Freelance writer. Editor and web-video producer. Former Atlantic City Press and Philadelphia Weekly staff writer, City Paper managing editor/columnist and Dougherty for Senate campaign manager. Comments welcome here or emailed to brianhickey9 [at] hotmail. Now on: Facebook (Brian Hickey, in Philly) Twitter at www.twitter.com/brianhickey Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/people/brianhickey/. Be sure to check out Hickey on Divorce Court: divorcecourting.blogspot.com.
30 June 2006
29 June 2006
Only because Brazil plays tomorrow
The view down the street
Shit's crazy in East Falls right about now, considering the Kraken swam all up the Schuylkill and flooded the place. Here's what it looks like about a half mile down the hill, a photo proudly stolen from Philebrity.
Why is a fat, fatty, fat boy in today's Inquirer?
When you get married and buy a house, money starts to dry up. Especially if you're a writer. This explains why I don't waste 50 cents on the Inquirer when I can read it online (Daily News, another story). Apparently though, some things can be lost in translation from paper to Web site, because I just can not figure out what the hell this is all about:
Posted on Thu, Jun. 29, 2006
'I've been called fat so much... I just brush it off'
Dontae Hardin, who at 14 is 5 feet, 4 inches, and 180 pounds, talked to his classmates about being overweight.
"Fat. Fatty. Fat boy... . I've been called fat so much that it doesn't even bother me anymore. I just brush it off and keep climbing the stairs that we call life. I don't care what people think about me, because I have pride in who I am.
And no one can take that away from me."
"Get 'em, Dontae!" classmate Naibria Reid yells, as students applaud.
Um, good for Dontae and all, but somebody, ANYbody tell me what the hell this means? (And I wonder if anybody in Brazil's still calling Ronaldo a fat, fatty, fat boy. Photo from si.com)
28 June 2006
This week's column ...
27 June 2006
Here's what happens when the N.J. legislature has excessive free time
From my old stomping grounds, the Press of Atlantic City, comes word that my older stomping grounds, Jersey yo, will now require tattoo artists to be of "good moral character." Surely, I won't jest since I don't know any tattoo artists and wouldn't dare presume any of them would be of enough bad moral character to be sentenced to the ninth circle of hell, the circle of liars, the circle of tray-tors... (Cape Fear set photo from deniro.by.ru)
Stay classy, Gulf Coast inmates
From today's New York Times, an uplifting story of people coming together to help others stare down adversity and thrive. Go America!
WASHINGTON, June 26 — Among the many superlatives associated with Hurricane Katrina can now be added this one: it produced one of the most extraordinary displays of scams, schemes and stupefying bureaucratic bungles in modern history, costing taxpayers up to $2 billion.
A hotel owner in Sugar Land, Tex., has been charged with submitting $232,000 in bills for phantom victims. And roughly 1,100 prison inmates across the Gulf Coast apparently collected more than $10 million in rental and disaster-relief assistance.
There are the bureaucrats who ordered nearly half a billion dollars worth of mobile homes that are still empty, and renovations for a shelter at a former Alabama Army base that cost about $416,000 per evacuee.
And there is the Illinois woman who tried to collect federal benefits by claiming she watched her two daughters drown in the rising New Orleans waters. In fact, prosecutors say, the children did not exist.
Brazil: Where every game-day is Fan Appreciation Day
The boys from the Netherlands are out. (Hiss.) But at least we may have 13 more days of Brazil. And I vow to scour the cyber-earth for fan shots each time they play. (If you have find any of your own, feel free to send them along to email@example.com; I'm certainly not averse to running them on off days.) (photo from dailytimes.com.pk)
26 June 2006
No, this has nothing to do with the Phillies' inexplicable, and unforgiveable, decision to start a wife beater against Schilling on Saturday. Rather, the overheated aftermath of David Beckham's killer free-kick goal against Ecuador yesterday. (Yes, Victoria, he's puking on the field about 10 minutes later. Photo from The Sun in London)
24 June 2006
World Cup Picks
Ok, so the Germany game's already over and I forgot to post these first, so I'd better get it in before Argentina/Mexico starts in a few:
Round of 16:
Germany over Sweden*
Argentina 3, Mexico 1
Italy 2, Australia 0
Ukraine 1, Switzerland 1; Ukraine advances on penalty kicks
England 1, Ecuador 0
Netherlands 2, Portugal 2; Netherlands on penalty kicks
Brazil 3, Ghana 1
Spain 1, France 0
Round of 8:
Argentina 2, Germany 1
Italy 3, Ukraine 0
Netherlands 1, England 0
Brazil 1, Spain 1; Brazil advances on penalty kicks
Argentina 2, Italy 0
Brazil 3, Netherlands 1
Third Place Game:
Netherlands 3, Italy 2
Brazil 3, Argentina 2; Brazil scores in OT, their fans go crazy.
Two noteworthy deaths
Is there a statute of limitations in the afterworld? And if so, could the king of empty-calorie television find a way to squeeze his daughter into a six-year-old beauty-queen costume for his latest Fox dramedy about a baby ghost exacting revenge upon those who used her to live out their unfulfilled dreams? (Photo from the Daily Camera)
The ladies, they loved him.
Man thanks to Connorso for this story, um, tip. (Insert ten-year itch joke here)
23 June 2006
Tis the weekend ...
... and this one's getting off to a glamrock-tastic start thanks to a one-armed drummer and the rest of his band.
22 June 2006
A Web site you don't want to end up on
It's rare to be able to encorporate the term "knocked up" into the column. Which is why this is a glorious week.
21 June 2006
What'd you expect, it's Pittsburgh
The Squirrel Hill woman accused of causing the motorcycle crash that injured Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been hammered by angry fans since the wreck. Martha Fleishman, 62, who was cited for failing to yield the right of way to Roethlisberger's motorcycle, has received harassing telephone calls, city police said Monday. She also has been the target of vicious Internet attacks. -- Pittsburgh Tribune Review
First-ever Philly Blunt caption contest
Dear Death Penalty Foes ...
This week's column...
... since I'll be off on a Krupa's bus trip to the Phillies vs. Yankees game tonight, I won't be posting this week's column until tomorrow, when I roll out of bed to watch the U.S. Ghana game. (I'm smelling a 1-1 tie which, unfortunately, sends the U.S. home; and on a related note, we worked the World Cup brackets out at the Khyber yesterday, and it's beginning to look a lot like Argentina and Brazil in the finals. But that can change with the quickness.)
Oh yeah, the column. Since I'm not posting it early as promised, here's a hint as to the subject matter.
(Photo from theodoresworld.net)
Heat is On
I have no idea why but I've found myself secretly rooting for Shaq in recent years, considering I'm all 'bout the underdogs and Shaq is anything but an underdog.
Kobe? Definitely has something to do with it.
The self-given nicknames? Well, the Big Aristotle is pretty bad ass.
Or, it may very well be the pimped-out hats he's been sporting. (See the MTV photo for an example)
So needless to say, I'm a little disappointed that I passed out before the end of last night's NBA Final game, the one in which Shaq and D Wade proved you needn't have a penchant for bending hotel workers over chairs and having your way with them to win a basketball championship.
20 June 2006
Going, Going, Gone
New frontrunner in '07 Mayor's Race
Look out, Dougherty, Evans, Fattah, Knox, Nutter and Saidel.
Why I love N.Y. Sports today
Marshall tried to introduce a diary, purportedly kept by Michael Strahan, into evidence, but was rebuffed by the judge. She asked Strahan if he remembered using it to keep a record of Jean's menstrual cycles and all the times they had sex. "I don't keep notes on sex," he snapped.
He noted that he and Jean had "tried everything" to have children - "from Chinese herbs to acupuncture. She went to anyone who would listen. "We went to see the doctor who supposedly did Celine Dion, and it worked the first time around."
"We have to get better," said Johnny Damon, who had one of the Yankees' seven hits. "Not too many guys are hitting or pulling their weight."
I would suppose not, Johnny. You just lost to the phucking Phillies.
The first step toward justice denied
So, the dirtbag that killed a cop - Officer Gary Skerski - will be in court today. Should be one hell of a preliminary hearing, even though it's merely academic that the killer won't pay for his crimes with his life (a death penalty conviction that's actually carried out), as he should. (Photo from jfkmurdersolved.com)
19 June 2006
On sports and the applicable cartoon reaction
From Mike Kern's U.S. Open story in the Daily News:
"Mickelson stood on the final tee holding a one-shot lead. So even a bogey would have left him in an 18-hole playoff today. But he proceeded to push his drive way left. His next shot caught a tree and came down in the rough in front of him. His third again went left into a greenside sand trap. His blast out rolled all the way across the putting surface and into more nasty stuff. From there, the best he could do was pitch it back 10 feet past the cup. At least he made the putt for double bogey."
From the Edmonton Journal, tonight's Stanley Cup Finals Game 7 aka the finest event in all of sports:
"They have done it, without a doubt. They haven't merely elevated their game, they've lifted an entire, hockey-wild city. One more similar performance and the Oilers will have elevated Edmonton back where it belongs, smack on top of the hockey world."
And, on Marcus Hayes' story that the Phils are standing behind Charlie Manuel:
Pat Gillick considered the question, glided to a halt and smoothly uttered: "The manager's status? There's no change."
"Just tell the truth" - but don't rat anybody out.
Aah, the irrefutable logic of a pimp.
18 June 2006
Sunday morning soccer thoughts
Man, the U.S. looked pretty damn good yesterday, especially considering the ref did everything he could to screw them over. Christ, a red card and a second yellow for two ejections on ticky-tack slide tackles? Totally blew to the point that I'd expect more from a Colonial Conference ref in a Township vs. Haddonfield game. Regardless, things are looking a lot better for them now than they did before the game. If they beat Ghana on Thursday (no easy task, but possible) and Italy beats the Czech Republic (again, no easy task, but possible), they're going on to the knockout round. That's the good news. Here's the bad: they'll get Brazil in the first elimination game unless Austraila manages to pull off some sort of a miracle against them in a couple hours. Watch that game if you get a chance, though. Brazil, you know about. But Australia's fun to watch; they look like an oversized high-school team that makes up for a lack of skill (in comparison to the big boys) by bulldogging everybody in sight. Should be a really interesting game, but I figure it's Brazil 2-0. (Photo of a bloodied Brian McBride from the Associated Press' Ivan Sekretarev)
17 June 2006
I thought Ghana was really going to get screwed there for a minute. They had a penalty shot, maybe 65 minutes or so in; they're up one nothing and a guy just got thrown out. Dude drills, and I mean drills, it off the post. I watched it on slo mo (TiVoed it) and could've sworn it hit the middle of the back of the net and flew out. When they showed a replay about a minute or so later, it was off the right post. Didn't matter, since they scored about 10 minutes later and to close the Czechs out. I got a feeling, regardless of what the U.S. does today against Italy (about to watch it on TiVo), even a draw's probably out of the question.
Quote of the weekend
Guns don't kill people ....
.... pasty Republicans with too much yee-haw in 'em kill people with expensive guns:
WASHINGTON - The owner of the South Texas ranch where Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot a hunting companion chipped in on the gift of a shotgun for presidential aide Karl Rove last year.
Specifically, a Beretta 687 Silver Pigeon II, a handsome 20-gauge shotgun worth $2,073 that Katharine Armstrong and 10 other friends gave the senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President Bush, according to financial disclosure forms released Friday for top White House aides. (Story from AP; non-pasty-republican-gun-toter photo from noporn.de)
16 June 2006
At least the taprooms seem safe
But just like that, for sneaking the smoking ban in when nobody was listening, and relying on faulty evidence that business won't be harmed in doing so, the Dead to Me list grows by nine. Ok, make it eight and a half, since Councilman Michael Nutter caved on the taproom exception.
Securing their place alongside Terrell Owens, blueberries and whoever used to rip my trash bags open are City Councilmembers:
Darrell Clarke (215-686-3442)
Frank DiCicco (215-686-3458)
Wilson Goode Jr. (215-686-3414)
James Kenney (215-686-3450)
Donna Miller (215-686-3424)
Juan Ramos (215-686-3420)
Blondell Reynolds Brown (215-686-3438)
and Marian Tasco (215-686-3454).
By all means, drop them a line and let them know how you feel.
It's all HOVA for Cristal
"It has come to my attention that the managing director of Cristal, Frederic Rouzaud views the 'hip-hop' culture as 'unwelcome attention,"' Jay-Z said in a statement released Wednesday. "I view his comments as racist and will no longer support any of his products through any of my various brands including The 40/40 Club nor in my personal life."
And just like that, thanks to one slip of a Frenchie's tongue, the world of rap bubbly is forever altered. May I humbly suggest throwing some $3.99 Andre extra dry into the mix, if not just for taste but for rhyming practicality? (Entertainment-News.org photo of Beyonce selected just because.)
14 June 2006
This is what i was talking about
Regan's great shots from the Hopkins fight (try to pick up the paper for this one)
I'm going to let this one speak for itself, and silently curse the Philly Home Depot for failing the Delaware Valley. (Photo from coven.com)
One to grow on...
If you don't like Joe Vento's sign, don't eat at Geno's Steaks. It's his shop; let him do as he pleases. And if you think he's a moron, which he very well may be, boycott him all you want. But please, please, PLEASE, everybody just shut up already. Are we so desperate to keep political correctness alive and well that this has become the focus of a state investigation and an international story? (Yep, that's Juan Valdez, in the flesh. Photo from Univision)
Headline of the day ....
Note to self: Never go to Giants Stadium again
My question, of course, is why would two Thai men be so wrapped up in an It-lee/Ghana World Cup game that they'd make such a ruckus? My second question, of course, is how hasn't this happened in Philly yet?
Fun note: the U.S. team, if you can call it that after the Czech disaster, will face the Azzurre at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
This week's column...
... is on the Bernard Hopkins/Antonio Tarver fight (I probably won't be able to post it on here until tomorrow morning). Don't waste much time reading it, though - rather, be sure to take a good long look at Mike Regan's photos. After eluding security and sitting right next to me seven rows from the ring rather than his assigned perch somewhere up in the rafters, my man rolled into Hopkins locker room immediately after his last fight and got a timeless black-and-white shot that is among the best sports shots I've seen in some time.
And since I couldn't get to it in the column, here's a list of some of the celebrities who were there: Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Jessica Simpson's ex-husband, Ari from Entourage, Vince Carter, Edgerrin James, Lavar Arrington, Plexiglass Burriss, Lito Sheppard, Brian Westbrook, Oscar De La Hoya, Charles Oakley and a whole bunch of women-folk dressed as if they were on the arm of some real rich dude in Vegas who's about to kick and leave his multi-billion-dollar estate to the last chick who, um, pleases him.
Thought the fight itself wasn't legendary, the event - and what Hopkins accomplished - certainly was. Here's hoping he holds true to his retirement guarantees, which he reiterated time and again in the wee hours as, two blocks away, about 30 A.C. cop cars lit up the night skies outside Jay Z's 40/40 Club.
13 June 2006
Wherefore art thou, Carlton Haselrig?
From Sri Dinesh Dadani, a rat lover and UD graduate, the day's best commentary on Easy Rider Ben Roethlisberger:
"He's probably the only person in the world right now who can make Terry Bradshaw look smart."
And, for that matter, former Steelers' lineman and Rev. Webb Hall-of-Famer Carlton Haselrig, who was railroaded by an uncaring system after being arrested for, "riding a motorcycle through Johnstown intoxicated and wearing his helmet backward." Seriously.
(Photo from stuntdan.com)
Commercial fisherman? Dangerous gig. But male stripper? Ain't that supposed to be, well, safer. Apparently, not in Bakersfield, California, when the dudes come home early only to see their ladyfriends all up on some random manroot. (Note to self: Find new career-backup plan)
12 June 2006
Stop me if you've heard this one before ...
One Monday afternoon, a bunch of women roll up on a bunch of West Catholic girls on the way home from school and brawl. On video. Image from Action News' Web site.
World Cup update
The U.S. just got smoked 3-0 by the Czech Republic. Didn't see the whole game, but from what I saw of the second half, they just couldn't mount any sort of offensive attack and got dominated in the midfield. Philly's Bobby Convey may be bench-bound for Saturday's game against Italy; he just looked outclassed in the second half.
11 June 2006
Brief thoughts on the Hopkins fight
So as not to tip my hat for this upcoming week's column, I'll keep this short and sweet: Bernard Hopkins was utterly dominant against Antonio Tarver last night. I had the fight at 118-110 (all three judges had it 118-109; I didn't count Tarver's glove hitting the mat as a two-point knockdown). Regardless, Boardwalk Hall was utterly insane (a ton of athletes from the great, like MJ and Charles Oakley to the mediocre, like Vince Carter and Plaxico Burress, were on hand) and Hopkins never let the bigger guy get into the fight.
It looked at a couple points like he might win by knockout (alas, not a TKO in the 11th), but this one was over on the scorecards by the 8th or 9th round. (He admitted after the fight that he tried to go for the knockout in the 12th but then realized he could suffer the fate of every other Philadelphia-based team or athlete or horse and lose in the most unimaginable way.)
I'll have a lot more come Thursday's paper, but set your TiVo now for the Saturday rebroadcast on HBO. It was a legendary performance by a legendary boxer, one who sat around until the wee hours talking up fans as if he didn't want his career to be over - hell, I didn't get home till after 3 a.m. - as it had better be so he can go out like Elway. (This photo by Getty Images; great ones coming Thursday from Mike Regan)
09 June 2006
The weekend's here
08 June 2006
07 June 2006
This week's column
06 June 2006
The Spawn is Here
So, what do they do with the other arm?
After Saturday night's Tarver/Hopkins fight (I'll be there, and will have a piece in next week's CP), Don Vito, of being Bam Margera's uncle fame (pictured here with local promoter Damon Feldman) is hosting a gig at DejaVu on South New York Ave in A.C.
Might be a "burning bush" kind of night.
On a serious note ....
04 June 2006
No Glue for You
So, I was thinking about doing a column on Barbaro's recovery (still may, not sure yet) and gave the folks at Penn a call. Turns out there's a daily online update on the horse's condition, so if you want to check it out, here it is. (This is the one from June 2, but I assume you can change the date in the address to get subsequent updates.)
While Barbaro seems to be doing a'ight for the time being, a sad story from England shows just how close the local thoroughbred was to dying a quick death.
03 June 2006
And in the role of Blueberry King of New Jersey...
On account of not enjoying lawsuits, I've watched the Antnee DiMeo mess from afar, but catching Johnny Drama's resume online this morning, I had to share the tale of two legendary thesbians. Separated at birth, sure, but who better to play the role of a wannabe actor/berry maven than Drama himself. (Photos from ew.com and americanfarm.com)