Tag Archives: Matthew Nadu

Flyers’ Wives Walk the Hottest Runway in Town

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Hair O’ the Dog, One Night to Kick Cancer

It’s not everyday Philadelphia throws the biggest black tie event of the year. In fact it only happens once.

Hosted by Wired 96.5’s Chio and Shila, this Saturday’s  The Hair O’ the Dog gala glamorizes its guests with Philly’s finest catering, top shelf open bars, gowns and glow dancers, you’ll have to see it to believe it. Guests will enjoy elegant settings at the Philadelphia Westin  Hotel and Philly’s own DJ Johnny Looch will be spinning throughout the night.

Essentially it’s a fairy tale evening, in more ways than one.

If that doesn’t sound perfect enough, founders Rob Molinaro and Dan Cronin are giving one mother the evening of a lifetime. The gala is supporting two charities on its 18th anniversary, The Garden of Reflection, Pennsylvania’s official 9-11 charity and celebrity stylist Martino Cartier’s Friends Are By Your Side, a network of salon owners and beauty experts that are dedicated to easing the stress of women fighting against cancer.

This year Christine Jock is the “Queen O’ the Dog.” The single mother in her thirties has been battling  an aggressive form of Breast Cancer, leading her to undergo a double Mastectomy. Jock was also diagnosed with melanoma as well before losing her job.

For at least one night the ‘Queen’ will be fully pampered having VIP treatment including attire for her and her date, gifts and airbrush tanning at Julie Dorenbos and Susie Johnsen’s Skin Palette.

If you really want push your party thresh hold or you just don’t want the magic to stop, Whisper Nightclub and G lounge will hold the official after parties until 6 a.m.

So dust off the old prom dress and tux, that is if it hasn’t shrunk from sitting in the closet and experience Philly the way it was meant to be lived. It’s a night you and the “Queen” will never forget.

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Twitter Nation Just Got #Tebowed

Demaryius Thomas crossed several defenders at Denver’s 38-yard line, running full speed he simply extended his arms. As if descending from the heavens above, a perfectly thrown football landed between his fingers carrying him forward with momentum. Sprinting like tomorrow will never come, Thomas, the name Saint Thomas meaning architect, scampered 62 more yards past Ike Taylor and Ryan Mundy of the Pittsburgh secondary and into the end zone securing the Broncos’ (9-8) improbable 29-23 overtime Wild Card playoff win over the Steelers (12-5.)

Back at the Denver 20-yard line, quarterback Tim Tebow ‘Tebowed’ the entire nation.

As accustomed with one knee down and consumed in prayer, the rest of Mile High Stadium was in a frenzy while the man of the hour once again made peace with his Maker.

The Denver pieces are coming together and the design is complete- so far.

Sunday was Tebow’s best game in his two year career on his biggest stage. He finished the day 10-21 passing for 316 yards and two touchdowns in the air while running for 50 yards and another score. Not gawky numbers compared to other quarterbacks in the league but somehow this kid continues to win, with a smile.

Tim Tebow was a phenomenon even before his NFL record longest one one play, 11 second victory drive in overtime in his first playoff game. Even before his playing potential controversy, before he hit the NFL, heck even before his two National Championships and Heisman Trophy campaign at The University of Florida. Tebow is a phenomenon of character and the world now knows it.

With that game winning 80-yard strike the Twitter nation erupted. If you’re unfamiliar with social network get familiar especially if you’re a sports fan. While the City of Brotherly love had it’s playoff hopes crushed, Tebow gave Philadelphia and the rest of the nation a reason to believe in miracles.

Do you believe because these Philadelphia athletes and sportswriters do.

Philadelphia Eagles tight end Brent Celek (BrentCelek) was in aw, “I don’t care what people say, this Tebow is a beast.”

Flyer’s legendary goalie Bernie Parent (Bernieparent) has seen his fair share of hat tricks, “Hats off to Tim Tebow great win tonight.”

Eagles Pro-Bowler cornerback Asante Samuel (Thepresidentcb) called it how he saw it, “The world is going bananas!!! Tebow Tebow Tebow…”

World Series champion Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins (JimmyRollins11) followed suit, “Tebow Tebow Tebow Tebow…”

Even the big boys like former Eagle Hugh Douglas (Bighugh53) knew they had seen something special “Wow!! Congrats!!”

Philadelphia Daily News writer Les Bowen (LesBowen) is no stranger to the debate of Tebow and his potential ”Justice. Karma. Etc.” While ESPN analyst Buster Olney (Buster_ESPN) had an Nostradamus moment “Puffs of smoke just appeared over Denver: The Broncos have been selected.”

Ahmir Khalib Thompson or Questlove of the Philly based band The Roots chimed in “take a knee #Tebow.”

But perhaps out of all the debating whether Tebow is worthy of all his success, one man perhaps put the entire essence of Tim Tebow, his game, his character and his faith into perspective, 76ers commentator Malik Rose. (MalikRose) “Watching ESPN and I see Tebow’s miraculous 80 pass play in OT gave him exactly 316 yards 4 the game John 3:16 for the man of God. Go Tebow!”

John 3:16, the foundation of all that is Tim Tebow.

Maybe Tebow is a fluke and perhaps next Saturday’s Divisional Playoff game against the New England Patriots will expose that but until then you just got #Tebowed.

Follow Matthew Nadu on Twitter @MatthewNadu

With Denver's 29-23 OT win against Pittsuburgh the nation was offcially Tim "Tebowed." Photo: Scout.com

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Will 2011 Be One for the Record Books?

There are certain moments in sports that come up once in a lifetime. Grandfathers reminisce of these moments like old war stories, children witness their first super heroes and Cooperstown locks them away for generations to awe over.

These are the moments where legends are born.

Fortunately we’ll witness one of these moments in our lifetime. In 2011 to be more specific.

We can’t guess the time, place or situation but at some point we’ll witness something magical. The Four Horsemen will deliver in 2011.

The Big Four. The Fantastic Four. Fab Four. R2C2. Four Aces. Four of a Kind. Mt. Fourmore. Roys R Us.

Whatever you want to call the Philadelphia Phillies four starters know this, 2011 will be un-phour-gettable.

With the reacquisition of Cliff Lee in the offseason to joining Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt, then throw in  Joe Blanton, the Phils have the potential to round out the greatest starting rotation baseball has ever seen.

At least on paper.

They’ve combined for six 20-win seasons, 13 All-Star game appearances and three Cy Young Awards.

This isn’t a Hall of Fame induction class (at least not yet) but the unbelievable reality for Philadelphia.

Compare them with the greats such as the ’54 Indians, ’71 Orioles and Braves rotations from ’96-’98 .

Unlike the above mentioned teams the Phillies have the chance to be  the first to win a World Series, because they are built for the long haul.

Here’s the cold hard facts.

In 2010 the five combined for a 67-49 record with 1059 innings, a baseball rotation best 3.17 ERA and 24.1 WAR (wins against replacement player.)

Don’t let the record fool you. Oswalt was a mid-season pickup with a 6-12 record with Houston before going 7-1 with Philadelphia, Halladay had just switch leagues and teams while Lee switched leagues and teams, twice.

The 24.1 WAR ranks 6th all-time and that’s in a season where they never had the opportunity to all play with each other. They’re also just the fourth team in history with four starters with a WAR of  at least 4.3.

All four aces all threw over 200 innings in 2010, led by last year’s National League Cy Young Award Winner Halladay’s Major League best 250.2 innings.

Halladay and Lee  led their leagues in complete games and strikeout to ball ratio last season. Throw Oswalt in the mix and the three all rank in the active top 15 in both categories. The trio is also in the top eight of active career winning percentage and the first threesome to post a .620 or better win percentage in 54 years.

But when it comes down to it, winning a World Series is what matters and these five turn it up in the postseason with a combined 22-8 record, 3.30 ERA, seven Fall Classic appearances, two wins and a World Series MVP.

Enjoy the hype in only comes around every few generations.

combined for six 20-win seasons, 13 All-Star game appearances and three Cy Young Awards. 

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Marv Albert, Coming to a College Near You

There are a precious few occasions in a persons life where they can distinctly recall the exact specifics of a particular moment.

The smell of popcorn, fresh cut grass and the proud feeling of being American at your first ballgame. Sweaty palms, some hybrid flower thing called a corsage and your first self booked hotel room at prom or your wedding perhaps, which for me is more than a lifetime away.

My first encounter with Hall of Fame broadcaster Marv Albert was one of those moments.

If you know anything about basketball, Albert is a living legend. His god sent voice and catch phrases are pure truths in the sports bible. No one can transcend a basketball game like Marv.

Heck, he was the reason I devoted my life to sports.

The irony of this individual situation, is that before I met Marv those few rare moments that you can recall so eloquently, for me at least, had to do with Marv Albert.

Um, with a splash of “Michael Jordan!” too.

When I recently had the chance to speak with Albert about calling the play-by-play for the 2011 NCAA Tournament for Turner Sports alongside Steve Kerr, I jumped on the first train to the Big Apple to talk to the new big man on campus.

Now, I have to admit I’m not one to get star-struck but this was one of those occasions where it felt good, it actually felt right, to feel like a kid again as Albert took the reigns of the conversation as only a grandfather figure could do.

You better believe I was ready to listen.

After decades of covering the greatest players in the world in the NBA how does a veteran like Marv Albert make the adjustment to the college level?

He does what all the kids are doing.

“I’m so proud I can actually watch the games on my iphone,” laughed Albert. “I actually had to ask Steve (Kerr) how it works.”

His veteran status also helps his cause, especially in the laid back college atmosphere.

“The great advantage over the NBA is being able to go to practice,” said Albert. “To me it was always very very helpful to sit through the practice in terms of recognition of who the players are. To be able to sit down and talk to people that’s critical.”

There’s no doubt with Albert calling names like Jimmer Fredette (look him up) up until this years Sweet 16, players will be getting a little more recognition that usual.

But this isn’t the first time Albert has brought to light the stars of the future.

“Of course I called Michael Jordan back during the ’84 season,” recalls Albert.

Fittingly enough Albert would be the voice for the rest of Jordan’s biggest moments throughout his miraculous career.

But after Albert went full time broadcasting in the NBA he couldn’t help wonder what it would be like to continue to solidify players careers, like only he can do, on the biggest tournament stage.

“To me, it would be the Grant Hill pass to Christian Laettner,” Albert said with a pause. “I mean… wow. There’s others but not on the stage of Laettner.”

Laettner’s buzzer-beater to shock Kentucky in the 1992 NCAA East Regional Finals at the Philadelphia Spectrum is probably one of those rare moments, at least to Duke fans.

Imagine if Albert made that call. Wow.

At this moment Albert looked as boyish as I must have looked, especially when I mentioned that the Spectrum, the house that harbored this great memory for him, was being demolished as we spoke.

“The Spectrum is a great place. It’s sad to see it go. So much history there. The new place, whatever its called now, not so much.”

It took us a moment to run through all the names the now Wells Fargo Center has been called before we both agreed there’s only one place that might just be the Spectrum’s match.

“I remember calling games at the Palestra and it was great how we were right there. The crowd was right on top of us. The players the coaches everything is right there and we were in the middle of it all.”

If you’ve ever been to the Palestra on the University of Penn’s campus you’d know the feeling. Essentially it’s and over crowded, fire hazardous, high schoolish gym.

The perfect storm for an inner city Big-5 battle.

“Philadelphia is a great basketball city especially in the Chaney days,” said Albert.

I was back to feeling like a kid again.

“Even now Temple has a great program with all that Fran Dunphy has done. And with Jay (Wright) at Villanova, everyone- media and fans- seems to love him.”

Whether or not Albert loves Jay Wright and Villanova is another story. His Alma Mater is Syracuse, fellow Big East rival.

But like everything he does, Albert stays professional- even if the Orangemen might pull off five overtime win with him at the mic.

“In my case I’ve done Syracuse in the past but I think objectivity is more important than anything else,” said Albert when I asked him if he had ‘Cuse circled on his bracket. “You just want a terrific game.”

I never did get that bracketology 101 from him but what I did learn is that Marv Albert know his basketball and he knows it well.

With the revolutionary teaming up of CBS and Turner Sports the NCAA is in good hands.

So who will Albert deem spine tingling moment worthy in this years NCAA tourney?

Only his voice will tell.

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Philadelphia Remains Home For Holmgren

For 32 seasons Paul Holmgren has been essential to the Philadelphia Flyers. On Tuesday the organization made it at least three more seasons.

The general manager’s contract extension comes just before the NHL All-Star break with the Flyers atop the Eastern Conference.

“I’m particularly proud of the job Paul Holmgren has done with our hockey club and excited to offer him this three-year extension,” said Comcast-Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider. “He continuously finds the right opportunities to improve our team and get us closer to our ultimate goal of winning the Stanley Cup.”

“Today is a great day for the Flyers. It’s a great day for not only our fans, but our players and our coaches, extending Paul [Holmgren],” Comcast-Spectacor President Peter Luukko added. “We felt based on many of Paul’s recent successes, including last season’s run through the Final and the tenacity of our team this season, that this was the right time to offer him a contract extension. This sends a message to our fans, players and coaches that we are committed to winning and our organization will be stable for years to come.”

Holmgren, 55, was assistant general manger for seven season before taking over the GM position November 11, 2006 after the resignation of Flyer legend Bobby Clarke. Since he took over the position, Holmgren has continued to root himself as a Flyers icon and as a geneneral manager who truely understands his team and the city that embraces them.

“Philadelphia is such a great sports town. I’m really honored and proud to be a part of what is going on here,” Holmgren said before Tuesdays game against Washington. “I think our fans are ravenous, and our fans are passionate. I think that all of the sports teams in this town are all pushing each other and pushing the envelope trying to win the championship in their respective sports. I look forward to trying to accomplish that goal over the next few years here with the Flyers.”

Holmgren nearly single-handedly turn around a team that was last place in the league when he took charge to within two wins of last seasons’ Stanley Cup Championship.

He has played a role in the building of the entire current Flyers staff and roster. After three straight playoff seasons it only seems right that Philadelphia would allow Holmgren to continue his pursuit to capture the Flyers first Stanley Cup since 1975, ironically the same year he began his Flyers career via the NHL Amateur Draft.

“I am truly excited about this opportunity,” said Holmgren. “I look forward to continuing to work closely with Mr. Snider and with Peter, along with our coaching staff and of course our players in pursuit of the ultimate goal here with the Flyers, and that is to win the Stanley Cup.”

With the organizations success with Holmgren at the helm, his Cup aspirations seem pretty promising in Philadelphia. “I think part of being a Flyer involves bringing your lunch pail to work. I don’t think that’s ever going away. That is part of our culture and tradition here.”

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