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The Word of the Day – DESTINY – de la Fontaine

In The Word of the Day on February 29, 2012 at 6:15 am

DESTINY

“A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it”

Jean de la Fontaine

HOW DO WE PICK OUR FAVORITE PLAYERS?

In Misc Philly Sports on February 28, 2012 at 10:22 am

Have you ever given any thought to how you pick the players or coaches that become your favorites? My Father says if they wear our colors they’re my favorite. I’ve thought about this for some time but two events took place this past week that forced me to dig in to the books and do some research on the subject. Those two things were the reevaluation of Ryan Howard’s achilles tendon that seemed to bring out the “haters”. There are a lot of doubters out there about Ryan. The second one was the trade of Jeff Carter from Columbus to LA. Let’s start with these and we’ll go from there. Recently we did a poll on http://phillypressbox.com and on our Facebook page at Philly Pressbox and not one person selected Ryan Howard as their favorite Phillie. We also did a separate poll of who were your 5 favorite Phillies of all time and only one person mentioned Ryan. Honestly, he’s not my favorite either but he’s a really good player. I did some comparisons to the greatest home run hitter and greatest player in Phillies history to see how they match up. Howard is 31 years old so that was the bench mark to compare Howard’s stats to Schmidt’s when he was 31. Schmidt played in 1336 games and Howard in 1027 games. Schmidt had 4581 at bats and Howard 3794. Schmidt hit 314 HR’s, Howard 286. That’s 28 less homers in 309 less games and 787 less at bats. Schmidt led the league in Home Runs 5 times and Howard twice. Schmidt had 1216 hits and Howard has 1043 hits. Schmitty’s batting average was .265 and Ryan’s is .275. Now for the big stat against Ryan Howard – Strikeouts!!! Howard has struck out 1207 times and has led the league once while Schmidt struck out 1148 times and led the league 3 times. Obviously in the field there’s no one like Mike Schmidt. This isn’t meant to compare Ryan Howard to Mike Schmidt but to compare Ryan Howard to greatness. His numbers match up pretty well against the Greatest Player in Phillies history. Besides that, have you ever heard a bad word off the field about Howard? He’s a genuine nice guy!!!

That brings us to Carter. Why is it that people don’t like Carter? I keep hearing that he and Mike Richards liked the night life of Philly too much. Really? They were in their 20’s, single, millionaires that are out having a good time. Do you think players from other teams sit in the house at night? More importantly why do we care what they do outside their uniform unless it’s David Akers and many others trying to raise money for charities or their foundations? Do you really care about the 76ers player that had 8 children with 3 different women and 2 of the children outside his marriage while he was married to his wife? Who cares, it’s his business so why do we care about Carter? In Carter’s Flyers career he scored 181 goals and had 162 assists scoring 46 goals in one season and topping 30 in two others. Yet, many people were happy to see him traded by the Flyers and seemed it was funny that he was traded to LA to play again with Richards. Why don’t we like Jeff Carter?

Moving along to a few others that I find interesting. We love Dick Vermeil but we hate Andy Reid. Vermeil is still on billboards in town after leading the Eagles to the Super Bowl and losing, ummm 32 years ago. Vermeil coached the Eagles for 6 ½ seasons and had a record of 54-47. The Eagles finished first in the NFC East 1 time and 2nd – 3 times under Vermeil. Everybody seems to want a shot at Reid, although I’m not one of them. Reid has been with the Eagles for 13 seasons. His record is 126-81-1. The Eagles have been to one Super Bowl and lost. They have won 6 NFC East titles and have finished 2nd – 4 other times. Why don’t we like Andy Reid?

Andre Iguodala is next on the list. At the start of the season everybody said this guy had to go. Here we are at mid-season and he’s selected for his first all star game. Iggy is the best player on the team but we have no love for him. He’s a hard worker on both ends of the court and is a fantastic defensive player. He’s in his 7th season with the 76ers and it’s surely not his fault there hasn’t been anyone to play around him. He’s averaged 79 games a year up to this year, they only play 82, and he’s averaing15.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg and 4.8 apg over his career. These aren’t superstar numbers but solid none the less. Why don’t fans like Iggy?

Then we have Jimmy Rollins, he calls out the Philly fans but we love him. Even Jason Avant called out the fans and for some reason we still like him. DeSean Jackson quit on his team, the fans and the City of Philadelphia but we seem to still like him. Shane Victorino has a great smile so we love him. Jayson Werth strikes out too much we don’t like him. Cole Hamels is borderline. A couple bad game and we don’t like him. Mike Schmidt wasn’t a beloved player for most of his career but Larry Bowa was. What about Brett Myers? We loved Harry the K and Whitey but don’t think much of Wheels and Sarge. Donovan McNabb, we’re not sure what to think about him. There’s no in the middle with him, you’re either in or you’re out. The same can be said for Randall Cunningham. Did we really have Ron Jaworski fans in town when he played? Jeff Garcia was a fan favorite. We love Reggie White and I have no idea why. We’ll talk more about him in a future post. Bill Bergey, Vince Papale, Brian Dawkins and Brian Westbrook are in, TO and Freddie Mitchell are out. What about Eric Lindros? Is he in or out? Scott Hartnell is in this year but out last year. How about Mark Recchi who won rings everywhere but here? Rick Tocchett is in. How about Lappy, Ian Laperriere? Do we really love any Flyers goalies besides Bernie Parent and maybe Ron Hextall. Brad Lidge made us nervous but we love the Tugger and even Mitch Williams, talk about two guys that could make you nervous. We love John Kruk but don’t like Ryan Howard.  What about Aaron Rowand and Lenny Dykstra? We even love Darren Daulton but don’t like Scott Rolen and Curt Schilling. Gregg Jefferies, Danny Jackson, Jamie Moyer? What about Dick, don’t call me Richie, Allen and what do we think about Charles Barkley and Allen (It’s only practice) Iverson? How about George McGinnis?

Of course there has to be a separate love/hate category for Pete Rose, Julius Erving, Moses Malone, Ricky Watters, Peter Forsberg, and Jaromir Jagr.  Superstar outsiders that we hated before they got here but cheered for like crazy once they were here. Only Forsberg really let us down.

We’ve thrown out a lot of names and missed a lot as well but what we haven’t figured out is why we like or don’t like players or coaches when in almost every case we’ve never met them. Is it whether they brought a championship to town or if they’re the best players on their particular team? Is it the effort we feel they put in while they’re playing? Is it the way they come across on TV? Is it the way the media presents them or is it because you did see them and got or didn’t get an autograph?

Let us know?

As Andy would say “TIME’S YOURS”

The Word of the Day – FRIENDS

In The Word of the Day on February 28, 2012 at 6:06 am

FRIENDS

“Friends are angels who lift our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly”

Anonymous

The Word of the Day – THOUGHTS – Peale

In The Word of the Day on February 27, 2012 at 3:48 am

 

THOUGHTS

 

“Change your thoughts and you change your world”

 

Norman Vincent Peale

76ERS ALL STAR BREAK UPDATE

In Philadelphia 76ers on February 26, 2012 at 10:30 am

Are the 76ers where you expected them to be as we sit at the All Star break?

 Presently the 76ers lead the Atlantic Division by 3.5 games over the New York Knicks and 4.0 games over the Boston Celtics with a 20-14 record.  With a break here and there they could easily have another 3 wins but breaks don’t count in the standings. The 20 wins are tied for 5th in the Eastern Conference. Miami and Chicago have 27 wins, Orlando 22, Indiana 21and Atlanta 20. In head-to-head competition against these teams the 76ers have competed with everyone except Miami who has beaten them by 21 and 20 points. The 76ers beat Chicago in their only meeting 98-82 at the Wells Fargo Center. They have split with Orlando by winning at home and losing on the road. They played Indiana one time and beat them at home and Atlanta one time and beat them on the road. Overall they have fared pretty well against the best teams in the East. When it comes to the best teams in the West they haven’t fared as well. They did get a big home win against the Los Angeles Lakers but have lost to Oklahoma City, lost to the LA Clippers, lost to the San Antonio Spurs, lost to the Dallas Mavericks and lost to the Houston Rockets. You can toss in losses to Utah and Denver and the 76ers haven’t done well against the West. Whether it’s good or bad the team will have a chance to play each of these teams again before the end of the season.

There are two major concerns moving in to the second half of this shortened season, remember there are only 66 games instead of 82. The 76ers are presently on a 5 game losing streak with 4 of those loses coming on the road and also 7 of their last 9 games. This is a great time for the All Star break for the players to get some rest and get ready to go for the second half. They haven’t played very well lately. The second concern is the 2nd half schedule. The final 5 games of the season are on the road as well as 9 of the last 11. These games are all against lower level teams in the standings except for Orlando and Boston but it’s tough to win on the road every night no matter who you’re playing.

Doug Collins will have his hands full getting the team back on the winning track on Tuesday at Detroit and not looking forward to Wednesday’s home game against Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder. As we’ve discussed every week the 76ers need to stick to their team concept of playing great defense, minimizing the turnovers and balanced scoring. To put this is in perspective opponents have scored 100 points or more 6 times and the 76ers are 0-6, add a 99 point game by the Heat and they are 0-7. 100 point games won’t win for this team, it’s not their game to run and shoot with their opponents.

The 76ers balanced scoring is still led by Lou Williams at 15.7ppg, Jrue Holiday 13.6, Thad Young 12.6ppg, Andre Iguodala 12.4, Spencer Hawes 10.5 and Elton Brand 10.1ppg. The team really needs a healthy Hawes down the stretch. Hawes and Brand are still the rebounding leaders with 8.3 and 6.7 per game.

Our opinion moving in to the 2nd half is that the 76ers will win the Atlantic Division. They can’t let the Celtics hang around and gain any ground. I’m not impressed yet with the Knicks but they do have some talent. They haven’t come together to play team ball yet. As far as the rest of the Eastern Division we think the 76ers can advance in the playoffs against any of these teams over a series of games until they get to Miami. With that said, we don’t think anybody in the East can play with the Heat over a series of games. It will be important to reach a playoff position that doesn’t call for an early round match up with them or the season will come to a quick end. Collins has done a great job with this group and the rumors of adding Orlando’s Dwight Howard are very interesting. I’m sure a month ago Howard coming to Philly wasn’t even a thought. Winning will change things. The fans are becoming interested and showing up for games. It should be an interesting run through the 2nd half of the season. Stay tuned.

LINSANITY IS NOTHING BUT MEDIA HYPE

In Pro Basketball on February 25, 2012 at 7:49 am

If Jeremy Lin didn’t play for the New York Knicks or if it was the middle of football season would “Linsanity” exist? I think that question has a pretty simple answer. NO!! This is not meant to be anything against Jeremy Lin. Lin seems to be a fine young man, with a degree from Harvard, who happened to land in New York. The truth is Linsanity is nothing more than media hype created by an industry, ESPN and other sports media outlets including the cover of Sports Illustrated among others that really has nothing else to report at this time. ESPN tries to promote the NBA because it broadcasts its games and in many cities the NBA is meaningless. They do not give coverage to the NHL because they don’t broadcast it. The Daytona 500 was still a few weeks away when Linsanity was created, Spring Training was still a few weeks away and football was over. The truth is they had nothing else to report on!!!

On Thursday morning I actually heard ESPN announce that the Thursday night game between the Knicks and the Miami Heat was the most anticipated game of the season and being broadcast live on TNT. Since when does a game between the 1st place team in the Southeast, the Heat with a 26-7 record, and the Knicks, 2nd place in the Atlantic with a 17-17 record, become an anticipated game? The game played out just as you would’ve expected with the Heat beating up the Knicks 102-88.  Unfortunately Linsanity was exposed for the hype that it is, shooting 1-11 from the field and committed 8 turnovers while finishing with 8 points. Again, this isn’t a reflection of Jeremy Lin but a reflection of the media that created something that a 23 year old cannot live up to. The fact that the media is trying to create hype around the New York Knicks is another story. The Knicks are not a good basketball team right now. They have several good players in Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire but haven’t done anything until getting a boost from Lin. The Knicks go in to the All Star break 17-18 and are 3.5 games behind the Philadelphia 76ers in the Atlantic Division.

As far as Lin, here is the rest of the story. Lin is not a rookie. He played in 29 games for the Golden State Warriors in 2010-11. He didn’t start any games and averaged 2.6 points per game and 1.2 rebounds per game while playing 9.8 minutes per game. He moved on to the Knicks this year and didn’t start the teams first 10 games. He has now started 11 of the teams 21 games. His season averages are 14.4 points per game, 2.8 rebounds per game, 5.8 assists per game and 3.6 turnovers per game.  These are hardly numbers that create any “Insanity”.

I wish the best for all of the young players trying to make it in professional sports because I understand how hard it is to make it to that level. I also hope that Lin takes advantage of all of the endorsement opportunities ($$$$$) that are being created for him by being in New York but the pressure being put on this young man by the media is something that will be difficult for him to deal with and surely something that will be impossible for him to live up to.

The Word of the Day – DANCE

In The Word of the Day on February 24, 2012 at 8:16 am

DANCE

“Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we’re here we should dance”

Anonymous

The Word of the Day – THE WILL – Bear Bryant

In The Word of the Day on February 23, 2012 at 4:48 am

THE WILL

“It’s not he will to win that matters, everybody has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters”

 

Paul “Bear” Bryant

IT’S TEMPLE – “CITY 6” HOOPS UPDATE

In Uncategorized on February 22, 2012 at 11:50 am

It seems that with the Flyers and 76ers playing well and Spring Training getting started for the Phillies that many people have lost interest or don’t have any interest in what’s going on in local college basketball. I long for the doubleheaders and the City Series games at the Palestra. The City 6, the expanded version of the Big 5, is having one of its finest seasons in recent history. With Fran Dunphy and the Temple Owls cracking the Top 25 this week at #22 for the first time this season with a 22-5 record the Owls seems to be the cream of the crop. The Owls have won 10 games in a row and 16 of their last 18 but have tough road games at LaSalle tonight and at St. Joe on Saturday. By the way the game against the Hawks will be broadcast on ESPNU at 7pm. The Owls beat both of these teams earlier in the year. Ramone Moore and Khalif Wyatt lead the Owls with 18.2 and 17.0ppg.

Drexel coach Bruiser Flint may beg to differ on who’s the best team in the city. The Dragons are 23-5, 14-2 in the conference, are 12-0 at home and have won 15 games in a row. The Dragons also received national ranking votes that would put them at #30 in the country with 2 games remaining. Look for Drexel to be invited to “The Dance”.  

The St. Joe Hawks have been all over the place this season but are still in the hunt. They’re sitting at 18-10 going in to tonight’s home game at the Hagen Arena against Richmond and Saturday’s home game against Temple. The Hawks went through a stretch where they won 7 of 8 games in late November and December and turned around and lost 5 out of 7 in early January. Coach Phil Martelli usually has the Hawks playing competitive down the stretch and hopes that the present 3 game winning streak will carry them in to the Atlantic 10 playoffs. The Hawks are led by Carl Jones at 16.4 ppg and Langston Galloway at 15.5 ppg.

The LaSalle Explorers are 18-9 going in to tonight’s game against Temple at the Tom Gola Arena. The Explorers are 7-5 in the A10 and need a strong finish in their final 4 games, 2 are home, Temple and St. Bonaventure and 2 on the road, at Fordham and at George Washington. The Explorers hold a 12-1 record at the Gola Arena this season. LaSalle is led by the balanced scoring of Ramon Galloway, 14.7ppg, Earl Pettis, 14.7ppg, Tyreek Duren, 13.7ppg and Sam Mills 11.3ppg.

The Penn Quakers, 15-11, have won 8 of their last 10 games down the stretch, including their last 3 at the Palestra. The Quakers finish up with 3 of their last 5 on the road including a trip to 1st place Harvard, 23-3, and a home game against 3rd place Yale, 17-7. The Quakers can control their own destiny by winning out in the Ivy League. Penn is led by Zach Rosen, 18.1ppg and Tyler Bernardini, 13.7ppg.

It’s unusual that when you talk about the City 6 that the last team you talk about is the Villanova Wildcats but this year has not been the Wildcats year. The ‘Cats have lost 3 in a row, 2 of them in overtime, and 6 of their last 7. They presently sit at 12-16 with remaining games at Georgetown, at Rutgers and home against Cincinnati. Villanova will find itself in a struggle come Big East Tournament time. Maalik Wayns leads the way for the Cats at 17.8ppg.

If the season plays out well for the City 6 there’s a good chance that 3 of the teams could be part of “March Madness”. Temple, Drexel and possibly Penn could be in. If there’s an upset in the A10, St. Joe or LaSalle could sneak in and Temple still be in based on overall record. It should be a lot of fun watching this play out in the next 2 weeks. Philly college hoops at its best.

The Word of the Day – CHALLENGE – Bradshaw

In The Word of the Day on February 22, 2012 at 8:16 am

CHALLENGE

“When you’ve got something to prove, there’s nothing greater than a challenge”

 

Terry Bradshaw

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