Brothers and the City of Brotherly Love

On Sunday I’ll have a story about the USI men’s soccer team’s annual Gold Game to raise awareness of childhood cancer. Two people participating in that game, against Kentucky Wesleyan, will be sophomore John Rohling and coach Mat Santoro, both of whom knew children who died of cancer. Santoro’s story involves his younger brother Andy, who died of brain cancer when he was 5 years old. Andy had a twin brother, Tim, who is alive and well and the head coach of the North Carolina State women’s soccer team. He and Mat grew up competitive, Mat said, and remain very close. But they aren’t competitive as head coaches. Mat said a lot of that is because he coaches men while Tim coaches women. “We are really just supportive of each other,” said Mat. “But I’ve got to be the biggest NC State women’s soccer fan outside of Raleigh.”

That’s just one problem. Since both grew up in Philadelphia, one would assume they would both be Eagles football fans. Not Tim. “For some reason he’s a Dallas Cowboys fans,” said Mat. “When you’re from Philly, you’re not supposed to be a Dallas Cowboys fan.”

Hearing that, I immediately brought up one of my favorite recent movies, “Silver Linings Playbook,” with its father (played by Robert De Niro) and son (played by Bradley Cooper) who are huge Eagles fans, and the father’s best friend, who’s a rabid Cowboys fan even though he’s also from Philly. Santoro said he loved that movie. In fact, he said he used to live near the area in which they filmed it. “We were not more than 10 minutes away from there,” he said. “I know that area really well. We’ve eaten in restaurants in that area.” Then he recalled “Invincible,” the 2006 film set in the 1970s about Eagles fan Vince Papale. Papale, who has lost his wife and his job, somehow earns a spot on the Eagles’ roster during an open tryout and goes on to inspire the team and the city of Philadelphia. “I love both those movies,” said Santoro. “Those are Philly movies.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>