Together and with The Power of We, we can start a revolution. One Soul at a time... ~Jon Bon Jovi *** There's a Story on every street corner, my friend. All you have to do is open your eyes... ~Richie Sambora

What a Day!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Queenie is exhausted tonight. My day started innocently enough, a short mile and a half walk/run... trying to get into some kind of shape other than pear. Then it was drag the boys off for haircuts before heading to our local garden center. Bought enough flowers for two people or so I thought. Actually, I had just enough to fill in all my beds. Which I proceeded to do, all afternoon.

I cleaned out more scrub and weeds, which I donated to my neighbors growing mulch pile and then planted three and a half dozen (that would be 42 in case you're having trouble with the math) pansies, petunias, geraniums and some other pink and white flowers which at this time their name escapes me. I have four pots on my front step and everything looks so pretty. Now I just need to keep little man and his friends out of them.

My day didn't stop there. After a beverage break, hub and I got dinner going. Love cooking on the grill! And I just now sat down after making 4 dozen chocolate chip cookies to take to a get together tomorrow.

Now, I'm going to stretch out on my couch and watch Bon Jovi Unplugged. Its on Palladia in just a little bit. 11 EST to be exact.



What are our Beloved Soul Doing Now?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Soul players tackling other interests with AFL idle

Philadelphia Daily News

If idle hands are the devil's workshop, think of what Lucifer could do with an entire football team in the midst of an inactive season.

But while facilities all around the Arena Football League sit in darkness, a number of the Soul's premier players have resisted temptation and instead gotten on with their lives. No choice. The league flushed 2009 down the toilet back in December and the future beyond '09 has remained in limbo ever since.

The thoughts of star wide receiver Chris Jackson, who turned 34 in February, are a common theme among AFL players in exile.

"It has forced me to not procrastinate about thinking about life after football," said Jackson, who helped lead Philadelphia to the 2008 AFL title in his first season with the Soul. "Do I go through my savings account or do I try to do something else? It has forced me to go back to school and explore other options."

This time last year, Jackson was playing football. Now, he's pursuing a master's degree at the University of Phoenix and will coach at St. Mary's High School in Phoenix where his son will be a freshman this fall.

A vice president in the AFL Players Association, Jackson was part of the group that agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement in March that slashed the salary cap in half to around $1 million per team.

"We've done all we can," he said. "It's all in the owners' hands at this point."

Until the owners come to an agreement on the new business plan, the league sits.

When last we saw Matt D'Orazio, he was rolling along the championship parade route on Market Street last July. He had come off the bench midway through the year and quarterbacked the Soul to a title in just its fifth season; grabbing Arena-Bowl MVP honors along the way.

Instead of defending that title, D'Orazio is headed for a shot at the other extreme of football. Compared to Arena Football, the dimensions of the Canadian Football League are akin to Ray Kinsella's corn patch in "Field of Dreams." Through Pete Costanza, his former offensive coordinator at Columbus (Ohio) of the AFL, D'Orazio will take a shot at making the roster of the Calgary Stampeders. Training camp begins the first week of June.

"Usually, I try to think positive, but I'm flying out to Calgary [for camp]," D'Orazio said. "It's a 35-hour drive from Columbus and I didn't want to have to drive back in 2 weeks if I didn't make the team. Seventy hours in 2 weeks would be rough."

The Stampeders won the 2008 Grey Cup and have three other quarterbacks on the roster, including incumbent starter Henry Burris, a Temple product.

For being named the ArenaBowl MVP, D'Orazio was presented with a canary-yellow Mitsubishi convertible that barely could hold his equipment much less provide comfort for his 6-4 frame. Just like the 2009 AFL season, that vehicle is long gone.

"We got rid of it and got a minivan," laughed D'Orazio, who has a 2-year-old daughter and a 5-month-old son. "If this was 10 years down the road when we didn't need two car seats, maybe I would have kept it."

The shutdown led to the end of Tony Graziani's stellar Arena football career. Graziani, who turned 35 in December, has decided to retire.

One of the league's all-time greats, Graziani arrived in Philadelphia before 2005 and gave the organization a face. He was coming off a season in Los Angeles in which he threw a ridiculous 99 touchdowns with just five interceptions. The Soul gave him the league's richest contract at $165,000 annually. Those days, like D'Orazio's convertible, are a distant memory.

"I'm getting out of shape as quickly as I can," Graziani joked. "I'm working on my 'office' body."

Graziani, who works in commercial real estate, will continue to serve on the AFL Players Association's executive board and serve as an analyst for Sports USA radio.

Among other Soul players, defensive lineman Gabe Nyenhuis (Saskatchewan) and offensive lineman Phil Bogle (Montreal) have signed with the CFL. Defensive back Eddie Moten is one of the remaining contestants of Michael Irvin's reality TV series "4th & Long" on the Versus network. Fellow defensive back Rob Keefe is an assistant coach with Spokane, of af2.

"With the year we had [in 2008], it would have been nice to play this year," D'Orazio said from his home in Columbus. "It's so rare to win a championship and it would have been fun to come back and have a ring ceremony and reconnect with the fans." *

Source: Philadelphia Daily News


Arena Football, Coming Back?

Monday, May 18, 2009

I certainly hope so and from the sounds of this article, so does Ron Jaworski. I'm not holding my breath, but I just might have to keep my fingers crossed...

Arena Football leaders to discuss business plan

There is a meeting today in Chicago that could serve as the next step to breathing life back into Arena Football.

Philadelphia Soul president Ron Jaworski characterized the gathering as "an informational meeting." Fans hope that its direct result will be a resumption of the sport.

"I'm incredibly confident that we will be playing next year," Jaworski said. Co-owner Craig Spencer will represent the Soul in Chicago.

The biggest hurdle is having the owners ratify a business plan that proponents hope will stem the sea of red ink that forced the league to shut down in 2009. The Soul won the league's championship in 2008.

According to a report in the Sports Business Journal, the gist of the plan would call for the AFL to use outside companies for ticket sales, marketing and other league business. In March, the players union agreed to a modified collective bargaining agreement that, most significantly, slashed the salary cap in half to somewhere in the neighborhood of $1 million per team.

In other team news, Soul defensive back Eddie Moten will be a contestant on "4th & Long," a reality-TV show led by former Dallas Cowboys star Michael Irvin that premieres at 10 o'clock tonight on the Versus network.

The contest features six wide receivers and six defensive backs in an intense competition that will give the winner a spot on the Cowboys' training-camp roster. Each week, one player will be cut. Former Soul wide receiver Steve Gonzalez also is a contestant. *



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I am and always have been a Bon Jovi fan. This blog is just my obsession taken a step further, my imagination in high gear if you will. I love to read and decided to see what would happen when I took that love of the written word and ramped it up a bit.

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