Best of Philly 2005: Media, Sports & Power

Anchors, athletes, important people — here’s who’s really got game

Presidential Tease: Joe Biden Delaware’s longtime senator is increasingly looking like a candidate in ’08. We don’t know if he can win, but he’s the smartest, most straightforward guy out there now talking about terrorism, Iraq, and America’s place in the world. Run, Joe, run!

Most Generous Pennsylvanians: Rick Santorum’s parents
Rick recently revealed that his mom and dad, two retired V.A. workers, send him checks every now and again, since times are tight on the Hill. We wonder: Does the U.S. Senator have the folks mail their money to his office in D.C., or to his second home, a $757,000 spread in Virginia?

Second Wind: Phil Martelli How good a basketball coach is Martelli? After he lost stars Jameer Nelson and Delonte West to the NBA, nobody expected his St. Joe’s Hawks, who captured the city’s hearts in their thrilling 2003-’04 season, to do much this past year. But after the Hawks lost six of their first nine games, Martelli helped the team find its wings, and they ended up 24-12, with a second-place finish in the NIT (by three points, no less). The entertaining Martelli gets a lot of credit for his comedy; he doesn’t get enough for his coaching.

Political Voice of Reason: Arlen Specter This magazine has taken shots at the senator through the years, but we have nothing but praise for the way he’s now fighting for the fast-disappearing American political center. His post-election Supreme Court comments — warning President Bush against choosing an extreme right-to-life nominee — nearly cost him his chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee, but they were strong and courageous. And they were a reminder that extreme voices (from the right or left) aren’t the only ones that should be heard in a political debate.

Best Team: Hope Afloat Dragon Boat Team
Even the Eagles didn’t inspire us like this team of 40 local breast cancer survivors who placed first in the U.S. and second in the world in June’s first-ever breast cancer dragon boat regatta in Vancouver. they say their real race is against a disease, their boat’s drummer wears a fuchsia wig, and, unlike a certain eagle, no one on their team has ever held out.