The pro sports edge

downloadJanuary 29, 2015 – With the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots in Arizona awaiting Sunday’s Super Bowl, it’s the perfect time for a sports-related top ten list that focuses on weird ways pro sports teams try to gain an edge over the competition.

Deflate-gate is sort of tied into this top ten list, highlighting that the Patriots are serial cheaters. No. 3 on the list suggests that the Philadelphia Eagles are more paranoid than other NFL teams about code breaking, which might have to do with the Patriots getting caught stealing plays against them in Super Bowl 10 years ago.

In loving memory

390559_3716953964504_1922773106_nJanuary 26, 2015 — I once read that when a mother dies it can set a daughter free.

Strange words. I didn’t understand what the author meant when I read the article all those years ago, and now that my mother has passed away, I’m even less sure.

To be fair, I don’t remember the rest of the article clearly. It may have had something to do a mother’s criticism and a daughter trying to be perfect, but those words seem insensitive, so there has to be something more to it than that.

Perhaps I don’t get it because my mother didn’t criticize much. On occasion, she would tell me I looked tired, or that I looked like the last rose of summer, which wasn’t a compliment since the last rose of summer, the one that hung around through all the heat and humidity, looks withered and parched. Being of Irish heritage, she was also fond of saying “You are big and ugly enough to do it yourself,” whenever she thought I should handle something on my own. That sounds like criticism, but I never took it that way, and laughed it off.

I’ve never tried to act as if I were perfect for her either, but if you asked any of her nine grandchildren, they would tell you she was perfect, and she thought they were perfect, too. They could do no wrong in her eyes, and my father was fond of saying that if there was such a thing as reincarnation, he wanted to come back as one of her grandchildren.

All of us are still coming to terms about what happened. And that experience will continue for a while. The past few months were spent visiting her in the hospital, in a rehabilitation facility, in the hospital again, and finally in hospice. That’s enough to throw anyone off kilter.

Strangely, there is a positive side. I visited her daily in these places, and got to spend a lot of time with her. That wouldn’t have happened if she had been at home; I would have phoned her a few times a week, and visited on the weekends, but I would have lived by the excuse that my life was too busy and too complicated to visit so often.

We said our final goodbye at the cemetery this morning, and now life can return to a normal routine. I return to work tomorrow, I can get back to a set blogging schedule, and maybe even go to the movies. Still, the experience has changed me, and I can’t help but feel my normal routine will become nothing more than a distraction. For the time being, anyway.

Thank you Mom for all that you did for me. Your passing did not free me, but it made me realize how lucky I was to be your daughter.

Philly ranks #3 on best places to visit list

phillyJanuary 12, 2015 – Philadelphia is a great city.

I know it, and maybe you know it too, but my home city gets a bad rap when it comes to reputation.

True Philadelphians, however, know the real deal; We’re not that dangerous, as Philly ranks #60 out of 100 on the most dangerous cities in the U.S., which is not great, but not that bad ether for a big east coast city. Hey, 59 other cities are far more dangerous.

When it comes to sports, don’t even get me started on what they say about the City of Brotherly Love. We know it’s ridiculous, and that the #1 story the media states time and time again is nearly 50 years old and blown way out of proportion. Still, some of us appreciate that reputation because we want our competition to be afraid to play in our fair city.

Now, the New York Times, the newspaper published in the city that probably gives us the most grief, has named their 52 places to visit in 2015, and Philly ranks #3, after Milan, Italy and Cuba. The newspaper states that Dilworth Park, the Delaware waterfront, and the Spruce Street Harbor Park are some of the main reasons, but let’s not forget the city’s fascinating history.

Congratulations, Philly! You deserve it.