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LACROSSE INTERVIEW: JACKIE SALVATORE #2 by Salome Carr

June 6, 2024 By Chris Michael Leave a Comment


Photo by Ashley Rodrigues and Moravian Athletics

Today we bring you part two of our interview with college standout Jackie Savatore (see our last entry for part one of this interview)…


How do you approach each game mentally and physically to consistently perform at such a high level? 

I personally go into every game with no expectations. I have watched so many lacrosse games where the “expected” team to win loses, and where the “expected” team to lose wins, so I genuinely go into every single lacrosse game not thinking whether my team is going to win or to lose because I know anything can happen. Lacrosse is a game in which it can go either way any day, and I believe with that mindset and no expectations you are encouraged to push yourself and work as hard as you can every game no matter who you are playing. This mentally eases my mind because when I think too much about a team we are playing I don’t play to my potential.

Can you share any particular challenges you’ve encountered during your collegiate career and how you’ve overcome them? 

During my collegiate career I have had trouble with keeping myself in shape on my own. I was always used to going from back to back seasons in high school so I was always in shape, but in college I had to teach myself how to train on my own. In the off season I would make a schedule for myself where I would either run, shoot, or do wall ball every day. This would keep me in shape and motivated. I have also struggled with figuring out how to eat properly before practices and games. I would struggle on how to find a balance between eating enough to properly nourish me, but also not eating too much to where it’s unhealthy. My strength and conditioning coaches would help me with eating and learning what is good and not good to eat before training, or when not training. 

Another challenge I would encounter being in season was with mental health. Being a full time college student while also practicing 4 times a week and having 2 games is a lot. It can be very difficult to keep stress levels low when all of this is going on. Having a bad game and then learning how to try to forget about it and keep playing 100% the next day can be hard, but it is doable. A lot of times this season I tried to remind myself that I only play college lacrosse once in my life, so I should be enjoying it. Seeing it as a privilege and not a job helped my mental health a lot. It allowed me to be thankful for what I have and realize that mistakes and stress are okay, and to know that everything will end up okay.

How has your experience as a collegiate lacrosse player shaped you as a person, both in terms of character development and future aspirations? 

Playing collegiate lacrosse has helped me improve my teamwork and leadership skills that I would have never learned in the classroom. I will be able to use these interpersonal skills in my future career. I have learned skills from my teammates and coaches like communication, trustworthiness, commitment, and empathy. I have learned that being committed to something and putting in all my hardwork and effort into something will come with rewards. I have also learned a lot about myself while playing lacrosse like my ability to stay level headed or at least try to stay level headed in stressful moments during games. Although I get frustrated at times, I would say for the most part I stay level headed and have been working on trying to not get frustrated over little mistakes.

Reflecting on your time at Moravian, what achievements or moments stand out to you as the most memorable or significant, on and/or off the field? 

I would say my most significant achievement was either beating Scranton in the 2023 season, or beating Susquehanna in the 2024 season. Both of these games were such great team wins and showed what our team was capable of. These were very good teams in our conference who are usually competitive games for us. Not only did these games put another win for us on our schedule, but our team became so much closer because of them. It really puts into perspective how good we can be, and what we can work towards. This was such a unique experience and is really unexplainable at times because of how special it was. 

When I came into Moravian as a freshman, I created goals for myself going into my first season. I worked so hard going into that season to get rookie of the year for my conference, but earning offensive player of the year this year, my junior season has been the most meaningful to me. It is such a great feeling being awarded for all the hard work and dedication I put in leading up to this year. It really made me feel like I was working towards something great, and it paid of . There were so many great players in the conference so it really felt great to be awarded for this. I am so thankful for my teammates and coaches that helped me get these accomplishments as well.

Lastly, what advice would you give to younger athletes who aspire to follow in your footsteps and achieve success in collegiate lacrosse? 

If I had any advice to give to a younger athlete it would be to never be complacent and that anything is possible when you put your mind to it. Coming in from high school to college, I never would have thought that I would be getting the achievements I have and having so much fun while doing it, but I put my mind and energy into getting better every single day. Whatever level you play, whether it be DI, DII, or DIII, you can always become the best version of yourself with confidence and dedication.

Another piece of advice I have is to find what makes you happy. If you are not happy while playing lacrosse, it is not worth it to try and force it. Do what makes you happy and what you enjoy doing. This can be bitter-sweet, but happiness is the most important thing.

PROGRAMMING NOTE:

If the Whitehall baseball or Northwestern softball teams advance in the PIAA playoffs this week, Astound TV will try to broadcast that state semifinal game on Monday, provided it’s held at a site that is conducive for broadcasting.  That decision is made by the PIAA and is out of our hands, but we hope to bring any game involving these local teams in our coverage area home to our viewers, if possible.  Please keep checking back to our website for information on any potential broadcasts for this upcoming Monday!

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Astound Broadband or any other agency, organization, employer or company

New Broadcasters Spring ’24 Edition 

May 6, 2024 By Chris Michael Leave a Comment

With the spring playoff season nearly upon us – and the summer and fall sports seasons rapidly approaching – we wanted to let you know that the Astound Sports family has expanded … again!

Last month, we introduced Dawn Cipolla–legendary local lacrosse head coach–joining our staff to announce our first ever lacrosse district championships coming up for both the boys and girls 2A and 3A title games, to be aired on the Astound TV Network later this month.

Now, we would like to welcome in several more new on-air announcers to our team.

 

Sally Whittaker-Kahan

A member of the DeSales University and Parkland High School softball Hall of Fame, Whittaker-Kahan will make her broadcasting debut with us this May as part of our coverage of the District XI girls softball tournament.  In addition to an outstanding playing career, she also excelled in the coaching ranks at Northampton, winning the district title her final year as a head coach. She also excelled and will lend her expertise as a standout basketball and volleyball player to our staff as well. 

Sally will return to the place (Patriots Park in Allentown) where she had great successes as both a player and coach by providing color analysis for ATVN’s broadcasts this spring.

 

Victoria Newsome

The Villanova University product joins the ATVN staff after stops at the CBS News affiliate in Philadelphia and was an on-air host and sideline reporter for the Wildcats Sports Network. She has a love for sports media, storytelling, hosting, and helping give a voice to the voiceless. In addition, Victoria was on the Villanova Dance Team where she dedicated a majority of my time to practicing, performing, competing, and serving the Delaware Valley community.

Victoria will be making her ATVN debut as sideline reporter for our coverage of the EPC baseball semifinals on May 13th.

 

Gabrielle DiPaula

 Gabrielle has worked as a sideline reporter for Penn and Princeton University of the Ivy League, and has done both play-by-play in color for Division III McDaniel College in various sports. She is an on-air announcer for WBAL Newsradio and has worked for 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore/Washington, DC, covering the Ravens, Orioles and the University of Maryland football and basketball teams. Gabby also works as a social media correspondent for CBS Sports.

 

Andrew Harris

Andrew is a former Whitehall High School football standout (who played AHEAD of current Philadelphia Eagles Running Back Saquon Barkley in high school when the latter was a freshman).  He went on to be a multi-year starter at linebacker at Bloomsburg University and returned to the Lehigh Valley after graduation.  Harris will be doing sideline reporting for our fall football coverage.

We also will announce a new blogger joining us with a unique perspective on different local sports in our viewing area – details on yet another new addition coming soon right here on our website! 

Please join me in welcoming all our new broadcasters to the Astound TV Network sports family!

  

 

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Astound Broadband or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

Sports Recaps – May 10, 2022

May 10, 2022 By Chris Michael Leave a Comment

This is a very busy week for everyone in the Lehigh Valley as there’s a rush to get in all the remaining regular season spring sports games this week, with league and then district playoffs for most sports commencing in just a few days!

A few sports already completed their local playoff season.         

Congratulations are in order to both the Central Catholic and Liberty tennis teams for REPEATING as District XI champs in both the 2A and 3A classifications.  We talked about both of these squads quite a bit a year ago on our “SportsTalk” program and they continued to impress again this year.

Meanwhile, the Astound Broadband TV Network is gearing up for our full broadcast coverage of games next week, starting with the EPC baseball semifinals on Monday, May 16, starting at 4pm.  Make sure you bookmark our broadcast schedule and keep checking back for more information on our playoff coverage as it becomes available.

I honestly can’t remember the last time all spring playoff games went off “as scheduled” due to the weather, field conditions, etc., so there WILL be changes!

The local baseball playoffs got a little more intriguing this past week as the local Colonial League favorite, Southern Lehigh, had a rare loss and a tough time beating a struggling Northern Lehigh squad, who played well down at Limeport Stadium last week.  Meanwhile, Northwestern, Saucon Valley and Palisades are three teams that haven’t lost in a while and seem to be peeking at the right time–just before the post-season.

We’ll have interviews from Saucon Valley, Southern Lehigh, Northwestern and others coming up on this Thursday’s show on ATVN, plus a comprehensive look at all the local baseball teams as we embark on the post-season.

Keep checking back to the “SportsTalk Shop,” as we continue to follow the high school sports teams in our area and have interviews with local coaches and athletes every Thursday at 7pm on “ATVN SportsTalk.”  Don’t forget to chime in with a question or comment during our live show or suggestions of which teams we should try to focus on this spring by emailing us.


Now, here’s our next installment of the best plays from our ATVN sports broadcast season to date:

  1. Astound Sports: Executive Education Academy vs. Notre Dame (2/22)
  2. Astound Sports: Bethlehem Catholic vs. Allentown Central Catholic (3/22)
  3. Astound Sports: Northampton vs. Nazareth (3/22)
  4. Astound Sports: Northampton vs. Freedom Girls (2/22)
  5. Astound Sports: Northampton vs. Nazareth Consolation Round (3/22)

 

Come back next week for more information on ATVN’s coverage of local sports in our area and also to see more of our top highlights from the past sports season to see if your favorite teams and players make our weekly list!

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Astound Broadband or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

“Summer” Hoops Preview 2022

April 25, 2022 By Chris Michael Leave a Comment

OK, I admit. I’m looking ahead just a little bit and took some liberties with the use of the term “summer” basketball in this week’s blog title.  Perhaps, I’m still feeling a little chilly inside after sitting through a couple local scholastic baseball games this past week in which the temperature dipped down into the 40-degree range (and later, that evening, the 30s!), before things warmed up this past weekend.

However, believe it or not – the spring/summer high school basketball official league schedule will be starting in just a couple weeks.  It has become a key time of year for gauging how next season’s varsity teams will shake out and will factor in for our thought processes when it comes time to put our winter sports season together for the following school year.

History has shown us that, while the final scores of these games may not be as important as other times of the year, it is important to keep an eye out for developing players, unique storylines and the ever-changing landscape of local talent–whether it be players coming in or moving out of the region.

A few items to keep an eye on as we approach the first set of games:

  • Teams like Northampton, Nazareth, Central Catholic, Bethlehem Catholic, Parkland and Allen–to name a few–have lost some very big names to graduation after this past winter season.  Which players will step-up to fill their shoes and how will the chemistry be trying to replace so many talented athletes?  All of these teams had success during the ‘21-22 seasons and each program will be in the spotlight with high expectations for the season going forward.
  • Northampton’s Coy Stampone recently stepped down after 10 years as the head coach of the Northampton boys basketball program (if you missed his appearance on our ATVN SportsTalk show, ATVN customers can hear his comments for yourself through our On-Demand services, available for free).  Who will take over a program that has had so much success in recent years and how smooth will the transition be?
  • There’s rumors of other coaches who may be on the move in Eastern Pennsylvania and also in our Washington, DC region..which coaches will stay and which may move on?
  • The Easton girls teams had one of the most successful seasons last winter–yet had no title to show for it…how will the Rovers respond and who will step up to take over running the offense and distributing the basketball as the squad graduated its starting point guard?

Also, here are a few pictures for last year’s summer hoops action that never made it to publication.  See if your favorite sports stars are listed in the gallery below.

Keep checking back to the “SportsTalk Shop,” throughout the spring and summer months as we continue to follow the action on the Lehigh Valley basketball courts, bringing you news, rumors and developments on local storylines, along with pictures of the “new” basketball season coming up.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Astound Broadband or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

SUMMER HOOPS: August 2021

August 2, 2021 By Matt Kennedy Leave a Comment

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

 

This week will be our final update on the local summer high school basketball leagues along with our last look at some of the still pictures featuring teams in the RCN viewing area. We also want to give a shout out to RCN freelance crew member Dan Moyer, as his son and grandson, as coach and player – respectively, reached the finals in the Forks Township summer baseball tournament. Great job!

 





As you saw on RCN SportsTalk a few weeks back (but can still see the entire interview through RCN on demand–free for RCN customers), TOC Director Eric Snyder announced that the annual Catasauqua basketball tourney will not be conducted this year.  Also, its future is also very much in doubt.  This year’s decision was based on the declining interest and participation in summer basketball programs around the entire region. Quite a few coaches have also been on our show this past year expressing concern about the lack of participation numbers in certain sports programs, most noticeably in basketball, baseball and several girls sports. It will certainly be something to watch over the upcoming weeks and months.

A couple of annual basketball tournaments were held over the last month, including the Holy Name July Tournament and this past weekend’s “AwesomeFest” (formerly SportsFest of Allentown.)

The Holy Name Tournament featured outstanding performances by the Northampton, Whitehall, Allentown Central Catholic and Notre Dame-Green Pond girls basketball squads.

This tourney also had decreased numbers of school participants but featured a great semi-final matchup in which Central Catholic edged Northampton 45-40. The Vikettes went on to win the championship over Scranton Prep later that same day.

“Awesomefest,” meanwhile, was dominated by teams from OUTSIDE the Lehigh Valley.  Dunmore captured the girls title and Reading High School defeated Lincoln of Philadelphia for the boys championship. Pocono Mountain West was another team that also impressed many before losing its semi-final matchup late Sunday afternoon.

We’ll begin to turn our attention to the fall sports programs as all local high school teams have now “officially” begun their preseason workouts this week.  On this Thursday’s SportsTalk TV show, we will start our fall sports previews by featuring the new head football coach at Allen High School.

Keep checking back for more fall sports previews as we get you ready for the upcoming seasons!

The Dog Ate My Homework

July 26, 2021 By Matt Kennedy Leave a Comment

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

An excuse explains why you are not responsible for the failure.  It is plausible deniability.

Every teacher has heard the cliché excuse from a student, “The dog ate my homework. ” I wonder if that excuse ever actually worked and whether a gullible educator ever accepted it.  I have my doubts.  In my many years teaching English, I heard many excuses why students did not read an assignment or finished a paper.

“I had to care for my sick mother.”

“My homework fell into a puddle on the way to school.”

“My computer wouldn’t power up.”

Creativity abounded.  Here at RCN, we used to employ a graphics person (who was very good at his craft, by the way). In fact, he now works for ABC in New York.  However, he was famous in the office for misspelling words and NEVER, EVER taking the blame for it.  This was astounding because there was no other person who could have been responsible for the mistake!  He, somehow, blamed the computer or there was a glitch in the rendering (both impossible, by the way).  Excuses abounded.

Just last week, during the British Open, Bryson DeChambeau had a particularly bad round of golf.  When asked why, he responded, “With the driver right now, the driver sucks.”  In other words, he took no responsibility for his poor performance.  He was swinging perfectly, but the piece of equipment was letting him down.  His equipment sponsor, who I am sure pays him millions to endorse their product, was not happy with his reasoning.

With the Olympics going on for the next few weeks, imagine if this “excuse” mentality becomes the norm.  We could be hearing the following:

Artistic swimming – “The water was too cold.”

Badminton – “The shuttlecock had seen better days.”

Beach Volleyball – “The sand was too hot.”

Boxing – “Mom, he hit me.”

Judo – “I couldn’t concentrate because he was making these awful sounds.”

Fencing – “His epee is longer than mine.”

Surfing – “Whatever ‘rad’ is, I didn’t have it.”

Baseball – “I did not catch the ball because the laces on my glove were not placed properly.”

Basketball – “I missed the shot because the rim was not properly attached.”

Soccer – “The soles of my shoes were coming off.”

Wrestling – “Eww, he was sweaty.”

The list could go on and on.  But the best excuse I ever read was:

Zambian tennis player Lighton Ndefwayl was in no mood to be graceful in defeat after losing to compatriot Musumba Bwayla in a local tournament in 1992. “Bwayla is a stupid man and a hopeless player. He has a huge nose and is cross-eyed. Girls hate him. He beat me because my jockstrap was too tight and because when he serves, he farts, and that made me lose my concentration, for which I am famous throughout Zambia,” he said.

I am done, not because I want to be, but the ink on my computer ran out.

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)

  1. One of the early shockers in the Olympics so far has to be the 83-76 Men’s Basketball loss by the USA to France. That snapped a 25-game Olympic winning streak by the Americans dating back to 2004.  The real shocker came in the last four and a half minutes when the US team did not make a basket.  If the team is to advance, they must beat Iran and the Czech Republic.  Neither is a basketball powerhouse.
  1. I found the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics a bit too “artsy” and “classical” for my taste. It was beautiful and I always enjoy the parade of nations, but, overall, I would have liked a touch of “lightness”.  Perhaps, in the Covid environment that exists in Japan, this was the best approach.
  1. This week the Cleveland MLB team announced they will be dropping “Indians” from their name. They will become the Cleveland Guardians.  It will be official following the 2021 season.  You will have to wait at least another season for the NFL’s Washington Football Team to change their name.  They claim the new name is on the horizon.
  1. The Phillies are in second place right now. The first-place Mets are vulnerable due to injuries and the Phillies General Manager, Dave Dombrowski, has a history of deal-making.  Up next for the Phils should be a starting pitcher, a center fielder, and some bullpen help.  I doubt if they can fill all of the holes.
  1. Our Blue Mountain League baseball television coverage ends this Tuesday LIVE at 6:00pm. The game features the Limeport Bulls and the Egypt Orioles, both battling for the regular season championship.  Congratulations to the League for another successful season, their 75th.  The playoffs begin this weekend.  Join Chris Michael and me for the broadcast.

 

 

 

SPRING ALL-STARS 2021: ROUND 1

June 8, 2021 By Matt Kennedy Leave a Comment

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

Local administrators and athletic directors have started to send out their spring sports all-star lists–starting with the Eastern Pennsylvania Conferences All-Softball team members.

And this time, it’s personal.

I have three very good friends whose daughters play high school softball in the EPC.  I’m very proud to say that all three of those families have representatives on this year’s all-star lists…one isn’t even a senior yet!

With that being said (and I’m not going to show you any bias by telling you who they are), here’s the list of ALL of this spring’s All-EPC softball team award winners.  We also look forward to the other sports representatives sending out their end-of-the-season and end-of-the-year sports honors and achievements (email me at chris.michael@rcn.net) so that we can salute you here at the “RCN SportsTalk Shop.”

2021 EPC All Stars – Lehigh, Northampton, Monroe Divisions

We’d also like to salute the All-EPC singles tennis players from this spring featuring the teams in the RCN TV viewing area (we are still waiting to receive the “doubles tennis” all-stars from the official league chair).

Noah Potts, Freedom HS (League MVP)

Anthony Ronca, Liberty HS

Dan Zolotarev, Parkland HS

Curtis Gruber, Becahi HS

Quinn Erk, Emmaus HS

Josh Thomas, Parkland HS

Shayaan Farhad, Liberty HS

Eddie Chow, Emmaus HS

Jesse Coulter (Central Catholic HS)

Morning Call sports writer Dante Terenzio will be on the June 24th edition of “SportsTalk” to recap this past scholastic tennis season, as well as discuss local volleyball, wrestling and some other key sports topics. Tune in and set your DVRs so you don’t miss Dante’s insights!

Also, check back to the “SportsTalk Shop” blog for more spring all-star lists as they become available over the next several weeks!

Run For the Roses/Dollars

May 3, 2021 By Gary Laubach Leave a Comment

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

Let me preface my blog by saying I DID NOT bet on the Kentucky Derby.  Also, I have never placed a bet on any online betting site.  Suffice it to say, it is not because I am unaware of how to do it.  How could I be?  Is it my imagination or is every other commercial on TV these days an enticement to get you to gamble online?  The ads make it look so easy.

Draftking, Parx Casino, Fanduel, BetMGM, and BetRivers are just some of the sportsbooks available to anyone who wants to place a bet from the comfort of their couch.  This practice has always sounded very, very dangerous to me.  Since gambling is both fun and adrenalin-pumping, doing it on my phone and in my house seems as easy as grabbing some beverage and chips.  I do not believe either activity is good for you.

This Saturday, like millions of others, I watched the “run for the roses” – the Kentucky Derby.  A once-a-year horse race, obviously the most popular in the US, is the perfect enticement for an average person to lay down a few dollars just to create a bit more interest.  Known as “the fastest two minutes in sports” and costing just $2 to place a bet, it is the perfect combination to watch the race, get your heart pumping, and scream at your TV as the horses come down the home stretch.

I can also assume it is a mecca for gamblers.  Take the case of Jim McIngvale who is the founder of Gallery Furniture and known as “Mattress Mack”.  He placed $2.4 million on Essential Quality to win the race.  Essential Quality was the favorite with 3-1 odds.  Ironically, it was the massive wager by McIngvale that created the low odds.  His reasoning for such a large bet was because he had offered to a free mattress to any of his customers who purchased a $3,000 or more mattress if his horse won.  His horse did not win.  In fact, the horse did not even finish in the money – Essential Quality was fourth.

Medina Spirit won the Kentucky Derby.  The horse was a big underdog at 12-1 odds.  If you bet $2 on him, you would have won $26.20.  If “Mattress Mack” would have bet on that horse with similar odds (even though I know the odds would have been less with his money on the horse), he stood to win $14.4 million.

Medina Spirit was a great story.  He was a huge underdog, took the lead from the very beginning (normally a sure sign that the horse would lose), and held on to the very end.  That’s right – wire to wire.  It was trainer Bob Baffert’s seventh Derby winner, the most of any trainer in the 147-year history of the race.  Baffert was honest afterward that he never thought his horse would win.  The story gets better when you realize the horse was purchased for around $1,000 and sold to the current owner for $35,000.  By winning the Kentucky Derby, Medina Spirit won $1.86 million.

That is a lot of roses!!

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)

  1. The Eagles appear to have had a good draft. They got a quality wide receiver, offensive lineman, a cornerback, a running back, a defensive tackle, and a defensive end.  By position, these were necessary picks – let’s hope that the personnel filling those spots prove to be worthy.
  1. If the trend continues, the Phillies can win or lose half their games and still finish in first place in the National League East. As I write this, they are 13-13 and currently in first place.  That seems like a rather low bar to me.
  1. As I write this, the 76ers have nine games left in the regular season (72 games this year as opposed to the normal 82). They are ½ game behind the Brooklyn Nets.  Winning the division could prove to be huge.  They do not play the Nets again.
  1. Congratulations to Jevin Muniz, Brendan Boyle, Tyson Thomas, and Liam Joyce. All were named to the Pennsylvania All-State basketball first team.  Central Catholic coach Dennis Csensits was named Coach of the Year.  This is exceptional representation from our area.
  1. I will be attending a press conference this week concerning tickets for the US Senior Open for 2022 at the Saucon Valley Country Club. The dates are June 20-26, 2022. Hopefully, we should be able to enjoy this great event with no restrictions.  Mark your calendar.

CLASSIC VIDEO SHOWPLACE: Flip Wilson

February 25, 2021 By Matt Kennedy Leave a Comment

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

As part of RCN’s celebration of Black History Month, we here at the “Showplace” are putting the spotlight on African American actors who excelled not just on the big and small screens but those who also inspired change with their courage and perseverance.

Born Clerow Wilson, Jr. in Jersey City, New Jersey, “Flip” was one of 10 children in his family who spent most of their childhood going from different foster homes.  As a 16- year old, Wilson lied about his age and joined the United States Air Force. His outgoing personality and funny stories made him popular — he was even asked to tour military bases to cheer up other servicemen. Claiming that he was always “flipped out”, Wilson’s barracks mates gave him the nickname “Flip” which he used as his stage name.

Discharged from the Air Force in 1954, Wilson started working as a bellhop in San Francisco’s Manor Plaza Hotel. At the Plaza’s nightclub, Wilson borrowed a technique from a very young Charlie Chaplin by finding extra work playing a drunk patron in between regularly scheduled acts. His inebriated character proved popular and Wilson began performing it in clubs throughout California. At first, Wilson would simply ad-lib onstage, but eventually he added written material and his act became more sophisticated.

Wilson perfected his comedy routines over the next decade, performing in larger and more well-known establishments, as well as landing guest starring appearances on television.

One of Flip Wilson’s funniest guest starring roles was playing the role of “Prissy” in a spoof of Gone with the Wind, opposite Lucille Ball as “Scarlett.”  He also made guest appearances on television’s biggest stages, like The Dean Martin Show, The Ed Sullivan Show and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

In 1970, Wilson won a Grammy Award for his comedy album “The Devil Made Me Buy This Dress.”  When NBC was looking to capitalize on the variety TV show format, Wilson became an obvious choice to pilot his own program.

The Flip Wilson Show debuted in 1970 and was an instant hit.

In its first year the show catapulted to the top of the Nielsen ratings — finishing as the second most watched overall show during the 1970-71 season.  The series earned Wilson a Golden Globe and two Emmy Awards, and at one point was the second highest rated show on network television. Wilson was the first African American to host a successful TV variety show (the multi-talented Sammy Davis also hosted a variety show in 1966 but the program suffered from poor ratings and was canceled after just one season.)

Probably the most popular character created on the show was Wilson’s portrayal of Geraldine Jones (which was Wilson dressed as a woman). Some of “Geraldine’s” most famous quotes are, “The Devil made me buy this dress!”, “Don’t you touch me, honey, you don’t know me that well! You devil, you!” and “What you see is what you get!”

Wilson also signed many popular singers to provide entertainment. African-American performers appeared on the show, such as Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown, Louis Armstrong, Lena Horne, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Charley Pride, Johnny Mathis, Melba Moore, Roberta Flack and groups like The Temptations, The Jackson 5, The Pointer Sisters and The Supremes.

 

Wilson also featured many African American entertainers, ranging from comic great Redd Foxx to basketball legend Bill Russell.

 

Wilson recaptured the magic as the second season of his variety show also finished the year as the number two most-watched show in America.

 

In January 1972, Time magazine featured Wilson’s image on its cover and named him “TV’s first black superstar.”

 

Flip Wilson won one Golden Globe award in 1971 and received two other nominations in 1972 and 1973 for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical. The Flip Wilson Show received an additional Golden Globe nomination in 1972 for Best Television Series—Comedy or Musical.

 

The show maintained solid viewership numbers for its third year but slipped out of the top 30 during its fourth year and the ratings never recovered.

 

In 1979, Wilson made the decision to cut down on his performance schedule in order to spend quality time with his five children.

 

In 1984, Wilson hosted a revival of the show, People are Funny.  In 1985–1986, Wilson played the lead role in the CBS sitcom, Charlie & Co. Two of his last TV appearances were cameos on the sitcoms Living Single in 1993 and The Drew Carey Show in 1996.

 

Wilson died in 1998 from liver cancer at the much too young age of 64.

 

You can see one of Wilson’s most memorable television guest starring appearances on The Lucy Show on RCN TV.

 

To view the complete rundown of classic programming on RCN TV, check out the weekly listings here on our website.

 

 

 

 

 

Behind the Mic: Professional Field Hockey – Who Knew?

October 21, 2020 By Gary Laubach Leave a Comment

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of  RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

Amanda Magadan is, arguably, the greatest field hockey player to graduate from Lafayette College. So what you might say since the usual path for Lafayette athletes and
graduates is to go on to a very successful career in the business and professional worlds. Amanda’s degree in both Economics and Psychology would lead one to believe that is
exactly where she was headed. But, she had a different plan. She was invited to try out for the US Women’s National Field Hockey Team in 2017. She has not looked back. I caught up with Amanda this past week for an interview on PrimeTime Pards. But before I chatted with Amanda, her head coach at Lafayette, Jennifer Stone, gave some background on her star player (start at the 1:54 mark of the YouTube post):

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)
1. The Tampa Bay Rays made sure that infamy would not accompany them if they lost a 3-0 series lead to the Astros by winning Game 7, 4-2, on Saturday. The Astros won games 4, 5, and 6 and were poised to be only the second team in history to win the series after being down 3-0. Many fans were rooting for the Rays after Houston was involved in a sign-stealing scandal that tainted their 2017 World Series title. Now the Rays will play in only their second World Series ever. They lost to the Phillies in 2008.

2. Wouldn’t you think with all the Covid related issues for Major League Baseball, there would be a twist at the end? It did not happen. The two teams with the best records during the season ended up playing one another in the World Series. The Dodgers defeated the Atlanta Braves on Sunday night to win the National League pennant. The Dodgers have the stronger offense and
the Rays have the stronger pitching. On to the World Series in Arlington, Texas.

3. We are six weeks into the NFL season and fans are starting to think Super Bowl. This past week should certainly make Steelers fans have high expectations. As long as Ben Roethlisberger stays healthy and their defense plays at the high level they currently employ, the Steelers look like the best team in the NFL. And the second best team (or still the best) is the current Super bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs. The NFC is up for grabs – you pick the favorite.

4. Eagles’ fans (some even allowed in the stands) had to be doing a lot of “what if…” this past Sunday. What if… they kicked an early field goal instead of not getting a first down on a QB sneak? What if… they did not go for two on their first TD? What if… two long passes were completed – one for a TD? What if… they were successful on the final two-point conversion to tie the game? The answer to all the questions may very well have been, “They would have won.”

5. With only two weeks left in the regular season schedule, our high school football games this week are Nazareth at Liberty on Friday night at 7:00pm and Freedom at Bethlehem Catholic on Saturday afternoon at 3:00pm. Both are LIVE.

Gary’s Guesses: NFL Picks – (LAST WEEK – 10-5; OVERALL- 64-25-1 – 72%)

Philadelphia
Green Bay
Detroit
Dallas
Buffalo
Cleveland
New Orleans
Tennessee
Seattle
Kansas City
New England
LA Chargers
Las Vegas

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