Dec 11, 2009

Around the Town - Philly recap

Ok so a lot has happened in the last few weeks. Iversons back, so is Polanco, the Sixers still suck, the Flyers get a new coach and the Eagles re sign Reed. How to I feel about all of this.... well lets break it all down topic by topic.

1. Sixers: Iversons return falls flat.

So if you are a reader of this blog you will know that I have not been the most supportive person of the return of Allen Iverson to a Sixers uniform. I explained that it was a marketing decision but if Iverson could produce offensively like he used to then it would have been a smart move for the organization.... Well after two games it seems that this might be another bad front office decision.

When Iverson was re-signed by the Sixers many people in the media (including myself) thought that this was nothing more then a p.r. stunt. Bring him back, win some more games (hopefully) but more then anything else make some money. This move was supposed to bring a boost in attendance to a city that is ranking in the bottom three in attendance. Well that was a short term goal for the team.

In Iversons return the team sold out the game (or at least they said on paper). The Sixers lost and moved on to game two. On Wednesday night the Sixers took on the Detroit Pistons. A team that had a similar story in the Iverson saga. (Detroit got Iverson in a trade for Chauncey Billups in 2008). It was another close game that the Sixers lost and sadly enough the team only sold about 12,000 tickets for the game. I sat in press row looking around the arena and saw no eagerness from the fans to be at the game and most of the time people were screaming "AI...AI".

The Sixers lost once again and are now in the midst of a 11 game win-less streak and haven't gotten close to a win this month. The only upside to the Sixer situation is that the worst team in the league (The N.J. Nets) are in the Atlantic Division and are helping the Sixers avoid being in the basement of the NBA.

As a fan this whole situation isn't making a lot of sense to me. Like most people that follow this Sixers we can't really pin-point what their identity is. They were supposed to implement the Princeton Offense, yet they have no shooter, they draft a rookie point guard, yet he dosent play, they bring in Iverson, yet hes no good anymore. Does anyone in Philly know whats going on. If so drop me an email cause I have no clue.

Ill come back to the Sixers later but for now, lets go to the baseball diamond.

2. Phillies: Bring back Polanco, bring in Gload.

Ever since the off-season began and the Phillies decided not to bring back Pedro Feliz they have been in a hunt for a new third baseman. Well instead of looking for a new third baseman the team found their old second baseman. The Phillies signed Placido Polanco to a 3 year deal at an estimated $18 million.

Polanco is an improvement for the Phillies offensively as he is a career .285 hitter. He could also be an improvement defensively as he was a 2007 and 2008 AL gold glove winner AT SECOND BASE. Now I know in the game of baseball that players change positions all the time to improve their team and to help a ball club. (Ripken to 3rd, A-Rod to Third) and this could really be a smart move for the Phils, but just like anything else only time will tell.

Phillies also added some bench help adding Ross Gload. Gload is a 33 year old journey man who spent last season with the Florida Marlins. He is a career .261 hitter and should be a strong backup as a utility infielder, but could see playing time in the outfield. When people around baseball describe Ross Gload they use their terms "poor mans Greg Dobbs" which is funny because he will be getting playing time when the real Greg Dobbs cant play, who we refer to as a broke mans "Chase Utley" looks like Ruben Amaro likes the similarities.

3. Eagles: Give Reid an extension.....

So as most people in the city have noticed the Eagles are in the middle of a three game winning streak. Now was the perfect time to slide in some terrible news for Eagles fans. Andy Reid signed an extension through 2013 to be the Philadelphia Eagles head coach.

Now I know if you look at the numbers this is a smart idea from the front office perspective. Reid's record with the Birds is 106-55-1, he is 10-7 all time in the playoffs and took the team to the Superbowl.

On paper he is highly decorated and seems like it was a good call. He has won various awards including the AP Coach's pole award and has taken the team to the playoffs almost every year he has been at the helm. He is the NFL's biggest brides maid.

He has taken the good (2004) the bad (2008) and the ugly (Everything in between) to the brink of the Superbowl and once, for just a brief second, seemed like the man that could take the team to the promise land.

Above all of his accomplishments their is only one number that has avoided him and that is 1. The simple and basic number is the only thing haunting his legacy (other then 5, but that's a story for another time). 1 is the amount of Superbowl's the teams and the fans DESERVE. Anyone that knows me knows that I am not an Eagles fan. Its not that I don't like the team, I am just not a huge football fan but I do know many of you that bleed green and I feel bad.

The Eagles have some if not THE most loyal fans in football and the management is dealing on the side of safety and money over taking a chance to win the big dance. Its like a kid that spends his whole life in the shallow end and never taken the plunge. The Eagles front office sees teams that get blacked out and have trouble selling tickets and see that those are the teams that have taken chances in the last few years. The see this and understand that under Andy Reid the Linc has been sold out and profits are good. So from a business aspect it was the right move. Bring in money and keep things at a norm. But in a sport where chances taken can result in trophies in the case. The Eagles fans have one fact in their head.

Andy Reid is the Eagles coach till 2013. The Eagles will win the Superbowl in 2014.

4. Flyers: New coach, same old stink.

So apparently John Stevens was at fault for a team that didn't care. After three years behind the bench for the Fly-Guys Stevens was axed to bring in Peter Laviolette. The team welcomed him to the city of brotherly love by getting waxed by the Capitals 8-2. This game was embarrassing and the only part worth watching was the UFC fight that broke out as Dan Carcillo knocked a Capitals player out cold.

The Flyers, just like most of the NHL, don't draw a lot of media attention so the move wasn't that public. The things we do know about the new coach are this. He won the Stanley Cup as a coach of the Carolina Hurricanes, he doesn't take any b.s from his players and he likes to play physical hockey.... all things seemed up and up for the Flyers. Also when he stepped in he took the captains positions for Mike Richard and gave it to Chris Pronger. Maybe this will give a shock to the system of Richard who has been dogging it on the ice and has lacked heart in the games I have watched this season.

Maybe this will work, maybe it wont. Hell most of philly didn't even remember they made the playoffs last year so im my range of Philadelphia importance. I would rank this at a 5.

Now Back to the Sixers.

This team has NO IDENTITY. They play with no heart and I truly feel that no one (including the players) feel comfortable with the way things are being run. One thing is clear. Iverson is either not the player he used to be or SEVERELY out of shape. Lou Williams still has six weeks till his return so subtract 25 points from every game and you can now know what the end result will be.

Ed Stefanki is turning the most decorated franchise in Philadelphia history into a sideshow. No one that goes to games cares about the teams or what happens. They just want to see their new 5-11 puppet dribble the ball around a little bit and throw himself all over over court on every push-off. Remember people Iverson's contract is guaranteed after January 10th. We have a little less than a month until things get truly hostile on broad street. and mark my words they will.

Hopefully Philly can get itself straightened out, Its been a long winter sports season. Were not even through 2009 yet but hopefully 2010 can get a little better.

Until then

~ B. Chan

- also thanks again for all the love things have been going really well.-

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