Every once in a while I need to talk (or blog sports), and now’s as good of a time as any to give my take on the Philly sports (professional) “atmosphere. Some of you will probably be bored out of your skulls by this post, but hey, ya gotta give me props for warning you. Without further ado ….
1. The Philadelphia Flyers – After a 2007 season that would’ve made the 1972 76ers blush, the 2008 version, sans bumbling GM Bob Clarke, has returned to familiar playoff territory. Sure, they squeaked in on the second-to-the-last day of the season, and sit at an unimpressive 6th seed, but when you consider the fact that they lost one of their biggest playmakers in Simon Gagne for most of the season, coupled with injuries to important players, and goaltending that has been inconsistent at best, this squad did the city proud. They have a very young nucleus in Carter, Richards, Umberger, and Coburn, and need to round that out with some more talent … especially in goal. Sadly, the Flyers really haven’t had a good answer in goal since Hextall’s first time around. Stevens is OK at best as a head coach, but maybe he’ll grow along with the team … certainly he deserves another year with this team. My prediction for the playoffs is that they lose in 6 games in the first round against the Ovechkin and the blazing hot Capitals.
2. The Philadelphia 76ers – What the hell happened here? Seriously – after trading away Iverson and Webber, I thought this team had about as much of a chance to make the playoffs as our president does of successfully reciting the alphabet. All they did this season was fire the GM, bring in another GM, and trade their Ashton Kutcher look-alike Korver, and now are battling for 5th place … remarkable considering this team was 18-30 just over two months ago. Granted, Philly still needs a quality scoring power forward, and I still have my doubts about Iguodala, but they are exciting to watch now. The offseason will be interesting as they address whether to sign Iggy to a major contract … and if they do this, do they move him to 2-guard so that Thaddeus Young gets more playing time? And, will they have enough money to pursue a quality power forward? My prediction for the playoffs this year is a loss in four games (depending on which team they play, of course).
3. The Philadelphia Phillies – It really is a shame that this ownership refuses to go for a championship full throttle with arguably three of the best players in the club’s history playing in the infield. This club could probably outhit anybody, and for the most part, has more than enough adequate fielding to back up the bat-power. Unfortunately, their pitchers tend to serve up better meatballs than even the best Italian restaurants in the city. Outside of Hamels, it’s hard to have confidence in any of the starters, and the bullpen is always a concern. My prediction for these guys is a third place finish, behind the Mets and Braves.
4. The Philadelphia Eagles – They teased us this offseason, by almost indulging the fans by trying to sign free agent stud Randy Moss. But, I get this feeling these guys knew Moss was going to sign with the Pats no matter what and that this “move” would quiet the fans down a little. It’s not gonna work, fellas. I understand the philosophy to build from the inside out, by going after good offensive and defensive linemen, but shouldn’t the wide receiver position be nearly as important in the west-coast offense? I mean, didn’t Walsh’s Niners have the greatest wide receiver in the history of the game? What about Green Bay? Sure, they didn’t have anyone like that, but they had two terrific receivers in Brooks and Freeman – certainly better than the current Eagles roster. I like what they’ve done on the defensive side of the ball – considering they needed to increase the turnovers they were causing per game. What about a kick/punt returner? Do you realize that the Eagles had the worst starting field position of any team in the league last season???? Again, this may partly explain why the offense had trouble scoring. If this team stays the way it is, and doesn’t add a wide receiver of any note and no “decent” kick/punt returner, we’re looking at another frustrating 8-8 season.
Hey, at least we have the undefeated Philadelphia Sou…..nevermind.