Monday, September 10, 2012

All Over The Place

Random thoughts while waiting for the NHL season not to start....

Penn State placekicker Sam Ficken must already be nostalgic for the era during which players' names were not written on the back of their jerseys.

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All Summer we heard how the Eagles' season depended on Michael Vick's remaining healthy.  Well, he's still standing after yesterday's skin-of-their-teeth victory over a mediocre Cleveland team, only now the questions all seem to concern whether or not his poor performance revealed a lot of "rust".  Commentators during the game (yes, for some strange reason I watched about ten or fifteen minutes of telecast) questioned his judgement on many occasions, four of which ended in interceptions.

If after ten years in the league Vick's judgement is still questioned I think it's safe to say his health is not the biggest problem facing the Eagles.  Vick has never been quick on his feet in the metaphorical sense.

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The Phillies have won 12 of their last 15 games and should have won at least one more of them (the catastrophe a week ago Sunday night in Atlanta).  In the process they played mostly teams with something to play for including the Braves and Reds.  This past weekend they played a team with nothing to play for or lose and they swept them.  The late season push has the Phils six games back in the second, not first, Wild Card race, trailing four teams and tied with Milwaukee. 

The schedule is their friend and foe.  The Phils only have 22 games remaining in the season, but a lot of them including the next seven are against lousy, cellar-dwelling teams.  Still, there's too much ground to make up at this point.

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John Mayberry gets no respect.   Many say that's deserved.  I disagree.  Given a chance to play every day no matter what, he's responded.  Those who argue who was given that chance earlier in the season don't know what they are talking about.  He was in and out of the lineup early on; now, he's in there every day.  EVERY means without exception.

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Now, back to the NHL.  There appears to be a real chance the owners will lock out the players again.  The league already lost one season a few years ago.  If the owners are that arrogant, let's hope the players have options in their contracts to play overseas and that en masse they exercise those options.  I can think of no sport that is more demanding on its players than hockey.  Their careers are relatively short on average and full of injuries.  The game, including its equipment, can be dangerous.  The pace is astonishingly taxing.  Fighting is sanctioned; indeed, goons are sought by every team.  The players deserve as much as they can get in the admittedly overpaid world of professional sports.