- The Weather Channel -- Once again, hard working journalists slumming it in the depths of the profession wind up having to defend their work because of the actions of television journalists milking coverage for ratings. I’m so tired of being told “I’m one of the good ones.” Seriously? That’s where we are at? Now, I like seeing Mike Seidel lashed to a lamp post as much as anyone, but are we really elevating the weatherman to the #fakenews level? Next, you are going to be shocked to find “reality television” is staged. TWC have been playing for ratings for years, naming blizzards, breaking out the storm jackets, chasing tornadoes and standing in water desperate to record any weather destruction it possibly can, because it sells. That said, know your memes. Do your research. Don’t send me ten-year-old images of Anderson Cooper standing in a ditch and try to sell it to me now. Not researching what you repost makes you the #fakenews.
- Kavanaugh allegations -- It is unfortunate how politically this is playing out. Republicans, desperate to get their man through before the midterms because they fear losing control and know this might be the last shot the Federalist Society gets for a while. Democrats, holding this card to the very last moment to force delays for more hearings and investigations for just that reason. That said, it’s pretty simple. If it did not happen, Kavanaugh should welcome any investigation to prove his innocence. If it did happen, there is no forgiveness without repent. Yes, it was a long time ago. It’s how he has treated it in the last 30 years that is a reflection on his character. Knee-jerk reactions based on ideology are beyond the pale.
- Bert and Ernie (and Big Bird, too) -- It came out this week (not intended) that a writer for Sesame Street acknowledged he had used his own relationship as a gay man to write Bert and Ernie’s relationship. The folks on the Street put out a statement reminding everyone they were puppets, and didn’t work that way. To me the joy of Sesame Street is that it was what you imagined it to be. To me, B&E were two kids with very absent parents, but whatever. I was an odd child. Another story claimed Sesame Street characters were coming off diapers because they were “too masculine.” To me, Big Bird was always female. What do I know? Call ‘em how ya see ‘em and just be happy.
- Recommended reading — Read “The ex-Green Beret who inspired Colin Kaepernick to kneel instead of sit during the anthem would like to clear a few things up” in the L.A. Times and see how both sides are getting it wrong.
- Shaving man -- Earlier this week, video surfaced of a man shaving on the train. Immediately, social media did what it does best and started shaming the man. Turns out he had been homeless, had a lifeline from a brother, and didn’t want to show up looking bad. Shame on who? Putting that aside, I road commuter trains for almost a decade, and I’ve seen it all. All I could think when it went viral, you sheltered folks obviously never spent a lifetime riding the rails.
- In my own back yard (the work one, anyway) -- From one of my papers this week: “Man arrested for indecent exposure at Manassas Giant grocery.” To bastardize a quote from Delmar in “O Brother, Where Art Thou?,” Oh, George… not the produce!
Published in the September 12, 2018 editions of the Fauquier Times, Gainesville Times and Prince William Times
Every September I wear a 9/11 pin on my lapel that says, “never forget.” Designed by a Philadelphia jeweler and sold in conjunction with Michael Smerconish on his radio program, all of the profits from sales go to 9/11 charities.
Not usually prone to such expenditures, I was drawn to it because the original charity benefiting was the Flight 93 memorial, heroes who should never be forgotten. The planes that hit the twin towers and the Pentagon that day left an indelible mark on their respective cities, but the plane that was forced down in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, before reaching its target, really only left some scorched earth on a hill. Their sacrifice deserves far better.
For many of us, 9/11 is like Pearl Harbor or the Kennedy assassination. We remember where we were and what we were doing when we first heard. I remember being woken up in time to see the second plane hit in real time. I remember that it was one of those bright, sunny September days where you don’t want to go to work, because summer is fading.
I remember that all hands were on deck at the paper, not because we received a call, just because we knew that was where we were needed. And it was a day where you wanted to be needed. To do something. All day culling stories, building pages and calling anyone we knew who might have witnessed something and had ties to our area. The entire day, the TV on in the background, as we watched the towers fall.
One of the remarkable aspects of a monumental moment such as 9/11 is the passage of time. Seventeen years have now passed. Today’s high-schoolers were too young to remember or had yet to be born. They have only known this country in a time of war.
And that’s one of the most important reasons we can never forget. The casualties of 9/11 are still happening today.
Just last week, in an insider attack, a U.S. servicemember became the sixth to die this year in America’s longest war. A war many in this country don’t really pay much mind to. A war longer than the Civil War, World War II, even Vietnam. A war that will soon be fought by many of those children currently in high school, and I’m starting to fear as I grow older, their children as well.
Meanwhile, five years after the death of Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda’s number two, Ayman al-Zawahiri is still out there. Whether he is the mastermind now, or simply a pretender, the videos keep coming. They just don’t make the news anymore. Bin Laden’s death may have provided a convenient bookend for many, but tell that to the men and women downrange.
Casualties happen here at home as well, and not just to those scarred by war.
A recent story in the Los Angeles Times documented the alarming level of cancer deaths among first responders and investigators exposed to toxins in the aftermath of the attacks. “It’s like Bin Laden is still reaching out from the grave,” FBI Agent Thomas O’Connor, president of the FBI Agents Association, is quoted as saying.
Not 17 years ago. Today.
Many first responders were lost that day. Many lives were lost in the wars that followed. And an increasing number are still dying. Each and every one should be remembered. They chose to sacrifice their lives for something greater: their fellow citizens in a moment of need, the safety of their nation from foreign attack.
That’s their legacy, and we should use it to dedicate ourselves to the greater good. To finding a way to bring those war fighters home. To do right by those FBI agents. None should die in vain or in the shadows.
Chris Six is Editor-In-Chief of the Times. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @christophersix1
This was written in the hours immediately following the horrific events in Annapolis.
I didn’t personally know anyone at the Capital Gazette. In a way, that was a surprise. We are a tight business, and we move around quite a bit. Thus, it wasn’t surprising to find out this evening through social media that there were only a couple degrees of separation.
But I knew every one of those people. I’ve worked with them for 25 years. We’ve shared highs and lows. Drinks and burgers. Marriages. Watched their children grow from newborns to adults. Divorces. Celebrated awards. Moved from apartments to houses. First jobs to retirement. Layoffs. Promotions. New opportunities. Some loved each other. Some hated each other. I know them. All across the world.
It sure did to me. I didn’t think about anything like this when I took my trash to the dump this morning. Or when I walked into the office today at 11:30, just in time to make a lunch meeting. But I did think about how easily this could have been any newspaper I have ever worked at. Where the community can feel free to walk in the front door and complain about a story. Or provide a tip. Or buy a single copy.
Or threaten us if we didn’t remove a story from our website.
I can’t say much more about them. I didn’t have the honor. I’ll let someone who knew them do so:
“There are no 40 hour weeks, no big paydays — just a passion for telling stories from our community. We keep doing more with less. We find ways to cover high school sports, breaking news, tax hikes, school budgets & local entertainment. We are there in times of tragedy. We do our best to share the stories of people, those who make our community better. Please understand, we do all this to serve our community.” — Jimmy DeButts, an editor at the Capital Gazette
Most people don’t get that. A surprising number to me, actually. I guess I’m odd, but there is nothing I prefer to do. In fact, everything else makes me miserable. There are times I want to look at everyone, take my toys and go home. But I can’t, because this is who I am. It’s difficult when the people I care about don’t get that, but so be it.
Which may be why I get so much joy out of this tweet:
'We are putting out a damn paper tomorrow': Capital Gazette journalists report on shooting in their own newsroom
You're damn right. That is the greatest tribute you can pay to these people. Because that is what we do.
Last weekend marked the third anniversary of President Trump’s ride down the escalator at Trump Tower to declare his candidacy for the Republican nomination, and those who follow politics marked the occasion, in no small part due to the fact that they discounted it as a humorous aside to the election cycle.
Count me among them.
Who knows where the final inspiration to run had come from. Trump had, of course, flirted with the idea for years. Like many, I theorize it had to do with the White House correspondents dinner, where President Obama had a laugh or two at “The Donald’s” expense (he insists it wasn’t the motivation). He’s notoriously thin-skinned. But, wounded as he may have been, I thought the run would be short for two reasons. One: It didn’t make business sense. And two: Evangelical Christians.
Simply put, on a stage where a number of candidates had far better religious credentials, I thought the career womanizer represented just about everything a true blooded conservative Christian would oppose.
That possibility, in hindsight, was laid to rest when Trump had his “Two Corinthians” moment at Liberty University. Despite his stumbling and bumbling, he left town with the evangelicals in his hip pocket, and the Republican nomination.
Keep in mind these were the same folks who backed impeachment of a sitting president just two decades before for consensual sex in the White House, finger wagging and splitting hairs over the definition of “is.” These same folks now backed a candidate caught on tape boasting of forcing himself on married women and grabbing women by the ____.
I submit: Faith. Trump promised what this group wanted to hear. They also decided his brand of politics would sway enough of the party to vote for him, so they’d best get on board. After all, they were never going to vote for Hillary. And with hardline conservatives in congress to push their agenda, the evangelicals felt he’d be kept on track. They knew balance of the Supreme Court was in play, and they’d get their conservative. Not to mention all those seats on the federal bench.
Perhaps some held their noses to do so, and perhaps they truly feel they can forgive whatever they like, even if he doesn’t ask for it. But for many, it seems to be a matter of blind faith. Trump may be a terrible person, but the Lord has chosen to work through him.
We all have different versions of faith. From those who believe without question to those who do not believe. Most fall somewhere in between. But those who question would be at a disadvantage in understanding how a group that had held the moral high ground for so long would appear to trade that in a New York minute. Blind faith allows it. Because they did not vote for Trump, they voted for the vessel through which the Lord would do his work. And really, that was nothing new, we just never understood the motive.
That comes at a price, however. At the very least, evangelicals come off as hypocrites. These same folks who peak through your windows and judge your actions suddenly rolled over in the political arena. The gave up their moral high ground. In the least, they may have dealt a serious blow to their cause far into the future.
But far worse, what if they are wrong?
My girlfriend’s son posted this for Father’s Day. I thought it was worthy of reposting:
Today on Father's Day, I get to reflect on the life of my life friend and dog, George. He was SHOT and KILLED around 9:00PM on June 13th, 2018. He was chasing the smell or trail of rabbit around a large area of the Fort Independence Reservation in Independence,California. This is an area where I frequently played outside with my dog and took him on walks. As I was distracted for only 1 minute by the construction of my good friend's, Aaron Dodds, house, I lost sight of George. Aaron and I were calling for George VERY LOUDLY by his name! Within only a few minutes, 2 shotgun shots boomed and were followed by the painful cry of my Dog being KILLED.
My dog George had wandered a few hundred feet from Aarons property, went 2 doors down being that no yards have a fence on this part of the reservation, and was SHOT and KILLED while I YELLED HIS NAME!
The man who committed this CRIME is a LOOSE CANNON and shot off his weapons within TENS OF FEET of NEIGHBORS/OTHER ANIMALS and within gun shot distance of homes including CHILDREN!! He took a part of me away that I can never get back and I hardly know him!
My Best Friend George was innocent and friendly to all people, children and adults, and animals alike. He lived with multiple indoor and outdoor CATS and KITTENS,OTHER DOGS, ADULTS, AND CHILDREN. He went to work with me for MONTHS GREETING PEOPLE at my Job at the MUSEUM OF WESTERN FILM HISTORY. THIS DOG HAD NO VISCIOUS OR MALICE INTENTENTIONS EVER!!! If he ever came off that way, which he very rarely did, it is because he was protecting his own or felt threatened by a being as he was trained to do!
MANY LOVED MY DOG! HE WAS A BEAUTIFUL SOUL!
I am sharing moments of his life that I cherish, including the KITTENS HE PLAYED WITH SINCE THEIR BIRTH! Alone without him, just his collar laying between where he would have been, innocently curious of these small creatures.
PLEASE REPOST IF YOU WISH TO SEE CHANGE IN ANIMAL CRUELTY!!
The time for grief is soon over.
The TIME FOR JUSTICE is NOW!!
STAND WITH ME AGAINST ANIMAL CRUELTY!!!
I don’t stand for cruelty to animals.
Random thoughts on the Eagles/White House controversy:
• I was lucky enough to be on the grounds in 2009 when the Phillies visited the White House. The visit had to be postponed due to the tragic death of Harry Kalas. It was a well attended affair, and one I know I will never forget. It was chock full of… well… ex-pat Philly fans working as journalists in DC. I don’t remember throngs of fans passing through security to see the photo op, so I’m not sure where “a thousand” Eagles fans were coming from. Particularly since it was widely reported several of those who attended, when pressed, had no idea who the Eagles QB was in the Super Bowl.
• It seems odd to me that only about 10 players planned to attend, when all is said and down. If it were near half, I’d buy that. Throwing out the large majority that didn’t vote, nearly half those who did supported Trump. That is usually reflected in an organization. To me, that implies an actual conflict developed, for whatever reason, or the player’s association stepped in and said don’t go. The NFL gains nothing by this. Not that I should be, but I don’t see where the team gains from this. The union makes sense, because the team and the league have been tight-lipped about it. That would also explain negotiations over a date when Trump would be out of town, to try to avoid a scene.
• Trump will always play hardball with the NFL. This has nothing to do with the flag or the anthem. This has everything to do with his failed attempts to join the NFL “club” for the last 40 years, or so. He will use his bully pulpit at every opportunity to put the league in a bad light, and if it plays to his base, that’s gravy.
• It is a tradition for championship teams to be invited to the White House. For a president to get some swag, a photo op, and heap a little glory on the celebration. The players get a tour, and everyone gets to press a little flesh. It is an honor, and citizens are within their rights to turn down that honor. For some reason, given all the water under the bridge, it feels some view it is an obligation to bend the knee and kiss the ring. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I can honor the office without honoring the resident, if I so choose. Many would have agreed with me just a few short years ago. Rest assured, they don’t now.
• It doesn’t make me popular, but people fought and died for the right not to salute a flag or stand during the national anthem. These are symbols of our country, but they are not the country. The country is our Constitution. The laws which bind us, and allow for freedom of expression. The Founders fought for that right. If they hadn’t protested, we’d still be British.
• It is a sad state of affairs that we have allowed this to degenerate into something it wasn’t. Colin Kaepernick’s decision to take a knee was at the suggestion of a veteran, citing soldiers taking a knee to salute fallen comrades. It was a way to make his statement while still honoring the sacrifices of those who gave him the right to speak out. Lost now in the noise of those who refuse to listen or arm themselves with facts is a sizable portion of our society feels targeted and in danger. All I can say is I have heard stories from friends about being profiled that I found shocking. There seem to be statistics to back that up. Short of walking in the other man’s shoes, it might be best not to judge.
• It would all be a lot simpler if our athletes “just dribbled” and kept their mouths shut. If actors would just act. Maybe that’s because we want to believe they think like us and if we met on the street we’d be friends. Well, that’s not how it works. With celebrity comes a platform. It can even get you elected president. Most of us aren’t celebrities, and we spout our unsolicited opinion to anyone and everyone on social media. That all gonna change because you’re famous? Didn’t think so.
• Yes, these football players make a lot of money. They also get their bodies and minds destroyed. You didn’t mind when they were laying it out week after week so you could bandwagon and gloat over how “we” won. And most aren’t going to care what happens to these guys in a few years. They are no more or less citizens of this country because they are paid to play football, and have every right to exercise their liberty as they see fit, so long as it doesn’t violate the law.
Published in the June 6, 2018 edition of The Fauquier Times
For as long as I can remember, they’ve been telling me newspapers were in trouble. But of my former employers, only the small daily where I started my career in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, no longer exists.
The circulation was 6,000. I was the “full-time,” 30-hour-a-week sportswriter. That meant they could work you 38 and not pay benefits. If I didn’t live with my parents, I couldn’t have made a living. When it rained, water came pouring through the ceiling of the “sports annex” into an industrial-sized Rubbermaid next to my desk.
I loved it. So much so that I changed my college major from broadcast to print. Why? Because community journalism matters.
But this column isn’t about that newspaper.
It’s about where I’m at now, almost 30 years later: The Fauquier Times. And it’s about a daily that still holds an important place in my heart: The Mercury, in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.
The Mercury was facing the same difficulties facing every newspaper faced when I arrived in 1998: shrinking ad revenue, shrinking circulation, what to do with the internet. But good journalism was still happening. And boy, did we have fun. In many ways, I think it was the last of the good old days.
Three photographers, a half a dozen reporters, two copy editors, a five-person sports crew. Multiple editors. From 4 in the afternoon until midnight, it’s where the action was.
These were people who cared about the community they served. Working all hours. After deadline, going for burgers and beers together. We loved what we did, who we did it with and the community we were doing it for. I look back on those days and curse the foolishness of youth that led me to chase dreams elsewhere.
A handful of those good journalists remain, as recent coverage of the YMCA’s attempt to leave Pottstown proves. But as a friend who continues to fight the good fight assured me, I would have been axed years ago. You see, the newspaper’s parent company, Digital First Media, is owned by Alden Global Capital, a hedge fund that has very different goals for its properties.
You might have heard of Alden and Digital First. They have been in the news lately:
• Niemanlab.org: “Newsonomics: Alden Global Capital is making so much money wrecking local journalism it might not want to stop anytime soon.”
• Bloomberg: “Imagine If Gordon Gekko Bought News Empires. The reality is even worse: This raider sinks decimated newsrooms’ revenue into bad investments.”
• Philadelphia Inquirer: “Philly’s Digital First papers face harsh cuts, potential ‘lights-out scenario’”
• Denver Post editorial: “As vultures circle, The Denver Post must be saved”
• MPR News’ NewsCut: “Newspaper employees wonder who will cover their plight”
Digital First recently made news by purchasing the Boston Herald.
• Boston Business Journal: “Digital First lays off Boston Herald managers, workers”
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Alden has done something besides strike a blow to community journalism: They’ve profited from it. For years, we have heard journalism is not profitable. It seems we have been proven wrong.
Quoting the NiemanLab story:
“Today we can reveal some key financial numbers from the very private company that shows just how successful Alden and DFM have been at milking profit out of the newspapers it is slashing to the bone. DFM reported a 17-percent operating margin — well above those of its peers — in its 2017 fiscal year, along with profits of almost $160 million. That’s the fruit of the repeated cutbacks that have left its own shrinking newsrooms in a state of rebellion.”
News came Friday that The Mercury is being kicked out of its historic home. This isn’t a surprise; the building should probably be condemned. I understand parts of it have been left to rot to a point that it is uninhabitable. Workers have been told they can work remotely or at the centralized plant in Exton. Unfortunately, that’s 30 minutes away, not in Pottstown.
The newspaper is being physically removed from its community. Now, good reporters will still be present, but think about it for a minute. Think about access this community enjoys to its local newspaper. Think about stopping by to subscribe, pick up a copy, drop off a letter to the editor, plan an ad or talk to a reporter or editor. Imagine that gone.
The Fauquier Times offers something different than disinterested corporate entities or hedge funds: local ownership comprised of investors who want to be proud of their newspaper. Who thought so much of that cause, they went and bought it.
I saw a lot of promise in that. It’s what drew me here from a relatively stable job at Stars and Stripes. I saw possibilities for the future of community newspapers, and a model for how it could work that others could follow. I wanted to be a part of that.
It hasn’t been easy. There have been challenges along the way. But exciting things are happening. We’ve redesigned. Added section fronts. Expanded coverage. Branched out into new mediums. We are learning and we are growing. The possibilities are endless.
To me, community journalism is a sacred trust. We are uniquely positioned to tell the stories of this community in ways no other organization can. We believe in this community: its people, its businesses, its causes. That means sharing the good things that are happening, as well as serving as the community’s watchdog.
I’ve shown you how easily that trust can be betrayed. You and I each have an investment in this cause. By buying a newspaper in print or online, or subscribing, you invest in our future. And through our work and dedication, we invest in our community. It’s a symbiotic relationship. All of us. Together.
Chris Six is the Editor-in-Chief of the Times. Email him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @christophersix1
One of the joys of living in DC on and off the last 30 years was having a strong public radio station. When I was in college at American University, I listened to “A Prairie Home Companion” on the station with the callsign of my own university, WAMU. It is a relationship that prevailed over the years, even when I moved out of the city to West Virginia, primarily because of two programs: Ed Walker’s “The Big Broadcast” and Rob Bamberger’s “Hot Jazz Saturday Night.”
Sadly, Mr. Walker passed away a couple of years ago, and no one else is the same for me. But his exit was natural. Mr. Bamberger’s was something else:
“In the likely (and understandable) event you were watching the Caps play tonight instead of listening to HJSN, I wanted to share with you that WAMU announced earlier this evening a slate of upcoming program changes. Among them is the cancellation of Hot Jazz Saturday Night. My last broadcast will be on June 23rd. You can find a link to the station’s press release on the home page, www.wamu.org.
The station will be moving LIVE FROM HERE, the successor to A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION, to air 8:00-10:00, followed by LIVE WIRE, at 10:00 P.M. Judy Carmichael’s JAZZ INSPIRED will be replaced with an additional hour of news from the BBC.
If you wish to hear my comment from this evening’s program, it begins roughly ten minutes into the final hour. The program stream should be available tomorrow. I will try to arrange for it to be excerpted, with a separate link, on Monday.
I am seeing so many wonderful expressions of sorrow and support. Thank you all.”
A unique local program, one that has actively supported the local jazz scene, has been replaced by canned content. Public radio content, but canned, nonetheless.
Certainly this decision was financial, but listeners have supported this station, ad specifically this program, for years. I understand, it’s a business. Even public radio. But I am also making a business decision. I’m done with WAMU. The national programming I can get from WV Public Broadcasting, and the public affairs doesn’t interest me. “Hot Jazz Saturday Night” was my reason for continuing to listen. You have told me you don’t need me.
So be it.
Rob Bamberger, thank you for your time and your talent. I still remember seeing you at the Starland Café listening to Brooks Tegler’s group. DC jazz royalty. As a jazz fan and mediocre musician, I thank you for all you have done to promote jazz of the 20s, 30s and 40s, as well as the modern artists who dedicate themselves to that sound, and the local jazz scene.
You will be missed.
I’m in the complaint business.
It didn’t start out that way, but it’s the end result of the journey I’ve been on as a journalist. As a reporter, you hear complaints, but they are typically about others. In production, I could hide in my office and no one knew who I was. But as Editor-in-Chief, well, everybody knows your extension.
To paraphrase Airplane!’s Rex Kramer, it's his ship now, his command. He's in charge, the boss, the head man, top dog, big cheese, a head honcho, number...
Folks complain about everything. It’s too hard to read. There’s not enough. We didn’t cover this. We didn’t do that. We spelled this wrong. I don’t understand your website. And a million other things. You have to have a thick skin, and be a good representative for the organization.
It’s the territory, and I accept that. But it is an interesting window for observing people.
I’m not immune to complaining. I’m not going to lie, because the people in my house would call me on that. If I see something I don’t think is right, I’m going to say something about it. I’ll vent. I sometimes even howl at the moon. I’m pretty sure we all do that.
But if I’m going to bring it up to somebody, other than in myself and those in and my immediate vicinity, it’s because I have a goal in mind. I can make things better. Someone can help things toward a more satisfactory solution.
Otherwise, vent and move on. What’s the point? As the great Mickey Rivers said, “Ain't no sense worryin' about the things you got control over, 'cause if you got control over 'em, ain't no sense worryin'. And ain't no sense worryin' about the things you don't got control over, 'cause if you don't got control over 'em, ain't no sense worryin'.”
All you’re gonna do is give yourself an aneurism. Or a coronary. It’s just pissing in the wind. You can bounce off the walls all you want, nothing is going to be different when you are done.
But I’m starting to think that puts me in the minority. Seems to me a lot of people complain just for the sake of complaining. Because, more often than not, when you offer the olive branch, and attempt to rectify the situation for the aggrieved, they give you the brush off. The high hat.
Everyone is entitled to behave the way they want, I suppose, but I guess I just don’t see the payoff.
As I say, I’m not immune to anger. But in the end, Mickey is right. If you can change it, do so, if you can’t, drop it. In every situation there are a whole bunch of things going on you probably don’t understand. Live and let live. A majority of the time you’ll never see that person you feel wronged you again.
So I vent it. Open the safety valve, and let it go. Process and be done.
I try to look at all situations in terms of return on investment. The only one I’m hurting by carrying that grudge is myself. Seems to me I’ll live a lot healthier life if I just let it lie.
I’m a Philly sports fan. With the exception of DC United and a brief dalliance with the Cubs in the early 80s when the Phillies traded my hero, Larry Bowa, I’m a Philly fan through and through.
Chad Ogea. The Process. Marion Campbell. Rich Kotite. Nick Leyva. I remember some awful Flyers teams. Sil Campusano. Charlie Hayes. Rick Schu. LaSalle Thompson. I’ve seen a lot of crap in my time.
And I’m still a Philly fan. And I realize saying that sparks one of two responses: Pity or revulsion.
I get it. We’re loud. We’ve got chips on our shoulders from all the losing. We can’t shut up when we win. Yes, we’ve earned some of it. But some of it... well, you try hearing that damn Santa Claus story again. It was 50 years ago.
But I can feel your pain. You see, I have avoided WIP, Philly’s famous sports station, like the plague much of my life. And thankfully, I left town before The Fanatic made it big. Because if you want to hear nonsense that makes you want to repeatedly hit yourself over the head with a hammer, listen to the talk personalities on sports radio, and the sycophants who call in. They may not have much in common, but I’m pretty sure they don’t watch the game.
These are the people who called for Charlie Manuel and Doug Pedersen’s heads before they won championships. Nick Foles should have been cut. Rhys Hoskins is becoming Dom Brown. Embiid, Simmons and now Fultz are busts. Trade ‘em all. Fire ‘em all.
Put you out of my misery.
I moved to Washington, DC in 2003, and while I miss my trips to the stadium complex, one thing I did not miss was that drivel. DC sports radio is invisible. Controversy in DC sports is nonexistent (I’m sure the local would disagree, but boy, is it tame down here).
Over time technology has allowed me to watch the Phils, Birds, Sixers and Fly-guys with the hometown broadcasts like I was listening or watching to the local stations. I could read the local sports news, too. Ah, but the Internet is a double-edged sword.
All of the worst aspects of talk radio, with the added anonymity of the Internet. What could possibly be better?
Take all the comments from your lovable Trumpers on the right, and all your lovable anti-Trumpers on the left, shake ‘em up and you will have more lucid, coherent arguments than you will ever find commenting on a story on the NBC Sports Philly website.
Just shut up! Shut up, shut up, shut up! Just stop it! No wonder the world hates us. I hate us, too. You have no credibility. Proof? We tried it your way once. You pressured the Eagles to run Big Red out of town to hire Chip Kelly. That was you! How’d that work out? Enough!
Seriously, I know it's not easy being a Philadelphia sports fan. We had to wait a lifetime to celebrate a Super Bowl. But the Phillies are finally climbing out of the cellar. The Process is starting to pay off. And the Flyers... well, they're the Flyers. We have tradition, history, rituals, and legendary voices. Enjoy it. Because it won't be long before all you will be able to do is talk about how great the old guys were.
Chris Six is Editor-in-Chief of the Fauquier Times, Gainesville Times, Prince William Times and related publications, based in Warrenton, Va. His work has also appeared in Stars and Stripes, The (Pottstown) Mercury, The Reading Eagle, The Lancaster Newspapers and The (Coatesville) Record Newspapers, all located in southeastern Pa. He has also contributed to several websites and blogs.