Monday Night Shocker

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Eagles came out and played a decent game of football against the rival Cowboys. Only thing is the play calling, along with the eratic play of McNabb, cost the birds yet another game in the division.

It is a good thing I stayed up to watch the entire game Monday night because if I woke up and heard the Eagles lost the game I wouldn't have believed it. If you went to bed then you missed the Eagles blow a 30-7 lead with just under four minutes to play in the game. While not converting a first down was a problem, so was the defense, who played well all game (only one big 56 yard play helped Dallas score), gave up a touchdown on four plays in under 50 seconds. Ok, so the Eagles get it back and run the ball, use some time and maybe even force Dallas to use a timeout or two. Almost. Once again McNabb threw a rookie interception at the end of the game, this one to Roy Williams, who later said he couldn't believe the ball was coming his way, who also ran it all the way for the game winning touchdown. And then the Eagles had to rely on a 60 yard field goal try by David Akers, which fell miserably short.

So where did this game go wrong? You have a few options...

A. With the ball and a little over 40 seconds in the first half with timeouts to spare, the Eagles ran the ball and ran the clock out going into halftime. Looking back you must try to move the ball and get a field goal attempt!
B. Just the opposite of #1. In the second half they opt for a pass when they should have been running the clock out! Running the ball late in the game does one of three things for you.

  1. You run the clock out as much as possible, leaving the opposing offense wiht as little time as possible. This is especially crucial after you watch the Cowboys score a touchdown on you in under a minute.
  2. You possibly force your opponent to start using timeouts, thus making it more difficult for them on offense.
  3. Running the ball decreases the chances of your quarterback, who is having a very poor stretch, of throwing an interception by 100%.
This was the third straight loss for the Eagles. In each of the three games a crucial drive for the offense stalled when McNabb threw a very poor pass. At this stage of his career he needs to have the ability to see guys who are standing virtually right in front of him. Lately he has not been doing that.

Who in the world does Reno Mahe have pictures of?

Some positives? Well, Westbrook was returning punts at one point. Funny how he does things to help the team after signing a contract.

I'm not counting the Eagles out of the playoffs just yet. One thing is for sure though, they have a rough road ahead of them. They won't win the division (Congrats Giants or Cowboys), but the NFC still stinks and the Eagles can make the wild card. If they lose another two games though McNabb should sit the resst of the season and get his surgery and the organization should figure out how to spend that $13 million of cap space in the offseason to find a wide receiver, an offensive lineman, and possbly some help on the defense. The team is not getting any younger and times like this make you worry about the future.

On a brighter note, my Penn State Nittany Lions are poised for a Big Ten championship with a win over Michigan State this coming weekend. I won't lie, this game concerns me. PSU is still a little inexperienced at national exposure, although they have handled it well this year. And I'm not ready to throw out the possibility of a national championship. I think it is POSSIBLE for them to be playing for it all in the Rose Bowl, where I admit they would very likely lose to USC or Texas. Stranger things have happened and USC and Texas each have two games left before bowl season. Twice as many games as PSU means twice as many chances for a loss. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

If not the Rose Bowl I'll hope for a Penn State - Notre Dame Fiesta Bowl. Much more attrcative than a PSU-Miami Orange Bowl. Many more great storylines and tradition with that Fiesta Bowl matchup, not to mention a great way to get fans excited for the upcoming two year home and home series between Notre Dame and Penn State.


Running Game? What running game?

Monday, October 24, 2005

Another Eagles game, another week of hearing about the lack of a running game. Sure, the Eagles won the game thanks to a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown, but this game falls under the good ole Mike Schmidt rule; "The thrill of victory, and the agony of hearing about it the next day."

Simply put, the Eagles have no running game and the only player with a desire to change that is Brian Westbrook. Week in and week out we have heard the same phrase out of Andy Reid; "I've got to do a better job on that." or "We'll take a look at it this week and see what we can do."

Well, after so many years of hearing that I'm starting to wonder if there is anything they can do about it. Now the rumor is Duce Staley would like to come back next season. That's fine with me. Afterall, the grass is (Eagle) greener on this side of Pennsylvania anyway. And it would be fitting for another ex-Eagle who didn't fit outside of this team to come back (see Hugh Douglas and Jeremiah Trotter).

Anyway, it's not like the Chargers had a running game either, but that is credited to the AWESOME Eagles defense. Ladainian Tomlinson, the best player in the NFL, didn't reach positive yards until late in the game. Credit Jim Johnson and his players for a job VERY well done.

And of course, Penn State responded like a winner aftre their devastating loss at Michigan. They only played Illinois but a lot of people, including me, were expecting somewhat of a yawner. I was thinking 20 points. They scored 43. Two very important games at home now against Purdue and Wisconsin. I think Penn State must win these two games. They are now ranked #9 in the BCS rankings. While I will be happy with this team regardless of what happens in the next three games (I'm just starving for a bowl game this year), why not ride this out as far as possible? I'd love to see a Penn State-Notre Dame Fiesta Bowl. I know I'm not alone.

Hello, Phillies? Where's the GM?


PSU...we're back

Sunday, October 09, 2005

You know, it's been a while since I've been to a game, but boy was the wait ever worth it.

I have NEVER heard Beaver Stadium that loud. EVER! Never before did I stand for essentially the entire game, outside of the student section, but that's what everyone was doing! Penn State football is back.

The defense is good, and I mean good. The defense would have carried the team to a national championship run if the offense could score 13 points last year. And they stepped it up against Ohio State's offense. Even when penalties rescued OSU in the third quarter three times, the defense didn't back down and came through, leading the way to a 17-10 statement victory that will be remembered by Penn State fans for a long time. It was a game in which we said, WE ARE...BACK! WE ARE...PENN STATE!

Now of course, they should be ranked in the top ten. They contro their own fate in the Big Ten (and national title?) race believe it or not. They are the only undefeated team in the conference and with Wisconsin and Purdue at home, and Michigan showing vulnerable spots, who is to say they can't run the table?

Well, I'm far from thinking this team is going to run the table. They could very well lose in Michigan next weekend and I would fully expect Michigan to come out and make a statement of their own. But I will say this, this team is fun and worth watching again.

Bring on Michigan.

P.S. The Eagles were not worth mentioning in more than one sentence this weekend.


Just for kicks

Friday, September 30, 2005

Not sports related, but I've been meaning to throw this in there. Is anyone surprised by this?

:: how nintendo are you? ::


It might be! Could it be? It isn't!

That phrase pretty much sums up the Phillies season in a nutshell.

I sit here on a Friday afternoon and the Astros have a 1.5 game lead on the Phillies, who surrendered 2 out of 3 to the stinkin' Mets. I hate the Mets. I hate New York in general. And to have them be the victor in that crucial series just pains me even more. Who do I hate more than the stinkin' Mets? The Devils.

The New Jersey Devils aren't exactly the same caliber as they used to be, but boy do I hate them. I sat down and watched my first hockey game since the Eastern Conference Finals. Flyers-Devils preseason hockey. I don't care what anyone says, I love hockey. True, I don't get into it really until March and April, but I love watching hockey. And with the Flyers the odds on favorite to claim the Stanley Cup this season of the "new" NHL, I know it's going to be fun.

Start scouting out your spot for the parade on Broad Street. The Flyers are going to win the Stanley Cup. Glen Macnow, one of my favorite hosts on 610 WIP, picks them to go a Chicago Bull-like 79-4. I'm sure he was kidding, but they are going to be good.



Thursday, September 22, 2005

I missed all but the 9th inning today of the Phillies series finale in Atlanta. The Phills put four on the board to beat the Braves, 4-0 and take the series and season series with the Braves. Kudos to Shane Victorino for his first major league homerun. Also, kudos to John Lieber who seemingly pitched a very good game.

It's just a shame those Astros got to play Pittsburgh and also won today to stay two games in front of the Phills for the Wild Card. Here we are, nine games to go and the Phills have win-able games all the way. So do the Astros. This weekend's series in Cincinnati tends to worry me a little. The Phillies are a better team and should win at least two. A sweep would be oh so nice. The Reds just lost Griffey Jr. for the remainder of the season and are out of it. But boy are they pesky. Meanwhile, the Astros are in Chicago to play the Cubs.

I'm beginning to think it can happen, but the Phillies have a history of getting close and then blowing up against a far less talented the Reds. Should be interesting!


Gridiron Throughts

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Eagles are 1-1. Here is what I love and hate about Philadelphia, and it's the same thing.

In Philadelphia the passion for their team is unrivaled. In no other city will you see fans so outraged after a loss, against a good team on the road. Some of the more naive Eagle fans (and haters) were quick to write off the season after week one. Of course, Eagles fans stand by their team no matter what. No where else will you see a stadium packed with fans for a team that is 3-13. No where. Not New England, not Pittsburgh, not Dallas, Washington, New York (or New York), not Chicago, and not Atlanta. Philadelphia, has the best sports fans in the country. But I'm getting off the track.

The Eagles are already once again the favorite to win the NFC, and barring injury, they will.

How 'bout them Cowboys? All you Cowboy fans who were pumping your chest after week one and saying this was the year the Boys beat out the Birds for the division are awfully quiet this week. In case you missed it the Redskins and their horrible offense scored two touchdowns in the final few minutes against Dallas on Monday night, after being shut out by the Cowboys for 3 quarters and about 10 minutes. How embarrassing.

Eagles-Raiders this weekend. Eagles are the better team and they should win confidently. The Raiders are better than the49ers so I don't expect to see a 42-3 thrashing, but Randy Moss doesn't scare the Eagles. He'll get his catches and a good number of yards. Heck he may even score a touchdown (or two). But for everything Moss does, who around him is going to compliment him? Surely the Eagles have the advantage at quarterback and running back. One might even argue the Eagles have the better receiver. The question this week won't be Moss or T.O. It will be McNabb or Collins? Westbrook or Jordan? And we didn't even talk about the defense.

Speaking of former Penn State quarterback great Kerry Collins, my Nittany Lions have roared to a 3-0 record. As they enter Big Ten play this week at Northwestern I will admit that I am slightly ashamed to be proud and excited about a 3-0 start over South Florida, Cincinatti and Central Michigan. Penn State should ALWAYS start 3-0. The program has fallen greatly in the past 6 or 7 years. But I am still a die hard fan. Go State.

And my final football related question of the day...what did the New York Giants do to deserve an extra home game. Oh, I know "technically" it was an away game. I wish the Eagles could play a road game at Lincoln Financial Field against their opponent. I think the NFL exploiuted the Saints and have not helped them out at all, but for the Giants to get an extra game in their stadium is a farce. The worst part is, they didn't even pack their own stadium for a Monday Night game.


Howard Eskin

I hate Howard Eskin and everything about him. However, every day it seems that I agree with him more and more. The fact that I agree so strongly on many issues with a pompous, self-proclaimed "king of bling", fur coat wearing, jerk just drives me nuts.

The one thing I respect about him though is that he puts up with some of the most annoying, stupid, and unintelligent callers in the world. Not only does he have to deal with Cowboys, Giants, Redskins fans, and plain old Eagles haters, he also deals with the dopes who have nothing better to do than use their cell phone for a free call to try and be witty and condescending to him on air. But of course on radio Eskin has the ability to wipe their call off the radio completely.

C'mon people. If you're going to call a radio station, at least say something that will go on the air. Don't waste Eskin's time, or my time.


Phillies Thoughts

Hey everyone, it's been a while. As you may know I have been very critical of the Phillies this season, and I still believe I was right in that criticism. Here is the scenario right now. The Phillies find themselves just two games out of the playoffs, trailing the Astros for the Wild Card and the Braves for the division. With eleven games left in the season I still have yet to determine whether or not this team can make the playoffs. My gut feeling, and my imaginary money, would bet against it. There are so many faults on the team, including a lack of a killer instinct middle lineup and a clumsy manager. However, with the rest of the National League, outside of St. Louis, as bad as their NFL counterpart, the NFC, who is to say the Phillies can't make the playoffs?

The fact is the Phillies and Astros each have their ups and downs as well as their strengths and weaknesses. Coming down this final stretch will be fun for those of us who are dying for some fall baseball. So while I have been harshly critical of this team this season, it is only because I'm waiting for a winner. I have said before that if this team makes the playoffs, they will be my least favorite Philly sports playoff team, but I still want them to win.

And if you're a Phillies fan, isn't that what we all want?


TO Food Drive

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

In the midst of all the hype leading up to training camp and all the questions surrounding TO (well, at least from he and his agent's point of view) I have decided to help TO out.

The man is obviously struggling to feed his family. And of course, I sympathize for him. How could we not? I mean, he spends so much money on luxuries and so much time lounging in his big house, driving in his fancy cars, working out and relaxing in front of a big TV and pool, who could blame him for forgetting to do the grocery shopping! Fear not TO! I have come to the rescue, much like your superhero-aspiring agent!

When Eagles training camp commences I encourage all Eagle fans to bring a canned food item and drop it off in a donation box. All donations will be given to Terrell Owens and his family. It is my sincere hope that these kind and generous donations will allow him to relax and not stress out about needing a new deal. One less thing for you to concern yourself about Mr. Owens!


It's Been a While!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

First off, sorry about not posting in a while. Things have been a little busy around here lately. But I have things to say to I must say it!

Where else to start but with the Phillies? This weekend they play host to the first place San Diego Padres and win the first two games, being led by none other than Chase Utley. Utley scored the only two runs of a 2-0 afternoon game the night after ending an extra inning game with a game winning homerun. I'm telling you, this kid's gonna be fun to watch. But here's the thing; The Phillies have crept back to within four games of first place of the division and coincidently, four games of the wild card. You know me, I desperately want my team to make the playoffs for the first time in 1993. I really honestly do! But at the same time I don't want the people who run this team to think they are in a good position. This is NOT a playoff team by any stretch of the imagination. I am waiting for the trade deadline to see what happens with this club, as I've said before.

Playoff contenders make moves at the trade deadline to help them win this year. With Ed Wade at the helm my fear is that he will trade away a guy like Ryan Howard or Cole Hammels and end up getting juped in the process. Those guys are basically the only product we have left in our farm system. With this team as old as it is in some positions it is not a good idea to trade away what prospects you have left.

Am I rooting on the Philies? Of course. Do I want them to make the playoffs this year? Without a doubt. Do I want them to drastically panic and trade away their young talent in the process? Unless we're getting a top centerfielder, thirdbaseman AND starting pitcher, no way.

And with the trade deadline coming up the Phillies are losing time before they drop to number two on the sports page. Well let's face it, they already are. Eagles training camp is open the way and the word is now that Terrel Owens will be reporting. He and his agent aren't happy about it and TO has said that he will cause problems. Pardon me if I don't cry. He says the Eagles should release him or trade him so they can part ties and act like adults about this. He of all people should not be saying anything about acting like adults. TO in a span of a year went from King of the City of Philadelphia, to just another pre-madonna rich boy who wants more. That attitude just does not work in the blue collar city of Philly. You can blame the superhero wannabe agent of his if you want (the guy is an annoying suck up to athletes anyway), but when it comes down to it, the only person we can really blame is TO.

TO has a contract worth $49 million for the next 7 years. I'll likely never see $49 million in my lifetime.

Until next time!


Late Night Blogger

Friday, June 17, 2005

(This post made while watching the Phillies-Mariners series finale)

So what's the deal with the Phillies offense? They're hot during their recent homestand and through 2 games and 6 innings against the Mariners they have scored three runs. With Oakland next up, maybe it's a good time for this team to realize that not every game can be won on homeruns. It's time to start honing the art of manufacturing runs.

The new "Woohoo" guy is in Seattle. Those poor Mariner fans.

Randy Wolf is out and Padilla has yet to show consistency. Ed Wade needs to make a move of some sort.

Watching Jim Thome this year reminds me of watching Pat Burell last year. Hopefully Thome gets out of his funk a lot sooner.

Chris Wheeler = the kid who never shuts up in high school.

Chase Utley is the most pure ballplayer the Phills have and the most heart of anyone.

Jimmy Rollins signs a five year extension, and in the press conference he states that he'd like to finish his career on the west coast. Not the brightest of moves.

Even when I agree with Wheeler, he still annoys me.

Is anyone watching the NBA Finals? Does anyone care?

Brett Myers has given up one run in 6 innings. I guess it was time to take him out of the game?

Kenny Loften. I thought he came to town about five years too late. He's giving me much more than I could have hoped for and he should be leading off everyday, if not Bobby Abreu.

Go figure. The Phillies finally find a way to score 2 runs and they give it right back. Myers must be frustrated.

Did anyone watch the NBA Finals? Yeah, me neither.

Extra innings. Yay. There's nothing I love more than late night interleague baseball. Note the sarcasm.

Thirteen innings? C'mon! I want to go to bed!

Jimmy Rollins can hustle. A triple gives him his fifth hit of the game!

Why do the Phillies still wear those stupid looking "interleague" hats? Does any other team have a separate "interleague" hat? It's all a marketing ploy obviously.

Thank you Billy Wagner for finally ending this game at two in the morning on the east coast. Phills win 3-2 in 13 innings. Great game and good win, but I'm tired!

Good night folks!


Credit Given Where Credit is Due

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Just a few weeks ago there was a negative air in Philly surrounding our baseball team. Yes, it was deserved. But now is the time to hand out mad props for they are now deserved.

It seems that when the public image of the Phillies reached a new all time low the challenge was set. Since those down and low days of May the team has taken series against the hot Orioles, division nemesis Braves and defending NL champs Cardinals. They lost the Marlins series but what else is new. That series of games was widely known to be the 12-Game test for this team. The general feeling was that if they came out of that stretch with a winning record then maybe they really will be ok. Their record? 7-5. Not too shabby. The pitching started coming together, some runs started to be produced in key situations and they won three of the series. And just today the club finished off a long home stand in which they went 12-1. A few weeks ago the Phillies were in last place with little hope for the rest of the year. Perhaps they were not given enough time to prove themselves? I admit I may have guilty of jumping on them for their terrible start.

Today the Phillies are one and a half games out of first place behind the surprisingly hot Washington Nationals. The Marlins have been 4-12 since beating the Phillies. The Braves are trudging along. And the Mets have continued to play mediocre baseball. The Nationals had a ten game win streak and the Phillies are the hottest team in the National League and perhaps in all of baseball. The optimism is starting to gain momentum.

Having said all of this I still will hold off of saying I’m getting in line for playoff tickets for the first time since 1993. I still want to wait and see what happens at the trade deadline. The recent acquisition of relief pitcher Urbina is a good solid move for the bullpen, although I personally would liked to have seen what more we could have gotten for Placido Polanco. Urbina could be a great acquisition if he pitches to his potential and helps fuel the enthusiasm. Having new teammate Bobby Abreu as a good friend will help. It is well publicized that Urbina has had relationship problems in the past, starting a fight on the Red Sox plan and scuffling with Tiger teammates just within the last week. Ed Wade knew nothing about that incident. Figures.

Three weeks ago I was furious with my beloved Phillies. Today I am having almost as much fun watching them as I did in 1993. Once Jim Thome becomes a threat again, and all other facets of the team continue performing as they are right now, then I will be ready to pencil this team in as the NL East Champs.

And now a short list of things that bug me:

  • Nomar Garciapara leading NL shortstops in All Star balloting? This is what feuds my argument for fans not having the right to vote for the starters. I think people need to take Phillies manager Charlie Manuel’s advice and “study the game” a little more.
  • When the waiter or waitress asks “Do you need any change?” when they take your money and bill. From now on if a waiter or waitress asks you this you should say “Yes.” And not leave them a tip. The polite thing to do is to say “I’ll be right back with your change.”
  • My sister mocking my dad’s musical interests. Let’s flip through my sister’s CD collection…*NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, and 98 Degrees. And that’s one book of CD’s.
  • The Philadelphia philosophy of the “bandwagon”. Fans of any Philly sports team for some reason resent when other locals start rooting for one of the teams because they’re starting to be successful. Example: Flyers die hard season ticket holder says that Johnny Flyer Fan Come Lately isn’t allowed to bash the Flyers because he wasn’t following them in October. My feeling is this; If you live anywhere near the “local” team and have no defined allegiances anywhere else, you can root for the team no matter what, whenever you want. Why does Philadelphia have to have four different sports fans? Why can’t we all just root for the city’s teams? Isn’t it more fun with more people? Let’s burn the bandwagon on fire and be done with that notion!

And finally, congratulations to the Philadelphia Phantoms on sweeping the Chicago Wolves in the AHL Finals and winning the franchises’ second Calder Cup. They are the best hockey team in North America. There’s a trivia question for you in the future.


Philly Sports - 25 Years Later

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

It was the greatest year possibly in the history of Philadelphia sports. The Eagles were in the Super Bowl. The Flyers played for the Stanley Cup. The Sixers went up against the Lakers in the NBA Finals. The Phillies won the World Series. It was a time of bliss and pride and excitement. And here we are. Twenty five years later we are in a quite different state of mind.

A lot has changed since 1980 to say the least. Players have come and gone as well as owners and coaches. Little success has come although chances have been given on occasion. The Sixers won the city's last championship in 1983. Since then the teams have had zero success in pursuit of a championship.

At the moment you might say that the fans of Philly are desperate and anxious for another championship to brag about and soak in. No championships since 1983. 1983! This is clearly an understatement. So how did a city who's teams were among the top of their leagues in the late 70's and early 80's become a city without a championship?

The Philadelphia Phillies, one of the losingest franchises in all of sports, are currently proving to be a huge mess. In 1980 hall of famers Mike Schmidt and Steve Carlton, along with the likes of Pete Rose and Tug McGraw, captured our hearts with an NLCS victory of the Houston Astros in the best playoff series in all of sports, ever. Now third basemen David Bell continues to find his way into the lineup despite his underachieving and poor fielding and injuries. The general manager, Ed Wade, clearly has been a failure who is misguided about the talent his club currently possesses. Manager Charlie Manuel continues to bumble and juggle his lineup, keeping the "future everyday second baseman" Chase Utley out of the lineup against every left handed pitcher. The Phillies will notch their 10,000th loss at some point next season, a mark unreached in professional sports so far. Is it any wonder the fans of Philly are down on the Phillies?

On the other end of the Philly Sports spectrum, and directly across the street, are the Philadelphia Eagles. In 1980 they played the underdog Oakland Raiders in the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, it was the Eagles who were the dogs that day as Oakland won the Super Bowl as a wild card team. Today the Eagles are in the best position in the city to win a championship. However, history is not on their side as the losing team in the Super Bowl finds it near impossible to return to the game the following season, except for Buffalo of course. They are also in the middle of a standoff with Terrell Owens and his agent. Total dominance has been their trademark the past few years in the NFC East and the conference. Four straight NFC championship and a Super Bowl appearance are evidence of that. But this franchise hasn't won a championship since 1960...before there ever was a Super Bowl! With the high expectations placed on the charm of the city at the moment, it is no wonder Eagle and Philly fans are going nuts.

Then there are the Sixers. Twenty five years ago they played the Lakers in the Finals and were eliminated when rookie backup Earvin "Magic" Johnson stepped up and scorched the Sixers in Game Six. The Sixers hold the last sports championship, 1983, and are probably the most likely to win the next sports championship, as basketball can be easier to put together a winning team in the shortest amount of time. The days of Dr. J and Moses Malone are long gone. Today it is all about AI, the other AI and now Chris Webber. They just made a coaching change, bringing back fan favorite Maurice Cheeks, who is the inspiration for this very article. Cheeks will bring a new attitude that this team desperately needs and Philly may be witnessing an attitude not seen from the Sixers since 1983, or 2001. Cheeks will have this team playing like the old days when the players knew to play hard every minute of the game.

And finally, the Flyers. A team that has won two Stanley Cup Finals hasn't done so since the 70's. Since then the team has not changed their philosophy enough. When the NHL does come back, because this writer believes it will someday, you can be sure that the Flyers will still be lead by general manager Bobby Clarke, captain of the Broadstreet Bullies of the 70's. Clarke has continued to believe in the old theory that if you're bigger and stronger than the opposition you will win. But if you look at some of the recent Stanley Cup champs you will know that is not true. The Flyers unfortunately believe that they can win their way now because it worked for them twice before in the 70's. This is a franchise who is still living back in the Spectrum. They just play their games in the Center.

So here we are, twenty five years later. Two championships since 1980. New York has won with the Yankees, Mets, Giants, Islanders, and even the Rangers. Boston has won with the Celtics, Patriots and even the Red Sox. Los Angeles has won with the Dodgers and Lakers. Here comes the reality shocks though...

Tampa Bay has won two championships. Miami has two World Series championships. And the great metropolis of the Meadowlands has won three Stanley Cups.

Will Philly ever win another championship? Sure they will. The question is, in another twenty five years will I be writing a story with the heading "Philadelphia Sports - 50 Years Later"?


Some Phillies Math for You

Thursday, May 19, 2005

So I took the advice of Phillies manager Charlie Manuel and took some time to study the game a little more as a fan. Here is a brief overview of what I learned!

Let us assume that in order to make the playoffs in the National League, a team must win 90 games. I think that if you look at playoff records over the past few years that this number is actually quite low. I counted up how many games each team in the division has played and calculated how many games each team has remaining. The Phillies organization has this belief that everything will turn around for them and the losses of some players on other teams can only benefit the Phillies. As it stands at the moment I'm writing this, the Phillies must go 72-49 in their remaining games to reach 90 wins. Their crutch is the fact that the Braves have to go 66-56, the Marlins must go 68-57, the Nationals must go 67-55, and the Mets must go 67-54 just to win 89 games. The chances of all of that happening might be too much of a stretch for them to overcome.

I've also learned that 25 years have passed since the Phillies last won a World Series. It has also been 12 years since the last playoff appearance for the Phillies. 1993 was also the last year with four teams in the playoffs. They expanded to three divisions and a Wild Card in 1994; well, technically 1995. In that latest span, Ed Wade has become the second longest tenured general manager in baseball to not make the playoffs.

Did you know the Phillies had blue seats in their stadium? You may not have known it last year unless you went to a game. But you get a nightly lesson on it this season.

Just a few things I picked up Charlie. Will this all be on the test?


Now it's Personal

Monday, May 16, 2005

In my last post I told you why the Phillies are floundering this season and some things that should be done to correct it. Since then the Phillies have made things personal by responding to the fans. And boy do they not know how to deal with us.

Again the question is, "Where do we start?" We can go back to general manager Ed Wade who continues to believe that he is the all knowing baseball guru and that he knows the game of baseball better than anyone else. Zero division championships and zero playoff appearances in the second longest playoff drought by an active GM would prove otherwise Eddy.

Manager Charlie Manuel, now being booed every time he walks out to the mound is now saying that he wishes the Philadelphia fans would go back and "study the game a little more." Study the game a little more? Ok Charlie. Let us Philly fans get out our textbooks and review the science of the double-switch, or the art of not letting the second baseman of the future play sparingly and sometimes at first base. Obviously Charlie has fallen victim to the "Philly fans don't know jack" philosophy. I believe that Philly fans are among the top when i comes to passion and knowledge of the game when compared to fans in Boston, New York and Chicago. We do know what we're talking about. If you want to believe otherwise that is fine. But one thing should be easy enough for anyone to see; You don't criticize Philly fans in Philadelphia. No questions about that.

What's more is Jimmy Rollins made a very similar statement on ESPN saying that Philly fans may be intelligent but they are not the most knowledgeable baseball fans. Kenny Loften took another approach, clearly showing his ignorance of the Philly fan lifestyle when he urged the fans to cheer the Phillies on regardless of the struggles instead of showing aggravation and booing. Sorry Kenny, this ain't Cleveland anymore. When the Philly fans are upset that you're not living up to your expectations we are going to tell you. Do you know why? Because nobody else in the Phillies organization will!

Phillies fans have endured many years of losing, this much is obvious. The team may have lied to us and lead us on before but the diehards always come back and the true fans still stick by their team in hopes of winning the next year. But with the turmoil this season the team has taken a very arrogant approach to dealing with it from the top down and it has finally crossed the line. Once you deal with the fans as much as they have there is almost no turning back. And this is not a media thing. The fans really are angry. Not just the radio-heads and columnists the management believes to be the main culprit. But the people who buy the tickets, or don't buy the tickets. What is happening now is the honest Phillies fans are hurt and disgusted with the inaptitude of this franchise and they are turned off. I am turned off. I will continue checking scores and watching this team fall farther than anyone can imagine until a shakeup is made.

Ed Wade must go. So must Charlie Manuel. So must half the players. So must the other half.


S.O.S. Phillies are S(t)inking

Friday, May 13, 2005

Imagine you are playing poker with your buddies. The hand you've been dealt flat out stinks. No good cards at all. Maybe if you exchange a card or two with the dealer something will turn out. Luck would have it that the cards you get in exchange are worth absolutely nothing and you have to fold. Meanwhile those cards you traded in go on later to help your buddy win a couple hands.

Now, I'm not a poker player at all, but I have to imagine that this is kind of what the feeling is with the Phillies organization at this point. As we all know, the Phillies are in a state of turmoil and the fans are getting more and more restless. Of course the angry fans will say they know what to do and that the general manager Ed Wade is incompetent at his job, as well as the manager Charlie Manuel, and the players themselves. Heck, things are so bad with the organization right now the hot dog vendors may not be up to their job either! It is painfully obvious what needs to be done with this team. Royal flush everything.

You can start with the ownership or the general manager. As much as I would love to see the team sold to an owner we can put a face too, I realize that will not happen anytime soon. So we start with the general manager. Ed Wade's job security is now a published issue as the rumors of a firing are out there in the media. I personally believe it is year's overdue. Wade has failed to bring in players who will push this team to the playoffs in his tenure here. Not once. Every other team in the National League East, except the Montreal Expos who have been in a league of their own, has been to the World Series! What is worse is the Florida Marlins have won the whole thing twice. Twice! And they passed the Phillies in the standings along the way to their second championship run, literally. Want to know how? By bringing in key players at the trade deadline. Jeff Conine single handedly eliminated the Phillies from the playoffs on that push a couple years ago. Some Phillies fans clamored for Conine to come to town. We can also analyze the managerial situation.

The Phillies used to have a guy by the name of Terry Francona. Now, I realize he now owns a World Series ring, but I must say that I could have managed the Red Sox to a World Series championship with that lineup and pitching. Francona was a guy who coddled and nursed his team, including Scott Rolen. The team floundered year after year and the organization claimed they needed a guy to light the fire for this team. So they bring in fan favorite Larry Bowa. Bowa found a way to have a winning record each season he was here, and came close to the post season twice. Mistakes were made though and it was publicized that the team did not like him because he was too hard on the players when they didn't live up to the expectations of them. Pardon me if I don't cry. So the organization decides to go back and get the player-friendly manager, Charlie Manuel. Wade will tell you that Manuel is experienced at the professional level by saying he's managed over 1600 professional games and won over 90 games with Cleveland a few years back. With Jim Thome, Albert Belle, Roberto Alomar, Manny Ramierez, David Justice and more all in one lineup it is no wonder so many games were won. One World Series appearance and they lost to the Atlanta Braves, the biggest postseason chokers in history. Also, Manuel managed a bunch of those games in Japan and in the minor leagues. Jim Leyland, the popular fans pick for Phillies managerial successor to Bowa, must be sitting at home laughing at the team now (as I'm sure Bowa would be too). The Phillies brought in guys on a "world wide" search for Bowa's successor, but the feeling is Manuel was Thome's buddy and that is how he got the job. The team used Bowa as their reason for failing the past few years. Guess what guys. You can't blame Bowa anymore, but you can still blame the manager.

The philosophy with the club in terms of their players is generally "they will come around and everything will be alright." They also claim that certain young players are untouchable in their farm system and team. The problem is, the Phillies don't have a good farm system anymore. And the players the fans are told will be great fail to produce. Chase Utley is the best example. Because Manuel likes to keep his players happy he continues to play Placido Polanco at second base, even though it is widely known that Utley is the second baseman for this team ten years from now. David Bell has been underachieving at third from day one. Sit Bell, move Polanco to third, play Utley at second. If Polanco complains that's too bad. Utley is being robbed of prospering on a daily basis with this team and until a manager with the ablility to realize what's best for the team's chances of winning comes in, as opposed to keeping everyone happy, he will continue to be denied.

I know I'm covering a lot of ground here with what is wrong with the team, but that is just the sad truth. There are a lot of things wrong with the team. Ever since the team backstabbed their manager I have been turned off and disgusted with these players. Well that is not true. I've been disgusted with this team's efforts ever since...1994?

Time for a new hand to be dealt.


Enough ESPN!

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Here is a Memo to ESPN: Stop with the original ESPN Entertainment! Seriously, enough is enough. I can tell that you are hurting with the absence of the NHL and their playoffs. How else can I explain the shows you keep pumping out and jamming down my throat? You have done your takes on reality TV in which contestants compete for a job as Sportscenter anchor. Your winner can be seen sparingly on ESPNews. Then you followed it up with former NBA players with a chance at being an analyst. It doesn't stop there. You've had shows in which players give questions to contestants as well as your latest ventures in which contestants are pit against your own fat retro jersey wearing sports guru. And the worst part is you seem to find air time for none other than Stuart Scott who was your main on air personality when you started the ESPN 2 network. Note to Stuart, your catchphrases could have stayed back in the early days of ESPN 2. No more. Booyeah.

Please NHL, come back next year and save me from ESPN's original entertainment programming!


Sports Emperor for a Day

Monday, April 18, 2005

A funny thing happened to me today. I was anointed Sports Emperor of the World for a Day. At last I am able to modify the sports I have come to know, love, and in some cases loathe, to my liking. Where to start, where to start?

There is a rule that was once to be re-enforced but it has sadly not been done. A batter may not leave the batters box unless time is called. No more stepping out in between every pitch. Imagine how much shorter the games would be now!

American League, say goodbye to the designated hitter. It's time both leagues play on the same level. The AFC doesn't have wider goal posts than the NFC, so why should the American League pitchers not hit? This is an old-school rule change that will add more strategy to the game.

A funny thing about baseball that is unique from all the other sports. The playing fields are as varied as the teams. Every football field in America is uniform, as are all the NBA courts and NHL rinks. Why is it different in baseball? The time has come to unify the game and level out the home run record chases and hitting records and everything from now on. Sure, this is not likely in the day and age of stadium construction costs, but it, to me, is insane that there are different dimensions. Also, say good bye to that hill in centerfield in Houston.

Playoff change. The team with the best regular season schedule will have home field advantage in the World Series, Wild Card or not. No more "winning league of the all star game" gets homefield. Stupid rule.

Curt Schilling? You are banned form speaking your mind. I don't care what you have to say anymore.

No more inter-league games. Interleague should be kept for three times; spring training, the All-Star game and the World Series. I might consider same-city-three-game-series once a year. I can let Yankee-Mets, Phillies-Red Sox, Nationals-Orioles, Cubs-White Sox, etc. match-ups go.

Stat that is never heard from again: Pitch count.

Age minimum. rather than having a specific age minimum, how about a rule stating that all NBA players must have completed three years of college? And can the college coaches be sure to teach their teams the fundamentals of the game, like foul shooting and defense?

If you want to hold out the team name of your jersey to the crowd after a big play, it's a $10,000 fine. If I'm watching the game, I know what teams are playing thank you very much. It's old now.

Retro, or throwback, jerseys may be worn a maximum of twice per year. It's hard enough keeping track of all the teams, especially when I see home jerseys, away jerseys, home throwback jerseys and away throwback jerseys being worn in the same week! If you're playing at home, wear your white jerseys. If you're on the road, wear your dark jersey. If you're the Lakers, wear your yellow jerseys at home, not the white ones.

Stick with me on this one...If a team from one conference has a superior record of a team in the opposing conference, and the superior team does not make the playoffs in their conference, they take the place of the lesser team in the opposing conference. Example: Buffalo Bills finish 10-6 and out of the AFC playoffs, Carolina Panthers finish 8-8 and make Wild Card in NFC. Buffalo takes the place of the Panthers in the NFC playoffs. Should this happen, the team replacing the lesser team will play all of their games on the road, regardless of record. The playoffs should be a reward for superior play and the mediocre teams should not be permitted to participate in post season play.

Super Bowl commercials should not cost so much. Because they have gotten so expensive it seems that the quality of the commercial breaks has been hit hard. Stop charging so much and bring back the quality of commercials that last forever. Does anybody even remember the Bud Bowl? It used to be more entertaining than the game itself!

Speaking of Super Bowl, no more televised pre-game and halftime entertainment that is supposed to be for the viewers. The game should be just about that, the game. If you haven't noticed there have been some classic ending Super Bowls four out of the last five years. But everybody remembers just the "wardrobe malfunction".

College football (Division 1-A) change. A playoff system incorporating all league champs and a certain number of "at-large" teams. The bowl games can still be used for neutral sites for the quarter, semi and final games.

If it doesn't snow in your city, you don't get a team. Good bye Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Might Ducks, San Jose Sharks and more, including the defending Stanley Cup champs, Tampa Bay Lightning.

New 52 game schedules. More conference and division play, less out of conference play.

No shoot-out possibilities to decide a game. Four on four overtime works nicely in the regular season, five on five in post season. Just fine.

And of course, play some games!

Stat to never hear again: scoring chance. How can a player have more shots on goal than scoring chances? Isn't a shot on goal, technically, a scoring chance?

I think that is enough to do for one day as the Emperor of the Sports World. Now that I fixed some things up I'll go and relax in my throne, awaiting the call for my next fill-in job.


Baseball Blog for April 6

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Comcast was kind enough to broadcast the Phillies game in my area tonight so I was delighted to get to watch the second game of the season. When I turned it on it seemed to be good game, with the Nationals leading 2-1. All of that changed shortly after when Pat "the Bat" Burrell pounded one over the fences, giving the Phills a 3-2 lead.

The young Brett Myres was apparently pitching well, but he was taken out when Brad Wilkerson came up after 6 2/3 innings. The Phills got out of the inning alright, but the 8th was a different story. What once used to be the strength of the Phillies proved yet again to be the Achilles heel; middle relief. It used to be that the middle relief was terrific and the starting pitching was decent, and the closer, Jose Mesa namely, was the problem. Since the Phillies parted with Mesa they picked up Billy Wagner. Wagner, though, is only effective when he's in the game. The middle relief has increasingly become more frustrating over the past year or so. Sure, it's only the second game of the season. So goes the life of a frustrated Phillies (and Philadelphia in general) fan.

The game comes back on after a pitching change (Tim Worrell couldn't do anything to help set up Wagner) and the crowd is standing and cheering. How's this? When they left for commercial they were booing Worrell off the mound. Little did I know that Eagles linebacker Jeremiah Trotter was in attendance in his Phills colors with his friends. I knew what to do next. Count how long it took for the first E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES chant took place. Three seconds. what to count next? How many times the chant would be done. Four.

Back to the game. Another pitcher, another couple runs scored against us. Final score, 7-3 Nationals.

Some good news from this (and the first game) is the play of Pat Burell who went 3-3 in the opening game, and picked up a clutch home run to give the Phills a lead to play with with Thome on base. Let's hope this continues. If it does the offense will be better. And how about Jimmy Rollins-Chase Utley? I like it so far, especially with that sweet play they had in I believe the 6th.

The game ends and I continue searching for more sports. ESPN comes on and I watch for a Sixers score (they won) as I'm watching the Utah Jazz score 8 points in the first quarter against Minnesota. 31-8 after one quarter? It's no wonder the college game is more interesting to watch.

Luckilly ESPN2 is showing the Marlins-Braves game. At this point it is tied at one in the 12th inning. Call me crazy but I love this stuff. Give me a 1-1, 3-3 game in extra innings any day over a 12-10 game. Home runs are cheap thrills. Pitching duels and good defense are treasures.

In other news today, I browsed a book store and leafed through Jose Canseco's book. Wow. I decided to save my money.


Baseball is Back

Monday, April 04, 2005

In my previous post I discussed the Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees rivalry and how it should not be interfered with. I'm glad to see it was left untouched for opening night in the Bronx, so now I hope the same remains true when the two clubs meet in Boston for the Red Sox home opener. So what were my impressions of opening night?

The Yanks beat the Sox 9-2 in one of the worst opening day defeats by a defending World Champ. Oh well. The Yanks have this thing where they beat up on the Sox in the regular season anyway. Should the Red Sox be worried? Not at all. One game down, but still 161 still left to play.

Randy Johnson pitched very well, holding the Sox to only one run in his six innings of work. Is a guy that old supposed to be that good in April? I didn't think so, but then again Randy Johnson isn't your average over-40 pitcher.

Much was made about David Wells' record in Yankee Stadium. What some people failed to point out is that just about all of those games were as a Yankee. I could win at least one game as a Yankee pitcher when I have that lineup behind me. Welcome to Boston Wells.

You can tell the city of Boston is suffering from the absence of hockey. Why do I say that? Because the Red Sox team captain, catcher Jason Varitek, sported a "C" as the captain of his team on his jersey, a characteristic that is found everywhere in hockey and at a few locations in Major League Baseball. Say what you will, but I think the "C" has got to g in baseball.

I don't know what was worse for sports fans in Boston last night; the fact that the Red Sox were blown away by the Yankees or the fact that Celtics fans had to sit through listening to Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell sing the National Anthem, as paid off his bet to Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. The two governors made a friendly wager on the Super Bowl with the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles. Needless to say Governor Romney won...Luckily Mrs. Rendell helped her husband out a little.

Today is opening day for the rest of the league. So seeing as it's time for predictions I will make mine.

NL East - Braves AL East - Yankees
NL Central - Cardinals AL Central - Twins
NL West - Giants AL West - Angels
NL Wild Card - Phillies AL Wild Card - Red Sox

World Series - Yankees over Phillies

Call me optimistic if you will. I am, of course, a desperate Phillies fan.



Wednesday, March 30, 2005

So here's the deal. I hate the Yankees, and I'm not particularly fond of the Red Sox either. I am however a big baseball fan (more so than football believe it or not), and an always frustrated Phillies fan. Watching the sport of baseball the past few years has been somewhat of a spectacle. I am a purist so I naturally dislike the idea of interleague play, and the idea of steroids is another topic for another day. I do however appreciate the story lines that help boost interest in baseball.

The steroids issue may eventually put a red flag on the likes of Mark McGwire getting into the hall of fame (Barry Bonds is probably still going to pack for Cooperstown someday though. While this is a story that has put baseball in the spotlight, it is not for the good reason. One of the best storylines that baseball has going for it though is the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry.

True, this rivalry is beyond being jammed down our throats. Seemingly the entire Red Sox lineup bashing Alex Rodriguez, a player they tired getting just a year before. The Yankees comparing the Sox to the Little "Red" Engine That Could as they count and compare world championship totals. The acquisitions that seem to be responses to the other organization. The big paychecks for players just to outdo the other. And of course, the history. No two baseball teams have a rivalry quite like the Yanks and Sox. The next best thing might be the Giants and Dodgers.

So we know the Yankees and Red Sox rivalry is one of the best storylines in baseball, especially the past few years as the Red Sox got good again, and finally won that elusive World Series, their first since 1918 which broke the curse of Babe Ruth. You know, the Red Sox player who was traded to the Yankees, who coincidentally started winning championships...about 26 of them, by far more than any other team).

So can you imagine what went through my mind when a story broke about teachers and students in Boston petitioning for the Red Sox and Yankees to shake hands before their first meeting this season? I went ballistic! Sure, the whole idea is to promote good sportsmanship and it is a lesson for the kids that could be valuable. And then George Steinbrenner comes out and endorses the idea! And some head honchos at Major League Baseball liked the idea and were going t explore the possibility of it happening. I thought, "this can't be!"

I firmly believe that this idea of a handshake is a terrible idea. This is obviously just another politically correct statement that is being thrown at us. The Red Sox and Yankees are sure to have at it at least once this year, and I'm talking about fisticuffs. Is a handshake really going to change anything? If they want to be good sports they should not be addressing the media calling out certain players or members of the organization, or belittling the other's accomplishments. It's really just that simple. We all know the Red Sox would love to see the Yankees be miserable, and vice versa. The handshake does not change any of that.

We are days away from the season opener featuring these two "let's cram everything about them down people's throats" franchises. I hope that the handshake idea gets sent to the round circular file cabinet. After all, organized handshakes are reserved for one place and one place only; the hockey ice after a play off round concludes. That is, if there is hockey!


Barry Bonds - Sorry, but you ARE a joke

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Recently the big story in baseball was the press conferences for Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi and Giants outfielder Barry Bonds. This coming off an off-season in which the steroids issue has become a hot topic even more so than before.

In Giambi's press conference he applauded baseball's new steroid policy (another joke in itself), but of course he would! He'd be stupid to not after everything he's been through. Bonds had a little more animated conference later in the week.

Bonds took a stand as if to say that he didn't care about everything circling him. He has a cocky attitude, as he always has, and knows he is going to pass Babe Ruth on the all time home run list. But the speculation that he's on steroids or juiced somehow will forever surround any of his accomplishments.. Now I will go on record as to say I've never like Barry Bonds. But the reasons continue to grow.

In his press conference he tried turning the tables on the media and make it seem like he's not the good guy and the media is the one creating the circus and making a joke out of everything. Sorry Barry, but I'm not buying it.

The moment you took a substance that you didn't know what it was, you open yourself up for public questioning and right to know the truth. If you are the leader by far on pace to break the home run record and this kind of question comes up you better be prepared to face the consequences. If you are truly innocent then you have nothing to worry about and shouldn't be stressed out about it. You're obviously not concerned about your public image, otherwise you wouldn't be so cocky on the field as well.

Step up to the plate Barry. You're at bat this season.



Tuesday, February 22, 2005

NASCAR NAS? What is NAS? "NAS" is a little acronym I like to use, representing my feelings towards such activities that I deem to be "Not A Sport." I have had this argument many times so get in your corner and act like a lightweight going against a heavy weight, because I'm coming out swinging.

I base my argument based on the definition of the very word "sport". The source for today will be, which defines "sport as:

sport Audio pronunciation of "sport" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (spĂ´rt, sprt)
    1. Physical activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively.
    2. A particular form of this activity.
  1. An activity involving physical exertion and skill that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often undertaken competitively.
  2. An active pastime; recreation.
I also throw in that I have classifications of sports, and they stem down to two basic categories; Category A Sport, and Category B sport. Creative, huh? In order for the greatest sports all over the world to be considered a top notch sport, you want to fall under Category A classification. Category A sports are your real sports such as football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey and so on. Category B sports contain all other athletic competitions such as swimming, distance running, slalom, and so on. Let's examine each before we go on.

Category A Sports
The qualifications to b Category A are simple.
  • There must be two (or more) teams or individuals competing against each other head on. The outcome of one team directly affects the opposing team (Example: One team scores, the other is immediately behind, no questions asked). This means there are no judges giving scores (umpires and officials are allowed for rule enforcement)
  • Defense. There must be a recognizable sense of a defense that the plain eye can see. In most cases this is obvious because one team will control the ball (or puck) in an attempt to score. Baseball is the rare exception where the defense actually controls the ball at all times.
  • Physical exertion must be evident.
  • No points systems to determine leaders or champions or rankings. Head to head competition is the only way to judge who the better team is.
Category B Sports
The qualifications for Category B sports are made to state that while not a top notch sport, they are in deed still a sport.
  • Head-to-head competition in a different sense. The actions of one team may not directly affect the opposition, but it is clear that one team or individual can out perform the other. Swimming is the best example of this. While one swimmer may be late to dive in, it does not mean the other swimmers were directly affected by this.
  • Time may be used to determine winners and losers. Fastest times usually win, but longest times can be used in certain situations.
  • Again, no judges allowed.
  • Physical exertion must be evident.
And this brings me to the NAS classification. Can anybody argue that auto racing falls into one of these categories? Please try. I admit I am biased because I choose not to ever sit and watch cars go around in circles until somebody finishes (except slot car racing - that can be fun!). But I firmly believe that my categories of sports should be the universal classification from here on.

I continue to cringe and roll my eyes EVERY time that my sports programming world continues to say (more like cram down my throat) that auto racing is a sport. It simply is not. If millions of people do it every day for convenience, travel, or running errands, it is not a sport. Driving is not a sport. Stop me if I've said this enough.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to watch some World Series of Poker on ESPN.


How to Create a Student Section

Thursday, February 17, 2005

This one goes out to all of you small school students. You know, the ones that don't have a division one basketball team or a school that will provide a free t-shirt for you every game.

Do you ever get jealous of those kids you see on ESPN when their basketball team is playing? All the schools have them; rowdy student sections. Michigan has all their students in yellow shirts, Notre Dame has everyone in green, Syracuse dresses them all in orange. The best student section of all time resides in Duke with the Cameron Crazies, where the students camp out hours before games just to get a spot in the arena, and are so uniform in their cheers throughout the game.

To be a part of something like that must be a lot of fun. So if it's so fun for them, why can't it be done on the smaller level? If you get a bunch of college students in one area at one time and tell them to be rowdy, odds are they'll be rowdy. So I present my guide to forming a student section:

  • Everybody must wear either A) the same color, or B) mix of school colors
  • Where to sit? Across from the benches, surrounding the cheer leaders and pep band.
  • Get jam packed together and become one.
  • Make noise when the opposing team shoots foul shots.
  • When the visiting team is being introduced there are many things you could do. My favorite is just not watching by either A) turning your back, or B) reading a newspaper)
  • Remain standing until the opposing team scores their first points in either half.
  • Actually follow and participate in the cheers from the cheerleaders (or pep band).
But how do we get the students of a school together to show their pride and represent themselves? Free shirts always work. But why don't fraternities and sororities get their members together and go to a game together? This is a great way to bond with your brothers and sisters and showing your pride in your school at the same time! I wish people would realize that the likes of Heiges Field House would be exploding if they actually got people to show up. It's embarrassing when the visiting team has more fans supporting them than the home team's students.

So I will make this announcement to all the students of Shippensburg University. I will unofficially declare Saturday, February 26 to be School Spirit Day. The main event will be the basketball double-header in Heiges Field House from 1pm and 4:30pm. I challenge all students to pack Heiges as the teams fight for their playoff lives. Did you know the men's team is fighting for the final playoff spot? Don't you think they would love the support of their students? Get your roommate, your hall mates, your fraternity brothers, sorority sisters, your friends from across campus. Everybody dress in red, white or blue (crazy hair and face paint is purely optional). And pack Heiges Field House as much you can. Jump up and down, be crazy, be nuts. Cheer with the cheerleaders. Sing along with the pep band.

And most importantly, have fun.



Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Finally, there is something that can take my sports-oriented mind off of the Eagles Super Bowl defeat to the New England Patriots. But this isn't necessarily a good thing. Yes, the Phillies start spring training today with their pitchers and catchers, but I can honestly say that this isn't even the event occupying my mind right now.

The National Hockey League canceled their entire season today. In an event so monumental that it made me, of all people, create a Blogger, it was announced that there would be no recipient of Lord Stanley's Cup. The thought of any miraculous saves, triple overtime playoff games, heavy-weight fisticuffs, or grueling seven game series is now just that; a thought.

So now while the few of us who actually enjoy or follow hockey frown at the money-starving league and it's players, we look forward. Will there be a season ever again? Or is the NHL officially dead? It's hard to think the NHL can possibly make a comeback with any level of success. It has been losing money at a very fast pace and it is hard to recover form the bullets that they have already been impaired with. The NHL needs more than a stitch-up. They need a full reconstructive surgery.

The NHL is now the league with the dubious distinction of being the first to cancel an entire season. Only major league baseball has lost more games to work stoppages, and to be honest, who wants to be in the same boat as baseball when it comes to this? Polls left and right show that a large majority of this nation does not care. ESPNews did a state by state breakdown and just like election time gave us an illustration of red states (that don't care about the NHL being canceled) and the blue states (those that miss hockey). Or, after seeing the map, should I say the red states and red states? All fifty states showed that they do not care about the lock out.

NHL merchandise sales have plummeted,, teams have been fighting bankruptcies, and fans are going away. Now that this NHL lockout has canceled the season, we can focus on everything else. March Madness is right around the corner, followed by baseball opening day, NFL draft, and the NBA playoffs.

Do you believe in miracles?


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