January 5, 2015 |
IN THE WINTER of our discontent, Philadelphia sports fans desperately search for the slightest bit of good news. I'm sad to report there wasn't much in 2014, and our prospects for 2015 look only slightly better. But ever the optimist, I decided to cheer us all up by naming the 10 best sports moments in Philadelphia during 2014. There is probably no better example of how low we've sunk than the fact that I can come up with only eight (two of which are only "good" in a gallows humor sort of way)
December 22, 2014 |
LANDOVER, Md. - Zach Ertz set an Eagles franchise record with 15 catches Saturday in a 27-24 loss to the Washington Redskins. The second-year tight end was a central part of the game plan and was targeted 18 times. He also finished with a career-high 115 yards. "I would take one catch - zero catches even - for a win," Ertz said. "I hate . . . losing and it's really tough to be in this situation right now. " Ertz broke the record held by Brian Westbrook (2007) and Don Looney (1940)
December 1, 2014 |
All of those losses, in what is now the worst start in franchise history, had already dazed the 76ers. So after punching themselves with four early fourth-quarter turnovers, they simply had nothing left. The Sixers' Saturday night ended in franchise infamy, with a 110-103 defeat at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks for their 16th straight loss to begin the season. The Sixers passed the 1972-73 squad, which dropped its first 15 games. "We are focused on getting better, but you can't dodge something like this," rookie power forward Nerlens Noel said of the record.
November 28, 2014 |
The 76ers made franchise history Wednesday. Well, they tied it, at least. A 99-91 loss to the Brooklyn Nets at the Wells Fargo Center was the Sixers' 15th straight to open the season, tying the organization's all-time worst start. These Sixers joined the 1972-73 squad in reaching the dubious record. That team went 9-73 to set the NBA's futility mark. But this season's squad gave Brooklyn (6-8) a scare before Kevin Garnett's clutch plays. With his team clinging to a 90-89 lead, Garnett made a foul shot with 1 minute, 13 seconds remaining.
October 15, 2014 |
THE UNION pulled an astounding choke on Saturday night. In a span of 5 minutes, it blew a 2-0 lead late against the Columbus Crew to lose, 3-2, and got eliminated from the Major League Soccer playoff race. You decide which of the following statements sounds closer to the truth: In June, when he fired manager John Hackworth and replaced him with current interim manager Jim Curtin, Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz said: "I think we have a lot of quality in our team. We're a good team; we have quality in the locker room.
October 8, 2014 |
MY TAKE: Nick Foles' performance is why a lot of people aren't as excited as they might be over the Eagles' 4-1 start. Yes, there are other problems, but the biggest one, long-term, is the growing sense that the Eagles might not really have their franchise quarterback, after all. You don't win a Super Bowl without very good-to-great quarterbacking. It was easy to envision a team growing and maturing and winning it all someday soon behind the 2013 Foles. It's impossible to envision that behind the 2014 Foles.
September 2, 2014 |
Among many enlightenments realized from the controversy over the "Speak English" sign at Geno's Steaks was this: The cheesesteak experience in Philadelphia is a situational one, varying from vendor to vendor and griddle to griddle. Now comes a former financial planner whose goal is to bring consistency to the recipe - with a franchise. At Wit or Witout? - Philly-speak for whether you want onions - gentility in addition to high-quality products will be served in sun-splashed, roomy dining areas, says Tony Altomare, the man behind what is now a two-store chain (in Mayfair and Red Lion)
August 29, 2014 |
For the fourth time in less than two weeks, Ryne Sandberg felt it necessary to engage one of his players in a private chat regarding a perceived slight against the first-year Phillies manager. He sought Cole Hamels, who pouted when removed from Tuesday's game at 84 pitches and issued a calculated message afterward. On Wednesday, Sandberg diffused the situation with his talk. "It was brief," Sandberg said. "It wasn't a big deal. " This one instance was not. The pattern of clubhouse unrest, however, is alarming.
June 13, 2014 |
JAY BARUCHEL and "How to Train Your Dragon" director Dean DeBlois had more than their Canadian upbringing to bond them during the making of the first film. They were both sort of artsy, skinny kids who grew up in the hockey-mad, rough-and-tumble Great White North, not sure how they were going to fit in - not unlike skinny little Hiccup, the Viking boy in "How To" who's a misfit among his burly countrymen, not to mention his burly countrywomen. "It's a story that I lived through, and I know Jay did as well.
June 13, 2014 |
BEFORE YOUR time, and my time, there was a television show called "This Is Your Life. " It is the first thing that comes to mind as Jimmy Rollins stands on the cusp of Phillies history. For 15 years, he has been the franchise and the franchise has been him and everything that that means. The funny thing is that it means different things to different people, and it always will - because people are different, arriving at any conversation with a variety of experiences and preconceptions.