Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Last night I had great seats a few rows behind the Nats dugout on the first base side. As I settled into my seat, I noticed some commotion behind me concerning a plush novelty item one of the Nats fans just purchased. At first my heart skipped a beat because, yes, it was the one and only Phillie Phanatic! But, behold my awestruck eyes, I saw a very different Phanatic:
Excuse me? Excuse me? But did a Nats fan dress up the best damn mascot in all of professional sports in a Nats jersey, jacket and cap? True, it could have been worse--it could have been Expos gear. This sight was especially unsettling because of what the hockey playoffs brought the Rocky statute back home.
But what a sacrilege for a Phillies fan! We don't go around taking Screech and dressing him up in a Phillies jersey. The Phanatic DOES NOT, I repeat DOES NOT support other teams, only the Phillies. Period. Also, what the hell does a "NATtilly attired Phanatic" mean? Am I missing some play on words here?
After a 1-0 victory over the Nats, and a cooling of the blood in my veins, it was suggested that I should be honored to have other teams try and take the Phanatic as their own. Is anyone else buying this? I certainly am not.
And that's the triple-truth, Ruth!
Monday, March 31, 2008
In celebration of the start of the Phillies season today, I thought I would flood the intertubes with some Phillies goodness from my personal collection.
I was in Philly this past weekend and went to the "Baseball & America" exhibit at the National Constitution Center. I highly recommend it. They brought many, many artifacts from the Hall of Fame Museum in Cooperstown, New York; so if you don't plan on heading to Cooperstown in the near future, but live near Philly, you should surely go. While there, I saw that they had LP singles of such baseball hits as Philly's own The Intruders' "(Love is Like a) Baseball Game" and Terry Cashman's "Talkin' Baseball (Willie, Mickey & 'The Duke')." So it got me to thinking about an LP I had stowed away at home involving the Phillies. I would like to share it with you all, especially considering there is nothing about this item on the internet.
Back in 1976, as a promotion I suppose, the stars of the Phillies cut a record at Grand Prix studios in Philly. It was a two-sided single with the A side being "Phillies Fever," and the B side the instrumental of the same song. It was sung by Larry Bowa, Mike "Hot Corner King" Schmidt, David Cash, Greg "The Bull" Luzinski and Garry "The Secretary of Defense" Maddox. With the current year in mind, you will notice the funky disco beats that drive the song. There is also some interesting dialogue between the players. You even have the current stadium announcer, Dan Baker, introducing the quintet. Enjoy!
"One of my very first baseball collectibles was a 33 vinyl record that was put out by the Philadelphia Phillies in the late 1970s entitled "Phillies Fever." I forget what was on the B-side, but the song itself was not too good. It was performed by then-Phillies Larry Bowa, Dave Cash, Mike Schmidt, Greg Luzinski and Garry Maddox. I enjoy this collectible because of the person who gave it to me and the relationship we had. Back in my old neighborhood in Philadelphia there was an elderly man, Mr. Seawagon, who lived around the corner from us. He always used to talk Phillies with my dad. One day, still a young lad at the age of 11, after thinking I had enough information and ability to keep up with him in a conversation about last night's game, I headed over to his house to talk ball. That was the first of many visits. Mr. Seawagon always left his front door open for me to come in, sit down, and talk about the Phillies. He also told me old stories about baseball in Philadelphia at places like Connie Mack Stadium. I gained a great deal of knowledge about the team from that man. One day, he was awaiting my arrival with a gift: the "Phillies Fever" record. He told me he had no use for it and, after spouting out statistics of the various artists on the LP, gave it to me for safekeeping."
So do you have Phillies Fever too? If so, I heard the only prescription is more (David) Bell. Ok, sorry for that one.
And that's the triple-truth, Ruth!
Monday, March 10, 2008
Heading into the Big East Tournament, Georgetown is riding on the momentum of its revenge defeat of Louisville to close the season, and clinch the season Big East Title. The Hoyas have now won back-to-back Big East regular season titles, the first time a team has accomplished that feat since the expansion of the league to its current size.
Big East teams are unlikely to be intimidated by the Hoyas success, as a few, (Louisville, Syracuse, and Pitt) have already knocked off the Hoyas. The Hoyas biggest problem is their suspect guard play. They have tremendous problems bringing the ball up the court, with reserve guard Jeremiah Rivers still learning how to dribble. One would think with a father who played basketball and is a basketball coach that you would learn how to dribble well enough just to bring the ball up the court, but Rivers looks like his hands are covered in KY. When Rivers is playing on offense, its a lot like drafting Kevin Kolb, WHY????
God has clearly demonstrated his preference of Georgetown this year. Gtown is undefeated in games decided by three points or less. This includes Roy Hibbert 7'2'' making a 3-pointer against UConn, and several wins with very questionable calls. Against West Virginia Ewing got away with goaltending on what would have been the game winning shot. Against Villanova, 70 feet from the basket, Jonathan Wallace received an incredibly lucky phantom foul, where there really was no foul, and made the game winning free throws. Against Marquette, Ewing clearly charged at the end of the game, but instead the Marquette player was charged with blocking to put Ewing on the line. A few seconds later, Wallace got to go the charity stripe for three free throws when he appeared to be clearly stripped of the ball. Wallace and Ewing's free throws put the game into OT.
Who can stop Georgetown? Well, almost all the top 9 teams in the Big East Tournament have a decent shot of beating Georgetown. Georgetown plays the winner of the 8-9 Syracuse-Villanova game. Both Syracuse and Nova have to win the 8-9 game in order to have a shot at making the NCAA tournament. A win over Georgetown would seal the deal for either team. Nova would love to have revenge for the phantom foul call in DC. The prospect of playing Syracuse is much worse for Georgetown. Syracuse crushed Georgetown in upstate NY, and was up by 7 with 3 minutes to go before falling to Georgetown in DC. Flynn, the star Orangeman, requires Georgetown to give Rivers, the team's defensive specialist, a lot of minutes, which means lots of turnovers while bringing the ball up the court. Although, Georgetown will face the same problem while trying to guard Scottie Reynolds of Villanova.
If Georgetown gets past the 8-9 game, they will likely face UConn. UConn has been the surprise team of the Big East, with a 10-game winning streak in the middle of the season, and closing out the regular season with a 45-point shellacking of Cincinnati, another Big East Tournament participant. Before UConn got hot, Georgetown had to win with a 3-pointer for Center Roy Hibbert. Hasheem Thabeet dominated Roy in that game, with several authoritative blocks. The Huskies showed their lack of depth when Thabeet was out of the game, and Roy could dominate.
In the finals, Georgetown will likely face the winner of Notre Dame-Louisville. The Hoyas are built to beat a team like Notre Dame. The Hoyas have athletic forwards to guard Harangody, and Hibbert can stop him from going to the rim. The Irish don't have athletic enough guards to exploit Georgetown's suspect perimeter play. Louisville will be the biggest challenge. Louisville creamed Georgetown at home, and almost pulled off the upset this weekend in DC. Georgetown matches up well with Louisville, as the Cardinals' guards aren't athletic enough to exploit Georgetown's weak ball-handling skills.
Of course, in any game, if Roy gets into foul trouble, the Hoyas could be quickly eliminated. If Vernon Macklin, who somehow was a McDonald's All-American, sees any meaningful minutes, every Hoya fan will burn their diploma. Macklin can't play defense, can't dribble, can't pass, and can't put the ball in the rim from a couple feet away. And if he ever makes a free throw, I think LJ Smith might catch a pass.
Sort of looks like a 1993 flashback, in fact--that is, if Curt Schilling really let himself go.
The article shows how Ryan Howard and Daly have a mutual respect for one another and what they have done in their respective sports. Sheridan does a decent job of pointing out similarities, but I think in the end Howard will be better known for what he has done in his sport.
And that's the triple-truth, Ruth!
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Friday, February 22, 2008
Last night I had an opportunity to report on another first-hand experience. Editor of Deadspin, Will Leitch, came to the Barnes & Noble here in the Georgetown section of Washington, DC. He was promoting his new book God Save the Fan (brief preliminary review below). Because of its lack of Metro accessibility, I mostly goto Georgetown only to watch Eagles games at Rhino Bar; however, Will seemed like a cool guy, and I needed a new book to read.
I have never been to a book reading and/or signing before. Frankly, I find the literary type intellectually snobby, with vague interpretations of characters and themes being the only thing to back up their "genius." But I digress. This event was quite the surprise: I enjoyed the reading Will put on, which was much like something I would find on an improv stage. He then took some questions from the audience, most of which you could tell came from those who read Deadspin. Here are some highlights of the evening:
- Due to tempting happy hour deals at a nearby drinking establishment, I thought that with showing up 15 minutes after the scheduled start time, I would be late. Will decided to take my 15 minutes and raise me a whole 45. He blamed Amtrak and a delay due to an attempted suicide on the tracks. No joke. It was probably Mitt Romney realizing that he should have never bailed out of the race.
- In an effort to reach out to the 3% of the city who still supports Bush and his administration, Will admitted that the best way to deal with lawsuits, lawyers, and legal dilemmas is to simply ignore them.
- Apparently, many bloggers/commenters were in attendance. Shout out to The 700 Level fellas who I recognized there. Overall, however, the DC stop seemed to be the best-attended so far.
- AJ Daulerio (aka "The Balls") definitely has a cult following. With Will's presidential ambitions, he would make a great VP... or possibly Secretary of Smokey Tornadoes.
- Will, when signing a copy of his book for me, was very friendly and approachable. I am sure if I asked him to go parasailing with me, he wouldn't turn me down. Yes, I am speaking to you, Matt Drudge!
Finally, I started to read the actual book. It is a great read. Will takes an interesting view on how Americans view their athletes, or at least should. It is comical and an easy read. Go buy it.
And that's the triple-truth, Ruth!
Friday, February 08, 2008
The Eagles announced today that they placed a franchise tag on the last place spot in the NFC East. The last place spot was scheduled to become a free agent, but the Eagles will now pay top dollar to retain their spot. Usually the basement is relatively cheap, but the Eagles don't want to do this on the cheap, like they normally approach personnell decisions.
There is no way to spin this. There is no possible way to understand why the Eagles would put a franchise tag on LJ Smith. First of all, he's absolutely terrible. The Eagles should have plenty of video to see how awful he is. He flat out can't catch. Its not like he played for another team, and the Eagles feel like his potential hasn't been tapped into. He's been playing for the Eagles. Second, he's an injury liability. That might be the excuse for his sucking, but either way, he still sucks. In an offensive scheme where rhythym between the TE and QB is so important, why would you want a crappy injured guy there, who never develops rhythym with the QB?
What's amazing, is that this means the Eagles have to pay him a lot of money. LJ would have accepted next to nothing, and was anticipating not being resigned. Bad tight ends don't expect a lot of money. Now the Eagles may have to pay him the average of the top 5 TE salaries. LJ is not one of the best 5 tight ends. Just off the top of my head Gates, Shockey, Crumpler, Cooley, Witten, Winslow, Gonzalez, and the Eagles own Schobel are better. If I looked at the stats, I'm sure he wouldn't even crack the top 10. Why don't we use that money to go get another tight end, or draft one? WTF WTF WTF!!!!!?????
Reid's explanation: "L.J. Smith has been a very productive tight end in our offence," coach Andy Reid said in a statement. "He is healthy and working his tail off so he can have a very successful 2008 season."
NO NO NO NO NO! He has never been a productive tight end. He is always expected to have a break out year, and he never does. His lack of production is why the Eagles were awful in the red zone, which is why one of the best offenses in the league couldn't get into the playoffs. NO NO NO NO NO!
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Well the theory advanced by Attytood got another boost today. The WaPo writes about a bill Specter introduced this week that would allow places of worship to show football games on big screens. A House version of the bill will be introduced by former Skins QB Rep. Heath Shuler (R-Ga.).
Apparently, the NFL sent letters to churches planning congregational gatherings which were to show the big game on a big screen. The letters said that such gatherings violated copyright laws and threatened legal action. Federal copyright law exempts restaurants/bars from showing NFL games to large audiences on large screens, however, churches are not exempt. To fix the situation, this bill would effectively treat houses of worship like houses of spirits.
I honestly have no opinion about the merits of the bill. Catholic churches don't really show football games, so it would not affect me in any way (we Catholics will stick to our bingo games, thank you very much!). Moreover, the law is the law, so if federal statutes are in place to protect the copyright interests of the NFL, then so be it. And, no matter what happens, I am sure padre will continue to make the joke that we should make every Sunday a 'Super Sunday.'
I just find it fascinating that Specter keeps going after the NFL. I don't feel bad for the NFL, but doesn't this guy have anything better to do than make sure synagogues aren't making money off of showing the Super Bowl? Don't we have some time until the next Super Bowl to deal with this as opposed to piling on to the NFL? Senator Specter, please stop or next year all we will have to watch around this time of the year is the Puppy Bowl.