With the Phillies having locked up the NL’s best record one writer is focusing on getting Jimmie Rollins back to form, while another is considering a vote for Halladay as the NLs MVP. Also it’s just a few days until Donovan McNabb rolls back into town as a member of the Redskins. How will fans react? Plus Michael Leighton’s injury brings back into focus the Flyers inability to bring in a goaltender this off-season.
It’s all here in today’s Talk of the town.
McNabb anticipates cheers from Philly — espn.com
“Honestly, I think I will be more cheered,” McNabb said on his weekly appearance on ESPN-980 in Washington. “No matter what the situation is, right now I’m with a different team and it’s a rival and it wasn’t my choice. We had a successful 11 years. We had a lot of exciting plays and obviously some down times, but there were more exciting things in 11 years.”
Four games to get Rollins ready – philly.com
“Last night he played five innings of what turned out to be a 2-1 loss at Nationals Park on a walkoff homer by Adam Dunn. Afterward, he pronounced himself satisfied with his progress. “I won’t be 100 percent when the playoffs start,” he said. “I won’t be 100 percent until next February, probably. But I think I’m better and that I can play at this speed. That’s what’s most important.”
Phillies 2010: The best team in franchise history? – csnphilly.com
“ Although the Phillies have done nothing more than guarantee three more games on the schedule, there is already a buzz whether the 2010 team is the best in club history. With 94 wins and a chance to be the first National League team since the 1942-44 Cardinals to make it to the World Series three years in a row, the Phillies aren’t flirting with just franchise greatness … this is all-time stuff.”
Micahel Leighton hurts back, time to worry in Philadelphia – prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com
“All of a sudden, the Flyers missed attempt at landing Marty Turco in the off-season and seeming lack of contingency plan starts to look even more questionable if Leighton is going to be dealing with a potentially nagging injury all year. The Flyers are only rolling with Brian Boucher as Leighton’s backup and while there are a couple of intriguing young guys waiting in the wings in Johan Backlund and Sergei Bobrovsky, for a team that made the Stanley Cup Finals last year to think they can get away with that kind of motley crew in goal is daring if not just plain stupid.”
Should Doc get MVP consideration – crashburnalley.com
“ Although rare, a pitcher winning the award is not unheard of: Dennis Eckersley was the last pitcher to receive the honor, in 1992 with the Oakland Athletics. As a closer, he finished with a 1.91 ERA and 51 saves in 60 innings of work. The last starting pitcher to win the award was Roger Clemens in 1986 with the Boston Red Sox. That year, Clemens went 24-4 with a 2.48 ERA in 254 innings with ten complete games and one shut-out.”
Vick carries Eagles to 28-3 rout of Jaguars — cnsphilly.com
The Phillies return to action against the Mets today in the start of a three-game series, that has little drama attached to it. Meanwhile, one blogger talks about how the Eagles o-line is not quite as bad as some make it out to be and another talks about the Flyers playing until the sun came up. Plus we have an exciting Penn State-Temple football game to preview. When is the last time anyone could say that?
It’s all here in today’s edition of talk of the town.
Flyers drop Eleven round shootout, game to Leafs in London, 4-3 - broadstreetkockey.com
“These preseason games in London, Ontario always seem to entertain. Tonight was no different as the Flyers dropped an eleven-round shootoutto the Toronto Maple Leafs. Bill Guerin and Marc-Andre Bourdon were credited with the real, in-game goals (more on that below), while Jeff Carter, Guerin and Joonas Lehtivouri scored in the shootout for the “hometown” Philadelphia Flyers.”
Offensive line is just an excuse - the700level.com
“There are people – quite a few of you, actually – who honestly believe the switch to Michael Vick had something to do with the offensive line. Kevin Kolb will get repeatedly concussed behind this group, while Vick’s escapability allows him to keep plays alive and not get sacked every drop back. What do I think about this line, a unit I determined was “better” heading into the season much to the disbelief of practically everybody? I think you need to go back and re-watch the game.”
This week’s pitching probables- thegoodphight.com
“The most notable tidbit here is that Kyle Kendrick (whose turn was originally scheduled to come up on Friday and Wednesday) has been flipped with Joe Blanton (originally scheduled to pitch on Saturday). This makes sense because we have nine games left, meaning that four of our five starting pitchers will start two more games, while the fifth guy will start only one more game. Since Blanton is a good pitcher while Kendrick is not, the fifth guy should clearly be Kendrick.”
Golden enjoying othe journey with Temple - philly.com
“That boy is now the man who has brought Temple football back from the dead. In five years, Al Golden – his mother routinely calls him Alfred, everyone else just calls him Al – has turned the Temple Owls from a national joke into a contender that is 3-0 heading into a pivotal matchup Saturday with Penn State, Golden’s alma mater.”
Preview: Temple vs. Penn State – linebacker-u.com
“Penn State enters the final non-conference game of this season, as the Nittany Lions play host to in-state foe Temple. If this game were played three, four or five seasons ago, it would be a laugher for Penn State fans. But head coach Al Golden is brewing up something special in Philly–a winning football program. The Owls could reach consecutive bowl games for the first time since… ever! ”
New coach Collins believes Sixers will be better- nbcsports.com
“Collins is committed to slapping a dead bolt on Philadelphia’s revolving door that tosses out coaches just when they get settled on the bench. The former TNT announcer is the Sixers’ seventh — seventh! — coach since Larry Brown left in 2003. Collins hopes to bring stability and success to a franchise that has lost direction, attention and enthusiasm.”
Another big night in Philly leads to another busy day of sports talk. We have Michael Vick replacing Kevin Kolb as the Eagles starting quarterback for now and possibly the future. Also, Roy Halladay wins 20 games as the Phillies improve to 30-games over .500.
Oh, and hockey is back — well, preseason anyway. It’s all here in Talk of the town.
Didinger: Reid deals Kolb toughest hit of all — csnphilly.com
“Kevin Kolb took a hard hit from Clay Matthews, but it was nothing compared to the hit he took from his coach on Tuesday. Andy Reid blindsided his young quarterback with a shot that sent shockwaves rippling from here to Stephenville, Tex. One day after he assured everyone that Kolb would be the Eagles’ starting quarterback Sunday in Jacksonville, Reid changed direction and announced that Mike Vick would get the ball instead. It was one of the more bizarre audibles in NFL history. Reid tried to explain it, but left most people scratching their heads.”
Rich Hoffman: Move to Vick puts Reid on hot seat — philly.com
“If the Eagles do not make a run in the playoffs this season, Andy Reid is on the clock in 2011. He has to be, after this. What once was an intricately planned debut season for Kevin Kolb is now, apparently, a win-at-all-costs race to the finish with Michael Vick. Reid is coaching like a man in a hurry. From here on, he should be viewed as such.”
Life on Mars — Igglesblog
“My Reaction. I don’t like the move. There are a number of reasons for this. Here are 3 factors that are the focus of my opinion:
1. After 2 games, I don’t think the 2010 Eagles look like a Super Bowl team.
2. Kevin Kolb is (was?) the future of the franchise at QB. He is a mystery and will be until he plays.
3. Vick is the better player now, but I don’t trust him long term so no matter what he does this year I will never truly be comfortable with him as “the guy”.”
Richards’ SO goal lifts Flyers over Devils — flyers.nhl.com
“Mike Richards scored a shootout goal in the fourth round, lifting the Philadelphia Flyers to a 4-3 win over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night in the first preseason game for both teams.”
Is Hamels a top-3 Cy Young candidate — Phillies Nation
“Here are some stats for you to chew on:
-Cole Hamels is 12-10 this season, with a 2.93 ERA, a new low. He ranks 11th in the NL in ERA, 9th in WHIP, 3rd in strikeouts, 6th in K/9, and 13th in BAA, and 8th in innings pitched.”
“Halladay beat the Atlanta Braves, 5-3, to put the Phillies five games ahead in the National League East. He worked seven innings, allowing three runs, improving to 20-10 with a 2.53 earned run average. He will probably win the Cy Young award, as Carlton did in 1982, but mainly because of his E.R.A., innings and strikeouts.”
The Phillies scored a big victory over the Braves last night thanks to another big performance from Cole Hamels. Also another idiot jumped on the field, but he was no match for mat Diaz’s foot. while football and baseball are taking up all the headlines, hockey and basketball is working its way to the preseason. It’s all here in today’s edition of Talk of the town.
Eagles Rewaind: offensive line needs work – philly.com
“When a team gives up six sacks and numerous quarterback pressures, there is room for variety. So it went for the Eagles Sunday, when they had protection issues that could be attributed to individual miscues, play selection and even just poor fundamentals (a sack on a fumbled snap).
Utley flashes some leather against the Braves- cnsphilly.com
“It was a double play started by Utley with one out in the sixth inning on a sharp grounder hit by Martin Prado that proved to be the Braves’ final stand in Monday’s huge showdown at the Bank. After that play Atlanta had just one base runner over the final three innings as the Phils rolled to a 3-1 victory to extend their lead over the Braves in the NL East to four games.”
“The Taser has been replaced at Citizens Bank Park by Matt Diaz’s right leg. A rogue (and rouge) fan — dressed in a one-piece, faceless, all-red costume — ran on the field in Monday’s seventh inning. And he eluded security guards until Diaz, the Braves’ left fielder, tripped him.”
Micahel Leighton’s new mask- twitpic.com
Not much to say other than it’s awesome.
“After reaching career highs of 30 goals, 30 assists and 60 points in 2008-09, Hartnell suffered through a difficult 2009-10 season, scoring just 14 goals. He had three goal droughts of at least 12 games, including a 17-game run from Dec. 7 to Jan. 7, and a 21-game skid from March 20 that carried to Game 3 of the second round of the playoffs.”
A Sixers package for Melo-depressedfan.com
“Setting aside, for a moment, Carmelo Anthony’s tacit veto power over any trade made before February, can the Sixers put together a decent package for him? Let’s take a look after the jump.”
Yesterday was a big day in the Phillys Sports scene. The Eagles picked up their first win of the season and did so with the help of Michale Vick, who is heading right back to his role as back up and Jayson Werth hit a walk-off home run as the Phillies stayed three games up on the Braves. Speaking of the Braves, we take a dip into Atlanta’s blog scene to see how the Braves fans feel heading into a the big showdown.
Here is the talk of the town.
Kolb: I got to prove I’m the starter- philly.com
“Kevin Kolb is back and ready to return to his position as the Eagles starting quarterback. Of course, there are some that believe Kolb isn’t the man for that job after Michael Vick filled in for the last game and a half, and helped guide the Eagles to their first victory Sunday. Kolb said he’s fine with that thinking.”
Michale Vick sparkles again; Promply gets benched – Yahoo Sports
“It would’ve been difficult to imagine this back in 2007 when Michael Vick was being led around in handcuffs, but I’m about to argue that the man is being wronged. It’s not just Vick, either. It’s all of his teammates, fans and pretty much anyone who wants the Philadelphia Eagles to win football games. They’re all being done a disservice by Andy Reid’s decision to go with Kevin Kolb as the starter in next week’s game against the Jaguars. ”
There is much buzz around the sports scene today as the Flyers get set to open up camp, the Phillies start a three-game series with the Nationals, and the Eagles prepare for the Lions. Oh, and we have a hilarious clip on the Mets that no Phillies fan can miss.
5 things to watch in Flyers’ camp – philly.com
Here at phillysportsblogs we take pride in our original content, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have appreciation for some of the other talented publications in the area. Today begins what will be a regular post on this site titled “The talk of the town”. It is a sampling of some of the better sports topics being discussed in Philadelphia.
Momentum keeps building as Phillies sweep Marlins – Phiting On
“Get out your broomsticks. Tonight, Roy Halladay and the Phillies completed a three game sweep of the Florida Marlins, giving them their first sweep since the Padres series (Aug 27-29) but also giving them their 6th straight series win. The Phillies dominated the series from the first game, outscoring the fish 23-10. Even better news? The Braves lost again to the Nationals putting them a full three games behind the Phillies for the NL East lead”
Road loss to San Jose- Phillyuniontalk.com
“A battle of the goalkeepers resulted in another painful away defeat for the Union. Knighton, starting again in place of Seitz, came up huge to stop a number of blistering attempts by the Quakes, but his counterpart at the other end of the pitch did the same. The difference between the two was an artful header by Chris Wondoloski, bonked in perfectly from an Arturo Alavez cross in the 69th.”
What will Birds do if Vick wins – philly.com
“It was as if he hit a replay button on the “Michael Vick Experience” – that roller-coaster ride of highlight films that once made Vick the NFL’s highest-paid quarterback. To be honest, it was a glimpse from the past many thought could not be seen again. Apparently, Vick, who missed two full seasons while in prison on charges related to his dogfighting operation, still might be able to play a little bit.”
Week Two Preview: Detroit Lions – birdsfan.com
“The Eagles take their battered squad on the road for the first time this week to take on the Detroit Lions. Both teams will be looking to pick up their first win, and if you go by the Dononvan McNabb rule book, one of them will get it. Today we look at some of the Lions team stats after the first week as well as looking at their impact players on both sides of the ball.”
Pronger on ice for first time since playoffs - csnphilly.com
“Chris Pronger, still rehabbing his right knee, stepped onto the ice at Skate Zone in Voorhees, N.J., Wednesday for the first time since Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final. “I didn’t fall, so I have to say it’s pretty good,” Pronger said after the short session, which lasted about 15 minutes. Pronger underwent arthroscopic surgery to his knee in late July.”
This weekend, something is occurring in the city of Philadelphia for the first time.
In this re emergence of sports that has seen the Phillies win a world championship, and return to unsuccessfully defend their title and the Flyers with an improbable comeback from the brink of elimination to the Stanley Cup finals, the national spotlight is more aware of Philly as a sports town, and one with a newly found winning mentality.
So I am glad to see the PGA returns to the area for their first tournament since 2002 with the AT & T National being held at the Donald Ross designed Aronimick Golf Club in Newtown Square, PA.
The event marks the first time Tiger Woods has played in a PGA event in the greater Philadelphia area as he defends his title and trys for the 6.2 million purse. Jim Furyk is the hometown favorite.
With football preseason around the corner, and some major changes to the team, the Eagles look to hold a high level of interest early this year as well.
The Union has made their presence known. The Soul are returning, sans Bon Jovi, and the Sixers remain a draw, although a contender they won’t be for quite some time.
Overall, the city of Philadelphia is becoming a well rounded sports mecca.
The city now boasts multiple premiere sports arenas with the new Citizens Bank Park, Lincoln Financial Field and the Wachovia Center with 2 or 3 professional teams playing meaningful games late in the year, strong college teams, and huge attendance and interest from the general population.
Rabid fans, successful programs, new stadiums,the countries fifth highest population with 3rd heaviest population density having annual disposable incomes 30% above the national average. Can you say Philadelphia ?
2020 summer Olympics, anyone ??
It was a good weekend to be a Philadelphia sports fan.
The Flyers did enough to get in the playoffs, the Phillies swept the Astros and the Union won their first game as a franchise. And there was a big explosion.
Bellow is a brief recap of the weekends events in the Philly sports scene … in case you missed it.
- The Phillies had their way with the Astros, outscoring them 19-7 in a three-game sweep. The series featured a pair of great pitching performances. On Friday J.A. Happ and the bullpen combined for a shutout in an 8-0 whipping of the winless Astros. Happ went five innings, while allowed just two hits over the final four frames.
After out-slugging Houston, 9-6 on Saturday, pitching was again the story on Sunday as Roy Halladay pitched a complete game, allowing just one unearned run in a 2-1 Phillies win.
Over two starts The Doc is 2-0 with an 0.56 ERA. Not too shabby.
- After suffering a defeat to the Rangers on Friday that put their season in jeopardy the Flyers came back on Sunday and defeated New York 2-1 in a thrilling shootout to grab the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The game had a bit of everything: hard hitting, clutch late scoring, big saves and an emotional crowd.
The NHL playoffs open up on Wednesday. The Flyers will face the Devils in the first round, a series that should be tight throughout.
- Maybe the Union won’t be so terrible after all? After a tough 2-0 loss to Seattle in the franchise’s first game the Union bounced back on Saturday with a 3-2 win over D.C. United in front of 34,000 fans at The Linc.
It was a great site for Philadelphia soccer fans, and one that hopefully is repeated for the rest of the season. Philadelphia UUUUUNNNION!
- And finally a video that may bring a tear of joy to some. The Eagles season came to terrible end last season at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys. In a way you could say the Eagles imploded in their back-to-back losses to Big D.
On Sunday, there was another kind of implosion going on – this one the literal kind.
Texas Stadium bit the dust, being reduced to rubble by a series of explosions.
It was the perfect way to cap off a great weekend in Philly.
Forget everything you thought you knew about college basketball a week ago. This postseason proved the reason why this time of year is called March MADNESS.
Entering the tournament the one certain seemed to be that the Big East reigned supreme. Since then Villanova, Georgetown, Louisville and Notre Dame were all sent home as the favored team.
While the Big East was floundering we got to know little schools such as Northern Iowa, Cornell and St. Mary’s.
This is what is so great about the NCAA Tournament and so frustrating all at the same time. A team can be great all year and be bad for one day and all anyone will remember is that day bad. Meanwhile, a team can be average all year and be great at the right moment and be remembered for that one moment for years to come.
This truly is a special time of year. March Madness brings you to the highest of highs and lowest to lows all in one weekend. It can bring you to your feet on Thursday and to your knees by Saturday.
If you had Northern Iowa in your Final Four pleas stand up. You sir in the corner – sit down. You are a liar.
Whether you are happy about the last few days results or sickened, all you can is move forward. There is still more to come.
This is madness and this is why we love it.
Throw out your bracket. Forget the time you put in studying your bracket thinking that you actually knew what you were talking about. Enjoy the event for what it is: A true tournament to determine one true champion.
You can always win your pool next year – or the year after. But a tournament like this only comes around once in a decade.
Sit back and enjoy this.
The Madness is in full swing.
A quick note regarding multi sport athlete and former Eagles running back Hershel Walker.
He recently embarked on a new career, this time trying something decidedly new. MMA fighting.
He won his first bout, and now fans, when polled, think his next logical opponent would be retired baseball star, Jose Canseco. Walker, 47, college football’s 1982 Heisman Trophy winner and a fifth-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, floored his first opponent, Greg Nagy in each round, but was unable to force his first foe into submission. The surprising match up on January 30th shows that Walker has not given up on his training or the world of athletics.
Herschel has generally accomplished great things at everything he tries to do, from playing multiple sports in college and the pros, to a stint as a hopeful Olympic bobsledder, to mixed martial arts fighting. Nagy landed just seven punches as he faced a man old enough to be his father while Herschel landed 73% (77 of 106) strikes on his nearly helpless 21 year old opponent.
“This is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” Walker told Fox Sports in an interview “(After practice) every muscle in your body is sore.”
Another example of 40 being the new 30. With Brett Favre, Bernard Hopkins, Randy Couture, Dara Torres, and a host of others over 40 and still competing actively today and routinely beating contenders half their age, I predict Herschel Walker will enjoy a good run in the MMA where training, conditioning and flexiblity may outweigh brute strength and energy.
There have been standout athletes that played or performed into their 40′s and 50′s in the past, like Gordie Howe who played every game of a season when he was 52 and Jerry Rice who was probably the third best receiver in the league at age 44, but I have to admit that in the past ten years, there have been more instances of 40+ year olds performing at an extremely high level. And, since I just turned 40, this gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. Step aside middle age, I am not done yet !!
Are you ready for some football? Indoor football that is.
The reborn Arena Football League is looking to bring the Philadelphia Soul back into the fold, among several other teams.
The original AFL went bankrupt last year, but promised to be back after a short renovation process. The new league is scheduled to launch in April and it hopes to have the Soul back in the fold by 2011.
Bellow is an excerpt from the Associated Press article:
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Arena Football League, reborn under new leadership after folding last year, is already looking to add teams in Philadelphia, Southern California, Denver and Pittsburgh.
Commissioner Jerry Kurz said on a conference call Wednesday that the league has had serious negotiations to place teams in those markets beginning with the 2011 season. The Philadelphia Soul won the last AFL title in 2008.
“We are so excited to be talking to the Philadelphia market and we would love nothing more than for Jon Bon Jovi, Craig Spencer and Ron Jaworski to join our league,” Kurz said. “Our ownership has already extended an offer to them to join us.
“No one has done more for the brand of arena football than that collective group.”
Kurz says a new group of owners spent $6.1 million for the assets of the defunct Arena Football League, including the name, history and records. It will relaunch in April with 15 teams — about half of them from the former AFL and the remainder from what used to be known as arenafootball2.”
It looks like the Soul will be back. No complaints here.
The Philadelphia Union is not the only soccer team coming to Philly this Spring.
The United States men’s national team will face Turkey in a friendly on May 29 at Lincoln Financial Field. Bellow if the official release sent out by the Associated Press.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The U.S. will meet Turkey at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field on May 29 in the Americans’ last warmup match before leaving for the World Cup.
The NFL’s Eagles, the stadium’s primary tenant, has called a Wednesday news conference to announce the game. The stadium is among the sites included in the U.S. bid for the 2018 or 2022 World Cups.
The U.S., preparing for its sixth straight World Cup appearance, hosts El Salvador on Feb. 24 at Tampa, Fla., with an all-Major League Soccer roster, then will add Europe-based players for a March 3 match at the Netherlands.
At the World Cup in South Africa, the U.S. opens June 12 against England, plays Slovenia six days later and completes the first round against Algeria on June 23.
Wing Bowl 18 had all of the familiar elements. This years contest was won by Super Squib who consumed a ridiculous 238 wings in 30 minutes. The mark was a few wings short of Joey Chestnut’s record of 241 in 2008, but it was more than enough for a landslide victory. Not Rich finished second with 145 wings.
As has been the case since 1993 Al Morgani and Angelo Cataldi made the presence felt, with Morgani doing the PA and Cataldi calling the action on WIP. Morgani looked like he was having the time of his life.
Four contestants were eliminated due to puking and for better or worse each “pile” was put up on the big screen for all to view. The crowd ate up every minute of it (not literally).
One of the highlights of the event (at least at a PG level) was the crowd reaction to some celebrity want-a-be by the name of Snooki. Apparently Snooki is a cast member in the never seen, never will, MTV reality show “Jersey Shore.” The crowd booed Snooki at every turn, clearly flustering her. At one point she pulled a Rex Ryan and flipped off the crowd. Shockingly that only made the fans boo louder.
I’m talking about Sidney Crosby-like boos here.
It is safe to say Snooki will not be a part of Wing Bowl 19.
It’s hard to describe exactly what Wing Bowl is without being there to see it yourself. There’s a lot scantly-dressed women, wild crowd reactions — and a lot of waiting The line to get in was about 300 yards long. The evnt is scheduled to start at 6 a.m. but really doesn’t get going until 8. But as strange as it may sound, even the moments of waiting were enjoyable.
The Wing Bowl is not for everyone. In fact, the only demographic that that it is for is young men and maybe a few thick-skinned, open-minded women.
For me it was a blast.
For a complete breakdown, as well as videos and photos, check out WIP.com.
Oh and one more thing. If yopu decide to head to Wing Bowl 19 make sure you have a couple of 5-hour energies. You will need them.