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2021 PHILLIES SEASON PREVIEW

George Anastasia’s

MOB SCENE

Volume 11 • Number 2

$3.95

INSIDE Dei Lynam on Doc Rivers & the Sixers

2021 NFL Draft The Patriot Fund

Holy Cow! Philly Guy

Jon Sciambi

is now the voice of the Chicago Cubs

High Degree of Difficulty: Opening a restaurant during the pandemic www.jerseymanmagazine com


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PUBLISHER

FROM JerseyMan Magazine THE VOLUME 11 • NUMBER 2 ____________________________________________________________________________________ BY KEN DUNEK

The Comeback

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was speaking with a friend recently about a variety of issues.

Ken Dunek Publisher ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Ashley Dunek EDITOR George Brinkerhoff ART DIRECTOR Steve Iannarelli

We didn’t get drafted into the military or have to go to war like our fathers. We didn’t suffer through a Great Depression like our grandparents did.

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS George Anastasia, Jan L. Apple, Michael Bradley, George Brinkerhoff, Sam Carchidi, Alexandra Dunek, Ashley Dunek, Ken Dunek, Mark Eckel, Robert Kennedy, Sam Kraft, Dei Lynam, Anthony Mongeluzo

I have never been cold, hungry, or abandoned. Certainly, some may say we have lived a privileged existence.

Event Coordinator & Administrative Assistant Alexandra Dunek

Mostly the discussion was about how little adversity our generation had encountered over the span of our lives.

9/11 was an eye-opener no doubt. But other than my anger at those who took the buildings down (and the extreme sadness for the lost lives of over 3,000 innocent Americans), it really didn’t affect me personally.

Website & Digital Coordinator Jamie Dunek

My grandfather grew up in what is considered “The Greatest Generation.” I may have been part of the luckiest.

Advertising 856-912-4007

Enter February of 2020 and COVID-19. In an instant, my health, business, and family were in real danger.

Controller Rose M. Balcavage

Only weeks before, the biggest concerns I had were where to vacation in the summer, or what kind of car I was going to buy.

Sales Associates Ashley Dunek, Jamie Dunek, Terri Dunek, Allison Farcus, JP Lutz

Perspective is an amazing phenomenon.

Intern Irene Crane

And once this is over, I will look at life much differently.

JerseyMan/PhillyMan Advisory Board

Count your blessings, and get your vaccination.

Peter Cordua (Chairman). . . HBK CPAs & Consultants

And appreciate each blessed day.

Editorial gbrinkerhoff@jerseymanmagazine.com Printing Alcom Printing, Harleysville, Pa.

Jerry Flanagan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . J Dog Brands Bob Hoey. . . . . . . . . . . . . Janney Montgomery Scott

For it is truly an opportunity.

Kristi Howell. . Burlington Co. Chamber of Commerce

And we should never take it for granted again.

Ed Hutchinson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hutchinson Robert Kennedy. . . . . . . . . . The Kennedy Companies Julie LaVan. . . . . . . . . Advanced Mediation Solutions Doug MacGray . . . . . . . . . Stonecrop Wealth Advisors Anthony Mongeluzo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PCS Charlie Muracco. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CLM Advisors Mike Regina. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Big Sky Enterprises Scott Tanker . . . . . . . . . . . Tanker Business Solutions Joe Tredinnick. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Republic Bank Les Vail. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Workplace HCM Jim Wujcik. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Santander Bank

“Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s game.” – Babe Ruth JerseyMan Magazine/PhillyMan Magazine, products of a partnership between Ken Dunek, Anthony Mongeluzo, and Alcom Printing Group, are published by New Opportunity Publishing, LLC, with offices at 5 Perina Boulevard Cherry Hill, NJ 08003. Copyright 2021.

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INSIDE 40 24

DOC RIVERS by DEI LYNAM

“Work hard in silence. Let your bat do the talking.” – Roberto Clemente

JerseyMan Magazine VOLUME 11 • NUMBER 2

ON THE COVER PHILLY GUY JON SCIAMBI IS NOW THE VOICE OF THE CHICAGO CUBS

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HIGH DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY

COLUMNS Cover photograph courtesy ESPN

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PHILLIES PREVIEW

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2021 NFL DRAFT

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THE PATRIOT FUND

1 2 J O T T I N G S • 2 0 G E O R G E A N A S T A S I A ’ S M O B S C E N E • 26 GET FIT 70 THE CIGAR GUY • 74 TECH TIME • 78 THE WINE MAN

www.jerseymanmagazine.com


JOTTINGS

______________________________________________________________________________ BY GEORGE BRINKERHOFF

Move the Mound? Is it time for Major League Baseball Move the Pitcher’s Mound Back To Help Improve the Game?

At the time the Elysian Fields in Hoboken, NJ, (pictured here) welcomed its first game in 1846, the distance between the pitcher and home plate was 45 feet. During the career of Ben Sanders (pictured above) who pitched with both the Philadelphia Quakers and the Philadelphia Athletics from 1888 to 1892, the distance had increased to 55.5 feet, establishing the precedents for periodic tweaks for the distance for a pitch to travel to a batter.

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ERE’S THE ARGUMENT. The distance between the pitcher’s mound to home plate in Major League Baseball, 60 feet, 6 inches, hasn’t changed in nearly 130 years, and during that time the players have grown physically much larger, and become much stronger and faster. According to Ben Lindbergh from www.theringer.com in his fine, thorough treatment of this topic entitled “The Mound is Too Damn Close,” from March 15, 2020, this trend has only accelerated in the last 20 years during which time pitch speeds have increased and batting has tailed off. Thus, it would appear the balance of power between pitching and hitting has shifted


in favor of the pitcher, and it’s only fair to put the batter back on “an even playing field,” if you will. And while a good pitching duel might be enjoyable once in a while, what the majority of the paying public really wants to see are more balls in play. So one solution may well be to consider a greater distance between the pitching rubber on the mound and home plate. This would allow the batter more time to see the ball and increase the likelihood of making better contact, or so the argument goes. It’s not like there isn’t any historical precedents for this move, either. Lindbergh indicates in his article that the distance between the pitching rubber and the plate has been changed 3 different times, albeit all in the 1800’s. In 1881 the minimum pitching distance was changed from 45 to 50 feet. In 1887, the distance was increased again to 55.5 feet. Then in 1893 it was changed again to its current distance of 60 feet, 6 inches. Given the imbalance of power between pitching and hitting in modern baseball, should the mound be moved back further, and would it improve the game? What do you think?

What We Read The Secret Apartment: Vet Stadium, A Surreal Memoir by Tom Garvey (Independently published, November 20, 2020)

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ere’s one for all the sports fans in the Delaware Valley who spent any time rooting on the Philadelphia Phillies or Eagles of the 1970’s or 80’s from that concrete coliseum of ours known as Veterans Stadium, and dreamed about hanging out with their heroes. Tom Garvey, an Airborne Ranger and Special Forces Officer, who served as an A-team leader in Vietnam in 1968, did just that. He graduated magna cum laude from Widener University in Chester, PA in 1971, and then, as he puts it, “the wheels came off.” After finally getting a job working in parking operations at Veterans Stadium, he found and moved into a “secret apartment” on the 200-level concourse in the bowels of the stadium, beneath the slope of the 300 level seats in left field and lived there “from October 2nd, 1979 until the last days of 1981.” This memoir documents through a series of short stories the adventures he had, including his encounters with players, famous coaches (and an unlikely meeting with Dick Vermeil) and other sports figures of the day.

Whether sneaking hordes of friends in to watch the games or riding his bicycle, or roller skating around the empty, darkened stadium, he recounts the parties, the people and the illicit fun trespassing and squatting in a major professional sports arena of the day. And he swears it’s all true. As he queries in his introduction, “If you were single, never married with no children or dependents, would you, if you had the opportunity, have lived ‘on the down low’ in a secret apartment in Veterans Stadium? … If you had an opportunity to live in a major sports stadium of a team you grew up loving, what would you have done?” These lively tales answer that question.

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Haulin’ the Mail BACK IN THE 1930’S AND 40’S, the Postal Service began using gyrocopters to deliver mail through the air. These gyrocopters, with a single pilot aboard, were launched off of the roof of the post office at 30th Street in Philadelphia. Oh, and they landed there as well. Yes, you read that right. By 1939 and for ten years thereafter, these forerunners of the helicopter hauled the mail between Philadelphia and Camden, NJ. One of their most important qualities was that they needed only a very short runway to land and take off. Gyrocopters or autogiros, as they were also called, unlike the yet to be perfected helicopter, had no power to the rotary blades, and those blades would only spin with air passing underneath them once enough forward thrust was achieved. But they were legitimate, air-worthy craft. In fact, they made hundreds of short flights, hopping from roof to roof, or roof to airport runway, in and around our area, as well as other major metropolitan areas like Washington D.C., Chicago, Illinois and New Orleans, Louisiana. (There’s video on Youtube of one such flight taking off in 1939 from the rooftop of the 30th Street Post Office and landing at what used to be the Camden Airport—near where the Airport Circle used to be at the end of the Admiral Wilson Boulevard— all in the span of just six minutes). The gyrocopters eventually went the way of the dinosaurs for mail delivery, but the memory of their deeds was memorialized by an official first day cover issued by the USPS in 1939. And gyrocopters themselves live on in various forms of light, single engine, personal aircraft still being produced today. And remember a few years ago when it was revealed that Amazon was experimenting with delivering packages by drone? It seems that the idea of rotary winged aircraft making deliveries through the air is still very much alive, though it’s been around a long time. Incidentally, the development of the gyrocopter, or autogiro, as a means of transporting the mail in America was first envisioned by Henry Pitcairn, scion of the wealthy family behind the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company. An aviation enthusiast from a young age, he was put in touch with the inventor of the autogiro, Juan de la Cierva, in Europe and eventually imported one of his aircraft. At Pitcairn Field, a field he purchased in Horsham, PA, Pitcairn made the first rotary wing flight in America on December 28, 1928.

It’s What’s for Dinner VENDING MACHINES appear to be having a renaissance. They come in all shapes and sizes and it seems like you can get almost anything in vending machines these days: from the typical candy and soda machines to the more unusual, such as live bait, worms and crickets, clothing, electronics, even automobiles. How about fresh meat, you say? Turns out, the Applestone Meat Company, a butchery in New York’s Hudson Valley, has just introduced its first meat vending machine in Westchester County, NY, bringing its total to 3 in the region. The butchery decided that, in order to “meat” pandemic demands, having its products available 24/7 for its customers was the right move.

Since contactless shopping is now all the rage, the wide variety of fresh cuts, steaks and chops as well as hot dogs, allows more freedom of choice while minimizing risks. It’s also a great option for those last minute meals and late night hankerings. The machine itself is a refrigerated carousel of individualized compartments with plastic sealed products and seems intuitive to operate (read foolproof). A pair of buttons allows you to rotate the carousel until your selection appears. Swipe your credit card, then gently tug the door for the product you wish. Let go of the door and the machine authorizes your purchase. Once the sale is approved, the machine beeps and you can now slide open the door and grab your selection and run, and, if you’re old enough, you’ll probably have a deja vu moment. If you’re a foodie vacationing in the area or just passing through the region, be sure to check them out for this quirky and uniquely red-blooded dispensary experience. For more info go to Applestonemeat.com

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The Final Ollie 540

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EGENDARY PROFESSIONAL SKATEBOARDER TONY HAWK will turn 53 this May. While still possessing superhuman skateboarding skills, he is also coming to grips with the relentless march of time. On June 27, 2016, at age 48, he successfully completed what he then declared would be his final “900”, a trick which involves two and a half rotations with his board in the air. In January 2021, Hawk successfully completed what he said would be his final “720,” two complete rotations in the air. Most recently, in March, of this year, Tony Hawk stuck what he said would be his final “Ollie 540,” wherein both the he and his board leap into the air, rotating one and a half times (sequence at right). The weight of the moment was not lost on him. “They’ve gotten scarier in recent years, as the landing commitment can be risky if your feet aren’t in the right places. And my willingness to slam unexpectedly into the flat bottom has waned greatly over the last decade. So today, I decided to do it one more time…and never again,” Tony wrote.

“Life will always throw you curves, just keep fouling them off. The right pitch will come – but when it does, be prepared to run the bases.” – Rick Maksian

@tonyhawk

Skateboard legend Tony Hawk was emotional after completing what he said was his final Ollie 540.


ADVISORY BOARD

___________________________________________________________________________________ ___

Peter Cordua (Chairman), HBK CPAs & Consultants

Jerry Flanagan, J Dog Brands

Bob Hoey, Janney Montgomery Scott

Kristi Howell, Burlington Co. Chamber of Commerce

Ed Hutchinson, Hutchinson

Robert Kennedy, The Kennedy Companies

Julie LaVan, Advanced Mediation Solutions

Doug MacGray, Stonecrop Wealth Advisors

Anthony Mongeluzo, PCS

Charlie Muracco, CLM Advisors

Mike Regina, Big Sky Enterprises

Scott Tanker, Tanker Business Solutions

Joe Tredinnick, Republic Bank

Les Vail, Workplace HCM

Jim Wujcik, Santander Bank

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MOB SCENE

_______________________________________________________________________________ BY GEORGE ANASTASIA

Mafia Blood Oath

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T USED TO BE A SECRET CEREMONY built around the concepts of honor, loyalty and family. But like so much else surrounding the American Mafia, it has now become part of pop culture. Ask anyone with even a passing interest in Cosa Nostra about the mob’s “making ceremony” and you’re likely to get chapter and verse on how it all goes down. The once sacrosanct rite of passage has been written about repeatedly in newspapers, magazines and books and has been reenacted on-screen in mob movies and television series. Its value diminished, it has become window dressing, a tradition to which all members pay lip-service but in which fewer and fewer truly believe. A proposed member swears to “live and die” by the gun and the knife that are lying on the table in front of him. His trigger finger is then pricked with a pin, blood trickles out onto a holy card or (more recently) a piece of tissue paper. The initiate then cups the card or paper in his hands. It’s set on fire and as he gingerly works the card or paper into ash, he swears that he will burn in Hell if he betrays any member of the crime family. Joe Valachi was the first to publicly describe the Mafia blood oath when he testified before a U.S. Senate committee back in 1963. He was at the front of what is now a long line of Mafia informants who have provided details about the ceremony. But even more disheartening for true believers is the recent phenomenon of law enforcement secretly recording the supposedly secret ceremony. It happened in Bedford, MA, back in 1989 when members of the Patriarca crime family gathered in a home in that Boston suburb to induct several members into the organization. The feds got wind of the plan and managed to wire the house for sound. It was the first of four known instances of law enforcement 20

recording and listening to an American Mafia induction. And six years ago in Canada authorities managed to tape a ceremony conducted by members of New York’s Bonanno crime family, which has always had connections north of the border.

A cynic might suggest that in today’s Mafia, the only thing members worry about getting or giving is cash. Honor and loyalty are things of the past. “The recording of a secret induction ceremony is an extraordinary achievement for law enforcement and deals a significant blow to La Cosa Nostra,” said the acting U.S. Attorney for Brooklyn whose office was coordinating a drug and weapons investigation that led to the taping. The other two examples of this “extraordinary achievement” have involved

the Philadelphia crime family. The late George Fresolone, working for the New Jersey State Police, wore a body wire to his own initiation ceremony back in 1990. Fresolone, a member of the Newark branch of the Philadelphia crime family, was one of five members initiated that day. He wrote about it in his book “Blood Oath.” Acting mob boss Anthony “Tony Buck” Piccolo conducted the service in a home in the Bronx, Fresolone said, and told the five new members that Cosa Nostra was a thing of honor, not a thing of business. Piccolo was old school. Fresolone said he was living in the past. “Nothing could have been further from the truth,” the Newark wiseguy wrote. “It might have been different in the old days, but I found very little honor in organized crime. It was every man for himself, every man trying to earn top dollar, doing whatever he had to do and not caring who he hurt.” RESOLONE’S TAPES and testimony led to the convictions of dozens of mob members and associates, including Piccolo. The fact that he wore a wire to his own secret initiation was an embarrassment to the local crime family. His then singular achievement has since been matched by Anthony Persiano, a federal informant, who wore a wire and recorded his initiation back in October 2015, according to documents in a racketeering case brought in Philadelphia late last year. Most of the hierarchy of the Philadelphia crime family was on hand for the ceremony which, according to government documents, was conducted by acting boss Michael Lancellotti. Other mob leaders who were present included Steven Mazzone, Domenic Grande and George Borgesi. All have been described as “targets” of a major federal investigation along with crime boss Joseph

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“Skinny Joey” Merlino, who now spends most of his time in Florida, and North Jersey mob capo Joseph “Scoops” Licata. To date, only Steven Mazzone and Domenic Grande from that target group have been charged in a racketeering case which was announced with their arrests in November. Thirteen other mob members and associates have also been named in the indictment which focuses on allegations of drug dealing, extortion and gambling. The investigation is based on hundreds of tapes made by Persiano and an undercover law enforcement operative he introduced into the alleged criminal conspiracy. The tapes figure to be the linchpin of the prosecution of Mazzone, Grande and any of the other defendants who opt to go to trial. In one motion filed late last year, authorities made reference to the staggering number of tapes that had been amassed by Persiano and the undercover and then pointed to the making ceremony Mazzone, authorities said, “attended an official LCN induction ceremony for codefendant Salvatore Mazzone [his brother] and other new LCN members [including Persiano].” During that ceremony, those being proposed for membership were shown a gun and a knife on a table in front of them and asked, “Now, you’ll use these, for us. Right?” There is only one correct answer to that question, of course, and after answering in the affirmative, each proposed member was told to repeat the lines: “If I betray this family, betray my friends, I’ll burn in hell forever.” Persiano was wired for sound and recording it all as he swore this blood oath. The fact that he was even at the table that day adds yet another embarrassing twist to the tale.

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OURTEEN YEARS AGO, Persiano, a con man and hustler with a checkered criminal past, was working for and aligned with Nicky Scarfo Jr. in a multimillion-dollar financial fraud case built around a struggling Texas banking firm known as FirstPlus Financial. At that point, Scarfo, like his father, had become persona non grata with the local mob. Testimony in the FirstPlus case, which resulted in the convictions of Scarfo and his top associate, Salvatore Pelullo, referenced a making ceremony in which Persiano, Pelullo and Salvatore Piccolo (the nephew of Tony Buck) became members of a rump mob family linked to Scarfo and his jailed father. Pelullo was the behind-the-scenes mastermind of 21


the FirstPlus scam, authorities said. Persiano and Piccolo worked for Philadelphia-based companies tied to the Texas bank. Many in the underworld described their making as bogus and called them pretenders. Yet a few years later Persiano was able to insinuate himself into the local crime family, strap on a wire for the feds and make his way to the table for another mob initiation. His tape from that meeting back in October 2015 will no doubt be played for the jury if and when Mazzone and Grande are tried. The tape is said to include Steve Mazzone, in a pep talk not unlike the one delivered by Tony Buck Piccolo, telling the new members that it wasn’t about what they would get from the organization, but rather what they would bring to it. A cynic might suggest that in today’s Mafia, the only thing members worry about getting or giving is cash. Honor and loyalty are things of the past. So it was somewhat ironic that the making ceremony ended with Persiano, Mazzone and all the other “men of honor” shouting a toast to “La Famiglia!” Like so much else in the Mafia in Philadelphia—and across America for that matter—it was little more than lip service paid to a value system that, if it ever existed, had long since been abandoned. n

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DEI LYNAM

_______________________________________________________________________________ ___

Doc Rivers: Preparation, Process, Parade

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AST FORWARD to the arrival of Doc Rivers. Rivers, who does have an NBA championship on his resume, was asked to change the culture. One of the initial moves he made to fulfill that request was to invite Embiid and Simmons into his office and tell them this is their team. Still, how was that going to be different than the previous three seasons? What would Doc do differently? What would the two cornerstones do differently? “You can have a lot of talent, and it [still might] not work,” Simmons said of the 24

Photo Philadelphia 76ers

HE LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS fired Doc Rivers in early October. He had been their head coach for seven seasons. Less than a week passed before the Philadelphia 76ers hired him as their head coach. Rivers would later call it the quickest fire/hire he had ever heard of in the NBA. Some wondered what the rush was for Doc to jump right back into the demanding yet elite coaching profession. What Doc saw was a fantastic opportunity. “I like their size, their versatility,” Rivers said at his introductory press conference. “What is Ben? Exactly no one can tell you. Tobias is a three and a four. Joel; his skill set is that of a five and a four and a three. They have a lot of guys that I call ballers and don’t necessarily have a position. I love position-less basketball. There were a lot of good factors including I wanted it and they wanted me.” The Sixers were coming off a disappointing 43-30 season where they were swept by the Celtics in the first round of the “bubble” playoffs. Ben Simmons did not play in that series due to injury, but the fan base was growing restless. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons had risen to all-star status but had yet to deliver good post-season overall performances.

Some wondered what the rush was for Doc to jump right back into the demanding yet elite coaching profession. What Doc saw was a fantastic opportunity. difference between this year’s first-place team and that of seasons past. “I think this is the best chemistry we have had. I think this is the best year Joel has come in, mentally, and the same for me. My mental has been great, and we know where we want to be. Doc is holding everybody accountable.” Holding everyone accountable is step one; playing to his team’s strengths is part two.

“If I am playing bad in some games, I know myself, but it is always good to have someone remind you,” Embiid said. “’Joel, you got to get back to you,’ Coach will say. If I am taking a bunch of jumpers, especially depending on how the defense is guarding me, he will tell me to, ‘Keep attacking, you have to get to the basket.’ It is no different than what Coach Brown did in the past, but there is an


emphasis on going at it all the time. If we have a play that works, let’s say posting me up, and it works, we keep going back to that until they stop it. I think that is the most significant adjustment.” That offensive mindset has led to Embiid being a front-runner for this year’s MVP award. With two games remaining before the NBA All-Star break, Embiid is averaging 30 points and 11.3 rebounds, shooting 52 percent from the floor, 41.5 percent from the threepoint range, and 86 percent at the foul line. As for Simmons, he shows growth offensively by taking more shots and having a desire to get to the foul line. “I am trying to make my teammates better, and . . . be the best point guard I can be, and also lead this team the best way defensively,” Simmons said. “I do feel like I am the best defensive player in this league. I can guard one through five. “As for the free throws, I am taking my time and getting in a rhythm. If I do miss, knowing why I missed, that was big to learn. I love getting those free throws and having the confidence to knock them down, especially if I am going to shoot 10-12 in a game.” IMMONS’ LEARNING CURVE spiked from January to February when he went from averaging 13.4 points and shooting 65 percent at the foul line to 21 points and 70 percent. It’s the Embiid and Simmons team. Remember Doc said as much. He identified what existed before his arrival and saw an avenue to take two young stars to greater heights. “They bring such a different skill set to the table,” Rivers said. “Joel’s is easier to notice because it is so right in front of you because of scoring, rebounding, and size and a go-to guy. “Ben, you have to watch the game to see how many times you miss him on both ends. How many times did we get the ball off a rebound? Someone pushes the ball up the floor, gets to the paint, and kicks it out for a three? We couldn’t get to the paint tonight offensively. That’s what Ben does. Ben leads us to take threes. He doesn’t take them, but he creates them. He leads the league in assisted three-pointers. Also, Ben’s ability defensively, not only on the ball but off the ball, is—and again, there are no numbers for it.” Half a season into his reign, Rivers is left speechless at times to describe the depths of his stars’ games. Still, he finds the right words daily to share with his team: preparation, process, parade. Yes, it is a mantra, but also a goal they strive to fulfill. n

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GET FIT

For more guidance, follow Alexandra, NASM Certified

______________________________________________________________________________________________ Personal Trainer on Instagram at @TipsfromAFitChick BY ALEXANDRA DUNEK

Maximizing Your Home Gym

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HEN A FRIEND OFFERED to sell me his weight lifting equipment a few years ago, I didn’t realize what an incredible investment I was making at the time. I’ve slowly been able to add to my collection and haven’t stepped foot in a public gym since. Even if you still prefer having a membership, creating a space to train in your home is a convenient and worthwhile idea to consider, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many of you to adapt to home workouts. The key to an efficient home gym is having the right equipment. You don’t want to empty your pockets on bulky machines here (skip the Bowflex). Don’t get me wrong, a Peloton bike, treadmill, or any singular piece of cardio equipment can be a great supplement to your space, but shouldn’t be the main focus. If you are wondering what to purchase for a home gym or want to upgrade your current space, let me help steer you in the right direction. • Standard Olympic Barbell • Power Cage or Squat Rack • Weight Plates and/or Bumper Plates • Aerobic Steppers (2) A cheaper option than buying small plyometric boxes. I use these for elevated lunges, step-ups and the straddle lift. Look on Facebook Marketplace for these! • Resistance Bands These are a staple. They are super affordable and can be used in so many different ways from stretching & mobility to assisted pull-ups and cable exercises. My favorites are the ones with the hooks for different attachments. • Adjustable Dumbbell My first recommendation would be to invest in a few sets of dumbbells, but If you don’t want to spend the money or don’t have the space, adjustable dumbbells are a good option. Other equipment to consider: • Adjustable Bench • Kettlebell • Kettlebell Gryp • Floor Mats • EZ Curl Bar • Barbell Clamps - safety clips • Hip Thruster Pad ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– If you would like more information or personal suggestions, feel free to email me at alex@jerseymanmagazine.com! ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– 26

Alex Dunek


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Photo Neal Santos

The Landing Kitchen opened in Bala Cynwyd, Pa. last March during the start of the pandemic.

BY MICHAEL BRADLEY

High Degree of Difficulty THERE CAN BE AN ARGUMENT MADE that opening a restaurant

in a pandemic when there are restrictions, lockdowns, and an overriding fear of any human contact, much less any in an indoor space, is one of the worst business decisions a person can make. Why not just burn a bunch of money in front of City Hall and get it over with? Or you could bet it on the Eagles to win the next Super Bowl. How about picking a stock and trying to spark the next short squeeze? None of those is a particularly intelligent pursuit, but some people might think they represent wiser behavior than starting up a business serving food in 2020-21. 28


Photo anejophilly.com

Business is Still Cookin’! 2020 and COVID-19 hit most businesses hard, but one of the most affected industries was hospitality. Restaurants, bars, catering venues, entertainment halls and casinos were all forced to close their doors for some time and rethink their entire business strategy. It was heartbreaking to watch small “mom-and-pop” restaurants shut down, unable to pivot during this pandemic. But some local restaurants found a way to overcome this catastrophe. ––– Hometown favorites like Braddock’s Tavern in Medford, NJ, have created dining-in and dining-out packages that are hard to resist. A $24.99 Lunch for Two, a $35 wine & cheese board to go, a make-your-own Bloody Mary bar and weekend curbside takeout specials that will make you salivate. Our recommendation: The bone-in pork chop www.braddocks.com ––– Cherry Hill, NJ staple, Caffé Aldo Lamberti, is another local restaurant that has pivoted during the pandemic. With takeout specials like a Chicken Dinner for Two (we’re talking salad, chicken entrée, pasta, dessert, bread and a bottle of wine for $55!), they’re making dining at home feel like a date night out. Our recommendation: Sweet Potato Gnocchi www.caffelamberti.com –––

Mexican restaurant and tequila bar Anejo opened last July in the Northern Liberties section of Philly.

DERRICK GIBBONS

is not one of them. The owner and managing partner of Glu Hospitality has not only opened a new restaurant during the pandemic; he has opened several of them. Even established places have been impacted drastically—or have flat-out closed—due to the COVID-19 catastrophe, but Gibbons believes that the best people of all to handle uncertainty and potential disaster are restaurateurs, since they deal with crises of all kinds every day. “If anybody can do it, it’s restaurant owners,” Gibbons says. “We roll with the punches. It’s either that, or we’re out of business.” Gibbons’ Glu group has started the Germantown Garden in Northern Liberties,

opened Hunnies Crispy Chicken as a “ghost kitchen” in two other properties and last July launched Anejo, a Mexican spot and tequila bar, also in NoLibs. Finally, Glu introduced SET NoLibs, an Asian fusion sports bar at the Piazza, right near Anejo. Oh, and Glu has two new concepts planned for the spring, Bagels and Co. and Figo, an Italian spot, both in Northern Liberties. It’s a bold business plan, and if the businesses can survive the coronavirus, they will be wellpositioned to thrive once people start going out again. Gibbons believes Glu’s critical mass in the Piazza area will offer plenty of options. “It’s definitely a down market now,” Gibbons says. “For anyone coming in, there

Seasons 52 in Cherry Hill is another restaurant that rolled out the deals and stepped up their game this past year. During the height of the pandemic, they were offering a two for $48 promo. Salad for two, choice of two entrees and dessert for two. Along with this they improved their online ordering, had curbside pickup via text and elevated their social media game. Our recommendation: Caramelized grilled sea scallops www.seasons52.com – by Ashley Dunek 29


Photo Thebreakfastden.com

The Breakfast Den on South Street in Philly launched in July 2020.

is certainly risk involved. It’s like the stock market. When it’s down, some people invest more. But there is an upside. When we are back to normal, and people feel comfortable coming out again, we will have dining opportunities for them.” Gibbons is not alone. Other brave souls have risked their capital and perhaps their sanity by introducing new places to eat and take out over the past year. Some are following dreams. Others are chefs who need to bring their bills of fare to the public. All are facing considerable challenges and hoping to hang on throughout the most challenging times in order to receive a payoff down the road. Even as the health climate in the area improves, cases drop, vaccination totals grow and people become more confident that the craved “return to normal” is within reach, there are still plenty of people who are unwilling to venture out to do much of anything, much less dine indoors. “We’re so close to the finish line,” said one Philadelphia suburban woman. “Why take a chance?” That reticence is real, and it has led to the death knell for many restaurants. But the brave entrepreneurs who have followed through with plans to open new spots are counting on their strong concepts, together with warmer temperatures that will again allow outdoor dining, along with science’s best efforts against the pandemic, to survive.

ONE SUCH BELIEVER is Huyen Dinh,

who opened The Breakfast Den last July. The restaurant serves breakfast and lunch and fulfills a dream for Dinh. “I have wanted to open my own restaurant since I was 14,” Dinh says. Dinh gained experience for eight years working “the front of the house” at restaurants on the west coast. The Philly native moved back to the area in 2019 specifically to open The Breakfast Den when she learned that getting the necessary resources to open in California was too difficult. Although Dinh was following her dream, it’s not as if she felt her project would have an easy road. Opening any dining spot is difficult. Doing it in 2020 was particularly hard. “It was very, very scary,” she says. “So many restaurants around us were closing, and people were learning how to cook and bake at home.” The Breakfast Den is located at 1500 South 30


Photo Thebreakfastden.com

The Breakfast Den

welcome more diners. And the sidewalk next to the restaurant can allow for up to 10 tables. Things are going well, and they should keep getting better, meaning that Dinh’s gamble might just pay off. “I have been getting really good feedback,” she says. “People can sometimes be hesitant when they look at our menu and see some things that aren’t familiar. But they are then surprised by how much they like the food.”

BACK IN LATE 2019, when Matt Lang

came up with the concept for his Zig Zag BBQ in East Kensington, Pa., he couldn’t have imagined that his Texas-style barbecue spot wouldn’t be able to offer eat-in opportunities for customers until almost a year after its opening. But that’s what has happened. Zig Zag opened on July 3, 2020, and has pretty much been a one-man effort as Lang tries to limit his costs until the pandemic releases its grip, the weather warms, and people are willing to dine in person again. Because he made a strong commitment to the restaurant, he had to open, even though the conditions were bleak. “It was a necessity,” says Lang, who grew up in Baltimore. “I had sunk a bunch of money into something and had to make some money off it. I wasn’t going to sit here and have to pay rent for months on end without

Photo zigzagbbq.com

Street in Philadelphia and boasts a menu that takes the comfort food concept and gives it a Vietnamese spin. Of course, patrons can get pancakes, French toast and a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. But there is also a hash made with Vietnamese marinated pulled pork, and there are other dishes flavored with some Asian seasonings that people may not be too familiar with. “Since I’ve opened this, I have been surprised and happy to see how many people like fresh herbs,” says Dinh, who loves running The Breakfast Den and who gets the most happiness from her job when she is in the back cooking eggs. By late winter, The Breakfast Den could only accommodate eight people out of the 30-person capacity at the spot. But the property came with a back patio that can hold three other tables, so even if restrictions remain in place into the summer, Dinh will be able to

Brisket Sammich at Zig Zag BBQ in East Kensington, Pa.

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Photo zigzagbbq.com

Zig Zag BBQ’s “Beefheart Of The Rodeo”

IN BALA CYNWYD, PA.,

any money coming in.” Lang produces his beef with pretty basic seasonings—although he does cop to “taking some liberties” here and there—and offers traditional barbecue sides with some twists. For instance, his coleslaw features tahini, instead of mayonnaise, and also includes some lime and sumac. His pork shoulder has a Thaistyle marinade, and he cooks it for 48 hours. This is the second restaurant Lang has

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owned. He previously was responsible for Lake Trout, a “fish fry place” in Brooklyn. He admits that the winter was particularly difficult for business, but remains optimistic that Zig Zag will thrive in the future. “Hopefully, people will want to get out and try new things at some point,” he says. “We’re losing a tiny bit of money, but it’s nothing to get concerned about now. We will definitely be okay until April or May.”

the Landing Kitchen debuted in March as an adjunct to the new Residence Inn. Located in the Pencoyd Iron Works building, the restaurant is the result of a collaboration between Nick Elmi and Fia Berisha and will eventually be an all-day café that has some old favorites, like a grilled cheese sandwich, with some more creative takes. The partners hope to serve the community while also attracting those staying at the Residence Inn. Its dishes will be made with ingredients that are locally sourced—most within 80 miles of the restaurant—something that could contribute to the goal of creating a “feeling of a neighborhood restaurant.” At first, the space will offer breakfast and lunch, with dinner and drinks coming later. Elmi describes the opening date as “a moving target” but also knows that the two years it has taken to bring The Landing Kitchen from concept to reality have included challenges that are normal to a restaurant launch, as well as unusual, thanks to the pandemic. “Opening a restaurant pre-pandemic or in “normal” times is not easy,” he says.


the design of the space and menu execution.” At first, The Landing Kitchen will be something of a “grab-and-go” concern. But as the weather gets warmer, the goal is to provide a more expansive experience. “Later in the spring, when it warms up,

and more people are vaccinated, I imagine we will get more people hanging out in our scenic garden patio to enjoy our dinner and drinks menu when we launch those.” Sounds like a good plan—and one hoped for by restaurant owners throughout the area. n Photos Neal Santos

Landing Kitchen partners Fia Berisha and Nick Elmi offer “grab-and-go” fare. (right)

“Doing so in a pandemic is unsurprisingly more challenging. This project is about two years in the making, and we’ve experienced a number of delays, from construction and installation due to weather, shipping delays and then some. However, all of these delays and challenges have given us time to be very thoughtful and calculated when it comes to

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Right fielder Bryce Harper led the Phillies with 13 home runs in the shortened 2020 season.

Photo The Phillies/Miles Kennedy

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2021 PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES SEASON PREVIEW

BY SAM CARCHIDI

LOOKING Improved bullpen should help Phillies battle for wildcard spot, but NL East is loaded

UP

Even with an expanded playoff format last year, the Phillies couldn’t earn a playoff berth as they again collapsed in September and finished with a 28-32 record in the pandemic-shortened season.

So what makes them think things will be different in 2021?

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W

2021 PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES SEASON PREVIEW

Photo The Phillies/Phil Flynn

Well, for one thing, it would be almost impossible for their bullpen not to improve. Significantly. For another, their starting staff, led by Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler, again looks formidable. So does their hitting attack. Still there are holes, lots of holes, that need to be filled before the Phillies can get into the playoffs for the first time since 2011 when the nucleus included Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Shane Victorino, Carlos Ruiz, and Raul Ibanez.

Morandini

Mickey Morandini—a former Phillies second baseman who later coached with Philadelphia, serves as a club ambassador and is involved in numerous charity and community events—believes “offense is going to make or break this team, for sure. They scored enough runs last year to win 36

a lot of games, but obviously the bullpen couldn’t hold a lot of leads.” The bullpen appears improved, and the Phillies’ lineup has “pretty much everybody back from last year,” Morandini added. “There’s no reason why this team shouldn’t score a lot of runs.” For better or worse, here is a look at the 2021 Phillies:

OUTFIELD (Grade: C-minus) Bryce Harper is set in right field, and he brings more than just his love for the Phanatic to the games. Much more. In 58 games last year, Harper belted a teamhigh 13 homers and hit .268 while leading the team with a .420 on-base percentage. In other words, right field is set. But there are potential shortcomings in center field. At press deadline, four players were battling for the spot in spring training— Scott Kingery, Roman Quinn, Odubel Herrera, and Mickey Moniak (.214 in 14 atbats). Kingery (.159) and the often-injured Quinn (.213) are coming off disappointing seasons.   Kingery was slowed by the coronavirus last year and never got into a rhythm. Adam Haseley, who hit .278 with no homers last year, was in the centerfield competition before suffering a groin strain in spring training, and he is expected to return early in the season. Herrera, a former All-Star who was invited to spring training as a non-roster player, hasn’t played in the majors since Memorial Day weekend in 2019. He was suspended for 85 games without pay in 2019 after he was charged with his assaulting his girlfriend.


Photo The Phillies/Miles Kennedy

The starting rotation led by Aaron Nola has the potential to be the teams greatest strength.

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2021 PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES SEASON PREVIEW The charges were dropped, and Herrera was scheduled to play in the minors last year, but no games were played because of the pandemic. “Kingery has a chance to be good; he just needs to make some adjustments at the plate,” said Morandini, a Glen Mills, Pennsylvania resident. “Quinn is probably better suited to be a fourth outfielder or a guy you can bring off the bench late in the game, and he can steal a base or come in for defense. I like Haseley. He’s got a real good swing and he’s a pretty good outfielder. I don’t know how he’d handle tough lefthanded pitching, but I think he can hold his own against righthanded pitching. And Herrera is probably the most talented of the four in every aspect, but he’s been away from the game for quite a long time, so it may take time for him to get back in the swing of things.” The leftfielder should be Andrew McCutchen, who has had a terrific 12year career and provides great clubhouse leadership. He hit 10 homers with a .253

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average in 57 games last season, but his on-base percentage dropped to a career-low .324—it was .378 the previous season—and you wonder if the 34-year-old former All-Star is starting to fade.

INFIELD (Grade: B) Re-signing shortstop Didi Gregorius solidified the infield, which needs first baseman Rhys Hoskins to remain healthy and show the pop he displayed in 2018 (34 homers, 38 doubles). In 2020, Gregorius (surprise, surprise) topped the Phillies with 40 RBIs in the shortened 60-game season. He also led the team in hits (61) and batted .284 with 10 homers. The left side of the infield is more than solid. Third baseman Alec Bohm was the National League’s Rookie of the Year runner up last season, batting .338 with four homers and 23 RBIs in just 44 games. He was also Mr. Clutch, batting .452 (19 for 42) with runners

in scoring position. Hoskins (.245, .384 on-base percentage), who hit 10 homers and had 26 RBIs in 41 games, has been the definition of streaky in his four seasons. Because of an injury to his left elbow, he missed the last 17 games last season. The injury, which required offseason surgery, occurred when Hoskins was the team’s hottest hitter. At second base is Jean Segura, though Kingery could also see some time at the position. Segura provided great defense last season and batted .266—his lowest mark since 2015—while slamming seven homers and putting together a .347 on-base percentage in 54 games.

CATCHER (Grade: A) J.T. Realmuto signed a five-year, $115.5 million deal in the winter, keeping arguably the best catcher in baseball in Philadelphia and (hopefully) keeping the Phillies on a path to the playoffs if their bullpen gets


straightened out. In his two seasons with the Phillies, Realmuto has led major-league catchers in RBIs and wins above replacement (WAR). He hit 11 homers last season, tied for the most of any catcher in baseball. In 47 games, he hit .266 with 32 RBIs and provided a stellar defense. “From a catching standpoint, J.T. is a little bit of a freak of nature because he’s such a great athlete, and you don’t necessarily see great athletes there,” manager Joe Girardi said after Realmuto signed. “He’s a special commodity we have.”

STARTING PITCHING (Grade: B) Aaron Nola (3.28 ERA), Zack Wheeler (2.92 ERA), and Zach Eflin (3.97 ERA) form a quality Big Three. After that, there could be a lot of shuffling in the rotation between Matt Moore, Chase Anderson, Spencer Howard, and Vince Velasquez. The starting rotation has the potential to be the team’s greatest strength.

BULLPEN (Grade: C-minus) The bullpen earned an “F” last year, and it would have been lower if that was possible. It was one of the worst bullpens in Major League Baseball history, and it cost the Phillies a playoff spot. Phils relievers had more blown saves (13) than saves (11) last year when they lost 21 games in which they had a lead at some point. They also had a 7.06 ERA, the second-worst in MLB history. The worst: The Phillies’ 1930 bullpen, which had a mindboggling 8.01 ERA. “The bullpen,” Morandini said, “can’t be worse than it was last year. They went out and brought in some power arms and some guys that have a good track record, and hopefully the bullpen is much better. When you think about it, we missed the playoffs by one game last year—and the bullpen blew a lot of games.” That’s why the Phillies redid their bullpen in the offseason, adding relievers like Archie Bradley and Jose Alvarado to complement Hector Nerris, who needs to bounce back from a poor season (4.57 ERA). Bradley, a free agent who has averaged 9.9 strikeouts per nine innings over the last four seasons, was signed for $6 million. Two other hard-throwing relievers, Alvarado and Sam Coonrod, were acquired in trades. The Phillies also signed former closers Hector Rondon and Brandon Kintzler to minor-

Last season the Phillies had one of the worst bullpens in Major League Baseball history, and it cost them a playoff spot. league deals, hoping they can become important pieces with the big-league club. Kintzler (2.22 ERA, 12 saves), now 36, was the Marlins’ closer last season. “We’ve added some older guys for the back of the bullpen,” Nola said early in spring training. “They are guys who have done it for a while now—guys who have closed, so they have that end-of-game mentality and they know what they are doing. That means a lot and I think it helps.” Nerris is a holdover from last year. Ditto Connor Brogdon and JoJo Romero. Clearly, the Phillies needed a bullpen makeover, and that’s what they did in the offseason.

THE COMPETITION The National League East looks like the best division in baseball and that, obviously, will work against the Phillies. The East got stronger as the three-time division champion Braves added veteran pitcher Charlie Morton; the Nationals added first baseman Josh Bell, outfielder Kyle Schwarber, veteran lefty Jon Lester, and closer Brad Hand, who would have looked good in the Phillies’ bullpen; and the Mets added a slew of players, headed by shortstop Francisco Lindor, veteran pitcher Carlos Carasco, reliever Trevor May, and catcher James McCann. The Marlins, the other team in the division, are built on their young starting staff, which led them into the playoffs by having five pitchers with an ERA between 3.00 and 3.61 last season. “I think Atlanta is the cream of the crop, and they’ll have to beat out Washington or New York for a wild-card spot,” Morandini said of the Phillies. “I don’t know if they can win the division yet. I don’t know if they are quite there yet, but I do think they can compete for a wildcard spot.” Especially if the bullpen makes a turnaround. n

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Holy Cow! Philly Guy Jon Sciambi is now the voice of the Chicago Cubs BY KEN DUNEK

I’ve only known of one other “Boog.” Of course, I am dating myself—growing up in the ‘60s watching Orioles slugger Boog Powell smash homer after homer out of Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium on TV. So in doing my research for this story, every interview that I watched featuring ESPN’s voice of Sunday night baseball and NEW Chicago Cubs play-by-play announcer for the Marquis Network Jon Sciambi started with the same question—“Where did you get that nickname?” I made it a point not to discuss it in a 35-minute video interview with Sciambi until the very last question. And he seemed to appreciate it. (The entire video interview is available on jerseymanmagazine.com) The answer is—he got it at a radio station in Miami as a fledging “I’ll do anything” newbie announcer. Somebody who worked there told Sciambi that he looked like Boog Powell and taped that name on his mail slot.

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Photo courtesy ESPN

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Photos courtesy Jon Sciambi

So now that is behind us, we can get into the real issues that have brought this affable big fella to the pinnacle of baseball play-byplay. Sciambi was born in Philly. His grandfather, Orlando (nickname Lonnie, same as Jon’s father), actually headed the construction of Veteran’s Stadium in the early ‘70s. His Mom, Suzanne, was from Montclair, so when they decided to move when he was a very young boy they headed to NJ for a year until setting in NYC in a place called Roosevelt Island under the 59th Street bridge. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Jon Sciambi firmly is loyal to his Philly ties, and openly still roots for all of the sports teams here. He also idolized Harry Kalas and tells a funny story about hearing Harry the K order food in the press box at Joe Robbie Stadium and knew immediately he was standing next to one of his broadcast idols. “I’ll take the meatloaf and mashed potatoes,” he mimics Kalas in a gravelly tone. “Also, one of my biggest thrills,” Sciambi said, “was when Mike Schmidt called me when I got the Cubs job. I really idolized him

Sciambi (middle) gets his love for Philly sports from his father Lonnie (left). At right, Sciambi playing ball in high school.

as a player. It was very special to hear from him.” “And my favorite Eagles player was tight end Keith Krepfle,” he added. At this point, I tried to get Sciambi to admit that he remembered me from that 1980 team, but the subject was quickly changed—hmmm.

So, the big redhead went to NY’s Regis High School (television personality Regis Philbin was named after the school but didn’t attend there) and played baseball for the team. “I always wanted to play football, I thought I would have been a pretty good pass-catching tight end,” he said. “But there


‘‘

One of my biggest thrills was when Mike Schmidt called me when I got the Cubs job.”

Photo courtesy ESPN

were literally no kid’s leagues or Pop Warner teams in that area then, so I decided to concentrate on baseball. Apparently, he was pretty good because, after an outstanding prep career, he made the team at William and Mary as a preferred walk-on as a Freshman but transferred to Boston College a year later because of an injury to concentrate on his broadcasting career. He tried to play baseball at BC, but his shoulder injury limited his ability, and he was released from the team. Working for the college station WBZC there with the likes of Joe Tessitore (most recently of Monday Night Football), and Bob Wischusen (current voice of the NY Jets), Sciambi did everything from sports talk to some spotty play-by-play; the normal dues-paying protocol that usually leads to something good. “We weren’t Syracuse,” Sciambi adds, “but we had a pretty good draft class that year.” From Boston, he worked at WESB in Bradford, PA (about 3 hours NE of Pittsburgh, known as the refrigerator of Pennsylvania) in 1993 for his first professional broadcasting job. He was spinning records, doing the

Sciambi in the dugout with Red Sox slugger David Ortiz.

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Photo courtesy ESPN

Marlins games (one of the perks was the free food—a big deal for a young bachelor/ broadcaster). Here is my favorite part of my interview—he would go into an empty booth at the Marlins Park and record play-by-play into a tape recorder. Paying your dues and working with passion have always been my sweet spot. Putting together a demo tape, he sent it around to various clubs and received an offer to do Class A baseball in Boise, Idaho. He did stay in touch though with the Marlins director of broadcasting Dean Jordan, who was in the process of shuffling the on-air teams a bit and offered Jon a shot at calling big league games. Sciambi’s former broadcast partner David Ross is the current Cubs manager.

boards for Pirates games, news, sports and the whole shebang. (Author’s note: I have always wanted to use the word shebang in a story. This is my first opportunity.) He found a much warmer climate for

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his next gig in Miami, FL, sleeping on Wischusen’s couch and doing menial tasks as a board operator, then filling in with some sports talk and updates to earn his keep. Having a press pass, he would go to

AFTER A COUPLE OF YEARS AT ESPN doing sports radio, college basketball and other duties. He took the Braves job in 2008-2009 before returning to ESPN in 2010 claiming he missed the Northeast (really?) and held the position of PXP for TV ad radio until the current opportunity came along with the Cubs (Sciambi will keep most of his ESPN Sunday Night Baseball responsibilities). He replaces Len Kasper with the Cubbies, who replaced Skip Caray, who replaced his grandfather Harry Caray (Holy Cow!), who replaced my childhood idol growing up, Jack Brickhouse (Hey Hey). But here I have to digress and tell you a funny story about Brickhouse… Living in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, I used to run home every day from grade school to catch the last couple innings of Cubs games on WGN. Brickhouse was an unabashed homer who loved the Cubs in the era of Ernie Banks and Ron Santo, and it was unmistakable in his broadcasts. He first teamed up with Lloyd Petit doing the color for TV. Vince Lloyd and Hall of Famer Lou Boudreau did the radio at that time. Petit married a rich socialite and was replaced in the booth by Jim West, who worked for the Orioles prior to taking the Cubs job. I was playing for the Baltimore Stars of the USFL in 1985 and attended a cocktail party in the city when I was introduced to West. I told him what a Cubs fan I was and how I idolized Jack Brickhouse. “Mr. West, I said, I just have to tell you how much I enjoyed your broadcasts and how much I admired Jack Brickhouse.” He replied, “You liked Jack Brickhouse?” I said, “Yes, very much.” West then says, “I thought Jack Brickhouse


‘‘

Too many balls not in play and the slow pace of the game are the biggest needs baseball needs to address.”

SO SCIAMBI STEPS INTO THE SPOTLIGHT covering a Cubs team that many say is in transition. He will do about 130 of them for the Marquis Network while retaining some of his ESPN duties. Certainly, this Cubs team has a base of talent with the likes of Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, Willson Contreras and Kris Bryant. Although many of those players are coming up for free agency, and in this pandemic era of no or very few fans (for now) it is hard to budget for the megasalaries these guys will likely be offered on the free market. Another interesting aspect of the relationship with the team is that manager

Photo courtesy ESPN

was the biggest pain in the ass I ever met,” and abruptly turned around and ended the conversation. Crestfallen, I scraped my jaw off the floor and returned to the bar. To use a broadcast segue—and now, back to the action. Kasper was (and is) a gem. As authentic as they come, he and color analyst Jim Deshaies provided entertaining and lively banter during games, even when the Cubs were borderline unwatchable on the field. Unbelievably, this off-season, Kasper gave up the Cubs TV job to take the radio PXP job with the crosstown White Sox. (Who does that?) Kasper apparently was jonesing to broadcast playoff games, and of course, the networks take over that from the local stations, but the radio guys do get the opportunity. Sciambi and Kasper are very close. And when I asked Jon about how he handled this sensitive situation, he said his main concern was wanting Len to be happy. “Len is as close of a friend as I have in broadcasting. When he decided he was going to leave the Cubs, the network approached me about taking over. At first, I was hesitant, but after listening to their enthusiastic pitch and conferring with Len I decided I wanted to accept the position,” Sciambi said.

On set during the 2020 postseason

David Ross was Sciambi’s broadcast partner for a few years with ESPN. The two get along very well, and it certainly will give Jon a leg up on any insider information because of this relationship. When I asked about Ross’s personality, he was quite candid. “Ross is a good guy and a great friend, but he can be a sneaky a**hole,” he said. When I inquired what he meant, Sciambi added, “David knows how to push the right buttons. And even though he was friends with guys like Jon Lester (recently departed to the Nationals), and Anthony Rizzo, he is a guy that isn’t afraid to take stand with them and make sure they do their job.” The last topics we discussed were the overall state of baseball and his views on Joe

Girardi and the Phillies. “The game needs to be quicker,” he says. “Too many balls not in play and the slow pace of the game are the biggest needs baseball needs to address.” “Regarding the Phillies, I think they’re stuck in the middle a bit. It’s hard with Atlanta and now the Mets. One thing they need is an elite unit. What leads them? Offense, defense or pitching need to be really special in order for them to contend.” So Sciambi steps up to the plate with a job most broadcasters would pull their wisdom teeth out for. And the blood in his mouth will run Philly Red, with just a bit of a trace of Cubby Blue. Holy Cow! Jon Sciambi is now the voice of the Chicago Cubs. n 45


NFL Draft

Editors note: After this issue went to press, the Eagles announced that they had traded the sixth overall pick in this years draft, and will now select 12th in the first round. Author Mark Eckel has provided this update on what moves the Eagles may now be considering.

BY MARK ECKEL

What will the Eagles do? Imagine, if you will, a scenario in which a head coach with a Super Bowl ring on his finger and a statue of himself outside of the stadium, but very little say on his roster, is fired after a 4-11-1 season. Also, consider a quarterback, who the same team traded four draft picks and three players to acquire and who was then handed the largest contract in team history, is traded away less than five years after they drafted him and less than two years after he signed the massive contract. All of that while the general manager, who built the roster of the 4-11-1 team, engineered the trades, drafted the quarterback and gave him the contract, remains in his stead and presumably with more power than ever. This isn’t an episode of The Twilight Zone, although it could be. It’s the current state of the Philadelphia Eagles, who after their worst season since 2012, fired Doug Pederson, their Super Bowl-winning head coach, traded Carson Wentz, their franchise quarterback, and kept Howie Roseman, their embattled general manager, in place. To say this offseason, and especially this draft, is critical to the future of the franchise is an understatement. The Eagles have the sixth overall pick in the draft and Roseman will be the man making that selection along with the rest of the team’s picks. That sixth overall player selected better be good, like Pro Bowl good. Roseman, however, has drafted just one Pro Bowl player in his last seven drafts. Oh, and by the way, that was Wentz. What are the Eagles and Roseman going to do at No. 6? Here are six possibilities.

Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida Taking a tight end with the sixth overall pick could raise eyebrows. Except saying Pitts is 46

84 PITTS

“just a tight end’’ would be like saying “Brian Dawkins was just a safety.’’ According to one long-time personnel executive, Pitts “is the best tight end I’ve even scouted in over 20 years.’’ The 6-6, 246-pound Philadelphia native out of Archbishop Wood High School is basically a very big wide receiver who creates all kinds of matchup problems with his size, speed and leaping ability. He starred for a high-flying Gators offense and could do the same in the NFL.

How He Fits the Eagles: The Eagles have always liked to use their tight end, or use multiple tight ends in their offense. Zach Ertz is all but gone and Dallas Goedert is in the final year of his contract. Pitts would add a dimension to the Eagles offense that it sorely needs.

Chance He’s There: Very good. Miami could make a shocking move at No. 3 and take him. If the Dolphins pass, Pitts should be available at No. 6.

Now what? When the Eagles made a significant move, as what was in reality a three-team trade with the Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers, it sent up some curious signals. First the details: Miami and San Francisco started the deal when the Dolphins sent the No. 3 overall pick to the 49ers for the No. 12 overall pick, two future firstround picks and a future third-round pick. The Eagles jumped in next, as they allowed Miami to move back up to the No. 6 overall pick, in exchange for that No. 12 overall pick, a 2022 first-round pick and a flip-flop of fourth and fifth-round picks (the Eagles got the 4, and gave up the 5). Now reading into the tea leaves just a bit, this trade, from the Eagles perspective, cries out in two perspectives. The first is, since the Eagles gave up the chance to possibly draft either LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase or Florida tight end Kyle Pitts with the No. 6 pick, they either knew they wouldn’t be there, or didn’t want them. If we know anything about Eagles drafts, it is that wide receivers are not considered high in value. When the Eagles use a top 10 pick, or even a top 15 pick, it is for a quarterback, an offensive linemen or a defensive linemen. They might be talked into a cornerback as well. Could you imagine the outcry if the Eagles stayed at No. 6, Chase and/or Pitts was available, and the team passed on them for a linemen? What this trade also cries out is that 2021 is not where the Eagles are focused. That’s not to say they are going to tank the season, but its more, or less, a bridge year to 2022 and 2023. Jalen Hurts will be the quarterback for the season and the organization will determine then if he’s the man for the future and will build around him with a bevy of 2022 draft picks. Or he is not the future and they will use that 2022 ammunition to find a QB. So who might the Eagles take at No. 12? If they go offensive line they may have their choice of Northwestern’s Rashawn Slater, who some in the business think is the best tackle in the draft, or Southern Cal’s Alijah Vera-Tucker, who is a combo guard/ tackle. The problem is the Giants, who pick one spot ahead of the Eagles, could also take one. If they go defensive line it would likely be for a pass rusher and the best is Miami’s Jaelan Phillips, who had eight sacks and 15 tackles behind the line for the ‘Canes last fall. If they go cornerback, which might present the best value at No. 12 they could have a choice of South Carolina’s Jaycee Horn, Alabama’s Patrick Surtain or Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley. One of the three could, and probably will, be gone. But the other two are very solid options as well.


1 CHASE

Chase, 6-0, 208, has great strength, can run and possesses excellent ball skills and great hands.

How He Fits the Eagles: He would be their No. 1 receiver from Day One. And paired with last year’s No. 1 pick Jalen Reagor (don’t give up on him yet) would give whoever the quarterback is a nice set of young and talented receivers.

well that his size will be overlooked by many.

How He Fits the Eagles: Just as Chase would, Smith would be the Eagles No. 1 receiver as soon as steps on the practice field at the NovaCare Complex.

Chance He’s There: Less than 50-50. If the Jets pass on a quarterback, they like him at No. 2 and the same goes for Miami at No. 3.

Chance He’s There: 50-50. He’s going to have to get past both Miami, at No. 3 and Cincinnati, at No. 5.

Ja’Mar Chase, WR, LSU Despite the outcry from the fan base, I’m not sure the Eagles are looking for a wide receiver at No. 6. If they are, Chase, who opted out of the 2020 college season, could be the pick. How good is he? For everyone who has complained about the Eagles passing on Justin Jefferson in the 2020 NFL Draft, this guy was a teammate of Jefferson at LSU in 2019 and was quarterback Joe Burrow’s No. 1 target. Yes, at LSU he was better than Jefferson.

Davonta Smith, WR, Alabama The Heisman Trophy winner had an incredible season for the national champion Crimson Tide, and in the process turned himself into a top pick in the draft. He’s better than both of his former teammates Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs who went in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft to the Broncos and Raiders, respectively. Smith, 6-0, 170, is slight of build and there is some concern if he can handle the rigors of the NFL, but he does so much

6 SMITH

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Penei Sewell, T, Oregon The 6-6, 330-pound mountain of a man is considered by most (not all, check our sidebar) to be the top tackle in the draft. He moves pretty well for a man his size which is what has the scouts drooling all over him. He played left tackle for the Ducks but could play either side in the NFL.

How He Fits the Eagles: The Eagles did take a left tackle in the first round two years ago, but I’m not so sure the team is still crazy about Andre Dillard. Right tackle Lane Johnson will also be 31 in May, has been suspended twice for PEDs, and hasn’t played a 16-game season since 2015. Any help for the offensive line would be a good thing.

Chance He’s There: Better than 50-50. Cincinnati would be the roadblock, but if Chase is there at No. 5 it might be too tempting for the Bengals to pass on Joe Burrow’s favorite college target.

Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State Would they? “Maybe,’’ a scout for an NFC team said. Could they? “Sure,’’ he said. “After

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The NFL Draft begins Thursday

58 SEWELL

night, April 29, and with the help of a longtime executive in personnel for both an AFC and NFC team, here’s a quick position-byposition look at the best players available. QUARTERBACK: The consensus is that Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence will be the No. 1 pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars and the best player in the draft. Our man agrees with the former but isn’t too sure about the latter. He really likes BYU’s Zach Wilson who may turn out to be better than Lawrence. RUNNING BACK: It’s a two-man race for the top and the long-time scout gives the edge to Alabama’s Najee Harris over Clemson’s Travis Etienne.

what they’ve already done this offseason would anything surprise you?’’ Fields took Ohio State to the National Championship game last fall and has all the traits you like to see in a quarterback, especially from a leadership standpoint.

How He Fits the Eagles: “He’s better than (Jalen) Hurts,’’ the scout said. “But they are a lot alike.’’ It would just make a crazy offseason even crazier.

WIDE RECEIVER: It’s a decent class again, but like the running back position, it’s a two-man race for the top. Our man puts LSU’s Ja’Mar Chase ahead of Alabama’s Davonta Smith. TIGHT END: Florida’s Kyle Pitts is the best tight end the personnel man has scouted in over 20 years. But he thinks Penn State’s Pat Freiermuth is pretty good, too. But just not in Pitt’s class.


OFFENSIVE LINE: Nine out of ten people will tell you Oregon’s Penei Sewell is the best tackle in the draft. Well, the 10th guy disagrees and thinks Northwestern’s Rashawn Slater is better. DEFENSIVE END/EDGE: Miami’s Jaelen Phillips is the scout’s No. 1, way ahead of his Hurricane teammate u. Gregory Rousseau. DEFENSIVE TACKLE: If Vanderbilt’s Dayo Odeyingbo hadn’t torn his ACL late in the season he may have been on the top of a shortlist. Instead, Washington’s Levi Onwuzurike gets the nod. LINEBACKER: Our scout likes the undersized, but speedy Jeremiah OwusaKoramoah from Notre Dame over Penn State’s Micah Parsons. CORNERBACK: While there are arguments over Alabama’s Patrick Surtain vs. Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley, our man says South Carolina’s Jaycee Horn is better than both of them. SAFETY: There’s no argument here. TCU’s Trevon Moerig is far and away the best safety in the draft.

WOULD THE EAGLES SELECT QB JUSTIN FIELDS? “MAYBE. AFTER WHAT THEY’VE ALREADY DONE THIS OFFSEASON WOULD ANYTHING SURPRISE YOU?’’ A Trade?

1 FIELDS

This actually might be the best move the team could make, especially if they want to help the defense. If Fields is still on the board, a quarterback-needy team (take your pick) might be willing to give up quite a bit to move up for him. The Eagles could move down a few spots still get the cornerback of their choice and a few more picks.

Who Would be a Possible Partner?: Carolina, at No. 8; Denver, at No. 9 and New England, at No. 15 all come to mind. I wouldn’t go any further down than that.

What Would They Get?: A bidding war would Chance He’s There: If the Jets decide to take BYU’s Zach Wilson, then only Atlanta, at No. 4 is in the way. If the Jets pass on a QB, then there’s a real good chance Fields is there.

be ideal. If they only go to 8 or 9, they could get a second-round pick, or a third-round pick and a player. If they were to drop all the way to 15, they could get multiple picks this year and in 2022. n

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H H H H H H H H H H H H H

The Patriot Fund

F

FOUNDER & PRESIDENT TODD L. SHERMAN SHARES HIS PASSION FOR THE CAUSE

South Jersey native Todd L. Sherman has felt strongly patriotic. So much so, that after graduating from West Chester University in 1990 with a degree in finance and management, he tried to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps. Due to a minor medical technicality, Sherman was found ineligible— his lifelong mission thwarted. Yet that didn’t alter his resolve or the patriotism that runs deep in his veins. Instead, he shifted his focus to finding a way to make a difference in the lives of military members and their families. In 2015, Sherman channeled that passion when he founded The Patriot Fund, Inc., along with retired Maj. Gen. Steven J. Hashem and business owner/entrepreneur Joseph Caruso. Sherman is president of the 501©3 charitable organization; Hashem and Caruso are vice presidents. The Patriot Fund, Sherman explained, is run by a 15-member, all-volunteer, dedicated Board of Directors. “The Patriot Fund is a fundraising community foundation,” said Sherman, 53, adding that its structure is similar to the United Way. “Our goal is to raise money, raise awareness, inspire people to give, aggregate that gift and ultimately distribute that money to veteran-focused charities that are not on the radar.” Since the fund’s inception, they have raised $1.1 million. And, according to Sherman, because they aren’t operational, funds raised can go directly to those in need. The beneficiaries/ partner organizations are grateful. Sherman explained that it frees them from having to worry about fundraising; they can focus solely on their mission of helping veterans.

Photos courtesy The Patriot Fund

FOR AS FAR BACK AS HE CAN RECALL

Sherman

BY JAN L. APPLE 53


Photos courtesy The Patriot Fund

“WE DON’T JUST WRITE A CHECK AND WALK AWAY. WE FOLLOW THROUGH TO MAKE SURE THE FUNDS WE HAVE GIVEN TO ORGANIZATIONS ARE BEING PRUDENTLY ALLOCATED.”

L to R: Todd L. Sherman, Founder & President; Retired Maj. General Steven J. Hashem, Co-Founder & Vice President; and Joseph Caruso, Co-Founder & Vice President.

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The fund has garnered support from a broad network of more than 30 corporations and businesses. And that continues to grow throughout the region and beyond. Interestingly, the evolution of The Patriot Fund came about as a result of Sherman’s career as a financial advisor and his expertise in strategic philanthropy. As a senior partner of a wealth management team of the SSG Executive Advisory Group of Raymond James in Mount Laurel, Sherman often advises financially successful individuals on strategic, tax-advantageous ways to be


U.S. Army veteran, Mark, attended equine therapy with Quantum Leap Farm after being injured while serving in Iraq.

charitable. Some of his clients, for example, may aspire to support the military but aren’t aware of the most efficient and effective ways to do so. Sherman is able to direct clients to help them achieve their goals, no matter what their desired charity may be. Although Sherman has been a financial advisor for 27 years, he is the only member of his team with a specialization in strategic philanthropy. Through his profession, he met and became inspired by a colleague, former U.S. Navy SEAL Kyle Kroberger. “Hearing his stories and the articulation of the plight of veterans, I was motivated to make a difference,” said Sherman, who gained a deeper understanding of the multitude of issues veterans face when trying to re-enter and adjust to civilian life. “Kyle is an amazing asset and an inspiring individual.” Today, he serves on the fund’s Board and brings his firsthand insight regarding the needs of veterans. And such needs, elaborated Sherman,

run the gamut. Many are suffering silently with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); others have been denied veteran’s benefits; some are homeless, a scenario Sherman has witnessed with his own eyes. “You see these warriors who should be wearing medals on their chests and they’re living on the street,” said Sherman. “It’s shocking and unsettling.” Heaven on Earth for Veterans, one of their newest partner organizations, is helping to change this disturbing reality. “We don’t just write a check and walk away,” said Sherman. “We feel we have a fiduciary responsibility to our donors. We follow through to make sure the funds we have given to organizations are being prudently allocated.” The commitment doesn’t stop there. Sherman and fellow board members keep an open dialogue and visit with the beneficiaries and veterans—though, over the past year, that has translated to lots of zoom calls.

SHERMAN IS PROUD OF THE DIVERSE ORGANIZATIONS The Patriot Fund has been able to support. Another example is Project OVAT—helping one veteran at a time. “They have been extremely successful in assisting veterans in obtaining benefits from the Veteran’s Administration that were denied or diminished due to bureaucracy,” he said. In one instance, Project OVAT helped a veteran who had been out of the military for more than 20 years. Quantum Leap Farm provides equine therapy as a way to heal veterans with PTSD and other hidden wounds of war. Sgt. Andrew Inman served in the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Army, with two deployments to Iraq. Six of his comrades lost their lives. When Inman returned home, he struggled with night terrors and survivor’s guilt. “Quantum saved my life and I owe everything to them,” he said. “They taught me that giving back is the best form of medicine.” 55


PAWS Healing Heroes has also proven life-changing by providing service dogs to veterans in need. “This truly saves lives,” said Sherman. In fact, the fund will be presenting a veteran with a service dog this fall at The Patriot Invitational, an annual fundraising event. The Invitational, elaborated Sherman, which will take place on October 10 and 11 at Laurel Creek Country Club in Mount Laurel, is not a typical golf tournament. Rather, it’s about supporting the cause and showing appreciation for donors. “People aren’t really signing up for the golf as they ordinarily might,” said Sherman, of the two-pronged event that kicks off with a Sunday evening dinner and continues the following day. “You are going to get a day like no other; it’s a very high-end, unique experience. We’re planning a nine-hole shootout with a $10,000 prize.” Veterans are always an integral part of

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U.S. Army veteran, Anton, received a service dog, Rambo, through PAWS Healing Heroes, to help manage his PTSD symptoms.

the day. They volunteer to handle a number of organizational and administrative tasks. “They often speak to the crowd, expressing gratitude,” said Sherman, adding that such sentiment really brings things full circle for donors.

Board member, Amy Osborn, of Cherry Hill, is vice president of private banking for Republic Bank, a premier sponsor of The Patriot Invitational. “It’s an awesome feeling to work for a company that values and appreciates America’s heroes just as much as I do,” said Osborn, who has supported veterans in a multitude of ways for nearly 30 years. A former Miss New Jersey in 1991, she created an entertainment troupe that performed at nursing homes and VA hospitals throughout the state. She was also the recipient of the New Jersey Department of Veterans Affairs’ James C. Gates award for helping veterans find gainful employment. The Invitational, noted Sherman, has been so successful that the event will be expanding beyond the Delaware Valley. “We’ll be going national in the next 12 to 24 months,” he said, with plans to hold an Invitational in Arizona, Florida and perhaps Colorado. The Patriot Fund has seen remarkable growth. In that vein, Sherman is incredibly pleased that they recently named retired U.S. Air Force Command Chief Master Sgt. Will Markham, as their executive director. A Silver Star medal recipient for his part in Operation Freedom in Afghanistan in 2001, Markham previously served as an advisor to The Patriot Fund’s board. “He has been and will always be an inspiring leader that can take our vision and make it a reality,” said Sherman. “Will also brings a wealth of professional expertise, having worked with charities with endowments greater than $150 million.”

Photo courtesy The Patriot Fund

PAWS HEALING HEROES PROVIDES SERVICE DOGS TO VETERANS IN NEED


Photo courtesy The Patriot Fund

Project OVAT was able to obtain VA benefits for veteran Bill Wosilius, after 20 years with no benefits.

Whether it’s matching a vet with a service dog, providing equine therapy, finding housing for the homeless or bolstering hope and healing to those with PTSD, for Sherman and his fellow board members, it’s about having the greatest impact and helping the

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greatest number of veterans as possible. The most rewarding aspect of it all? “Seeing the look in the eyes of veterans as a result of our support,” said Sherman. n For more information visit patriotfundinc.org


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THRU THE LENS Chastworth, NJ • Photograph by Steve I.

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BY SAM KRAFT

Sponsored by The

Smoking Dog

Guardian of the Farm – Nightwatch Wrapper: Jalapa Corojo Maduro • Binder: Jalapa Corojo • Filler: Jalapa & Estelí Corojo and Criollo

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HIS COLUMN IS DEDICATED to all the hard-working dogs out there, and especially those canines tasked with professional careers. Not only are pups busy being man’s best friend, some of them even have full-time gigs. The average smoker probably doesn’t realize the integral role dogs play when it comes to producing a quality, hand-rolled cigar. (And no, Fido isn’t licking the cap closed!) The original Guardian of the Farm cigar, released in 2016, was dedicated to the dogs guarding the factory and fields of the Aganorsa Leaf farms in Nicaragua. Each vitola is named after one of the American Bulldogs that roamed their fields. Their names are Apollo, JJ, and Campeon. This cigar was also a collaboration between dog lovers Max Fernandez of Aganorsa Leaf, and Kyle Gellis of Warped Cigars. Their combined craftsmanship gave us this cigar while shining a light on our unsung four-legged heroes. In 2019, Fernandez blended a new series in the Guardian’s line called the Nightwatch. This time around, Fernandez decreed that, “Every dog, whether it is one of ours or your own, is commemorated with this cigar.” Upon lighting the closed foot, the smoker immediately becomes overwhelmed with bitter and leather flavors. After several puffs, the bitterness dies down and soon a sweetness emerges. The sweetness

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is akin to raisins and the bitterness is reminiscent of dark greens. All of which is seasoned with black pepper for a bit of a bite. The second-third produces more sweetness and introduces herbal flavors to the smoke. The herbs are colorful and exotic like pipe tobacco. There are moments where the smoker is left with nothing but leather notes, only for the sweetness to return a few puffs later. The final third exudes the most earthy and astringent flavors. If a cigar could take the form of a fine liquor, this would be close to what it would taste like. The retro that was once black pepper becomes more like ginger. The cigar ends with all the flavors peaking in a smoky bourbon experience. Overall, Guardian of the Farm is as hard-working a cigar as the dogs they are named after. The smoke is unique, dynamic and takes the smoker on a journey in flavor. Whether the dog works the farm, protects the house, or does nothing but sleep, Guardian of the Farm honors all our furry friends. n

Photo aganorsaleaf.com

THE CIGAR GUY ______________________________________________________________________________


@PCS_AnthonyM

TECH TIME

Have any tech ideas you want to talk about? Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter (@PCS_AnthonyM) or email me any time at Anthony@helpmepcs.com.

_______________________________________________________________________________ BY ANTHONY MONGELUZO

Cybersecurity: Tips to keep you safe

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YBERSECURITY is one of those subjects that, when we talk about it, many people nod knowingly yet do nothing about it. Why? Why do we always put it off? I can only surmise that we believe it’ll happen to the next person but not us. Yet accidents and unfortunate events happen to everyone. The first commandment of cybersecurity is simple: It starts with you. My rules for essential cybersecurity are simple, inexpensive, and only require one element: that you actually implement them and don’t put it off until digital chaos takes over your personal computer or network.

THE BASICS It’s inexpensive and mandatory. Invest in a reliable firewall and wellknown anti-virus protection. Test both to make sure they are working. And test them at least monthly. If there is a Rule No. 1 in cybersecurity, this is it.

BACK IT UP AND REMOVE IT OK, you’ve heard the need for backing up. But it’s actually a bit more demanding than what you hear. Back up every day to a reliable online service.  Make this procedure automatic so that you don’t have to

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think about it. This is probably the No. 2 rule in cybersecurity. But THE FIRST online backup is insufficient. You want COMMANDMENT OF a hard copy backup, CYBERSECURITY too, and don’t leave it IS SIMPLE: in the same location as your main computer or IT STARTS WITH YOU. network. Why? Things happen, including fire, theft, flood and any act, divine or otherwise, that can ruin the backup. But there’s an even more important reason for a hard backup. If you become a victim of ransomware where your valuable data, including that online backup, turns into gibberish, you’ve got severe problems. (The online backup doesn’t know that the backup is infected, too.)  An off-site, hard backup will provide “clean” data up until your last hard backup. You might lose days, even a week (yes, hard copy every day or at least every week), which will be a problem, but it is not a death sentence. 


PASSWORD PROTECTION Here’s my two-decade mantra: Don’t choose obvious, everyday words and don’t use the same one for all your login passwords. A password that combines letters, numbers and symbols works best. Most important: Use two-factor authentication whenever possible. It’s simple, takes only an extra few seconds but significantly improves your security.

IT’S MY SISTER’S FLASH DRIVE So? Be cautious about using anyone’s flash drive. Never use one until you’ve scanned it to ensure that it’s virus-free.

HOT SPOT CONVENIENCE Be wary of public Wi-Fi. Most people now have a smartphone, and you can enable it to act as your personal and secure internet connection. Public Wi-Fi raises the possibility that someone can hack into your system while you’re sipping that cappuccino.

HARD DRIVE SAFEGUARDS Encrypt your hard drive. Newer operating systems offer default encryption, so there’s no excuse. Fortunately, the latest hard drives won’t slow down your computer, and if someone steals your laptop— your office—it’ll make it more difficult to tamper with your data.

CYBER INSURANCE (FOR BUSINESS OWNERS) If you have a business, it’s probably the kind of coverage you want to buy. It will protect you against business liability if someone breaches your network and obtains access to your customer or client list. Talk to your insurance agent. Remember, general liability coverage generally does NOT cover cyber issues. n

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THE WINE MAN _______________________________________________________________________________

For comments, questions, suggestions and/or feedback, contact Robert Kennedy at rkj@Kennedy-companies.com.

BY ROBERT KENNEDY

Size matters

W

INE IS FOR SHARING. I’ve said that many times in my past columns. How many of us drink a special bottle alone, or for that matter, a simple utility wine unaided and unabetted? Hardly any of us, unless we are lucky enough to own a Coravin, a special device that permits us to pour a glass without actually opening a bottle. After a long day at the office, we open that standard-size 750 ml bottle that gives us between four and five glasses from 6-ounce pours, which is more than generous. Good for sharing between two people. Hopefully, by night’s end, we are staring down the barrel of an empty bottle, but sometimes not. And what about all those dinner parties, hosted for several of our special guests? Clean-up time can discover a bottle or two that reveals a heartbreaking amount of that red or white libation begging to be finished but generally enjoyed by the drain of a different throat—the sink. Blasphemous! So, how are we assured, beyond that Coravin savior, of those perfect amounts for the perfect time we are in either small or large group settings without waste? Simply recorking good wines to save for another time is not the answer. The answer is knowing the precise size bottles to open for that specific occasion. Let’s explore what formats are offered and the proportions of these beauties. When size matters, such as knowing what wine bottle to open given the number of those imbibing, there are several different offerings to choose from that are not all that familiar, since we are normally exposed to the typical 750ml bottle. You may not be aware, for example, that the wine industry manufactures many large formatted bottles, the largest of which holds 40 of the standard-size bottles! (Not to mention another way to store wine–in boxes.) There are actually two bottle sizes smaller than the standard-size we are familiar with, namely a half bottle and a split size. This split size pours one glass, while half-size pours two. How many of us would open up that half-size if it was available on the wine store 78

shelves when drinking alone? Just the right size when one is perhaps dining alone while your significant other is not at home. This bottle serves up about two 6-ounce pours. Right size, right? What about those dinner size parties being thrown on a Saturday evening? How impressive is it to display on the dining room table a Magnum or Jeroboam, two of the more popular larger formats? Rather than opening

Keep in mind that the larger formatted bottles will need more than one person to lift, but oh, what fun! up several standard-size bottles, uncorking just one that holds two to four of these 750ml vessels would take your guests by surprise, adding an element of “oohs” and “aahs” like no other while showing off the talent of decanting from such a large format. Knowing your party size would not only allow for that quintessential perfect pick but would make it an extremely fun and conversational evening without any waste at the night’s end. Some other available but difficult to locate larger size vessels are the Methuselah, Salmanazar, Balthazar and the Nebuchadnezzar, to name a few. These beauties hold 8, 12, 16 and 20 standard-size bottles. Keep in mind that the larger formatted bottles will need more than one person to lift, but oh, what fun!

Interestingly, these wine bottle sizes have specific, unique names inspired by Biblical characters: Jeroboam is known as the “First King of The Kingdom,” Methuselah is the man who lived the longest in the Bible, Salmanazar is nicknamed “One of the Wise Men,” and Nebuchadnezzar is typically called “King of Babylon.” Very cool.

I

WOULD BE REMISS if I didn’t expose some additional advantages and disadvantages of these larger formats. Larger wine bottle sizes allow wines to age more slowly resulting from the smaller amount of air that resides there relative to the amount of wine that is exposed, thus dramatically changing the taste of wine over its smaller 750ml sisters. This surface-to-air ratio is called ullage. Simply stated, the better this ratio, the lesser probability of spoilage, or accelerated aging. Larger formats have thicker bottles, which will keep temperature variations down, a big advantage over smaller sizes, for sure. These steady temperatures can allow the wine to age better. But larger is not always better. Extremely large-sized bottles such as the Balthazar require custom handmade corks that could lead to imperfect seals, resulting in a greater amount of oxidation and possible spoilage. So, next time you are surfing for that perfect wine, consider the number of those imbibing, then look to those options that’ll most closely assure every drop will be enjoyed. After all, in this very important matter, one size does not always fit all. n


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