Posts for cancer

Did The Vet Give Dutch Cancer?

Kyle Scott - July 16, 2013

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Don’t worry, that shade of green is totally natural!

It was only a matter of time before someone tried to connect brain cancer to playing at Veterans Stadium.

Tom Avril of the Inquirer:

Tug McGraw. John Vukovich. Johnny Oates. And now Darren Daulton.

All four played for the Phillies at Veterans Stadium, and all four developed brain cancer. Is there a connection?

The analysis then compared the rate of Phillies’ brain cancers over that period [1971-2003] with the rate of similar cancers in the adult male population, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and a 2011 study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

The national rate was 9.8 cases per 100,000 adult males per year, while the rate in the former Phillies was 30.1 cases per 100,000 – about 3.1 times as high. The national count included various kinds of glioma, such as glioblastoma – the aggressive form of cancer that struck all four former Phillies.

The theories, some of which are not overtly presented by Avril, are that perhaps Veterans Stadium’s turf, which may have contained lead, caused cancer… or that it was asbestos… or steroids… or the fact that the corridors of The Vet made sewers look inhabitable. No one really knows.

Avril points out that, statistically, the sample size is too small to get an accurate reading, and that other factors, age and length of service (playing time in The Vet) among them, skew the results one way or the other.

Plus there’s that issue of the subjects. Some of those players had bad habits… and I’m just talking about the ones we know. And how many times did, say, Darren Daulton have his skin pierced by X-rays? Quite a few.

The best argument is the one about the turf. As a commenter pointed out, a letter to the editor that ran in the Inquirer 2005 built the case that in warm temperature digits – you know, the ones in which baseball is played – synthetic turf releases a cancer-causing dioxin:

I’d start with the Astro Turf. According to the U.S. patent office, Astro Turf is composed of many ingredients, one of which is polyvinyl chloride, a plastic that when exposed to temperatures of 86 degrees or more breaks down into a dioxin.

If inhaled on a consistent basis, and if you have a susceptibility factor, it could eventually lead to angiosarcoma in the brain and or liver. Throw in a stadium where this heavier-than-air byproduct has no place to travel, and this might be an item to examine.

Maybe so. In fact, everyone’s favorite humanity-destroyer, Monsanto, makers of seeds, pesticides and other synthetic things, produced the original Astro Turf in Houston— the same kind that served as a rock-hard playing surface on South Broad. That’s what Dutch et al. played on.

But recent discussion surrounding artificial turf and cancer has focused on newer versions, the so-called Nex Turf, which wasn’t put in place at The Vet until 2001. Continue Reading

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Domonic Brown Visits Woman Dying of Cancer

Kyle Scott - October 5, 2012

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Dom Brown just earned himself two months of exemptions from me.

On his Facebook, Brown posted this picture of himself and an older woman. She is dying of cancer and her last wish was to meet Brown, according to Brown.

Not much else to say, but this is the second straight Friday where we’ve posted something that probably made you cry.

Joe Paterno Has Lung Cancer

Kyle Scott - November 18, 2011

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We joked that we wanted to hear from Scott Paterno again– but not like this. Scott tells the Associated Press that his father has a treatable form of lung cancer.

Scott Paterno issued a brief statement:

"As everyone can appreciate, this is a deeply personal matter for my parents, and we simply ask that his privacy be respected as he proceeds with treatment."


That's it, no additional information at this time. The timing of the announcement is curious, though, as Joe Pa's legacy was recently damaged beyond repair.

Flyers Beat Canucks… and, Apparently, We Love Cancer

Kyle Scott - October 13, 2011

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Photo: Flyers, Getty

Last night, in South Philly, the Flyers and Canucks squared off for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals the third game of the season. The Flyers – dare I say "exploded" – for five goals against Roberto Luongo and his telescopic leg (Clement’s words, not mine). As always, Dave Isaac has your full recap. The photo gallery is here. And your highlights are after the jump.

Sadly, however, the takeaway story from the game wasn’t Claude Giroux’s third goal of the season or Andrej Meszaros’ dirty, filthy, belongs in a Mummer’s clubhouse wrist shot… no, it was this:

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and this:

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That’s right, we love the cancer. Love it.


According to a number of folks on the Tweets, when a Hockey Fights Cancer commercial was played on the scoreboard between the second and third periods, many fans started to boo at the mere sight (and sound) of Ryan Miller, Sidney Crosby, and Jonathan Toews. 

Right reaction. Wrong timing.

By 10:30 last night, the story was on Puck Daddy. And now, Deadspin.

Greg Wyshynski (Puck Daddy) – while giving the story infinitely more attention – tried to extinguish the unnecessary fire:

We're as guilty as anyone for taking whacks at the Flyers fan piñata. But please tell us Flyers fans aren't now going to be labeled pro-cancer? Please?


Brian Hickey, a Philly native who also writes for the Metro, went with the probably tongue-in-cheek but less defensible puking-Santa headline on Deadspin. Consequently, this will now spiral out of control and into a Philly fans are evil national story, even though, as usual, it’s being taken completely out of context.

Ryan Bright, who was covering the game for Philly Sports Daily, said the boos began when Miller’s whiny voice was piped through The Well like a nagging spouse complaining about a lightbulb (for realsies, just listen to Miller’s mass murderers comment from last year and you’ll see what I’m talking about). His nasally drone was followed by appearances from Crosby, the most hated player in hockey, and Toews, whose last appearance in Philly included him holding the Stanley Cup over his head. Yeah, I’d say the Pavlovian boo response was warranted.

Bright pointed out that it wasn't immediately obvious what the trio was talking about, and once it was clear that the subject was cancer, the boos quickly subsided. 

So there you have it. That’s how cities get undeserved reps. Now, about those Vancouver fans who will be tearing apart their city when the Flyers hand the Canucks their second consecutive Finals loss next spring…

We'd love to hear more reaction from folks who were at the game.

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Must Watch Video from Onion SportsDome: 8 Year Old Cancer Patient Granted Wish to Heckle David Wright

Kyle Scott - January 19, 2011


Just amazing.

I woke up to no less than three emails alerting us of Onion SportsDome's segment on Phillies fan Allison Pencey, an 8-year-old cancer patient whose lifelong dream to heckle David Wright was fulfilled by Onion's Wish Zone.

This is so wrong on so many levels, but it's also loaded with win. SportsDome absolutely nailed the tone and tenor of ESPN's My Wish segment. 

It starts off with Allison sitting in her hospital bed cursing at Wright, before being told she would be taken to the Phillies game to heckle him in person.

I hate how he smiles, like he's playing to make friends. Just play, scumbag.


Must watch video after the jump.

This isn't going to sit well with some folks, but I'm more concerned about the young actor who will grow up thinking it's OK to impersonate cancer patients for the sake of comedy.

H/T to Michael, Matt, The Wiz Wit guys

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DeSean Jackson Dedicates Game to 15-Year-Old Girl

Kyle Scott - January 9, 2011

DeSean Jackson has dedicated today's game to Ashley Reich, a 15-year-old New Jersey girl with cancer.

Here's the video from FOX Philly, which features Reich reading Jackson's Twitter page:

Eagles Game Dedicated To N.J. Girl: