Joe Ferretti

 Attorney Joe Ferretti was born on August 7, 1961. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1984 and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1987. He was previously employed by Steptoe & Johnson as a litigation associate from 1987 to 1992. Joe  founded Hammer, Ferretti & Schiavoni in 1992. His personal interests include golf, fly fishing and biking.  Joe has also helped Sports Radio 1340 WEPM for 8 years as a regular co-host of Panhandle Live and for the past three seasons as a color analyst of all of Sports Radio 1340 WEPM High School Football Games.




Please Note:The opinions, analysis, and/or speculation expressed on wepm.com represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or labled as such do not represent the opinons or policies of Prettyman Broadcasting. 
Posts from September 2012


Politics as Usual
Forgive me for writing a blog that is unrelated to sports.  I am so angry, seething and needing of an outlet that I turn to my only blog option.  I have a 95 year old grandmother, born of Italian immigrants, widowed due to the death of her coal mining husband, my grandfather, who suffered terribly from black lung.  She is a survivor of the great depression, discrimination, and the worst this country can throw at you in 95 years of life.  She helped raise me when my parents were struggling and both working shifts to put food on the table.  To her everlasting credit, she has voted in all national and local elections since 1936 and she cares deeply, still, about our elected leaders.  As of today, she has lost the right to vote.

Her home state, the state of my birth, Pennsylvania, passed a voter ID law out of concern for election fraud, or so it was claimed.  While a state representative there crowed that the new law would deliver Pennsylvania to Mitt Romney in the presidential election, there are still many who insist it is only right to ask voters to identify themselves before casting a vote.  To satisfy the new law, you must have a picture ID.  Don't have one?  You can personally appear with a social security card or birth certificate and have one made prior to October 1.

The problem is that, by estimates of independent analysts, upwards of 500,000 Pennsylvanians do not possess a photo ID.  A half of million people apparently can sign up for a photo ID to vote.  While that may seem daunting, it is damn near impossible for people like my grandmother.

She does not drive and never has.  She has no clue where her birth certificate may be ,if she ever had one from 1917.  She cannot travel easily to any location to sign up for an ID and certainly cannot do it alone.  Her two sons, both well into their 70's, must transport her and walk her into, by last count, three different locations to complete this task.  They still have not been successful.  So my grandmother sits at home and cries, thinking that in what may be her last election ever she cannot have her say.

What has happened in Pennsylvania is an afront to everyone who chierishes their vote and their participation in our democracy.  As if there are teams of people who are impersonating others to vote, this ridiculous law is supposed to cure a problem.  Yet it clearly is a solution in search of problem.

The problem it does create is that many law abiding, consistent voters will be on the outside looking in.  Why should someone who has voted for the past 75 years suddenly have her bona fides questioned?  
My grandmother is a Roosevelt Democrat.   She would surely vote for Obama and frankly just about every Democrat because that is what she believes.  She cried and admonished me when she learned I voted for Bush 41 and Bob Dole over Clinton. She was probably as angry with me then as I am now.  And while her anger emanated from fidelity to a political party, my anger arises from a betrayal to constitutional principles by politicians lacking a moral compass.
 (2) Comments
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Topics: Politics
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Locations: Pennsylvania
People: Barack ObamaBob DoleBushClinton




 
NFL Out of Bounds
I watched with interest the Monday night contest between Atlanta and Denver for the interesting match-up involving Peyton Manning and the up and coming Atlanta team.  But I was also interested in seeing if the trend I was witnessing involving the replacement refs would continue.  In the first week of games, the refs seemed to hold their own most of the time but in the second week, I saw coaches and players pushing the limits of sportsmanship and gamesmanship.  It akin to how far you would test a substitute teacher while in grade school.  Then, as now, boundries are set, they change, and then they are tested.  Last night was the clear example of what to expect if this charade with the replacement refs continues.

John Fox, coach of Denver, was behaving in such a way that had he been a baseball manager he would have been run in the first quarter.  The players showed general chippiness throughout and this was the kind of behavior seen in many games this past weekend.  Clearly players and coaches are losing patience and soon the fans will join them once ESPN begins to "expose" the situation for what it is: disagreements over money affecting the integrity of the game.

I fault the NFL for this, specifically the owners.  Clearly Roger Goodelll acts impulsively and sometimes without anyone in the background checking his authority.  This can be scene in the dictatorial way he handled player suspensions last year and how he overstepped with the New Orleans Saints this past summer.  The owners need to call the Commissioner and explain that this situation cannot stand and to pay the real refs to get them back on the field.  Surely there is enough money to go around, after all this is the NFL.  Get it done so that the players and fans you claim to care so much about are provided quality, experienced refs and the product you charge an arm and a leg for is worth the price of admission.
 (1) Comments
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Topics: Sports
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Locations: AtlantaDenver
People: John FoxPeyton Manning




 
Moving on at Penn State
Those who have heard me on the air know I am a big PSU fan.  A season ticket holder no less.  I currently pay the tuition bills to prove my allegiance.  Yet I watch patiently as the students, fans and supporters stand by, waiting for some movement at the administration level that would allow the school to move forward to restore its image as an academic leader and sports powerhouse.

Many PSU supporters actively seek the ouster of the Board of Trustees, that bunch of business leaders who must have been collectively hiding under their desks the past 10 months because they were nowhere to be found when cirisis management was called for.  I suspect like the one or two resignations that occurred more will follow.  The lack of leadership issue will slowly and painfully be resolved.

What also has to happen, more than anything else, is the university's decision to solve the Paterno Question.  What to do about the single most important figure in the university's history?  I am not talking about football wins or national championships here because JoePa was instrumental in developing the focus and drive to make Penn State a leader in research, business partnerships, and academic growth.  His donations of millions of dollars are just a part of the influence he exerted over the school and Central Pennsylvania.

Joe Paterno did not abuse kids, did not harbor a child predator, and did not enable Jerry Sandusky to commit those unspeakable acts.  If you believe otherwise you are not well versed on the facts.  A report was made in 1998 to Child Protective Services and the Police and THEY DECIDED not to pursue it.  In 2001 Joe reported another incident to his superiors, which included the University President, its athletic director and the head of campus police.  Again, they apparently decided not to go forward with an investigation.  Jerry Sandusky fooled a lot of people, which is why the current Pennsylvania governor and the famous people on the board of the Second Mile Charity continued to associate with and financially support that agency up to 2011.

Unlike the NCAA, that paragon of virtue, Penn State cannot simply ignore or wipe away the 60 years Joe Paterno walked its sidelines or coached its scholarship players.  It cannot purge itself of his financial contributions or dismantle his likeness or name that adorns its many libraries and buildings.  It must figure a way to honor the man, simply but with an effort worthy of his place in Penn State history.  To do otherwise is to keep its alumni, fans, supporters and students in a state of delusion and suspension that will only prolong healing. 
 (2) Comments
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Topics: Education
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Locations: Central PennsylvaniaPennsylvania
People: Jerry SanduskyJoe Paterno




 
Virginia Officals make right call
As Fred Persinger, II and I called the Musselman Sherando game, we witnessed Maverick Keller, the fine RB and DB for the Appleman, make big plays and help his team to a much needed victory.  One could not help but wonder whether the outcome would have been affected had he not been on the field for a big interception and return that stopped a Sherando drive in the second half and which shifted momentum Musselman's way.

The only reason Keller was on the field and not in school clothes during the game was the reversal of the game ejection he suffered the week before in Virginia against Skyline.  During the game a Virginia referee called Keller for a personal foul and tossed him from the game.  By all accounts, not just Musselman coaches and fans, the call was unjust and simply a case of a referee witnessing only part of a scuffle on the field.  Musselman filed an appeal in Virginia before their athletic association, realizing that under WVSSAC rules in effect for this Friday, Keller would have to sit out the game due to the ejection.  Fortunately, Virginia athletic association rules permit an appeal, and upon video review Keller's ejection was deemed to be without sufficient evidence and therefore was reversed.

Unfortunately in West Virginia the WVSSAC rules do not permit an aggrieved player to appeal such a call, the rationale being that video evidence is not available at all WVSSAC sanctioned games.  I say, "so what".  Not every stadium has field turf, comfortable locker rooms, adequate lighting, etc.  All factors play a part in determining outcomes.  I am sure Virginia is in the same situation in that not all of their games, especially those at the lowest classifications, have video available. 

Sure the burdens on the SSAC will increase if there are going to be video reviews of certain plays or calls, but this can be done.  You clearly define what can be reviewed and by whom.  You set up a timetable for review and you render a decision within days so as to not affect future games.  I maintain nothing is more important to the student athlete than his or her eligibility and I would hope the SSAC would give due consideration to such matters by permitting an appeal process in the future.  Last night the State of Virginia, and Maverick Keller, showed the value of such efforts.
 (3) Comments
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Topics: Sports
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Locations: VirginiaWest Virginia
People: Fred Persinger , IIVirginia Officals




 
High School Football Rankings
So a local writer is already looking at the statewide polls and bemoaning the fact that Martinsburg is ranked number 2 in the first week's poll.  Really??  Can we not wait a few weeks before speculating about a bias against the Eastern Panhandle?

With the George Washington loss Friday night (without Ryan Switzer) Martinsburg will clearly ascend to number one and all will be right with the world.  Frankly, I would not mind waiting until week 4 before rankngs come out given the task of trying to rank teams who have only played one game.  That amounts to guess work in many instances, like the voters who must have guessed that Martinsburg cannot be expected to be as good as the previous two years due to graduation losses.  It may take a few games, but soon everyone across the state will realize that Coach Walker and Martinsburg have successfully reloaded and are primed for another title run.  At that point, we won't have to worry about any bias.  The best team in the state will be apparent to everyone.
 (2) Comments
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Topics: Sports
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People: Ryan Switzer




 
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