Sixers Owner’s Helicopter Forces Cancelation of Youth Soccer Game

January 6, 2012: Philadelphia 76ers owner Josh Harris gets interviewed by CSN Philly Sixers Sideline reporter Meredith Marakovits during an NBA game. (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)

January 6, 2012: Philadelphia 76ers owner Josh Harris gets interviewed by CSN Philly Sixers Sideline reporter Meredith Marakovits during an NBA game. (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)

Deadspin has a fun story today concerning Philadelphia 76ers owner Josh Harris. The Penn grad also owns the New Jersey Devils. A recent trip to a game at the team’s home arena, the Prudential Center, caused the cancelation of a local youth soccer game.

Huh? Here’s what happened: Several rich people with ties to Newark have an agreement with respected Catholic prep school/basketball and soccer star pipeline St. Benedict’s Prep. When these businessmen need it, the school allows them to use its soccer field as a helipad. St. Benedict’s said a few people take advantage of the school’s generosity, but primarily Harris. Read more »

Sixers CEO on Marketing the NBA’s Most Radical Rebuilding Plan

Sixers CEO Scott O’Neil and Coach Brett Brown. (Michelle Farsi/Courtesy of the Philadelphia 76ers)

Sixers CEO Scott O’Neil and Coach Brett Brown. (Michelle Farsi/Courtesy of the Philadelphia 76ers)

As the 2015-2016 Philadelphia 76ers season begins, fans have hope that the tanking phase of a long rebuilding process is finally over — and the actual building has begun. That’s certainly how CEO Scott O’Neil feels, and he’ll tell anybody who’s willing to listen. To the ever-cynical fans that saw the Sixers win just 18 games last year, it remains a hard sell.

How do you sell tickets and raise interest when your most marketable player (Nerlens Noel) is only in his second season, and two other marketable players (Jahlil Okafor and Joel Embiid) have never played an NBA game — and one is sitting out his second straight season with an injury? You change the logo, give season-ticket holders killer perks, and convince people that this year’s four potential first-round picks will yield a goldmine.  Read more »

Sam Bradford Isn’t a Championship Quarterback

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

The Philadelphia Eagles find themselves in a quagmire of an NFL season with two directions: With several wins in a row they hey can re-establish their pre-season status as one of the better teams in the NFC, or they could go down the drain faster than a dropped Advil in the sink.

(Think about it, have you dropped an aspirin and saved it from sliding down the black hole?)

As I look out unto the football landscape, I see more bad things going on with the Eagles from this point than good. The bad deals mostly with the quarterback Sam Bradford. There are two schools of thought with Bradford. One, he is a quarterback still on the mend, both physically and mentally. Coming off of two ACL surgeries, Bradford is said to need more time to find his groove playing the most trying position in the NFL. The other theory, the one I believe most, is that Bradford has lost his edge as a professional player, that battled by injuries and inconsistencies in his pro career, he no longer possesses the requite competitive instinct needed to succeed at the championship level. Read more »

Seven Reasons to Watch the Union’s Open Cup Final Tomorrow Night


Aug 12, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Union fans celebrate forward Sebastien Le Toux (not pictured) goal against the Chicago Fire at PPL Park. The Union won 1-0.

Aug 12, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Union fans celebrate forward Sebastien Le Toux (not pictured) goal against the Chicago Fire at PPL Park. The Union won 1-0.

Pity poor soccer. While the rest of the world can’t get enough of it, America blithely continues to thumb its nose at the sport, choosing instead to worship baseball, football, basketball and even ice hockey. This is dumb. Soccer has so much to recommend it. And tomorrow night at Chester’s PPL Park, Philadelphia’s very own professional soccer team, the Union, will be competing in the finals of the Lamar Hunt Open Cup, one of the oldest soccer competitions in the world. The Open Cup is very democratic, because it’s open to amateur as well as pro teams, and also very Republican, as it’s named for the younger brother (and Hill School grad!) of the famed Hunt Brothers silver-hoarding tycoons.

But you don’t care about that. You likely don’t even care that to the immense joy of U.S. soccer fans, the final match of this year’s Cup competition will be televised on ESPN2, which was not at all assured right up until last Friday. (It’s the first time ESPN has televised the final game since 1999.) And while the Union aren’t normally a powerhouse team, they have performed extremely well in Open Cups; last year, they lost in overtime in the finals to Seattle, which is a powerhouse team. This year, they’re playing Sporting Kansas City.

So, why should you spend your Wednesday night cheering for the Union? Here are great seven reasons why. Read more »

Syracuse U. Drops “Kiss Cam” for Promoting Sexual Assault

After a letter-writer complained to that Syracuse University’s “kiss cam” promoted sexual assault and male entitlement, the Carrier Dome has announced it will no longer feature Jumbotron videos of couples kissing during football-game delays. “We are taking the time to assess the concerns expressed in the letter to the editor,” according to the executive senior associate athletics director for communications, Sue Edson. Read more »

How Far Did Rocky Go in His Training Run in ‘Rocky II’?

One of my favorite parts of any Rocky movie is the training montage. Specifically, I enjoy watching Rocky run the streets of Philadelphia (I and II) or on the beach (III) or in the snow (IV) or whatever happened in the fifth movie I’ve erased from my memories. Of all the Rocky training montages, though, the run in Rocky II is my favorite.

What’s always amused me about this scene is how absolutely little sense Rocky’s route makes: South Philly becomes North Philly becomes the Italian Market becomes North Philly again, and so on. Obviously, the montage isn’t meant to be taken seriously as an actual workout; it’s just a few scenes strung together so “Gonna Fly Now” can play and Rocky can finish at the top of the Art Museum steps.

But, I wondered, what if this roadwork were treated as one actual run? How far would Rocky go? Well, I decided to find out. I pieced together the routes Rocky could have traveled from scene to scene in this training montage and calculated distance. All distances were mapped out by using the USA Track and Field distance-measuring tool recommended to me by my friend and Philadelphia magazine managing editor Annie Monjar. She’s a better runner than I am, so I trust her. However, I’m not sure she could take Rocky in a footrace, at least Rocky II-era Rocky. Let’s see how far he went.

Read more »

GPFFL Commish Stepping Down

Dear GPFFL Members,

I am officially withdrawing from the commissioner election for GPFFL. This was a very difficult decision for me after spending three wonderful years in this role, but I feel it’s time for someone else to take the lead. I will be finding out later today if I won my election for the National Gay Flag Football League board but win or lose, I am still not seeking reelection for GPFFL. Last year, Scott Dinkins encouraged me to throw my hat in the ring for the NGFFL so that Philadelphia has strong representation on the national level. This year, I participated in the NGFFL Gay Bowl Task Force which created a true A and B division – which our Revolution got 2nd place in the B division and had a much more competitive experience than we have in the past.

Read more »

Soccer Toughens Up Over Homophobia

Gay slurs may be going the way of the Dodo in the soccer world. After a Seattle player was fined for dropping the “f” bomb about a player on the opposing team, the talk has switched to how much is too much homophobia in the professional sports world?

Major League Soccer has not only been proactive in fining and suspending players for using anti-gay language on the field, but players could face even more serious suspensions if the behavior continues. It’s a far cry from the lightweight reactions in the NFL, NHL and NBA, where a half-dozen players have been caught using anti-gay slurs during games and at press events.

Case in point: When Philadelphia Eagle DeSean Jackson referred to a radio caller as a “gay-ass-faggot,” he faced no penalty from the commission. None.

Click here to listen in on what got Seattle’s Marc Bunch fined and suspended recently (may not be safe for work).

Homophobia Drives Kids From Sports

Photo by Think Stock

It turns out bullying in sports not only creates problems for students on the high school level – but also in colleges and universities. A new report sheds light on what it means to be LGBT in athletics – and why being discriminated against on the court, field, track or rink makes many young people give up sports entirely.

The National Union of Students says that only a third of LGBT students at the university level participate in a team sport. And almost 40 percent of these athletes say they are not out to their teammates for fear of homophobia, transphobia and outright bullying.

And for those LGBT students who don’t join teams, almost half admit that they find the sports world to be “unwelcoming,” with just as many saying they’ve suffered negative experiences that have made them want to give up sports entirely.

Read more »

Weekend Roundup

Friday, Oct. 19

Giovanni's Room hosts an evening of transgender authors on Friday (5:30 p.m.).

The Philadelphia Film Festival runs through the weekend with a selection of LGBT-friendly screenings. Click here for details.

Crossroads” is a celebration of Latina artists (5:30 p.m.) at the Leeway Foundation.

Join Topside Press for the release of The Collection, an anthology of transgender writing, with special readings from Madison Lynn McEvilly, Terence Diamond, Imogen Binnie, Rey Drew, Stephen Ira, Donna Ostrowsky, Red Durkin and Ryka Aoki at Giovanni’s Room (5:30 p.m.).

It’s Guy’s Night Out at the Philadelphia Film Festival (6:45 p.m.) with a screening of Yossi at the Ritz East.

Gayby (9:45 p.m.) is being screened at the Ritz East as part of the Philadelphia Film Festival with a special appearance by the director Jonathan Lisecki.

Sisters pays tribute to the 90s with a dance party (10 p.m.) featuring Fame Lust and DJ Deejay.

Read more »

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