JerseyMan Magazine V13N1

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® George Anastasia’s MOB SCENE Volume 13 • Number 1 – $3.95 jerseymanmagazine com INSIDE OLD CITY PHILADELPHIA A BASEBALL CITY AGAIN by SAM CARCHIDI Cherry Hill’s Foodie Hall Shake Milton BY DEI
7TH ANNUAL CELEBRATING OUR MAN AND WOMAN OF THE YEAR HONOREES JASON KELCE MAN OF THE PEOPLE
LYNAM

FROM

THE PUBLISHER

Concentrate on the dash

I was more than a little surprised to hear that she was 79 years old.

A big part of one of my all-time favorite bands, and I can remember listening to song after song off of their hit album “Rumours” that debuted in 1977 when I was a junior at Memphis State University.

Her life was grand but flawed. Her given name was Christine Perfect, but she was far from it in her personal life.

McVie was married and divorced twice and had no children. A scandalous affair with her lighting director cost her a marriage to fellow bandmate John McVie.

But her artistry was beyond reproach. Her mellow tones and keyboard proficiency were only surpassed by her songwriting ability. She wrote many of the hit songs performed by the talented, yet dysfunctional band that included Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, and Lindsey Buckingham.

There is an old saying that on your tombstone there will be a dash. Her years were 1943-2022. Don’t concentrate on the years, concentrate on the dash. Yes, Christine Perfect was imperfect.

But the dash was pretty darn good.

Ken Dunek Publisher

ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER

Ashley Dunek

EDITOR

George Brinkerhoff

ART DIRECTOR

Steve Iannarelli

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

George Anastasia, Jan L. Apple, Michael Bradley, George Brinkerhoff, Sam Carchidi, Alexandra Dunek, Robert Kennedy, Dei Lynam, Anthony Mongeluzo, Kevin Reilly, Chloe Senatore, Kurt Smith, Dave Spadaro

Event Coordinator & Administrative Assistant

Alexandra Dunek

Website & Digital Coordinator

Jamie Dunek

Editorial gbrinkerhoff@jerseymanmagazine.com

Advertising 856-912-4007

Printing Alcom Printing, Harleysville, Pa.

Controller Rose M. Balcavage

Sales Associates

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

Intern Chloe Senatore

JerseyMan/PhillyMan Advisory Board

Peter Cordua (Chairman) HBK CPAs & Consultants

Bill Emerson Emerson Group

Jerry Flanagan J Dog Brands

Damien Ghee TD Bank

Bob Hoey Janney Montgomery Scott

Kristi Howell Burlington Co. Chamber of Commerce

Ed Hutchinson Hutchinson

Robert Kennedy The Kennedy Companies

Doug MacGray Stonecrop Wealth Advisors

Anthony Mongeluzo PCS

Charlie Muracco CLM Advisors

Ryan Regina Big Sky Enterprises

Scott Tanker Tanker Business Solutions

Joe Tredinnick Cornerstone Bank

Les Vail Workplace HCM

Jim Wujcik Santander Bank

magaziNe VOLUME 13 • NUMBER 1
JerseymaN
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 2022.
www.jerseymanmagazine.com
CHRISTINE McVIE of the rock band Fleetwood Mac died recently after a brief illness.
“The first one gets the oyster, the second gets the shell.”
– Andrew Carnagie
Photo Christine McVie facebook
Cover photograph Jeremy Messler Photography INSIDE JerseymaN magaziNe VOLUME 13 • NUMBER 1 20 SHAKE MILTON
28 OLD CITY PHILADELPHIA COCKTAILS WITH A SIDE OF HISTORY 34 STEVE “COOP” COOPER STAND UP COMEDIAN BRINGS HIS TALENTS HOME 46 JASON KELCE MAN OF THE PEOPLE 52 A BASEBALL CITY AGAIN by SAM CARCHIDI 56 PHILLY’S FINAL FOUR TEAMS 60 FOODIE HALL COLUMNS 12 JOTTINGS • 18 GEORGE ANASTASIA’S MOB SCENE • 22 GET FIT 24 KEVIN REILLY • 76 TECH TIME • 78 THE WINE MAN www.jerseymanmagazine.com 40 46 52 28 7TH ANNUAL 60 ON THE COVER CELEBRATING OUR MAN & WOMAN OF THE YEAR HONOREES “Play by the rules, but be ferocious.” – Phil Knight

JOTTINGS

1792 CHURCH WITH A HEART OF IRON

The year is 1792. The people of Bridgeton, New Jersey decide to erect a church. What is now known as the Old Broad Street Presbyterian church was the first house of worship in Bridgeton. In architectural terms the building exemplifies the high style Georgian period with some Federal style details, but what really makes it unique is that it is almost totally unaltered and “one of the most intact examples of eighteenth-century ecclesiastical architecture in the country.”

JerseyMan recently had an opportunity to nose around and step inside. Upon entering the building, you are literally transported back in time. The whale oil lights (yes, whale oil – try asking for that at the local grocery store) that the parishioners burned to light the building are preserved on the pulpit and on the front balcony. The original box

pews with their original doors remain, some with plaques denoting what worshipper’s family paid for and sat in the pews. The floor is made of bricks laid in sand. Most obvious are the two cast iron stoves on either side of the building complete with original flue pipes which connect through the middle of the sanctuary and over the heads of the worshippers. The stoves were the product of one of South Jersey’s legendary early industries, iron making, located in the New Jersey Pinelands. There were furnaces and forges located throughout this area, which during the Revolutionary War helped to supply Washington’s army with cannonballs and other items to sustain the battle against the British. After the war was won, these businesses turned to making cast iron implements for everyday life including stoves, pots, kettles, water pipe and an assortment of other useful items. Two of these stoves were provided to this church and, most astonishingly, remain in place to this day. They were cast around 1810 at Atsion Furnace in Atsion and bear the name of the ironmaster owner at the time, Jacob Downing. For more information go to pcbridgeton.org/about-us/history.

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“Far and away, the best prize life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”
– Theodore Roosevelt

2022 Words of the Year

The English word of the year, at least as promulgated by the Oxford Dictionaries, is actually two words: “goblin mode.” It is defined as “a type of behavior which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations.” “Goblin mode” first appeared on Twitter more than a decade ago but after coming through the pandemic, 2022 saw its resurgence. The word of the year (or, phrase, in this case), was chosen by public vote for the first

Goblin mode

time. The overseers at Oxford Dictionaries chose three words, “goblin mode”, metaverse and “hashtag IStandWith,” and then allowed voting to commence. Voters emphatically chose goblin mode with over 93% of the 340,000 votes cast. “The word of the year is intended to reflect ‘the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the past twelve months.’ “Given the year we’ve just experienced, ‘goblin mode’ resonates with all of us who are feeling a little overwhelmed at this point,” said Oxford Languages President Casper Grathwohl. Incidentally, Merriam-Webster announced that their word of the year was “gaslighting,” which they defined as psychological manipulation intended to make a person question the validity of their own thoughts.

Feel like going into goblin mode and doing a little gaslighting? That’s so last year ….

What we read.

The Pallbearers Club

AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR of The Cabin at the End of the World, Paul Tremblay delivers a uniquely structured and stylized novel with his newest book, The Pallbearers Club. The Pallbearers Club is an oddly refreshing blend of genres like coming-of-age and macabre fiction. Tremblay’s newest novel is presented to the reader as a memoir manuscript by Art Barbara, the novel’s main character. Tremblay expertly frames this novel in the form of Art’s manuscript and also gives the reader the ‘red penned’ markups of another character, Mercy Brown, Art’s best friend/enemy/punk goth character foil. The story ends up being about a toxic and unsettling friendship between the two.

As you read through the ‘memoir’ you find words and phrases crossed out in red, corrections made, and sometimes full pages at the end of each chapter of Mercy’s very critical commentary on Art’s recollection of events. While the novel feels very coming of age and normal at first, the middle of the book sees weird punk, army jacket-wearing character Mercy suddenly become a weird, quasivampire. Did not see that coming.

This double-frame narrative meshed with the monstrous seems to be a direct nod to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein which is also a multi-framed story beginning with one character’s written recollection. The plot begins rather slowly, following Art’s rather pathetic high school self as he struggles with regular high school things like awkwardness and college applications. When Art has the idea to start the pallbearers club in an effort to get more extracurriculars under his belt, he and a measly few students start being volunteer pallbearers at the funeral services of people who lack mourners. Enter Mercy Brown, the character who is weirdly interested and unnaturally comfortable with death. At first, she seems to be nothing more than a wannabe goth teenager, but as she and Art become close friends (bonding over alternative rock music, polaroids, and whatnot), he eventually has some odd encounters with her that border on the monstrous and macabre.

The two eventually have an unsatisfying falling out after visiting a graveyard together and Art starts to become suspicious of Mercy. Although the plot feels odd, definitely not linear, and not altogether enthralling, Tremblay’s writing style expertly switches between the voices of characters in a way that keeps the reader entertained enough to keep going. Because the fantasy element of this book is so understated at first, it makes the oddly placed vampire elements almost too realistic; ‘Wait is this for real? Or is Art just seeing things? Is the vampire stuff a metaphor?’

The ‘memoir’ picks up at a certain point when Art is an adult, not too long before the writing of his memoir, where he runs into Mercy again, and he basically has a mental breakdown. The ending might just be the best part of the book, so I’ll save that for you to read. The way Tremblay captures the unfathomable concept of death alongside the uncertain construct of reality is thought-provoking and fairly relatable to the human experience. If you want to read an extremely unique novel that successfully presents a frame narrative and blends genres, give this book a read. – Chloe Senatore

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Because the fantasy element of this book is so understated at first, it makes the oddly placed vampire elements almost too realistic; “Wait is this for real?”

A Philly Thing

“We wanted it to be a Philadelphia thing,” said Jason Kelce, the Philadelphia Eagles’ outspoken center. “We wanted it to be something the community could embrace and have fun with. We wanted it to be something that could raise Christmas spirit and give some kids great holidays.”

This was Kelce’s goal when embarking upon the recording sessions which lead to the release of the vinyl holiday record, “A Philly Special Christmas.” It appears he really hit the mark. Along with his co-vocalists on the album and current Philadelphia Eagles teammates, Lane Johnson and Jordan Mailata, Jason Kelce teamed up with executive producer and former Eagle defender, Conor Barwin, to lay down some vocals with some professional Philly backing musicians. The result is a true triumph of the Christmas spirit.

The idea came to Kelce while he and his fellow Eagles were volunteering at the Children’s Crisis Treatment Center’s 2021toy drive during the holidays.

“I love Christmas. I had an idea that doing a Christmas album would be great. The problem is, I can’t sing …. That’s when I went to Jordan, Lane, and some actual musicians.”

And the CCTC will now directly benefit from Kelce’s vision, as all proceeds from the record sales will go to them.

The first single released from the album, a version of “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” features Jordan Mailata’s considerable vocal talents. “I think Jordan’s just playing football to launch his singing career,” Kelce indicated.

The 6’ 8” tall, 365-pound lineman’s soaring falsetto is striking, and

he is no stranger singing professionally on the stage, having previously competed on Fox’s hit TV show, The Masked Singer.

A second cut from the album has also been released, “Blue Christmas,” and features Lane Johnson’s vocal talents in the spirit of Elvis.

The vinyl records have become instant collectibles, selling out instantly, and some autographed copies are going for as much as $4,000 on eBay.

While the initial goal was to raise $30,000 from the record sales, as of this writing a third pressing of the album was done and enough records have been sold that a $250,000 check has been presented to the Children’s Crisis Treatment Center. Go Birds!

For more information, check out the music and a mini documentary about the making of this album at phillyspecialchristmas.com. Also, the t-shirt that Jason Kelce is wearing in the documentary, as well as other products, are available through his Underdogs brand (underdogphl.com) where 100 percent of the proceeds go to programs that directly help Philly youth.

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From left, Eagles linemen Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson and Jordan Mailata Photo PhiladelphiaEagles.com Chairman’s Club Boardroom Breakfast, sponsored by Frank Plum and Workplace HCM JerseyMan Referral Partner Party – Cherry Hill, NJ Mike Chapman, left, from Tourneau presents watch to winner Legacy Club member Justin Deal, alongside JerseyMan publisher Ken Dunek Chairman’s Club at the 76ers game courtesy of Rob Curley and TD Bank

MOB SCENE

Family values

HOW’S THIS for family values?

Anthony Zottola, the son of reputed Bronx mob associate Sylvester Zottola, is looking at life in prison after being convicted of hiring a hitman to kill his father. He also had his brother, Salvatore, marked for death.

Salvatore was shot in the head, back and chest, but survived.

“Didn’t hurt as bad as I thought it would,” he later told a jury.

Sylvester Zottola, 71, wasn’t as lucky. He was gunned down one day back in October 2018, as he sat in his car in the drive-through lane of a McDonald’s. He had ordered a cup of coffee. Got a serving of hot lead instead. It was, by the prosecution’s count, at least the fourth time hired hitmen tried to take him out.

There was a drive-by shooting on a highway, a sidewalk gun battle in which a hitman’s weapon jammed but the elder Zottola managed to get off a few shots (this encounter was partially picked up on a surveillance video), and a home break-in during which Sylvester Zottola was beaten, stabbed and his throat slit.

Another attempt was called off because the getaway van the hitmen intended to use had engine trouble and the shooters had to call someone to jump-start their vehicle.

This was Goodfellas meets The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight. It was a dark comedy, except someone ended up dead. A son had his father killed. Let that sink in the next time you’re pondering the nobility of the American Mafia.

Sylvester “Sally Daz” Zottola’s reputed mob connections (he was described as an associate of the Bonanno crime family) apparently stemmed from his ownership of a business that provided pool tables, jukeboxes and poker machines to bars and restaurants. Prosecutors would allege that he built a multimillion-dollar real estate empire with the cash he earned from the illegal gambling machines.

The vending machine business has long been a money-maker for the mob and a way to legitimize the activities of some major players. Angelo Bruno, the late Philadelphia mob boss who was a millionaire when he was killed in 1980, described himself as a “salesman” for John’s Wholesale Vending, a major distributor of the same products that Sally Daz sold.

And while Anthony Zottola’s lawyer argued that Sally’s demise may have been linked to his underworld dealings, prosecutors pointed to evidence and testimony that indicated the hit came from much closer to home.

stabbed, never knowing who orchestrated the attacks,” said federal prosecutor Breon Peace who heads the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn that prosecuted the case. “It was his own son.”

Michael J. Driscoll, assistant director of the FBI field office that investigated the case, pointed to the numerous botched hit attempts, and said that Anthony Zottola had multiple chances to “rethink his deadly intent…Now, instead of living off his father’s millions, his only payday will be in federal prison.”

Sylvester Zottola’s sense of family was clearly stronger than that of his son’s.

THE ZOTTOLAS lived in upscale neighborhoods in the Bronx that faced Long Island Sound, according to a New York Times article published shortly after the jury delivered its verdict in October. The article pointed out that Sylvester Zottola had built “several large brick houses there with mottos carved into their facades, including ‘Our walls are built thick. Our love for each other is thicker.’”

Nice words but they apparently carried little meaning for Anthony Zottola.

The murder-for-hire he set in motion was a flat-out money grab that put the lie to the sense of family, honor and loyalty that is part of the “value system” of Cosa Nostra. The case is, in many ways, a new low in an underworld where turncoat testimony is commonplace and turning on friends and family members to avoid spending time in jail is the norm.

Prosecutors said Anthony Zottola wanted his father and brother dead so that he could get total control of the Bronx-based real estate empire his father had built. The last straw, investigators said, was when Sylvester Zottola nixed a $27 million deal his son had set up to sell off their real estate holdings, properties that generated about $1.5 million in rental income annually.

“Over the course of more than a year… Sylvester Zottola was stalked, beaten, and

It is more than a little ironic that at a secretly recorded making ceremony in Philadelphia several years ago the feds heard members of the local branch of Cosa Nostra pledging their allegiance to “la Famiglia!”

Like so much else in today’s mob, they were words devoid of meaning. In fact, one of the mobsters taking the blood oath of allegiance that day was wearing a body wire and recording everything for the FBI.

The Philadelphia crime family has

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A son had his father killed. Let that sink in the next time you’re pondering the nobility of the American Mafia.
Anthony Zottola

been racked by bloody, internecine battles that pitted family members (real blood family) against one another. There was Joe Ciancaglini, gunned down in an ambush in which his brother Michael allegedly took part. Joe was crippled after surviving multiple guns shots. Michael was later killed in a drive-by shooting set in motion by the rival faction of the mob to which his brother belonged. A third brother John Ciancaglini was left to pick sides in the deadly mob family battle.

City of Brotherly Love indeed.

THIS ALL TOOK PLACE a few years after Philip Leonetti, the one-time underboss to Nicodemo “Little Nicky” Scarfo, became a government informant after he, Scarfo and more than a dozen others were convicted in a sweeping racketeering case.

Leonetti was Scarfo’s nephew. His mother was Scarfo’s sister.

In an interview with ABC several years after he flipped, Leonetti acknowledged that his uncle, then serving what amounted to a life sentence in prison, was still angling to kill him.

“I guess I would never be dead enough for him,” Leonetti told ABC newsman Forrest Sawyer.

In Chicago, we’ve had “Operation Family Secrets” in which Frank Calabrese Jr. and his brother Nick, both members of a mob crew, took the witness stand to help federal authorities convict their mobster father, Frank Calabrese Sr.

In New York, there’s the infamous case of John Franzese Jr. testifying against his father, the legendary mob leader John “Sonny” Franzese, a case that landed the elder Franzese, then in his 90s, in jail for eight years. Sonny Franzese died in 2020.

If a son testifying to help the government convict a father is a staggering development, then how do you describe a son hiring a hitman to kill his father?

Shortly after Anthony Zottola was arrested federal prosecutors argued that he should not be released on bail. The authorities noted that while he had “no prior documented criminal history, his involvement in a depraved plot to kill his father and brother speaks volumes…”

They also pointed to a series of text messages between Anthony Zottola and one of the hitmen, including one in which he suggested both his father and brother be killed.

“Can we get a double header at all?’ the text message read in part. “My business is all messed up by both of them…Every day it gets harder for me.”

How’s that for “la Famiglia?” n

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DEI LYNAM

Making the most of his opportunity

WHEN JAMES HARDEN, Tyrese Maxey, and Joel Embiid all suffered November injuries, a season with a slow start seemed doomed to spiral further south until the big three returned.

Think again. The depth of the Sixers roster showed its true colors when opportunity knocked. To be down your entire starting backcourt is not an easy fix for most NBA teams, yet somehow with the combination of Shake Milton and De’Anthony Melton, the Sixers haven’t missed a beat.

“I know those names give a lot of people trouble,” Milton said after a recent Sixers victory. “On the court, we have a good rhythm; we bounce ideas off each other all the time. Playing with someone like him who can play the game of basketball and has a natural feel – it’s fun. It makes the game a lot easier on me.”

Melton came to the Sixers this past offseason via a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies. Melton, like Milton, was selected in the second round of the 2018 NBA draft. After one season at USC, the Houston Rockets took Melton at No. 46 overall.

That same night, the Sixers drafted Milton with the 54th overall pick. He was a 6’5” shooting guard out of SMU. He was also a softspoken kid from Owasso, Oklahoma.

During Shake’s rookie season, the Sixers put together their second consecutive 50-win season under Brett Brown. As a result of the team’s success, Milton played just 268 minutes in total. Fortunately for Shake and the Sixers, the Delaware Blue Coats of the G-League were happy to have Milton join them for 27 games, where he averaged 25 points, five assists, and five rebounds. He shot 48 percent from the floor and 37 percent from three-point range. Each coaching staff in Delaware and Philadelphia focused on improving Milton’s ball-handling skills and defense to develop a combo guard that could break into the Sixers’ regular rotation.

“It was clear when we scouted Shake in

2018 that his feel for the game, coupled with his physical gifts, and long wingspan, gave him a chance of being developed into a big, scoring point guard,” Brett Brown recently shared. “His three-point shot was evolving, but his ability to finish in traffic, with both hands, especially stood out.

“We hoped that if he was wired to compete and play defense, then these unique offensive and physical gifts could provide a foundation where it was worth our time to grow him.”

arc. And then there were his 14 points in 14 minutes in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2021 against the Atlanta Hawks. But nothing compares to the stretch he had since he assumed a starting role this year when the Sixers badly needed him to show the rewards of his hard work and determination to grow his game. Milton closed out the month of November with eight consecutive doublefigure scoring games. He averaged 20.6 points, six assists, and almost six rebounds.

“It’s a little easier because you don’t feel like you have to come in and make a play right away to stay on the floor,” Milton said of his starting role. “You can let the game come to you and get a feel. This team is so unselfish, and they encourage me a lot, so I go out there and try to make plays that help my team win.”

THE SIXERS LOOK FORWARD to having a healthy roster before too long. The question is, when that happens, where will that put Milton in the rotation? How many minutes will he be given on a nightly basis, and will he still be able to produce?

Former Sixers center and current post-game analyst Marc Jackson compared Milton’s development to Gilbert Arenas saying, “Gil always produced when he got in a game, even if it was for five minutes. But he was always behind the numbers game. Finally, at one point, they could not put the genie back in the bottle.”

In Milton’s second season, he saw action in 40 games averaging 20 minutes. The following year it was 63 games, and last year it was 55 games, but injury impacted his number of appearances in that fourth season. There have been flashes of brilliance along the way of his professional journey.

In the bubble in 2020, Shake averaged 14.5 points, and he did so, shooting the ball exceptionally well, 40 percent from behind the

Arenas, like Milton, was a second-round pick back in 2001. He spent his first two years with the Golden State Warriors, but when he signed as a free agent with Washington, he developed into a three-time all-star. Ironically, Shake Milton will be a free agent this summer. If his current play continues, suitors will be waiting.

“To see him now, some five years after drafting him 54th in the 2018 draft, confirms the vision of what people thought he could be,” Brown added. “At 26 years old, his upside is special.” n

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‘‘
This team is so unselfish, and they encourage me a lot, so I go out there and try to make plays that help my team win.”
Photo Philadelphia 76ers
– Shake Milton

GET FIT

Stretch to relieve

For more guidance, follow Alexandra, NASM Certified Personal Trainer on Instagram at @TipsfromAFitChick

“I’m at the age when my back goes out more than I do.” - Phyllis Diller

EVEN THOUGH WE OFTEN JOKE about getting older, it’s actually true that age is one of the many reasons why so many people experience back pain either acute or chronic. The term acute refers to short-term pain or discomfort (a few days to a month), while anything longer than three months is categorized as chronic. Other contributing causes are genetics, weight gain, fitness level (lack of exercise) and job-related hazards.

Below are a few of my favorite stretches you can do daily that might help you find some relief if you are experiencing low back pain. Aim to hold each pose for 20-30 seconds. In addition to stretching, you can also try mobility exercises to strengthen your core & hip flexor muscles. Adding slight movement will turn the stretches below into mobility work.

Pigeon Pose

For a mobility version, assume the same position but sit up and alternate raising one arm towards the opposite side.

Cobra Pose

For a mobility version, start by lying face down on the floor and push up with your palms, lower back down and push up again.

Frog Stretch

For a mobility version, slowly rock downwards and upwards.

It’s important to maintain the things you can control; daily stretching, staying a healthy weight, being physically active and using proper form when lifting weights or exercising are all within your reach.

If you are interested in learning more about stretching & mobility work, here are some of my favorite Instagram pages to follow. @drjessicapt • @reach.rehab • @getadjustednow

This article is intended for educational purposes and is not medical advice. Please consult with your doctor before starting any kind of yoga, stretching or mobility routine. n

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KEVIN REILLY

I would do it all over again

THE TOP TWO QUESTIONS that I get at Q&A’s following my speaking engagements are, “How has the NFL changed since you played in the 1970s?” and, “Knowing what you know now about dementia and CTE, would you do it all over again?” It would take longer than this article to fully answer both of these, but I’ll give you a brief rundown.

First, the most apparent difference between the NFL in the 70s and now is that players today are faster, stronger, bigger, and more athletic. Back then, only about 20% of my teammates lifted weights, a 4.6-second 40-yard dash was considered very fast, and in 1973 there were only two offensive linemen over 300 pounds. In my era, the few automatic football passing machines, or “jug machines,” were used for punting practice. If you wanted to catch 25 to 30 balls after practice, your “jug machine” was an assistant coach or a 3rd string wide receiver. Today, most receivers catch 100 balls after practice at different speeds and different angles, which has made the one-handed catch a regular game happening for the NFL contest today.

Yet another difference, thank goodness, is today’s NFL concussion protocol which is doing its best to protect players. In 1974 I suffered a concussion while playing on special teams for the Philadelphia Eagles against the Pittsburgh Steelers. I somehow found my way to the bench, and our trainer Otho Davis began the three-question test. First, “What is your name?” Second, Davis asked me how many fingers he was holding up. I replied “four” to his three fingers, and he said ”Close enough.” Then, question number three. To this day, I can’t remember what that question was, which explains why I was promptly removed from the game. Two days later, however, I rejoined full-contact practice for the entire week.

The third difference is that, in the 70s, we had no “free agency.” You were the property of the team who drafted or traded for you.

Because of that restrictive system, my 1973 salary was a total of $17,500, which wasn’t that bad for a recent college graduate. And almost everybody on my team had an off-season job. Today’s minimum salary is $705,000 and since 2011 it has risen by nearly $300,000. Those 70s and 80s teams went on strike to get today’s

The old NFL was similar to military service in a couple of ways. Like the military, we trained hard together in the 90-degree summer heat, we drank beer together, and on game day we were anxious and prayed together holding hands right before leaving the locker room. It wasn’t anything like military war, but it was war, and you could get seriously injured on the field. Most of us became friends for life, and I can only describe it as a unique brotherhood.

FOR EXAMPLE, a week after my amputation, it came time to remove the huge bandage from what used to be my left shoulder, arm, and four ribs. I wanted to do it with one of my closest Eagles teammates, linebacker John Bunting, who drove up to Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York City for the unveiling. John had been prepared by the staff on what to say, as it wasn’t going to be pretty. As we slowly undid the bandage, I looked in the mirror and gasped. It was worse than I ever imagined. No shoulder, no arm, and over 100 stitches drenched in dry blood. Then I turned to John, who blurted out, “Well, at least you got two good knees!” We both laughed at the absurdity of the situation, and just like that, my amputation was put in proper perspective.

players these incredible yearly paychecks with guaranteed money included.

Lastly, the fourth biggest change is the businesslike atmosphere between teammates. Back in the day, players stayed longer with their original teams, and the players not only became closer teammates but lifelong friends.

Let me put it this way, when we were 25 and leaving each other after the last game of each season, it was a handshake goodbye. If anybody would have hugged me and said, “I love you, man,” I would have punched them in the face. But over the years of getting together at charity golf events, banquets, children’s baptisms, landmark birthdays, and two hall-of-fame ceremonies that we attended recently, there isn’t a time at this stage in our life when we don’t hug each other and say “I love you, man.”

Would I do it all over again? I absolutely would. It was never about the money, the fame, or the competition. It was about brotherhood, which gets even stronger as we get older, and still is today. n

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Kevin Reilly is an author, motivational speaker, and former Philadelphia Eagle. To contact Kevin Reilly visit https://mollieplotkingroup.com/speaker/kevin-reilly/.
somehow found my way to the bench… Our trainer asked me how many fingers he was holding up. I replied “four” to his three fingers, and he said
enough.”
“I
”Close
Photo kevinreilly52.com

“Because it’s Old City, we get a lot of tourists who might come to see Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell but then can stick around to go shopping, or have lunch, or have a cocktail. And it’s been a privilege to be in one of the country’s oldest neighborhoods,” said Job Itzkowitz, Old City District Executive Director.

This “charming, multilayered district” has grown into a booming, modern place that honors its historical roots. With 30 new businesses opened in the last year and the residential population experiencing unprecedented growth, the numbers show that Old City is the place to be right now.

“We have the space, we really do. A lot of

it is in full development, surface lots have become condos or apartment buildings. A lot of it is vertical growth. We have some buildings that are ten stories tall, we have a building that’s nineteen stories tall, and we actually have even more room; there are 800 units that are currently under construction right now. And there’s also likely to be 1800 units coming to the riverfront just across from our border,” Itzkowitz said.

Between bridal shops, art galleries, furniture showrooms, men’s clothiers, vintage stores, theaters, flower shops, confectioneries, a multileveled book shop, and endless dining options, Old City proves to be much more than

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Next time you’re out in Philly for the day, visit Old City to get your cocktails with a side of history.
Photo courtesy Visit Philadelphia

just a rich historical destination. Old City’s growth over the years has shown businesses that there is strength in numbers.

“Old City is still centrally located, but it’s a discount off of being in the central business district. If you’re a business owner and you wanna still have a lot of foot traffic but you don’t wanna pay the top of the market rates, Old City is a great place to be… What ends up happening is that, because these spaces inform the uses, people co-locate. We always had one or two bridal shops, but we now have 50 wedding-related businesses in the neighborhood… We’re suddenly seeing an increase in vintage shops; we have four vintage

Old City

Visit Old City to get your cocktails with a side of history

shops, all of which opened in the last year.

“It ends up self-curating in a way that creates a meaningful experience for customers,” he said.

So how did this growth in such a small, single-square-mile area come to be? How does the district balance the history with modernity? Itzkowitz describes the changes over the years since colonial times and how industrial buildings from the 1800s became ideal spaces for modern businesses to set up shop.

“Nobody wants Old City to be Colonial Williamsburg. This is not a recreation. This is a real, living, breathing, dynamic place, that has changed dramatically over its several hundred years of existence. Historically, Old City was the port. In colonial times, there were colonial buildings here and a few of those still remain like Independence Hall and a few other scattered buildings. As it was the port throughout the 1800s, there were bigger buildings built because they were like commercial industrial buildings, manufacturing, and warehouse buildings. And those buildings informed a lot of the later uses. Because it was industrial, not a lot of people lived here. In 1980 only 800 people lived in Old

City… In the mid to late 1990s, the same giant spaces that were suitable for art and design businesses also became suitable for bars and restaurants and nightlife. Old City ended up with a burgeoning nightlife scene.

“The other thing that has happened is that these places became cool places to have offices and they became cool places to live. Our population has skyrocketed from 800 people in 1980 to around 7,000 people today. So, we’re almost at ten times the residential population we had 40 years ago,” said Itzkowitz.

While Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, Elfreth’s Alley, the Museum of the American Revolution, and more keep Old City riddled with our nation’s history, there are a few hidden gems that have blended the trendy modern with the historical charm Old City is known for.

One like no other is Shane Confectionery – America’s oldest, continuously operational candy confectionery.

“When you walk into Shane Confectionery, it’s like walking back in time,” Itzkowitz said.

It’s a very full-sense experience. You walk in and you probably smell the chocolate we’re roasting in the back before you even absorb the really decadent interior. We have Old time music playing. Our stuff is literally

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the best I’ve ever had… We take a lot of care in flavor… we like to reference history to get inspiration, but we really work at improving the quality of our products every day,” said Pavia Burroughs, Shane’s representative who has done design work for the Confectionery for 9 years.

The Shane Confectionery has been in business since 1863 and it’s still providing Philadelphia with some of the best quality chocolate in the area. They have specialty chocolate flavors, a decadent hot chocolate bar, and endless other candies, caramels,

gingerbread, and licorice to choose from.

“It feels really great for us to be stewards of history, which is what we see ourselves as. We love educating people on confectionery history, which has a really amazing number of tentacles that go into other kinds of history, from class distinction to trade, medicine, and prohibition with the soda fountains and everything. So, there’s kind of a very rich history tied to a very fun and frivolous thing–candy,” said Burroughs.

Shane confectionery is a great example of a business that blends history with modernity.

While their chocolate bar is literally modeled after the first American chocolate bar, they also pride themselves on a “bean-to-bar” method of ethically manufacturing chocolate, something big-name chocolate companies don’t usually do.

“We have made a really concerted effort in the last six years to start doing our own beanto-bar chocolate and to switch over entirely to that…So our new face is what we’re doing with our craft and the old face is in the architecture… Amazingly, the architecture from the 1910s was preserved, and the [owners] revitalized it back to its glory.

“We also try to fuse all our products with some element of history. So, all of our chocolate bars that we make are molded to look like the first image of a chocolate bar in America,” Burroughs said.

Burroughs also said that being located in Old City is wonderful but comes with its own challenges at times – the tourists.

“It’s both advantageous and one of our largest hurdles because a good portion of our customers are tourists. We love the tourists; we love being able to show people what Philadelphia’s all about and be that kind of stop. There are always new people coming to our city which is really wonderful, but on the other hand, once you get labeled a tourist trap, locals kind of tend to write you off.

“So, in one way we’re constantly trying to bring back the locals… Just because the tourists enjoy us doesn’t mean you don’t want to,” said Burroughs.

One thing that has negatively impacted the confectionery along with the rest of Old City over the last few years is – yup, you guessed it – the pandemic.

“We closed in-person sales at Shane for two years. The first year we only had online and curbside orders. So, we really had to use our website in a way that we hadn’t previously… Although the online sales have definitely carried a lot of it, our sales have increased almost back up to 2019 levels.

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courtesy Shane Confectionery
“In 2021, 30 new businesses have opened. And in 2022, 30 more businesses have opened already with more on the way.”
Photo

“But coming in person was really important for people. The experience of Shane is half our allure… as sort of an experiential food establishment,” Burroughs said.

Although Old City saw foot traffic die down, an increase in vacancy rates, and many businesses suffer during 2020 and 2021, 2022 has seen Old City almost entirely bounce back. With vacancy rates almost all the way back down and foot traffic back up, the district has had many new businesses open up in the last year. The growing residential population really helped Old City come out of the pandemic better than ever.

“Our residents helped our businesses survive during the pandemic. Had we not had people in the neighborhood going out to eat, shopping, buying presents, our businesses would’ve struggled even more… Our vacancy rate went from about the national average for any similar commercial quarter of 12% to 20% in 2020. But, in 2021, 30 new businesses have opened. And in 2022, 30 more businesses have opened already with more on the way. Our vacancy rate is dropping, it’s back down to 15%. We worked in a lot of different ways to support the businesses.

“We were monitoring our foot traffic and started focusing on bringing retail back to these vacant spaces. And we’ve had a lot

of success there with being able to attract new businesses as tourists have come back, some office workers are back, and the residential population continues to boom,” Itzkowitz said.

Itzkowitz also said that business owners interested in the district where, as its website says, “charming cobblestone streets lead a path to chic boutiques” should contact the district to get more information on spaces available and other important info.

“If you are interested in opening a business, please reach out to us. We are able to connect

you to brokers and property owners. We provide a lot of data about foot traffic, market demand, and there is availability, but get in while you can,” he said.

Overall, Old City is bursting with delicious flavor, charming culture, and amazing experiences to be had. There’s always something to do, something to eat, and something to learn. Whether you’re looking to visit, live, or work, Old City has it all.

“The neighborhood is a living, breathing soul that’s fueled by the energy of the people who live and work here.” n

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Photo courtesy Visit Philadelphia

EVER IN HIS WILDEST DREAMS

did Steve Cooper ever envision that one day he’d be sitting face-to-face in intimate conversation with revered entertainers and musicians, many of whom shaped his youth. Yet for this proud New Jersey native, it’s exactly where his life path has taken him.

The 59-year-old, who resides in Marlton, NJ with his wife, JoAnn Buttaro Cooper, has been the host of CooperTalk for the past 11 years. The podcast, with a national and international listening audience, was started in California, where he lived for two decades. Initially, the one-hour podcasts were conducted in person in a Burbank studio. But ever since he moved back East five years ago, he’s been working his magic (via Skype, then Zoom) from a converted closet – now a production studio. Each episode draws more than 10,000 listeners. People tune in from across the country and the world, including Finland, England, Australia and Canada, to name a few.

“I’ve done close to 1,000 of these,” said Cooper of the podcasts that can be found at www.coopertalk.net. They are also aired on Internet radio stations in an array of locations, such as Las Vegas, Seattle, Los Angeles and

Stand-Up Comedian Turned Podcast Extraordinaire Steve “Coop” Cooper Brings His Talent Home

Montreal. Some of the episodes, he added, are condensed, and appear as the lead story in the entertainment section of the local Hammonton Gazette

“I don’t call them interviews,” explained Cooper (aka Coop). “I call them organic chats.” Cooper’s guests, predominantly entertainers and musicians, include Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe winners and nominees, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees and music icons of the 1980s.

Entertainment, in fact, is a field that Cooper has long been associated with. He worked as a stand-up comedian for many years and from time to time, still takes the stage for special occasions and benefits. But these days, his focus is all about shining a light on his guests. It’s about talking to guests, he explained, and finding out how they got to be where they are. “One of the best things is that you find out that all of these people are really just like us,” said Cooper.

Though too numerous to mention, his plethora of notable guests encompass renowned comedian Rita Rudner, the late actor Ed Asner, drummer Steven Van Zandt (from Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band), Tommy Chong of Cheech & Chong and Philip

Rosenthal, creator of the popular sitcom Everyone Loves Raymond. He’s also featured writers from Seinfeld, Friends, Cheers and Frasier.

“I’m always humbled when these people talk to me,” said Cooper. “I listen to my guests. I care about them.” Cooper attributes much of his success to his listening skills and background in stand-up comedy. “When you’re doing comedy, you always have to think on your feet,” said Cooper who has appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

COOPER IS QUICK TO POINT OUT that he does his research before a podcast, but never brings written questions. He compares the free-flowing chats to sitting down next to someone at a bar. The conversations evolve and often take unexpected directions. Guests open up, he elaborated, and sometimes share personal vignettes or little-known aspects of their lives. “It’s a wonderful feeling,” noted Cooper.

Acknowledging his knack – honed from many years of experience – for organic chats and expressing his passion for New Jersey, Cooper recently launched The Coop Tank. The hourlong podcasts, similar in format to those

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N N
PROFILE
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Photo courtesy Steve Cooper

on CooperTalk, spotlight local entertainers, musicians and businesspeople. Guests have included comedian Joe Conklin, the original Phillie Phanatic Dave Raymond, Tony Luke Jr. and former Philadelphia Eagle and publisher of JerseyMan/PhillyMan Magazine, Ken Dunek. Listeners can find the locally focused podcasts at thecooptank.podbean.com and on Spotify, Amazon Music and IHeart Radio.

Cooper’s love for his home state and his belief in the power of connections led him to also form a business networking group in the region. In fact, his local podcasts evolved from this endeavor.

And this month, January 2023, Cooper is taking his advocacy of New Jersey to the next level with the launch of CooperTalk Local, a weekly, late-night style television show airing on RVNTV (available via streaming). It will feature 30-minute segments with established musicians, comedians and actors from the tri-

state region. He’s hoping local advertisers will support his effort.

Cooper shared how his life in the world of entertainment took shape. “I’ve always loved movies and listening to comedy albums,” he

said. As a child, he watched a lot of Woody Allen movies with his dad.

An avid sports fan of all Philadelphia teams, Cooper once dreamed of becoming a sports announcer. In his youth, he kept diligent records of all the stats. Yet, somehow, he felt he might eventually do something in the entertainment arena. Yet he knew he needed to be practical when choosing a course of study.

COOPER GRADUATED FROM STOCKTON College in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in business management. In his freshman year, the school held an event called “Mr. Stockton.” “It was like a Mr. America,” recalled Cooper. “I signed up as a joke.” Cooper took to the stage as Rick Springfield on air guitar. “Being on stage was so cool. The audience went nuts,” remembered Cooper, who placed second in the contest. “I also ended up being in the local paper and on the local news.” After that performance, the entertainment bug was born.

Following graduation, Cooper enrolled in a course at The Learning Annex in Philadelphia. It taught him some tricks of the trade about breaking into comedy. Soon he was appearing at open mic nights at clubs throughout the city, such as Comedy Works and Comedy Factory Outlet. “I was selling fax machines by day,” said Cooper of those early days in comedy. His stage life led to travel. Eventually, he moved to California – San Diego, Hollywood and Burbank, the location of many of the entertainment studios.

Cooper had a job doing corporate marketing for a restaurant. One day, he attended a chamber of commerce event. It was there, he explained, that he met a guy from an Internet radio station. People at the event were talking him up, saying he would be great as an on-air talent. Those connections led to a gig at the station. His entrée into on-air, up close and personal chats with entertainers took flight. Things kind of spiraled from there, noted Cooper. There were offers for other Internet radio jobs and then the podcasts evolved. He attributes his longevity in this niche to constant networking and staying current with connections in the industry.

Cooper is humbled to put his guests at center stage. Although decades ago, he aspired to be in the spotlight, that has changed. These days, he wants to build a brand and be a big fish in a small pond. “I love New Jersey and I love what I do,” said Cooper. “I want to build a following and do what I do. I want to entertain people and help them connect with each other. For me, that’s what it’s all about.” n

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‘‘
I love New Jersey and I love what I do. I want to entertain people and help them connect with each other.”
Photo courtesy Steve Cooper Steve Cooper (aka Coop), bottom of screen, during a zoom podcast with Steven Van Zandt.
Included in your membership for $34.99/month *12 month minimum • 1 Epic Cigar • 1 Nat Cicco Cigar • 1 Limited Edition Aged Cigar from Nicaragua or the Dominican Republic • Complimentary Gift *with initial order only To Subscribe: scan QR code or email ken@jerseymanmagazine.com
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Our 2022 Man & Woman of the Year Honorees, from left, Keisha Taylor, Anthony DiFabio, Suzy Pratowski, Senator Troy Singleton, Jane Scaccetti, Rob Worley

7TH ANNUAL

Both the Eagles game and Phillies World Series game fell on the same date and we turned the Ballroom at the Ben into a giant game watch, following the event presentation.

We recognized six members of our community for both their professional and philanthropic achievements and they each picked a charity that was meaningful to them, to represent for our event. A contest was held amongst our honorees and we, along with Tito’s Handmade Vodka, were able to donate almost $15,000 to all six of our honoree charities. We are proud to recognize our top two honorees and their respective charities.

In second place, Senator Troy Singleton supporting Providence House Domestic Violence Services of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton.

In first place, and our first woman to win first place in 7 years, Suzy Pratowski supporting Bringing Hope Home!

Thank you to our 2022 Man & Woman of the Year Honorees, our sponsors, our emcee Bob Kelly of FOX 29’s “Good Day Philadelphia” and all 400 of our friends and family for being there and making it a memorable event.

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Our 7th Annual Unmasking celebration was certainly a night to remember!
Photograph Jeremy Messler Photography
42 42 CELEBRATING OUR MAN & WOMAN OF THE YEAR HONOREES 7TH ANNUAL
Emcee Bob Kelly of Fox29
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Color photos courtesy of John Wilchek Photography. BW photos courtesy of Center City Photo

To nominate someone for our Man & Woman of the Year Honoree recognition please email Ashley at adunek@jerseymanmagazine.com

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CELEBRATING OUR MAN & WOMAN OF THE YEAR HONOREES 7TH ANNUAL
45 45
Color photos courtesy of John Wilchek Photography. BW photos courtesy of Center City Photo

JASONKELCE More than just a football player

It was late,

a good 45 minutes, maybe an even hour, after the Eagles put 40 points on the board against Green Bay in a Sunday night win at Lincoln Financial Field, a game in which the Eagles’ offense ran for a preposterous 360 yards, gained 29 first downs and went up and down the field like a video game in recording their 10th win in 11 games in a magical 2022 season.

Center Jason Kelce had just finished dressing, the final touches on a post-game routine that includes a long and slow removal of his uniform and pads, a dip in the cold tub, a massage if he’s in the mood and a drenching and very satisfying shower. Part of that routine is speaking to the media, and there are dozens of reporters who want to hear his perspective, so the waves keep coming. First, there are the cameras with reporters sticking their microphones in Kelce’s face. Then there is another wave, usually the beat reporters who are looking for more intimate, X’s and O’s kind of answers. And, finally, there are some stragglers who wander by to see if Kelce is still in the mood to talk.

He’s in the mood.

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Photo Philadelphia Eagles

Jason Kelce is always in the mood to share what has been a remarkable NFL journey, from an undersized center out of the University of Cincinnati taken as a late-round (6th) flier in 2011 to a player who could very well have his own bust in Canton, Ohio, the site of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Kelce, still at the top of his game in his 12th season and likely headed for his sixth Pro Bowl and fifth All-Pro selection, is a treasure.

“Going out there and having fun like we did tonight, everybody working hard and working together and accomplishing what we did, you kind of sit back and just realize how much you love all of this,” Kelce said that night. “Every part of this has been special for me, believe me. I don’t take a bit of it for granted. From the day the Eagles drafted

me, I just wanted to maximize what I could become as a football player. “Here I am, 12 years later. I feel great. I love the guys in this locker room, our team is playing some really good football and I’m enjoying everything.”

KELCE IS MORE THAN A FOOTBALL PLAYER in this area

– from the Jersey Shore to Trenton through the City of Philadelphia, down to Delaware and way, way out into the Philadelphia suburbs. He is an icon, a person who has basked in the love of this region’s hard-scrabble and extremely hard-to-please sports fans like very few –if any – professional athletes have. Kelce’s likeability factor is off the charts whether he’s ringing the bell before a Philadelphia 76ers game, or chugging a beer and throwing out the first pitch before a Phillies World Series game or making a Christmas album of holiday cheer with his teammates, unveiling his own clothing line or, as he’s done the last two summers, hosting as a celebrity bartender at a Sea Isle bar and raising a collective $300,000 for the Eagles Autism Foundation.

Jason Kelce is the quintessential Man of the People.

“He’s a king around here,” rookie center Cam Jurgens said. “I

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Photo Philadelphia Eagles
“Believe me. I don’t take a bit of it for granted. From the day the Eagles drafted me, I just wanted to maximize what I could become as a football player.”

understand it. He takes time with everyone, he’s a great football player, he helps people and he really is one of them. Coming here this year for me, I’m just watching everything he does – the way he studies every day and prepares for practice and for each game, the way he watches film, how he takes care of his body and recovers and then how he goes out each week and finds a way to win.

“He has been so helpful to me every step of the way. I think he’s playing great football and he wants me to be a great player. I just admire everything he does.”

KELCE’S FOOTBALL EXCELLENCE HAS BEEN APPARENT

since he arrived in Philadelphia, working with the legendary Howard Mudd. Undersized at barely 300 pounds, Kelce immediately impressed the coaching staff with his athletic ability, incredible feet, wrestler’s leverage and strength and off-the-charts intelligence. The Eagles, always a team to invest in the line of scrimmage, built around Kelce and have long boasted one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. They’ve had stars like Jason Peters, Evan Mathis, Lane Johnson and Brandon Brooks break out as Pro Bowl players, with Kelce always the anchor.

“I’m gonna tell you what Jason Kelce is,” said offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland, who came to Philadelphia with Chip Kelly’s coaching staff in 2013. “He’s a freak of nature. He isn’t the biggest guy, but he’s the one who wants it the most. The guy is a gym rat. He doesn’t leave the building. He eats, drinks, and sleeps this game. He wants to make himself a better football player every day. People want to give me credit, okay, that’s fine. But let me tell you something: when you work with a guy like Jason Kelce, he makes me a great coach. He makes every one of his teammates a better football player. That’s what Jason Kelce is.”

The Man of the People – whether they are football players, coaches, or people in his suburban Philadelphia neighborhood – is ready to pick up and take off out of the Eagles’ locker room. Maybe he drinks a beer or two late at night at home, in his lounge chair, just to unwind before the early wakeup call, tending to his two young daughters, and then a Monday morning visit to the NovaCare Complex to recover for the next week’s game against Tennessee.

He has one more thing to say.

“I appreciate every minute of this because I truly don’t know how long it’s going to last. I’ve been saying that for years now,” Kelce said. “I was raised to treat people with respect, to respect the people around me, to respect the profession I was going to be in, whatever direction that would take me. It just so happens that my brother (Travis, tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs) is playing in the NFL, on this big stage. If I can impact people in a positive way and make a difference, I’m happy to do it. It doesn’t take much a lot of the time. Pose for a picture. Sign an autograph. That can make a positive difference in a person’s life and that’s way bigger than football.”

True, and Kelce does more than his share. But it’s the football for which the Eagles fans revere him, and for that moment on a sunny, brisk February day in 2018 a few days after the Eagles defeated New England to win Super Bowl LII. Kelce stepped to the microphone on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art at the Parade of Champions to celebrate the first Super Bowl victory in the franchise’s history, and he made himself into a legend.

This entire organization, with a bunch of driven men who accomplished something. We were a bunch of underdogs. And you know what an underdog is? It’s a hungry dog. And Jeff Stoutland has had this in our building for five years -- it’s a quote in the O-line room that has stood on

the wall for the last five years -- “Hungry dogs run faster.” And that’s this team. Bottom line is, we wanted it more. All the players. All the coaches. The front office. Jeffrey Lurie. Everybody wanted it more. And that’s why we’re up here today. And that’s why we’re the first team in Eagles history to hold that freakin’ trophy. Any of you know who the biggest underdog is? It’s y’all, Philadelphia. For 52 years, y’all have been waiting for this. You want to talk about an underdog? You want to talk about a hungry dog? For 52 years you’ve been starved of this championship.

Jason Kelce has been an underdog. He’s been the hungry dog. Now he’s just the dawg, a legend, a throwback to a time when fans could love their professional athletes and call them heroes. And for however long it lasts, Kelce is going to enjoy the moment, savor the feeling, and keep giving of himself, knowing that’s just the way things are supposed to be done. n

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Photo Philadelphia Eagles

Phillies Make Philadelphia a Baseball City Again

The Phillies didn’t win the World Series, but they went farther than most people expected last season. Perhaps most importantly, they invigorated a fan base that had been somewhat sleepy for most of the regular season.

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Photos Philadelphia Phillies Nick Castellanos Bryce Harper

Make no mistake: The Eagles are still No. 1 on the Philadelphia sports scene. The Phillies, however, owned the city during their riveting post-season run. They captivated the region as they made the playoffs for the first time since 2011, and then upset the St. Louis Cardinals, Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres to reach the World Series.

“You could see us grow together,” said Dave Dombrowski, president of the team’s baseball operations. He said he had a feeling if the Phillies just got into the playoffs, “we’d have a chance to contend.”

The Phillies’ six-game World Series loss to the powerful Houston Astros was disappointing, but the fans are still enthused for 2023. Ticket sales are brisk. A worker at the team’s merchandise store said Phillies items have been flying off shelves, especially Bryce Harper jerseys and locker-room caps. With a little off-season tinkering, the Phillies should again be in the hunt – provided they can again withstand the loss of Harper for an extended period.

At least that was the general opinion of most long-time fans who were randomly interviewed in South Jersey and Philadelphia.

“If they get some more pitching, get another bat, I’m pretty hopeful of them getting back there,” said Kevin Peeke, 41, a painter from Cherry Hill.

Peeke made that statement shortly BEFORE the Phillies added a strong hitter in shortstop Trea Turner, who brings speed to the lineup. He is someone who also gives the Phils a much-needed leadoff option. Besides Turner, the Phillies signed righthanded starter Taijuan Walker, who had a 3.49 ERA in 29 starts with the Mets last season. and lefthanded reliever Matt Strahm (3.81 ERA over seven seasons) in early December.

Turner, 29, is a two-time 20-homer/20-steal player.

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With a little off-season tinkering, the Phillies should again be in the huntprovided they can again withstand the loss of Harper for an extended period.
Trea Turner

“Trea’s unbelievable,” Harper told reporters late in the season. “Just the way he plays, the way he runs; he does a really good job on the bases.”

Turner leads the majors in stolen bases and is second in hits over the last five seasons. He batted .298 with 21 homers, 27 steals, and a .343 on-base percentage last season.

In his career, he has hit .302 with a .355 on-base percentage, 24 homers, 36 doubles, 83 RBIs, and 44 steals if his numbers are averaged over a 162-game season.

If he can duplicate those stats, 2023 could be a fun ride. Much like 2022.

“I loved the season,” said Shannon Davis, 35, a data analyst from Chester Springs. “We kind of dropped the ball when it was crunch time, but I think that will get them [motivated] to do it next season.”

Tom McDevitt, a Deptford resident, said he wasn’t expecting such a successful season, “so whatever bonus baseball we got was great. Toward the middle of the season, I didn’t think they’d go very far, and they really picked it up at the end and I think there will be some carryover into next season.”

Kevin Brown, 67, a construction worker from Blenheim, also thought the season was a pleasant surprise.

“The up-and-down play during the season

just kept hitting homers

was a little frustrating, but the end of the year was exciting,” he said. “I was content with them just making the playoffs. And when the Mets got bounced out, that’s all I asked for.

Things went well for [the Phillies] with the Dodgers getting knocked out … and they took advantage. It was a fun year.”

But he believes it will be difficult for the Phillies to get back to the Series in 2023.

“I think they’ll have some success next year, but their division is so tough,” he said. “Atlanta is definitely the better team, longterm.”

Besides the Phillies’ talent, Peeke said something else became apparent throughout their post-season run.

“You can see the guys really like each other,” he said. “And even the guys who were in slumps or weren’t doing well, they didn’t

get tighter. You can see they really got along well and it took [pressure off] each other. I think that helped them.”

Peeke was at Game 3 against Houston, the one in which the Phillies tied a World Series record by hitting five homers en route to a 7-0 win that gave them a 2-1 lead in the series.

He said it was the most exciting game he ever attended.

“When (Nick) Castellanos made that

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“They
and it was over.”
– Phillies fan Kevin Peeke

sliding catch on the very first batter in the first inning, I was never worried about the game at all,” Peeke said. “It didn’t feel like anything COULD go bad. It just didn’t.”

He was right. Harper, Alec Bohm, Brandon Marsh, Kyle Schwarber, and Rhys Hoskins ripped home runs as the Phillies romped.

“They just kept hitting homers and it was over,” Peeke added.

At that point, many thought the Phils were destined to bring home their third world championship in franchise history.

But Houston showed why it won 106 games during the regular season. The Astros held the Phils to just nine combined hits and three combined runs over the last three games.

The positives outweighed the negatives, said Charlene Devincentis, a concessions worker at the Wells Fargo Center and Citizens Bank Park

She thinks having Rob Thomson for the full year will help the Phillies in 2023. He replaced the fired Joe Girardi on June 3. The Phils were 22-29 under Girardi in 2022, and 5 ½ games from the second wild-card spot. They went 6546 for Thomson, who was later given a twoyear extension.

It was clear the Phils liked playing for

Thomson, who had them playing more small ball than his predecessor. Prior to getting his extension, several of the team’s veterans said they wanted him as their future manager.

“And even though they didn’t go all the way, I think they did a pretty good job,” said Devincentis, 61, who resides in Northeast Philadelphia. “They made things exciting.”

Citizens Bank Park may never have been louder than it was in the postseason.

“Electric,” Devincentis said. “Simply electric.”

to his regular form.”

Castellanos hit .263 with just 13 homers and 62 RBIs in his first season with the Phillies. The previous year, he batted .309, swatted 34 homers, and had 100 RBIs for Cincinnati.

Besides Castellanos, others will have to pick up the slack while Harper is out – like they did when Harper was sidelined for two months because of a broken thumb during the regular season. He returned for the stretch drive, then put the Phillies into the World Series with an epic homer against San Diego in Game 5 of the NLCS,

Will it be electric with Harper likely missing the first half of the 2023 season?

Harper’s recovery from Tommy John surgery in November will be key to the upcoming season.

The slugging Harper had a torn ulna collateral ligament in his right elbow repaired. The Phillies said he could be back as a designated hitter by the All-Star break.

“I think they’ll overcome it,” said McDevitt, 36, an accountant for Comcast. “They gained lots of momentum from where they left off.”

Brown isn’t convinced.

“It’s going to be hard to replace him,” Brown said. “I’d like to think last year was an aberration for Castellanos and he comes back

Turner, who received an 11-year, $300-million deal in December, should help the Phils bide time until Harper returns. His leadoff ability figures to move Schwarber from No. 1 to No. 2 in the lineup.

Without Harper, the Phillies went 32-20 and got help from unexpected sources, including Darick Hall, who hit nine homers after getting recalled from triple-A.

“You don’t ever want to lose Bryce,” Thomson said after Harper had surgery in November. “He’s one of the best hitters in baseball, if not the best. We spent a lot of time without him last year and it gave other guys the opportunity to step up and they did.”

Can they do it again?

Well, signing Turner was a great start. n

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PHILLY’S FINAL FOUR FINISHERS

IN THE SUMMER of 1978, Bob Weinhaur wrote a letter to his Penn basketball team, checking in on how their preparations for the upcoming season were going. In today’s world of instant communication and players’ near-constant presence on campus, the idea of writing a letter seems quaint.

The message Weinhaur imparted, beyond making sure the running and shooting and lifting were progressing as scheduled, was as timely as a team Zoom call is today.

“I told them to think about going to the Final Four,” Weinhaur says. “Not just watching it as spectators, but playing in it.”

The previous season – Weinhaur’s first leading the program – the Quakers had dropped a second-round NCAA Tournament decision to Duke. “We should have beaten them,” Weinhaur says. Although Penn lost standouts Keven McDonald, Tom Crowley and Stan Greene from that Ivy League championship team, Weinhaur’s goal was hardly outlandish. The returns of forwards Tony Price and Tim Smith, along with center Matt White and guards Bobby Willis and James “Booney” Salters, gave Penn a great foundation for success.

Big success. The following March, Penn moved through the East Region and reached the Final Four in Utah. The Quakers became the fifth Big Five team in history to accomplish that goal, joining La Salle, who won it all in 1954 and was the national runner-up the following year, Temple, who was the Tournament’s third-place finisher (that was a thing until 1979) in ’56, Saint Joseph’s thirdplace squad in 1961 and Villanova, which dropped a national title game decision to UCLA

in ’71. Since then, the Wildcats have reached the Final Four five times and won it all in 1985, 2016 and 2018. When Philadelphia basketball fans speak reverentially about their town’s hoops history, it isn’t idle bragging. This city has quite a history of success.

The ’78-79 Quakers rolled to a 13-1 record in Ivy play and drew Iona in the first round of the tournament. The Gaels were coached by Jim Valvano, who four years later would lead North Carolina State to the NCAA title, and led by center Jeff Ruland, a future Sixer (for a little while, at least). Thanks to 27 points by Price, Penn earned a 73-69 victory. The win didn’t really register on the national scene, but two days later, the Quakers were the tournament’s big story.

On “Black Sunday” in Raleigh, Penn stunned top-seeded and third-ranked North Carolina, 72-71. Price’s 25 led a quartet of Penn double-figure scorers in the upset victory.

“At that point in time, we were riding on a lot of emotion and felt we could play with and beat anybody,” Weinhaur says.

Penn dumped Syracuse to reach the regional final and then outlasted St. John’s – which had shocked second-seeded Duke right after Penn’s win – to reach the school’s first-ever Final Four.

It was a remarkable run by an Ivy school few figured could do anything of note. And it ended in crushing fashion, when Magic Johnson and Michigan State smoked the Quakers, 101-67, in the national semifinals. MSU ran out to a 50-17 halftime lead, as it seemed like Penn missed two dozen layups.

“We missed enough layups for a lifetime,” Weinhaur says. “If there was a time to play our

worst game of the year, that was not it.”

The Quakers rebounded to take DePaul to overtime before falling, 96-93, in the national third-place game. Though the fun ended in Utah, it was an amazing run.

THERE WAS SOME MAGIC 25 years earlier, when none of the nation’s top 10-ranked teams reached the Final Four in Kansas City, creating a perfect opportunity for La Salle and 6-6 all-America forward Tom Gola. The Explorers had only lost four times that year, but they weren’t considered potential champions, even though they had Gola and were in the top 20. But number one Kentucky refused a bid when three of its players were deemed ineligible. Three other top-10 squads chose to play in the NIT, which was almost as prestigious as the NCAA Tournament at the time. And other top squads were upset, including 10th-ranked NC State, which La Salle disposed of, 88-81, in the second round at the Palestra.

Gola was the clear leader of the team. One of two returning starters for the Explorers, he was a versatile player who could do just about anything with the ball. Legendary UCLA coach John Wooden once called him “the greatest allaround basketball player” he had ever seen. And the amazing Wilt Chamberlain, who grew up in Overbrook as Gola was starring for La Salle and later the Philadelphia Warriors, was positively reverential about Gola. “When I was growing up, you whispered the name Tom Gola,” Chamberlain once said. “He was like a saint.”

The Explorers needed overtime to whip

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Fordham, 76-74, in the NCAA tourney’s first round. They took care of the 10th-ranked Wolfpack, 88-81, before routing Navy, 64-48, to reach the Final Four. Behind 19 points and 17 boards from Gola, La Salle rolled past Penn State, 69-54, to set up a championship game matchup with Bradley. The first half was taut, but La Salle blew it open after intermission and cruised to a 92-76 victory and the title. Charles Singley and Frank Blatcher led the way with 23 each, while Gola matched his 19 points with 19 boards.

A year later, Gola (24.2 ppg, 19.9 rpg) was back, and the Explorers returned to the Final Four, but though they whipped Iowa in the semis, they didn’t have enough to stop San Francisco and future Hall of Famers Bill Russell and K.C. Jones in the final game. Still, it was an amazing two-year run for the school from Olney.

While Gola was a singular marvel, the ’5556 Owls had a pair of backcourt standouts that comprised arguably the greatest backcourt duo in Philadelphia history and one of the best ever in the college game. Guy Rodgers and Hal Lear were all-around phenoms capable of scoring, passing and defending, and they led Temple to the 1956 Final Four in Evanston.

That season, legendary coach Harry Litwack led Temple to a 27-4 record. Once in the NCAA Tournament, the Owls whipped 14th-ranked Holy Cross, Connecticut and Canisius – by a total of 10 points. Lear had 40 in the win over the Huskies, while Rodgers paced Temple with 22 against the Golden Griffins. Though the pair was outstanding against fourth-ranked Iowa in the national semifinals, combining for 60 points, it wasn’t enough, as the Hawkeyes thrived at the foul line in an 83-76 win.

Despite the loss, Lear earned MVP honors for the Final Four after he erupted for 48 in the 90-81 third-place win over SMU. It was a remarkable conclusion to his career on North Broad Street and further evidence that he was an all-time great. As for Rodgers, Philadelphia basketball icon Sonny Hill said it best.

“Let’s put it in Philadelphia’s perspective: whoever it is you think is the second-best Big Five player, he’s not close to Guy Rodgers.”

THE STORY of the 1961 St. Joe’s Final Four team is bittersweet. Under Jack Ramsay, the school’s greatest coach, the Hawks rolled to the Mid-Atlantic Region title and the Final Four, behind high-scoring forward Jack Egan. It was a dream season that ended in a nightmare, when, after the Hawks were trampled by Ohio State, 95-69, in the semifinals but outlasted Utah in quadruple overtime, 127-120, in the

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third-place game, a nationwide gambling scandal surfaced and three Hawks were expelled for having been paid to shave points. The school’s appearance in the Final Four was vacated, and the 25-5 joyride became a cautionary tale.

Villanova’s 1971 Final Four journey didn’t have a wonderful ending, either – on or off the court. The Jack Kraft-coached Wildcats reached the national title game against UCLA after routing Penn, 90-47, in the East regional final and sweating out a 92-89 double-OT win over Western Kentucky in the national semis. But the ‘Cats dropped a 68-62 decision to the Bruins in the championship game and then had to “vacate” their appearance when it was revealed that star forward Howard Porter had signed a professional contract during the season.

BUT THERE WERE NO ASTERISKS

next to the Wildcats’ names in 1985, 2016 and 2018, when they won three national titles. The ’85 team, coached by Rollie Massimino, snuck into the round of 64 as the eighth seed and won its first three games by a combined nine points. But VU whipped North Carolina, 56-44, in the regional final and then subdued Memphis State to reach the national title game.

There, they played the “perfect” second half to upend mighty Georgetown, 66-64.

“Villanova deserves a hell of a lot of credit,” Hoyas coach John Thompson said years later. “They beat the best team in the country.”

‘Nova reached the Final Four in 2009 but lost in the national semis to UNC. Last season, they dropped another semifinal decision, this time to Kansas. But in 2016, there was no losing. Jay Wright’s team won it all when Kris Jenkins’ three-pointer beat the buzzer and gave Villanova a 77-74 triumph over Carolina. Two years later, the Wildcats were even better. They won a school-record 36 games and captured their six tourney victories by at least 12 points each, with the 79-62 finals win over Michigan the capper. It was a remarkable season for what could be the city’s best team ever.

“When we got to the 2009 Final Four and we lost the first game, I thought that was my shot,” Wright said after the game. “I was happy. I was fine. Then, when we won the title and I thought alright, I’m happy and now I just want to make sure the guys graduate and the team stays competitive. This is out of my comprehension.”

Just as it was for those teams that accomplished so much throughout the city’s rich college basketball history. n

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Photos Kurt Smith Foodie Hall co-owner Dan Goldberg

Hall of Food

Authentic Philly food without tolls and traffic

THE NEW FOODIE

HALL in Cherry Hill is a revolutionary concept – first-rate food prepared specifically for takeout and delivery while offering something for every taste.

For you JerseyMan readers and Legacy Club faithful, since membership has its perks, we’re about to share privileged information with you. If you’re on a plane or train, check that no one is looking over your shoulder and that there are no surveillance cameras nearby. We’re entrusting you as someone with a need to know.

Here it is: You can now get a Geno’s cheesesteak in South Jersey.

Okay, maybe it doesn’t sound that momentous. Tony Luke’s, Primo, DiNic’s and other iconic Philly sandwich shops have all opened outposts across the Delaware, sparing their enthusiasts in our neck of the woods considerable congestion.

For Geno’s, expansion from its 56-year South Philly location has been minimal. You can find a couple of locations in the city, like the airport. But until very recently, a Jersey dweller had to pay a bridge toll to sample a Geno’s cheesesteak.

Dan Goldberg, co-owner of the Foodie Hall in Cherry Hill that now offers the essential Philly sandwich, helped to make this unprecedented happening possible.

“We’re very excited about it,” Goldberg says. “Our PR firm had a relationship with Geno and made the introduction. We pitched

Geno on the idea, and surprisingly to us, he was receptive.

“Geno’s has never expanded outside of Philadelphia, ever. So, for us, this was a really exciting opportunity. Geno toured our facility, was very impressed with the layout, the cleanliness, and the whole thought that we put behind it, and said he was interested.”

And so you know, Goldberg didn’t just throw a few bucks at Geno Vento to use his signage. Thankfully, Geno is more protective of his brand than that.

“We worked out our deal and went through extensive training with Geno to make sure that the Geno’s steak you have here in Cherry Hill is the same Geno’s steak you’ll have in South Philly. Which is not only important to us, but obviously important to Geno as well. It’s literally his name on the marquee.

“Geno was adamant. Because he’s approached all the time, he wants to make sure there’s consistency across his locations.”

TO SUCCESSFULLY PERSUADE

Geno’s to be a part of Foodie Hall is obviously a significant accomplishment. But it gets better.

Foodie Hall opened for business in May of 2022 offering a novel idea…multiple types of cuisine available for takeout and delivery. No more settling, they proudly proclaim. If your family bickers frequently over what to get for dinner, or your sports-watching buddies can’t decide between pizza or burgers, Foodie Hall is your solution.

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To be sure, maybe any-cuisine food delivery isn’t what you’d call a novel idea these days. As many restaurants in New Jersey were forced to close in response to a virus, many of them were offering takeout and delivery options to stay viable. If your local diner was doing this, you could probably choose from a varied menu and have DoorDash or GrubHub bring it to you.

Foodie Hall is revolutionary in being designed for the purpose of delivering higher quality food…whether it’s tacos, chicken sandwiches, or dumplings. Hop onto their website (www.foodiehall.com) and order from menus that include Detroit-style pizza, Korean BBQ burgers, chicken Quesabirria burritos and much more. All chef-inspired creations.

IN CASE YOU’RE WONDERING,

Foodie Hall wasn’t conceived during the pandemic. But the sudden pivot towards takeout and delivery definitely gave the idea a boost.

“In 2018-19,” Goldberg remembers, “my original founding partner (Nick Ballias) and I, we met at a food event that I co-chair, called Men and Women are Cooking, that raises money for the Atlantic City Boys and Girls Club. This was when GrubHub, Uber Eats and DoorDash had come to Atlantic City, and it was starting to blow up.

“We started coming up with an idea for a delivery-only restaurant. We had penciled this out already, and then Covid hit, and restaurants closed, and all of a sudden everyone was ordering delivery.

“My parents were telling me how they had ordered Morton’s for dinner. That’s when it

struck me, there are people whose consumer habits have now changed and will never go back. It’s no longer just wings and pizza. There are my parents, who are not exactly the most tech-savvy, ordering steaks for dinner. That means anybody can be ordering everything.

“So why not come up with a restaurant concept that had multiple different types of cuisines on it? We ran into this family idea, where the parents want adult food and the kids want pizza or mac and cheese. Or the parents can’t agree. Or you have a group of friends watching football and they all want something different. Rather than settling, let’s have something for everyone.”

Sounds great, but how could that all work? A conveyor belt is a big part of it (!), but Goldberg says every step of the process matters.

“We put a lot of thought into what delivery trends were taking place, what was working and what we saw that wasn’t working,” he remembers. “Packaging was a big piece of it. Many restaurants during the pandemic that were doing delivery kind of out of necessity were using takeout packages. Those packages are not meant necessarily to be reheated, or to be leak-proof, or to sit in a car for a half hour or to retain heat or cold.

“We looked at packaging specifically meant for delivery. We wanted something that would maintain heat and not leak. We literally made products in our kitchen, put them in different containers, and had them sit in our parking lot for a half hour or drive around and see how they held up. We wanted packaging that would be eco-friendly, and able to be reheated in microwaves and ovens and things.”

Then there’s the little matter of creating

Meals 4 Meals

Dan Goldberg and his people consider giving back to be part of the ethos of business success, and they offer an incentive to philanthropic types who love great food. For every meal ordered from Foodie Hall, they donate a meal to Feeding America through their Meal 4 Meal program. On Foodie Hall’s website, they call the initiative “a vitally important guiding principle in how we operate.”

Goldberg is happy to explain how it works. “What they do is, they will take a monetary donation that they get a lot more mileage out of than we would, because of their immense buying power. We donate an amount to them for every meal that we sell, which is the meal equivalent for them. They use that to purchase meals for their partner charities, which are all across the country and the world.

“We initially got the idea from the Bombas Socks people. For every pair of socks that they sell, they donate a pair to people in need in a country outside of America. And we loved the idea. It made a lot of sense to us.”

So, when you order from Foodie Hall, you’re not only providing all your guests or employees something for their own tastes, you’re also making a contribution to a four-star organization with 200 food banks and over 60,000 programs to help feed the hungry in your own homeland. Not that you need any extra incentive to try Simply Fowl’s Nashville fried chicken sandwich, but it doesn’t hurt.

“By our calculations,” Goldberg estimates, “We’ll be donating about 50,000 meals this year, which is really exciting. I’m very proud of that.”

a wide variety of cuisine from one kitchen, maintaining quality, and somehow keeping overhead down.

“We are very conscientious in the ingredients we use to be cross utilized across all the platforms. For example, chicken breast is used in multiple products across the different restaurants. I have a chicken parm sandwich at Criss Crust, and we have the chicken sandwich concept, Simply Fowl, and then we have salads that have grilled chicken on them. We’re trying to use things across and that keeps us more efficient.

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Photo Kurt Smith

Establishing The Brand(s)

Foodie Hall features eight restaurants under its umbrella as this sentence was written, including Geno’s Steaks, an instantly recognizable brand to Philly area natives.

You can order Mexican street cuisine from Dando Tacos, Jersey fried chicken sandwiches from Simply Fowl, craft burgers from DaNick’s, Buffalo chicken mac and cheese from Mac N Toastie, or vegetable dumplings from the Cantina Wok & Noodle Bar. If you’re going Italian, try the Criss Crust Detroit-style pizza, or the antipasti from the Fornire Italian Kitchen.

Seeing the choices, a South Jersey food enthusiast could wonder how they have lived here so long without recognizing the catchy names and logos sitting alongside Geno’s. How does anyone miss Mac N Toastie?

When questioned whether the others are established eateries in their own right, Dan Goldberg considers it a triumph of Foodie Hall’s design.

“I’m glad you asked that,” he explains, “because they’re not. The fact that you asked that question means we did a good job of branding and trademarking to look like they are established brands. And the idea is that these brands will proliferate and open up in other Foodie Halls.

“There was a lot of thought given to the name, the logo, the design, the color scheme, to make it look like a franchise or an established restaurant. But they’re all our own creations, we came up with them. We put the menu together, the recipes, etc.”

That includes DaNick’s, which sounds perilously close to DiNic’s, the longestablished roast pork sandwich destination in the region.

“No, different name,” Goldberg responds when asked about the similarity. “They’re actually named after (co-founder) Nick (Ballias) and I, Dan and Nick. Nothing to do with them, we love their sandwiches, but yes, completely unrelated.”

So foodies in the area can rest easy knowing that they haven’t missed out on Fornire’s, and a potential topic for their blog.

But if you’re one of those types, the clock’s ticking on trying out Foodie Hall before your blogosphere competitors do.

“When we designed the kitchen, we were concerned with having a traffic issue, with people walking around and bringing all the various foods to the front. It would have been a waste of labor. We came up with a solution which I borrowed from my old business…a commercial laundry business…where we had

a conveyor belt. It’s a 120-foot conveyor belt that runs down the center of our kitchen.

“I don’t need people running up to the front and bringing the food, I don’t have to worry about people walking into each other. It’s a way to keep costs down and keep order in the kitchen.”

The conveyor belt concept is indeed impressive to witness. An owner of a busy diner might see it and wonder how in the world they didn’t think of it.

“No one’s ridden on it yet that I know of,” Goldberg jokes.

WE AT JERSEYMAN love telling readers what makes life in South Jersey great and highlighting business ingenuity among our own. Places like Foodie Hall give us plenty to work with.

In the days before smartphone maps, you might have had a difficult time finding the place. It’s situated in an industrial park in Cherry Hill, just off of Route 70 but requiring navigation of annoyingly tricky jug handles and intersections. If it were a sit-down restaurant, the difficulty getting there might be a factor in your going elsewhere.

But for this style of eatery the location is the

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Photo Kurt Smith

Key Players - Georgeann Leaming

Dan Goldberg and co-founder Nick Ballias don’t mess around when it comes to takeout fare for discriminating South Jersey natives. While working out the plans for Foodie Hall, they considered product quality important enough to bring a chef on board to be a culinary consultant and design recipes for their menu of food creations.

Not just any chef, by the way…they partnered with Georgeann Leaming.

You may have heard of Leaming…she’s been a champion TV chef on Food Network’s Chopped and competed on Hulu’s Man vs. Master. She’s been an executive chef for two of Gordon Ramsey’s restaurants and has co-owned two food stops in Philly. One of them, Samwich, took Philadelphia Magazine’s “Best Fried Chicken Sandwich” prize in 2016. That’s just a partial list of Leaming’s “street cred” in Philly area cuisine, but it’s enough to see why Dan and Nick would take the opportunity to work with her.

“It was very important for us to not simply have your average burger or chicken sandwich. We try to do everything higher end than your normal delivery would be.

“She left to pursue some other avenues in September, but she was with us all the way. She helped us design the menus, and some of the dishes were completely her own from top to bottom in terms of the ingredients, the recipes and everything. These are recipes that we use, and we haven’t changed anything since she left.

“Georgeann was a big help,” Goldberg acknowledges. “Fantastic, talented chef, culinary director, and really helped design and get this to where it is. Perfect person for this, and without her, we wouldn’t have the type of food that we have today.”

The decision of what to get for everyone in the room isn’t the only comestible conundrum Foodie Hall solves. If you’re looking for cuisine inspired by a top chef in the region without the triple-digit price, they take care of that for you too.

beauty of it.

“We are delivery and takeout only,” Goldberg says. “We need to be near people, and we need to be near businesses, but I don’t need to be on Route 70 or Route 73. I just need accessibility, I don’t need visibility. We built out this really high-end large kitchen, with the latest and greatest in equipment, but I’m not paying the prices I would pay to be on Route 70 or 73. It’s more economical to be here.”

Market research drove the location of Foodie Hall’s first outpost in Cherry Hill, even though it seems obvious.

“Between Cherry Hill and Mount Laurel and Maple Shade, you have a tremendous number of people that are foodies. It really fit well for us.

“It has a great mix of residents and businesses. We can cater to people in their homes at night and on weekends, and our concept lends itself perfectly to office orders and catering during the day. We’re getting a lot of offices that typically order once a week, the same idea as from home. Instead of having 20 people fighting over what we’re having for lunch, now 20 people can get what they want in one delivery.”

Including an authentic Geno’s cheesesteak, without the tolls and traffic. n

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New Year Portfolio Resolutions

HAPPY NEW YEAR to our clients, friends, and colleagues! At the beginning of 2022, my business partner Albert Fox (Managing Director, Fox, Penberthy & Dehn at Morgan Stanley) wrote in JerseyMan about the pitfalls of herd behavior and mental accounting. He warned, “It took years for investors to recover from the bursting of [the internet and housing] bubbles, yet many of those same investors are now crowding into expensive stocks, low credit quality bonds, and emerging asset classes like cryptocurrency.” That sounds like a time capsule, but it was only twelve months ago that many indexes were trading near record highs.

Stubbornly high inflation, Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine, and the bankruptcy of a large cryptocurrency exchange drove headlines in a dismal 2022 for most asset classes. Investors who followed the herd in 2021 were met with disappointment in 2022 as stocks, bonds, and

can help set the tone for long-term risk and return assumptions. Even complex stochastic modeling software requires these inputs, so we view the baseline as a critical starting point for a client financial plan. I believe your actual allocation should hover around the baseline over time to ensure validity of the plan.

An exceptional financial advisor should routinely assess your risk tolerance through conversations, questionnaires, and what-if scenarios. The risk assessment should translate to a baseline that aids your objectives and allows you to sleep at night, which means different things to different people. Some investors view themselves as gamblers who can tolerate even the largest portfolio fluctuations, but others wince at the slightest loss on their account statement. Most people are somewhere in between, and a risk tolerance assessment will help establish a baseline allocation that is appropriate for you.

cryptocurrencies experienced historically large declines. Inflation ate away at safe havens like cash despite one-year Treasury yields rising to their highest rate in fifteen years.

This begs the question: should I stay the course, or change my strategy? The answer to that question is dependent on multiple factors, including what your current portfolio looks like, what your investment objectives are, and what your baseline allocation is. One of the most common mistakes we see is picking investments based on last year’s performance. Investors who are still working sometimes consult a matrix of 401(k) investment funds and recent returns with the assumption that the next year will be the same as the last one. 2022 was a great example of why that strategy doesn’t always work.

If you don’t have a baseline allocation, now may be a good time to establish one. If you are in or nearing retirement, a baseline allocation

The baseline typically does not fluctuate much, but tactical changes can be made along your investment journey. Perhaps tech stocks reach valuations similar to 1999 or 2021 and a sector-specific adjustment can make sense, or there are warning signs of economic recession and an overweight to high quality securities becomes prudent. What investors should avoid are rash decisions that stray from the baseline, such as selling large swathes of the portfolio when the markets are down, or adding significant risk when the markets are at all-time highs.

Contact a qualified financial advisor if you don’t know where to start. For additional information on herd behavior and our market outlook, Fox, Penberthy & Dehn’s video series is available to the public on our website (advisor.morganstanley.com/fox-penberthy-dehn). Remember that your actions today will impact your family’s financial future for years to come, so there is no time like the present to start planning.

SOURCES: Paragraph 1: See separate PDF, which appeared in the January 2022 issue of JerseyMan Magazine. Paragraph 2: https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financing-the-government/interest-rate-statistics. Paragraph 6: http://www.econ.yale.edu/~shiller/data.htm

The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management or its affiliates. All opinions are subject to change without notice. Neither the information provided nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Asset Allocation does not assure a profit or protect against loss in declining financial markets.

This material does not provide individually tailored investment advice. It has been prepared without regard to the individual financial circumstances and objectives of persons who receive it. The strategies and/or investments discussed in this material may not be appropriate for all investors. Morgan Stanley Wealth Management recommends that investors independently evaluate particular investments and strategies, and encourages investors to seek the advice of a Financial Advisor. The appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor’s individual circumstances and objectives.

When Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, its affiliates and Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors and Private Wealth Advisors (collectively, “Morgan Stanley”) provide “investment advice” regarding a retirement or welfare benefit plan account, an individual retirement account or a Coverdell education savings account (“Retirement Account”), Morgan Stanley is a “fiduciary” as those terms are defined under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (“ERISA”), and/or the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the “Code”), as applicable. When Morgan Stanley provides investment education, takes orders on an unsolicited basis or otherwise does not provide “investment advice”, Morgan Stanley will not be considered a “fiduciary” under ERISA and/or the Code. For more information regarding Morgan Stanley’s role with respect to a Retirement Account, please visit www.morganstanley.com/disclosures/dol. Tax laws are complex and subject to change. Morgan Stanley does not provide tax or legal advice. Individuals are encouraged to consult their tax and legal advisors (a) before establishing a Retirement Account, and (b) regarding any potential tax, ERISA and related consequences of any investments or other transactions made with respect to a Retirement Account.

Buying, selling, and transacting in Bitcoin or other digital assets, and related funds and products, is highly speculative and may result in a loss of the entire investment.

Information contained herein has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee their accuracy or completeness. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC. CRC 5329014 12/22

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PROMOTION
One of the most common mistakes we see is picking investments based on last year’s performance
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*JerseyMan/PhillyMan ambassador

TECH TIME

Your 2023

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.

Technology New Year’s Resolution

Finally, 2022 is officially over. Another year in the books and a lot of memories to cherish. We all made it through what was the year of the most cyberattacks to date.

1. I resolve to use MFA on everything.

This security feature is quickly becoming the norm for business and personal accounts because of the headaches it causes hackers. Think of MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) as a quick security “double-check.” Even if your password is compromised by a hacker, they are stymied because another passcode is sent to your phone or another device to finalize login. Yes, it’s an extra step. But the time you spend securing yourself with MFA is certainly less time (and money) than dealing with the financial fallout of a hacked account.

2. I will not take social media quizzes or surveys.

Social media quizzes are fun and harmless, right? Think again. These quizzes can actually be a form of data mining that can, in turn, be used to try to figure out your passwords. Innocent-sounding questions relating to first cars, favorite vacation spots, names of children or pets, streets you grew up on, etc. can all be used to try to figure out your password. If you have any of these as your password, do yourself a favor and change it immediately. And never ever use a birthday as a password.

3. I will not use the same password for every site.

This is a no-brainer. If a hacker manages to get your password for a specific site, the last thing you want to do is give them the keys to your kingdom by using the same

passwords for all your accounts. Every single account you use should have a long, unique string containing alphanumeric (upper and lowercase) and special characters. If you have trouble remembering passwords, there are a lot of great apps on the web that will not only store your passwords securely but can also help generate strong passwords too.

4.

work e-mail for anything other than work.

This is pretty simple. Don’t use your work email address for any store subscriptions, login information, or anything that allows malicious attacks to happen. Using your work email for anything spam related can lead to a data breach if a hacker were to get into your account. Don’t compromise your organization’s data with spam that could possibly be phishing attempts.

5.

I will not connect to public WIFI. I will use my own mobile hotspot.

Public WIFI is … Public. Free WIFI connection is an open portal for all information to stream through and make it easy for hackers to dig through the data and retrieve your important information. Connecting to your mobile hotspot will ensure that your data is being protected and keep all malicious attacks to a minimum. Though this is far from a complete list of cybersecurity tips and rules, making these small changes will go a long way to keeping your personal data and your accounts secure.

I hope that 2023 brings you and your family joy, health, and prosperity. If you have a technology topic you would like me to discuss in future articles, I welcome you to reach out to me. Be well, stay safe, and I look forward to hearing from you. n

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@PCS_AnthonyM
To help you keep your data and accounts safe, I’m here to get you started with five resolutions you should make and keep in the New Year.
I will not use my
Stay Connected JerseyManMagazine.com

THE WINE MAN

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

Wine and Climate Change

FOR MOST OF US, we want to believe climate change is real. It is not “fake news” and frankly unless something changes dramatically and fast, it is here to stay for a very long time, unfortunately. The size of the droughts, storms, hurricanes, and wildfires sweeping across our globe, and right here at home, are likely to have profound long-term effects on how we live, eat and drink. I know, advances in technology and meteorology, more than ever, have brought us a much clearer view of the magnitude of these, but we must admit, it is daunting when we finally see the man-made devastation that occurs following one of these incredible catastrophic events.

production and quality changes in wines to be the new norm is understood, given the extreme environmental circumstances. And, it has been, to an extent, reflected in the reduction in crop yields. Ironically, however, there is somewhat of a silver lining to what could possibly result in the destruction of an industry that is traced back to Greece’s early years. Surprisingly, global warming, with all its droughts, wildfires, and heat waves, has recently produced some excellent wines. allowing better balance and ripeness of both white and red grapes and producing more sugar which converts into alcohol. Positively, the drier weather prevents the vines from becoming diseased, such as contracting mildew. Hard to believe, but in Bordeaux,

amount of sunlight to hit the clusters, so more sugar was produced. Today, these producers let the leaves cover the grape bunches to protect them from getting burned, effectively preserving the acidity and freshness of the fruit. And producers are taking other steps, include working the soil to control moisture so the younger vines can be assured of getting their fair share of water.

Since older vines have deeper roots, they tend to have access to moisture found deeper in the soil. However, recent changes have been made in appellations such as Bordeaux, which in the past always banned watering practices, but now authorize watering techniques so the parent vines can survive.

Last, there are “tougher” varietals that

Global warming greatly impacts so many areas of our lives, no doubt, but one of the areas that is most deeply affected, which is not given much consideration, is that of grape growing. Climate change has caused a 15 to 20% reduction in recent annual grape yields. One just needs to consider what makes many appellations so powerful—that of “terroir.” The French coined the word back many centuries ago. According to Webster, “it’s the combination of factors including soil, climate, and sunlight that gives wine grapes their distinctive character.” So, given all these devastating environmental effects on our land within the last quarter century, it is apparent that the outcome of the fruit we grow could be dramatically altered. But how?

The notion that one should expect global warming would wreak havoc on the wine industry, in general, and cause shortages,

the 2022 vintage could be better than ever. So, counterintuitively, one would not expect that the climate crisis would somewhat be beneficial to the grape-growing industry.

With these more recent environmental changes that are taking hold on our farmers, what changes must they embrace to assure seasonal fruit-growing crops such as grapes are the best they can be? First, when to begin the harvest is critical, which typically, in seasons past, began somewhere in midOctober, and now begins much earlier, as early as mid-September. The harvest must be controlled and gotten right.

THERE ARE OTHER AREAS too where farmers are making changes to trick and fool Mother Nature into producing better grapes. In the past, vintners would shape vines in such a way as to allow the maximum

withstand lack of moisture and rougher conditions better than some others that are farmed today. Farmers are changing from some of the typical grape varietals planted today to ones that can stand up to the most severe drought and adverse weather conditions possible.

The droughts, hurricanes, variations in weather temperatures, and sweeping wildfires of today have changed the way wine producers work, and for the better. Frankly, it is out of the necessity to survive. Production may be lower than in the past, but the quality of the grape is still very high. It is a testament to the very creative changes the fruit farmers and wine producers are now recognized for, which, in turn, will assure each of us who has a passion for this beautiful nectar, that the high-quality wine production we’ve all come to expect will be secured for many years to come. n

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