Monthly Archives: September 2010

Philly Fans; Is It Time to Change Your Rep?

So ESPN football analyst Mark Schlereth thinks Philadelphia fans are “nasty.”

How do you feel about that?

Whether you love or hate the stereotypes of this city and whether or not they are true, Philly fans must live with being the most hated fans in sports.

Or do they.

Sunday could change all of that.

With the highly anticipated return of Donovan McNabb, the greatest quarterback in Eagles history, the country is holding its breath to see how the city will react.

Especially since he’ll be flossing a hated division rival Redskins jersey on his back.

Yet another target on the back of head coach Andy Reid’s first draft pick way back in 1999.

So now what?

How are fans going to react? Will fans resurrect the old No.5 from the Salvation Army and thank McNabb for his five NFC Championship appearances and a Super Bowl showdown?

Will they bring their Duracells?

Will they cheer if Nate Allen the Eagles second round pick from Washington in the McNabb trade, picks McNabb off for six?

If we get a freak blizzard will he get pummelled by snowballs?

The answer is no to all of the above.

Except the resurrection of the jersey, and the pick and heck maybe a sack or two.

The bottom line is the city lives and dies for their team.

In fact, the city is part of the team. Blue collar America has never been more tightly knitted to their team than in the City of Brotherly Love.

The city was named that for a reason right?

Seems like an oxymoron nowadays.

Nevertheless, fans invite them into their homes, to dinner and even to an old fashion kelly green themed wedding.

Yet there is something the rest of the country just doesn’t understand.

Philadelphia loves a winner.

McNabb knows that and that’s why he told ESPN 980 in Washington he thinks he’ll be cheered.

He will because Donovan McNabb is a winner.

His career numbers prove it.

So he never won the big game and his laughing, over thrown receivers and balls in the ground made gave every Philadelphian and ulcer until February.

That’s all Washingtons problem now, as if the Nations Capital doesn’t have enough already.

But it was a heck of a ride and Philadelphia got used to winning, perhaps too much.

During this past off season it was time to move on. For the Eagles, for McNabb and for the fans.

It was also time to implement the future in Kevin Kolb into the permanent skeme.

So much for that. It’s funny how with McNabb gone, Reid is more prone to act on a whim, naming Mike Vick the new Eagles starter.

Is he the future? Who knows.

But since Vick has settled into the drivers seat the Eagles can finally move forward, at least until he overthrows a receiver.

Philadelphia may never change its image. It seems this country loves to give individuals like Vick and McNabb second chances but never a city.

That would spoil good headlines.

So maybe Philly should just embrace being “nasty.”

Until then enjoy the homecoming of an Eagles great.

He deserves it and so do Philly fans.

Philadelphia loves a winner but with the Las Vegas predicting an Eagles win, they love revenge just a little bit more.


1 Comment

Filed under Eagles

Flyers Still Hot, Smoke Islanders

The power and uncertainty of Wall Street can even be felt right here in Philadelphia. Just look at the transformation from the Wachovia Center to the Wells Fargo Center as you step out of the Broad Street line.

Once you step inside the home of the Flyers though, there’s nothing uncertain at all.

With a newly named home, new away retro jerseys and Jeff Carter’s new bleach blonde doo, the Flyers (4-1-1) seemed unphase to change jumping out to an early 3-0 lead against a New York Islander (0-1-0) split squad that had no answer to the Flyers offensive onslaught Wednesday night at the WELLS FARGO CENTER.

The Islanders, playing in their first preseason game, could not control an early scorching hot Flyers offense led by Jeff Carters’ two goals in the first period and undrafted rookie goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky made 32 saves as the Flyers won their fourth in six preseason games 3-1.

With goalie Michael Leighton out for at least a month with a bulging disk in his back, Bobrovsky (3-0-1) or just “Bob” as the players are calling him, made yet another strong case to make the opening day roster as Brian Boucher’s backup saving 32-33 shots against New York and 65 of 68 total (.956 save percentage) to record his third win.

It’s only September and already the playoff beards are out in all their glory.

Okay, it’s way to early to assume the Flyers will repeat as Eastern Conference Champions but it’s only theirs to lose.

With the 2010-2011 season opener October 7 at interstate rival Pittsburgh, Philadelphia has looked sharp so far this preseason.

They will play a home-home series against the Sabres on Friday October 1 at home before ending the preseason at Buffalo on Sunday October 3.

Then it’s time to defend the ice.

The Flyers offense has been hot this preseason led by Nikolai Zherdev (4) and Carter (3) in the goal column while the team is averaging three goals per game. Wednesday was no different as the Flyers out shot the Islanders 36 to 33.

The Carter, Scott Hartnell and Ville Leino line look especially impressive against the Islanders with Hartnell (1) and Leino (2) both adding assists.

“Feels slow and bulky out there but I had some success and it feels good,” said Leino after the first intermission.

Along with Bobrovsky’s stellar performance including back-to-back diving stick saves with just under 14 minutes to go in the first period, players like right winger Andreas Nodl are feeling the early season heat as they make a push to secure roster spots.

Nodl, who was drafted 39th overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, made his Flyers debut last season and knows first hand how important these preseason games are. “I’ve been cursed,” he said after failing to score his first goal against a shaky Islander defense.

With so many strong forwards on the team, Nodl may start this season in the AHL.

Other second year players such as James van Riemsdyk, who was tied for the team and rookie lead with six game-winning-goals in 2009-2010, have been more fortunate. “It feels good to bury one,” said JVR who notched his first preseason goal as part of the first period scoring frenzy.

Still, nothing is set in stone. Not yet anyway.

One thing is for sure though, the Flyers will definitely feel the impact of the loss of Leighton and Ian Laperriere, who the team announced is out indefinitely due to post concussion syndrome. Chris Pronger has also yet to make an appearance after off-season surgery.

Whether Pronger will make the opening day roster depends on his own health and the play those vying for that sacred roster spot. Right now it’s up in the air.

So despite all the certainty’s, perhaps there are some uncertainty’s inside.

We’ll find out October 7th.

Leave a comment

Filed under Flyers

Owls Looking to Swoop Out of a Not-So Happy Valley

It’s no surprise that heading into Saturday’s Penn State(23) and Temple showdown at Beaver Stadium, that one university comes in undefeated.

Which university may come as a shock.

Penn States’ powerhouse program isn’t that team.

Seriously, it’s the Owls.

Who’da guess?

The Owls will head to Happy Valley a perfect 3-0, the first time the program was at that mark since 1979.

However, the Owls will be tested on their first away game of the season by a team that has outscored them 154 to 9 over the past four seasons.

In fact, the 3-35-1record for the Owls against head coach Al Golden’s alma mater appears to be a joke.

Temple hasn’t beaten the Nittany Lions(2-1) since October 18, 1941.

That was before Pearl Harbour.

But nearly 60 years after their last win, the Owls are hoping to stop Penn State’s kamikaze attack once and for all.

This time the Owls are bringing their own attack. Made in America and made for football sophomore running back Bernard Pierce.

His Heisman Campaign is no joke in Philadelphia.

It’s no joke at all.

After ripping UConn for 170 yards and two touchdowns on the ground and another score via air, Pierce is piggy backing off an incredible freshman campaign that brought him to the national forefront.

On the back of Pierce, the Owls’ 30-16 victory over UConn in week 3 was the school’s first win over a BCS team since Golden took over in 2006.

Right now the Owls are riding in unknown territory and that road has led them to the 23rd ranked team in the nation.

Despite the 2-1 record Penn State is still Penn State and the pride and joy of the Keystone state.

However while Temple quarterback Chester Stewart (510 yards passing, two touchdowns, 132.06 efficiency rating) is having a breakout season, legendary coach Joe Paterno had a dilemma in his own quarterback situation.

He’s starting a true freshman.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that but the big stage demands a big arm and Rob Bolden, who completed 50 of 85 passes for 600 yards and four touchdowns, hasn’t let the team down.

This will be Temple’s biggest win in school history, considering the history of the rivalry, should they pull off the upset.

Don’t count the Owls out and don’t expect a lot of points in this one.

While the Owls will take to the ground, the Nittany Lions who haven’t rushed over 40 yards in a game this season, will take to the air.

Both defences are good, real good.

The key to the game for the Owls who scored in all of their red zone appearances last week against UConn- limit the penalties.

The Owls have a tendency of killing big drives with big penalties.

If Golden’s boys can do this they will be golden in a not so Happy Valley.

But if your wearing the cherry and white don’t try telling that to the 100,000 plus crowd of white and blue football freaks at Beaver Stadium.

You might not get out alive.

Leave a comment

Filed under Temple