Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Eagles place Sapp on IR; claim Egboh

The Philadelphia Eagles today announced they have claimed DE Pannel Egboh off waivers from the Houston Texans and placed DE Ricky Sapp on the Injured Reserve List (knee).

Originally a rookie free agent signing of San Francisco in 2009, Egboh (6-6, 287) spent training camp with the 49ers but was released prior to the start of the regular season. He spent the final four weeks of the 2009 campaign on the Texans practice squad after being signed on December 9.

A four-year letterman at Stanford University, Egboh appeared in 40 career games (36 starts), tallying 98 tackles, 15.5 sacks and three forced fumbles. He was selected to play in Texas vs. The Nation All-Star Game and the East-West Shrine All-Star following his senior season in 2008.

The Mesquite, TX, was a tight end and defensive end at North Mesquite High School, earning first-team, all-district honors as a senior.

Temple offers ticket special for Mayor's Cup vs. Villanova

PHILADELPHIA (8/31/10) - Philadelphia sports fans will have the opportunity to catch two great sporting events Friday evening in South Philadelphia.

Temple hosts defending FCS national champion Villanova in the second annual Mayor's Cup game at 5 p.m. at Lincoln Financial Field, while the Phillies host Milwaukee at 7:05 p.m. at Citizens Bank Park.

Fans that show a Phillies' baseball ticket (dated Sept. 3) at the Lincoln Financial Field Box Office that night can get a Temple-Villanova football ticket for only $10. 

Union acquire MF/D Williams

CHESTER, Pa. (August 31, 2010) - Philadelphia Union today announced the signing of defender/midfielder Sheanon Williams, thus completing the 24-man roster permitted by Major League Soccer regulations.

The Union could expand their roster up to 26 men with the signing of two home grown players. The 20-year-old joins the Union from the Harrisburg City Islanders, Philadelphia's USL-2 affiliate. Per Major League Soccer and team policies, the details of the signing will not be disclosed.

A product of the U-17 Residency Program, Williams represented the United States in two youth World Cups, the U-17 World Cup in Korea (2007), where he played for former head coach and current Philadelphia Union Coach John Hackworth, and the U-20 World Cup in Egypt (2009). Raised in Boston, Mass., Williams is the second player to join the Union from the Harrisburg City Islanders.  J.T. Noone was signed by the expansion side on July 30, thanks to a partnership signed by these two organizations last February.

Name:                       Sheanon Williams
Position:                   Defender/Midfielder
Height:                     5-11
Weight:                    170
Born:                        March 17, 1990
Birthplace:               Boston, Mass.
Citizenship:             USA
Last Club:                USL-2 Harrisburg City Islanders
Pronunciation:         She-nun Williams

Soul assigned Hohensee as head coach

PHILADELPHIA (August 31, 2010) – The Philadelphia Soul today announce that they have been assigned Arena Football League coaching legend Mike Hohensee as the head coach in 2011 by the League Office. Per team and league policy, terms were not disclosed.

“Mike is a perfect fit for this town and for this organization,” said co-majority owner and current ESPN Monday Night Football broadcaster, Ron Jaworski.  “He has a championship ring and is a ‘blue collar’ coach for this ‘blue collar’ town. We brought a championship to this town in 2008 and still view ourselves as ‘defending champions’.  Selecting Mike is the first step in reclaiming the title and bringing it back to where it belongs – here in Philadelphia.”

One of the AFL’s most-recognizable figures, Hohensee is the only person to be involved with the league, either as a player or a coach, all 24 years in league history.  He has been a head coach for 16 seasons (Washington, Albany, Anaheim, New England, and Chicago), five seasons as assistant coach (1989 with the Chicago Bruisers; 1991-93 and 1998 with Albany), and two years as quarterback (1987-88 with Pittsburgh).  2011 with Philadelphia will be his 24th season.

Hohensee spent his previous nine seasons at the helm for the Chicago Rush where he guided the team to a 93-64 overall record, nine playoff appearances, four Central Division titles, one conference championship and the ArenaBowl XX title.  He is the league’s third-winningest coach of all-time, posting a career 140-112 record.

“It’s an honor to be included with the return of the 2008 AFL champion, Philadelphia Soul,” said Hohensee. “Obviously, being the best meant something here in Philadelphia long before I arrived. I intend to carry on with the same championship mindset along side each of the players and coaches who will be fortunate enough to be a part of this first-class organization.”

U.S. flashes lack of fundamentals

By John McMullen

If you want to talk about race, gender or ethnicity with a friend or colleague, be prepared to battle through a series of stereotypes.

In fact, you may be hard-pressed to address any topic - even the subject of basketball - without first addressing the speed-bump that is stereotypes.

Team USA survived in Istanbul Monday, clawing out an exciting 70-68 win over a Brazilian team without Nene and missing Anderson Varejao, thanks to 27 points and 10 rebounds from Kevin Durant along with a strong defensive effort in the second half. Despite the win, the common characterization of the American squad as being less than fundamentally-sound reigned supreme.

For his part, USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski described it as a "character" game, as the U.S. improved to 3-0 in Group B at the FIBA World Championships, and put itself in excellent shape to earn the group's number one seed.

The Americans need just one win over Iran or Tunisia, the bottom two teams in Group B, or another Brazil loss to earn the top seed from the group and three full days off before meeting the No. 4 seed from Group A on Sept. 6.

Monday's contest proved to be a tale of two different halves. Brazil shot the lights out before intermission, while the defenses clamped down in the second half as the two teams managed to score just 49 points combined.

"We only allowed 22 points in the second and when your offense isn't going very well, to still play great defense shows that you have character," Krzyzewski said.  "Both teams still played with great heart. I think it showed the character of each team.  When that happens, to me, a team can show its character in a bad way or a good way.  I thought both teams showed it in a good way. I found out something about my team tonight."

A master of motivation, Krzyzewski was trying to spin a poor performance by the Americans, one that most certainly shook up his young team as it moves forward.

Point guard Derrick Rose looked especially shaky down the stretch and failed to take care of the basketball on a consistent basis. Meanwhile, Lamar Odom, one of the few battle-tested veterans "Coach K" can lean on, was often trying to do too much, forcing things again and again.

But the biggest disappointment was Team USA's set offense. Brazil came into the contest intent on choking off the fast break and did exactly that for much of the game. When the U.S. was forced to grind it out in the half-court, things broke down more often than not as the team relied on Durant to bail it out with one-on-one play.

"It's just slowing the ball down, calling out plays, making sure people were at their right spots before we start anything," Rose said of the team's garbled half-court sets.  "I think tonight, I'll put it on me, I didn't really
get into the ball in the beginning.  I guess it was fatigue or something like that but I'll guarantee you it won't happen again next game."

Which brings us back full circle to those ugly stereotypes. To the rest of the world, the Americans lack fundamentals. They think the U.S. has been weaned on too much SportsCenter and would rather make the highlight-reel play than the safe, fundamental one that results in two points.

Watching Monday's game, it's hard to argue with that assessment. Whether it was Rose trying to make the lob instead of the sure pass on the break, or Odom using his vaunted ball-handling skills to try and break down the Brazilians without the help of his teammates, the U.S. looked like a bunch of individuals
playing a team, albeit one with far less talent.

Truth is often subjective and stereotypes are often built on unhealthy combinations of shared perception and knowledge. Some carry some truth at the core, however. And when you deconstruct the stereotypes about USA Basketball, it's sad to say some truth is there.

It's now Krzyzewski's job to recognize that fact and convince his team to rely on each other.

"It's tough out here," Rose said. "You got us playing against a whole bunch of professionals that really know how to play.  It's very tough, but every game we learn something different and our hope is it prepares us for the next game."

Flyers announce local TV sked

The Philadelphia Flyers announced today that all 82 regular season games will be televised during the 2010-11 season.  Comcast SportsNet will televise at least 62 games, The Comcast Network (TCN) will televise eight games and VERSUS will televise seven games exclusively in the local market. In addition, NBC's exclusive coverage of the National Hockey League on Sunday afternoons potentially includes five Flyers contests.

"With the Flyers coming off their historic playoff run, we are all very excited to start the new season," said Comcast-Spectacor President Peter Luukko.  "We're fortunate to have such outstanding broadcast partners in Comcast SportsNet and The Comcast Network.  As we look to take that one last step to a Stanley Cup this season, we're very happy to partner with them to bring that quest into the homes of millions of Flyers fans
throughout the Greater Philadelphia Region."

In addition to the entire regular-season slate, the Flyers will have three of their preseason games broadcast locally.  The Comcast Network will televise the preseason opener on September 21 vs. New Jersey and
the September 29 contest vs. the New York Islanders.  Comcast SportsNet will carry the October 1 game vs. Buffalo.

All Flyers games airing on Comcast SportsNet and The Comcast Network will be presented in full high-definition.  Fans will also be able to enjoy extended coverage with Flyers Pregame Live and Flyers Postgame Live before and after every prime-time telecast.

Jim Jackson, Keith Jones, Steve Coates and Bill Clement make up the Flyers' announcing team and will call the action for Comcast SportsNet and The Comcast Network broadcasts. In his 17th season of calling
play-by-play action for the Flyers and 15th working on television, Jackson has won five Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards in the category of Individual Achievement - Sports Play-By-Play/Color Commentary. Jones, in
his fifth season as a member of the Flyers' television team, will be back in the booth for TV color commentary.  A former Flyer, Jones is also in his fifth season as an NHL analyst on VERSUS and is a member of the morning show on 610 WIP.

Clement also returns as a color commentator this season. He was the TV color analyst for the Flyers from 1989-1992 and rejoined the club's broadcast team in 2007.  A member of both of the Flyers' Stanley Cup
championship teams, Clement was the lead color analyst for ESPN's National Hockey Night broadcasts for 15 years, has been a studio host for NBC and VERSUS, and has worked as a broadcaster at five Olympic
Games.  Coates will again report from rinkside to provide viewers with insight and analysis of the game through interviews and live accounts of the action. Entering his 28th season as a member of the Flyers'
broadcast team, Coates has been nominated for a Mid-Atlantic Emmy Award six times and has won twice.

Behind the cameras, Comcast SportsNet's high-definition telecasts are led by producer Bryan Cooper, director Nick Marchetta and executive producer Shawn Oleksiak. All are multiple Emmy Award winners with extensive, accomplished production careers.

NBC enters its sixth consecutive season as the network broadcast partner of the NHL and will offer flexible scheduling for their regular season dates, providing fans the most exciting match-up available. Thirteen
days prior to the scheduled game (Monday), a game will be selected for broadcast on NBC. All NBC "Game of the Week" games will be broadcast on Sundays at 12:30 PM and all games will be presented in high-definition.

In conjunction with the NHL, NBC will select one game as the "Game of the Week" to be broadcast during the NBC window. The Flyers games that could potentially air on NBC are January 23 at Chicago, February 13 vs. Los Angeles, and three games against the New York Rangers - February 20 and March 6 at Madison Square Garden and April 3 at the Wells Fargo Center.  If the Flyers game is not selected, the game will remain available to the team's regional carrier, but cannot be televised during NBC's broadcast window.

VERSUS also returns for its sixth season as a national broadcast partner of the NHL.  Its seven Flyers games include the club's season opener in Pittsburgh on October 7, which will open the new Consol Energy Center.
The broadcast is the middle portion of an opening-night tripleheader for VERSUS, which starts with the telecast of Carolina vs. Minnesota from Helsinki, Finland at noon and wraps up with Chicago visiting Colorado at 10 PM ET.

The complete Flyers TV schedule is listed below.  Please note that several start times have changed to accommodate the national broadcasts: Oct. 26 vs. Buffalo is now 7:30, Nov. 16 at Montreal is now 7:00, Jan. 11 at Buffalo is now 7:30, Jan. 25 vs. Montreal is now 7:30, and March 22 vs. Washington is now 7:30.


SEPTEMBER (preseason)

Tue.   Sept. 21   vs. New Jersey     7:00PM    TCN          

Thu.   Sept. 23   vs. Toronto (JLC)   7:00PM  

Fri.    Sept. 24   @ Toronto            7:00PM

Sat.   Sept. 25   @ Minnesota        8:00PM

Tue.   Sept. 28   @ New Jersey      7:00PM

Wed. Sept. 29   vs. NY Islanders    7:00PM    TCN

Fri.    Oct. 1      vs. Buffalo            7:00PM    CSN

Sun.  Oct. 3      @ Buffalo             6:00PM  


Thu.   Oct. 07    @ Pittsburgh        7:00PM    VS

Sat.   Oct. 09    @ St. Louis          8:00PM    CSN

Mon.  Oct. 11    vs. Colorado         7:00PM    CSN

Thu.   Oct. 14    vs. Tampa Bay      7:00PM    CSN

Sat.   Oct. 16    vs. Pittsburgh       7:00PM    CSN

Thu.   Oct. 21    vs. Anaheim         7:00PM    CSN

Sat.   Oct. 23    vs. Toronto           7:00PM    CSN

Mon.  Oct. 25    @ Columbus        7:00PM    CSN

Tue.   Oct. 26    vs. Buffalo            7:30PM    VS

Fri.    Oct. 29    @ Pittsburgh        7:00PM    TCN

Sat.   Oct. 30    vs. NY Islanders    7:00PM    CSN


Mon.  Nov. 01    vs. Carolina          7:00PM    CSN

Thu.   Nov. 04    vs. NY Rangers     7:00PM    CSN

Sat.   Nov. 06    @ NY Islanders    7:00PM    CSN

Sun.  Nov. 07    @ Washington      5:00PM    CSN

Thu.   Nov. 11    @ Carolina           7:00PM    CSN

Sat.   Nov. 13    vs. Florida            7:00PM    CSN

Mon.  Nov. 15    vs. Ottawa            7:00PM    CSN

Tue.   Nov. 16    @ Montreal          7:00PM    VS

Thu.   Nov. 18    vs. Tampa Bay      7:00PM    CSN

Sat.   Nov. 20    @ Washington      7:00PM    CSN

Mon.  Nov. 22    vs. Montreal          7:00PM    CSN

Wed. Nov. 24    @ Minnesota        8:00PM    TCN

Fri.    Nov. 26    vs. Calgary           1:00PM    CSN

Sat.   Nov. 27    @ New Jersey      1:00PM    CSN


Wed. Dec. 01    vs. Boston            7:00PM    CSN

Sat.   Dec. 04    vs. New Jersey     1:00PM    CSN

Sun.  Dec. 05    @ NY Islanders    1:00PM    CSN

Wed. Dec. 08    vs. San Jose         7:00PM    CSN

Thu.   Dec. 09    @ Toronto            7:00PM    CSN

Sat.   Dec. 11    @ Boston             7:00PM    CSN

Tue.   Dec. 14    vs. Pittsburgh       7:00PM    VS

Wed. Dec. 15    @ Montreal          7:30PM    TCN

Sat.   Dec. 18    vs. NY Rangers     1:00PM    CSN

Mon.  Dec. 20    vs. Florida            7:00PM    CSN

Tue.   Dec. 28    @ Vancouver        10:00PM CSN

Thu.   Dec. 30    @ Los Angeles     10:30PM CSN

Fri.    Dec. 31    @ Anaheim          8:00PM   TCN


Sun.  Jan. 02     @ Detroit             5:00PM    CSN

Thu.   Jan. 06     @ New Jersey      7:00PM    CSN

Sat.   Jan. 08     vs. New Jersey     1:00PM    CSN

Tue.   Jan. 11     @ Buffalo             7:30PM    VS

Thu.   Jan. 13     @ Boston             7:00PM    CSN

Fri.    Jan. 14     @ Atlanta             7:30PM    TCN

Sun.  Jan. 16     @ NY Rangers     7:00PM    CSN

Tue.   Jan. 18     vs. Washington     7:00PM    CSN

Thu.   Jan. 20     vs. Ottawa            7:00PM    CSN

Sat.   Jan. 22     vs. New Jersey     1:00PM    CSN

Sun.  Jan. 23     @ Chicago           4:00PM    NBC/CSN

Tue.   Jan. 25     vs. Montreal          7:30PM    VS


Tue.   Feb. 01    @ Tampa Bay      7:30PM    CSN

Thu.   Feb. 03    vs. Nashville         7:00PM    CSN

Sat.   Feb. 05    vs. Dallas             7:00PM    CSN

Thu.   Feb. 10    vs. Carolina          7:00PM    CSN

Sun.  Feb. 13    vs. Los Angeles    7:00PM    NBC/CSN

Tue.   Feb. 15    @ Tampa Bay      7:30PM    TCN

Wed. Feb. 16    @ Florida             7:30PM    CSN

Fri.    Feb. 18    @ Carolina           7:00PM    CSN

Sun.  Feb. 20    @ NY Rangers     3:00PM    NBC/CSN

Tue.   Feb. 22    vs. Phoenix          7:00PM    CSN

Thu.   Feb. 24    vs. NY Islanders    7:00PM    CSN

Sat.   Feb. 26    @ Ottawa             7:00PM    CSN


Thu.   Mar. 03    vs. Toronto           7:00PM    CSN

Sat.   Mar. 05    vs. Buffalo            1:00PM    CSN

Sun.  Mar. 06    @ NY Rangers     3:00PM    NBC/CSN

Tue.   Mar. 08    vs. Edmonton       7:00PM    CSN

Thu.   Mar. 10    @ Toronto            7:00PM    CSN

Sat.   Mar. 12    vs. Atlanta            7:00PM    CSN

Tue.   Mar. 15    @ Florida             7:30PM    CSN

Thu.   Mar. 17    @ Atlanta             7:00PM    CSN

Sat.   Mar. 19    @ Dallas              8:00PM    CSN

Tue.   Mar. 22    vs. Washington     7:30PM    VS

Thu.   Mar. 24    vs. Pittsburgh       7:00PM    CSN

Sat.   Mar. 26    @ NY Islanders    7:00PM    CSN

Sun.  Mar. 27    vs. Boston            7:00PM    CSN

Tue.   Mar. 29    @ Pittsburgh        7:00PM    CSN

Thu.   Mar. 31    vs. Atlanta            7:00PM    CSN


Fri.    Apr. 01     @ New Jersey      7:00PM    TCN

Sun.  Apr. 03     vs. NY Rangers     3:00PM    NBC/CSN

Tue.   Apr. 05     @ Ottawa             7:30PM    CSN

Fri.    Apr. 08     @ Buffalo             7:30PM    TCN

Sat.   Apr. 09     vs. NY Islanders    7:00PM    CSN

Monday, August 30, 2010

U.S. Men's National Soccer Team to face Columbia at PPL Park

CHICAGO (Aug. 30, 2010) - The U.S. Men's National Team will host South American rivals Colombia on Oct. 12 at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. 

Kickoff for the USA's first match on the Chester waterfront is set for 8 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and Galavision.  Fans can also follow along on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker and twitter.com/ussoccer.

Philadelphia Union season ticket holders will receive an email shortly with information about special pre-sales to be held on Wednesday, September 1 for U.S. vs. Colombia and the previously announced U.S. Women's National Team vs. China match at PPL Park on Oct. 6.

Tickets starting at $30 go on sale to the public Friday, Sept. 3, at 12 p.m. ET through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-298-4200 and at the PPL Park ticket office (open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages which include a premium ticket, a custom made official U.S. national team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits) are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com.

As a sponsor of U.S. Soccer, Visa® is pleased to offer all Visa cardholders access to an advance ticket sale for this match before the sale to the general public. This advance sale starts Thursday, Sept. 2, at 12 p.m. ET and runs until Friday, Sept. 3, at 10 a.m. at ussoccer.com. Visa will be the only payment method accepted through the Visa presale and is the preferred card of U.S. Soccer. Terms and conditions apply.

"One of the important parts of developing the program is to expose the team to different experiences, and Colombia presents a difficult challenge," said U.S. head coach Bob Bradley.  "We are thrilled to be heading back to Philadelphia where we received such a great sendoff prior to the World Cup.  The new PPL Park is a fantastic facility, and we are happy to have the opportunity to play in another of the growing number of soccer specific stadiums in the United States."

The U.S. holds a 3-9-3 lifetime record against the 2001 Copa America champions.  Their most famous meeting came in group play of the 1994 FIFA World Cup, where an Earnie Stewart goal lifted the United States to a 2-1 victory that helped propel the hosts into the knockout phase.  The teams last met during the 2007 Copa America, where a young U.S. side fell 1-0 on July 5, 2007, in Barquisimeto, Venezuela.

The U.S. National Team will return to Philadelphia - one of 18 cities included in the USA's bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022 - for only the third time since 1990, and will play their first match at the new home of Philadelphia Union.  Most recently, the USA captured a 2-1 victory against Turkey in the final match before the team departed for South Africa and the 2010 FIFA World Cup.  More than 55,000 fans saw goals from Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey that built the momentum heading into the tournament where the U.S. finished first in group play for the first time in 80 years.

Prior to the Colombia match, the U.S. will take on Poland on Oct. 9 in Chicago. Tickets are now on sale for the match at Soldier Field that kicks off at 7 p.m. CT, with the game to be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision.

You can watch the Flyers' logo being applied to the ice at Wells Fargo Center

In preparation for the upcoming 2010-11 National Hockey League season, Comcast-Spectacor will be painting the Flyers logos along with the red and blue lines, and the new Wells Fargo logos into the
ice at the newly renamed Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday.

The public is invited to watch from 1 p.m. until 2 p.m. Fans interested in attending should meet at the AT&T Pavilion entrance of Wells Fargo Center no later than 1 p.m.

The ice making process actually begins early in the morning when a thin layer of ice is sprayed onto the event floor. Once frozen, a white soluble paint is sprayed to obtain the white background. Water is then sprayed to build up the ice to one-quarter inch. Lines and logos are stenciled into the ice and sealed with light water sprays before the line and logo painting process begins. Once the lines and logos are dry, the spray flooding process begins, building the ice to a full inch thick. More than 10,000 gallons of water will be used in the process.

The Eastern Conference Champion Flyers host their first preseason game at the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday, September 21 at 7 p.m. against the New Jersey Devils. The Flyers open the home portion of the 2010-11 regular season on Monday, October 11 at 7 p.m. vs. the Colorado Avalanche.

La Salle hires assistant coach

La Salle has named Will Bailey an assistant men’s basketball coach.

Bailey formerly worked under La Salle head coach John Giannini at Maine in 2002-03 and spent the previous seven seasons as an assistant coach at East Tennessee State.

“Having worked with coach Bailey at Maine, I have first-hand knowledge of his work ethic, professionalism, teaching ability, character and relationships,” Giannini said in a statement. “Without exaggeration, he is outstanding in all areas. He will help our recruiting. He will strive to make our players better and be a quality role model. He will also add to the positive chemistry on our staff.”

Clemens pleads not guilty

Roger Clemens has pleaded not guilty to charges of lying to Congress over alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs.

Clemens was indicted earlier this month and has been charged with three counts of making false statements, two counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of Congress. The next court date for the embattled former pitcher is April 5. If convicted on all charges, Clemens could face up to 30 years in prison. Sentencing guidelines, however, call for about 15-21 months in jail.

In February 2008, Clemens testified before the House Committee on Oversight that he never took performance-enhancing drugs. However, Brian McNamee, Clemens' ex-trainer, testified to the contrary and has said repeatedly that he injected the seven-time Cy Young Award winner with steroids and human growth hormone from 1998-2001.

The hearings came several months after the release of the Mitchell Report, in which McNamee claimed he injected Clemens with steroids and HGH.

The 48-year-old Clemens, who has been out of baseball since 2007, has said the only thing McNamee ever injected into him was a pain-killer called lidocaine and the vitamin B-12.

Oxycodone likely contributed to Luna Vachon's death

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office found a box containing Oxycodone in the kitchen near a pile of "blue, chalky debris next to a small straw" when investigating the death of Gertrude "Luna" Vachon, according to TMZ.com.

Vachon was found dead in her mother's kitchen at 48 on Friday in Port Richey, Florida.

Officials also claim they discovered "multiple prescription bottles and miscellaneous unsecured pills" in the master bedroom ... along with a small plate that contained more pill residue and another snorting straw."

According to the report, Luna's mother, who discovered the body,  told police that Vachon "often appeared 'medicated' as she suffered from several wrestling injuries."

Vachon was the daughter of Paul "The Butcher" Vachon and the niece of five-time former AWA champion and WWE Hall of Famer Maurice "Mad Dog" Vachon.

Meanwhile, independent wrestler J.C. Bailey was found dead this morning at the age of 27. The cause of death is currently unknown.  Bailey was known for his high-flying, hardcore style and wrestled for various  indy wrestling promotions, most notably the Philadelphia-based Combat Zone Wrestling.

"It is with great sadness that CZW management has the unfortunate duty to again report on the news of the passing of another one of its own," the company said in a statement. "Early this morning, CZW officials learned that Joseph Carl “JC” Bailey Jr. passed away in his home at the age of 27. JC was a beloved member of the CZW locker room, and a member of the extended Combat Zone family for nearly a decade.

As a performer, JC was fearless. He was renowned and admired by fans and colleagues alike for his toughness, his resilience, and for the undying passion he showed for the sport of Professional Wrestling… the sport he loved.

Away from the ring, JC was a true friend to so many people, and today, we all remember him, and mourn his loss. Rest in Peace JC Bailey." 

Eagles trade FB Scott

The Eagles have traded FB Charles Scott to Arizona for CB Jorrick Calvin.

Scott was a sixth round pick out of LSU but was clearly on the outside, looking in when surveying the Birds' roster situation.

A sixth round draft choice of the Cardinals in 2010, Calvin (5-11, 184) transferred to Troy University in 2008 after spending two seasons at East Central Community College. He started 12 of 13 games at cornerback that season, totaling 76 tackles and a pair of interceptions, with nine pass break-ups, a forced fumble, and a pair of fumble recoveries. Calvin also handled the return duties, leading the Sun Belt Conference with 25.7 kickoff return average on 27 returns, including one returned 95 yards for a touchdown. He also averaged 9.9 yards on 15 punt returns, and returned a blocked field goal 65 yards for a touchdown.

The Baton Rouge, LA, native won back-to-back state championships at Scotlandville Magnet High School, earning all-district, all-area and all-metro accolades along the way 

-Photo courtesy of Louisiana State University

Chivas announce roster for Union friendly

Chester, Pa. (August 30, 2010) – Chivas de Guadalajara today unveiled their 23-man roster for their upcoming game against Philadelphia Union on Wednesday, September 1 at PPL Park.  

The match will feature all 11 starters from the recent Copa Libertadores final, including Adolfo Bautista and Patricio Araujo both of whom scored in Latin America’s most important club competition.  

Major League Soccer’s newest Designated Player Omar Bravo will also visit PPL Park on Wednesday. Bravo, who recently signed with the Kansas City Wizards, will join MLS in 2011.   

Tickets are still available for the match, which is presented by Comcast, by calling 877-21-UNION or CLICKING HERE. Kick-off is set for 8:00 p.m. 

Chivas is Mexico’s most successful team having won a record 11 titles since the start of the professional era. The team entered the 2010 Copa Libertadores final with the hope of becoming Mexico’s first club to ever win the competition but fell 2-1 and 3-2, respectively, to Brazil’s F.C. Internacional in the two-leg tournament final.  
Chivas de Guadalajara GOALKEEPERS: Luis Michel, Sergio Arias
DEFENDERS: Hector Reynoso, Mario De Luna, Edgar Mejia, Miguel Ponce, Jonny Magallon, Christian Perez, Patricio Araujo, Christian Moran
MIDFIELDERS: Xavier Baez, Dionicio Escalante, Jorge Enriquez, Marco Fabian, Ulises Davila, Sergio Avila, Mitchel Oviedo
FORWARDS: Omar Arellano, Omar Bravo, Adolfo Bautista, Michel Vazquez, Jesus Sanchez, Alberto Medina

Temple announces radio sked

Temple University announced today its commercial radio schedule for its 2010 football season. All 12 Owls games will be broadcast over the airwaves and streamed on the internet with six contests being carried on Temple’s flagship station, The Big Talker 1210 AM WPHT, and the remaining six games to be carried on 1340 AM WHAT.

For the 16th consecutive season veteran Philadelphia and KYW Newsradio announcer Harry Donahue will do the play-by-play for Temple football while former Owls quarterback and Maxwell Award winner Steve Joachim returns for a 11th season as color analyst.


*Day     Date                Opponent Time Station*

Fri.       Sept. 3             VILLANOVA                          5:00 p.m. 1340 AM

Thur.    Sept. 9             CENTRAL MICHIGAN           7:00 p.m. 1340 AM

Sat.      Sept. 18           CONNECTICUT                      Noon 1340 AM

Sat.      Sept. 25           at Penn State TBA 1210 AM

Sat.      Oct. 2               at Army Noon                           1210 AM

Sat.      Oct. 9               at Northern Illinois                   Noon                         1210 AM

Sat.      Oct. 16             BOWLING GREEN                 1:00 p.m. 1340 AM

Sat.      Oct. 23             at Buffalo Noon 1210 AM

Sat.      Oct. 30             AKRON                                   1:00 p.m.                     1340 AM

Sat.      Nov. 6             at Kent State                            2:00 p.m.                     1210 AM

Tue.     Nov. 16           OHIO                                       8:00 p.m.                     1340 AM

Tue.     Nov. 23           at Miami (OH)                         7:00 p.m.                      1210 AM

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Witherspoon wins in Atlantic City

Witherspoon gets ready to rumble
By John McMullen

Atlantic City, NJ (The Phanatic Magazine) - Local heavyweight Chazz Witherspoon got back on the winning track Saturday at the Grand Ballroom in the Trump Taj Mahal.

Witherspoon (27-2, 19 KOs), who was coming off a loss to veteran Tony Thompson at Boardwalk Hall back in December, topped Livin Castillo of Atlantic City (16-9, 10 KOs) by TKO at 2:21 of the seventh round.

Witherspoon, the second cousin of former heavyweight champion Tim Witherspoon, probably took his nickname a little too seriously against the lightly-regarded, 34-year-old Castillo. Known as "The Gentleman,"  Witherspoon respected Castillo a little too much early and spent the early rounds backing away and countering with a solid jab.

Castillo, who didn't come into the bout in the best of shape, began tiring by Round 5 and Witherspoon, a Paulsboro, NJ native and St. Joseph's University graduate fighting out of Philadelphia, eventually pounced in the seventh, handing out a brutal beating that probably should have been stopped sooner by
referee Earl Brown.

The semifinal of the night saw rising Philadelphia super middleweight Farah Ennis stay undefeated by topping Florida's Reggie Pena by TKO at 1:56 of the third round. Pena (6-4, 1 KO) seemed to know he was overmatched and charged out of his corner in Round 3 hoping to catch Ennis (16-0, 10 KOs) off guard. The strategy worked for a few seconds but Ennis eventually gathered himself and started
counter-punching, before ending things with a wicked body blow that forced Pena to crumple to the mat.

In perhaps the most evenly matched contest on the card, Vineland lightweight Jose Reyes (23-8, 8 KOs) lost a split decision to Miami's Walter Estrada (37-13-1, 25 KOs) in a six-round bout. A straight left hand sent Reyes to the canvas in Round 1 but he settled down from there. Estrada seemed to be the busier fighter throughout, however. Reyes opened a cut on the bridge of Estrada's nose, while Estrada was able to tag Reyes again and again under the left eye, creating a nasty mouse. In the end, Estrada won two of the three scorecards, 56-57, 57-56 and 58-55 as Reyes lost his fourth straight contest.

In typical boxing form the event started 40 minutes late. When the bell finally rang a trio of four round bouts featuring Atlantic City fighters kicked things off. Super middleweight 20-year-old Eugene Soto of the seaside resort persevered after an awful first round to earn a majority decision over veteran Maurice Williams. Soto (3-0. 1 KO), an Atlantic City High School grad,  was decked twice in the opening frame by a pair of left hooks by Williams, a Camden native. Williams (1-5, 1 KO) tired in the second, however, and was on his bike by Round 4, just trying to hang on.

The Phanatic Magazine
scored the bout 37-37 as did judge Emile Conforte (37-37), but Barbara Perez (38-37) and husband Tony Perez (37-36) both favored Soto. In dispute was whether the first round should have gone to Williams by a 10-7 margin.

"That was 10-7 round," Williams' cornerman yelled as he exited the ringside area after the fight.

"I figured I would have to knock him out to win since we were fighting in his hometown," said Williams. "But I still can't believe I got robbed like that."

Williams made his pro debut way in 1998 with his lone win but his career was derailed by a six year stint in Graterford Prison on drug-related offenses.

Another Atlantic City super middleweight, Isiah Seldon (2-0, 1 KO) made short work of Jason Johns (0-3) in the second bout of the night. Seldon,  the son of former WBC heavyweight champion Bruce Seldon, tattooed Johns with a right in the corner at 2:57 of Round 1 for the TKO.

Light heavyweight Lavarn "Baby Bowe" Harvell, made it 3-0 for Atlantic City by dominating 18-year-old Nathan Bedwell of Tennessee to stay undefeated. Harvell (6-0, 2 KOs) sent Bedwell (2-4, 1 KO), who entered the ring wearing a t-shirt reading "Tennessee Tough," to the canvas late in the first round and again in the third and fourth frames en route to an easy unanimous decision victory. All three scorecards read 40-33.

NOTES: This was the first event promoted by Spartan Fight Promotions led by Atlantic City businessman Mike Brestle... The fights were taped for broadcast on gofightlive.tv...The promotion announced a date for its second card, Nov. 13.

Mapp lifts Union over Revs

-Courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Foxborough, MA. (August 28th, 2010) - Just when Philadelphia Union appeared on their way to yet another road loss, Justin Mapp and Jack McInerney produced some late heroics to fuel the visiting side to a 2-1 victory over the New England Revolution Saturday at Gillette Stadium. After Ilija Stolica put New England up 1-0 in the 31st minute, the Union were aided by a 42nd minute red card handed to Cory Gibbs. The Union took their time equalizing, but McInerney finished Mapp's service in the 82nd minute, and the former Chicago Fire midfielder netted his first goal for Philadelphia in stoppage time to hand Manager Peter Nowak's side three points.

While neither side managed to create many scoring chances in the first 30 minutes, the Revolution capitalized on one of their first to extend Philadelphia's shutout-less streak to 21 matches. After a New England corner, Danny Califf's attempted clearance was blocked by Shalrie Joseph, with the ball falling to the feet of Stolica. The Serbian striker spun and struck a shot from eight yards out while falling to the ground to beat Chris Seitz for a 1-0 lead.

New England nearly extended their advantage in the 36th minute when Sainey Nyassi rifled a shot from distance, but the ball knocked off the post past a diving Seitz.

With the Union failing to mount a cohesive attack in the first half, the match took a turn in Philadelphia's favor in the 42nd minute when Corey Gibbs was shown red following a hard tackle on Eduardo Coudet.

Despite being up a man, Philadelphia had trouble creating in New England's third until the 64th minute, when Le Toux was sprung free with a weighted through ball into the Revs' area. Unable to get a shot off until only a few yards from the endline, Le Toux's angled attempt snuck past goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth, but to the wrong side of the post.

The Union had an even better chance to equalize in the 66th minute when Mapp's cross from the right found Andrew Jacobson unmarked in the middle of the area, but the ensuing one-timer skied over the bar.

Philadelphia's pressure would pay dividends in the 82nd minute, when Mapp sent a targeted chip from 25 yards out into the box for McInerney. The second half substitute took advantage of the ball's forward momentum towards goal, slotting it past Shuttleworth with a one-time volley to equalize.

The Union didn't settle for a draw, however, continuing to apply pressure into stoppage time. In the 92nd minute, their efforts would be rewarded. After Chris Tierney stifled Le Toux's initial chance, the Frenchman circled back to a loose ball in the area and found a hovering Mapp at the top of the area. With time running out, Mapp struck a one-timer from just within the area, beating a diving Shuttleworth far post to put the Union up 2-1.

The final whistle would blow moments later, giving the Union their second road win of the season in thrilling fashion. Philadelphia return to action this Wednesday, September 1 when they'll host Mexican power Chivas Guadalajara at PPL Park, followed by a league match Saturday against the Kansas City Wizards.

Scoring Summary:
NE -- Ilija Stolica 2 (Shalrie Joseph 4) 31'
PHI - Jack McInerney 2 (Justin Mapp 1, Jordan Harvey 1) 82'
PHI - Justin Mapp 1 (Sebastien Le Toux 10) 92'

Misconduct Summary:

NE -- Emmanuel Osei (caution; Reckless Foul) 19
PHI -- Stefani Miglioranzi (caution; Reckless Tackle) 29
NE -- Cory Gibbs (ejection; Serious Foul Play) 40
PHI -- Jack McInerney (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 83
PHI -- Jordan Harvey (caution; Reckless Foul) 84

Philadelphia Union -- Chris Seitz, Michael Orozco Fiscal, Danny Califf, Juan Diego Gonzalez, Jordan Harvey, Kyle Nakazawa (Justin Mapp 65), Andrew Jacobson, Stefani Miglioranzi (Jack McInerney 77), Eduardo Coudet (Roger Torres 46), Sebastien Le Toux, Danny Mwanga.

Substitutes Not Used: Cristian Arrieta, Amobi Okugo, Nick Zimmerman, Brad Knighton.


New England Revolution -- Bobby Shuttleworth, Cory Gibbs, Emmanuel Osei, Seth Sinovic, Darrius Barnes, Sainey Nyassi, Shalrie Joseph, Pat Phelan, Chris Tierney, Ilija Stolica (Khano Smith 54), Marko Perovic.

Substitutes Not Used: Kheli Dube, Roberto Linck, Kenny Mansally, Zack Schilawski, Tim Murray.


Referee: Hilario Grajeda
Referee's Assistants: Greg Barkey; Daniel Belleau
4th Official: Chris Penso
Weather: Clear and 75 degrees

Friday, August 27, 2010

Temple's Guzman to play in Slovakia

PHILADELPHIA (08/27/10) – Luis  Guzman, the starting point guard on the 2009-10 Temple University men’s basketball team that posted a 29-6 record en route to a third straight Atlantic 10 Conference championship, has signed a contract to play with the BK 04 AC LB SPISSKA NOVA VES, a professional team based in Spisska Nova Ves, Slovakia.

The 6-3 guard led the Owls assist-to-turnover (2.07) in his senior season, while also setting career-highs in points (173, 4.9 ppg.), rebounds (147, 4.2 rpg.) and assists (112, 3.2 apg.). The Bronx, N.Y. native (Paramus Catholic HS) ended his career with 361 points, 280 rebounds and 224 assists. 

Guzman, who earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in three and a half years, served as a team captain for the Owls, who ended the season ranked 12th in the Associated Press poll.

Four former Flyers to become American citizens

According to multiple reports, including one through TSN of Canada, four former Flyers from the "Broad Street Bullies" era are set to become American citizens.

Bill Clement, Orest Kindrachuk, Bob Kelly and Dave Schultz are going through the necessary steps that will make them American citizens by the end of the year. Kindrachuk and Kelly are set to be sworn in September 17, while Clement and Schultz have begun the process and will be inducted at a later time.

Clement, who played for the Flyers from 1970-75, has been a part of Flyers broadcasts for the past few seasons on Comcast Sportsnet. He previously provided television color commentary on Channel 57 from 1988-92, and has been a long-time hockey contributor on NHL broadcasts on ESPN, ABC and Versus. He has lived in the Philadelphia area for more than two decades.

Kelly, a high-energy presence as a Flyer from 1970-80, has been an official team ambassador for nearly a decade.

Kindrachuk played with the club from 1973-78, tallying a career-best 26 goals in 1975-76.

Schultz was the premier enforcer in the league during the mid-1970's. Although he wore Orange and Black for just four-plus seasons, he managed to accumulate more than a thousand minutes in penalties, including an NHL-record 472 in 1974-75. He also showed scoring touch, with a 20-goal season in 1973-74 to his credit, along with a playoff series-winning overtime goal against Atlanta in 1974.

Phils place baez on DL

The Phillies have placed right-hander eliever Danys Baez on the 15-day DL with back spasms. They recalled Antonio Bastardo from Triple-A to replace him on the roster.

Sixers announce TV sked

The Philadelphia 76ers announced their television broadcast schedule for the 2010-11 season, with broadcast partner Comcast SportsNet carrying 73 games, while The Comcast Network picks up another eight telecasts, all of 81 of which will be available in High Definition  The only regular season game not to be covered by either network will be the December 9, 2010 home game against the Boston Celtics, which will air on TNT.

December’s game against the Celtics is one of five nationally televised appearances the Sixers will make this upcoming season.  The other four games will air on NBA TV (which is blacked out within 75 miles of the team’s home market – those games will be carried on Comcast SportsNet).

Additionally, Comcast SportsNet will air both of the Sixers pre-season home games at Wells Fargo Center on Oct. 12 vs. Boston and Oct. 20 in the pre-season finale vs. the New York Knicks.

All regular season games carried by Comcast SportsNet and The Comcast Network are available in high definition.  Each of the home games with a 7 p.m. start time will we preceded by a half-hour pregame show and “Sixers Postgame Live” will air immediately following every game televised by Comcast SportsNet and The Comcast Network.

The Comcast Network is host to eight of the Sixers road games, including January 20 against Larry Brown and the Charlotte Bobcats and April 5 against the defending Eastern Conference Champion Celtics.

"R Football" to make debut on Comcast Network

“R Football”, a new 30-minute show that captures many of the key focal points of the Rutgers Football program – family, integrity, honor and winning the right way, makes its debut this fall to several regional cable networks across the “State of Rutgers”. “R Football” will profile at least one player each week back in their respective hometown as viewers gain insight into the Scarlet Knights. In addition, the show profiles all aspects of the program as viewers gain a new experience into the Rutgers Football Family.

The show will feature comments from head coach Greg Schiano, current NFL Scarlet Knights and all of your favorite players in the program.

“R Football” will air in stunning HD on SNY, The Comcast Network in Philadelphia/South Jersey, MASN and Sun Sports in 2010.

The show makes its season debut Thursday, Sept. 9 on Sun Sports in Florida. The show debuts on SNY Friday, Sept. 10 at 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Eagles worth $1.1 billion

Forbes annual valuation of NFL franchises has pegged the Eagles worth at $1.1 billion, seventh in the NFL.   Jeff Lurie bought the team in 1994 for $185 million.

Understand that's what the magazine feels the organization is worth and has nothing to do with every day operating expenses. The team's annual revenue is $260 million with $141 million of that going directly to player expenses. Overall, Forbes pegs the team's annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization at $34.7 million, meaning a profit margin of $15 to $17 million dollars.

Pippen honor is overkill

By John McMullen

A statue honoring Scottie Pippen?

My, how our hero worship has fallen.

Before you start firing off the hate mail, understand I, like most NBA observers, loved Pippen's game.

He was the consummate "Robin" to the ultimate "Batman" in Michael Jordan. He was the best "Iceman," M.J.'s "Maverick" could ever ask for. But let's be honest, at the end of the day, Pippen was a sidekick.

A sidekick that will be forever be displayed permanently in the United Center when the Bulls unveil a bronze statue of Pippen toward the end of the 2010-11 season.

It's not Pippen's fault. In fact, the honor is probably more indicative of just how mediocre the Bulls were before and after the Jordan-era. It's not like everyone was clamoring for that Bob Love statue.

Pippen was the ultimate No. 2 option to basketball's best-ever No. 1. He entered the league as an athlete with a lot of holes in his offensive game. When he was done, Pippen had turned himself into a versatile player that could play four different positions and was a more than capable scorer. He was also the best perimeter defender of his era and used his freakish length to torture players in the open floor.

With Pippen as his lead running mate, Jordan was able to secure six championships for the Windy City along with six NBA Finals MVPs for himself.

Make no mistake, Pippen deserved his seven All-Star nods and his eight appearances on the NBA's all-defensive team. He certainly earned his six championship rings and his gold medal with the 1992 Barcelona Dream Team.

I'll even buy the fact that he was a Hall-Of-Famer, as he was officially enshrined on Aug. 13 in a class that included Karl Malone and the late Dennis Johnson.

But, that's where it should stop. Pippen belonged nowhere near the NBA's 50th Anniversary Team. In fact, if you pull up that 1996 list of the NBA's top 50 players, it looks like a game of "Which one doesn't belong" with Pippen sticking out like the sore thumb among a list of legends.

And he's certainly not the type of player that deserves Mount Rushmore-type treatment.

Some detractors have been far more critical than me.

You've probably heard the jokes by now...

What famous Pippen moment do you think will get immortalized? Pippen sitting on the bench, refusing to enter the game?

When are the other Jordan-era role players, like B.J. Armstrong, Steve Kerr, John Paxson, Dennis Rodman and Horace Grant earmarked for Madison Street?

That's not to say Scottie doesn't have a legacy.

In today's NBA, almost every league executive looks at the Jordan-Pippen Bulls as the blueprint for success. You need the superstar but you also need the complementary piece.

Kobe couldn't win without Shaq, until Pau Gasol came along. Shaq couldn't win without Kobe unless he was playing with Dwyane Wade, and LeBron fled Cleveland because Dan Gilbert and Danny Ferry were never able to get him a competent co- star.

Pippen wan an important part of NBA history. Let's just not play revisionist history and blow his place in the game out of proportion.

Roy Halladay's Perfect Game ring

Villanova's Bell injured

Villanova freshman guard James Bell was diagnosed with stress fractures in the tibia of both legs and will be sidelined from basketball activities for an undetermined period of time.

Bell is scheduled to be re-evaluated in October.

"We're disappointed for James," coach Jay Wright said in a statement. "He has acclimated himself very well academically and socially at Villanova in his short time with us. I am sure he will take that same kind of mature approach with his rehab. We don't know how long he will be out, but we will monitor his rehab closely."

Bell. 6-5, was a third team high school All-American selection by USA Today and a fourth team selection by Parade Magazine after averaging 18.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.3 steals per game during his senior season at Montverde Academy in Orlando, Fla.

Temple's Pierce named to Doak Walker Watch List

DALLAS (8/26/10) -  Temple sophomore Bernard Pierce (Ardmore, Pa.) is one of 50 players named to the Watch List for the 2010 Doak Walker award, presented to the nation's top college running back, the PricewaterhouseCoopers SMU Athletic Forum announced.

The PricewaterhouseCoopers SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors will select the semifinalists on November 10, and the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will cast votes to determine the finalists, who will be announced on November 22. The Committee will cast a second vote beginning on
November 29 to determine the recipient. The National Selection Committee consists of former NFL All-Pro and college All-America running backs, media members and selected special representatives.

The recipient of the 2010 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on ESPN on The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards on Thursday, December 9. The Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet will be held at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, Texas, in February 2011.

The award, in its 21th year, is named for SMU's three-time All-America running back Doak Walker. It is the only major collegiate award that requires all candidates to be in good academic standing and on schedule to
graduate within one year of other students of the same classification.

The watch list honor is Pierce's third in the preseason.  A candidate for the Heisman Trophy, he has also been named to the watch lists for the Walter Camp Player of the Year as well as the Maxwell Award.

A 2010 preseason All-American and first-team All-Mid-American Conference honoree, Pierce was named the team's inaugural newcomer of the year. A 2009 Freshman All-American, MAC Freshman of the Year, and first-team All-MAC selection, he set the freshman records for yards (1,361), touchdowns (16),
and 100-yard rushing games (6). He also set the single-season records for TDs (16) and points scored (96).

Fans and media can follow Pierce's progress throughout the season on his own website-- www.Pierce4Heisman.com as well as on Facebook under Pierce4Heisman.

Pierce is the fifth Owl to earn a spot on a preseason watch list. To date, a school record five Owls appear on eight watch lists in the preseason. In addition to Pierce's three honors, junior Adrian Robinson (Harrisburg, Pa.) has two citations-- the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Chuck Bednarik Award Watch Lists. Senior Jaiquawn Jarrett (Queens, N.Y.) was named to the 2010 Jim Thorpe Award Watch List, while junior Muhammad Wilkerson (Linden, N.J.) was named to the Outland Trophy Watch List.  Junior James Nixon (New Haven, Conn.) is a candidate for the inaugural Paul Hornung Award for the most versatile player in college football.

Temple opens the 2010 season on Friday, Sept. 3 with Villanova at 5 p.m. in the second annual Mayor's Cup at Lincoln Financial Field.

Eagles TE Ingram diagnosed with cyst

Oft-injured Eagles tight end Cornelius Ingram had a Baker's cyst on his knee and calf drained and will not travel with the team to Kansas City

Sixers advise Nocioni to withdraw from World Championships

The Philadelphia 76ers have advised forward Andres Nocioni to withdraw from the upcoming FIBA World Championships due to his injured left ankle.

An MRI of Nocioni's left ankle was reviewed by Dr. Jack McPhilemy of Main Line Health Services, who recommended that Nocioni stop all basketball and impact activity until the team opens Training Camp at the end of September, at which time he will be re-evaluated.

Upon Nocioni's return to Philadelphia, another MRI will be taken of his left ankle.

U.S. set to kick off Worlds

By John McMullen

The United States National Team will kick off the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Istanbul, Turkey on Saturday when they take on Croatia in Group B play.

Team USA, which is led by defending NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder, along with veterans Chauncey Billups of the Denver Nuggets and Lamar Odom of the NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers, is attempting to avenge the team's bronze medal performance during the 2006 Worlds in Japan.

Piloted by Duke University head coach Mike Krzyzewski, this group probably has the least amount of star power since the professionals started playing for USA Basketball in the early 1990s. Most of the NBA superstars who restored order in the hoops world back at the 2008 Beijing Olympics took a pass this time around.

The "Redeem Team," featuring Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and Chris Bosh all helped bring back the gold medal to the United States for the first time since 2000 in China but decided against an encore performance, forcing USA Basketball chairman Jerry
Colangelo, along with Krzyzewski and his assistants, Jim Boeheim, Mike D'Antoni, Nate McMillan and Jay Triano, to cobble together what can best be described as an NBA B-team.

The only true superstar in the bunch is Durant but that didn't stop Team USA, from finishing its preparation for the Worlds undefeated after a 87-59 rout over a highly-regarded but shorthanded Greece team in Athens on Wednesday. The Americans also topped France, Lithuania and Spain in the Global Community Cup during their prep for the Worlds.

"Coach K" has been starting Durant along with Philadelphia's Andre Iguodala, and either Odom or Dallas' Tyson Chandler in the frontcourt depending on the opposition's size. Billups and Chicago's Derrick Rose handle the backcourt.

Depth, however, is what differentiates the U.S. from the rest of the world and Krzyzewski's bench is made up of Warriors sharp-shooter Stephen Curry, Indiana scorer Danny Granger and rising stars Russell Westbrook of Oklahoma City, Kevin Love of Minnesota and Eric Gordon of the Clippers, along with swingman
Rudy Gay of Memphis. Boston point guard Rajon Rondo was the final player left off the roster when he withdrew on Tuesday.

"I think this group is really a good group," Krzyzewski said in New York earlier this month. "I can tell you intangible-wise it's off the charts with attitude, team, hard work, 'I'll do anything', all that. That's a good place
to start."

Gordon was the star against Greece, coming off the bench to lead the U.S. with 18 points and shooting 4-of-7 from 3-point range as the second-ranked American men closed out the pre-FIBA exhibition schedule with a perfect 4-0 mark.

"We're getting more comfortable, since that first game against France," Durant said. "It's starting to get easier playing with everybody. Everybody's coming out and playing hard. I think that's the best thing about it."

"The thing we need to do is understand that we're a group that's just coming together so we have to improve game by game," Chandler added.  "We are competing against ourselves.  We want to the best that we can be in this short period of time we are together."

Twenty-four teams will compete in the 2010 FIBA World Championship, divided into four preliminary round groups consisting of six teams each. The United States was drawn into Group B back in December with Brazil, Croatia, Iran, Slovenia and Tunisia.

The U.S. has never faced Croatia in World Championship play, but is 3-0 against the club in Olympic action. Led by Roko Ukic, a former NBA player with Toronto and Milwaukee, and Ante Tomic, Croatia is currently ranked 15th in the world by FIBA. The country won a bronze medal at the 1994 FIBA World Championship but dropped off until a bit of a comeback at the 2008 Olympics and EuroBasket 2009 with sixth-place finishes in both.

Team USA will follow its bout with Croatia by facing its second European team in as many days on Aug. 29 when it meets Slovenia, a team it defeated 114-95 in 2006 World Championship preliminary play.

Slovenia, ranked 20th in the world, is without a few key players like Sacramento's Beno Udrih, who decided to quit the team because of lack of playing time, and Erazem Lorbek. Despite the setbacks, Slovenia has enough talent with Goran Dragic and Bostjan Nachbar to make them a threat in the tournament.

FIBA Americas Zone champion Brazil will then challenge the U.S. on Aug. 30. The USA-Brazil World Championship series stands at 6-5 in favor of the United States, with the two teams last meeting in the 1998 World Championship.

This version of the Brazilians, led by Toronto's Leandro Barbosa, Cleveland's Anderson Varejao, San Antonio's Tiago Splitter along with new coach Ruben Magnano, should be the United States' toughest test in Group B but is only ranked 14th in the world by FIBA.

Following a day off on Aug. 31, the USA resumes play Sept. 1 against Asia Zone champ Iran, a team it has not faced previously in World Championship play, then closes out preliminary play with a contest versus Tunisia on Sept. 2, another team that the Americans have not met in World Championship action.

Led by head coach Veselin Matic, who previously had coached the Polish national team, Iran saw great success immediately by defending its FIBA Asia Championship title last year. Memphis' Hamed Haddadi, the first Iranian to play in the NBA, headlines the club.

Tunisia, meanwhile, will be participating in the World Championships for the first time after earning a berth with a bronze medal performance in the 2009 FIBA Africa Championship. Star guard Amine Rzig can fill it up from outside but Tunisia lacks depth and defensive skills.

The real competition for the Americans figures to come later in the tournament against teams like Argentina, Spain and a healthier Greece team.

The Argentines are ranked No. 1 in the world by FIBA and feature Houston Rockets power forward Luis Scola, Milwaukee swingman Carlos Delfino and Philadelphia forward Andres Nocioni. The real star, San Antonio swingman Manu Ginobili, is not participating, however and the Sixers have advised Nocioni to
withdraw due to an injured left ankle.

Even without Ginobili and the possible absence of Nocioni, Argentina figures to have one of the most balanced and fundamentally sound teams in Turkey, but may not have the go-to-guy down the stretch to build on its recent success that has included a silver at the 2002 FIBA World Championships, gold at the 2004
Olympics and bronze at the 2008 Olympic Games.

Spain, the defending world champion, is also toiling without its biggest name, Lakers power forward Pau Gasol. Pau's brother, Marc of the Memphis Grizzlies, highly-touted Minnesota draft pick Ricky Rubio and Portland sharp-shooter Rudy Fernandez are on hand, however, as the team hopes to build on its silver medal
performance at the 2008 Olympics.

Greece, meanwhile, figures to be much tougher with Sofoklis 'Baby Shaq' Schortsanitas, who was injured during warm-ups before Wednesday's exhibition game against the U.S., and Yiannis Bourousis back in the lineup.

"Greece did not have its two big guys (Schortsanitas and  Bourousis) inside, but for us it was good to play another international game against a great country, a good atmosphere, and it just gives us more experience," Krzyzewski said after that win. "We're happy that we got a chance to play everyone and I think they played all their healthy players. The score is insignificant really because they didn't have their complete team against us."

Held every four years, the FIBA World Championship is considered international basketball's crown jewel event. The U.S. has had mixed results in World Championship play. The same players that won the gold in Beijing, minus Bryant, were only able to take home a bronze in the 2006 World Championship, and the
U.S. hasn't won a gold since 1994 in Toronto, when Shaquille O'Neal was in his prime and dominating for the Americans.

All told, the USA has compiled an overall 105-27 win-loss record in the World Championships and won 10 medals - three gold medals (1954, 1986 and 1994), three silver medals (1950, 1959 and 1982) and four bronze medals (1974, 1990, 1998 and 2006).

The winner of the 2010 FIBA World Championship automatically earns a berth in the 2012 London Olympics.

Undefeated Hasson to take on Speller in Atlantic City

Atlantic City, NJ--Undefeated super middleweight Dennis “The Assassin” Hasson and fellow-Philadelphian Tommie “Big Poppa” Speller will meet in the scheduled eight-round semifinal on Saturday evening, Sept. 25, in the Grand Ballroom at Bally’s Atlantic City.

The scheduled 12-round main event features Teon Kennedy, of Philadelphia, against Alex Becerra, of El Paso, TX, for the vacant North American Boxing Association (NABA) super bantamweight title.  First of seven bouts begins at 7.30 p.m. 

The card will be televised by www.gofightlive.tv.

Hasson, 26, of the Kensington section of Philadelphia, is 10-0, 3 K0s, since turning pro in 2008.  In his last fight July 30 at the South Philly Arena, Hasson ended an eight-month layoff by scoring a six-round decision over Alberto Mercedes, of Milwaukee, WI.

As an amateur, Hasson compiled a 94-16 record and earned a silver medal in the 2006 US National Amateur Championships.

Boxing runs in Hasson’s blood.  Hall-of-Fame light-heavyweight champion Tommy Loughran, also of Philadelphia, was his maternal grand uncle.  In addition, Hasson was born on Tusculum Street, where Rocky Balboa lived in the movie.

Speller, 32, of West Philadelphia, is a tough customer who just came off a hard eight-round points loss to unbeaten Dion Savage on May 1 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

The only foe common to both men is Dave Cook, of Butler, PA.  Speller beat Cook by decision earlier this year while Hasson stopped Cook in four rounds in 2008.    

Tickets priced at $50 and $75 are on sale at the offices of Peltz Boxing Promotions (215-765-0922) and also can be purchased online at www.peltzboxing.com.

Phantoms to play at Wells Fargo Center

The Philadelphia Flyers American Hockey League affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms, announced that they will play a regular season game against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at the Wells Fargo Center on
January 21, 2011.

"Bringing the Phantoms back to Philadelphia for a game at the Wells Fargo Center allows our fans an opportunity to personally see the next generation of Flyers players currently in our system," said
Comcast-Spectacor President Peter Luukko. "We're grateful to the Phantoms owners, Rob and Jim Brooks, for making it possible to have the Phantoms come back for a regular season game again this season for
hockey fans in Philadelphia."

"Playing a game in the Wells Fargo Center is always a thrill for our players, and a great opportunity for the fans of Philadelphia to take a sneak peak at the Flyers' future stars," said Phantoms President/Co-Owner Jim Brooks. "And for us, it is a great way to celebrate the strong working partnership between the Flyers and

Tickets for all children 12-years-old and younger are $10. Individual tickets at $14, $18, and $19 will go on sale Fri. Sept. 17 and can be purchased exclusively through ComcastTIX on line at ComcastTIX.com, by
phone by calling 1-800-298-4200 or in person at the Wells Fargo Center box office. There are also a very limited number of front row, along the ice, seats available for $33.

For the second consecutive season, the Flyers primary affiliate, which plays out of the Glens Falls Civic Center in Glens Falls, N.Y., will play a regular season game in Philadelphia. Last season, the Phantoms
took on the Norfolk Admirals on Dec. 4 and dropped a close contest, 2-1, in overtime in front of 13,127 fans.

Comcast-Spectacor sold the Phantoms when the company made a decision to close the Spectrum, where the Phantoms had played for 13 years since their inaugural season in 1996-97.

The American Hockey League granted the Flyers an AHL franchise on December 18, 1995. The Phantoms captured the Calder Cup twice - June 10, 1998 in front of 17,380 fans at the Spectrum, then the largest crowd ever to see a Calder Cup playoff game in AHL history. The team set a new attendance record on June 10, 2005, when they captured their second Calder Cup in front of 20,103.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Report: Don Fehr to be named Executive Director of NHLPA

The Sports Business Journal late Wednesday reported that former Major League Baseball Players' Association head Donald Fehr will accept a position as NHLPA Executive Director.

Fehr is best known as one of the key figures in the baseball strike which began in August, 1994 and lingered into 1995.

The NHLPA has been without a leader since Paul Kelly was removed on August 31, 2009.

Flyers featured on multiple national broadcasts in 2010-11

by Bob Herpen
Phanatic Hockey Editor 

The Philadelphia Flyers will once again be a presence on national network hockey broadcasts in the upcoming season.

The defending Eastern Conference playoff champions are featured 14 times on American television, beginning with the club's season opener October 7 in Pittsburgh on VERSUS.

Here is the breakdown of the national games:

October 7        @ Pittsburgh
October 14      TAMPA BAY
October 26      BUFFALO
November 16  @ Montreal
December 8     SAN JOSE
December 14   PITTSBURGH
January 11       @ Buffalo
January 25       MONTREAL
March 22        WASHINGTON

January 23       @ Chicago
February 13     LOS ANGELES
February 20     @ NY Rangers
March 6           @ NY Rangers
April 3             NY RANGERS

In addition, CBC's venerable Hockey Night in Canada will welcome the Orange and Black on October 23 when the Maple Leafs come to the Wells Fargo Center and February 26 when the Flyers travel to Ottawa.

Flyers sign four to AHL Deals

The Philadelphia Flyers announced today the signing of four players - goaltender Nicola Riopel and defensemen Logan Stephenson, J.P. Testwuide and Jesse Dudas - to American Hockey League contracts for the 2010-11 season.

Riopel, 21 (2/20/89; 6-0, 185 lbs), was selected by the Flyers in the fifth round (142nd overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. During the 2009-10 season, he appeared in 11 games for the Flyers American Hockey
League affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms, posting a 4-6 record with a 3.35 goals-against average and a .893 save percentage.

Riopel was assigned to the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League on December 17, 2009 and went on to help the team win the 2009-10 QMJHL championship. He posted a record of 19-5, a 2.06 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage in 33 regular season appearances. In the playoffs, Riopel posted a 16-4 record, a 2.38 GAA and a .930 save percentage as Moncton earned a berth in the Memorial Cup tournament.

A native of St.-Pie-de-Bagot, Quebec, Riopel appeared in 239 games over five seasons with Moncton, earning a career record of 94-61 and posting a 2.51 GAA and .915 save percentage.

Stephenson, 24 (2/19/86; 6-3, 210 lbs), enters his fifth professional season and second with the Phantoms. In 2009-10, the native of Outlook, Saskatchewan appeared in 62 games for Adirondack, posting a goal and
seven assists while collecting 140 penalty minutes.

Stephenson has spent his entire professional career in the American Hockey League. In 269 games, he has seven goals and 24 assists for 31 points along with 416 PIM. He was selected by the Phoenix Coyotes in
the second round (35th overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

Testwuide, 25 (11/5/84; 6-0, 205 lbs), comes to the Phantoms from the AHL's Houston Aeros, where he registered two goals, six assists and 111 penalty minutes over 58 games during his rookie season in 2009-10.

In a four-year career at the University of Denver, Testwuide posted five goals and 23 assists for 28 points and accrued 282 penalty minutes. The Vail, Colo. native is the older brother of forward Mike Testwuide, who signed a contract with the Flyers in March.

Dudas, 22 (3/31/88; 6-2, 215 lbs), split time last season between Bloomington of the International Hockey League and Corpus Christi of the Central Hockey League. In a total of 24 games, he recorded five goals
and seven assists for 12 points.

Originally from St. Albert, Alberta, Dudas spent six seasons in the Western Hockey League with Lethbridge, Swift Current and Regina. He posted 11 goals and 82 assists for 93 points and 238 penalty minutes in
175 career WHL games. Dudas was selected by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the sixth round (159th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

Video: Temple-Villanova Mayor's Cup Press Conference

Inside Temple Football with Al Golden to air on CSN

PHILADELPHIA - The Temple University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics has partnered with (215) Sports & Entertainment to produce Inside Temple Football with Al Golden, a bi-weekly television and
web show featuring exclusive behind the scenes access to the Owls' football program.

"We are excited to once again produce a television show exclusively on Temple Football," Temple Associate Athletic Director for Communications Larry Dougherty said. "This program will provide Owl fans a unique look behind the scenes of the 2010 Temple football season."

The 30-minute television show will air six installments during the season on Comcast SportsNet. The show will debut this Friday, August 27 (7:00 p.m.) and will replay on Sunday, August 29 (2:30 p.m.). The remaining shows will air at 11:00 p.m. on the following Thursdays: September 16, September 30, October 14, October 28 and November 14, They will replay the following Friday at 4:00 p.m. Each show can also be accessed throughout the month it airs by Comcast's digital cable subscribers via its OnDemand service.

Also, (215) Sports & Entertainment will produce a number of segments exclusively for Temple's Athletic website, Owlsports.com

Video: Tim McManus talks Eagles on FOX29

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Boardwalk Hall to host minor-league and college hockey in 2010-11

Courtesy of the Press of Atlantic City.

Area hockey fans were thrilled to hear these six words: Hockey is back at the Hall.

The New Jersey Devils this season will bring to Boardwalk Hall five minor-league games, which are being sponsored by the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority and Caesars Atlantic City. An official announcement will be made at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Boardwalk Hall.

"I'm certainly happy to have hockey back in the city. I will definitely be there," said Atlantic City's John Russo, 22. "I thought the Bullies were the best sports in the city for the last 15 years."

The Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies played four seasons at Boardwalk Hall but went to Stockton, Calif., in 2005 after attendance numbers sagged.

Russo's reaction was typical of fans contacted, who missed having a local team. Fans will get four games with the American Hockey League's Albany Devils and one with the East Coast Hockey League's Trenton Devils at Boardwalk Hall. The schedule will be released during Tuesday's news conference.

The move is part of an ongoing trend by Atlantic City officials to bring in more sporting events and other nongaming attractions.

"The idea for me is to mix up entertainment options and produce entertainment to a different group that wouldn't traditionally come to Atlantic City," ACCVA Executive Director Jeffrey Vasser said Friday.

Just this week, it was announced that the Offshore Powerboat Association is bringing powerboat racing back after an absence of almost 20 years.

In November, Boardwalk Hall will host the Legends Classic, a four-team college basketball tournament. Next March, the state high school wrestling tournament, the Atlantic 10 men's basketball tournament and the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division I college ice hockey tournament will all be contested at the hall.

Harrah's Entertainment traditionally has brought nongaming events to Atlantic City, specifically boxing. But in April, it sponsored the Caesars Tennis Classic, during which tennis stars Ivan Lendl, Pete Sampras and Andy
Roddick performed. More than 7,000 people attended the event, which is scheduled to return next year.

"I think anything that brings a broader visitor base to Atlantic City is a good thing," said Don Marrandino, president of the eastern division of Harrah's Entertainment. "We have to change the way people do things in Atlantic City to get people here, and we saw this as an opportunity."

Russo went to about 10 Bullies games a year with his family, but the overall attendance figures were not strong enough to keep the ECHL hockey team in town. In its final year, the Bullies averaged audiences of 2,453, the fifth lowest in the league at the time.

The Trenton Devils - then called the Trenton Titans - were a big rival of the Boardwalk Bullies. The Bullies won the ECHL's Kelly Cup under Mike Haviland in 2003, who also coached the Trenton Titans to a championship in 2005. Haviland was an assistant coach for this year's Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in the NHL.

A good turnout for the five Devils games this winter could give the city another push for a team.

"A great turnout would go a long way," Vasser said. "I think if you find an owner, one of the questions will be about the community support."

Vasser also feels the Albany Devils games will boost the two-day ECAC hockey tournament, which starts March 18, 2011. The college tournament has been held in Albany since 2003.

"This is a great opportunity to reach out to a different market segment," he said.

Rondo withdraws; Iguodala makes Team USA

ATHENS, Greece (August 24,  2010) – With one exhibition game remaining and just four days out from the tip of the FIBA World Championship for Men, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo today announced the 12 players who will represent the United States at the 2010 FIBA World Championship.
Philadelphia 76ers forward Andre Iguodala was named to the 12-man 2010 USA World Championship Team, along with Chauncey Billups (Denver Nuggets); Tyson Chandler (Dallas Mavericks); Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies); Eric Gordon (Los Angeles Clippers); Danny Granger (Indiana Pacers); Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves); Lamar Odom (Los Angeles Lakers); Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls); and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder).

“It is an honor to not only represent my country, but also the 76ers organization and the city of Philadelphia during the World Championships in Istanbul, Turkey,” Iguodala said. “I am truly looking forward to this experience as we continue our quest to bring home the gold medal for the United States.”

“The entire Philadelphia 76ers organization and our fans are incredibly proud of Andre on earning the opportunity to play for our country at the upcoming World Championships,” said Comcast-Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider.  “We know Andre will proudly represent our nation, our city and our team with a great deal of pride and is yet another reason we are excited about the upcoming season.”

“Andre has committed his time and effort to helping USA Basketball in its quest for the gold medal,” said Sixers President Rod Thorn. “He will provide the team with a unique mix of talent, versatility and athleticism, and we are proud that he was selected to represent the United States and the 76ers.” 

“This honor is not only much-deserved, but it is a testament to Andre’s commitment to the game and a result of his hard work and preparation,” Sixers Head Coach Doug Collins said. “I have been in constant contact with Andre throughout this process and I am very proud and excited that he has earned this opportunity to represent our country at the World Championships.”

The 2010-12 USA National Team coaching staff is led by Duke University’s Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski, and features as USA assistant coaches Syracuse University’s Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim, Portland Trail Blazers head coach Nate McMillan and Toronto Raptors head mentor Jay Triano.
Boston point guard Rajon Rondo, who likely was going to be the last cut, withdrew from the team.

“Rajon came to us and said he was going to withdraw from the team, that he had some family matters to attend to and some things to take care of before the NBA season.  He did an outstanding job during our training, we appreciate the effort and commitment he made to our program and he completely has our support,” said Colangelo.
The USA World Championship Team will complete their exhibition tour facing Greece in Athens on Wednesday (12 noon EDT).  The U.S. will then travel to Istanbul on Aug. 26 and train prior to starting the World Championship. 
The 12 members of the USA World Championship Team, by the end of the FIBA World Championship (Sept. 12), average out to be 24.66 years old. The roster features six players 22 years old or younger - four players who are just 21 years old (Durant, Rose, Gordon, Westbrook) and two who are 22 years old (Curry, Love).  The oldest player on the USA roster is Chauncey Billups, who is 33 years old.
By comparison, the 2006 team averaged 24.58 years of age; 26.16 in 2002; 27.83 (NBA lockout year) in 1998; 26.33 in 1994 and in 1990, the last team consisting of collegians, was 20.08 years old.
The 2010 USA World Championship squad averages 5.0 seasons of NBA experience, with one player having one season (Curry), four players (Gordon, Love, Rose, Westbrook) possessing two seasons, one with three (Durant), one (Gay) with four, one with five (Granger), one with six (Iguodala),one with nine (Chandler), one with 11 (Odom) and one with 13 seasons (Billups).