Jan 22, 2010

Phillies, Victorino agree on $22 million dollar deal

 This is an Examiner.com piece to read the original CLICK HERE

A day after signing starting pitcher Joe Blanton to a three-year $24 million dollar deal, the Philadelphia Phillies settled their arbitration with center fielder Shane Victorino today, agreeing to a three-year $22 million dollar contract.

The two time gold glover will make an estimated $5 million dollars this year as well as $7.5 and $9.5 million in following years. The deal secures the 26 year old until 2012.

Victorino hit .292 with 62 RBI last season for the Phils and finished with 10 home runs.
This leaves Carlos Ruiz as the only Phillies player in arbitration and the club hopes to sign Ruiz to a long term deal within the next week.

These arbitration hearings are crucial for the team as they prepare for a potentially expensive off-season next year when first baseman Ryan Howard and outfielder Jayson Werth are free-agent eligible.

To see what next season could look like for the Phillies check out Philadelphia Sports Examiner Jon Marks piece on Phillies Cost for the Future.


Blanton gets a bonus- Victorino in arbitration

This is an Examiner.com piece, to read the original Click Here

Before we get a chance to get excited about baseball again (25 days till pithcers and catchers report) The Phillies had to get down to some dollars and cents. In the first of three arbitration hearing this week the Phillies agreed to a contract extension with starting pitcher Joe Blanton.

The Phillies and Blanton agreed to a three year $24 million dollar deal that will keep Joe in Philly till 2012. This was a huge compramise for the Phillies as Blanton and his agent sent out an initial arbitration number of around $10.3 million per year.

Blanton was set to become a free agent at the completion of the season but Phillies general manager Reuben Amaro Jr. wanted to sign Blanton to give the Phillies rotation stability.

"If you see the clubs that have sustained success, it's about having stability in your rotation," stated Amaro at the press conference.

Last season Blanton had a record of 12-8 with a 4.05 era in 31 games.

The 28 year old Blanton has a career 4.21 era and was a major contributor to the Phillies 2008 World Championship after coming over from Oakland in a midseason trade.

Next up in the arbitration negotiations for the Phillies are catcher Carlos Ruiz and outfielder Shane Victorino, both are expected to sign long term extensions.


Jan 21, 2010

State of the Sixers: Mid-Season Report

* I am not an expect, nor professional analyst, just a fan that has watched every game and truly loves this team, and as a fan I feel that my opinion matters. So here it goes this is my take on the first half of the Philadelphia 76ers 2009-10 campaign*

Basketball is like photography, if you don't focus, all you have is the negative.
-- Dan Frisby
41 games down... 13 wins... One hell of a disappointment. Listen I am not saying this team should be a league leader (cause we all know they don't have the talent) but .500 would be nice, hell a team that had a legitimate offensive strategy would be nice. Halfway through this season the only thing the Philadelphia 76ers are doing is ruining their draft chances. For those of you that haven't paid attention to the first half of this 76ers season (trust me I don't blame you) I am going to go through position by position and look at what is doing wrong, because there is A LOT wrong with this team. But before we look at the talent on the court we must understand how we got this way.
Summer Moves Gone Wrong:
5/30/2009 - Eddie Jordan hired to coach Sixers- If you are a fan of the Sixers you would note this as the trigger that the team had a long LONG season ahead of them. Before coming to haunt the sidelines in south philly Jordan spent six seasons running the Washington Wizards into the ground before owner Abe Pullin (r.i.p) finally canned him 11 games into the 2008-09 season. Jordan led his team to a 1-11 record and one of the lowest attendance rates in NBA history.

The reason Eddie was hired in Philly is quite simple. Ed Stefanski is an ass clown that hired his pal Eddie cause he does not know a damn thing about running a team. Jordan and Stefanski were both in the Nets organization from 1999-2003 when they went to the playoffs in back to back seasons. This was a safety pick for Stefanski and thought that Jordan could coast the team long enough for Stefanski to finish "How to run an NBA franchise for DUMMIES."
Jordan has a career 230-288 record (.444) and is the last living person that thinks the Princeton Offense can work in professional basketball. For those of you that don't know what the Princeton Offense is CLICK HERE. I did an earlier piece this year explaining it and how it has failed in Philadelphia due to personnel reasons. Needless to say the Princeton Offense is like a run and gun on crack. For it to truly work Reggie Miller needs to come out of retirement and play with a back court of J.J Reddick and Mike Miller.
Now that I got that frustration out lets talk about the people that contribute to the terrible play
Center: Samuel Dalembert; Jason Smith (Elton Brand)

I know every person in the country is sentimental toward Sammy D right now and this is understandable. In fact as it goes right now I have no beef with the 7 foot Haitian. He is playing out of his mind and recently has been averaging a double-double. He is still over paid (sorry its true) but right now he is playing with more life then ever.

*sidenote- I was going to add a Brittney Murphy joke (shes showing more life then the Sixers front court) but I felt it too soon.*

The problem with the center position is that Sammy is only playing 25-30 minutes a game. So when he sits they either have to bring in Elton Brand to play the 5 or god forbid they bring in Jason Smith. We think things are bad, imagine what would happen in Jason Smith had to start for this team.

The main problem at the center position is that Sammy is a bit of a stick and when it comes to game when he has to face a larger more bully center (Nuggets games were a perfect example) Sammy gets manhandled and easily boxed out from the offensive glass. Denver had 22 second chance points and most of those came from Nene.

Front Court: Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young, Elton Brand

For the last month Eddie Jordan has committed to Andre and Thad as his starting forwards, typically Thad at the 3 and Andre at the 4. This combo has seemed to work and with Elton Brand coming off the bench and taking up a lot of minutes as the sixth man the forward position has become a little more reliable. The problem is this. Neither Brand nor Iguodala have the makeup to be the top forward for any team in this league. They are meant to be secondary players as complementary to more high profile power forwards.

Ever since he was drafted out of Arizona there has been this weird syndrome that has swept through the Sixers financial department that causes them to pay him ridiculous amount of money to be a mediocre forward. Andre is young and talented but he is no where near a franchise player.

As for Thad Young. He is a young talent and still raw. The problem is the coaches have no clue how to develop young players. Thad can crash teh boards but is still just a young large forward that tends to get into foul trouble and still cant get an offensive board. No to mention he takes way to many three pointers. At his age Thad is going to be a 14-15 ppg. 5.5 rebound player until he can develop with a vetran forward.

Now lets get to the supposed "Veteran Forward" the team spent so much money on. Elton Brand makes too much money for a player past his prime. That's right PAST HIS PRIME. He took the money that Philly was offering and got injured. Now when he has flashes on his former self (17-of-20 games off the bench with a double-double), every runs for the Maybe Card. Listen I am as guilty as the next guy. When he can get a double-double off the bench and shoot over 50% I will give him his credit but he was not the investment the higher ups promised us and for that I say shame on you front office SHAME!!!!.

The one good thing I have to say about Brand is this. He knows what he is and is not the type the thinks he can somehow develop and outside shot or be an all star. Elton takes high percentage hook shots and when he is not in traffic can be a hug producer and eat minutes for this team, and for a team with limited depth this is crucial.

Backcourt: Lou Williams, Allen Iverson

It is still kinda funny for me to write about the Sixers and include the name Allen Iverson but hey tha's the crazy events that have made this season memorable. When the season began the Back court was a mix match of Lou Williams Willie Green and Jrue Holiday.

For Allen Iverson the season began a bit differently. After a short yet memorable tenure with the Memphis Grizzlies in which he: got hurt, bitched, shot 40 times a game, complained, got hurt, then bitched again, Iverson was permitted to leave the team and subsequently released. After this event and the injury to Lou Williams that sidelined him for 6 weeks it seemed as if it was a aligning of the stars for an A.I. return.

In one of the top Allen press conferences in history (that didn't involve practice) Allen cried, showed signs that he was completely stoned and professed that he was happy to finally be "Home". The season was falling apart and no one was in the arena to care but A.I. returned and for some reason people felt like a 40 year old point guard could help a team that was sinking faster then the titanic.

Even after fracturing his jaw Lou Williams was still the undisputed champion of the Sixers backcourt. Most players after having your mouth wired shut would be hesitant toward running in the lane but Lou is a different type of player. If any player should be the face of this franchise is should be sweet lou.

Lou is averaging 15pts and 5 asst per game and even though he is not piling up the stats hes the point guard and hes not meant to be the scorer. It was even made clear in the preseason when Jordan explained the "Princeton Offense" concept that if it was to be successful it would be in Lou's hands. As a young kid (4th year out of high school) Lou plays with composure well beyond his years. So if there is one thing to take out of the first 41 games is the Lou is here to stay (as long as he doesn't get a better deal).

For now the backcourt combo is solid. Iverson is getting you 15-20 a game (in his usual 30 shots a game) and Lou seems to be in command of the offense. So this is something to take a look at cause If there is a distinct problem with this team it really isn't the backcourt.

*Sidenote: On Examiner.com Sixers Examiner Andy Jasner wrote that he doesn't feel that the Sixers should have kept Iversons contract and given him the guaranteed 650,000 it would cost to keep him for the rest of the season..... YOUR RETARTED.... Take away the name and tell me you wouldn't take a 10 year vet that gets you 20 pts and 6 assist a game for only 375,000 (what the Sixers are responsible for after January 11th)... If you say no you have issues*

After thinking long and hard about this team I am come to the true reason this team is losing.....

Sixers Bench Players:

If I told you you had the choice between two players and I gave you stats age and potential what would you take.A 18 year old that had one year of college at a mid level program. He was a backup point guard that upon entering the league averaging 5 points and just under 2 turnovers a game where he averages 17 minutes a game.


A point guard that came from a National Championship winning power house. Strong basketball i.q that could immediately start for your struggling franchise. He comes into the league and in only 20 minutes a game averages just under 10 points and five assists a game.

Now lets play G.M.... who would you take. You would think a sane man would take option B (the pg from a national powerhouse) RIGHT?. Well if you were the Sixers and your franchise was circling the drain you would choose the ladder. The Sixers chose rookie Jrue Holiday as their first round draft pick in the 2009 NBA draft. To choose the 18 year old Holiday the Sixers passed up IMPACT PLAYER Ty Lawson and allowed him to immediately go to the Denver Nuggets and contribute.

Holiday is like a step child brought in the middle of a really messy divorce. Its not his fault he entered the draft but guess what ladies and gents were stuck with him. Holiday is the beginning of the issues on the Sixers bench but I put him first cause well hes going to be a problem for a while so I wanted you guys to know what were dealing with.

Off the Bench

The Sixers have a few options when it comes to bringing shooter off the bench. You would think seeing their off-season moves and the fact that they are trying to run the Princeton Offense that a three point specialist would be the first off the bench... then again that would be logical and this year logical just isn't their game.In the off-season the Sixers picked up former Raptor and 3pt specialist Jason Kapono to help a team that ranked last in the league in three point shooting.  Kapono was the ideal forward guard combo to help a team that was not only lacking in experience but perimeter talent. unfortunately Kapono is so far back on the bench he is sometimes seen selling water ice during time outs.

Coming off the bench for the Sixers as a backup guard has been Rodney Carney. Rod has been mildly public with his dislike for the offensive strategy of head coach Eddie Jordan and it has shown with him only being seen about 10 min a game in the games Jordan allows him to make an appearance (either slop time or injury time). He has become a suprise in close games from outside the arch. Carney can be very streaky and when hes hot can be an ideal cooler knocking down 3's and hitting clutch free throws.

Among the other rag tag contributors are Marresse Speights and Willie Green. Both are hybrid guards that have become substantial contributors. both have averaged around 25-30 minutes and can be counted on for 10 points and around five assists a game. Not huge contributors, if they wernt in Philly they would be 5-10 minute guys but given their circumstance they have shown mounds of potential.

The rest of the slop time is taken by the previously mentioned Jason Smith and the rare yet comical appearances the Sixers saw from Primoz Brezec at the beginning of the season. So as you can see the team is not really assisted by depth, more or less its like a middle school dance. All the awkward wallflowers sitting there with no one courting them yet every once in a while they get there shot. stumble over their feet and make us all laugh (I dont care if you liked that reference I was a wallflower so I reserve right for ridicule).

Tonight begins the beginning of the second half of the Sixers season. Oddly enough they are taking on a division contender in the Dallas Mavericks. I expect things to stay the same. But hey every loss is getting them closer to a possible #1 draft pick. It has worked in the past (Bulls, Lakers, Celtics) maybe we could be next. It doesn't matter no one cares about basketball in Philly anyway (*Sigh*)

Love or hate its my opinion

Leave me your comments- Eternal Mulligan


Jan 20, 2010

Sixers fall to Blazers 98-90

This is an Examiner.com piece to read the original Click Here

For the Philadelphia 76ers losing and poor defense have become common place. This was very evident in their 90-98 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers tonight at the Wachovia Center. The Sixers (13-28) played mediocre but just as it has become the norm, failed to seal the deal in the fourth quarter. Andre Iguodala did all he could finishing with 23 points but lack luster defense allowed Portland to give Philly their second loss in as many games.

Trailing 71-68 going into the final quarter the Sixers came out flat allowing the Blazers to stretch their lead to as many as 10. Leading scorer for Portland was former Sixer Andre Miller who ended with 24 points on 8-of-17 from the field including a perfect 7-of-7 from the free throw line.

Samuel Dalembert had the games only double-double finishing with 10 points and 15 rebounds shooting 50% from the field.

It was not a stellar game for either side with Portland shooting 47% (36-76) from the field along with the Sixers who shot an equally dismal 43% (34-78).

Next up for the Sixers is a visit from Southwest division leading Dallas on Friday night. Game time is set for 7 p.m.

Jan 14, 2010

Sixers winning streak "Knicked" in the bud

This is an Examiner.com piece to read the original CLICK HERE

Coming into tonights game against the New York Knicks the Philadelphia 76ers had a few things on their mind. Besides the fact that the team was on the verge of their first winning streak of the season it was a night of heavy hearts for Sixers fans and players.

Sixers center Samuel Dalembert is the only present NBA player born in the country of Haiti and was playing tonights game with many issues on his mind.

"We continue to contact people to make sure they are safe. We just ask that you keep the people of Haiti in your prayers" stated Dalembert in an ESPN internview earlier in the day. Dalembert player as if he had the fait of the entire nation on his back ending the game with 12 points and 21 rebounds.

It was a tough game for the SIxers as they went to the half with a one point 48-47 lead. The third quarter was much of the same as the team shot a dismal 9-of-25 from the field and allowed the Knicks to tie it 68 all after three.
The game came down to the final possession as Knicks center David Lee sunk a bank shot with 13.3 remaining giving the Knicks the 93-92 lead that sealed the SIxers fait.

For the Sixers Allen Iverson finished the game with 16 points and five assists and Dalembert finished with a double-double finishing with 12 points and an impressive 21 rebounds.

Just as predicted the Knicks were lead by another stellar outing from center David Lee who ended the game with 24 points and 9 rebounds.

Next up for the Sixers is a visit from the Sacramento Kings on Friday night. Game time is set for 7 p.m.

More Resources:
Box Score


Jan 13, 2010

Sixers v. Knicks Pre-Game

This is an Examiner.com piece to read the original CLICK HERE

With football season over and over two months until pitchers and catchers report to spring training Philadelphia fans need something in the world of sports to keep them occupied and in my opinion there is no better option then the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Sixers will attempt to do something tonight that they have not achieved this season and that is a winning streak. 37 games into the season the Sixers have yet to find their identity but with the increased presence of a ever evolving front court the Sixers have begun to play with a sense of stability not seen since last years playoff run.

Sixers examiner Andy Jasner reported earlier today about the increased presence of Samuel Dalembert but I believe that a lot has to be said on the play of Sixers sixth man Elton Brand. Since he began coming off the bench Brand has finished 17 of the 18 games with double figures and has become one of the most consistant scorers on the Sixers.

Tonight the team takes on the New York Knicks who have been a delightful surprise in the east. The Sixers have been lucky in their most recent wins against the free falling Pistons and the woeful Hornets but tonight will be a true test of the makeup of this team.

With all this talk of Dalembert and Brand this brings us to the key to the Sixers getting a win tonight. Knicks center David Lee has been one of the leagues hottest centers and has become a double-double machine. The way the Sixers dictate his play will go a long way to a victory.

Check back to Examiner.com for halftime updates and as always check out me on Twitter


Jan 11, 2010

McNabb: "The Situation"

Well everyone just like clockwork it happened. The Eagles lost in the playoffs and the consistent McNabb hating has begun. For a non football fan but a Philadelphia sports fan this is the most comical time for me. This time of year is like watching a junkie relapse year-after-year-after-year. Two weeks ago everyone was talking Superbowl and now all everyone wants to do is fire Reid trade McNabb and start from scratch.... The question I have for you is why has it taken this long to realize this.

The Reid McNabb combo has been in Philadelphia for just over 11 seasons and had produced 5 NFC East Championships and 1 Superbowl appearance. They have undoubtedly had the strongest combination in Philadelphia history and McNabb is hands down the best quarterback in franchise history. These are inarguable facts.

Here are also some inargueable facts. As of week 17 of the 2009 season McNabb has a career 86.5 career QB rating and has thrown 100 interception to only 216 touchdowns and has not made a pro-bowl since 2004.

Funny stats considering in the NFL the average career last from 2-4 years. Obviously quarterbacks have a longer career streak, maybe around 5-6, which would explain why he hasn't made a pro-bowl since 04.

Listen I will not claim to know football but I do know sports statistics and with a player that has dropped off like McNabb did after the 2004 Superbowl most teams would cut ties and run for the hills. But ladies and gentlemen this is Philadelphia and we tend to think with our hearts more then our minds. This city is infamous for holding onto washed up players praying for another chance of glory. We think that because they have done it in the past that somehow they will do it again. For McNabb this is not the case.

To make my argument fair I wanted to look at his season stats to make sure that I wasn't speaking out of tone but then I looked at the numbers and saw something pretty baffling. Donovan was 267-of-443 (60.3%) passing for the season with hands down his strongest group of receivers then ever.

He was sacked 35 times for a loss and lost his team 264 yards because of his legendary happy feet. Everyone blames this season on his offensive line and yes that does have merit. They were banged up and never gave McNabb protection so that he could have the time in the pocket he typically needs to be productive.

Beyond that it was not the season you would expect for an 11 year veteran. You would expect a guy that would be willing to put the team on their shoulders and win games themselves. (something that has never been his strong suit.) The thing that deceives most Eagles fans is their record this season. Yes they made the playoffs and yes they has a winning record but has anyone really taken the time to look at their record and look at the teams they played. After I looked at it there are a few things that stand out:

1. No wins against playoff teams: Average record teams they beat was 7-10

2. 4-of-5 losses were against playoff teams: All but the Raiders (hehe) are still playing after the opening round.

3. The Eagles beat 1 winning team: Atlanta (9-7)

Just like last year when they made an incredible run the Eagles did not belong in the playoffs and were ousted just like they should have been by a far superior Cowboys team. (even for me that was hard to write).

After 11 years in Philadelphia I am hoping that fans will finally start looking at the numbers and realize that Donovan is not getting any better as time goes on. Fans need to realize that for the last two years this team has not deserved to be in the playoffs in the first place and they have been lucky to get in. The only thing this team is doing by holding onto this glimmer of hope with McNabb is hurting them salary wise. Right now this team is building with a lot of young talent that sooner or later are going to have to pay to keep around and with 5 in the lineup it is going to get harder and harder to hold onto.

The team needs to find a way to start over. Hell for two games this season the guy they drafted as McNabb's eventual replacement dropped 391 & 327 yards respectively. Yes Kolb played two terrible teams but guess what so were the Eagles.

In sports there is a time of average turnover when a team needs to assess their future and move forward with their goals. The team has done a good job with this in the draft with pics like Maclin, Jackson and McCoy. The team is building an offense of the future yet for some reason they are oblivious to the fact that they already drafted a future quarterback a few years ago. Why they don't do anything with him I will never know. For those of you that look at this situation they say that they don't know what they are getting with Kolb and that's why they don't want to get rid of McNabb look at other teams and think about how they handled the situation.

The Favre Factor:

I think everyone in Philadelphia will agree that Brett Favre is a lot better of a quarterback then Donovan McNabb. Favre is a guaranteed hall of famer and can still get the job done. The Packers (looking toward the future) drafted Aaron Rodgers as Brett's eventual replacement and let him sit on the sidelines from 2005-2007 then when they felt it was time they made the move. They could have held onto the glimmer of Favre but they decided to look towards the future and give the ball and the reins of Packer nation to Rodgers.

Now lets look at how that has worked out for them. In two years as the starting quarterback Rodgers has thrown for over 4,000 each year and took his team to the playoffs this year. Yes they lost to the Cardinals last weekend but it was a lot better of a showing then the game the birds put up.

Listen I am not saying this is what is going to happen but just like anything you never know until you try.

The Andy Reid Era / Bill Cowher Factor:

Now I don't want to blame the current situation of the Eagles on Big Red cause frankly I like the guy. He seems very down to earth to me and I really think that he could bring a Superbowl trophy to Philadelphia.

Reid has been here for 11 seasons and among NFL coaches has one of the longest tenures. Since 1990 there have been six coaches to lead there teams for over eight seasons. Among those coaches are Jeff Fisher (Tennessee), Bill Cowher (Pittsburgh) and Tom Coughlin (Jacksonville).

Out of them only Bill Cowher has won a Superbowl. Jeff Fisher has gotten close with the Titans and it took Coughlin until he went to the Giants to win the Superbowl. Cowher is an interesting story because he was only the second coach in Steelers history.

Also he took the reins after Chuck Knoll left in 1992 and it took him until 2006 to finally win the big game. Now Cowher had many different qb's at the helm and it was not until he took a young kid to reinvigorate his team to finally win the big game.

See where I am going with this. I like Andy Reid and I would be completely fine with him staying around for a while. Hell he is still under contract until 2013 so why not get our monies worth. I really feel as an outside fan that Reid could do it for the Eagles but, just like Cowher, I feel that it will take a change at qb to finally get it to happen.

Final Resolution:

Donovan McNabb is the best quarterback in Eagles history. He has lifetime numbers but has never won a Superbowl and frankly he will never do it for this city. Just like many players it may take a big move to make it happen. Before Donovan came along many people argued that Randall Cunningham was the best Eagles quarterback ever yet not many people realize that he had some of his most successful season away from Philadelphia.

For a player to win a Superbowl the stars need to align and the right player needs to be in the right situation. Donovan McNabb is not in the right situation in Philly, and Andy Reid won't win one with McNabb under center. This is my plea as a non eagles fan to make a change for the future.


Love it or hate it let me hear it. Eternal Mulligan Email

Sixers get a "WIN" 104-94 against woeful Pistons

This is an Examiner.com piece to read the original CLICK HERE.

It seems that there is a common trend evolving on many of the Philadelphia 76ers wins this season. If you come in with a losing streak or a team full of injured players the Sixers will play like a team possessed, somehow let you get back into the game, and if the stars align the Sixers will win.

This anecdote is exactly what happened Saturday night as the Philadelphia 76ers downed the Detroit Pistons 104-94 at Detroit's Palace of Auburn Hills. The Pistons came into Saturdays game on an 11 game win-less streak. Most of this was due to the fact that for most of the losing streak the team was playing without the services of perennial all-star's Tayshaun Prince and Richard Hamilton.

Getting both of those players back into the lineup helped but Saturday night nothing was going to stop Elton Brand and the Philadelphia 76ers. Brand was one of six Philly players to end in double figures and his 25 points were a game high. Once again Brand came off the bench logging just under 30 minutes of playing time.

All five starters for the Sixers (11-25) ended in double figures including Samuel Dalembert who ended with a respectable 16 points and nine boards.

The Pistons (11-24) were lead by guard Ben Gordon who ended with 20 points off the bench and achieved an NBA milestone at the 3:51 mark in the second quarter by scoring the 10 millionth point in NBA history. This would be the only memorable moment for the Pistons who only scored 30 points in the first half and allowed the Sixers to stretch the game to as many as 29 early in the third quarter.

The win helped the Sixers get back on track after going 3-1 in their previous four games.

Next up for the Sixers is a visit from Chris Paul and the (19-16) New Orleans Hornets. Game time is set for 7p.m.

Sidenote: If you have paid attention to the Philadelphia media there has been an influx of public outcry against Sixers management, specifically that of general manager Ed Stefanski and his recent front office dealings as well as the sporadic in game actions of head coach Eddie Jordan

For any Sixers fan there are a few articles that I would like to make you aware of. Sixers beat writer Kate Fagan did an excellent piece on her Deep Sixer blog entitled Piecing it together talking about how their is no flow to the in game management of Eddie Jordan and how it is destroying any semblance of consistency for the team. SportsNetwork.com NBA editor John McMullen was extremely critical (albeit needed) of general manager Ed Stefanski in his Sixth Man column. I have even had my reservations on the offensive strategies of the Sixers in a article I entitled System Failure on my blog Eternal Mulligan.

All three of us agree on one thing, there is a problem with this teams operations. Whether its Stefanski or Jordan or both something needs to be changed.


As always send me your comments to the Eternal Mulligan

Jan 7, 2010

The Ultimate NBA Arcade

So just like many sports fans many parts of my christmas included items that were based around my passions: pop culture and professional sports. Since I am now trying to act like a grown up I got a lot of the typical items: clothes, housewares, socks... but with the comeback present of the year came my sister Amy with the sports fans present of the year "The Book of Basketball" by. Bill Simmons. Ive been a huge fan of the sports guy for the past 3 years and was eagerly anticipating this book but held out because I knew someone in my family would be wise enough to buy it for me.

Reading the book there is one concept that I think everyone should be aware of. Simmons believes that the NBA and its associatied bodies should demolish the Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass and build a new colesisum in French Lick Indiana. Whether you have an opinion on this subject is your own opinion but after reading all of his ideas for what to have in the hall I feel that there is one thing missing from the list. Sure they need a better organized hall, clever restaurants and even a ginormous gift shop (seriously it should be like an IKEA) the one thing I realized that the sports guy missed was a place for kids... So here is my idea for the ULTIMATE NBA ARCADE...

After much debate and laughter and many tossed out ideas here is my list as the top potential NBA related games for the NBA Arcade.

1. Ron Artest / Jermaine O'Neal Punch Out...

Now every die hard NBA fan remembers the "Malice at the Palace" when Ron Artest ran through the fans hitting everything in sight. Similar concept accept it would be like one of those standing boxing games where you would be either Artest or O'Neal and you would be fighting fans wearing Pistons jerseys most of them looking like Turtle from Entourage.

The game would be based on a time clock, you only have so many minutes to hit as many fans as possible and have to avoid beer and other things be thrown at you as you rampage through the stands. After a successful knockout you could take a shot a hennessey and regain all your strength. Man I love the NBA this stuff practically writes itself.

2. Shaq's free throw machine

This would be your standard arcade style basketball shooting game accept the rim is smaller then the ball so no shot could possibly go in. This thing could even design itself. You could decorate it with all the different team logo's Diesel has worn (Magic, Lakers, Heat, Suns, Cavs). Hell after each shot you could have a video screen on the game that shows video clips from Kazaam. Also the sound track is already made. Does anyone remember Shaq Diesel... That thing had grammy written all over it. Also if by some grace of god a shot does go in (which just like in real life rarely happens) You can hear the infamous "Kobe hows my ass taste" sound clip.

I swear Mattel should pick up on this shit.....

3. Gilbert Arenas "Shoot Em Up"

This would be on the lines of a Time Crisis or House of the Dead arcade games where you are the lead character, in this case Gilbert Arenas wearing a Washington Bullets jersey (irony anyone), you travel around the Verizon center looking for Javaris Crittenton and in the process you have to shoot all those that get in your way. (most looking strangly like David Stern).

Also to make this game fun for all their could be a two player version where Arenas teams up with Delonte West, donning a guitar case and a sawed off shotgun. Damn this stuff is just too funny to be true.

Sometimes as a fan you have to appreciate the simple things in life...

4. Dennis Rodman Dress-up

This game is designed for the young female NBA fan. What little girl dosent love playing dress-up. In this game its pretty much like that scene in clueless where Cher picks out her clothes on a computer screen. The girls could mix and match top and bottoms and create the best costume for "Hot Rod".

After the ideal costume is picked it would be superimposed over Rodman and shown on the screen in one of his craziest public apperances. In the final stage the player would get to accessorize the legendary wedding gown Rodman wore. The game could feature voice overs from Carmer Electra because god known we need to find a way to save her career.

5. The Ultimate NBA Trade Machine

These would be like those bar style touch screen table top games. Its the popular ESPN classic accept with a few stipulations. There would be levels where trades would be suggested to you by former general managers and you would have to decide whether the trade was worth it or it would cost you your job. (If Isaiah Thomas ever shows up remember to deny). The goal is to trade as many players and make you team as much money as possibale before losing your job.

A popular feature to this game would be a yearly tournament around the hall of fame inductions where within a 72 hour period people could submit their best what if trade and the most successful trade would be put into place. This would draw fan attention and prove that even an idiot knows that Eddie Curry isnt worth a first round pick.....

So these are my top 5 choices for the ULTIMATE NBA ARCADE. Some other ideas that were trashed in the creatve process:

Charles Barkley: The Game: You would play as Charles's assistant and help him avoid jailtime and bookies all while trying to avoid being strangled by the Round Mound of Rebound.

Name That Afro: This game is for the basketball historian in the family. Simple head shots of afro's from the 60's 70's and ABA days. it would be like Who Wants To Be A Millionaire where you would have lifelines and could win prizes for correct guesses.

GM Whack-A-Mole: Same as the traditional game but instead of mole it would be bobble head like replicas of former GM's and players from their most infamous trades. (i.e. Sixers former gm Billy King, Samuel Dalembert, Elton Brad, Iguodala, hell add coach Eddie Jordan, I for one would love to beat the shit out of that guy).

Kobe Bryant "Rape and Run": Its like an electronic shuttle run, you would run from the hotel in Colorado to the jewelry store to buy a consolation ring all while being beaten by the media. Its like a mad dash with short stops trying to fix your public image (health meter).

Just a thought. I for one would be lined up all day to get into the NBA ULTIMATE ARCADE....

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Jan 6, 2010

Irony: Sixers lose "shootout" to Arenas and Wizards

This is an Examiner.com piece, to read the original CLICK HERE

Another close game, another heart breaking loss for the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers began the home stint the same way they began their recent road trip, with a loss to the Washington Wizards.

After a strong first half the Sixers went into halftime with a 14 point (58-44) lead. Coming out of the break the team went flat allowing Washington to get within two at the end of the third (80-78). The reason for all of this.... Samuel Dalembert.

I know this seems crazy but in the first half of Mondays loss to the Wizards Sammy D had 12 points and 10 rebounds yet for some reason only played 5:35 of the third quarter as the Sixers allowed Washington forward Antawn Jamison to work them in the paint ending the third with 16 points and seven boards. The reason for this problem... Terrible clock and player management.

Not only were they flat in the third but in the final stanza the team shot a dismal six-of-17 from the field in pace to a 17 point fourth quarter.

Once again when it came down to crunch time Eddie Jordan did not have the right personnel on the court and when Washington made their surge, the players that could help heed the surge were sitting on the bench watching it happen.

The Sixers (10-24) had three players end the game in double figures including the before mentioned Samuel Dalembert who ended with 20 points and 20 boards. Andre Iguodala finished with a 20 point six rebound and eight assist night and guard Lou Williams finished with 19 points including 50% from three (3-6).

The reason for Washington's win was Antawn Jamison, whom beyond his 16 point third quarter finished with a game high 32 points and a team high 14 boards. Also for Washington was guard Gilbert Arenas who ended with an non-tradition double double ending with 19 points and 14 assists just hours before the news he is indefinitely suspended due to his pending gun charges.

The Wizards (11-21) swept the season series with the Sixers and prevented coach Eddie Jordan from getting revenge on the team that fired him after a 1-10 start last season... The real question is, did Washington know something Philadelphia doesn't. Apparently so.

Next up for the Sixers is a visit from the 17-18 Toronto Raptors. Game time is set for 7pm.


Jan 4, 2010

Eagles Lose: Anyone Suprised


Final Score: Dallas 24; Eagles ZIP

Wikidictionary defines a "Cluster Fuck" as: A chaotic mess that might be compared to group sex, in which participants are so intertwined and intermingled that they might penetrate each other rather than their intended target. Its more precise usage describes a particular kind of Catch-22, in which multiple complicated problems mutually interfere with each other's solution. The looser usage, referring to any chaotic situation, probably prevails.

This is a very loose yet appropriate definition of the shit storm the Cowboys put on the Iggles last night. Not only did the Cowboys win the game, and the NFC East, THE EAGLES MADE TONY ROMO LOOK LIKE TROY F&%KING AIKMAN.

This game was a terrible display of football with Donovan McNabb being constantly thrown around like a ragdoll. I know what everyone is going to say. We wont lose to the them again. Now its the Playoffs... yadda, yadda, yadda.

This is another example of the pattern of bad behavior that Eagles fans have sat through in the last decade. Yes the Eagles made the playoffs, they will get a rematch against the Cowboys but now getting to the big dance is going to be ALOT tougher. People give the examples of how the Steelers and Giants went on the road throughout the playoffs and won the Superbowl. These things did happen but they have a huge and I mean HUGE disparity to the team that is currently suiting up in Eagles Green. THEY HAVE A F*&KING DEFENSE.

The Eagles couldnt pass protect worth a damn and when it looked like they could possibly contain Miles Austin (which they didnt) the Cowboys played bump and dump against the pass rush and gave the ball to Jason Witten. Throughout the entire game the Eagles added none of the traditional pressure they are known for. I loved how in the pregame people were talking about this as a blowout and how it was going to be a repeat of the last end of the season matchup against the Cowboys. Hell in a column I wrote after the Giants beatdown I even said the same thing. (Read Here)

Things are going to end very very VERY badly for the Eagles and for that I am sorry. As a moderate Eagles and NFL fan in general this all dosent resenate with me that much but I really do feel bad for the dissapointment coming to some very close friends of mine.

Even if the Eagles make it past the Cowboys they will have to face either the Saints or the Vikings. Both of these games will not end well. Brett Favre is determined to end with a title and Drew Brees is playing a huge mind fuck with the NFL just waiting to drop a 40 berger on their next opponent.

So Eagles fans be prepared for another chapter in the book that is the Philadelphia Eagles under Andy Reid, but hey atleast we know one thing for sure. They will be making sequels to this until 2013. Maybe John Cusack is right and the world will end. Atleast then Eagles fans can end this misery.


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Why Philly Fans Are The Greatest

This photo is brought to you by PrestonandSteve.com. If you are a fan of the Eagles post game show on Comcast Sports Net you have noticed radio personality Kathy Romano doing some live feeds at Chickie & Pete's. Adding into the background of the image is a lovely (yet intoxicated) Eagles fan donning the newest fashion in Philadelphia. "The Huge Dick Towel". Ladies and Gentlemen I give you the future of fashion.


A True Rocky Mountain High

This is an Examiner.com piece to read the original CLICK HERE

The Philadelphia 76ers finished off their six game road trip Sunday night as they defeated the Denver Nuggets 108-105 at the Pepsi Center. The win gave the Sixers a split on the trip and gave Allen Iverson his first batch of redemption as he helped take down the team Philly traded him to in 2006.

The key to the Sixers (10-23) walking away with a victory was a heavily depleted Denver Nuggets roster. Denver played without the services of perennial all-star's Chauncey Billups and Carmelo Anthony and had one of their defensive leaders Chris "Birdman" Andersen leave the game with a high ankle sprain midway through the second quarter.

Making up for the holes in the lineup was Nuggets rookie point guard Ty Lawson. Lawson, whom the Sixers passed up in this years draft, finished with 23 points and 9 assists and was 8-13 from the field. On the contrast, Sixers rookie Jrue Holiday shot 3-4 from the field finishing with eight points in only 11 minutes.

Leading all scorers was Denver (21-13) center Nene Hilario. Nene ended with a game high 24 points and 15 rebounds.

The Sixers held on for the win after leading by as many as 16 before a late Denver comeback. Philly scored the first seven points in the fourth quarter and held Denver cold for over five minutes while Philly stretched their lead to 15 at the 10:16 point in the fourth quarter.

Sixers guard Allen Iverson finished with 17 points and seven assists in his return to Denver as a member of the Sixers. Iverson was a real key to the Sixers offense and has helped open up the floor for fellow starters Lou Williams (12 points) and Samuel Dalembert (6). Dalembert's six points does not seem impressive until you notice that all three dunks were scored off of Iverson assists. Sammy went 3-3 from the field and showed signs of improvement on the defensive end boxing out opponents.

A real strong development for Philadelphia during this road trip was their perimeter shooting. Guard Rodney Carney has continually shot over 75% from beyond the arch off the bench and last night was no exception with Carney shooting 3-4 from three finishing with 11 points.

Forward Elton Brand had another strong night off the bench finishing with 16 points and seven boards. Brand played 35 minutes off the bench and has really adapted to his role as the Sixers go to sixth man.

Next up for Philadelphia is a visit from the Washington Wizards to the Wachovia Center. Head Coach Eddie Jordan will attempt to get his first win against the team that fired him after a 1-11 start last season. The Sixers will also attempt to redeem themselves from the 98-105 loss they suffered to Washington on Dec. 22nd.


Jan 2, 2010

F*%K... Third Time Isn't A Charm

This is an Examiner.com piece to read the original Click here

So I know it was wishful thinking but it really seemed possible that the Sixers could win three games in a row. Then I realized that no matter what they are still the Sixers.

In game 5 of their current six game road trip the Philadelphia 76ers fell to the L.A. Clippers 104-88 at Los Angeles' Staples Center. Despite causing the Clippers to commit 20 turnovers the Sixers failed to convert and had one of the most dismal shooting nights in some time ending with a disgraceful 32-85 from the field.

The Sixers (9-23) only finished with three players in double figures. Lou WIlliams had a team high 19 points on six-of-13 shooting and had to get them playing all but seven minutes of the game. This was a stark contrast to the upstart Clippers.

The Clippers (14-18) had all five starters finish in double figures including forward Chris Kaman who ended with another double-double with a game high 26 points and 10 rebounds. Kaman is the highest scoring center currently in the NBA

The Sixers led 51-49 at half but came out flat allowing L.A. to go on countless 10+ point runs.

Philadelphia forward Elton Brand finished with 17 points as well as six rebounds and two steals in his return to Los Angeles Brand played for the Clippers for seven seasons before coming to Philadelphia in 2008.

Next up for the Sixers is their road trip finale in Denver when they take on the 21-12 Denver Nuggets. In their first meeting the Sixers fell to the Nuggets 93-83 on December 7th.

Sixers Get Royal Treatment

This is an Examiner.com piece to read the original CLICK HERE

For the first time since Halloween the Philadelphia 76ers manager to win two games in a row Wednesday night as they topped the Sacramento Kings 116-106 at Sacramento's ARCO Arena.

Philadelphia (9-22) shot over 50 percent for this first time in their current six game road trip and capitalized on 19 points off of turnovers. The Sixers we given a huge boost by excellent perimeter shooting finishing nine-of-16 from beyond the arch.

The Sixers finished with six players in double figures including 14 from Rodney Carney who in only 15 minutes knocked down four three pointers in a 10-2 Sixers run.

The team benefited by another stellar night by the starting guards. Allen Iverson finished the game with 20 points and three assists in 30 minutes of play. The real surprise was Lou Williams who continues to regain his touch on the basketball after returning from a fractured jaw. Williams finished with 22 points and helped open up shots for his team mates with strong drives to the lane.

For the Kings (14-17) it was another strong evening for forward Donte Greene. Greene finished with a Sacramento high 21 points and pulled down six rebounds. Also dropping in 21 for the Kings was Israeli rookie Omri Casspi. Casspi went eight-of-14 from the field and grabbed 9 rebounds.

The Kings kept the game close but it was obvious they were in desperate need of Tyreke Evans who missed the game with a right ankle sprain. Evans has been one of the most productive rookies in the league this year and is averaging over 20 points and five assists a game.

The Sixers are now 2-2 on their current six game road trip. Tonight they will take on the L.A. Clippers to finish off a back to back then they will finish at the Denver Nuggets on January 3rd. The Sixers lost their initial meetings with the Clippers 112-107 in a overtime thriller the game before their current road trip and fell to the Denver Nuggets 93-83 on December 7th.