There’s been some interesting sports news coming out of Penn this week. Let’s start with something I’ve been following for a while:
After a long wait, John Alexander learned he would replace his father, C.T. Alexander, as the public announcer for Penn football games at Franklin Field. C.T. retired last year after 50 seasons on the microphone, and was the subject of a ton of media attention, including this Gazette article I wrote last September.
John had worked in the booth for 30 of those years as hid dad’s “spotter.” Both John and C.T. had asked Penn more than a year ago if John could take over for his dad stating this season, but at the time the younger Alexander was only told he could audition for the job.
I was told John auditioned against Palestra P.A. man Rich Kahn, who will continue with the promotional announcements at Franklin Field while John calls all the football action. John’s sister, Linda, who’s been helping out for nearly a decade, will continue to work alongside her brother, as well.
Personally, I applaud the athletic department for keeping it in the family. John is one of the nicest people I’ve met at Penn and his love for Quaker football runs deep. And after 50 flawless years on the job, C.T. deserved to pick his replacement.
Here’s an email John sent out this morning to announce the news:
Dear fellow alumni and friends,
It has been a long six months since I e-mailed last while awaiting word of the Penn Athletic department’s final decision regarding my father’s replacement as the “Voice of Franklin Field.” Yesterday, I got the call and was offered the position to replace my father and quickly accepted it! I want to thank all of you again for your support of my efforts to continue this family tradition, as I am certain all of your e-mails and letters positively influenced the decision. You have helped me achieve my childhood dream of succeeding my father at the microphone of one of the most historic football stadiums in the country and I sincerely appreciate it.
So next season, please come support a great football program and stop by the makeshift Press Box in the North Stands to say hello, while my sister, Linda, and I continue our family’s tradition of describing the football action in historic Franklin Field.
Now on to this goofy story that’s picked up national attention:
Not since Doug Glanville has someone from the Penn engineering school gotten this much baseball-related fame.
Or should I say “something.”
If you haven’t heard of “PhillieBot” by now, you just haven’t been paying attention. Designed by Penn engineering students for Science Day at Citizens Bank Park, “PhillieBot” – a one-armed, three-wheeled robot – threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Wednesday’s Phillies game.
Although the pitch didn’t reach the catcher (who, in this case, was the Philly Phanatic) and prompted some booing from the merciless Philadelphia fans, the robot/pitcher story still made national headlines. Here’s one story from ESPN.com and another from the engineering school on how “PhillieBot” came to be. The robot even now has his own Twitter account.
Only time will tell if “PhillieBot” replaces Glanville and Mark DeRosa as the most famous baseball “player” to come from Penn.
And finally a quick shoutout to an incredible streak:
The women’s lacrosse team has been arguably the most dominant team at Penn over the past few years.
But on Wednesday, the Quakers’ remarkable 34-game Ivy League winning streak came to an end with a home loss to Princeton.
Chas Dorman, Penn’s associate director of athletic communications, does a nice job putting the streak into historical context here and DP alum Zach Klitzman returned to offer his own take on the team here.
I’ll be reporting more on the team myself leading into next month’s Ivy League Tournament and NCAA Championships, so for now I’ll just offer my kudos on one of the most impressive winning streaks, across all sports, in the history of the Ivy League.
So yes, it was a pretty eventful week for Penn sports. I wonder if anything is going on next week?
Oh right, there’s this.