Behind the Mic: Dream Come True

High school is winding down and college football has come to a close.  College basketball has begun and high school basketball is right around the corner.

That can only mean that it is once again time for one of my favorite nights of the year and it has nothing to do with athletics. It is the night that I co-host the Dream Come True Telethon. Believe it or not (and I am a “not”), we will be doing the Telethon for the 30th year.  I did not host in the early years, but I have been around for most.

The Dream Come True organization, in case you did not know, was founded in 1984 by Kostas Kalogeropoulos, a local businessman.  The goal of the organization is simple – fulfill the dreams of children who are seriously, chronically, and terminally ill and reside in the greater Lehigh Valley area.  Children are referred by family, friends, clergy, doctors, social workers, etc., and the dreams usually fall into three categories – trips, contact with celebrities, and special gifts (computers, shopping sprees, for example).

Scott Barr will be co-hosting again this year. We have spent this night together for many, many years and I would not want to work with anyone else. He handles the auction area and, boy, is he terrific!  If you watch Home Shopping Network or any of the other television all-day shopping channels, just watch Scott do his thing during the four-hour night.  He is as good as, if not better, than the professionals.  Here are the specifics:

The TELETHON will take place live on Monday, December 7, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. RCN customers in the Lehigh Valley (Channel 4, 1004 in HD), Delaware County (Channel 8, 608 in HD), and Washington, DC (Channel 8) areas can watch live on RCN TV.  A popular component of the telethon each year is the auction.  This year, we will again utilize the on-line auction.  The bidding began on Sunday, November 8, and ends Monday, December 7 at 8:00PM, so check it out!

CLICK HERE to bid on incredible auction items donated by your favorite networks!

Great auction items include:

  • Apple Watch from TV One Network
  • Autographed Mitchell Guitar signed by The Band Perry from Scripps Networks
  • Autographed Copy of Outlander Series Book, “Written in My Own Heart’s Blood”, by author Diana Gabaldon from Starz
  • Honora Black Pearl Necklace from QVC
  • Grill and Chill Tailgating Kit from HBO
  • And much more!

You can find all of the items by clicking on the following link:

http://www.biddingowl.com/Auction/home.cfm?auctionID=2691

You will find a variety of unique items donated by local businesses as well as our friends from the cable networks.  If you want something really unique and not found in any store, tune us in and bid on the items.  You will make Scott’s night and, more importantly, some child’s dream.

Ann Savkova, our excellent parade announcer, and Chris Michaels of “Sportstalk” fame will do many of the interviews with the children who have had their dreams fulfilled.  They are a welcome addition to the team.

The important facts again are:

The Date:        Monday, December 7
The Time:        6:00 – 9:00 PM
The Purpose:   To fulfill as many hopes, dreams and fantasies for seriously, chronically,
and terminally ill children as possible
The Phone Number to Make a Donation:       1-800-749-8099

All proceeds from the online and on-air auctions go directly to Dream Come True.

Thank you, in advance, for your consideration and support!  Your donation will help make a child’s dream come true!

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)

  1. As if things were not bad enough with Philadelphia sports, Donovan McNabb who eventually became an admirable role model for the city’s youth and fans, reported for jail on November 30 to serve an 18-day sentence. He was arrested for DUI for the second time in Arizona.  His first sentence was one day; this one longer.
  2. How about Whitehall’s Saquon Barkley? On Saturday, he broke the 32-year-old record for most rushing yards by a freshman in Penn State history when he carried for 103 yards against Michigan State.  He broke the record of D J Dozier who was a first-round NFL draft pick.
  3. For the “love them or hate them”, the Thanksgiving weekend offered its share of polarizing games. The Eagles were blown away by Detroit; Dallas lost to Carolina; Penn State was blown out by Michigan State; and Notre Dame lost its chance to be in the BCS championship series by losing to Stanford.  For you, is the cup half full or half empty?
  4. The second quarter of the Parkland vs. Wyoming Valley West game on Friday night had just about everything. First, Sean Judge of WVW intercepted a Parkland pass in the end zone and returned it 100 yards to tie the game at 14-14.  That just made Parkland angry as they went on to score five more touchdowns in the quarter – a 15-yard run by QB Devante Cross; a 77-yard run by Cross; a 30-yard interception touchdown by defensive tackle Noel Brouse; a Cross to Kenny Yeboah 23-yard touchdown pass; and a Cross to Yeboah lateral to Zach Bross on the last play of the first half for 46 yards.  At the half, the 14-14 game had turned into a 49-14 “mercy rule” game.
  5. The PIAA state quarterfinals are this coming weekend and we have our two local teams on RCN-TV. Saucon Valley will take on Selinsgrove on Friday night at 9:30pm and Parkland hits another District 12 nemesis in LaSalle College in Philadelphia at 1:00pm Saturday.  If you can’t be there, we’ll take you there.

Gary's Picks

NFL PICKS LAST WEEK – 11-5; OVERALL 107-69 (61%)

NFL PICKS (WEEK THIRTEEN)

GREEN BAY
CHICAGO
CINCINNATI
TENNESSEE
HOUSTON
MIAMI
CAROLINA
SEATTLE
ARIZONA
TAMPA BAY
JETS
DENVER
KANSAS CITY
NEW ENGLAND
PITTSBURGH
WASHINGTON

The SportsTalk Shop: Fall Sports 2015 Recaps

It was another great fall sports season (and for more than just football!) for the teams, coaches and athletes in the RCN viewing area.  We had some great individual and team performances, with school districts in many regions bringing home district, region and state gold metals.

It was also a busy season here at RCN-TV covering our local sports teams.  We had unveiled new features on our “RCN SportsTalk” show—among them, the “athlete of the week” for the people in the Lehigh and Delaware Valley areas, and the “Sports Minute” for the folks in our Washington, DC region.

Speaking of the “sports minute,” we’re pleased to announce that this element of our show will continue into the winter as we try to cover as many high school basketball teams in our coverage area as possible.  Here are a few samples featuring football teams from the DC area.

Also, we will have video from some of the traditional “Turkey Game” football contests from this past Thanksgiving, coming up on this Thursday’s edition of “SportsTalk” (live, Thursdays at 7pm).

In the Lehigh Valley area, we were able to focus on a number of different girls and boys sports teams from both bigger and smaller school districts over the last several months.  Here’s a compilation of some of our fall sports features.

Now, it’s time to congratulate the teams from the RCN viewing area that have captured state gold medals this fall season.  First, the Parkland girls volleyball team won its second consecutive PIAA championship.  The win marks the third straight volleyball state title won by Parkland (the boys team won it this spring).

We saluted the Emmaus field hockey team on both “SportsTalk” and here at the “SportsTalk Shop” earlier this fall due to Head Coach Sue Butz-Stavin’s tremendous accomplishment—becoming the nation’s all-time leader in wins by a high school field hockey coach in September.  Butz-Stavin added to those numbers as his team once again captured league, district and finally state championship honors, adding another collection of 3A titles (the highest level in Pennsylvania for field hockey) to the Hornets’ trophy case.

It’s starting to become routine for district tournaments to run through the Route-309 exchange as both Parkland and Emmaus seem like they are nearly always in championship games—and usually winning the title contests.  This fall alone, Parkland won four fall sports District XI championships (boys cross, country, girls soccer, girls volleyball and football), while Emmaus won three more (boys soccer, golf and field hockey).  The Hornets’ field hockey team has now captured fourteen consecutive district gold metals and the Parkland volleyball team has won five of the last six district championships.

Special kudos are in order for the magnificent paring of Coco Chen and Logan Lencheski from the Notre Dame-Green Pond High School girls tennis team.  Chen and Lencheski brought home state gold medals in pairs tennis.  I’ve maintained that individual and pair state championships are extremely challenging given all the scrutiny in one or two people, as opposed to an entire team, having to share the workload.  The Crusaders pair was also honored on our most recent “SportsTalk” show as the athletes of the week for their tremendous achievement.

Don’t forget!  All of the above video features and more scholastic “shout-outs” and stories are available to hear on our podcasts (rcn.com/rcntv/sports-talk) as well as through RCN On-Demand.  Join us this Thursday live at 7pm for the insights, predictions and analysis of this weekend’s state football playoff games, and also we’ll have strategies and tips for those people involved in fantasy football. Also, we appreciate any feedback or suggestions for sports to cover or to discuss on RCN-TV.  Feel free to email your thoughts to us at RCNSportsTalk@rcn.com.

Now, anyone who knows me very well knows that I HATE the cold weather.  However, I do love the sports that take place during the winter months, and there certainly are some exciting match-ups featuring teams in our area, and a few schools in both DC and Pennsylvania have opportunities to have very special years.  I’m looking forward to embarking on the winter sports season and I hope everyone enjoys our coverage as we move our cameras and microphones indoors.  Next week here at the “Shop,” we start to take a look at the upcoming high school basketball season with thoughts and insights from knowledgeably hoop-minded individuals on the upcoming season.  Also, we hope to have more good news to report on the high school football teams in our viewing area over the next few weeks.

Lastly, a quick reminder for everyone to tune into the “Dream Come True Telethon” that will be seen live on RCN-TV Monday, December 7th. Telethon details are here: www.rcn.com/rcntv/2015-dct-telethon

Not only does the event raise money for a tremendous charity but you should also check out the auctions items at www.biddingowl.com/dreamcometrue as there are some wonderful items—and potential holiday gift giving ideas—for you to try to pick up, while benefiting our local kids at the same time.

Behind the Mic: Dream Come True Telethon

 

Dream Come True Telethon

I love my job. Make no mistake about it. In the past few weeks, I have been able to watch our local high school football teams compete for a conference championship, a District title, and make a run for a state championship. In addition, I was able to broadcast the 149th edition of the Lafayette-Lehigh football game and begin the college basketball season with the Lafayette men’s team. Right around the corner is another season of high school and college basketball which will quickly take me through the winter and into March Madness. It’s the best.

There is one night a year, however, that is even better. It is the night that I co-host the Dream Come True Telethon. On Monday, December 9, we will do the Telethon for the 28th year. I have not hosted all of them, but in the early years, I made sure I was a guest on the show. The Dream Come True organization, in case you did not know, was founded in 1984 by Kostas Kalogeropoulous, a local businessman. The goal of the organization is simple – fulfill the dreams of children who are seriously, chronically, and terminally ill and reside in the greater Lehigh Valley area. Children are referred by family, friends, clergy, doctors, social workers, etc. and the dreams usually fall into three categories – trips, contact with celebrities, and special gifts (computers, shopping sprees, for example).

Scott Barr and I have been hosting together for many, many years. He handles the auction area and, boy, is he terrific! If you watch Home Shopping Network or any of the other all-day shopping TV channels, just watch Scott do his thing during the four-hour night. He is as good as, if not better, than the professionals.

There is always a variety of unique items donated by local businesses as well as our friends from the cable TV networks. If you want something really unique and not found in any store, tune us in and bid on the items. You’ll make Scott’s night.

Ann Savkova, our excellent parade announcer, will do many of the interviews with the children who have had their dreams fulfilled. She is a pleasure to have as part of the team.

We will, once again, be at The Outlets at the Sands. They were wonderful hosts last year as we broadcasted for the very first time from this venue. It is an exciting location and we enjoyed the new “digs”. You certainly are invited to stop by, say hello, and, hopefully, make a donation. It is a great place to shop and giving to Dream Come True will certainly get you into the holiday spirit.

The important facts are:
The Date: Monday, December 9
The Time: 6:00 – 10:00 PM
The Location: The Outlets at the Sands
The Television Dial: RCNTV channels 4 and 1004 (HD)
The Purpose: To fulfill as many hopes, dreams and fantasies for seriously, chronically,and terminally ill children as possible.
The Phone Number to Make a Donation: 1-800-749-8099

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)
1. I know that this past Friday is known as Black Friday, but since I would never shop that day, it means very little to me. However, I did suffer through Black Saturday when all of our local football teams went down to defeat – Lafayette lost 45-7 to New Hampshire; Parkland lost 21-10 to St. Joe’s Prep and Catty lost 49-0 to Imhotep Charter. It was a “black” day indeed.

2. There were some amazing college football games on TV this past weekend. Penn State was a 24-point underdog to #15 Wisconsin and beat them 31-24. I watched as #17 LSU needed to go 99 yards in the final minute to beat Arkansas 31-27. Arkansas did not win an SEC game all year. And the best of all was watching Auburn’s Chris Davis return a missed field goal 107 yards with no time left to give #1 Alabama their first loss in 16 games. Can we actually have a BCS championship game without an SEC representative? We can and probably will, but I still think Alabama and Auburn are the two best teams in college football. Again, no true championship decided on the field.

3. Dare I forget that Ohio State beat Michigan 42-41? Michigan coach, Brady Hoke, decided to go for two points in the last few seconds. It failed. Speaking of that rivalry, Sunday Night’s 60 Minutes did a feature on a young boy who is an avid Ohio State fan. He has brain cancer but hates the word “cancer”. He calls his tumor “Michigan”.

4. Speaking, again, of good football, 10 NFL games were decided by seven points or less this past weekend – two went overtime and NOTHING changed in the standings or the Wild Card scenarios.

5. The Lafayette women’s basketball team is off to a very impressive 5-2 start with wins over Rider, Brown, Columbia, Pit, and Loyola of Chicago. RCN-TV will broadcast the first women’s game of the year on Sunday, December 8, LIVE at 2:00pm. Join us.

NFL PICKS FOR THIS WEEK
(Last week – 11-5) (120-71-1 overall – 63%)
HOUSTON
BALTIMORE
CINCINNATI
NEW ENGLAND
JETS
PHILADELPHIA
PITTSBURGH
BUFFALO
KANSAS CITY
ATLANTA
DENVER
ARIZONA
SAN DIEGO
SEATTLE
NEW ORLEANS
CHICAGO

Behind the Mic – December 5th

I love my job.  Make no mistake about it.  In the past few weeks, I have been able to watch our local high school football teams compete for a conference championship, a District title, and make a run for a state championship.

In addition, I was able to broadcast the 148th edition of the Lafayette-Lehigh football game and begin the college basketball season with two upset victories by the Lafayette men’s team.  Right around the corner is another season of high school and college basketball which will quickly take me through the winter and into March Madness.  It’s the best.

There is one night a year, however, that is even better.  It is the night that I co-host the Dream Come True Telethon.  On Monday, December 10, we will do the Telethon for the 27th year.  I have not hosted all of them, but in the early years, I made sure I was a guest on the show.  The Dream Come True organization, in case you did not know, was founded in 1984 by Kostas Kalogeropoulous, a local businessman.  The goal of the organization is simple – fulfill the dreams of children who are seriously, chronically, and terminally ill and reside in the greater Lehigh Valley area.  Children are referred by family, friends, clergy, doctors, social workers, etc. and the dreams usually fall into three categories – trips, contact with celebrities, and special gifts (computers, shopping sprees, for example).

Scott Barr and I have been hosting together for many, many years.  He handles the auction area and, boy, is he terrific!  If you watch HSN or any of the other television all-day shopping channels, just watch Scott do his thing during the four-hour night.  He is as good as, if not better, than the professionals.

There is always a variety of unique items donated by local businesses as well as our friends in the cable TV world like ESPN, WWE, Comcast SportsNet, NHL Network, and others.  If you want something really unique and not found in any store, tune in and bid on the items.  You’ll make Scott’s night.

Perla Lopez Baray of WFMZ brings some much-needed youth, beauty, and professionalism to the set doing many interviews with the children who have had their dreams fulfilled.  She is a pleasure to have as part of the team.

We have moved the venue this year to the Outlets at Sands.  It is an exciting location and we welcome the new “digs” after a great run at the Westgate Mall.  We anticipate much more foot traffic which hopefully will mean much more direct giving from people doing some holiday shopping or stopping by to see us.

The important facts are:

The Date:                     Monday, December 10

The Time:                     6:00 – 10:00 PM

The Location:             The Outlets at Sands

On The Television:    Channels 4 and 1004 in HD

The Purpose:               To fulfill as many hopes, dreams and fantasies for seriously, chronically, and terminally ill children as possible

The Phone Number to Bid or Make a Donation:        1-800-749-8099

Phone line is only active during the live television program

 


 

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)

  1. Tiger Woods and Maria Sharapova were the two most searched athletes on Yahoo! in 2012.  I am wondering if interest in either centered around golf or tennis!
  2. The Dallas Cowboys beat out the Yankees as the top searched Sports Teams.  Maybe the Cowboys really are America’s team – they are not mine; and neither are the Yankees!!  Does that make me anti-American?
  3. You are an NFL GM and could pick one player for your franchise QB from these two – Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III.  Who would you pick?
  4. Doesn’t it seem like 50% of all major college football teams play a bowl game?
  5. Can you admit that you really love the song, Gangnam Style?  Listen to it and try to stay still and not smile.  Bet you can’t!!

 


 

NFL PICKS FOR THIS WEEK

(Last week – 11-5)  (64-36 for the season – 64%)

  • DENVER
  • WASHINGTON
  • CLEVELAND
  • PITTSBURGH
  • INDIANAPOLIS
  • JACKSONVILLE
  • CHICAGO
  • ATLANTA
  • TAMPA BAY
  • BUFFALO
  • CINCINNATI
  • SAN FRANCISCO
  • GIANTS
  • SEATTLE
  • GREEN BAY
  • NEW ENGLAND