Not since that dude shot a bottle rocket across the 700 level of the Vet back in ‘97 (I think) has there been an incident as ridiculous as the one at the Flyers’ game Saturday: Someone threw a homemade smoke bomb (not purchased at a store!) onto the ice after a Flyers’ goal was waved off in OT.
The Flyers are really pissed, talking about canceling season tickets and whatnot. Also, ha ha, here is the description of the suspects:
The description being released is of two males about 6 feet tall. One is described as an African-American wearing a white Flyers jersey and a white male also wearing a Flyers jersey, with his face painted.
A white Flyers fan and a black Flyers fan. With those descriptions, we’ll find ‘em in no time.
Pat Burrell sometimes comes to the plate while Dirty Laundry” plays; after he homered last night to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead, the PA played “You Dropped a Bomb on Me.” Apparently, music about Pat Burrell can only be from 1982.
The best part of Burrell’s homer, though, was watching the fans dive into the flower bed above the left field wall to retrieve the ball, as frightened fans looked on. That one kid’s pretty well hidden! I bet he could have hung out there for the day and popped up in time to watch Game 2.
Bobbi and Garry Adair of Montgomeryville were on a down elevator last Sunday at the Westin in Center City – he in a Phillies shirt, she in a Donovan McNabb Eagles jersey – when the door opened.
In stepped Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (left) and her security guys. Palin wore a New York Rangers sweater with “Palin 08″ on the back.
Bobbi Adair greeted the veep candidate and asked what she was up to.
Going for a run, Palin replied.
“Not in that shirt you’re not,” Adair says she told her.
Which explains why Palin jogged in a green No. 5 jersey, topped by a pink cap. News anchors later praised her sartorial sense.
I can’t believe the Adairs. Could you imagine how funny it would be if Sarah Palin ran around Philadelphia for a photo op with a New York Rangers jersey on? It’d be front page news for weeks. And the team the Flyers play opening night? Of course: The New York Rangers.
Will Bunch is predictably hilariously upset about all of this: “Flyers fans should be outraged — even conservative ones, because this misuse of a hockey game for his political agenda is flat out wrong.” That’ll be five minutes for misuse of a hockey game.
After Brad Lidge struck out Gregor Blanco to put the Phillies into first place last night, it finally dawned on me: The Phillies actually have a shot at the postseason again.
That’s unprecedented — for me, at least. The Phillies haven’t made the playoffs in consecutive seasons my entire life. Last year’s shocking run to the NL East title always kind of seemed like a fluke. Sure, the Phillies were good, but coming back from 7 down with 17 games to play was a once-in-a-lifetime sports moment. It was like 1993, a year when everything fell into place (or all the players were on the best performance enhancing drugs, take your pick). The Phillies finished last the year before and next-to-last the year after.
For most of my life, they’ve been awful, out of it by mid-June, a team where no-names compete in front of empty seats for the second half of the season. The Phillies haven’t been that team since 2001, though, posting winning records every year but one (80-81 in 2002). Their players are stars and future Hall of Famers (well, Chase Utley at least). This year, they’re (jinx alert!) a near-lock for the playoffs all of a sudden. They should be good for the next several years, if they can get some pitching.
It’s taken nearly a decade for this to sink in, but the Phillies are good. Let’s try to enjoy the next 11 games — and hopefully a bunch more. The Mets are a half-game back in the division, the Brewers are a full one back in the Wild Card. Nobody can score enough runs to put the Phillies away. They can conceivably win every game they play.
Every year in late July, a group of millionaires known collectively as the Philadelphia Eagles head up the Northeast Extension in their giant custom SUVs, hyperbaric chambers strapped to the top. The destination: Lehigh University, in Bethlehem, Pa., birthplace of Jesus and home of Eagles training camp. Well, actually, it’s Lehigh’s “Murray H. Goodman Campus,” which is like 40 towns over from where all the academic buildings are.
Almost every year, the mood going into training camp is kind of sour. A player or two is holding out (this year, it’s Shawn Andrews for unknown personal reasons) and a bunch of players are unhappy with their contracts even though they’re not holding out.
The only reports from training camp that grab anyone’s attention are injuries; there’s not much fan interest in who’s going to end up the right gunner on punt coverage and there’s really not that much writers can do besides describe the day’s big hits over and over.
I scream at the TV screen whenever Charlie Manuel bunts with a perfectly good hitter in a stupid spot in May. By August, I can barely handle them. I can’t take six weeks of training camp injury reports with the only real news being updates on the “important” fullback battle. Oh, boy! Another whole month of this.
First there was “Dallas sucks, T.O. swallows.” Then “Dallas sucks, Romo’s a homo.” (Har.) And now, it’s official Tony Homo jerseys.
What’s amazing is this actually got printed. Remember when the NFL wouldn’t print “Gay” on the back of a custom jersey despite having at least one player with that last name. Is it an official NFL.com jersey, or are there bootleg “Tony Homo” jerseys out there?
Brand appeared headed back to the Clippers to team with ex-Warriors guard Baron Davis; the 76ers, though, cleared cap room by trading Rodney Carney and Calvin Booth — ha ha, somebody traded for Calvin Booth — plus a future first-round pick to the Timberwolves for a $2.8 million trade exemption. (What an exciting transaction!) Marc Stein writes that Brand also wanted to go East, where the centers are not as tall and the teams are not as good.
Shockingly, Brand’s surgeon says Brand’s injury — he missed almost all of last season while recovering from surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles’ tendon — is nothing to worry about. Reminiscent of the Phillies’ trade for a closer who came to his first press conference on crutches, the 76ers have signed a player coming off an injury. On the plus side, the Brad Lidge deal has worked out pretty well so far.
Cheer up, Phillies fans! Not only has your team scored thirty-five runs in the past two games, but it appears your hearty boos over 125 years of the franchise has actually paid off. So, uh, rather: Get angry, Phillies fans! Boo anything you can think of!
The idea that a team’s passionate fans helps a team win — or, rather, helps a team avoid long losing streaks — comes from superb baseball writer Joe Posnanski. While he goes over the league-leading 11 losing streaks of eight games or more by the Kansas City Royals since 2002 — 9 since ‘04! — he notes that only three franchises haven’t had a losing streak of eight games or more since then: Yankees, Red Sox and (!) Phillies.
Yes, somehow the Fightins haven’t lost over a week’s worth of games since Terry Francona skippered eight straight defeats in late August and early September of 2000. (It wasn’t a September swoon, as the Phillies weren’t even above .500 all season; that team had both Ron Gant and Desi Relaford.)
I wonder if the booing fans, the angry media, the intensive talk shows, the angry Internet boards — I wonder if these things keep the players a bit more on edge. I’m not saying this can make the players BETTER over the long term — I’m not saying boos can turn a 73-win talent into an 89-win team. But we’re not talking about that — it only takes one victory to break a losing streak. And maybe in the angriest towns there is a heightened sense of awareness when the losses start to mount, a greater sense of agitation, a feeling like, “Um, we better freaking go out and win a game already or it’s going to get really ugly around here.”
I’m not one to take a throw-it-out-there blog post — where the author writes, “I suspect that if someone did study it they would find there’s nothing to it” — and treat is as gospel, but… wait, yes I am. Okay, Philadelphia fans, let’s all use this as an excuse to boo the players mercilessly after a single loss. After all, we wouldn’t want them to go into a two-game losing streak.
Guys, get this! Sometime “a generation or so ago” something simply horrendoushappened in Philadelphia, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Dave Molinari:
He might have a valid point, but in a city that celebrates the hostility of its sports fans — remember, these are the folks who, a generation or so ago, generated national headlines by booing Santa Claus — chucking popcorn hardly seems to constitute an act of wanton violence.
OMGZ! Who knew?! It’s amazing that his column also references The O’Jays, whose only #1 hit was five years after Eagles fans threw snowballs at Santa. “Love Train,” I will note, was on Philadelphia International records.