Ashley Fox: When I got my job at The Inquirer in 1999, a friend of mine who grew up here suggested that I talk to her brother to get an understanding of the culture I was about to join. I thought I knew.
Ashley Fox: Jeffrey Lurie would never tip his hand, never reveal the Eagles' master plan. But asked how he thinks the Eagles will look in 2011, Lurie gave an incredibly optimistic answer.
Ashley Fox: The Shaquille O'Neal I remember is the one who in the 2001 Finals battled against the 76ers' Dikembe Mutombo, talking trash at every turn. That was vintage Shaq. Dominant. Competitive. Funny. Entertaining. Unstoppable.
Ashley Fox: Bernard Hopkins is all about making money, winning fights, building his legacy and preserving his face. Always has been. But he is as much of a Philadelphia icon as any athlete from here.
Ashley Fox: When Charlie Manuel saw Bernard Hopkins talking about Saturday's unanimous decision over Jean Pascal before the Phillies played the Reds Tuesday, he actually stopped what he was doing and watched.
Ashley Fox: Can Chase Utley be honest? It is really that simple. Can Utley tell Charlie Manuel the truth about the status of his deteriorating right knee, so that come October Utley is still playing?
Ashley Fox: It speaks to the Phillies' desperation that Charlie Manuel was able to convince Ruben Amaro Jr. to cede to his wishes and bring up Domonic Brown. Disappearing bats were a major reason.
Ashley Fox: The Dad Vail Regatta is Dennis Kamrad's love and the reason why he eschewed retirement and agreed last fall to coach the Grand Valley State University women who will try to win the varsity heavyweight eight title.
Ashley Fox: The Celtics and Lakers limped into the playoffs, and it showed. That is why Doug Collins remains upbeat about the future of the 76ers. With seven players 24 or younger this season, youth is on their side.
Ashley Fox: Quintin Mikell recently bumped into Howie Roseman, and then Andy Reid, at the NovaCare Complex. They exchanged pleasantries, nothing more. Mikell is not coming back to the Eagles. That much he knows.
Ashley Fox: By selecting Nebraska's Alex Henery in the fourth round on Saturday, Eagles coach Andy Reid essentially signaled the end of David Akers' 12-year career here.
Ashley Fox: Savor the moment, because change is inevitable. Even championship teams change from year to year. Rebuilding ones like the Sixers do, too.
Ashley Fox covers the NFL for The Inquirer.