Friday, November 10, 2006

Biding My Time

As we await real developments rather than rampant speculation on the baseball front, my thoughts temporarily turn elsewhere. Temporarily.

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All politics may be local, but sports are even more so.

If you live anywhere in this general region and weren’t pulling for Rutgers last night for perhaps the first time in your life, you either grew up in Louisville or you have never forgiven that professor who gave you a D in freshman English at the State University of New Jersey.

Trailing 25 – 7 at the half to the number three ranked Louisville Cardinals, Rutgers stormed back in the second half to win a thriller 28 – 25 and remain one of only four undefeated major college teams. Rutgers turnaround from moribund program to giant killer is nothing short of astonishing.

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Equally astonishing for altogether different reasons has been the Philadelphia Flyers’ complete collapse from contender to a team that is well on its way to setting a franchise record for futility.

Will the Fly boys ever win another game this season?

Perhaps more significantly, will the Flyers’ faithful return to the Wachovia Center to watch? Reports in today’s newspaper indicated the house was 1/3 empty last night, an almost unheard of and unimaginable situation in one of the NHL’s most admired and successful franchises. It used to be the only way to get tickets to a Flyers’ game was to inherit them from a deceased relative. These days, they are probably available at a steep discount on Ebay.

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For the umpteenth week in a row the Eagles are in a must-win situation. Nearly every voice coming out of the locker room speaks of turning things around, regaining focus, and playing up to potential when what they could really use is a better running game, improved pass rush, and competent game plan and clock management. The feeling here is that no matter how hard the players try, the guys on the sidelines with the clipboards and earphones are the real weak link.

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The Sixers have gotten off to a decent start this season considering the low expectations for them. Allen Iverson continues to play his heart out. Mo Cheeks may have succeeded to some extent in convincing his squad defense does matter. Samuel Dalembert and Andre Iguoala may be beginning to reach their potentials. Most notable at this point, however, is the virtual disappearance of forward Chris Webber. As Webber’s contributions to this squad and basketball in general continue to fade, the guy responsible for his arrival in the first place, GM Billy King, is the one who is on the hottest seat. Look for him to be the first casualty of the season when things go south, as they invariably will.

1 comment:

Maria said...

That Rutgers game was amazing. The Flyers are terrible. The Eagles have to stop saying that they need to win and actually do it. The Sixers...well let's hope they don't forget that they need to play defense.