BCS Talk and Big Five prediction

Sunday, December 03, 2006

So USC officially blew their shot at the national championship game versus Ohio State, so now we all wait to see if 12-1 Florida, the SEC champion, will get the nod over the once-Buckeye-beaten Michigan Wolverines. I have a bad feeling about this. I think that Michigan will get the nod because I think there will be enough voters in the nation to put them ahead of Florida.

Florida fans may say to look at the schedule to make their case for the championship game, so I did;

Date Opponent Result/Time
September 2 Southern Miss W 34-7
September 9 UCF W 42-0
September 16 at No. 13 Tennessee W 21-20
September 23 Kentucky W 26-7
September 30 Alabama W 28-13
October 7 No. 9 LSU W 23-10
October 14 at No. 11 Auburn L 27-17
October 28 at Georgia W 21-14
November 4 at Vanderbilt W 25-19
November 11 South Carolina W 17-16
November 18 Western Carolina W 62-0
November 25 at Florida State W 21-14
December 2 No. 8 Arkansas W 38-28 (SEC Championship)

Sure, the scores may look impressive at first glance, but I noticed a 62-0 beatdown of a 1AA opponent a squeaker against Vanderbilt and South Carolina and a lowly Florida State squad. They did win the games instead of lose them, and the game they did lose was to a tough opponent on the road. Considering the fact that the tough SEC teams knocked each other around this season, the rankings may seem misleading. But even then, there doesn't seem to be anything that really stands out and yell "Florida should play for the championship!" Is there?

Michigan is a tough one too. They exploited the over-hyped Fighting Irish and went down to the last minute against Ohio State. In between? Solid wins in a Big Ten conference that was probably a little down from last year, except for Wisconsin. So you could make that argument either way.

I'll stand by my philosophy that if you didn't win your own conference championship, then you shouldn't be allowed to play for the national championship (ie Nebraska a few years ago against Miami). How can you proclaim to be the best when you're not even the best in your own conference? Florida should be playing for the BCS Championship for this reason.

I know that Notre Dame probably got lucky with their bowl situation with Arkansas losing as well as Rutgers, but once, just once I'd like to see the bowls not take Notre Dame because of their name. Let's look at their schedule real quick...

September 2 at Georgia Tech W 14-10
September 9 No. 19 Penn State W 41-17
September 16 No. 11 Michigan L 47-21
September 23 at Michigan State W 40-37
September 30 Purdue W 35-21
October 7 Stanford W 31-10
October 21 UCLA W 20-17
October 28 at Navy W 38-14
November 4 North Carolina W 45-26
November 11 at Air Force W 39-17
November 18 Army W 41-9
November 25 at No. 3 USC L 44-24

It is clear that did not rack up their record against quality opponents (and yes I realize Penn State was a win, but have you seen PSU's offense this year?). Navy, North Carolina, Army, Air Force, Stanford are not exactly making anybody shake in their boots these days, are they? But Notre Dame will get invited to a BCS bowl because they are Notre Dame and they did "qualify" with a top 10 BCS ranking. And just like the NCAA basketball tournament, worthy teams will get left out of the big picture (I'm looking your way SEC teams).

The bowl selections will be completed tonight so I'll be eager to write what I think about them in the next couple of days.

Big Five Prediction!

I realize that Villanova has already played Penn but my Big Five prediction is long overdue! So here it is...

1. Villanova
2. St. Joe's
3. Penn
4. Temple
5. LaSalle

And watch out for the Penn State Nittany Lions to make a run for the NCAA bubble teams because they're off to a good start, while Bucknell, who was supposed to be Top 25 worthy has done nothing to help themselves early in the season.


Post Turkeyday Blog

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Well it's Tuesday now so we probably have all had our dose of Thanksgiving leftovers and had a chance to digest the happenings in the sports world and such.

My quick observations and thoughts from the past weekend:

- USC has earned the right to play for the national championship so far, but Florida has a legit argument as to why they should be playing Ohio State instead.
- The Eagles defense is the top problem to deal with, not the offense.
- The Phillies aren't exactly in the World Series talk with the signing of Eaton, but it's not exactly a terrible move.
- The Flyers should start focusing on the draft about two weeks ago.
- With football grabbing the attention on Thanksgiving weekend, you may have missed the college basketball season in full swing.
- If the Red Sox can't sign the Japanese pitcher, then they should be ashamed of themselves to no end (remember, they paid about $50 million just to talk to him).

I know I haven't given my thoughts on the college basketball scene yet, but stay tuned, it'll be up by week's end.


Ode to Ryan Howard

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Congratulations Ryan Howard! You have been voted National League MVP! What are you going to do now?

While we'll skip any plug for Mickeytown USA, we should commemorate Howard's first of (maybe of a few) MVP awards. On a day following up another dreadful Eagles loss, a weekend of mediocrity with the Flyers and Sixers, the day that Alfonso Soriano (a player aimed by the Phills to possibly protect Howard in the lineup) signed with the Cubs, and on the same day that former Eagle player from the Buddy Ryan defense that is so heralded in the Philly area, Andre Waters, was found to have committed suicide, it is none other than the genuine, pure, and likeable Ryan Howard who brings a smile to everybody's faces on the cold dreary days of November.

Howard deserved the MVP award without a doubt. You could make a good case for Albert Pujols as well, but Howard is exactly the kind of player and person you want to see win the award. Let's face it, how much more unlike Barry Bonds can he be? Howard is a power hitter and a threat at the plate every chance he gets, but what's more is his genuine relationship with the fans of Philadelphia. In his short time here he has done nothing to alienate the fans and everything to re-energize them. The Phillies may not be World Series contenders anytime soon, but Howard, alongside Chase Utley, provides a reason to be interested in the club from April through September, and possibly October in the future.

The Greatest Game Ever Played

Did you see the Michigan-Ohio State regular season finale? I was hesitant to think it would live up to the pregame hype. I was wrong. As much as I may dislike the Buckeyes, I am able to put my prejudice aside to state what a great game that was. And because I have seen it, I am in the party that declares that there should be no rematch for the championship game, unless Michigan finds itself as the only one loss team (or tied with Notre Dame). It may be difficult for the rematch to happen with USC and Florida still in prime position to get their shot at the Buckeyes, and I realize that there is a computer system put in place to determine these results for us.

As a supporter for some form of a playoff system I will always cry fowl at whatever the BCS throws our way, but at the same time, if so many people have a problem with it, then why do their conferences continue to support such a system. If the SEC has a problem with a one loss Florida not playing for the championship, then they should make the first move and pull out of the BCS games all together. Same with the Pac Ten, Big East or whoever. That is the only way a change will ever happen. And because a conference would never give up all the bowl money that would come their way, obviously we will be stuck with this format for quite some time. The BCS does do one thing right though, and that is to create more debates and conversations about college football.


Judgment Day

Friday, November 17, 2006

So ESPN is hyping this Saturday as Judgement Day in college football. I find it hard to argue that when the top two teams in the country are meeting in the last regular season game for a spot in the national championship game and the third team in the BCS is battling an in state rival for the Pac 10 championship and the prospect of playing the winner of Ohio State-Michigan. This is an exciting weekend for college football fans, not just for these two games but for a slew of other rivalry games (Alabama-Auburn is a great one, Harvard-Yale is a classic, Lehigh-Lafayette too) and the start of the division two and three playoffs. College football is great, so let's enjoy the games, the rivalry games, the playoffs, the Heisman and Harlon Hill candidates, and the debates about who should be in the championship game. For the record I say that the loser of Ohio State-Michigan should not play for the championship.

As for the Big East, I don't think they will get a team in the championship game, even if Rutgers does go undefeated. First of all, as good as the Rutgers defense is, I don't know if they can contain Steve Slaton or Pat White nearly enough when they play West Virginia. And make no mistake, even if you shut one down, which is near impossible, you won't shut the other down. And if WVU runs the table the rest of the way they need a lot to happen. Louisville has already squandered their opportunity as well.

And for the Notre Dame fans crying their way to the title game, please. Once again Notre Dame has a very respectable record, but compare their record to a one loss team from the SEC and it is easy to determine which team would be more deserving of a shot in the BCS title game. Like last year, and every year, Notre Dame piles up wins and stats against lesser opposition like Navy, Army, Air Force. If Notre Dame beats USC then we have a debate, but if they end up with the same record as Michigan, how do you make that argument?

Speaking of the SEC, their shot at getting a championship game spot are also slim. They will be big Notre Dame fans next week, and I suppose Ohio State fans this week. But don't expect everything to work out the way the SEC seems to always think it should. Their teams have flaws just like everyone else, plus they may all knock each other out along the way through the SEC championship.

And now this weekends six pack of games for you.

Eagles over Titans
Saints over Bengals
Chargers over Broncos
Penn State over Michigan State
Ohio State over Michigan
West Chester over Bryant



Monday, November 13, 2006

Finally, for the first time all season, I won a football pool. My fantasy team may have been blown out of the water, but it feels good to have won the football pool no matter what happens Monday night.

It was nice to see the Eagles pick up a win over the Redskins, and to see the defense play well. Despite scoring 20 points, I still think there were issues with the offense at key times. Playoff teams score ate least once when they get three consecutive drives starting on the opposing team's half of the field, and do not go three and out. I'd like to see improvement in that situation.

I didn't have it in my blog, but my AIM profile can verify that I went 5-1 in my Weekend Six Pack (I picked the Steelers, Eagles, Bears, Penn State, Shippensburg, and Tennessee who lost to Arkansas).

So finally the hoopla can begin for Ohio State - Michigan. I'd rather see Michigan pull it out, but that's just for pure disdain for the Buckeyes. Either way, I'm looking forward to an awesome game from these two bitter rivals. I guess though, that my BCS dream matchup of Rutgers-Boise State is out of the question.

Is anyone else glad to see college basketball getting started up once again? Who wouldn't be? What with Duke about to be shown 50 times this year once more, even though they only play 30 some games, ESPN will find a way to give us more and more Duke. Even though I suppose it's a little late, I'll be putting together my thoughts on some college basketball of local interest in the coming week, so stay tuned.

The more I see, the more I'm confirming my belief that the Flyers really just aren't any good. I'm thinking more and more that they do stink and they can't turn it around to the way the Flyers are accustomed. New rules, new league, same old Flyers. Doesn't quite work.

Remember when the Sixers were undefeated? That was a nice week. Now they're battling it out for the 8th seed. It's a good thing there's a lot of basketball to play!


Weekend Preview

Friday, October 20, 2006

What a weekend in the world of sports we have ahead of us. From the start of the World Series, to some great college football games there is almost no better way to spend a fall weekend.

I love the fact that the Mets lost in the NLCS. Congrats Cards. But it was a classic ?Game Seven. Anytime you have a Game Seven, it is worth watching despite rooting interests, and last night's Game Seven between the Mets and Cardinals was no let-down. Great plays, great pitching, a clutch hit in the 9th inning and the Mets losing. Can it be any better? Now that the Cardinals, who were within inches of pulling off the biggest late season collapse in history (don't worry Phillies, that honor still belongs to your 1964 team), are on the World Series to face the Detroit Tigers, who went through their own late season slump and actually entered October with the Wild Card, I think we're in for a good series. I'm going to say though that the pitching for Detroit is just superior to that of the Cardinals, and I'll take the Tigers to win it all in six games.

Penn State quarterback Anthony Morelli was cleared to play against Illinois. I don't think Morelli is really needed against the Illini because I believe, at home, that Penn State should still win the game just on their rushing attack, but the news that he is cleared is good news. Look for Morelli to have a good rebound game. The toughest part of the season is done for the Nittanys and I wouldn't be surprised if they win out and head to the Outback Bowl or Alamo Bowl.

Kudos to the Florida International University football program for kicking two of their players off the team, and suspending others indefinitely for their actions against Miami. On the flip-side, Miami took a stand against some of their players for one game (against Duke). Those players will get to play in the important games after Duke. The U says they will take a zero tolerance policy form this point on and will not hurt the kids financially (thus the reason they are still on the team, and school). I say it is too little, too late. Zero tolerance should be given all the time in this situation. All these players did was jump off the sideline and beat their opponents with helmets and kicked them while they were down, thus embarrassing your football program yet again, and your school. And NOW you enact a zero tolerance policy? I guess we'll find out if they are serious or not, because this kind of problem will happen again in Miami, just as it does every other year or so.


And now the Weekly Six Pack. I was 5-1 last week, updating my season total to 21-3. Pennsylvania football fans will be happy with my picks, unless you're attending homecoming festivities in the Cumberland Valley...

Eagles over Bucs
Colts over Redskins
Steelers over Falcons
Penn State over Illinois
Clemson over Georgia Tech
IUP over Shippensburg


Broadstreet Wussies

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I don't know exactly what the Flyers are doing at this point, but it sure isn't playing hockey. The Flyers lost last night by a score of 9-1. 9-1! Unheard of! With the loss to the Buffalo Sabres, the team who ousted the Flyers from the playoffs last season in embarrassing fashion, the Flyers drop their record to 1-4-1. They have scored 12 goals and given up 26. The power play percentage is at 8.9%, higher than only three other teams (Ottawa, Calgary, and Tampa Bay). The penalty kill is at 82.4%, which is in the lower half of the league.

Now, with the understanding that the NHL season is a long one and there is plenty of time to get better, I still feel it is vital that the Flyers make changes now because at the end of the season we will all be looking at their playoff seeding, if there is one, and thinking that they missed home-ice advantage by a point here against this team, two or three points there against another. Early season struggles can be overcome but the necessary changes must be made from the top down.

It is obvious to me that the people in charge of the Flyers are still neglecting to change their game for the new NHL and they have a sense of stubbornness to do so. Need proof? Look at the 9-1 loss. The new NHL is all about speed and skating. Physical presence is not as big a factor as it used to be. Having Petr Forsberg is tremendous but he is only one player. Bob Clarke, backed by Ed Snider, has an inability to adjust to the new NHL and a change must be made for the Flyers to adapt to the league. More proof that the Flyers are stuck in their 1970's past? Have you seen the commercials airing now celebrating the Flyers' 40th anniversary? I'll say I'm paraphrasing because I forget the exact slogan, but it is Forty Years and Still Fighting, accompanied by clips of Flyers fights through the decades. I'll let it slide because it is an anniversary, but after this I wish to see no more of this "we're bigger and tougher than you and if we can't keep up with you we'll shove you around a little bit" hockey.

Fantasy update: I was a little premature in my writing about my fantasy football matchup this past weekend. Thanks to Rex Grossman's poor performance (6 turnovers) leading to a fantasy score of -9 points, and a big night from Anquan Boldin, I pulled off a miracle come from behind victory to stay undefeated, and continue to lead in the points department. Thanks Rex!


Football Recap Monday

Monday, October 16, 2006

A rough weekend for my teams all around this weekend, and it certainly was an interesting weekend in the world of football.

First off, kudos to the Vikings of West Chester East High School for their thrashing of the Coatesville Red Raiders in Ches-Mont League play (31-14 winners). It's all about Viking power now.

The Eagles came off of their highly emotional home victory against the Cowboys with a very flat start, and end. The game was very winnable for the Eagles but a few costly mistakes proved too much for them to overcome in the hostile Superdome against the Saints. The Saints look like a genuinely good team right now. Drew Brees was very accurate, especially when it counted, and the coaching was spectacular, except for the challenge on L.J. Smith's reception. Anytime your team can run off eight and a half minutes and kneel on the ball the last two minutes for a game winning field goal, you did something right and that's exactly what the Saints did. I'm not sure the Saints will end the season at a record like 13-3, but it is nice to see them doing well, even though it came against the Eagles this time. If anyone is looking for Michael Lewis, he is probably 20 yards behind you at any given moment.

Penn State came up a touchdown short against now 2nd ranked Michigan. Too bad for the Nittanys. Michigan has a lot going for them and they are clearly the 2nd best team in the nation right now. No shame in losing to the Wolverines, even at home (this year) but it would be nice to see Penn State string together some wins against this Michigan program. Michigan owns Penn State in series history (except 1994...take that!), one of the few schools that gives Joe Paterno annual fits.

I don't know what everybody is saying when they talk about "The U" (University of Miami). They say they have lost their swagger, but did you see the beatdown they gave Florida International? It's nice to see Miami is back to picking on the teams they should beat. Miami has always been a program you expect shenanigans from every year, and they always will. With Miami, it is not a question of "Why did that happen?", but rather a question of "When will it happen?" "The U" and their alumni should be ashamed and appalled at their football program's actions. And then to hear their announcer proclaim that you don't come into our house and talk smack, and hearing players say that "they started it" and so on just disgusts me even more. Florida International players are not without blame either of course. I applaud both the ACC and Sun Belt conferences for coming down on these players. I applaud Larry Coker for his statements and actions on certain players as well. As far as I'm concerned though, Miami should be placed on probation and lose scholarships for their actions against Florida International, at the Peach Bowl against LSU and their pregame hysterics at Louisville and Florida State and at Penn State when they kept practicing when the Blue Band was marching onto the field back in 1992.

Here are a couple links to read about this disaster:

My fantasy football team got smashed (down by 25 going into Monday Night with two players playing but the other guy's got two bigger players going for him) and I was absolutely terrible in my football pool. Luckily somebody never entered their week's picks so I didn't technically come in last. It's about the little victories sometimes.

What to look for this week:
Cardinals beating out the Mets with pitching.
The Flyers winning two games.
T.O. cutting back on his tempers and complaints.
Penn State picking up another win en route to running the rest of the schedule undefeated.


Kevin's Six Pack for the Weekend

Friday, October 13, 2006

Had to get this one done a little early in the day because for the first time ever I'm picking a high school game! This one is for you Vikings of West Chester East High School!

Philadelphia Eagles over the New Orleans Saints
Pittsburgh Steelers over the Kansas City Chiefs
Michigan over Penn State
Auburn over Florida
Shippensburg over Lock Haven
West Chester East over Coatesville


Cory Lidle

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I got home from work as the new of a plane crashing into a New York City apartment building was just breaking. Naturally, I was glued to the television. Once the reports came out stating that there was no hint of terrorism I went and did some other things for a couple hours.

Once I eventually came back to the TV I learned that Cory Lidle was killed ion the crash. Saying I was stunned wouldn't be quite accurate, but more asking myself "Huh?" is what I found myself doing.

This whole story has been bizarre to me, but I really have sympathy for his family. Reading this article on ESPN.com really got me feeling for them all.



Football Recap Monday

Monday, October 09, 2006

This was one of those weekends that just screamed "EXCITING" both days. On Saturday Penn State edged Minnesota in overtime, thanks in part to a couple questionable calls that went the Nittany's way and a missed extra point in the overtime for Minnesota. Then on Sunday the Eagles answered many questions with a victory over the Dallas Cowboys.

Penn State is in position to run the table in the Big Ten the rest of the way. Oh sure, it will be mighty difficult the way Anthony Morelli is playing at quarterback, and a strong Michigan team is coming into Beaver Stadium this Saturday for a prime time showdown. Obviously the Wolverines present some problems for Penn State, but sometimes a prime time game with a revenge factor can give the home team an emotional lift. If Morelli can get his game a little more together and the home crowd can be just like they were against Ohio State last year, Penn State can pull the upset.

Oh by the way, I read that this year's game will only last 59 minutes and 58 seconds, per Joe Paterno's request.

This was without a doubt the most hyped regular season game in Philadelphia in a long time. We all know it. The hype with TO returning to Philly was huge, and the importance of the NFC East matchup was even more important. The Eagles came to play.

The Eagles defense is good. Donovan McNabb is the MVP at this point of the season. Drew Bledsoe continues to show his age. TO continues to show Bledsoe's age (I'm not the one pulling the trigger). After watching the extremely entertaining game I found myself thinking that the Eagles, who should be 5-0 right now, are now putting themselves into position to be the THE team to beat in the NFC after their one year hiatus. Yes, Chicago is 5-0 and playing remarkably themselves, but the Eagles have that veteran leadership that is shining very brightly so far.

You can buy any lineup you want to put together, but unless you have pitching to back it up, you can't win in October. You won World Series rings when you had pitching and had clutch hitting. Now Joe Torre's job is in danger (he can manage my team in an instant if that's the case)? Another interesting offseason is underway for the Yankees. Maybe the Orioles and Blue Jays can take advantage of the turmoil with the Yankees and Red Sox now.


Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Vote for your favorite college football coach every day!

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Cowboys Week

Friday, October 06, 2006

It seems to me that the week leading up to any Eagles game against the Cowboys seems to have some more energy, some more juice to it. And this year's first week has been one like none other. There hasn't really been any trashtalking between the teams but being in the Philadelphia area you can definitely feel the buzz.

Of course there is the whole circus with T.O. but to me this game is important for so many other reasons. This game is a must win for the Eagles because they need to show that they can win in the NFC East (have lost 7 straight division games), as well as that they are a team to beat in the NFC. The sting of the Giants loss still has some side effects but a sure win against Dallas would help ease that pain and put the Eagles in the same conversation as the Bears and Seahawks...not that they were really far away from that point in my opinion.

T.O. will get his kicks out of the hoopla that is sure to be abundant but this game will be a big confidence booster, or breaker, for Donovan McNabb, the man who was drug into and became as much of the distraction as T.O. was last year. A good performance from the quarterback, accompanied by an Eagles win, would do a lot to show that the Eagles and McNabb are past the whole shenanigans presented and left behind by Owens and they are focused on winning the Super Bowl.

Without further adieu, I present my Six Pack of Picks for this weekend, including the three normal selections, another NFC East division rivalry, and a classic college football rivalry;

Eagles over Cowboys
Giants over Redskins
Chargers over Steelers
Penn State over Minnesota
Texas over Oklahoma
Slippery Rock over Shippensburg


Tribute to Paul Richardson

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

If you're like many people, you have no clue who Paul Richardson is. But odds are, if you've ever been to a Phillies game, you know who he is. Richardson was the organist for the Phillies for 30 years. All Phillies fans know his repertoire for sure. Richardson passed on Monday at the age of 74.

I will always have fond memories of hearing the organ sound at the ballgame, and until I read an article on ESPN about him, I had no idea he didn't play anymore during the games. His rendition of Take Me Out to the Ballgame is recorded at Citizens Bank Park is still played at every game so his legacy will live on. So here's to you Paul and may you rest in an ever lasting seventh inning stretch.

For more, click here for an article from ESPN.com.

Anybody who laughed at me for drafting Donovan McNabb first in my fantasy draft, who's laughing now??? McNabb is on his way to Fantasy League MVP awards all over! I am proud to say that I am on top of my fantasy league by an overwhelming margin at this moment. McNabb has been having a blast so far this year in the real NFL as well, and if not for a 4th quarter collapse against the Giants the Eagles would be 4-0 going into this weekend's marquee matchup against the Cowboys. And I don't know if anybody has heard this yet, but T.O. is coming back to Philly this weekend. You'd think that would get more attention or something.

If you listen to 610 WIP everyday I don't blame you. When Sportstalk 950 came on the air I was eager to check it out. I was disappointed in the programming originally. Their evening show featured a few want to be sports junkies who just came off a little more than nerdy and trying too hard. Also featured on the station was the nationally syndicated shows of Tony Bruno and Jim Rome. I never got to hear the Tony Bruno show because of work, but Jim Rome always seemed arrogant and turned me off. I didn't take to his sense of humor. But times have changed. I encourage normal listeners to 610 WIP to start listening more to 950. Jim Rome does grow on you and his interviews are really great. Jodi McDonald in the afternoon (Howard Eskin's time slot on WIP) is a far more pleasant show to listen to and offers a refreshing point of view as well as an abundance of intriguing interviews. And if you are up early enough to catch the David Stein show (ends at 6am) I once again offer my recommendation. Stein presents a positive, feel good outlook on life through sports. Definitely a better show to wake up too than Big Daddy Graham talking about snacks, babes, and then listening to an mouthful from Angelo Cataldi in the "overlap show". The morning show on 950 is actually more irritating and offensive than 610's morning show. Featuring the likes of washed up former NFL quarterback Glen Foley just doesn't match up to the rotating lineup of hosts of Keith Jones, John Marzanno, and Hugh Douglas on the Morning Team on 610.

In summary, 610 WIP for Anthony Gargano and Glen Macnow's shows (and the morning show when Cataldi is on vacation), and 950 for Rome and McDonald, and Stein (and Bruno if you can listen to him).


Two down with Two to Go

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Phillies are down two games in the wild card with two games to play. Doesn't look good and this week has certainly been torture to their chances. Houston once agian gave us a heartbreaking set back, Chase Utley was robbed of a potential game winning homerun the next night, the Phillies did everything they could to lose a game the next (but they won), and then they sat through a 4 and a half hour rain delay before playing the Nationals at 11:30pm or so. Follow that up with the Dodgers coming from a 3-0 deficit against the Giants to win 4-3 and things are not looking good.

It could happen though.

Kevin's Six Pack for the Weekend
Eagles over the Packers
Bears over Seahawks
Panthers over Saints
Penn State over Northwestern
Notre Dame over Purdue
Bloomsburg over Shippensburg


Somebody Give T.O. a Hug

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Ok, here's the thing; I think Owens is a phenomenal player and extremely talented with what he does, however I believe he has become a victim of his own ego. I have no sympathy for him after what he did in San Francisco, Philadelphia, and now Dallas. I will say however that I put all of those feelings aside when I hear this story. Obviously it can taken into speculation in many different ways, but if the worst case scenario is true and he did in fact attempt suicide, somebody needs to get in there and help this guy out. Nothing is worth killing yourself for.

While part of me believes that this story ran wild in the media too fast to be controlled, I wouldn't put it past TO to pull a publicity, feel sorry for me stunt like this. If he did attempt suicide I can actually understand what he was thinking.

This guy could have run for mayor in Philadelphia just two years ago and easily won. He then turned on his team, coaches, and organization in pursuit of happiness (more money) under the direction of his annoying, soon to be household name agent. The public scorned him, the media put the cameras on him, but many had a dim light on him. His actions wouldn't stop, he found himself out of Philly and in Dallas, and ever since he signed with the Cowboys he has been the story. Whether it was his relationship with his new coach, his persisting injuries that kept him from practicing, his verbal remarks to the coaches' words in the media or whatever, things just haven't been working out the way he would like. Hence, depression possibly kicks in.

We may never know what really happened with TO because of patient confidentiality and the police keeping mum. The Cowboys will not let this story come out anymore than it already has and we will all wait for Owens to suit up again for the Cowboys. The drama will continue, and we will only see more of TO so get used to it.

How 'bout them Cowboys?


If God says so...

Friday, September 22, 2006


End of Summer Ramblings

Time for a little catch-up rambling on this, the last day of summer...

The Eagles-Giants game did figure to a close one and in close games it usually comes down to kicking. Having David Akers definitely gave the Eagles the advantage, however the most important kick of the game obviously came from Trent Cole. Look for the Eagles to rebound strongly against the 49ers.

Going into this weekend's series against the Marlins, the Phillies are a half game out of the Wild Card lead, behind the Dodgers, and the Phills have the all important game in hand. If they can win more games against the Marlins than they lose, I think the Phills clinch that final playoff spot. And despite what has happened this season, the Phills have the pitching to make some noise come October. I'll throw Myers, Hamels, Moyer, and Lieber out there against any other rotation, have Wolf available for long relief, and Madson and Gordon ready to go for the 8th and 9th and I'll feel good with my chances as long as the hitting can put together a few runs here and there (ie Pat Burrell doesn't look at a third strike everytime the bases are loaded). The National League obviously is weak. The Cardinals' pitching is suspect, the Padres are streaky, the Dodgers have fallen off of late, and the Mets are suspect to a late season collapse under the pressure (plus their pitching is a huge question mark right now). It's simple; pitching wins in October.

Oh, and Ryan Howard is the NL MVP, just in case you were wondering.

Penn State hasn't won in Columbus, Ohio since joining the Big Ten in 1993. Ohio State is ranked #1 going in (PSU is #24/25 depending on the poll) and they're out for revenge on the Nittanys after last year's game, a 17-10 PSU victory and only their second loss of all of last season. Penn State will play better against Ohio State than they did against Notre Dame and I think the wide receivers for Penn State have a big game against the Buckeye secondary. If Penn State can keep it close going into the half, look for Tony Hunt to be the key player the rest of the way. Having said that, I say Ohio State wins a good, close game, 23-17. Then Penn State will go on to win the rest of their games.

Here's today's Enraging Thought of the Day; Why does McDonald's charge a Take Out Tax on their food? Does anybody else do this?

Kevin's Six Pack for the Weekend
Eagles over the 49ers
Seahawks over Giants
Bengals over Steelers
Ohio State over Penn State
California over Arizona State
West Chester over Shippensburg


Tribute to Koy Detmer

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Ladies and gentlemen, the Koy Detmer Era with the Philadelphia Eagles is officially over. Honestly, Koy was never a deciding factor in the team's success or the team's short comings (although he is kind of short himself). To see Koy leave is not exactly sad, but you do have to appreciate his love of the game and determination and his ultimate pro-team mindset.

Koy Detmer may be the only quarterback in the league who devoted himself to his "holding game" more than his quarterback game. It is a popular belief that because Koy devoted himself to being an excellent holder for kicker David Akers, that he kept a position on the team the last few years. There may be better quarterbacks and backup quarterbacks, but Koy was devoted to knowing the Eagles' system and being the best holder in the league.

We will always remember Koy for his strange "whipping" after his early touchdown passes, and his ability to hold the ball for one of the top kickers in the NFL. We will also remember when McNabb went down with a leg injury and Koy stepped in the next game, a Monday Night in San Francisco, when Koy himself found himself being taken off the field on a cart and done for the year.

Good luck Koy in whatever you do next!


ESPN: The Worldwide Leader in Sports?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

As much as I'm addicted to ESPN, I can't stand it most of the time. Once again Sportscenter did a feature on a mock playoff system to determine the NCAA Football champ for this coming season. They did this with the NFL and had two analysts critique each match up as if it were playoff weekend. I rank this stunt right up with the time they did mock GM press conferences for baseball in the off-season.

First of all, the NCAA does not even have a playoff system for division 1A. So to crown Ohio State the champ over USC is completely ludicrous!
Second of all, so many things will happen this year that nobody knows about. There will be the Cinderella BCS buster (Utah two years ago) as always, teams that fail to meet expectations (Tennessee last year) and teams that will exceed expectations (Penn State).

And the Little League World Series? Enough is enough! I have had it up to hear with all of this (Expletive deleted) little league on this (Expletive deleted) network! ESPN is exploiting these kids everyday and causing them to face way more pressure than 10, 11, 12, and 13 year olds should be facing. Whatever happened to the"fun" or the "love of the game"? Most of these kids already are gaining a sense of importance and could probably grow up with that attitude of arrogance. It is a disgrace.

On top of that, ESPN continues to provide some of the worst programming. This week featured the World Championships of Cup Stacking. You read that right; Cup Stacking. A competition where kids try to stack cups better than the others. Throw this in there with the domino competitions, poker, blackjack, darts etc. If I were at ESPN I'd be showing more Baseball Tonight (with Harold Reynolds) and NFL Prime Time, and video yearbooks etc. than made up and so-called sports.


Notre Dame

Monday, August 21, 2006

The college football season is just around the corner and the pre-season hype has been underway for a while now. What team seems to be getting the most attention? It isn't the defending champ from Texas, nor the runner up (and possibly the best team the last few years) from USC. It isn't even the consensus preseason #1 Ohio State. You guessed it, Notre Dame.

Haven't we already heard this story before? New head coach comes in and turns around a program that seemed on the decline, and now all of a sudden they are national championship contenders? Sure, Charlie Weis did turn a soiled program around and give some shine back to the Dome, but didn't Ty Willingham do the same thing? How did that turn out?

The Irish went 9-3 last year, 3 wins better than their 6-6 season in 2004, ending the season in an embarrassing loss that was worst than the 34-20 score might indicate. In 2002, Willingham's first year, they went 10-3. Notre Dame fans will tell you that their schedule going into last season was a fierce one, and I'll give you that fact. Let's remember, going into the season they had to look at games at Pittsburgh and at Michigan to start things off, as well as trips to Washington, and matches with USC and Tennessee were looming. But a funny thing happens as the season goes along...

Pittsburgh finished the season 5-6.
Michigan struggled to a 7-4 year.
Michigan State was 5-6 (including a win over the Irish).
Washington was 2-9.
Purdue was 5-6.
BYU went 5-6.
Tennessee had a 5-6 season.
Syracuse went 1-10!
Stanford was 5-6.

Not including the Fiesta Bowl game against Ohio State, USC and Navy were the only teams on the schedule, in addition to Michigan, that had a winning record. USC defeated Notre Dame, and Navy hasn't beaten Notre Dame in a few decades. Of course the offense put up good numbers; they played against young or non existent defenses all year long. Give credit for actually winning the games Notre Dame should typically win, but let us not go overboard with the resurgence of Notre Dame and start proclaiming them a National Champion contender...yet.

You heard it here first folks, Notre Dame will start out the 2006 season 0-3 with losses at Georgia Tech, and home against Penn State and Michigan. You can take that Charlie Weis and Brady Quinn and National Championship talk down a few notches when that happens.


A Case FOR A-Rod

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

So apparently Alex Rodriguez is getting killed in New York. Anybody surprised?

In an off year A-Rod has been throwing errors from third all season long, his batting average is below normal A-Rod standards, and his strikeouts and untimely hitting seem to be getting the Yankee fans up in a roar. Funny, for a second I thought I convinced myself I was talking about Bobby Abreu. Anyway, I am starting to think that picking on A-Rd has become the trendy thing to do.

It's easy to point out the inefficiencies of the game's highest profile player. It's a natural thing to point out when a great player starts to show signs of weakness. In this case you are talking about a guy who once signed a record smashing contract, thus ditching his small market former team for a team with no chance of winning.

It seems we can not get through a day without hearing a criticism of A-Rod. Now, I'm no Yankee fan by any stretch of the imagination, but I will say it's getting old. Let me just say this; What third baseman in the league would you take over him? Heck with that question, the guy's a natural shortstop! How many thirdbasemen or shortstops would you take over A-Rod?


Parking Lot Etiquette

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I have a no new pet-peeve; People who can't back out of their parking spaces properly.

It always amazes me how so many people have trouble backing out of their parking spots. How many times have you seen people slowly inch their way out of their spot, holding up traffic, only to have to adjust once more (sometimes twice)! The problem is these people slowly back out in a straight motion, instead of cutting their wheel to the way they want to go because they are afraid of scratching the cars on their sides. I believe that if you can pull into a spot without inching your way in, then it should be 100% possible to back out in the same (well, opposite) motion!

The people with the most problems are not a surprise; old people and women with big SUV's. Look, no matter who you are, if you're going to drive your car, learn to drive it.

What they should have in driver's ed is a session on parking lot etiquette. Too many times people race their cars down a lane and have to slam the brakes or swerve out of the way of a car backing out. And then, who honks their horn? The racing driver. And also, if there is a crosswalk ANYWHERE and people are standing there waiting to cross, you have to let them go! Don't keep driving. That completely renders the crosswalk useless! The last thing we want is real life Frogger in the parking lot.


Monday Update

Monday, July 17, 2006

Well the dog days of summer are really here as we're experiencing near record breaking heat this week. How ironic then that the trade rumors are starting to sizzle in Philadelphia everywhere you look.

Whether it be Allen Iverson or Bobby Abreu, everybody seems to have an opinion on some form of trade or no trade move. Of the two, the most likely to be traded would surely be Abreu. With the American League races as tight and competitive as they are it's very possible that Abreu could end up in Boston or New York. And with more teams mentioning his name every day it has gotten to the point where if the Phillies don't trade Abreu, the more I wouldn't be surprised. It is, afterall, in their history of bad decisions to not make a move when they should to help the team's future (Billy Wagner anybody?).

The longer and longer the trade rumors go on about Iverson, the more and more I feel he will be a Sixer this coming season. I'm one of the many who feel the Sixers should not trade him. Besides the fact that you won't get equal value for him, there is the fact that you won't get anything for him. Whatever the Sixers get in return would likely be junk and not players to build a team with. If you're not getting anything that will help your team on the court, there is no reason to trade him, or anybody. I understand that the money that would be unloaded would be the key factor, however I stand by the notion that you need players to help build the team, not junk players just to free up cap room.

And here's an interesting story...

GMAC Bowl moves to day before BCS Title Game

I'm still note quite sure for the reason of this. The plan is to broadcast the game in primetime the night before the BCS championship game. Is anyone going to be watching this game when another BCS game will be played? Sure, people may switch their TV sets over on commercials, and it gives bars a second game to put on, but it seems to me that the GMAC Bowl is trying to sell itself as a legitimate bowl game, when in fact this move will only hurt the game. The bowl analysis and pregame shows will be limited at best when put up against a BCS game. Even though ESPN will be broadcasting the game, it will still get pushed back in the Sportscenter lineup past the BCS game, title game, and even the NFL playoffs. If I'm in charge of the GMAC bowl I keep humble and stay right where I am with the week before Christmas.


All Star Game

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Tonight is the Major League All Star game, and for the third year in a row we will be constantly reminded that the winning league will receive home field advantage in the World Series.

Naturally both managers (Phil Garner of Houston and Ozzie Guillen of the White Sox) are saying the right things; that they want to manage the game to win, rather than try to get all of their players in for an appearance. While I like that they say they have the attitude of winning in mind, I'm not quite ready to believe it (come to think of it I actually do believe Guillen).

Whether the American League continues to demonstrate its recent dominance over the National League, or the NL squad puts to rest the AL bandwagon remains to be seen. I would bet on the AL winning but when it comes down to it, does anyone really care?

We all know that homefield advantage in the World Series should be determined by regular season record (just like every other sport except for the NFL and its neutral site). A recent ESPN poll showed that 77% of those polled believed the home field advantage in the World Series should be determined by overall record. A paltry 14% thought the All Star game result was a good idea, and a measly 8% were too old fashioned to give up on the alternating year concept.

They say it is the fans game, so why don't the fans get their way in determining the impact of the result? Why do the players that the fans want to see not have to show up? Those players who back out of the game should forfeit their All Star bonus! Until baseball decides to revoke the fans' right to vote for the starters, and the fans don't always get it right (see Ken Griffey Jr. on occasion), the players that get the most votes should have to attend. The game will never really live up to the bragging rights contest it used to have because we now have too many interleague games. It used to be hat the teams really want to win the game and would go all out. Not every player would play and that was ok! It is because of this attitude that managers seem to have that they should get everybody in that has caused the all star game to seriously drop off in appeal. The best of the best should play and whoever gives you the best chance to win at any particular moment should play.

In any event, enjoy the All Star game, whoever you root for. I'm a National League guy so hopefully Ryan Howard can knock in a go ahead homerun and Tom Gordon will pick up the save in the late innings.


Phillies Ownership = Clueless

Monday, July 10, 2006

As if you needed more proof that the ownership of the Phillies has no clue on how to connect with their fanbase, read this interview with limited partner in ownership, Bill Giles from the Philadelphia Inqurier.

One Phillies Owner Speaks Out on Team's Struggles

We all know that the Phillies as an organization failed miserably in the handling of the Brett Myers incident. What is worse than the fact that they continue to let it go by avoiding having him start in Philadelphia for quite some time (at which point this whole fiasco will come alive once more), Giles takes a defiant stance and states that the reports are very erroneous, attempting to convince us that Myers was actually trying to help his wife. If that is the case I'd like to hear his thoughts on the police report filed by Mrs. Myers (in which she says she was hit twice), why the Myers' are being given counseling, and why Myers was given a leave of absence. Of course, Giles isn't the one to ask about any of that.

The thing that strikes me the most is the fact that he, pretty much on behalf of the ownership group, attacks the "crazy" fans who call talk radio and he actually believes that the majority of fans are happy go lucky supporters of the club win or lose. This is a clear example of the Phillies organization, from top to bottom, not understanding the mentality of the fan. And it isn't just Philadelphia fans. I would LOVE to see how the fans in New York or Boston would react if he tried saying anything like this in those cities.

The truth is it is not Philadelphia or their fans. It is an organization that fails time and time again to realize that they are problem. The ownership and management ALWAYS fail to assess blame properly.

Since 1993 the Phillies have made zero playoff appearances, and have only sniffed the playoffs twice, one of those by fluke. Even on the terrible teams in this league there have been changes on multiple occasions since 1993.

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays have had four different managers since 1998. The Phillies have had three since 1997. Even the terrible organizations have had the stones to make a change instead of giving in to futility and making the players feel good about themselves. The only thing that ballplayers should feel good about themselves is having a chance to be playing in the major leagues, and making "x" amount of dollars.

This whole interview got me steamed, a bad way to start the week. Here's the final question and response:

Q: Can this team be contenders next year?

A: "In this day and age, you can go from last place to first place easily in a year. Take the Cincinnati Reds. They're basically the same team. They've just added some pitchers. And they're very much in contention to win their division. I don't think there will be any problem, if we're fortunate enough to get the right players, to compete soon."

True, teams do go from worst to first every so often (see the 1993 Phillies, which is probably why this ownership refuses to think they need to change very many things). But look at what the Reds did. "They've just added some pitchers." As Drew Rosenhaus would say, "DUH!" The Phillies could have had Bronson Arroyo for Billy Wagner and a bag of baseballs last year easily! While that blame is assessed to the previous GM, the ownership should have known about this possibility and pushed for the move to be done.

I agree the best owners in sports GENERALLY should not be involved with player moves and contracts, but they are the owners. What they say ultimately goes. Is it any coincidence that the Yankees are the Yankees under George Steinbrenner? Or that the Dallas Mavericks have become winners under Mark Cuban? The Phillies also had a clear example of what an enthusiastic owner can do to a team in Philadelphia (see 2001 Sixers with Pat Croce).

I've said it before and I'll say it again; Do not EVER attack your fanbase and insult them with remarks like "unintelligent", "unknowledgable", or "crazy". The fans will always be here. The owners will not.


Tisk Tisk Tisk

Monday, June 26, 2006

I suppose I'll preface this by saying that technically, the case is still alleged, however there are witnesses so a lot of this seems accurate enough to go with.

Brett Myers is a foolish meathead who struck his wife in public a couple times, got arrested for it, was released on bail (by his wife) and arrogant enough to pitch for the Phillies the next day. It is bad enough that this situation happened in the first place. All condolences to Mrs. Myers, and I only hope that something like this never happens again for the sake of the wife and the two young children. As for Brett, who cares about him anymore?

When asked if Myers wanted to say anything on the situation, he apologized for the fact that it became public. That's it. Let me go through a list of apologies he should have said before ANYTHING ELSE:

1. Apologize to his wife for the incident.
2. Apologize to his family for the embarrassment.
3. Apologize to his teammates and the organization for the distraction.
4. Apologize to the Boston community for his actions.
5. Apologize to the Phillies fans for the embarrassment.

After that he should have told the management (not the manager) that out of respect for the team, who was about to play on national TV, that he'd request not to start the game.

The blame doesn't end there. The Phillies organization, ownership and management, should be held accountable as well. The Phillies should have sent Myers home, had him stay at the team hotel, or send him anywhere that wasn't Fenway Park. Then there should have been some sort of organized statement on the issue along the lines of "We regret the incident in question happening and will support Bret in any way we can, in the meantime we will allow the court to handle its case as scheduled and take action as needed." What we got was "He hasn't been convicted and he's our best pitcher so we need him to play." When I heard those comments I thought I was watching University of Nebraska football!

Once again the Phillies have found a way to completely make a bad situation worse by saying, and not saying, the wrong things. I really would like to see how the Phillies rebound from this and see what kind of reaction Myers gets when he next plays in Philadelphia.

66 days until Penn State-Akron.


Interleague Play

Saturday, June 24, 2006

My thoughts on interleague play remain the same. But is it me, or are there more interleague games this year? The Phillies are playing the entire AL West, including twice against the Red Sox. They play the San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs twice. I still feel that over-exposure can be a bad thing. The last thing baseball needs is for one league to continue being documented as being far superior than the other (ie. American league far better than National).

And it has also been announced that the winning league of the All Star game will have home field advantage in the World Series. Bud Selig may have done more for baseball than he often receives credit for, but he also sticks to some silly decisions. This is one of them. Remember, this only happens because he let one game end in a tie.


Questions 67 and 68

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Question #67: Why do high schools, junior leagues, college baseball and minor league baseball clubs use metal bats, but the major leagues use wooden bats? I have never heard an answer to this so if somebody has any insight I would love to hear it. Why train ball players with metal bats their whole loves and then switch to wooden bats when they make it big?

Question #68: Who actually understands the musical reference in this topic?


Game Seven

Monday, June 19, 2006

There is nothing finer than playoff hockey, especially when it is a Game Seven in the Stanley Cup Finals!

Should be an interesting game tonight. Can the Hurricanes find a way to stop the Edmonton momentum, or will they become another in a short list of teams to blow a 3-1 lead in the playoffs and lose? Personally I am pulling for the Oilers tonight to win a tough road game and capture the Cup for the country of Canada.

How about over in the NBA Finals? Remember my opening paragraph in my last post? I got annoyed with the fact that people were writing off the Heat after one game. Guess I showed those people, huh? I'll get off my pedestal now...

What else can I say about the Phillies? The team does not have a winning mentality. Hearing players already start talking about being in the wild card chase, in June, says all you need to know about this team, as if dropping two of three to Tampa Bay after being swept by the Mets (all of those games at home) didn't spell it out enough for you. Now let's watch. The Phills will sweep the Yankees, take two of three in Boston and sweep the Orioles and everything will start looking good again. Call me crazy, but this team has done exactly this kind of thing each of the last few years.


NBA Finals

Saturday, June 10, 2006

ESPN is famous for over-hyping, over-blowing, and over--reporting. Today the NBA commentators they have were discussing the NBA Finals and how desperate the Miami Heat are to win a game and get their act together. Correct me if I'm wrong, but they are only down 1-0 in the series, right?

Sure they didn't play a great game and they have things that need to improve, but does anybody think that they are doomed now to lose the series? Did Dallas really impress you (except for Jason Terry.....who?)?

Look, much was made about the sloppy and poor play by both teams. I don't think it should have surprised anyone. A large majority of the players involved were on a brand new stage; the NBA Finals. When you get to that point you are going to be nervous. And the "Hack-a-Shaq" technique seems to have made a return and I'm sure it will be dissected every which way, among other things, on ESPN.

World Cup in full swing. How about England winning on an own goal? And congrats to Trinidad & Tobago on their tie with Sweden, even though they played a man short for basically a whole half! I was impressed that the host country, Germany, won an offensive explosion to open up the tournament, 4-2 over Costa Rica. And of course (I say it like I really know what I'm talking about), Ecuador's stunning win over Poland is sure to make things tough for Poland (the top two teams in each Group move on to the next round).

Let me not forget the NHL Finals, where the former Flyer Rod Brind-amour (still with a loyal following in Comcast Country) leads his team into Edmonton tonight with a 2-0 series lead. Lots of Flyers fans are pulling for Carolina because of Brind-amour. I'm not exactly one of those people. The guy last played in orange and black in 1999. I mean, that was last century! I'm not even rooting for Terrell Owens, who only played for the Eagles last season, and gave his all every time and....Oh, well, I guess that's a different situation. Go Brind-Amour (even though I'd like to see Edmonton win the series; I don't want the Carolina Hurricanes to win a Stanley Cup before I see the Flyers do it....Just like the Tampa Bay Lightning).

Does anybody find it interesting that the last two Stanley Cups (including this current one) featured a team from warm southeastern U.S. and a western Canadian team? Having a Canadian team in the Finals is great. Having a southwest team in it is not.



Thursday, June 08, 2006

On Sale now!

Proof that the Eagles are either desperate for every little penny or that they are trying to make room in their storage for some new merchandise.

How long until they just ship the jerseys to a low income country?

And if green isn't your flavor, they have the white and alternate black jerseys available too.


Deal or No Deal

Monday, June 05, 2006

This show is just annoying to watch anymore, much like the past attempts to have a hit game show. The drama is so drawn out and the show has just out-done itself all in one season.

They tried to make it a feel good show by bringing in long lost relatives, family members that rarely see each other, special celebrity appearances, and the women opening the cases have become annoying. Each contestant has three family or friends on stage with them to talk them through the deal or no deal process. If that's not enough they have a cheering section in the audience cheering them on (and some of them sometimes get to give their advice).

It started out nice and simple, but the more and more I see this show the more and more I root against the people! I say No Deal!


Same Sex Marriage

So President Bush wants to rally against same-sex marriage. Why is this such a big deal with people? If Person A loves Person B, why does Person C have to say they can't be married because they are the same sex? Heh, notice that "C" is also the first letter in the word Christianity, where most of the foolish and rabid Anti-Gay sentiment comes from.

Interesting how a religion based on love for the common man seems to oppose a man loving another man. It all seems kind of shamelessly outdated to me. The world is different that it used to be. Change is inevitable. Why waste time worrying about two people who love accouter despite their sex.

Here is a quote from President Bush, courtesy of Comcast News;

"Our policies should aim to strengthen families, not undermine them. And changing the definition of marriage would undermine the family structure," said Bush, who raised the issue's profile with an event at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

And so I thought I'd look up the definition of "marriage" myself. Courtesy of Webster's Dictionary Plus Thesaurus;
mar-riage n. the legal union of two people in wedlock

Interesting. Look if you want to waste your time and money protesting love, fine. In the meantime, I'd like to find a way to protest ignorant "I'm better than you and this is the way you should live your life" jackasses.

You won't get many political thoughts out of me, so don't worry.


World Cup Pre-Show

Now I admit that soccer, or "football", has traditionally been given the short hand by myself because I can not stand watching a scoreless tie and call it an exciting match. This, as I now realize, may have been hypocritical of me, as I called a few hockey games this past NHL season exhilarating (both of these games were 0-0 ties, determined by a shootout).

While I will not say that I enjoy the game, or will become a fan of the game, I will say that I respect the game, its fans, traditions, and place it has in the world culture. I do not ever see soccer replacing any of the top sports in the United States at any time, but seeing as the World Cup is kicking off on Friday with the host country Germany playing Costa Rica, I do believe now is a chance to take a deeper look at the game.

As I already stated, I do have a respect for the game. Any game that is worthy of shutting down an entire country for a day to watch a particular match is worthy of praise. Let's admit it; even if you hate soccer, you understand and should respect that soccer is the world's game. Not baseball (America's traditional pastime) or "American" football (America's seemingly current top sport). Soccer is an international phenomena and is capable of bringing together countries from all around the globe to participate in tournament that shows as much national prides it does blood, sweat, and tears. The World Cup will be watched in many countries, including the United States. The international ratings will crush the numbers that the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals, NCAA Tournament, and Stanley Cup Finals receive...combined. This tournament will be watched by massive amounts of people who live in a country whose team didn't even qualify for the World Cup (Scotland and Ireland for example). There are many rooting interests.

Aside from rooting for your home country, many soccer fans, especially those whose country is not represented, will find a team to root for. Perhaps it will be for a deserving underachiever (like Spain, with zero World Cup trophies), or a surprise Cinderella country (like South Korea in 2002), or perhaps it will be for a country you hate. Germany is always popular in this category (think World War). Believe it or not the United States can tend to fall in this category as well. The last thing the world wants to see is the United States win the World Cup, even though they are gaining respect as an international team.

I admit that I know very little about international teams, and even less about the club teams. What I do know is that countries like Brazil, Italy, Argentina, France and England are good. Brazil seems to me like the LA Lakers; not always the champion, but traditionally among the best every decade. Brazil also owns a record five World Cup championships and have some of the finest talents playing for them and is the only country to have been eligible to participate in every World Cup tournament. Italy is not far behind Brazil so think of them as the Green Bay Packers; a team with rich tradition and culture, talented history, not the most championships but traditionally a force. Well, maybe the Packers of late don't help that statement. If you are not familiar with Argentina, think of soccer's version of the Philadelphia 76ers; a once proud power in the sport with a championship drought with struggles to return to championship contender. Coaching changes, shaky tournament/playoff appearances. As for France, I tend to think of them as the New Jersey Devils; a great team with the talent to win, even though I despise them. Really, does anyone like the French? And then there is England, the Atlanta Braves of soccer. Always talented, always a contender, and always a force to be reckoned with. Only problem with England is they have a total of one World Cup championship.

If you would ask me which country to pick, I wouldn't have the slightest clue. Sure, I could throw a dart at the board and pick a team at random, but I am the last person to tell you who I think will win. Much like the NCAA tournament or NHL playoffs, anyone can win really. I will say that I won't watch the tournament all day for a variety of reasons, but I will be rooting for the good ole' US of A. I would love to say that a country that doesn't really care about soccer is the world's best...at least for four years.


All Star Ballot

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I just heard during the Phillies game the current all star balloting counts and I was shocked at a couple things. Perhaps some homerisms are showing in me, but Ryan Howard not being in the top five for first basemen and Chase Utley behind Craig Biggio by so much just floored me.

Albert Pujols, without a doubt, is deserving of the starting job at first base for the National League All Stars. Anybody who would argue that is just a moron. However, Ryan Howard, who is hitting around .300 and knocking in runs with his homeruns and other hits should be serving of a spot in the top five!

Chase Utley, mark my words, is the best second baseman in the National League.

If you haven't made it out to the ballpark near you, then feel free to vote (up to 25 times) at this site.


People I'm Tired of Hearing About

There is an ESPN report that Roger Clemens is coming back to the Astros for the rest of the season. The Astros are in denial. Sportscenter has reported all evening that not many people really know what is going on and the whole broadcast has been centered around speculation and "What-if's" and flashing up Clemens' career stats etc. All of this leads into this little Top Five List of People I'm Tired of Hearing About...

1. Roger Clemens - the arrogance of knowing that everyone is waiting for this guy to make a decision on whether or not he'll come back, which team he'll play for, and the fact that the season is blowing by and the decision on what team to go to is becoming easier and easier just bothers me.
2. Brett Favre - If ever there were a number of press conferences to announce nothing, Brett Favre takes the cake. How many times was there a conference to say that he hadn't made up his mind yet? Same thing as Clemens. This guy was one of the greatest quarterbacks and his image is being tarnished the longer his decision goes unmade.
3. Barry Bonds. I just heard a quote of Bonds saying he loves Albert Pujols for coming out and defending him. Bonds apparently is hoping and rooting for Pujols to break his single-season homerun record because "it would be great". Yeah right. He wants Pujols to break his record because then the controversy would go away. It would be proven that you don't need steroids to accomplish the record. Bonds' career would then restore itself slightly.
4. Rasheed Wallace. Any guarantees Mr. Wallace heading into game five, down 3-1?
5. Mark Cuban. I am a firm believer that in team sports, the team should be the only newsmaking focal point. Cuban, although successful, violates that philosophy with ease. His team may win the NBA championship, but we all know cameras will be on Cuban at just about every critical point throughout the rest of the playoffs. All the credit in the world to Cuban for his passion, although sometimes too eccentric, but the guy is committed to winning. I just don't need to see the grungy looking, scarey looking self-made billionaire.


Summer Time

Memorial Day weekend has come and passed, and now the heat o summer is starting to make its presence known. Crank up the air conditioning and put some extra icecubes in the lemonade because it's going to be a scorcher! Or so they say!

I've been having problems with Blogger lately (not their fault, but the fact that I've created multiple blogs and scrapped old ones to work on a fresh one, and I've been getting my login info mixed up with older blogs).

I saw the third X-Men movie over the weekend. Being a fan of the X-Men movies I thought the third movie was a good end to the story, or was it? I admit I walked out before the scene after the credits, so I have no clue what that's all about.

And how about that 24 ending? Each season I wonder how Jack Bauer will get into more trouble. This much I know (assume); Jack won't be spending a day in Los Angeles next season!

I have also recently discovered the beauty and simplicity of section 416 at Citizens Bank Park. It's even better when you have one of those Buy One Get One coupons from Lukoil!

I hope everybody had a safe and memorable Memorial Day (no pun intended) weekend and also found a way to pay tribute to those who the holiday is intended for. And if you scarfed down a hot dog or two, more power to you!

Note: After writing the above and doing a spell check, I found it humorous to find that the words "Blogger" and "blogs" were not in the dictionary for Blogger's spellcheck feature!


Hall of Famer Joe Paterno

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Congratulations to Penn State football coach, and in some families such as my own, a man worth putting on top of the Christmas tree, Joe Paterno for his recent election into the college football hall of fame. Needless to say it was a matter of time. Perhaps the Hall committee got tired of waiting for he and Florida State coach Bobby Bowden to retire. Both men deserve to be in the Hall, although I'll say JoePa deserves it more. :)

What troubles me is that today I read an article by a columnist stating that now is the time for Paterno to walk away from coaching. Not only is this a tired, old discussion (not to mention out of season) but it is irresponsible for a writer of his lack of caliber to be calling out the great Hall of Fame coach, saying that there is nothing else for him to accomplish, as if the man is so narcissist that he wants to coach just for his accomplishments. The mark of a great coach is a knowledge and passion for the game; two attributes that Paterno has and can probably be unrivaled in that category. It is especially uncalled for when the man is coming off of an 11-1 record and looks to have brought Penn State back to winning ball games and making trips to bowl games in the next few years.


The Nose Bleed Section

Friday, May 12, 2006

Aaron Rowand, centerfielder for the Phillies, just etched his name in Philadelphia's hearts. In the first inning of the final game of a three game series against the division leading rival New York Mets, with the bases loaded and two outs, Rowand went chasing after a ball in deep centerfield, made the catch, crashed into the hard wall, broke his nose, ended the inning and any threat of a Mets score, and kept Philadelphia fans, including myself, talking about his heroics the rest of the night and the next day.

The reason this is so important is because we know we have players who will give their all, unlike Kenny Lofton, who asked why he would want to hurt himself in that situation. This one play symbolizes the epitome of the team's future. This is not the group of mouths that had a bad taste surrounding them and pitted them against the media and the fans. Sure, Mike Lieberthal is still around, and Bobby Abreu still is the worst Gold Glove rightfielder in history, but the nucleus is now the likes of Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, and Aaron Rowand.

This team is fun to watch and likeable. They have a sense of humor, they have a baseball GM who's not afraid to make moves or take chances. And they can hit the ball.

Tonight the wait for Cole Hammels comes to an end in Cincinnati. I have a fear that the Reds may give Hammels a rough debut, but at least we get a chance to see what the kid can do in the majors.

I think it is great that we're not looking at mini-camp and talking to death about it, because the Phillies are looking alright.


Barry Bonds and Philly Fans

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Two things to discuss quickly today.

Barry Bonds has continued to make himself look like a foolish hypocrite. Let us leave the cheating substance abuse out of the picture for the moment. At the end of his trip to Philadelphia, where he hit homerun number 713*, he was asked about the booing by the fans. In his response he said that it was nothing compared to LA or San Diego. I'm ok with that, as those are his rival teams. But he also stated that the fans who come out and boo should be scolded for doing so in front of their kids, and that they should think about the example they are setting for their kids.

Read that last sentence back to yourself and think about it. Does anyone else find that a little off-beat? I mean, isn't it Barry Bonds who has "alledgedly" taken performance enhancing drugs, or steroids, like no man has ever before just to get himself in the limelight and catch a record he was jealous of, and thus finds himself chasing the all-time homerun record? Shouldn't Barry be thinking about the example he's setting for his own children first?

Second, the Philly fans. Leading up to the games between the Giants and Phillies you could see the headlines coming from a mile away "Bonds goes to Philly, the place where they boo Santa." Now, remember the fact that this whole incident of throwing snowballs happened in 1968, once. Once. It happened once and it was in 1968. 19.......68. I suggest you read chapter four of The Great Philadelphia Fan Book by Glen Macnow and Anthony Gargano explaining the whole incident and how it has become sort of a tall tale, including the point of view of the Santa Clause in the story, to realize just how overblown that is. ESPN had an article discussing how Barry is going to Philly in what is sure to be a wild crowd.

Now, Philly fans have gotten a bit of a bad name for the booing, stupid incidents here and there and our attitude. Writing about Philly fans is the easiest thing a reporter can whip up. All you have to do is mention batteries at J.D. Drew, drunk Flyers fan jumping in the penalty box with Tie Domi (even though Domi started it), cheering when Michael Irvin is down, and oh yeah, snowballs at Santa. These reporters should be ashamed of themselves for writing such garbage.

ESPN carried Sunday night's game. There were members of the national media all over Citizens Bank Park all weekend, jotting down everything Phillies fans did. ESPN analysts were preparing to discuss the Philly fans and their embarrassment at the expense of Barry "*" Bonds. The nation's sports media was typing up their Philly fans stories and what did they get? Only some of the most clever signs, and the normal boos that show up everywhere else.

Nothing thrown on the field.

Nobody storming the field to take a shot at Bonds.

No syringes. No batteries. No snowballs.

And do you think the national media will write a story about how well behaved, clever, and supportive the Phillies fans were. Nah, I didn't think so either.

Philadelphia: Home of the best overall combination of sports passion and knowledge in their fans. No question


Nintendo Wii

Monday, May 01, 2006

So apparently the next Nintendo system, codenamed "Revolution" for a while now, will now be called Wii (pronounced "we"). Some of you know I've always been a Nintendo guy, as opposed to the Sega guy, or the XBox guy.

What a dumb name. Cool system. Dumb name.


To the Loyal Reader

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Sorry for the down time this past week and a half. My computer was in for repairs. Everything seems to be working fine now! I'll put in an entry later this week about the Flyers playoffs, Phillies, and/or Eagles draft!


Allen Iverson

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Ok, seeing as last night was rumored to be the final home game for Allen Iverson as a 76er, I was prepared to write a blog in his favor. I wanted to write to defend why he should not leave Philadelphia and how it would really do the Sixers no good to move him elsewhere. Now, I don't know if the Sixers would, or could, move Iverson so it could have all been a moot point, however, today I am inspired to write a blast Iverson.

If you know me I have always been one to defend Iverson overall, although he is deserving of some criticism when it comes to his actions, words, and play. But if you take a moment to look at his overall impact on the Sixers you will realize that he is worth a lot of praise. Before Iverson was drafted by Philadelphia, the Sixers were an abysmal team in a once proud basketball city. With Iverson came a rejuvenation, a new excitement, and a new hope. This carried the team through a rebuilding stage that lead the team to the top of their conference and into the NBA Finals in a fantastic and fun run until a dreaded mis-match with the dynasty-inspired Lakers. There is no doubt that Iverson has done a lot for the team and city. But there is a time when a superstar must give back to his team and loyal fans.

The Sixers are in a rut right now and they have played miserably, or miserly. They missed the playoffs and are now among the lottery teams with the slimmest of chances of getting a worthwhile pick. The team, under poor management, is strained by the salary cap. It is not Iverson's fault that the team has been mismanaged. That blame falls on GM Billy King, and maybe the ownership. But last night was Fan Appreciation Night, a night when the players give a little something back to the fans. Let's face it, when thousands of people come out to see your lousy team in a meaningless end-of-the-season game, you better give them something worth coming out for. To accept not being in the lineup when you are THE player these people come to watch, THE player the kids want the jersey of, and THE most popular player almost in the entire WORLD, you better make yourself eligible to play in that game. It is not Iverson's fault that he was told he didn't have to play, but it is Iverson's fault that he accepted that decision.

Say what you want about Allen Iverson, and I'm sure you will, the guy gives his all EVERY NIGHT when he puts on a Sixers, or Team USA, uniform. If you disagree with that then you are not watching. If every player gave his all the way Iverson does, then this team would be in the playoffs, and maybe even a contender for the conference. Surround Iverson with the right players and it can work. Don't believe me? See 2001.


Random thoughts

Monday, April 17, 2006

Excuse me for feeling a little under the weather lately and not updating this Blog recently! I know you, the loyal reader, have been waiting for this.

So the Sixers are out of the playoffs. Does anyone really care? Put your hand down you liar. But really, when THREE teams under .500 from the Eastern Conference make the playoffs, you should be ashamed of your team, conference, and your league. This means that, in theory, it is possible to have a sub-.500 team make it to the NBA Finals. This is the equivalent of two sub-.500 teams playing for a spot in the NCAA tournament. This is just flat out bad. And it doesn't end there. The Washington Wizards (40-40 at the time of this writing) could still possibly be below .500 when the playoffs start! That is the entire bottom half of the Eastern Conference playoff teams. Anybody who says the NBA's product is not as bad as it is made out to be need look no further than these playoff teams.

Meanwhile the Phillies came off a good 4-2 road trip, taking both series in Atlanta and Colorado. I think now that they're coming home and have won a few games we'll see some better action for a while. I'm not saying that the "Fire Charlie" issue won't go away, and it won't, but at least we can start being a little more positive about the team. The bullpen has been better than expected.

And the Flyers...

With the playoffs about to begin I refuse to take a guess at what will happen. It all depends on what Flyers team shows up from game to game. It is just too hard to figure out. We still don't know which goalie will be "the guy", we don't know which games Peter Forsberg will have to miss and we don't know who they'll be playing yet. Tricky situation, one I never expected at the beginning of the year. This team could make it to the Finals or lose in the first round.


Top Ten Sports Video Games

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Here is my list of the Top Ten sports video games that I have played. I tend to put top ten lists in no particular order because I'll end up moving names around anyway.

So here you go (in no particular order):

1. Madden - What guy hasn't sat down and played a game of Madden, running the same effective plays over and over on your buddy?
2. Tecmo Bowl - Classic Nintendo football. Anybody else ever press the HUT button a million times before the snap?
3. Ice Hockey - The best hockey game. Period. Where else can you have a full team duking it out with the other team? And how about those Mario-like players?
4. Blades of Steel - Very close behind Ice Hockey. The fighting and the interactive demo of Gradius between periods is a nice touch.
5. RBI Baseball - My sister and I will STILL play this game. I'm always Boston, she's always the National League.
6. Bill Lambeer's Combat Basketball - My buddy Dave and I played the season mode long enough to have a team full of Bill Lambeers. Best team ever.
7. NBA Jam - Again, Dave and I mastered this game, except when the power would "mysteriously" go out when we were losing.
8. Tennis - Atari 2600 at its finest.
9. Ken Griffey Jr. Presents MLB - Hearing my disgruntled batters yell at the ump and cracking their bats on their knees was just the start.
10. World Class Track Meet - Can you say Power Pad?


No Fun League

Monday, April 10, 2006

A lot was made about the NFL's recent rule change to restrict the celebration methods of NFL players this coming season. Some people thought that it was a waste of time and some people enjoy watching these outlandish and "creative" celebrations.

I, on the other hand, applaud the NFL for their stance on celebrations. It has gotten to a point where it is just stupid to watch.

When players start acting like they are rowing a boat, posing as a swimsuit model, riverdancing, doing sit-ups, giving a football CPR, or anything that isn't chest bumping, hi-fiving, or any other normal excitement, then it is time to do something to protect the image of the game. Players have started to showcase themselves, putting them on the map and thus above the team when it comes to scoring a touchdown, much like the NBA has dwindled with the emergence of the Sportscenter Slam Dunk.

If scoring a touchdown, and handing the ball back to the ref is good enough for Barry Sanders, then it should be good enough for anybody. Kudos to the NFL for promoting the style of Marvin Harrison, and limiting the antics of Chad Johnson, T.O. and company.


For your Reading Enjoyment

Friday, April 07, 2006

Just wanted to pass along a couple articles I found on ESPN.com today.

Here's one about Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard. And here is one on recent Penn State quarterback Michael Robinson.

Ryan Howard is the man to watch no matter what you're doing during a Phillies game this year. Remember a couple years ago when Pat Burell came up and you had to see what he would do? Same thing with Jim Thome. This year it is Ryan Howard, and to a lesser extent Chase Utley, now that Jimmy Rollins' streak is officially over.

I really hope Michael Robinson finds a spot somewhere in the NFL. It would be a shame to see his talent go unutilized by a pro team in some capacity.


Eagles 2006 schedule and predictions

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Talk about early. I have to hand it to the NFL, they sure know how to rule the discussions all throughout the year. Here it is, April 6, and I'm about to give my rundown of the 2006 Eagles schedule this coming season (which starts September 10)

Here it is, courtesy of PhiladelphiaEagles.com.

Sun., Sept. 10 @ Houston WIN

Sun., Sept. 17 Giants WIN

Sun., Sept. 24 @ 49ers WIN

Mon., Oct. 2 Green Bay WIN

Sun., Oct. 8 Dallas WIN

Sun., Oct. 15 @ New Orleans WIN

Sun., Oct. 22 @ Tampa Bay LOSS

Sun., Oct. 29 Jacksonville LOSS

Sun., Nov. 5 BYE

Sun., Nov. 12 Washington WIN

Sun., Nov. 19 Tennessee WIN

Sun., Nov. 26 @ Indy LOSS

Mon., Dec. 4 Carolina WIN

Sun., Dec. 10 @ Washington WIN

Sun., Dec. 17 @ Giants LOSS

Mon., Dec. 25 @ Dallas WIN

Sun., Dec. 31 Atlanta WIN - Unless Matt Schaub starts.

So there you have it folks. My 2006 Eagles predictions as of April 6, 2006. These are all of course, supposing the team stays healthy enough to play at their top level. At 12-4 the Eagles will even clinch home field advantage and have a good shot at the Super Bowl.

Who else has predictions?


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