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).


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