Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Can you PHEEL IT?

The time has come.

In about an hour from now, our hometown boys will be opening up in our first World Series since Mitch Williams broke our collective hearts. 

Fifteen years. 

Now, the stage is set ... Boston took the Rays to seven games in an exhausting series, while the Phillies wore out the Dodgers in only five. 

I went to the rally at City Hall and raised my voice along with thousands of other fans who are also clamoring, hoping, and praying for a championship for our beloved city.

Enjoy the video, (props to Philadude45) and root your hearts out for our team tonight.

Keep checking back for our coverage of this monumental event.

Go Phils. 

- Magnum

Sunday, October 5, 2008

It's (half of) a beautiful day!

Brad Lidge raised his mighty arm in triumph, and the Phillies won a playoff series for only the 5th time in franchise's 125 year history. Now that's something to celebrate! That the Eagles didn't hold up their end of the bargain (again) was the only thing that could temper the celebration (but only slightly). Let's face it, a series-clinching win for the Phils and an Eagles loss is way better than vice versa.

Pat Burrell was the hero, going 3 for 4 with 4 rbi's and 2 home runs. After a one out double by Shane Victorino in the third inning, Chase Utley grounded out - moving Shane to third base. Brewers' skipper Dale Sveum elected to intentionally walk Ryan Howard, bringing up Pat "The Bat" with 2 men on. Burrell absolutely crushed Suppan's 2-2 offering, and with his homer he also effectively crushed the Brewers' spirit. After Jayson Werth finished off the back-to-back job with a 400+ ft home run, the Phils were well on their way to a closeout victory in game 4.

Considering that Pat was colder than Naomi Campbell going into the game (0 for 8 in the series' first three games), to break out of his slump like this, and help propel the Phillies into an NLCS showdown with the Dodgers, had to be a great feeling for him. These could be the last games free-agent-to-be Pat Burrell ever plays for the Phillies, and it was really cool to see him come through in such a big way, and in such a big game. He also added an insurance home run in the eighth inning for good measure.

Jimmy Rollins' contribution also can't be understated. He hit a leadoff home run on the sixth pitch of the game from veteran right-hander Jeff Suppan, and that really quieted what had been a raucous crowd up until that point.

More than that, though, it helped relax the Phillies entire team on a day where they needed their offense to score some runs, if for no other reason than to feel good about themselves going into the next round.

After all, with the exception of the Shane Victorino grand slam in game 2, and a misplay by Brewer's centerfielder Mike Cameron on a Chase Utley double in game 1, the Phillies bats had been very quiet. We all remember how anemic their offense was in last year's NLDS against the Rockies, so it's impossible to understate the importance of J Roll's second career playoff leadoff homerun.

There are, of course, other names that need to be mentioned here. Joe Blanton, who was making his second career playoff start, was brilliant in six innings of work and surrendered only one run on a monstrous home run by Prince "I could eat a left" Fielder to start the seventh inning.

Blanton was very smart in executing his game plan. He did just what he should, given a lead by the offense: pound the strike zone to a tune of 72 strikes in 107 pitches. He didn't walk a single batter, and really went right at the Brewers' lineup, forcing them to earn their way on base. Ryan Madson was great in his 2 innings of work, getting out of a couple of jams while only surrendering one run. Brad Lidge was his typical, lights-out self, working around a one-out single in the ninth inning. But this day belonged to the longest tenured Phillie (and most often criticized), Pat Burrell, who came up huge when it mattered most.

- Murdock

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A nice changeup

Feels good, doesn't it Philly?

Our first Phillies playoff win in 15 years.  FIFTEEN YEARS.

Do you realize how long that's been?

Let me put it in perspective:

You were still using Windows 3.1, playing Super Nintendo, and listening to "Whoomp! There it is!"

Cole Hamels was ten years old.

October 1, 2008 -
Cole Hamels makes the Brewers look like Little Leaguers

If you were lucky enough to watch the game(thanks for the 3:00pm start, TBS), you got to see King Cole pitch a very, very pretty game.

Seriously. I'm talking USC Cheerleader pretty.
Jessica Alba in your doorway wearing daisy dukes, carrying a pizza and a six pack - pretty.

By the numbers:

8 Innings, 9 strikeouts, 1 walk, 2 hits, 101 pitches, and 16 of 24 first-pitch strikes.

That's what you call an "Ace."

The other cornerstone of the franchise, (Mr. Utley) had the game-winning RBIs in the bottom of the third - doubling to deep center after Hamels laid down a perfect bunt and reached on an error. 

Of course, the Phillies didn't make it easy for us. 

Uncle Charlie sent Brad Lidge in to close the ninth, and after striking out Mike Cameron looking, he proceeds to give up a double and a single that Durham eventually scored on thanks to Chase slipping in the wet grass.

Uh oh. Here comes Prince Fielder, the poster boy for how vegetarians should NOT look is up to bat.

After about fifteen pitches, Lidge finally gets him swinging on an outside slider that probably would've been ball four. 

...and then a walk.

Philadelphia collectively held their the winning run is at the plate. 

...and then, a wild pitch.

Now the tying run is on second base, a solid base hit can knot it up.

But just as he has all year, he buckled down and got Corey Hart swinging.

Philadelphia exhaled.

...and hopefully exhumed its playoff demons simultaneously.

Tonight, we get a bigger test - Crazy Control Sabathia.

What? You expected me to look up what C.C stands for?

- Magnum

Monday, September 29, 2008

Reid 'em and weep.

Yesterday's loss made me feel sick to my stomach.

It also could've been those wings that have been in my refrigerator since the Cowboys game...and the blue cheese.

What? It's not supposed to be blue? It's bleu? Oops.

Anyway - while the team absolutely played down the Bears...who in actuality aren't a "bad" team, I place the blame for this loss squarely on Andy Reid's shoulders.

Two plays stand out that he should've challenged:

1. The first Bears touchdown - Greg Olsen did not get his 2nd foot down in the end zone.

2. The 4th-and-one at the end of the game - I paused my DVR showing the overhead cam view:

Sure looks like he broke the plane to me...where were the challenge flags?!? Did he use them for napkins during a halftime snack and forget to bring them out of the lunchroom locker room? So while Andy is the #1 culprit - let's look at some of the other LVP's for the game.

- David Akers is dead to me. If he had hit either one of those field goals, we wouldn't have had to go for the touchdown at the end.

- DeSean Jackson had another good game - but that muffed punt led to seven for the Bears. CATCH THE BALL FIRST DJ. He also needs to remember the rule I thought all returners knew - if the ball is beyond the 10 yard line, let it bounce...if it's past - either field it or fair catch it.

- The offensive line allowed way too much pressure on third downs. Shawn Andrews, come back soon.


A few highlights / other things I noted during the game:

- I'm going to start keeping note on how long it takes for Madden to talk about or show food during games. This game he started talking about food with three minutes left in the first quarter, and was showing food around 1:15.

...He needs a cooking show. Food network, get on it.

- The linebackers looked good again...I think I overheard that they're all 24. That's a pretty nice luxury, having three young quality linebackers. Gone are the days of Nate Wayne, Mark Simoneau, and Levon Kirkland.

- Hey refs, nice work on that Devin Hester touchdown. I haven't seen such an obvious non-call of offensive pass interference since Michael Irvin was playing.

- When and why did Juqua Thomas change his name to Juqua Parker? That throws me off more than calling "Tre" Thomas William.

- Hey, Reggie Brown is back! Looked okay...hopefully he'll continue to improve.

- With a healthy Westbrook playing, we blow them out. No doubt in my mind.

The best thing about this loss? It happened on a weekend where the Phillies clinched, the Mets choked, and the Cowboys played horribly.

That's a nice bit of aspirin for a hurting fan, I'd say.

Be good Philly, I'll see you on Wednesday.


- Magnum

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Phillies Win Second Straight NL East Crown

After a 161 games, and 1 double play for the ages, the Phils are once again beasts of the East. The fact that they clinched last night should help them immeasurably in the playoffs. Cole Hamels, their ace, now gets the day off today, and will make the game 1 start on extra rest (considering he's the anti-Sabathia, this is a very good thing).

If there was a more exciting way to end it, I certainly can't think of one. Brad Lidge, he of the 43 consecutive saves (now 44) dating back to last year, was less than sharp. He allowed a run, and the bases were loaded with only one out last night. I know what you were thinking at that time (Great, he picks now for the first blown save of the year?), because I was thinking the same thing. But a ground ball up the middle was fielded brilliantly by a diving Jimmy Rollins, flipped to Chase Utley, and fired like a laser over to Ryan Howard for the pennant-clinching double play. And the rest, as they say, is champagne-soaked history.

So as we turn our thoughts to possible matchups (and we definitely want the Brewers rather that the well-rested Dodgers), I can't help but thinking that the Phillies are so much more prepared for this moment than they were last year. Last year, just winning the division was our whole goal. It took so much effort to complete the historic comback against the Mets, we simply didn't have anything left for the Rockies. Last year was unquestionably a succesful one, even so. Getting swept out of the first round simply won't do this year, however. As I watched the Fightin Phils celebrating, I couldn't shake the thought that they knew quite well that what they truly wanted still lay ahead of them. That winning the division was nice, but they hadn't truly accomplished anything all that special yet. That's exactly what I was hoping for, because that's a team who isn't happy to simply just be in the playoffs, that's a team who wants to win. And I'll drink to that.

- Murdock

Thursday, September 25, 2008



For a moment there I thought our defense forgot how to rush the passer, and Jim Johnson had a senior moment and forgot what a blitz was.

After having zero sacks against the Cowboys in week 2, we come out and have NINE against one of the toughest quarterbacks in the league to bring down.

Honestly, if that was someone other than Big Ben - we might have had double-digit sacks, easily.

Good thing the NFL forces players to wear helmets, since we know Ben doesn't like to wear 'em...without one, he would've had serious brain damage.

Just as impressive was the defense against the run - Usually Willie Parker hits holes faster than Kirstie Alley hits a buffet line, but the defensive line and linebackers were all over him before he got a chance to ever kick into second gear.

The offense looked a bit inconsistent at times...and for a moment there the season looked precariously on the brink with injuries to Westbrook and McNabb.

Looks like they're both going to be okay at this point - hopefully both ready for the game in Chicago Sunday night.

McNabb spread the ball around very well again - and how many people do you think picked up Hank Baskett in their fantasy league this week?

It's only right - his name is BASKETT. It'd be a travesty to ruin such a good wide reciever name.

The only other NFL name that's quite as fit would be La'Roi Glover...except he plays defensive tackle.

Chris Berman doesn't even need to try.

Play of the game? Right here.

...apparently the reports of Brian Dawkins' demise were greatly exaggerated.

This week, duh Bares.

Go Eagles.

...and Redskins.

- Magnum

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Now THAT's how you start a football season

Well Eagles fans, I have to say - while I had high expectations for week 1, they certainly didn't include delusions of a blowout, 1-catch-by-Holt, 40-yards-by-Stephen-Jackson, THREE-ONE-HUNDRED-YARD-RECEIVERS performance.

Hang on. I need a minute to digest this.

Alright, so I know the Rams are bad...but the Eagles are also notoriously slow starters under Andy Reid, save for 2004*coughsuperbowlyearIdidn'twannasayitcough*.

Let's look a bit closer at these head-scratching game anecdotes:
- It's the first time there has been three one-hundred-yard recievers  since 2000 when the Chiefs did it, and the first time the Eagles have done it since 1960. (In case you were wondering who did it, it was Timmy Brown, Tommy McDonald and Pete Retzlaff)
- McNabb looked as accurate as I've seen him - and save for that play he could have probably run it in, he made smart decisions. As per Sunday, he is now the all time leader in fewest interceptions / per pass attempt.
- Again, two of the most dynamic offensive players in the league were completely shut down.

Thank goodness for special teams. Remember opening day last year, or have you had psychotherapy attempting to forget it?

I bet even Andy Reid was happy to throw Reno Mahe's number in the trash. 

"On alternate weekends I cater weddings!"

Seriously though Reno, I hope life is treating you well at The Cheesecake Factory. I heard some guy once made $100 in tips on a Friday night. 

Next up - The Dal-lass Cowgirls.

Bring 'em on.

- Magnum

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I smell football...

Fellow sports fans, rejoice...for FOOTBALL SEASON IS UPON us.

As an Eagles fan, I'm pumped about this season, much more than last year.

On paper, better linebackers, arguably the best secondary in football, and better special a healthier Donovan which makes a ginormous difference.

DeSean Jackson is already looking like a fantastic draft pick. Even in preseason I can't remember an Eagles wideout (besides Owens, duh) looking this good.

What else am I looking forward to seeing besides the Birds back in the playoffs?

1. Brett Favre inducing the Madden Curse upon himself.


You just couldn't fade off into the sunset, eh Brett? You were finally gonna be the one to break the Madden Curse by actually just sitting on the couch and watching football. But noooo...Now you're just going to end up like Namath and all those other legendary QB's who played lackluster final seasons with mediocre teams.

2. Calvin Johnson begin to take the mantle of held by Randy Moss as the best wideout in the game. To me, wide receiver is hands down the most exciting position in football - there's nothing like watching a player take over from that position.

The guy's got all the tools: Speed, size, athleticism, and seemingly a good head on his shoulders.

...Shame he plays for the Lions.

3. Jason Taylor actually doing a pirouette during a game, followed by William(Oh just call him Tre) Thomas hitting him with a crushing block and ending his career.

I can't think of anything more punch-worthy than how he looks here.

I thought I read somewhere that Warren Sapp is going to be on Dancing With the Stars next season.


I can't think of anything I'd want to watch LESS.

Honestly, I'd rather watch a music video with Shaq rapping.

4. The NFC (b)East being hands down the most exciting conference in the league.

How great is it to be in this monster of a division. What if you had to watch the Rams, Cardinals, Seahawks and 49'ers 8 games out of the year?


Westbrook: "Demarcus? Where?"

5. Adrian Peterson - up or down year?

The kid ran roughshod over NFL defenses last year, but he won't be a surprise to anyone anymore - Defensive coordinators have now had an entire offseason to prep for the wunderkind.

...and while I don't believe adult men should ever wear purple in a uniform, The Vikings(aka Eagles-lite) could be fun to watch.

6. The Eagles beating the Cowboys 38-0 in the NFC Championship game to advance to the Super Bowl.

Okay okay okay...

We probably won't shut them out.

...a guy can dream, can't he?

See you guys on the couch's football time.

- Magnum

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Things that need to happen for the Eagles to contend for a Super Bowl this year

It's that time of year again... NFL training camp. Games that count don't start until September so it's time to dream. While we're at it, let's dream big. But what needs to happen for the Eagles to at least contend for the Ultimate prize? I've broken it down to 5 simple (but not easy) things that need to go right.

1) Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook must stay healthy for at least the vast majority of the season. If either one of the aforementioned players goes down for a considerable amount of time with an injury, you can start thinking about next year and those 2 first round picks the Eagles have accrued.

2) Stewart Bradley and the rest of the linebackers need to be good. Damn good, in fact. Bradley showed signs that he could be The Man in the middle towards the end of last year. If he takes another step forward, considering the secondary we will be able to trot out there, then our D should be lights out. The defense used to be the strength of the Eagles team in the early andy Reid era, but the front offices' attitude of indifference to putting talent at that position really caused the defense to slide in the last 4 years. How many times have we had to sit through a team getting 5 yards a pop up the middle all game long? Too many to count lately, but the Eagles' brass finally realized the error of their ways and made strides to correct it. Will the LBs be better this year? We'll have to wait and see. If not, once again, you can kiss our Super Bowl chances goodbye.

3) Reggie Brown needs to make The Leap. We all hoped that last year would be the year he turned into an elite wideout but unfortunately it was more of a lateral move for him rather than a giant step forward. Kevin Curtis is a very good #2 wide receiver, but he's not the stud number one that we have all been drooling over ever since TO left town (bastard). If Reggie Brown matures this year the way we thought he would last year, all of a sudden you go from average receivers to an exceptional receiving core.

4) The old Donovan must return. Early last year his knee wouldn't allow him to have that explosive first step which resulted in him buying that precious extra time for one of his receivers to (finally) get open. We all remember that play against Dallas where Donovan scrambled for 14 second behind the line of scrimmage before bombing it down the field to hit a streaking Freddie Mitchell for a huge gain (Anyone else in the league would've scored on that play, by the way, but good ole Freddy got caught from behind, of course). That's the Donovan we need or it won't matter how good Reggie Brown is this year.

5) Finally, the special teams needs avoid putting us in a hole all game long. I don't have to remind you how awful they were last year. We all remember the first game against Green Bay in which our punt returners single-handedly lost the game for us by muffing 2 punts. After which the Eagles decided to bring Reno Mahe back. I'm sure he's a nice guy, and he can at least catch the damn ball, but he is the only return man in the league that has zero chance of breaking one. the only large return I ever saw him make, he got caught from behind in the open field. The Eagles drafted DeSean Jackson to change all that. He doesn't have to be Devin Hester but he does need to have the odd 40 yard return so our offense isn't starting at their own 15 all game. That was the biggest problem with the offense last year, not the well-documented red zone woes. NFL defenses are too good to march down the field at 4 yards a play anymore, so an 85 yard TD drive is very difficult. Eventually they will stop you three times, and hold you to the dreaded 30-yards-or-shorter field goal. Better starting field position will help the offense immensely.

Now, I know that none of these 5 things may come to pass, but if they all do, the offense will be dynamic and the defense will be shutting teams down and maybe, just maybe, we'll finally have something to celebrate around these parts. That's the dream anyway - and since it's still only July, dream on my friends, and dream big.

- Murdock

p.s. While we're dreaming we might as well dream about an unprecedented 0 - 16 season for the Carolina Panthers. The Lombardi Trophy and the number one pick in the draft, that's not too much to ask, is it?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Why get generic, when you can have a BRAND name?

Well Sixers fans - this is the best news since Billy King leaving town, if you ask me.

Honestly, Elton Brand gives the Sixers their most solid frontcourt player since Richard Dumas, Shawn Bradley, Derrick Coleman, Clarence Weatherspoon, Stanley Roberts, Benoit Benjamin, Nazr Mohammed, Matt Geiger, Alvin Jones, Kenny Thomas, Amal McMaskill...

*sigh* Okay, really since Charles Barkley.

Wow, seriously - we have go to back to 1991-92 to find the last Sixer who could give you 20-10 every night?

That hurts my heart to think about.

Anyway, enjoy the video and dream of good things to come. If this team can add a deadeye shooter, I foresee some long playoff runs.

- Magnum

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Freshman 15

If you count the 18-19 year old international players, there were FIFTEEN "freshmen" in this years NBA draft.

Think about that.

Teenagers, with millions of dollars to spend.
Do you know how many Xbox 360's that can buy?
How many games of Laser Tag that is?
Super soakers?

Sometimes I think that society thinks that just because these kids can hit a free throw while 20,000 fans go bonkers, that they're somehow more mature.

They're still teenagers.

Do you understand the kind of damage most teenagers would do with millions of dollars? I have imagined this future, and it's far far worse than Beverly Hills 90210 or even *gasp* the OC.

I digress.

A few notes on some of the picks.

• Derrick Rose - At first I thought Beasley was the obvious choice, but as recent history has proved, if you want instant impact to your team's record, you add a great point guard.
(Jason Kidd to the Nets, Steve Nash to the Mavs and Suns, Deron Williams...etc)
It seemed like there was a point (no pun intended) where it seemed like every team in the league had at least a serviceable point guard, but now point guards are at a premium like Nintendo Wii.

• Michael Beasley - Potentially, he's Kevin Durant with a gym membership. Dirk Nowitzki with hops. If D-Wade is healthy this year, and Miami and get some interior defense, they should be right back at the top of the East. Assuming he can stay off South Beach enough to work on his game, the kid is a bonafide superstar waiting to blossom.

• Still not sold on Kevin Love, haven't we learned anything from Robert Swift, Andrew Bogut, Luke Jackson, Troy Murphy, Chris Kaman and Nick Collison? One still needs to be athletic to play the frontcourt in the NBA, people.

• Ditto for Joe Alexander...btw, can we stop coming up with these generic "whiteboi" nicknames that include either "vanilla" or "chocolate" in them?

On a positive note, there is no way he's not going to be able to hear the coach with those ears.

(L to R) Joe's Mom, Joe's nickname adviser, Joe's ears, Joe's dad who hasn't seen him since 1st grade)

• Props to O.J. Mayo. He's probably the best ballplayer with a drink first name and a condiment last name since my homeboy back in high school, Cider Sauerkraut.

• All you need to know about the Knicks draft pick is that he played for Armani Jeans. I guess they were waiting for the power forward from Louis Vuitton to develop his back-to-the-basket game.

Knicks fans...two words: "Darko. Milicic."

"As a Bulls fan, I just wanted to thank you for helping the Knicks stay average."

• Eric Gordon actually played Michael Jordan son in that *cough* movie Space Jam. I can't decide whether that is good for his career, or bad. I guess that was back when Jordan was still winning championships, so we'll say his particular osmosis must have been good.

However, that suit he was wearing was making my eyes bleed. He looked like that scene from Devil May Cry when the checkerboard comes to life(anyone?). Less is more, Mr. Gordon.

One last thing about EG...has anyone noticed that the Indiana "Mr. Basketball" award is almost synonymous with the Heisman as far having the ability to destroy 75% of it's winners future careers? For every Oscar Robertson, there's 3 Damon Baileys, Luke Reckers, and Sean Mays.

"Listen, ice cream man, could you run and grab Eric? I'd also like a Choco Taco."

• The Lopez's have two things working against them:
1. They're twins ... remember the O'Bannon's? Didn't think so.
2. Stanford players are notoriously average. Josh Childress might be the best one since the 60's.

• Anthony Randolph...How is it physically possible to be 6-10, ONE HUNDRED AND NINETY -SEVEN POUNDS. Is this guy medically fit to play? Every time I see highlights of him, I wanna donate money to help needy, malnutritioned basketball players.

As SOON as you cash that first check Ant, go get yourself like 20 double cheeseburgers.

"Okay mom, okay. I need to rush out of here before Old Country Buffet gets crowded."

• Philadelphia fans are destined to butcher Marreese Speights' name. I guarantee it.

I don't know what it is about Philadelphia fans, but we always seem to disembowel the pronunciation of players names, i.e:
"HerSHEE Hawkins", "Andre IGGadala", "Samuel DalemBERT", "Randall Cuttingham"...the list goes on and on.

That's it for me...The Phils need some rooting on.

- Magnum

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

June swoon for the Phils

The Phillies have lost 6 straight for the first time since the 2006 season. That's the bad news. The good news is they are still in first place by a game over the Florida Marlins. Their last 13 games have been played at a 3 - 10 clip. Since their sweep of the Braves in Atlanta, they have lost 4 straight series. Even worse, they have only scored 1.4 runs per game during their six game losing streak.

So why the sudden loss of offense? Well, they had to play back to back series against the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (who the hell came up with that mouthful?). Simply put, those 2 teams have great, young starting rotations that no team from the NL can really match.

You say that the AL teams have to face the Sawks and the Angels frequently, and their offenses don't go right off the deep end as a result. Well, that's a good point, but the lineups in the AL face these pitchers regularly, and that is a big advantage for the offense. Combine the oppositions great pitching, and the fact that the Phillies' hitters haven't really seen them much, and you have all the ingredients for an offense going into a slump.

Relax Philly, they just need to face a couple of lousy pitchers, and the offense will be fine. If even one player was hot right now (Utley or Howard for example), they would be something more like 2 -4 in their last six, or even 3 - 3. Lets also not forget that the Phillies have been terrible in the first half of the year and great in the second half in recent years. If they have a similar second half record to the last couple years, they will run away from the rest of the NL East and hide.

If we delve a little deeper into their offensive problems, we see that they have really struggled this year against quality pitching. Last year they weren't very good in those situations either, which really ended up biting them in the playoffs when they faced a couple of tough lefties from Colorado.

They don't need to beat good pitchers to get into the playoffs or win their division. However, they do need to beat good (and great) pitching to win in the playoffs. It was great to just make the playoffs last year, but now we want even more. We want a winner so we don't have to hear about the "100 straight seasons of losing" crap any more.

The bottom line is that the Phillies need to figure out a way to beat quality pitching at some point before or during October. They still have 84 games left in the year to prepare themselves for the playoffs. Whether or not they will finally be capable of beating the best pitchers that baseball has to offer remains to be seen, but we know that at the very least, they'll make it interesting. This is Philly after all, and winning the easy way just isn't going to happen. At this point, we'll take it any way we can get it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Anything's posssssiiiiiblllllleeeeee!!!

First off, I would like to thank Kevin Garnett for the best interview I've seen since watching T.O cry after losing to the Giants.

Boston winning ANOTHER championship really grates on my nerves - but at least I didn't have to deal with watching Kobe win another one.

To that end, I would also like to not thank Seattle's general manager for trading Ray Allen for Jeff Green. (seriously, Jeff Green?) If Jeff Green makes one NBA All-Star team, I'll buy tickets to a WNBA game...AND go to it. well as severely boo Larry Brown(again) for Drafting Larry Hughes when we could have had Paul Pierce.

Thanks for giving us one run to the finals, then ruining the franchise for 6 years, ya louse.

All things considered, this has been one of the most fun NBA seasons I've watched in a long time...and for the first time in a long time, the playoffs were almost as entertaining as watching "Are you ballin' like this 5th grader" ... I mean... "Davidson and Goliath" ... I mean... The NCAA Tournament.

After devouring fruit snacks and graham crackers, Stephen Curry devours your bracket.

Here are some other things I enjoyed about this NBA season:

1. I have to give props to the Boston three-party for putting aside egos and playing like a team - often when you put multiple stars - in particular "the first scoring options" on one squad, they cannot play together at a championship level.

The Truth, Da Grown-up Kid, and Jesus Shuttleworth prepare to tell Brian Scalabrine he'll never see the court again.

2. The Kobe - MJ comparisons have GOT to stop now. Seriously, cut it out. Firstly, a Jordan-led team would never have lost a 24-point lead AT home. Secondly - LeBron and the Cavaliers played the C's to 7 games and LeBron went for 45 in that one...I kept waiting for the one game Kobe was gonna put on his ski mask and gloves and steal a game know...drop 45-50 points, look unstoppable for four quarters?

...What happened Kobe?

3. Chris Paul has again vindicated the work of FBAB.

For those that have never heard of the FBAB... (Federal Bureau of Advanced Ballin) A secret government project started waaay back in 1972, right after the United States lost the Gold Medal in basketball, and ...around the time China started on their super secret "Project Y"...who eventually was created in 1980 and is known as "Yao Ming."

I can't talk much about the FBAB, or you may never hear from me again...but I will tell you that Chris Paul is the result of combining the DNA of Jason Kidd and Isiah Thomas...possibly their greatest achievement yet. That's including Steve Nash, LeBron James and Brittney Grimer.

Honestly, Chris Paul's numbers were better than Nash's when he won the MVP ... and really, who saw the Hornets almost coming out with the #1 seed out of the west.

Not I.

4. Pau Gasol is the worst groomed man on the planet. Does this man not realize the NBA is televised? Get a haircut and SHAVE.

Hahaha...that's a good one Pau...but seriously man. Get away from me.

5. Dwight Howard made the dunk contest fun again.

For years now, the All-Star weekend has been nearly unwatchable. But everyone is finally taking cues from Dwight Howard and making the dunk contest creative and entertaining. There may not ever be another Jordan vs. Wilkins...or even McGrady vs. Vince Carter...but the dunk contest has regained its rightful place atop the "skills" competitions across the leagues.

6. "You in my five."

Any commercial that I've seen more than 5-10 times generally tends to annoy me. But Dwyane Wade and Charles Barkley are possibly the greatest comedy duo since Cheech and Chong.

"Gimme them socks!"

Okay...maybe not...but at least Penn and Teller.

7. Philadelphia basketball is back!

Barring a 3rd quarter meltdown at home against Detroit (which I had the misfortune of seeing in person), we were very nearly up three games to one against one of the best teams in the east.

Now, we have a new GM, a great point guard, some youth on the roster, and a decent draft spot.
We've also finally rid ourselves of the contracts of Chris Webber, Joe Smith, Alan Henderson, Jamal Mashburn, Matt Geiger, Clarence Weatherspoon, Tim Perry, Lucious Harris and Charles Shackelford...

We can FINALLY sign a good free agent.

Agent Zero? Are you out there? I'll personally buy you a cheesesteak.

"Hey Sam, if you ever mohawk your hair again, we're trading you to Memphis."

I'm out like Shawn Bradley's game.

- Magnum

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Michael Jordan wants to be Tiger Woods when he grows up.

If you haven't seen Tiger Woods' spectacular, amazing, inspiring performance on Saturday at the U.S. Open, get the hell away from that rock you've been under and turn the TV on.

His round started off with yet another double bogey on the first hole and he sandwiched bogeys at #4 and #12 around a birdie at #7. Through the first 12 holes of his day he was 3 over par for the day to move back to +1 for the tournament.

That's when the fun started. On the par 5 13th he drove the ball far to the right, near the porta-johns. He got a drop away from the latrines which actually gave him a pretty favorable angle to the green. He still had to contend with that infamous U.S. Open rough. His shot was true and bounced right over the flag and eventually settled at the back of the green, some 70 ft away from the both the hole and an eagle. Only, 70 ft to Tiger is more like 7 ft to you and I. That ball flat out died right in the hole. Absolutely perfect.

Now seems like a good time to tell you that Tiger Woods' left knee (which he had arthroscopic surgery on right after The Masters) was giving out on him on almost every full swing. In between grimaces of pain, Woods hit miraculous shot after miraculous shot. I mean, this guy hasn't played a round of golf in 2 months. To go into the U.S. Open (by far the hardest golf tournament in the world, by the way) cold and even make the cut is just ridiculous.

On the par 4 17th, his knee gave out during his second shot, which he consequently left short and to the left of the green. He chipped out of the rough and caught too much of the ball. As the ball was about to go flying past the hole, it bounced off of the green then hit the flag stick and dropped straight down into the hole for a birdie.

Woods' reaction was priceless. He wasn't too happy after he hit the shot, but when he saw it bounce in he just broke out laughing. Sometimes, it's better to be lucky than good, something Woods is well aware of. He finally hit a fairway on the par 5 18th, and parlayed that into reaching the green in just 2 shots. As he lined up the eagle putt, the announcers were talking about how they thought he was aiming too far left. I turned to my dad and said, "Doubting Tiger Woods is not a good way to earn a living." Sure enough, he drained the 30 footer for his second eagle in the final 6 holes (he also bogeyed one and birdied one) to go from 5 shots off the lead to a one stroke advantage going into the final day.

This dude is just sick, plain and simple. It would've been an amazing display of athleticism even if he wasn't playing on one leg. It would've been extremely impressive if he had hit every fairway and green on the way to that scintillating final six holes. But the fact that he was clearly in lots of pain and also spraying his drives all over the place, to do what he did is nothing short of legendary. If he was a mere mortal, those last 6 holes would likely have been the ones that put him out of the tournament. Clearly, he is on another plane of athletic existence that the rest of us can only dream about.

I never thought I'd see anything like Kirk Gibson hitting that home run (down a run with a man on first and a 3-2 count) in the bottom of the ninth inning in game one of the 1988 World Series off of the best closer in the game, Dennis Eckersley, then limping around the bases pumping his fist while Jack Buck's famous call rang through our ears. "I don't believe what I just saw!" But now, Kirk has some company in the person of Tiger Woods.

So, as you celebrate Fathers' Day with your dad, do yourself a favor and watch some golf with him. Win or lose, this performance will go down in history as one of the all time greatest and will be spoken about in hushed and reverent tones for generations to come.

- Murdock

Saturday, June 7, 2008

You want me to root for who? (the worst team names in sports)

Watching this Celtics - Lakers series makes me yearn for NES games, Nerf football, and Big League Chew.

It also reminds me what a terrible team name the "Los Angeles Lakers" is.

For your viewing displeasure, here are some more terrible team names.

10. The Houston Texans
I hate undefinable generic names. To me, a Texan could be anything from a C-student president, to a crazy old cowboy drinking moonshine, to an insane cult leader who encourages everyone to buy stock in Atari and Hydrox cookies.

Maybe it encourages state pride, as if that state needs any more.

"Yee-haw! Now this here's gonna be a barn-burner!"

9. Any team named after a small bird (Blue Jays, Cardinals, Orioles, Ravens)

"C'mere n' say that to my face, wiseguy."

Okay, maybe the Ravens don't quite fit in here, and honestly, what the heck is a "Seahawk?" Has anyone ever seen one of these? I know what a SeaGULL looks like, and I HATE them...always trying to steal my funnel cake.

I digress. What I am getting at here is that tiny birds look absolutely ridiculous on grown men, and do the exact opposite of intimidation. Can you really see 6'5, 250lb guys yelling "BLUE JAYS!"

These team names should stop being used after the 5th grade, no later.

8. The Raptors

"You want me to protect the paint wearing this??!"

Thankfully, the Raptors uniform is no longer pinstriped purple, and featuring a ridiculous, angry Raptor about to pull a nasty UTEP-Two-Step. Unfortunately, they are STILL CALLED THE RAPTORS.

Remember when Jurassic Park was popular? Some genius in the NBA front office thought it would be a good idea to include a raptor in the voting for a new franchise name. I guess he didn't predict every 10-14 year old boy in North America voting six times for this atrocity.

I'd rather root for the Pterodactyls, myself.

But then, they're in Canada, so it's not like Canadians wouldn't rather watch hockey anyway.

7. The Milwaukee Brewers

Here's a great idea: Let's name ourselves after what we love the most:

I guess it's better than calling yourself "The Drunks", or "The Lushes."

Still, you've gotta wonder what some other teams would be named if they followed this's a few.

The Philadelphia Cheesesteaks
The Los Angeles Plastic Surgeries
The Florida Retirees
The Detroit Drive-Bys

"I love this team, I'm sure glad we're not called The Sobers. Hey, where's the bathroom again?"

6. The New Orleans Saints

Sorry, but any team in a town responsible for Mardi Gras CAN'T be called the Saints.

Besides that, I'm sure St. Anthony was great at interpreting the Old Testament, but I don't know if I want him pull-blocking for me on a power sweep out of the I-Formation.

" virtuous."

5. The Atlanta-Minnestota Wild Thrashers (tie)

These two NHL expansion teams have got to be the worst in hockey. First off, there is nothing "wild" about Minnesota (unless you count the Mall of America on black Friday)...and what in the heck does "thrashing" have to do with hockey? This is something a drunken blonde girl does in a mosh pit, or maybe a two year old who you've taken food away from.

NOT something skilled hockey players do.

" Oh it's about to get all wild and thrashy up in here!!"

4. The San Diego Padres
I never understood the origin of it supposed to be like "Padres" in the catholic priest sense (in which case it makes less sense than the saints), or intimidating in the sense of : "wait 'til your father gets home"? Which made all small boys like me run for the hills.

Either way, I can't see how anyone could get behind it.

...are there women's softball teams called the Madres?

Ah well, at least their old uniforms remind me of tacos.

"Taco Bell and the San Diego Padres remind you to think outside the bunt."

3. Any team named after a color, ie. Browns, Reds, Blues

I can't believe the respective leagues let them go along with this. I would have been deathly afraid that other teams would just get lazy as well and start naming their teams "The Blacks","The Purples" and "The Magentas."

"The Hornets? No no...I was thinking...the Teals."

2. Displaced teams whose names make no sense: Los Angeles (formerly Minneapolis) Lakers, The Utah Jazz (formerly of New Orleans)

Let's keep it real.

No one goes to Utah to listen to Jazz. Maybe a mormon boys choir.

Nor are there lakes in Los Angeles. Fakes, yes. Lakes, no.

"The Fakers? LOL! Wait...what?"

1. The Denver Nuggets

I truly believe this team's name to be solely responsible for its mediocrity.

How can you play for, or even root for a team that calls to mind bite sized chicken with delicious dipping sauces? Imagine talking to a girl who knows nothing about sports?

Professional athlete: "Yeah, I'm in the NBA."
Hot girl: "Really? I LOOOVE athletes! What team do you play for?"
Pro: "Um...the uh...Denver Nuggets."
Hot girl: "HAHAHAH!!! No really! What's your REAL teams name?"
Pro: "...So...yeah...I really like your shoes."

The "D" stands for D-lectable. Not defense.

"Yo, this team name is horrible, kid."
"I know right? Maybe we can get them to change it to the Thuggets."

(honorable mention: The White and Red Sox - I never understood as a kid why anyone would want to be socks, especially misspelled this day I still don't.)

I'm out like toes in sandals.

Did I leave any other terrible sports names off this list?

- Magnum

Thursday, June 5, 2008

And they say Philly is bad... I present to you, 10 cent beer night in Cleveland. Insanity.

- Murdock

Phillies complete an 8 - 2 homestand

What a difference a year makes. On June 5th 2007, the Phillies beat the Mets 4-2 in the 11th inning to bring the team to a .500 record (29-29) and to within 7 games of the first place Mets. After today's afternoon game against the Cincinnati Reds, the Phillies record stands at 36-26. They also have a 2 game lead on Fla, as well as a 4 game cushion over both the Braves and the Mets in the NL East.

Last year, the Phillies were still trying to claw their way back in the race after a terrible start to the season amid a rash of injuries to their pitching staff. They were also trying to figure out exactly how to play winning baseball on a consistent basis. Somewhere around the time they called Kyle Kendrick up from AA, and found out what kind of a pitcher they had in J. C. Romero, they figured it out. Their offense started piling up the runs, and their pitching staff kept them in games. Time and time again, they erased an early deficit with a late rally. All of this coincided nicely with the Mets' historical collapse in September and concluded with the team winning their first division title since 1993.

This year, the team is again among the league leaders in come-from-behind victories (they led the league in 2007). The reason for this is twofold. Their bullpen leads the league in ERA and their bench players are lights out. What a luxury it is for Charlie Manuel to be able to call on Greg Dobbs, either Jayson Werth or Geoff Jenkins, and Chris Coste during the late innings of most games. A great bench and a great bullpen = late inning wins, it's really that simple. The Phillies have found their winning formula after all those years of near misses.

They also have this guy named Chase Utley, who is apparently ok at this whole baseball thing. If their starting pitching continues to play the way they have the last couple of weeks, we are in for one hell of a summer and, just maybe, a fall to remember. In a city where there hasn't been too much to cheer about in the last 25 years, this team just feels different. They expect to win and they usually do. So sit back and enjoy the ride, 'cause there's no telling where it might lead.

- Murdock

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Time waits for no man...Except Chase Utley.

So we've all seen the stats for Mr. Baseball aka Chase Utley aka Roy Hobbs Jr:
(as of 6/4/)
- 2nd in the NL in RBI's (53)
- 6th in the NL in batting average (.325)
- 1st in NL in HR's (21)
- 2nd in NL in Runs (49)
- 2nd in Slugging Percentage (.684)
- 1st in baby boys being named after him

Here are some other things you might NOT know:
  • Chase Utley can get reception inside a tunnel.
  • Chase Utley can tackle Barry Sanders in the open field.
  • Chase Utley taught Gordon Bombay the triple deke.
  • Chase Utley can bench Jake Long 33 times.
  • Chase Utley parted the Red Sea before it was cool.
  • Chuck Norris has a sketchbook with just pictures of Chase Utley.
  • Chase Utley has singlehandedly stopped snakes on a plane, snakes on a train, and snakes on a submarine.
  • Chase Utley makes a delicious 99-calorie cheesesteak.
  • Chase Utley has completed "Through the Fire and the Flames" on expert with one hand.
  • Yoda was Chase Utley's padawan.
  • A Happy Meal is only truly happy when being eaten by Chase Utley.
  • The cycle dreams of hitting for Chase Utley.
  • Money doesn't grow on trees, except in Chase Utley's yard.
  • Chase Utley has beaten Tetris.
  • Ocean's 11 is based off a heist Chase Utley pulled off, by HIMSELF.
  • Turbulence is caused by Chase Utley's burps.
  • Collars attempt to pop themselves when worn by Chase Utley.
  • Oscars dream of winning Chase Utleys.
  • Turns out, Chase Utley has had the weapons of mass destruction the whole time.
  • Chase Utley has blocked Kareem's sky hook.
  • Chase Utley always stops Wayne Gretzky on breakaways.
  • The reason SNL isn't funny anymore is because Chase Utley stopped writing for them.
  • Chase Utley can shoot the wings off a fly at 800 feet AFTER six irish car bombs.
  • Pac-Man Jones will play again when Chase decides he can.
  • Chase Utley is the reason for Panic at the Disco.
  • Chase Utley has beaten Michael Jordan in a dunk contest.
  • Chase Utley taught Gwen Stefani how to spell B-A-N-A-N-A-S.
  • Gambling is addicted to Chase Utley.
  • Chase Utley has beaten the Incredible Hulk at arm wrestling.
  • Floyd Landis was doped up on Chase Utley when he won the Tour De France.
  • Chase Utley has Spongebob's regular pants.
  • When there's danger nearby, (or a sale) his Utley sense tingles.
  • Freddy has nightmares involving Chase Utley.

Cape? What for?

Oh, and I guess some props go out to (the) Hudler, Zetterberg, and Lidstrom for beating Pittsburgh tonight.

We'll be hoisting Stanley's Cup before long, so enjoy it while it lasts.

- Magnum