Football is a dangerous sport. But it’s the dangers that await off the field that truly worry Frankford High School’s coach. Bill Sytsma has lost players to gun violence before, so he’s turning the locker room into a home to try to make sure he never loses another one. Philadelphians are concerned about the future of many of the city’s historic buildings. City officials have not yet put together the historical index they planned to, so our readers tossed in suggestions to help them get started. Yesterday, Philadelphia said goodbye to a media icon who changed television in Philly and across the country. We look back at the life and legacy of Lew Klein.
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Bill Sytsma, the head football coach at Frankford High School has lost players to gun violence before. That loss made it tough for him to look at the empty chairs at Frankford’s recent graduation. He hopes his new idea will help to keep those chairs filled for future generations.
“You feel the weight of this job when you realize what these kids are going into when they leave your presence,” he said.
By opening up the team’s locker room, he hopes to keep them with him a little longer.
The coach and his players got to work rehabbing the locker room to make it feel like a home — complete with a TV, couches, board games, video games, snacks, dancing, laughter, and safety. Sytsma says building great football players is only part of the job. He also wants to build great men.
Being America’s birthplace makes few places as historically significant as Philadelphia. So, how is it that only 2.2 percent of the city’s buildings are historically designated while places like Boston (7.2 percent) and Washington D.C. (19.4 percent) boast so many more?
Mayor Kenney promised to better protect the city’s buildings in 2017. Meanwhile, prominent sites continued to fall. The city planned to create an index of buildings to protect while their historical significance is reviewed. But, there’s no current timeframe for the list.
So, reporter Caitlin McCabe decided to turn to our readers to find out what buildings Philadelphians want to see saved. Mayor Kenney, here are some suggestions from Inquirer readers to get you started.
Television in Philadelphia and across the country would look very different if it were not for the influence of Lew Klein. He died on Wednesday at the age of 91.
I see what you did there, @mediumsizeddeal. Nice juxtaposition 👏🏾.
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