Picture Of The Day

Picture Of The Day
Flyers Stanley Cup Champions Parade From The '70s

Thursday, November 26, 2009

To Be Thankful For In Philly Sports

It's safe to say that 2009 has been a roller coaster year thus far. Of course, a recap of this year's major ups and devastating downs will come once we're ready to open the book on 2010. However, with today being Thanksgiving, it would be a mistake not to look back on the previous 10 plus months and realize what we are thankful to have in our world of Philly Sports right now.

So, here is a list of the Top 10 things I am thankful for in Philly sports, including the media aspects of it, starting with number 10.

10. The Eagles
Although they frustrate me now at times...a lot of the time...they're first name is still Philadelphia. They're here and not in another town. I'm thankful for that and for the fact that I can watch the NFL rooting for a hometown team.

9. The 76ers "New"/Old Logo
It is one of my favorite logos in sports. I am so glad they went back to it this season. It makes me forget how bad they currently are, then I just watch them play and remember. For my birthday back in August, my aunt got a 100 dollar gift card to Modell's. I haven't used it yet. Tomorrow morning I am getting up early to go the Modell's and take advantage of all of the great Black Friday sales. It is without question that a portion of that 100 bucks will be used on 76ers merchandise.

8. Thaddeus Young and Mareese Speights
These guys are promising young players for the horribly coaches and completely uninteresting Philadelphia 76ers. Hopefully they can get rid of the incredibly annoying and goofy Samuel Dalembert and open up some cap room to get a star player that still has good legs. I love the Sixers, but they are frustrating to watch, minus the talents of Thad and Mo Speights.

7. The Flyers...
...that is until they break our hearts in April again. This team has a chance, like always, so I can't help but be thankful for a consistently GOOD hockey team that HAS A CHANCE every year. The question is, will they be GREAT?

6. Comcast SportsNet
I have the unfortunate situation of being tortured by SNY, MSG, YES and God knows what up there in Central New York State during the year. CSN is definitely the best local sports station I know.

5. The Sports Complex
No other city in the country has all of its sports venues in one spot. Fortunately in Philadelphia, all four of them, including the legendary Spectrum, are within walking distance of each other. I never despise a day where I am fortunate enough to head on down to South Philly and enjoy the comforts of Citizens Bank Park, the grit of Lincoln Financial Field, the luxuries of the Wachovia Center and the stories and memories of the Spectrum.

4. Philadelphia Sports Broadcasters
We have great ones in every sport. Not too many towns can say that. Thank you Harry Kalas, Richie Ashburn, Gene Hart, By Saam and Dave Zinkoff for setting the bar high.

3. The WIP Morning Show
This might sound like a "homer" one because I interned for them this past summer and still consider myself an intern even though I'm at school most of the time now, but one of the highlights of my day while I'm at school is waking up in the morning (yes at 5:30 in the morning) to hear The Overlap Show between Angelo Cataldi and Big Daddy Graham and then four hours of entertaining sports and pop culture talk before I go to class. They're, as Ang always says, SENSATIONAL and PHENOMENAL. Oh and by the way, the other programs on 610 WIP are pretty darn good as well.

2. The Duo of Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen
Unlike No. 4, this is about the chemistry between these two guys. Nobody will ever replace Harry and Whitey together, but Franzke and LA sure make it a very close second. During the playoffs when we had to suffer through Brian Anderson, Chip Carray, Joe Buck and others, it was easy as 1-2-3 to turn down the volume on the tube and put on the radio to listen to these great Phillies broadcasters and the friendship they display through the airwaves.

1. The Phillies
Back to back National League Champs and one of those times they won the whole thing. It's pretty obvious to me why I seemed more enthused about Philly sports over the summer than I do now–The Philadelphia Phillies and watching baseball in general.

And last but not least, my Turkey of the year in Philadelphia sports...I can't say otherwise I would lose my job as an Eagles program vendor. I'm sure you get the picture.

So, what are you thankful for in Philly sports and who is your Turkey?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Conclusion Of A Storied Career...

...if you look at it in a certain perspective...the non championship winning perspective. In the end, the man accumulated a total of 20,040 points, 1965 steals, 36,786 minutes and a career points per game average of 27.0. He did this in almost 14 years in the league. Without question, he is a future member of the Hall of Fame. This is Allen Iverson.

The Answer announced his retirement
today from the NBA; this after being released from the Memphis Grizzlies after only playing three games and a failure to find an NBA team to play for that will let him "run the show." Although Iverson still feels he can play the game and this retirement announcement could turn around "Brett Favre style" in the snap of a finger, for now, we'll assume that Iverson has played his last NBA game.

Looking at his career objectively, he Iverson was not "The Answer" for winning. His style of play unfortunately does not suit a championship caliber system. However, that does not take away the ten exciting years of watching him play for our Philadelphia 76ers. The man is a legend in the likes of Wilt Chamberlain, Julius Erving, Moses Malone and Charles Barkley in terms of 76ers greats. He provided us with the magical season of 2001. The gritty, scrappy and thrilling Eastern Conference Champions of that season is one of the favorite teams of my life. They're up there with the 2008/2009 Phils, the 2004 Eagles and even the 1993 Phillies (even though I was 5 then).

I remember when he was presented the MVP Trophy in 2001. I was in the building and that is maybe the loudest I have ever heard the Corestates/First Union/Wachovia Center. The place erupted as this controversial and troubled individual had such a positive moment in his life. He was such a small player for the NBA, but he was a warrior at the same time and he represented our blue collar city on the court to the fullest extent.

While I have no regrets of A.I. playing here and ALMOST winning a title, it always sticks in the back of my mind that if we would of taken Kobe Bryant in the 1996 draft instead of Iverson, our fortunes might have been quite different. Yet, even though sometimes I feel that, Iverson is still my favorite basketball player of all time and one of my favorite Philadelphia athletes of all time. I can't wait until next year, the 10 year anniversary of the 2001 team, where Ed Snider and Ed Stefanski hopefully have a reunion and The Answer once again steps on the Wachovia Center floor. It will bring the house down, much more than this team is doing right now.

Thanks for the memories Allen.