Lou Stone: Against the Odds

Every glance was more piercing than the last. Every mumble was another shot straight at the heart of his confidence. Every class, every seminar, he sat alone, though the loneliness didn’t bother him as much as the reason why the loneliness continued.

Lewis Stone Jr. is black.

Life for Lou has always been an uphill battle because of the color of his skin. Every step he has taken has been judged and every decision he has made has been second-guessed.  Growing up in Willow Grove, Pa., a town with a population that is nearly 90-percent white, was far from easy.

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Mahlon Duckett, the Negro Leagues and Connections to the Past

(phillies.com)
Mahlon Duckett 1922-2015 (phillies.com)

Mahlon Duckett died on Sunday, age 92. He was the final surviving member of the Philadelphia Stars, the Negro National Leagues baseball team in Philly from 1933-1952. The news may not have been a blip on your radar, even if your newsfeed is filled with baseball.

But events like Duckett’s death are important and should be talked about. Duckett was a last living link to oft-forgotten history. It’s Philadelphia history, baseball history and American history. I wrote about it in a little obit for CSNPhilly.com. We mustn’t miss an opportunity to talk about it.

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Meghan Knecht, the Knecht Cup and Learning Her Family’s Past

This was a fun story to work on and to break out of the constant cycle of the athletics seasons. Drexel Crew freshman Meghan Knecht raced in the Knecht Cup, which you may notice share a name. The Knecht Cup is named after Bill Knecht, who won the gold medal with the United States Vesper 8 at the 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympics. Bill Knecht was Meghan’s grandfather.

Although Meghan was yet to be born when her grandfather passed, she carries the family name with her through the rowing community as she powers through her first year of collegiate rowing. She was the first of her immediate family members to row in the event named for her grandfather.

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Access, Ignorance and Making the Most of Precious Time

I read a couple of stories today, and they probably aren’t linked in the slightest. The order was random – actually, at the time of reading the first, the other hadn’t even been published yet. But the combination of the two got me thinking about how sports are covered in the media.

Leading off was Jessica Luther’s piece for RH Reality Check on the Dallas Cowboys’ signing of convicted domestic assaulter and NFL defensive end Greg Hardy. The Hardy signing shows the conspicuous hypocrisy of the NFL, and Luther called it out for what it is. How can you watch a No More PSA during commercial break and then see Hardy take the field? One is pushing a serious introspection of sport world culture, while the other, in stark contrast, is pushing a blind eye. Something seems off.

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On Marshawn Lynch and Making Sounds

There’s been a “controversy” of sorts with Beast Mode lately. Marshawn Lynch’s non-answers to media questions over the past month or so and at Super Bowl Media Day on Tuesday have sent the sports media into a collective tizzy. Between the superficial debating about how much he should be fined by the NFL or how much he should be talking, questions tend to center around what this all says about Lynch himself.

I’ve never met Marshawn Lynch, so that puts me in the majority. Most of us really have no idea.

But few are asking perhaps a more important question: what does this say about the sports media members who find Lynch’s refusals to respond an issue in the first place?

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