Philadelphia basketball sneaker sales have risen 17 percent in the last year, and I have an inkling as to why. In a sneaker-obsessed city, Maurice Edu, midfielder for the Philadelphia Union, might be the biggest sneakerhead in town. His Center City apartment is filled with them—cobalt blue studded Louboutins, leopard-print Guiseppe Zanottis—and this is only a mere fraction of his collection. I talked with Edu about his love of sneakers at his Center City apartment, and got a look at some of his favorite, most splashy pairs.
Just before the World Cup craziness, I spent some time with the Philadelphia Union’s star midfielder Maurice Edu in his Rittenhouse apartment. He was in the midst of packing for the final stages of World Cup training in Brazil (sadly, he was eliminated from the final roster with Landon Donovan). His apartment was nearly bare—he ping-pongs around the world during the year—save for a giant TV on the floor and a pop-a-shot game in a corner.
Oh, and the sneakers. Boxes upon boxes of sneakers, designer pairs piled up in his closet, sportier pairs holding court in a front room, each shoebox labeled with a photo of the pair inside, Mariah Carey-style.
Violent storms whipped through the Philadelphia area last night, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of customers. Winds gusted as high as 60 miles an hour.
A Main Line parking operator filed a federal racketeering lawsuit that claims the city of Chester and the Philadelphia Union conspired to close the parking lots the company owns near the team’s stadium. The team says the suit is without merit.
Filed by T.I.C.B. Partners, the suit (see below) alleges Chester police chief Joseph Bail and other police officers were on the payroll of Global Spectrum, which manages PPL Park. The company says Chester police closed the company’s lots on match day several times in order to divert revenue to lots owned by the Union.
Yards Brewing is on an exclusive beer kick. Last week they debuted Sons of Ben Rowdy Style Ale. A beer dedicated to Philadelphia Union’s supporters club. And over at Morgan’s Pier, they’ve just begun pouring Yards Petty’s Island Ale, a nitro cream ale brewed for the outdoor bar with summer-day drinking in mind.
And tomorrow, City Tap House is debuting their exclusive Yards Brewing collaboration, Just Off Walnut. This beer is a Belgian Brown Ale brewed with a De Koninck yeast strain, leaving a fruity nose and spicy crisp finish. City Tap House managing partner Andy Farrell and Yards brewmaster Tim Roberts went back in forth in creating an accessible beer that is light and easy but sophisticated enough for the beer snob as well.
Sunday’s Inquirer featured a report by Laura McCrystal on the failure of PPL Park to spark a rebirth in Chester. The home of the Philadelphia Union, which got $47 million in state funding in 2008, was supposed to be the first part of several hundred million dollars of investment along the Chester waterfront.
The stadium’s great, the view of the Commodore Barry Bridge is awesome, games are generally well-attended and the team is supposedly an OK neighbor (if sometimes disappointing on the pitch). The stadium brought jobs, but it’s only open for big events a few dozen times a year. The global financial crisis wiped out additional development.
Our very own Scenester, HughE Dillon, informs us that the below photo, taken last night at Feastival, is the only one you’ll find online of just-traded Philadelphia Union goalie Chris Konopka and his lady friend, Philly socialite Maria Papadakis.
According to reports, Kononpka is headed to Toronto FC. He tweeted his thanks to the Union this morning. No word on what this means for the romantically linked pair, or if Konopka will have to relinquish his Sexy Single-dom.
— Chris Konopka (@ChrisKonopka414) September 13, 2013
Whether or not it would be worth watching a documentary about the middling Philadelphia Union, I don’t know. But there is one in the works about their rabid 2,500-member fan club that seems promising. The documentary is in part a success story about the Sons’ success in bringing a team to Philly, and in part an exploration of their relationship with downtrodden Chester, where many were apprehensive about plunking down a stadium. And a fair amount of insane crowd behavior, one would hope.
The filmmaker is still getting the project funded, and hopes to release the full version in 2014. I can think of a group of people that might be able to help with that.
In June, the Philadelphia Union parted ways with manager Peter Nowak. Now, Nowak is suing the team for wrongful termination and unpaid severance money. The suit alleges that the club is obligated to continue to pay Nowak because he was under contract through 2015, but that the payments from the Union have stopped. [Philly.com]