Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Friday, January 25, 2008

Author Dave Fleming talks with the Coal Region Voice

Short Q and A with Dave Fleming author of "Breaker Boys: The NFL's Greatest Team and the Stolen 1925 Championship".
1.) Since the book's release in October, what has been the biggest surprise since that time? The letter received from President Bush?
I was shocked and thrilled by the letter from the president but the biggest surprise has been the level of emotion and commitment the coal region has for the Maroons. I knew people were interested in the story and were connected to the team but I had no idea just how strong a symbol the team has become for the region. Not just the success of the team but, I think, the lack of recognition and respect for the Maroons is a metaphor for the entire region. I was shocked at how many people just broke down trying to explain what the Maroons meant to them. To be even a small part of this team, this region and this fight is a great honor.
2.) Before beginning your research on the book, what are some of the things that surprised you about Pottsville and the Anthracite Region.
I alluded to this a bit in No. 1 but, I confess, I didn't have the proper respect for coal mining, the important roll it played in the development of the world and the men who fueled the world one fistful of coal at a time. The best advice I got before sitting down to write the book was to go down into a mine to get perspective on these men and this region and I think the first 75 pages of the book truly shows how much I was moved by that experience. After that the town and the times really became characters in the book.
3.) Do you think the Anthracite Region had a bigger part in shaping the NFL than just the Maroon's contribution?
The last stat I read said that something like 23 NFL Hall of Famers were from Pennsylvania and that five players who have played in the Super Bowl have connections to Pottsville. It's not a coincidence that this proud, rugged region has always been a go-to spot for college football recruiters. Pennsylvania is the birthplace of pro football and I know western PA has gotten a lot of attention and credit but the Maroons were first--and probably best. You only need to attend a PAHS football game to understand how special football is in this region. (I've been to two and the Tide is 2-0 in those games, by the way.)
4.) You will be attending the Super Bowl between the Giants and Patriots. What was the first Super Bowl that you attended?
Actually, it was 12 years ago at the last Super Bowl in Phoenix. I watched a fan bury himself in horse manure to try and win Super Bowl tickets and I haven't found a better metaphor, yet, for the unbelievable hype of the game.
5.) Has there been any big changes from when you first attended?
It's funny, when I first started people were desperate for even a close game. I remember sitting in the Georgia Dome watching the final minutes of the Titans-Rams unfold and just watching with my mouth wide open at the great finish. There is so much hype leading up to the game (to which I certainly contribute) and there's no worse feeling after all that to sit through a boring blowout. The other really big change is that when I switched from Sports Illustrated to ESPN I started getting invited to the Playboy Super Bowl Party. Talk about a life changing event!
6.) Why have the last few Super Bowl's been the most competitive?
The contrasting economic forces of free agency and the salary cap have created a level of parity in the NFL that is reflected in the Super Bowl. (Wow, that answer sounded like the debate scene from Old School when Will Ferrell blacks out for a second. Sorry.)
7.) If you could be NFL Commissioner for one day, what would change?
After I delivered the 1925 NFL championship trophy to City Hall in Pottsville, had lunch with Jim Brown and convinced the Arizona Cardinals to hire Matt Millen as their lifetime GM, I would look into shrinking the schedule and expanding team rosters. Following the league up close I'm disturbed by the amount of injuries in the league--not just the crippling, long-term effect it has on players but the way it's watering down the product--you don't want a league where injuries (and a lack of talent depth) becomes more important than skill and preparation.
8.) Thank you very much for taking the time for the Q and A.
My pleasure. The fact that Breaker Boys has been out for four months and people are still talking about the book, the team and the cause is really a tribute to the grass roots efforts of so many Maroons fans and bloggers like yourself who have tirelessly spread the word. Every day I hear from someone who knows someone who knows someone from Schuylkill County--I swear. It's something I call Maroons Magic. Ya know, I really think we've turned a very, very important corner in the fight. I have had to fight for coverage of the team and the book for a long time and this past week, without any prompting, papers in Chicago, Allentown and Lebanon called wanting to do stories, the book will be in two straight issues of ESPN The Magazine, I just did a segment on Comcast Network and HBO is also putting something together. All of your efforts are paying off and I am deeply indebted to all Maroons fans.
HBO was in Pottsville to interview Kevin Keating and Jack Dolbin for an upcoming NFL special to air on January 30th.
The interview is crossposted at the Save the Maroons Blog.


U.S. Asking Iraq for Wide Rights on War

With its authority in Iraq set to expire, the Bush administration will also seek to guarantee civilian contractors specific legal protections from Iraqi law, according to administration and military officials.

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Advertiser sues Don Imus for unscripted comments

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A book publisher that bought an ad on Don Imus's radio show is suing the shock jock and his former bosses at CBS Radio for more than $4 million, saying Imus insulted the book he was paid to promote. It was the latest controversy...

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Defending Hillary

The Politico: Bush budget won't fully fund Iraq war

President leaves his successor and the next Congress to battle over funding the troops.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

WSJ - Price of oil in gold

even if the price of a gallon of gas goes past $3 and stays there. Energy prices are simply keeping pace with the rising prices of gold and other commodities. What we are facing is a money crisis: an alarming outbreak of inflation and all its consequences.

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Just One More Year! Good Riddance to George W Bush

Today is a sombre milestone, marking the start of the last of Mr Bush's eight years in the White House. This being a leap year, exactly 366 days remain until 20 January 2009, when his successor will be sworn into office. It is a time when incumbents look to their legacies. And for this President the view could scarcely be bleaker.

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Monday, January 21, 2008

John McCain, Neocon

The neoconservatives, who believe, or pretend to believe, that supposed foes abroad always represent new Hitlers and that wimpy liberals are about to recapitulate the appeasement that English liberals espoused in the 1930s, are constantly searching for a new Churchill.

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Who won???

In the girls basketball game between Lourdes Regional and Shikellamy, two different newspapers reported two different winners. The Daily Item had Shikellamy winning 59-58 while the News-Item had Lourdes Regional winning 58-54.

I guess now I have to make a phone call to see who won after buying both newpapers.

The Fraud of Bushenomics: They’re Looting the Country

The voodoo economics the Bushies have sold America obscure their systematic fleecing of the nation's public wealth.

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Southern Columbia's Colby Snyder named to Dream Team

Southern Columbia's Colby Snyder is a memeber of the 2007 WNEP Dream Team.

Bucknell 73, Holy Cross 65

Bucknell`s Justin Castleberry scored 22 points and Steven Tyree broke a 46-46 tie to ignite a 12-4 run in the final minutes Friday night to defeat Holy Cross 73-65.

If you want to read about "hell" or the place that substitutes as a gym for Holy Cross. read the account by Tom Housenick in the Daily-Item.

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Shamokin Basketball faces tough back-to-back games

With last nights weather cancelling some of the local sports schedule, the Shamokin Area Indians now have a game tonight at North Schuylkill and a Division I contest at Blue Mountain tomorrow night.

With two wins, the Indians would let the rest of the league know they could be leaving with a bang come the middle of February.

Chess Master Bobby Fischer Dies at 64

If you get a chance to watch an interview he did with Jeremy Shaap view it. You could name the line between genius and madness after Bobby Fischer.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

George of Arabia: Better Kiss Your Abe 'Goodbye'

Bush needs the Saudis to charge us big bucks for oil. The Saudis can’t lend the US Treasury and Citibank hundreds of billions of US dollars unless they first get these US dollars from the US. The high price of oil is a tax levied by Bush but collected by the oil industry and the Gulf kingdoms to fund our multi-trillion dollar government.

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Jenna Bush Planning May 10 Wedding

Going to the Chapel!!!!! I am shocked it's not at the White House.

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Barry Lando: Bush of Arabia -- What the Talk Shows Missed

For instance, as Bush was dancing with King Abdullah, the King's nephew, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, was increasing his stake in Citigroup. This was not the first time the Prince had invested in the stricken company. In fact, he was already Citigroup's largest individual shareholder: Kingdom Holding, which he controls, owns 3.6% of Citirgoup.

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Former GOP Lawmaker Charged in Terror Conspiracy

A former GOP congressman and delegate to the United Nations was indicted Wednesday on charges of working for an alleged terrorist fundraising ring that sent more than $130,000 to an al-Qaida supporter who has threatened U.S. and international troops in Afghanistan.

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Pryor a Buckeye??????

This could be a logical explanation with only 20 days to go.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

ABC News: Bush Makes Private Oil Plea to Saudi King

After being denied in public............

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Pryor changes plans to visit Penn State!

For now Penn State out, LSU in the hunt for Terrelle Pryor. PSU forum sizzling on Pennlive.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Barry Lando: Shadow Play in the Middle East

What really is going on Saudi Arabia???

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One less in 10th Congressional Race

Tara Roadarmel/The Daily ItemDonald J. Ely, left, drops out of the race for the Republican nomination in the 10th Congressional District on Monday and endorses Luzerne County businessman Dan Meuser. Tara Roadarmel/The Daily Item /

Retired school teacher, Don Ely, one of the first to add his hat to the 2008 10th Congressional Election has quit the race against Chris Carney and supported the campaign of Dan Meuser.

Ely used the opportunity to criticize current officeholder U.S. Rep. Chris
Carney, who has just began his second year in office.

“I believe Dan Meuser is the candidate who can unite conservatives and defeat the masquerade of liberalism named Chris Carney, who I feel should not have been elected in the first place,” Ely said.

The above quote was taken from the New-Item and you could read the rest of the article here.
If you look at Meuser's website linked above. Number two on his list is the traditional 2nd Amendment argument. Pass out the guns and cruise missiles. In the war on terror, he talks about Iran's growing nuclear threat. Maybe Mr. Meuser or his webmaster need to watch CNN just a little bit more.

Shamokin deck Shikellamy in Wrestling!

Indians pull out a big win against the Braves. According to the News-Item, this may be the last match of the rivalry for sometime.

Monday, January 14, 2008

President Bush in Saudi Land: Questions to Ask the Prince.

While President Bush visits Saudi Arabia, there are questions that need to be asked. My question is why does the price of gas go down from the time I pump it to the time I pay for it?

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And The Great Debt Crisis Begins

The basic problem faced by the US economy right now is excessive debt caused by recklessly low interest rates from the Federal Reserve.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Klebon's Return has Tiger's back in the hunt!

The Southern Columbia basketball engine is starting to rev it's engine with Colin Klebon back on the court. Look at the damage he and Foster Renn did last night.

Bucknell continues to struggle with their offense doing a Houdini act at critical junctures of games. Jason Vetgotsky and Darren Mastropaolo did return to the lineup.

I have been busy like everyone around the holidays, got to watch a few bowl games (what a joke), and even did some ice skating (and lived to tell about it.)
Will someone step up and finally have a playoff in college football in the last division that doesn't? Ohio State (not making Big Ten excuses) played their last game on November 17th and are expected to be sharp on January 7th. By the way, January 7th is almost a full week later than the traditional New Year's Day end to college football.
Best games? Penn State and A & M, or Michigan and Florida.
Did anyone notice Penn State won their bowl game and weren't ranked in the Top 25? Did that ever happen?
A book that should be required reading for the new year. Read Breaker Boys by Dave Fleming. You will receive a local and sports history lesson all rolled into one.
2008 promises to be an interesting year both in Pennsylvania and national politics. In Pennsylvania, 2008 promises to be the year of smoke. First addressing the Clean Indoor Air Act and blowing smoke about possible reform in state government aka open records. Look for a completly gutted bill by the time it reaches Governor Rendell. We don't want to offend those casino owners. Keep that property rebate coming.
A "no brainer" would be to pass the Colon Cancer Screening Bill or SB 146.
Maybe the biggest sporting event of the year will be the 2008 presidential election. After two primaries, the nomination in both parties is still up for grabs. There are a couple of things I did like about the primaries:
- the voters got involved and big money took a backseat. Hillary(100 million in the warchest) got hammered in Iowa while McCain almost broke won NH.
- pollsters were duped (this is a good thing)
- the journalism that came out of NH was awful. The pundits got hammered.
With Rudy wanting an English test required for citzenship this has to be the funniest ad of the campaign so far (look what's airing in Florida).

Thursday, January 10, 2008

ESPN Magazine and the Pottsville Maroons

It was reported in the Pottsville Republican Herald that ESPN the Magazine will be doing a story on the Maroons.

In doing some more digging in the Maroons, Cardinals and the Bidwell family. I found this bit of information. The Cardinals got their nickname from borrowed uniforms from the University of Chicago who incidentally were nicknamed the Maroons.

Crossposted at the Save the Maroons Blog.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

2007 Len Eshmont Award Winner

For the fourth year in a row and eighth time overall, the 2007 winner of the Len Eshmont Award is Bryant Young.

The award is named after the former Mount Carmel Township and Fordham star who was a member of the original 1946 San Francisco 49er's. This is the 51st time the award has been given.