Fri, 2014-09-12 06:57
All week I have been trying to find something good to come out of the ugliness surrounding the Ray Rice affair.

I found it on today's editorial page.

With a single punch, Rice shattered the veil of silence that too often accompanies domestic violence.

Usually whispered, it's now being shouted from every mountaintop.

You can't watch the now infamous videotape of Rice slugging his then-girlfriend - now wife - and not be revulsed.

Ray Rice thus becomes the face of an issue that feeds on its shame and anonymity. Victims are afraid to come forward. Families don't want to air dirty laundry.

That should be easier to do now that the country has spent the bulk of the week discussing a subject once thought too prickly for public consumption.

In the meantime, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell continues to bob and weave in the rough surf roiled by the bumbling way he has handled this affair.

But at least one voice thinks it might be time to stop piling on the king of the NFL, and instead focus on Rice.

Make sure you read columnist Jack McCaffery's version of the Goodell Chronicles here.
Categories: Pennsylvania