Hollywood loves feel-good Olympic stories. The recipe for this genre of tasty film entertainment is by now a familiar one: Start with a compelling underdog; mix in plenty of grit, emotion, patriotism and drama; and top it all with an ample layer of corn.
The garage door rose Thursday morning and a new season introduced itself. The morning sky, flimsy and blue the day before, had acquired a grave heftiness overnight. The newspaper rested among the first fallen sycamore leaves scattered across the lawn. Stepping outside, I shivered. And sighed.
And so, with an unusual mix of optimism and pessimism, another Philadelphia Eagles season begins. The media buzz - traditional and social - is in full roar. The civic anticipation in advance of Sunday's opener with the Cleveland Browns is, like the humidity, unavoidable. The franchise's marketing machine is racing like a Porsche engine.
Philadelphia's national reputation in 2016 is closely linked to that of its famously boisterous sports fans. But for most of its existence, as a 1956 Rotarian magazine article described, the city was regarded as "quiet, conservative, staid and straight-laced."
CANTON, Ohio - It was as if Marvin Harrison couldn't help himself. During 13 NFL seasons, the North Philadelphia native was obsessed with preparation. So on the weekend that spectacular career was being celebrated, he knew only one way to get ready.
Frank Fitzpatrick has been an editor and writer at the Inquirer since 1980. A onetime beat writer for the Phillies, Eagles, and Penn State football, he's also covered nine Olympics. A 2000 Pulitzer Prize finalist, he now focuses on sports projects and writes a Sunday column.