Monday, October 28, 2013

Under Water

With basketball about to get underway. four of Philadelphia's five major league sporting teams (the Union being the exception) could easily have losing records by the end of each season.  These are the Winter, Spring, Fall and Summers of our discontent.

The Sixers are being projected to make a serious run at  the worst overall one year record, a distinction held by...the Sixers of 1972-73.  Every prognosticator gives them no chance of winning more than a handful of games...if that.  The New York Times projection put it best:  "The team’s off-season highlights: trading its lone young All-Star, G Jrue Holiday; trading for a player with a fear of flying, F Royce White, and then releasing him; and acquiring a rookie with one good knee, C Nerlens Noel."  

Management insists they are building for the future and this year's record is immaterial.  As long as we're talking long-term here, has anyone in the Sixers' alleged brain trust stopped to consider they won't be anyone IN THE BUILDING by the time there plan is implemented?

Meanwhile, across the street the Eagles are a complete mess.  Their vaunted offensive genius, rookie head coach Chip Kelly, has seen his fast-tempo offense score a total of 3 points in their last eight quarters.  The only touchdown during those two games was scored by the defense.  Speaking of that group, the defense looks much improved thanks in no small measure to the schedule-makers, who lined up three straight inept teams for the Eagles to face.

Kelly was supposed to bring speed, innovation and imagination to the offense.  Frankly, they look as dull as Andy Reid's worst incarnations.  It doesn't help that they've lost their number one and two quarterbacks and have had to resort to Matt Barkley, whose performances under duress and with little time to prepare appear to explain quite clearly why he was still available when the Eagles drafted him in the fourth round.

Michael Vick hasn't been an admirable human being though I am willing to give him some credit for having paid his off-field "debt to society".  He has been an admirable athlete insofar as his willingness to keep on keepin' on despite taking a beating.  But, he cannot stay healthy and when he is healthy he cannot stay consistent.  His days are numbered.  Nick Foles was given a Wally Pipp-Lou Gehrig opportunity and blew it before the concussion.

The Eagles need a new quarterback.

The Eagles need a lot of things, really.  Johnny Unitas, Joe Montana or Slingin' Sammy Baugh couldn't rescue this bunch.

The Flyers have won two straight to move nowhere in their division.  They still are in last place.  In their case it is reasonable to wait a little longer to see if the new system being implemented by new coach Craig Berube can make a difference.  The Flyers of recent times under Peter Laviolette always seemed to be playing a system for which they were ill-suited or incapable of.  The most troubling development of the last year and a half has been the inability of their top scorers to score.  Yikes.

The Phillies started all this losing way back in April of this year.  It appears they will pick up where they left off in April of next year.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Take My Season....Please

The Sixers owners may  be good at making money in the financial markets but their expertise stops at the center post.  Imagine a team that trades twice in consecutive seasons for a franchise big man who is then unable to play a single minute that year and you have an idea how over their heads the Sixers management team is!

The 2013-14 version threatens to break the all-time record for losses in a season, a distinction held by the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers.  Get ready fans.  This installment might not win a single game unless they can schedule a game with the Washington Generals.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013


Why, oh why, do the owners of the Philadelphia Phillies persist in OK'ing the hiring of Larry Bowa over and over again?

The last time Bowa was hired he was brought in to admonish and belittle, er, I mean manage, the team.  He was poison and was finally fired.  Now the alleged brain trust (alleged where, you might ask?) has agreed to let new manager Ryne Sandberg bring Bowa back for a third time as bench coach.  Extraordinarily stupid move on a team that is making more than its share of them lately.

I predict the first public "He's killing us" comment will occur around late July or early August.

Monday, October 07, 2013

That Didn't Take Long!!!

Peter Laviolette is out after the Flyers began the season 0-3.  Those Vegas bookies know their stuff!!!

Sunday, October 06, 2013


With nothing in the baseball world to attract my attention I remain "focused" on other local teams and sports for now.

Penn State got walloped by Indiana yesterday.  I mean destroyed!  This is the first time the Nittany Lions have ever been beaten by the Hoosiers and when they finally got around to losing they didn't pull any punches.

Among other things the loss underscores how much the sanctions and penalties of the Sandusky scandal have hurt Penn State.  They cannot recruit easily when prospects know there won't be any post-season play. There won't be any post-season play with the kind of numbers the Penn State defense is allowing anyway, but you get the picture.  It's a vicious circle.

Meanwhile, Peter Laviolette, the Flyers coach, was listed by Vegas bookmakers as the first NHL coach likely to be fired.  He's on target, friends.  The Flyers are 0-2 and have looked very beatable.  By the time they've lost their fifth game of the new season, sometime in the next week or two, the coach will be out.

The Eagles are hoping to win a game against the winless NY Giants.  Some odds-makers don't see that happening.  When you face an 0-4 team, even at the opponent's home field, and are the underdogs it tells you a lot about what you already knew.

Go ahead, name five players on the Sixers.  OK, that's three.

Temple has proved a few things already this season.  One, they definitely are not ready for prime-time. Two, rapid turnover of their head coaches does not make it easy to recruit.  They've lost to some real powerhouses and they've lost to some beatable teams.  But they've lost them all.

Speaking of losses, how about the University of Maryland?  In their last year in the ACC, and a year before they join the Big Ten, the Terps have had an impressive start, winning their first four games (and matching all of last year's win total) to break into the Top 25 at number 25.  Then, they faced 8th ranked Florida State in Tallahassee and suffered a humiliating thrashing, 63-0.  When the polls come out early this week Maryland fans will be lucky to find their team ranked in the top 2500.

Back at the ranch, Penn won their home match against Dartmouth in triple OT.  Penn was predicted to win the Ivy League championship this season, but if they take four hours to beat Dartmouth the odds appear much longer than first projected.