Friday, October 31, 2008

Cole delivers Letterman's Top 10

L.J. Smith out Sunday

Status Report



G Shawn Andrews (back), TE L.J. Smith (concussion)



WR Jason Avant (trap)



WR Reggie Brown (groin), WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder), DE Juqua Parker (knee), RB Brian Westbrook (rib, ankle)

2009 NFL Mock Draft

courtesy of

Ahead of the Curve

First Round Mock Draft - October 30, 2008 * underclassmen

1. Cincinnati - Michael Oher - OT - Mississippi
2. Detroit - * Matthew Stafford - QB - Georgia
3. Kansas City - * Michael Crabtree - WR - Texas Tech
4. San Francisco - Malcolm Jenkins CB - Ohio St.
5. St. Louis - James Laurinaitis LB - Ohio St
6. Seattle - Michael Johnson - DE - Georgia Tech
7. Oakland - * Jeremy Maclin WR - Missouri
8. San Diego - Clint Sintim - LB - Virginia
9. Miami - * Tim Tebow - QB - Florida
10. Minnesota - * Vontae Davis - CB - Illinois
11. Houston - Aaron Curry - LB - Wake Forest
12. New Orleans - Rey Maualuga - LB - Southern Cal
13. Cleveland - * Chris Wells - RB - Ohio St
14. Jacksonville - * George Selvie - DE - South Florida
15. NY Jets - * Taylor Mays - FS - Southern Cal
16. Arizona - * Knowshon Moreno - RB - Georgia
17. Philadelphia - * Andre Smith - OT - Alabama
18. Denver - Alex Mack - OC - California
19. Atlanta - Eugene Monroe - OT - Virginia
20. Chicago - Brian Orakpo, - DE - Texas
21. Washington - Tyson Jackson - DE - LSU
22. Baltimore - William Moore - FS - Missouri
23. Indianapolis - * Greg Middleton - DE - Indiana
24. Carolina - * Ricky Jean-Francois - DT - LSU
25. Tampa Bay - * Percy Harvin - WR - Florida
26. Green Bay - * Jermaine Gresham - TE - Oklahoma
27. Detroit (Dallas) - Alphonso Smith - CB - Wake Forest
28. New England - Brian Cushing - LB - Southern Cal
29. Buffalo - * Myron Rolle - SS - Florida St
30. Pittsburgh - Duke Robinson - OG - Oklahoma
31. New York Giants - * Darrius Heyward-Bey - WR - Maryland
32. Tennessee - * Greg Hardy - DE - Mississippi

Thursday, October 30, 2008

No one else cared about the World Series

The World Series was the lowest rated ever.

The series averaged 13.6 million viewers, down 14% from the last five-game series in 2006. Compared to last year, the Series was down 20%. Among adults 18-49, the Series averaged a 4.4 rating, down 21%. The Series also included the lowest-rated game ever -- Game 3 was the least-watched Series outing since Nielsen started tracking the Championships in 1968.

"This World Series got off to a solid start last week and was poised to build momentum as we expected it to," said Fox Sports president Ed Goren. "The rain delay on Saturday and suspended game on Monday, combined with going only five games, obviously worked against the Series reaching its maximum viewership potential."

"But even with that," he added, "Fox was No. 1 most nights, posted some of its best nights in many weeks and was No. 1 last week in prime time."

Same old Sixers

Philadelphia, PA (The Phanatic Magazine) - No one noticed. After all, there was some pretty big things going on across the street. But, the Philadelphia 76ers opened up their 2008-09 season Wednesday.

And it wasn't just any opener. Two of the most improved teams in the Eastern Conference (supposedly) met when Toronto came to town and faced off with the revamped Sixers.

To accommodate the fans, the Sixers moved up the starting time of the game by an hour, so that everyone could get somewhere to watch the Phils clinch the World Series.

The Sixers were of course the last Philadelphia team to win a title when Cheeks teamed with Julius Erving and Moses Malone to form one of the greatest teams in NBA history during the 1982-83 season.

Things haven’t exactly gone smoothly for Philly's basketball team since then and the last time the franchise felt this optimistic entering a season, Hall of Fame power forward Charles Barkley was throwing his weight around the basket.

'The Round Mound of Rebound' last played with the Sixers during the 1992-93 season and the team hasn't had a real inside presence since.

Enter Elton Brand. Brand was pedestrian in the opener but still recorded a double-double and he will be as advertised.

The rest of the team? Unfortunately, it's the same old Sixers. They can't shoot the three and they don't defend it.

The Raptors abused the Sixers from beyond the arc in an alarmingly easy victory and the two shooters Ed Stefanski brought in -- Kareem Rush and Donyell Marshall -- spent most of the night watching things from the $1,000 dollar seats.

Cheeks' rotation was certainly a head-scratcher and Willie Green continues to pile up undeserved minutes.

It's not time to panic in Philly but I would enjoy that Phillies championship. The Sixers won't be adding to it.

Flyers get Gratton from Nashville

The Philadelphia Flyers acquired 6’2”, 215-pound forward Josh Gratton from the Nashville Predators in exchange for defenseman Tim Ramholt Thursday and assigned him to the Phantoms.

Gratton, 26, recorded two goals and three assists for five points and 10 penalty minutes in seven games for the Predators’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals, this season. He was signed as a free agent by Nashville on July 9, 2008.

He split the 2007-08 season between the Phoenix Coyotes, San Antonio Rampage (Phoenix’s AHL affiliate) and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack. He was scoreless in one regular season game for the Coyotes. In 58 AHL regular season games, Gratton registered 11 goals and 15 assists for 26 points and 196 penalty minutes.

In 67 career NHL regular season games over parts of three seasons with the Flyers (2005-06) and Phoenix (2005-06 through 2007-08), Gratton posted three points (2G,1A) and 237 penalty minutes. He was scoreless in three regular season games for the Flyers during the 2005-06 season. He was traded by the Flyers, along with Florida’s second round pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft and Tampa Bay’s second round pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, to Phoenix in exchange for Denis Gauthier on March 9, 2006. He was originally signed as a free agent by the Flyers on July 27, 2004.

Ramholt, 23, was scoreless in seven games for the Phantoms this season. He was acquired by the Flyers from the Calgary Flames in exchange for Kyle Greentree on June 30, 2008.

What Now?

Philadelphia, PA (The Phanatic Magazine) - When Eric Hinske swung over another nasty Brad Lidge slider, it was over.

Like Steve Carell in the 40-year-old virgin, Philadelphia and the Phillies finally scored.

The well-chronicled 25-year drought (28 for the Fightins) was over.

So now what?

In one fell swoop -- did the city become Boston?

Will Philadelphia fans, known for their brashness and the ability to love without precondition, turn into the same type of haughty fans they have always despised?

Will WIP, built as the original whine line/suicide prevention service, need a government bailout to survive?

Will fans forget that Donovan McNabb puked in the Super Bowl?

Will they give Andy Reid and Jeffrey Lurie a break?

Will Ed Snider slink off into the sunset while lamenting his own curse? After all, poor Ed has really been trying to win you all a championship for over 30 years.

Will the Sixers ever learn to defend the three-point line?

When will Paul Holmgren realize the coach he found in the Walmart clearance aisle is broken?

Did anyone wake up this morning and think the Phillies ownership group isn't all that bad?

Or will they count this as a 10-year pass and play Florida Marlins?

Does Pat Burrell walk and satisfy the ladies in an American League city?

Do the Phillies balk at another huge Ryan Howard raise in arbitration and trade the slugger to a team with more famous pinstripes?

(Closed circuit to Howard Eskin and Bill Conlin) Does Charlie Manuel now understand that pesky double-switch?

Why is Frankford and Cottman the party epicenter of this city?

Did McMullen escape South Philly and the Sixers game before Armageddon hit?

Does anyone realize Barack Obama and John McCain are two of the worst presidential candidates in American history?

Who knows and who cares.

For once, Philadelphia is a champion...Enjoy it.

One victory, one column 25 years in the waiting

By Jeff Glauser
The Phanatic Magazine

I’ve been waiting 25 years to write this. And now that the time has come, I’m not sure how to do it. It just feels a little too surreal right now.

But I’ll give it my best shot; just start typing and see what comes out…

You see, the world makes a little bit more sense today.

There's finally a rewarding destination at the end of this painful journey filled with heartbreak and disappointment. And now the sun shines a little brighter today. Hell, the sun is actually shining today period, which is miraculous in and of itself lately!

The scene that I witnessed last night, outside of Citizen’s Bank Park at 10:00, in the madness of the surrounding parking lots at 11:00, mingling with thousands of elated people, drunk on life as well as beer, wandering aimlessly down Broad Street toward City Hall, well into the early morning hours, giving and receiving hugs and high-fives to hundreds of strangers, people from all walks of life whom are more accustomed on most days to wallow in their own self pity… well, it was something that even the greatest writers could struggle to put into acceptable words.

It was also something that, up until then, I’ve only viewed secondhand, on TV, wistfully wishing, wanting, waiting… and as the years turned to decades, it began to feel that this viewpoint would be the one fated for me for eternity.

But, suddenly, the demons have been exorcised. The Curse of Billy Penn can rest in peace. The ’64 Collapse, Whiz Kids, Wheez Kids and Black Friday no longer sting as much for the older folks. For me, Mitch Williams is now completely exonerated, and years from now will be known more for his outstanding baseball analysis in town than for his misplaced, soul-crushing pitches. Hell, Joe Carter can have his glory now, too.

And in one night, one victory which will culminate in one incredible party this Friday, can be dedicated to many who have trudged through this interminable path along the way.

This one is for Brett Myers. A hot prospect with a wicked curve frustrated fans for years by not living up to his potential, both on the field and off. Finally finding his niche as a reliever went short lived when the starting rotation remained short on talent. Came back as the Opening Day starter, a de facto ace, he struggled once more, this time to such an extent that he was forced to swallow his pride – as well as an enormous piece of humble pie – and head back to the minors. The struggles continued there and Myers essentially was deemed a non-factor in the forthcoming push for the playoffs.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the finish line: The Myers we always knew existed but never were convinced could perform, did just that. And then some. His heart finally overcame his head.

This one is for Jimmy Rollins and Pat Burrell. The two with the longest tenures here. Drafted while the franchise was still in laughing-stock mode. The identity of this team through thick and thin – both cool, calm and collected, with the occasional burst of enthusiasm.

And for Pat the Bat, as disappointing as his tenure here may have been at times, his last at-bat in a Phillies uniform may have occurred last night, and if it did, it was only two inches away from being poetically ideal – a thunderous blast which was ironically held up by the winds in the alleged band box of a ballpark, settling in for a double which would eventually set up the Series-winning run.

This one is for Ryan Howard, who has endured a love-hate relationship with the fans from the first time he put on the Cursive P: Love the raw talent, hate the nonchalant approach. Love the homers, hate the strikeouts. Love the clutch hits, hate the klutz defense. But in the end, love conquers all, and we love the fact that he took part in turning the team into champions.

This one is for Cole Hamels. It’s funny to say that, for a guy who was the bar none best pitcher on a championship team yet only had 14 wins in a full season, that it was a certain victory each time he stepped on the mound, but that’s how it felt. And the postseason may just have been his coming-out party, the moment when he went from very good to historically great.

This one is for Jamie Moyer. As we speak, I’m certain that Disney is in the process of buying the rights to his story. Jamie got to take part in both of the two World Series championships in this team’s 125 year history – one as a spectator, the other as a contributor. Never one with dominating stuff, he’s somehow lasted 22 years and well over 200 victories at the big league level. And at 45 – almost 46 – years old came one of his better seasons. “Invincible” and “Rocky” have nothing on him.

This one is for Brad Lidge. Written off as damaged goods after serving a deflating home run in the National League Championship Series, the man with the devastating slider was predicted to never be the same again. In his first season with his new team, his fresh start, he was simply perfect. Literally. Not one blown save.

In fact, this one’s for all the relievers. For how many years was this crew deemed to be the Achilles’ Heel? Instead, they were more solid this season than the Gibraltor-esque statues of Schmitty, Whitey, Robin and Lefty which linger outside the Bank.

This one is most definitely for Charlie Manuel. Say what you want about Uncle Cholly (and I’ve certainly said my share), but it turns out that he was the perfect man for these players. He masterfully brought together a group of fragile egos, even as he struggled to master proper syntax. An amazing contradiction to the MENSA applicant sitting in the opponent’s dugout during the World Series, Charlie proved that substance truly does win out over style in the end.

But, most of all, and most selfishly, this one is for us, the fans. And the fact that the deal was sealed on our home grounds was only right.

It’s also for me, personally.

You see, on Oct. 31, the day of the largest parade that’ll ever be thrown, will mark 25 years to the day that I moved to this area. Yes, Oct. 31, 1983 was Day One of the ghoulish suffering I would come to bear as a fledgling, 6 year-old brand-spanking-new Philly sports fan, a fourth generation one at that.

And now Halloween will no longer be as scary.

However, both sides of my family dating back to great grandparents have called these grounds their home. And when my father brought he and his family back to his native dwellings after years away, it was a chance for him to relive his passion for Philly sports – a passion he passed on to his son – up close again.

Memories of watching and playing baseball with my dad are some of the most vivid I still have left of him. In 1987, four years after moving back to the Delaware Valley, he passed away, and never did have the opportunity to celebrate a World Series with his son.

So yes, this one is for my dad, too.

And generations before him, to boot. It’s very likely my father’s father’s father had felt the pain I felt, and cried in his Prohibition beer after another disappointing loss at the Baker Bowl.

But now those tears have dried. Now there is a dawn to a new day, a new era. Now a city which has long suffered, long carried the burden of being labeled in such ways as “loser,” and “disgruntled” bears a new brand to wear proudly on its chest:


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Eagles injury report

Practice Report

Out (Definitely Will Not Play)


G Shawn Andrews (back)

Did Not Participate In Practice


TE L.J. Smith (concussion)

Limited Participation in Practice


WR Jason Avant (trap), DE Juqua Parker (knee)

Full Participation in Practice


WR Reggie Brown (groin), WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder), RB Brian Westbrook (rib, ankle)

Wolves extend Foye

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced that the team has exercised the fourth-year option on guard Randy Foye.

Foye, the seventh overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft out of Villanova, appeared in 39 games for the Wolves last season after missing the season's first three months while recovering from a knee injury. A member of the NBA All-Rookie Team in 2007, Foye averaged 13.1 points, 3.3 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game last season.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sixers move up home opener for World Series

The Philadelphia 76ers today officially moved the start time of their home opener against the Toronto Raptors at the Wachovia Center on Wednesday, October 29 to 6:00 p.m. (from the scheduled 7:00 p.m. time) in anticipation of a World Series game being played at the South Philadelphia Sports Complex on Wednesday, October 29.

"We moved the start time of our home opener to 6:00 p.m. to allow our fans an opportunity to attend our game and to be able to see the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series," said Lara Price, Senior Vice President of Business Operations.

The AT&T Pavilion at the Wachovia Center will remain open after the Sixers game late into the evening for fans to watch the baseball game with half-price domestic beer specials and delicious food, including Chickie's & Pete's world famous Crab Fries and chicken tenders. After the Sixers game, access to the AT&T Pavilion will be free and open to the public.

Two Wins. What Do You Want, a Parade?

by Bob Herpen
The Phanatic Magazine

So, last weekend was great for fans of the orange and black.

Two wins over the New Jersey Devils, on back-to-back nights, no less. The
first two wins of the season after six in the tank.

I bet you think they've turned the corner. That enough heat has come off John
Stevens and that his job is suddenly secure.

Think again.

It was inevitable, the wins. Whether it happened on Friday in New Jersey or
Tuesday against perennial punching-bag Atlanta or next Sunday against
Edmonton, there would be a 'W' posted, maybe several in a row. That's
just the nature of a bloated 30-team league. Ebb and flow at unexpected times.

I have to laugh at the suggestion that two victories over the Devils,
including one that snapped an oh-for-four-year streak on the road, is any
positive referendum on John Stevens' ability.

Remember, last year's club was just as deceptively streaky. The only
difference thus far is that this year's model chose to start the year with six
in the loss column rather than waiting until just before Christmas to hit the

Sure, there's a better than average chance that win number three is going to
happen at Philips Arena tonight.

After 10 consecutive wins over the Thrashers, no reason to believe that the
11th isn't forthcoming. That would create the deceptively egalitarian record
of 3-3-3 for the Flyers with one more game before October concludes.

But the fact remains that the team's "star" forward is gone for a month. Two
of the defenseman counted on to carry some significant minutes are out long
term. And, of course, the coaching staff is the kind which most likely will
not be able to squeeze much blood from a shrinking stone for long.

We've already seen the first couple chapters of "Coaching for Dummies" cracked
open. There have been demotions to the minors and radical line switching.
Any further losses and then the benchings follow. After that? Nothing. Paul
Holmgren steps in to do what his hires cannot.

Isn't that a clear indictment of the coaches, that the general manager has to
step in before the first month is over?

The threat was there as of Thursday night, that if a win was not forthcoming
changes would be made. Now two wins in succession are enough to call off the

Moreso than the numbers, is the club's repeated inability to play a full
contest. Sleepwalking through last Tuesday's first period cost them the San
Jose game. On Friday, at least they got the bad period out of the way in the
first, and turned a 3-2 deficit into a 6-3 result.

Jersey came back and controlled the game for long stretches in the second and
third period after Philly went up by one. Had it not been for a fluke
deflection, we'd most likely be talking about one point on Saturday for a

It's clear by now that the M.O. of the club will not change as long as
Stevens, Craig Berube, Joe Mullen and Jack McIlhargey are in charge. You can't
try to solve your problems by simply working harder within the system.
Want proof? Ask Bill Barber.

All that's left is to take each win as it comes, whenever it comes, and hope
that Holmgren is allowed to make the right choices at the right time.

Keep Waiting...

There will be no baseball tonight.

will announce they will not resume Game 5 of the World Series tonight at a 2:00 p.m. press conference.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Philly's S.D. Jones passes away

Conrad "S.D. Jones" Efraim passed away Sunday in his native Antigua after suffering a stroke this past week.

Efraim, 63, was a popular preliminary wrestler (jobber) for the World Wrestling Federation. He most recently appeared with the WWE, inducting former tag team partner Anthony "Tony Atlas" White into the company's Hall of Fame.

Jones was the top star among enhancement talent during the 70s and early 80s before the company went national and was billed as "Philadelphia's favorite son."

His most famous match on a national level was at the inaugural WrestleMania, when he lost to Atlantic City native Chris "King Kong Bundy" Pallies in nine seconds.

DMac to introduce Phils starting lineup tonight

Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb just got done filming the Phillies starting lineup for tonight's World Series Game 5.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Philadelphia's finest hour is at hand

By Steven Lienert

The Phanatic Magazine

Philadelphia sports fans have a rare opportunity over the next three days.

They have the chance to will one of their teams to a world championship.

The Tampa Bay Rays come to town for Games 3, 4 and 5 of the World Series and I'm quite certain they have no idea about the cauldron they are about to walk into.

You see, in the first two rounds of the MLB playoffs, the Rays had to go through the White Sox and Red Sox, both of whom have won a world title in the past few years. It was different for those fans before they won their titles – they were hungry, hurt, frustrated, angry.

When they played the Rays, they were sated.

Needless to say, Philadelphians are pretty f-in far from sated.

That was clearly evident in Game 2 of the NLDS, when the fans intimidated CC Sabathia and the home plate umpire as Brett Myers worked a walk. It was Burt Hooton all over again, minus the middle finger after getting pulled.

I hate to do it, but I'll give Red Sox fans credit for setting the precedent. Let's face facts here: Boston was downright cooked after the Rays took a 7-0 lead in Game 5. The locker room attendants were putting plastic over the players' lockers so their clothes didn't get pummeled with champagne.

But the fans said 'Not today. Not on my watch.' The Red Sox clearly fed off their collective want and, perhaps most importantly, the Rays wilted.

The Rays bowed up in Game 7 because they were lucky enough to have home-field advantage.

Philadelphians, on the other hand, have built up 25 years of angst. One hundred seasons without a major sports championship. The frustration has been, and remains, palpable.

Fans at Citizens Bank Park, though, have the chance to vent all of that over the next three games. They have the chance to get in Matt Garza's head. They have the chance to heckle B.J. Upton, who's already a head case, to tears.

They have the chance to introduce a group of 25-year-old kids to manhood and, as most of us know, growing up can be a bitch.

On a side note, there's no way the Tampa Bay Bucs, Lightning and Rays can all win a world championship before any Philly team has. It just isn't right – I really think that would be the seventh sign of the apocalypse.

But I don't want to go there. One thing's for certain: Philadelphia will explode in victory or implode upon defeat.

For a rare moment in sports, fans can influence the outcome of a series almost as much as the players can. Bring 25 years of hate, angst, frustration, anger and disappointment with you to the stadium and let it rain down on the Rays and their front-running fans.

For Philadelphians, the next three days could be our finest hour.

Steve Lienert can be reached at

Phils - Rays a dud in national ratings

The ratings for the World Series on Fox featuring the Phillies and
Rays is down 19-percent from last year’s series between Boston and

Game 2 averaged a 9.2 rating/14 share from 8:30 - 11 p.m. to come in behind
the CBS lineup of Survivor, CSI, and Eleventh Hour.

Of course, in Philadelphia, the World Series is scoring big with a 30.7
rating/44 share for Fox29.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Cinderella? No - Happily Ever After Will Do

By Jeff Glauser
The Phanatic Magazine

This is not a special team.

At no point this season did I ever get that feeling that the 2008 version of the Phillies was going to take us where no area team in the past quarter century has taken us before.

There have arguably been more talented teams, deeper teams, since then. There have certainly been clubs with more personality (try to find more than a couple players on this roster who don’t have permanent bite marks on their tongues).

Last night was obviously not the makings of a championship team.

And you wanna know something? So freaking what!

If these guys find a way to somehow pull it out, will a big-ass parade on Broad Street be any less sweet because they never reached “Team of Destiny” status?

Hell no.

There is no need for rags to riches, fairy tales or soap opera dramas. In fact, the first two games of the World Series were, admittedly, boring for the most part (any time Eric Bruntlet and Carlos Ruiz are your offensive heroes – at ANY point – is never encouraging).

But that’s fine, too. Like a girl who’s been dating a guy with commitment issues for 25 years, we don't need excitement - we just need a ring. And we need it now.

(Upon further review, that wasn’t the manliest of analogies there. But again, so freaking what. Now I’ll digress.)

Not to say there isn’t a storyline here: The losingest professional team of the 20th Century versus the losingest team of the 21st. One World Series victor in 125 years versus one winning season in 13.

The fact that those obnoxious chumps from Boston are sitting home versus the fact that those phonies from L.A. have long since hopped off the bandwagon again.

It’s a sad state of affairs when we live in a town where its runners-up have just as much – if not more – folklore than its champs (See: ’93 Phils, ’01 Sixers, ’04 Eagles). Perhaps it’s because we need something to hold onto. If we can’t afford a nice pair of Oakleys, it’s still somewhat reassuring to wear a nice pair of Foakleys, right?

I must confess, though: It was extremely difficult for me to come to this conclusion. It was hard for me to become emotionally invested in a squad that never provided the stereotypical image of being a true contender, one with so many maddening shortcomings. And when the stars of the team always look like they wish they were anywhere but the Delaware Valley, that’s never a good thing.

But lately, my denial has dissipated. I’m thinking big picture now. It’s the end result which matters most, not the journey. If the ’93 club was mullet-and-personality free yet a Joe Carter longball was nowhere to be found, would we think any less of them? Au contraire!

After all this time I've come to terms that we don't need a special team. We just need a team that can make it to the Promised Land for the first time since Moses took us there.

After 25 years, we don't need a Cinderella story. We just need a success story.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sixers waive Reiner

The Philadelphia 76ers have waived big man Jared Reiner. He appeared in one preseason game for the Sixers, scoring 6 points in five minutes of play.

Reiner (6-11, 245) attended the University of Iowa and was not selected in the 2004 NBA Draft but signed as a rookie free-agent with the Chicago Bulls for the 2004-05 season. In two seasons with the Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks, Reiner has played a total of 46 games with four starts, averaging 1.2 points and 2.4 rebounds in 8.2 minutes per game. This past summer, Reiner participated in the Sixers entry in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, averaging 1.4 points and 2.2 rebounds. Last season, Reiner played abroad in both Spain and Germany.


No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. DOB From Years Pro

1 Samuel Dalembert C 6-11 250 5/10/81 Seton Hall 6

4 Kareem Rush G-F 6-6 215 10/30/80 Missouri 5

7 Andre Miller G 6-2 200 3/19/76 Utah 9

8 Donyell Marshall F 6-9 245 5/18/73 Connecticut 14

9 Andre Iguodala G-F 6-6 207 1/28/84 Arizona 4

12 Royal Ivey G 6-4 215 12/20/81 Texas 4

14 Jason Smith F-C 7-0 240 3/2/86 Colorado State 1

16 Marreese Speights F-C 6-10 245 8/4/87 Florida R

21 Thaddeus Young F 6-8 220 6/21/88 Georgia Tech 1

23 Lou Williams G 6-1 175 10/27/86 South Gwinnett HS (GA) 3

30 Reggie Evans F 6-8 245 5/18/80 Iowa 6

33 Willie Green G 6-3 201 7/28/81 Detroit Mercy 5

42 Elton Brand F 6-9 254 3/11/79 Duke 9

50 Theo Ratliff C 6-10 235 4/17/73 Wyoming 13

Head Coach: Maurice Cheeks (West Texas State)

Assistant Coaches: John Loyer (Akron)

Jim Lynam (Saint Joseph's)

Jeff Ruland (Iona)

Assistant Coaches/Player Development: Aaron McKie (Temple)

Bernard Smith (East Stroudsburg (PA))

Athletic Trainer: Kevin Johnson (Indiana State)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sharks Put Final Bite on Flyers in Wild Shootout Win

by Bob Herpen
The Phanatic Magazine

Joe Pavelski was credited with the winner while Jeremy Roenick notched the deciding goal in the shootout, as the San Jose Sharks kept the Philadelphia Flyers winless on the season with a 7-6 victory at the Wachovia Center.

Pavelski tallied first for San Jose while Mike Richards and Danny Briere failed on both attempts for the home team. Roenick fired the game-deciding score low to the glove side on Martin Biron, bringing a poignant end to the former Flyer’s return to the city.

“I think you look to the stats of last year, and we went with the stats of last year, [Pavelski] and I were one and two,” said Roenick of the shootout. “I might be an old goat, but sometimes the puck goes in the net.”

Roenick went 5-for-8 in the round last season, while Pavelski hit at a 10-for-14 clip for San Jose.

Patrick Marleau recorded four points on two goals and two assists for the Sharks, who recorded their most goals in any one game against the Flyers since arriving in the NHL in 1991. Pavelski added a goal and two assists as did Devin Setoguchi and Ryane Clowe. Dan Boyle also picked up a score.

Evgeni Nabokov won despite allowing a season-worst six goals in regulation on 29 shots.

Joffrey Lupul picked up his first two goals of the year and Scott Hartnell added a season-best three assists for the Flyers, who are the lone winless team in the NHL at 0-3-3 despite posting a season-high in goals. Briere scored the game-tying goal late in regulation while Scottie Upshall, Jeff Carter and Mike Richards each lit the lamp once.

Antero Niittymaki got the start but was pulled after one period for giving up four goals on 15 shots. Biron finished the contest by making 18 saves but was saddled with the loss.

“You score six goals that should be enough to win,” added Flyers head coach John Stevens. “You look at the games we played, there are a lot of games we have scored enough to win. I thought tonight we created a lot of opportunities offensively but it’s no secret, you get your goals against down, you win hockey games.”

With Philly on the power play and Biron on the bench for an extra attacker, Briere emerged from a goalmouth scrum with 1:05 left in regulation to lift the puck over Nabokov to produce a 6-6 tie.

The score capped a comeback for the beleaguered home club, which led 1-0 early but continually had to play from behind for the remainder of the contest.

Carter notched the game’s first goal only 51 seconds in, an unassisted short-handed tally with a little help from a deflection off a San Jose stick. Richards had been called for a hold after only 18 seconds played.

San Jose got the next two goals – both on the power play, coming 58 seconds apart. Pavelski’s easy tap-in from the left side of the crease at 7:42 was followed by Clowe’s first of the season at 8:40.

Richards then tied the score at 12:04, as he took a dish from Andreas Nodl, skated through the Sharks’ zone and floated a wrister through a screen. It was the first NHL point for the youngster, called up from the AHL’s Phantoms on Tuesday.

Marleau’s first of the game at 15:45 gave the visitors the lead, but Upshall slid a rebound through Nabokov on the backhand at 17:54 for a 3-3 game on another man-advantage goal.

However, Setoguchi managed to tuck in a bouncing puck through traffic in the crease with 39 seconds to play in the first, and San Jose took a 4-3 lead to intermission.

Biron came out for the start of the second, and Lupul took a Hartnell feed on the right wing, waited for Nabokov to commit, and roofed a shot high and just inside the left post at 3:30 for a 4-4 deadlock.

The Sharks took a 5-4 edge with 7:08 to play in the second as Biron lost track of Marcel Goc’s shot in his pads and Boyle tipped home the loose puck in the crease.

It was 6-4 only 47 ticks into the third as Marleau converted a Goc pass, but Philly got within one just 17 seconds later as Richards won a right-circle draw and Lupul slammed the puck home.

“We’ve got to keep working hard. It’s disappointing, the way we thought we finally came back the last couple [goals],” said Briere. “In the game at San Jose we let them back in the game to give them that late goal and they pulled through at the end. I was hoping we would be able to do the same and get rewarded for working so hard to score that late goal, and then send it to overtime, but they won against us again.”

The Flyers have never opened a season in their 42-year history without a win in their first six games. They get two cracks at the New Jersey Devils on Friday (in Newark) and Saturday (at home) to pick up that elusive first victory.

St. Joe's to open at Wachovia Center

Saint Joseph's men's basketball will open the 2008-09 season by hosting Rider at the Wachovia Center on Friday, November 14 at 7:00 p.m. It marks the first time ever that the Hawks will play a game at the Wachovia Center.

The Hawks will play the remainder of their home games this season at The Palestra, because of the expansion and renovation project that is currently in progress at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse. SJU will return to campus in 2009-10 to the Michael J. Hagan '85 Arena.

Tickets for the Rider game will be on sale through the Wachovia Center Box Office beginning on October 31. They can be purchased online at or by calling 800-298-4200.

Starting times for all but three of Saint Joseph's games have been finalized and the schedule can be found at Those three game times will be announced once the television arrangements are finalized.

Individual game tickets for all other Saint Joseph's home games at The Palestra will go on sale November 3. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the SJU Athletic Ticket Office at 610-660-1712.

Breaking News: Eagles' Andrews has back surgery - out six weeks

Eagles All-Pro right guard Shawn Andrews underwent back surgery and will be sidelined for at least an additional six weeks and up to three months. The Eagles will not place him on injured reserve, however.

"I think the best thing to do with the [G] Shawn [Andrews] situation is to take you through the history right up until this morning," Eagles trainer Rick Burkholder said. "Coming into Philadelphia and into Arkansas, Shawn, in high school, had a herniated disc in his back, which we knew about. He had it injected in high school, did fine through Arkansas and did fine through all his years here. If you recall back to the Dallas game on the 15th of September, he got hurt in the first half, he couldn’t play in the second half. We did an MRI on the next day, Monday the 16th, and it showed that he had the herniated disc in his back.

"It did not look new, it looked like it was the same disc that we knew about coming in. However, he had symptoms now. On the 18th of September he had his back injected. He got no relief from that. He saw Dr. Carrol, our back specialist, on the 21st who said to give the shot a chance.

"He didn’t improve. On the 16th, he had his back injected again and had it improve for one day and then it really leveled off. On the 13th of October he went out to Los Angeles and saw Dr. Robert Watkins, Sr. and, at that time, Dr. Watkins thought that with his history of symptoms and injections that the quickest recovery for Shawn would be to have his back operated on and have a microdisectomy. Yesterday, the 21st, at Marina Delray hospital in California, Dr. Robert Watkins, Sr. did a microdisectomy on Shawn’s L-4/L-5 disc. They’re numbered by how they sit between the vertebrae, so it’s lumbar 4/5. He had good success with the surgery, he took the fragments out and Shawn’s in Marina Delray hospital recovering now."

Max Jean-Gillis will continue to start in Andrews' absence.

"I didn't know what was going on until yesterday, when Coach Reid told me he was having surgery. I hope all is well. I know this is my job now, and I just have to fight for it and keep it," Jean-Gillis said."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

EliteXC officially dead

Several fighters with Elit XC, including Kensington's own Eddie Alvarez, received word today that the promotion is done after CBS pulled out of talks to purchase the company.

The death of the deal was traced to Seth Petruzelli's comments caused an investigation by the Florida Boxing Commission after his fight with Kimbo Slice. Petruzelli destroyed Kimbo and eluded that officials from EliteXC offered him a bonus if he kept the fight standing.

The November 8 show scheduled for Reno, Nevada has not yet been officially canceled but that is considered a formality since a number of fighters on the show have gotten word that the show is off.

LeBron can play; West back with Cavs

Philadelphia, PA (The Phanatic Magazine) - Samuel Dalembert gets the night off and a blast from the past, Theo Ratliff got the start at center for the Sixers.

No surprise that LeBron had his way with Andre Iguodala and the Sixers early.

Meanwhile, ex-St. Joe's star Delonte West returned to Philly with the Cavs. West sat out 12 days earlier in the preseason with some personal problems that included depression and anger issues.

Elton Brand, who has been exceptional for most of the preseason, really struggled with Ben Wallace and was just 1-of-8 in the first half from the floor. He did pull down nine rebounds, however. Brand is not the kind of player who goes into a funk in other areas when his shot is not falling.

Most of the Sixers offense is coming from the bench in the first half. Willie Green and Lou Williams both had nine points to lead Philly, while rookie Marreese Speights continues to impress with seven points and four rebounds in about eight minutes of action in the first half.

LeBron's new playmate, former Bucks point guard Mo Williams, was spectacular in the opening half, compiling 13 points on 4-of-5 shooting and two assists.

In the battle for the Cavs shooting guard spot, Sasha Pavlovic got the start but Wally Szczerbiak played almost twice as many minutes after Sasha got in foul trouble.

Sixers were the worst three-point shooting team in basketball last season and brought in Kareem Rush and Donyell Marshall to rectify that. Rush was 0-fo-1 from long range in the first half and Marshall didn't get off the bench. Meanwhile, the Cavs hit six of their first seven from long range.

Philly dominated the third quarter as Iguodala rebounded and started to get a hot hand as did Andre Miller and Brand. E.B. had 12 points and 11 boards through three. Can you say Comeback Player of the Year?

As for LeBron -- How about 20, 8 and 4 through three.

Sixers couldn't buy a bucket down the stretch and the Cavs pulled away with James sitting safely on the bench. Daniel Gibson was the star of the game, netting 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including 3-of-5 from long range. The Cabs were plus-17 in Gibson's 28 minutes on the floor.

The 76ers still can't shot, 0-for-9 from long range and outscored 24-0 from beyond the arc.

NFL likes Knighton, Douglas

Philadelphia, PA (The Phanatic Magazine) - Bouncing back and forth in South Philly between the Sixers preseason game against King James and the Cavs and the rare Tuesday night college football game between Temple and Ohio.

Al Golden and the Owls are getting a little national TV love as ESPN2 is on hand to broadcast the game.

And even though Temple is just 2-5, thanks to some horrendous luck and the injury to QB Adam DiMichele, don’t believe for one second that Golden isn’t turning things around.

The surest sign? A plethora of NFL scouts were on hand to watch the Owls. Names mentioned in the press box included senior defensive tackle Terrance Knighton and senior offensive lineman Andre Douglas.

In seven games this season, Knighton has recorded 27 tackles, 4 1/2 tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries, two passes defensed and a quarterback hurry. He was also named a preseason second-team All-Mac selection by both Athlon and MAC Report Online.

Douglas, who started the first seven games at right guard and moved outside to right tackle against Ohio, was listed in NFL Draft Scout's top players for 2009.

Temple's regular right tackle Jabari Ferguson and senior center Alex Derenthal also are getting some sniffs from the NFL.

Scouts from the New York Giants, Cincinnati Bengals, St, Louis Rams and New Orleans Saints were on hand.

"The Coz" Billy Cosby, a '61 Temple alumnus was on hand for the coin toss and singer/songwriter Lauren Hart, daughter of legendary Flyers announcer Gene Hart, hopped across the street to sing the Anthem.

DiMichele, who injured his shoulder against No. 3 Penn State in Temple's fourth game of the season, returned and started the game.

Eagles sign fullback; release Reed

The Philadelphia Eagles have signed FB Kyle Eckel to a two-year contract. To make room on the 53-man roster, the team released S J.R. Reed.

A native of Philadelphia and a product of Episcopal Academy, Eckel spent the entire 2007 season with the New England Patriots. After being promoted from their practice squad on October 1, he saw action in 12 regular season games and two postseason contests with the Patriots. Eckel gained 90 yards and 2 touchdowns on 33 carries and notched 12 special teams tackles.

Eckel (5-11, 237) was originally signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent in 2005, but was released following training camp that year. He was claimed off waivers by Miami, but spent the parts of two seasons on the reserve/military list with the Dolphins.

While at the Naval Academy, Eckel became the third player in school history to post two 1,000-yard rushing seasons in his career as he finished with 2,906 yards and 25 touchdowns. While at Episcopal Academy located in Merion, PA, Eckel shared all-city backfield team honors with Chicago Bears RB Kevin Jones.

In addition, the Eagles signed G Nevin McCaskill to the practice squad and released FB Jed Collins from the practice squad.

McCaskill (6-4, 300) was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by Buffalo in 2007 and spent his entire rookie season on the Bills practice squad. The Tallahasse, FL, native was a two-year starter at left tackle for Hampton from 2004-05.

Flyers recall Nodl

The Philadelphia Flyers announced today that they have recalled forward Andreas Nodl from the Flyers’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Philadelphia Phantoms, according to club General Manager Paul Holmgren. Nodl has been assigned uniform number #14.

Nodl, 21, recorded a goal and two assists for three points and six penalty minutes in five games for the Phantoms this season. He split the 2007-08 season, between the St. Cloud State Huskies of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association and the Phantoms, registering 18 goals and 26 assists for 44 points and 22 penalty minutes in 40 games for the Huskies and a goal in three regular season games for the Phantoms. He also scored a goal in 10 playoff games for the Phantoms last season.

In two seasons at St. Cloud State, Nodl recorded 36 goals and 54 assists for 90 points and 54 penalty minutes in 80 games. He was named to the WCHA All-Rookie Team and WCHA Rookie of the Year following the 2006-07 season and was named to the WCHA Second All-Star Team following the 2007-08 season.

A native of Vienna, Austria, Nodl was drafted by the Flyers in the second round (39th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sixers waive Robinson

The Sixers waived Antywane Robinson. He appeared in three preseason games, playing a total of 15 minutes.

Robinson (6-8, 220) played all four seasons at Temple University, earning Atlantic-10 All-Conference Second Team honors his senior season. In 116 career games played for the Owls, he had 85 steals to 54 turnovers. He has yet to appear in a regular season game since going undrafted in 2006, but played preseason games for the Atlanta Hawks in 2007. After being waived by the Hawks, Robinson joined the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the D-League before playing overseas for Elan Bearnais Pau-Orthez of the French League.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Steve Lienert Show

Episode 26 of the wildly popular Philadelphia sports podcast, The Steve Lienert Show, is available for your listening pleasure at Via remote for the first time in show history (thus the very poor sound quality that you will enjoy immensely), Lienert and the Pickleman delve into just how starved Philadelphia is for a championship. They also curse Florida sports in general, from the Tampa Bay Bucs to freakin' Dan Uggla, who cost the National League home-field advantage in the playoffs by gaffing away the All-Star Game.

They also celebrate the fact that the Eagles are still alive in the NFC East and how Sarah Palin, the anti-Kate Smith, has cursed the Flyers season. it's 20 minutes of your life you'll never get back, so why not double task and do something while listening to The Steve Lienert Show?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

UFC 89 Spoilers

- Dan Hardy d. Akihiro Gono via Unanimous Decision

- Shane Carwin defeated Neil Wain by TKO (Strikes) 1:31 of round 1.

- David Bielkheden defeated Jess Liaudin via Unanimous Decision

- Terry Etim defeated San Strout via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

- Jim Miller defeated David Baron by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:19 of round 3.

- Per Eklund defeated Samy Schiavo by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:47 of round 3.

- Marcus Davis over Paul Kelly (guillotine choke) at 2:15 of Round 2.

-Chris Lytle over Paul Taylor by unanimous decision , 29-28, 30-27, 29-28.

-Luiz Cane stopped Sokoudjou with 16 unanswered punches at 4:15 of Round 2.

-Keith Jardine over Brandon Vera by split decision, 29-28 Vera, 29-28 Jardine, 29-28 Jardine.

-Michael Bisping beat Chris Leben by unanimous decision, 30-27, 30-27, 29-28 Bisping.

Hopkins tops Pavlik

Atlantic City, NJ (The Phanatic Magazine) - If Juan Ponce de Leon were alive today and searching for the "Fountain of Youth," he may want to skip the trip to Florida and pay a visit to Philadelphia's own Bernard Hopkins.

The 43-year-old Hopkins (49-5-1) put on a boxing clinic Saturday night en route to embarrassing the previously undefeated Kelly Pavlik (34-1) in front of a near capacity crowd at Boardwalk Hall.

The bout was fought in the light heavyweight division so Pavlik remains the WBC and WBO middle middleweight king but "The Ghost" may have lost far more than any title.

Hopkins used amazing quickness, a sharp overhand right and his vaunted defensive skills to befuddle Pavlik and pitch a virtual shutout, winning 119-106, 118-108 and 117-109.

Despite hailing from Philadelphia, "The Executioner" was clearly not the most popular fighter in the ring at the outset. Atlantic City has adopted Pavlik and the Youngstown, Ohio native received a thunderous ovation when he arrived in the ring.

Things changed as the night wore on. Hopkins started winning round after round and using Pavlik's left eye as target practice. Sensing they were witnessing history, the partisans turned and started chanting "B-Hop" by the middle of the fight.

By Round 8 it was over. Pavlik, who many had placed in the best pound-for-pound fighter discussion, looked lackadaisical and needed a knockout. Since Hopkins has not hit the canvas since 1994 and is basically boxing's version of Omar Vizquel or Bruce Bowen, that outcome was very unlikely.

Hopkins cruised to the finish line and Pavlik looked stunned and on the verge of tears after the fight. .

In the semifinal Steven Luevano (36-1-1) kept the WBO featherweight title by winning a 12-round snoozer over the previously unbeaten Billy Dib (21-1) of Australia.

In the opening bout of the night, Atlantic City bantamweight Qa'id Muhammad (3-0) stopped Mexico's Samuel Gutierrez (3-4) by TKO at 2:29 of the fourth round.

Welterweight Danny Garcia (8-0) of Philly remained undefeated when he caught journeyman Deon Nash (5-6) of Louisiana with a right-handed uppercut at 2:14 of Round 3.

No surprise here, the technically sound but light hitting Yuri Foreman of Brooklyn (26-0 but just 8 KO's) pitched a shutout against Vinroy Barnett (22-7), 100-90 on all three scorecards, in a junior middleweight match.

The junior featherweight swing biut between Jorge Diaz (6-0) of New Brunswick, NJ and Saul Gutierrez (5-11-2), Samuel's brother was canceled due to lack of time.

Daniel Jacobs (11-0) of Brooklyn blitzed Tyrone Watson of Flint, MI in a super middlewight encounter. “The Golden Child” needed just 2:29 to win by TKO in Round 1.

In a hard-fought WBC middleweight title eliminator, Marco Rubio (43-4-1) of Torreon, Mexico won a 12-round split decision over Enrique Ornelas (28-5) of La Habra, CA, 115-113, 113-115 and 116-112.

"Joe the Plumber" and the NBA

You can't turn around these days without hearing about the sour economy and Congress' recent $840 billion bailout package.

It seems every single double-talking politician and pundit is talking about the problems on "Wall Street" and how they are affecting "Main Street."

In fact, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have gotten so much television time, it's almost like they are now a part of American pop culture.

Now Joe Wurzelbacher, aka "Joe the Plumber," is getting his 15 minutes of fame after Republican presidential hopeful John McCain made him the face of his campaign during Wednesday's debate.

In case you missed it, "Joe the Plumber" came to prominence last week as a working class everyman when he asked Democratic nominee Barack Obama about his plan to raise taxes on small businesses during a campaign stop.

In a colossal gaffe, Obama, the prohibitive favorite to win November's election, told Wurzelbacher he didn't want to "punish him" but "he would like to "spread the wealth around."

Pouncing on a redistribution of wealth theme, conservatives have embraced Wurzelbacher in an attempt to attack Obama's tax policies.

Which brings us full circle to the NBA and a looming problem.

David Stern has already slashed his own staff.
Usually when times are tough and families are having trouble filling up the gas tank or paying the mortgage, they look for escapist entertainment. And sure enough, sports fans are still attending live events at a brisk pace and watching on television with incredible fervor.

The entertainment industry has always been recession-proof. However, that doesn't mean complications aren't around the corner for the NBA.

Wary of the weakening economy, commissioner Davis Stern has already slashed his own staff.

"We made a decision some months ago that the economy was going to be a bit wobbly, so we began a belt-tightening that will result in a work-force reduction of about 9 percent domestically," Stern said in London last week.

Of course, fans really aren't going to be interested in cuts at the league office, but what if the economy hurts the product on the floor?

Well, it already has.

Since football is a uniquely American sport, Roger Goodell doesn't have to worry about foreign leagues stealing players. A few other countries play baseball but none are an alternative to the big leagues. In basketball and hockey, sports with worldwide followings and numerous competitive leagues around the globe, things are different.

The NBA has been especially hard hit this offseason, with a handful of legitimate rotation players fleeing overseas.

The most high-profile defection took place when former Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Childress, an excellent young player, signed with Greek powerhouse Olympiakos Piraeus for three years and $20 million.

That wasn't the only defection. Earl Boykins, who spent 10 years in the NBA as a backup point guard, inked with Virtus Bologna of Italy for one year and $3.5 million.

Another backup point, Carlos Arroyo, is off to Israel after signing a three- year deal with Maccabi Tel-Aviv, while Bostjan Nachbar, Nenad Krstic, and Primoz Brezec took advantage of all the oil money in Russia.

A handful of other players that could have been on NBA rosters like Brandon Jennings, Juan Carlos Navarro, Earl Barron, Jannero Pargo, Gordan Giricek and Carlos Delfino followed suit and are now toiling overseas.

All that may raise the ire of the hardcore basketball fan, but few will notice the problem until a true superstar flees.

Two of the game's biggest stars, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, have actually broached the subject of accepting offers from Euro teams that could go as high as $50 million per season.

Should Stern and the NBA's fans start getting nervous?


While NBA players pay taxes on their own salaries in the United States, a sum that will surely rise under a presumptive Obama presidency, European teams have made it a standard practice to pay the taxes of their stars.

That would make the real value of a one-year, $50 million dollar deal overseas worth $66 to $70 million for an NBA team.

I wonder what "Joe the Plumber" would think about that.

Parity is Eagles best friend

A week ago, it seemed like the Philadelphia Eagles were losing the city they have dominated for the past decade.

The Birds were coming off a bad loss at home to division rival Washington, falling to 2-3 and looking up at three potential playoff teams in the always tough NFC East.

Meanwhile, over in Major League Baseball, the Philadelphia Phillies were disposing of the Milwaukee Brewers to win their first playoff series in 15 years and looking forward to playing the overmatched Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series.

For the first time in the Jeffrey Lurie-Andy Reid era, the Phillies were bumping the Eagles from the back page and threatening to make the football team irrelevant, at least for this season.

Then a funny thing happened.

In a week that would have made the late great Pete Rozelle smile, the Goliaths of the NFC East fell apart. The Dallas Cowboys were stunned and, perhaps more importantly, beaten up in the desert by the Arizona Cardinals. The defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants were embarrassed on Monday night by the underachieving Cleveland Browns and the Redskins fell to the woeful St. Louis Rams.

To their credit, the Eagles did their part out in the Bay Area, beating a bad San Francisco team (albeit in unimpressive fashion).

"Does it help that the other groups didn't win? Well, it does," Reid said at his weekly press conference.. "I don't get into that too much, but I know it didn't hurt. The most important thing is that we stay focused on what we are doing and keep ourselves right and get ourselves better."

Voila. Just like that, the Eagles were right back in the thick of the NFC playoff race heading into the bye week. More importantly for Lurie and Reid, they were able to fend off apathy from an increasingly frustrated fan base.

Now the Birds will look to get healthy and anticipate the return of their best player, running back Brian Westbrook, who has been sidelined with broken ribs and an ankle injury.

Of course, the bye isn't going to be a magic salve for a team that revealed far too many flaws during its shaky start. In fact, if Mike Martz tempered his ego and just handed the football to Frank Gore 35 times for San Francisco, the Eagles likely would be sitting at 2-4.

Instead the fans are thinking playoffs again.

You've gotta love parity.

"That's the name of this league right now," Reid said. "There is so much parity in this league. There are people that are in a position where they have to predict games; I'll tell you that's a tough job. On any given Sunday, anybody can get anybody. Where before you could have a series or two that weren't very good, now you have a series or two that aren't very good and you're going to pay for it."


Atlantic City, NJ (The Phanatic Magazine) - We are live in Atlantic City as the undefeated middleweight champ, Kelly Pavlik, moves up to light heavyweight to take on Philadelphia's own Bernard Hopkins.

The 43-year-old Hopkins is best known for his decade-long run as IBF 160-pound champion, and despite his age he has remained relavent in subsequent bouts with Jermain Taylor, Antonio Tarver, Winky Wright and Joe Calzaghe.

Of course, Taylor edged Hopkins in a pair of razor-thin 2005 decisions at middleweight, before Hopkins moved up in eight to dispose of both Tarver and Wright over 13 months in 2006-07.

He then dropped a split verdict to Calzaghe in his most recent outing in April, but scored the only knockdown in the bout, leaving many thinking he should have won the fight.

Over all, Hopkins has not been on the canvas since a 1994 draw with Segundo Mercado.

Pavlik's began his rise to the top of the sport in October 2005, when he earned the regional NABF belt at 160 pounds with a stoppage of prospect Fulgencio Zuniga and defended it with a TKO of former world title challenger Bronco McKart nine months later.

A four-round rout of Lenord Pierre and an eight-round downing of ex-Olympian Jose Luis Zertuche preceeded Pavlik's first big time natinal exposures, a convincing win over Edison Miranda in a title eliminator on HBO in May 2007.

Pavlik then climbed off the deck to stop Taylor and earn the middleweight title 13 months ago, then beat him by unanimous decision in an over-the-weight rematch in February.

His only championship defense was a three-round TKO of overmatched mandatory challenger Gary Lockett on June 7.

Meanwhile, here's the scheduled undercard:

Atlantic City's Qa'id Muhammad (2-0) kicks things off in a junior batamweight bout with Samuel Gutierrez (3-3) of Saltillo, Mexico.

Welterweight Danny Garcia (7-0) of Philly takes on journeyman Deon Nash (5-5) of Louisiana.

Brooklyn's Yuri Foreman (25-0 but just 8 KO's) tries to stay undefeated against Jamaica's Vinroy Barnett (22-6) in a junior middleweight match.

Jorge Diaz (6-0) of New Brunswick, NJ faces off with Saul Gutierrez (5-11-2), Samuel's brother in a junior featherweight swing bout.

Daniel Jacobs (10-0) of Brooklyn takes on Tyrone Watson of Flint, MI in a super middlewight encounter.

A WBC middleweight title eliminator pits Marco Rubio (42-4-1) of Torreon, Mexico against Enrique Ornelas (28-4) of La Habra, CA.

And, the WBO world featherwight belt is on the line when Steven Luevano (35-1-1) defends against Billy Dib (21-0) of Australia.

Carr, Nivins name St. Joe's co-captains

Tasheed Carr and Ahmad Nivins have been named co-captains of the Saint
Joseph's men's basketball team, which began practice for the 2008-09 season
today. Carr and Nivins earned the spots as voted on by their

Carr, a 6-4 senior guard from Philadelphia, will serve as
co-captain for the second year in a row. Carr led the Hawks in assists last
season with 5.6 per game, a number which ranked second in the A-10. He also
averaged 10.8 points per game.

Nivins, a 6-9 senior forward from
Jersey City, N.J., is one of the top returning players in the Atlantic 10
Conference. He's also the Hawks' leading returning scorer and rebounder with
averages of  14.4 points and 5.8 rebounds from last season. Nivins is a
two-time All-Atlantic 10 and All-Big 5 honoree.

It was also determined
that junior guard Darrin Govens will see limited action in upcoming practices
while recovering from a groin strain. The date for Govens to return to full
speed is undetermined at this time.

Flyers move starting time for World Series

The Philadelphia Flyers announced today that the starting time for their game
against the New Jersey Devils at the Wachovia Center on Saturday, October 25,
has been changed to 4:00 p.m. (et).

"We felt that changing the starting time to 4:00 p.m.
benefits our fans," said Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren. "The 4:00 p.m.
starting time should alleviate some of the congestion in the sports complex area
and gives our fans the opportunity to view Game Three of the World

The original starting time of 7:00 p.m. for the game was
changed to 4:00 p.m. to avoid a conflict with Game 3 of the 2008 World
Series. This is the second time that the Flyers have changed a game to avoid a
conflict with a World Series game. The Flyers-New York Islanders game at the
Spectrum on October 21, 1993 was moved to October 22 to avoid a conflict with
Game Five of the 1993 World Series.

Temple grad lands at FOX29

Bensalem native and Temple grad Jeff Skversky is the new face you have been seeing on the FOX29 Phillies pre-game show.

According to Laura Nachman, Skversky was a sportscaster for the NBC affiliate in Atlantic City, the
weekend sports anchor in Syracuse for a couple of years, then was the number three
sportscaster for KMOV in St. Louis until the sports department made cuts in

Phillies deliver huge ratings in NLCS

The Phillies-Dodgers series averaged a 25.9 rating/39 share on Fox29. 
Wednesday night’s clincher scored a 32.3 rating/44 share, peaking at a 39.2
rating/62 share at 11:30 as the final out was made.

Each local rating point equals almost 30,000 households

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Martelli signs 4-year extension

Saint Joseph’s men’s basketball coach Phil Martelli has agreed to a four-year contract extension that will keep him with the Hawks through the 2015-16 season.

Martelli is entering his 14th season at Saint Joseph’s.

He has compiled a 261-152 overall record and is 132-76 in the Atlantic 10 Conference.

The Hawks are coming off a 21-13 season and reached the A-10 title game for the third time in four years, but lost to Oklahoma in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hopkins - Pavlik press conference

Phillies score in ratings

The Phillies Game 4 NLCS victory over the Dodgers earned a 25.3 rating/37 share of the audience for Fox29. Each local rating point equals around 29, 000 households.

Nationally, Fox was in third place with a 5.1 rating/8 share behind ABC, led by Dancing with the Stars and CBS, led by Two and a Half Men. Each national rating point equals around a million households.