Danny Pommells

No crying in baseball, but there sure is in football

No crying in baseball, but there sure is in football

There may not be any crying in baseball but that old adage sure as heck does not apply to football. Or more specifically, to Eagles fans. Since about 10:30 p.m. Sunday, the floodgates have been released in the Delaware Valley and tears have been flowing like a river.

Grown men in particular, not exactly prone to displaying their emotions or expressing their feelings, are suddenly Dick Vermeil at a wedding. That's what 57 years for some and a lifetime for others will do to you.

We have three examples for you. All quite touching in their own way and for their own reasons. Each one tying back to family.

Ray Didinger defines the words "objective journalist." He's as respected for his unbiased analysis as any person in his field. And even though he grew up a die-hard Eagles fan who spent his summer vacations in Hershey at Eagles training camp, even though he attended the 1960 NFL Championship Game with his father and grandfather at Franklin Field, once Ray became a journalist, he put his fandom aside.

But even an Eagles Super Bowl win can even get to the most grizzled, stoic, down-the-middle veteran. Here's Ray on our Eagles Postgame Live set after Super Bowl LII.

Next up, we have NBC Sports Philadelphia host Danny Pommells. This was from our Mission LII Pregame coverage before the Birds beat the Patriots later that evening. Here's Danny discussing who he'd like to see the Eagles win for and his father.  

Lastly, we step away from the analysts and hosts to bring you the raw emotion of a player who has has been overlooked and underappreciated since coming out of high school: Eagles center Jason Kelce.

These clips are examples of why sports matter. It's about the bonds and relationships that are formed between father and son, mother and daughter, siblings and friends. That was raw emotion that few other experiences can bring about. Sunday night may have been part one; the sequel will be Thursday's parade to end all parades.

Get your tissues ready.

Baker League movie chronicles history of Philly summer hoops scene

Baker League movie chronicles history of Philly summer hoops scene

Growing up in Philly, you only need to walk by a basketball court and you will probably see or hear something about the storied hoops history in the City of Brotherly Love. 

On May 22, many of the people who helped build that tradition were all in one place, laughing uninhibitedly, reliving old stories and relishing in the camaraderie born from hard-fought battles on the hardwood. 

The Baker League movie gives the viewer a capsule in the time of an era when local NBA, semi-pro, college and select high school players helped mold their own games in a crucible of summertime roundball battles that simultaneously shaped and defined what Philadelphia basketball is all about.

After starring in the same backcourt at Northeast High in the 1950s, Sonny Hill and James "Tee" Parham helped found the Charles Baker Memorial League in 1960. The Baker League began at 25th and Diamond Streets before moving to Bright Hope Baptist Church until its final home at McGonigle Hall at Temple University. 

It was surreal seeing and shaking hands with some of the names and faces in attendance at the movie premiere. La Salle legend Lionel Simmons was just one of the former players who reflected on his unparalleled experience with the Baker League. The "L-Train" put it simply, saying that there were no "nights off." 

Players showed up with something to prove because this was the epicenter of earning your name among the Philly basketball elite. The games were tough and tightly contested. Seeing Earl Monroe show up at halftime and go for 50 points was not uncommon. Neither was the presence of Wilt Chamberlain, or later on, 76ers like Charles Barkley and Maurice Cheeks.  

It may be a popular saying now, but the Baker League movie premiere proved ball is life for many of the people who put Philly basketball on the map.

It debuts on CSN on Thursday at 9 p.m. and also will air Saturday at 3:30 p.m. (TCN), Friday June 9 at 6:30 p.m. (CSN) and Saturday June 10 at 6 p.m. (TCN).

Penn State's James Franklin talks expectations for 2017, stars Trace McSorley, Saquon Barkley

Penn State's James Franklin talks expectations for 2017, stars Trace McSorley, Saquon Barkley

With all the cachet of Gladys Knight and the Pips, James Franklin and the Penn State Coaches Caravan on Monday rolled into Valley Forge, one of seven stops across the commonwealth.

The Nittany Lions' front man spoke openly about the strength of his team this coming season. Penn State returns 16 starters, but the spotlight will particularly be on the two potential Heisman Trophy candidates in the backfield, junior quarterback Trace McSorley and junior running back Saquon Barkley.

Some are calling the pair the best quarterback-running back duo in the Big Ten and maybe the entire nation.

Franklin is much more measured in his expectations for the stars and stressed the type of students and people each are as the true standard they should be held to.

I even got Franklin to channel his inner Allen Iverson and talk about "practice!"

Expectations and the pressure to perform well will be high in Happy Valley for the 2017 season. Franklin is taking the "one-day-at-a-time approach," but as the coach put it, oftentimes when dealing with 18- to- 22-year-olds, dealing with adversity is often harder than handling the success.

For more from Franklin, watch the video above.