Eric Fisher’s weekly column on a variety of topics. This week Eric serves up opinions on the “struggling” 4-1 Eagles, the start of hockey season and the Union’s playoff chances.
Gordon Glantz announces his candidacy for the Eagles’ vacant personnel position, saying the position is more than simply a job. It’s his calling.
Almost any NFL team can beat any other NFL team on any given Sunday (or Monday … or Thursday). The NFL’s off-the-field problems are pushed to the sidelines every week by entertaining games with unpredictable outcomes. That’s why we keep watching.
Listen to the 1/27/13 episode – Villanova men’s basketball beats two Top 5 teams in a week, while La Salle beats two Top 25 teams in the same week; are the local teams’ prospects to make the NCAA tournament better than we originally thought? Is Jay Wright now off the hot seat with some freshmen and sophomore recruits who are playing well? How important is it for the Sixers that Jrue Holiday was named an all-star? Would that have happened if Andre Iguodala were still on the 76ers? Mike from Pittsburgh calls in and writes off his Celtics for this season with Rajon Rondo hurt and wants to trade to rebuild. Did the Flyers turn the corner after their 5-on-3 penalty kill to beat the Rangers for their first win of the season, or will special teams play continue to plague them? Are the Phillies going to be widely picked to finish third in the NL East now that the Braves acquired Justin Upton? Is Delmon Young going to help the Phillies at the plate more or harm them in the field more?
Listen to the 1/20/13 episode – Eagles get their man…Chip Kelly hired as head coach. Who will be his quarterback? Eric and Josh extol the virtue of the read-option offense. Can the Ravens’ run continue against the Patriots? Can we read much into the Flyers’ performance in their season opener? Who are the key players to watch on the Flyers?
Listen to the 1/13/13 episode – The NFL is all abuzz about the read-option offenses – are the Eagles already regretting taking Vinny Curry instead of Russell Wilson in the last NFL draft? Criticism of John Fox – and maybe Mike McCoy – for playing not to lose the Broncos’ divisional playoff game against the Ravens. Should Eagles’ fans be worried that the team still hasn’t hired a head coach? Is Brian Billick a real possibility now that Chip Kelly has turned down the NFL again? The Sixers’ disappointing season continues. The Flyers will be getting underway next week, hosting the hated Penguins in the NHL 2013 season opener – but Eric and Ron express their frustration about the jam-packed schedule from a season ticket holder perspective, speculate about the Flyers’ conspicuous absence from either side of the bargaining table and discuss the outlook for the Flyers in 2013.
Listen to the 1/6/13 episode – Matt Lombardo of 97.5 The Fanatic joins us to talk about the Eagles pursuit of head coaching leads, topped by Oregon coach Chip Kelly and Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan. Also a look at Andy Reid’s future in Kansas City. We shift to news that the NHL lockout is over and explore reflections on why this played out the way it did and opinions on what to expect on the ice. Hear Ron Opher say ‘The Ravens are going nowhere beyond this week anyway.’ Finally, a look at Baseball Hall of Fame candidates and the steroid issue.
Listen to the 12/30/12 episode – Eagles embarrass themselves with a lack of effort in 42-7 loss to Giants in what should be Andy Reid’s swan song. Looking back at the Andy Reid era – the disappointments of not breaking through to win a Super Bowl, the repeated failures on clock management, spending timeouts needlessly and overreliance on the passing game never were addressed. Also, a look at Eagles personnel going into next year and lamenting the bad 2010 and 2011 Eagles’ drafts. Are the Lions even more disappointing to their fans than the Eagles were to Philadelphians? Is the best story of 2012′s regular season the Indianapolis Colts?
Listen to the 12/24/12 episode – Eagles’ (and likely Andy Reid’s) home finale. Why have the Eagles been particularly bad at home since late 2010 and is fixing that a priority? Will the revelation that Garrett Reid had steroids in his possession at the time of his death both tarnish Andy Reid from an Eagles’ perspective and also as a job candidate? How big a surprise is it that the Steelers are out of the playoffs and the Giants may follow? Is the AFC playoff picture a case of 3 teams with a real shot at the Super Bowl and 3 teams with little shot? Is the NFC more wide open than the NFC? Sixers’ injuries are a cause for concern as they hover around playoff bubble 2 months into the season. Phillies keep letting opportunities to add outfield power slip past.
Listen to the 12/16/12 episode – NFL playoff picture: Who looks impressive? How does our panel feel about Nick Foles, the running game and the defense as presently constituted, going into next year. Has Ruben Amaro adequately addressed the Phillies’ major needs this offseason, or has he simply put 3 bodies out there at low cost, hoping for the best? Finally, the end of the Big East as we knew it.
Listen to the 12/9/12 episode – Eagles-Bucs: Are Eagles finally playing with the pride we expected all along? If they had played to their ability, would the Eagles have been a playoff team? MLB hot stove: Does Ruben Amaro have a big move still to come (like Josh Hamilton), or are Ben Revere and Michael Young as good as it gets this offseason? What about a 4th/5th starter – is Tyler Cloyd penciled in, or will Amaro go outside the organization?
Listen to the 12/2/12 episode – Eagles-Cowboys preview: Does a 7 game losing streak give us at least 7 reasons to watch? Does the Eagles-Cowboys rivalry still eclipse the Eagles-Giants rivalry and does it mean as much to play spoiler now as it did when Buddy Ryan famously said that 2-14 was still a successful season if the 2 wins were overt Dallas? Should Andy Reid finish out the season if the Eagles are mathematically eliminated on Monday night? In light of the Jason Babin release and the Jovan Belcher murder-suicide tragedy – what is the fans’ responsibility for how to treat players and teams who are not performing well? Also, Phillies hot stove – does the B.J. Upton signing with the Braves and the Nationals’ acquisition pave the way for the Phillies to sign Michael Bourn? Or will it still be Angel Pagan?? What about a trade for the Reds’ Drew Stubbs??? Or is Josh Hamilton on the Phillies’ radar???? In the case of Carlos Ruiz, is there any real difference in using Adderal vs. steroids or HGH – or are all of them performance-enhancing drugs and cheating is cheating? In local college hoops – should we be surprised at La Salle’s win over Villanova? Is Temple still the top local team, or will St. Joe’s give them a run for that honor? Finally, a quick initial look at the BCS championship matchup and a question about whether the 4-team playoff will work out any better?
Listen to the 11/25/12 episode – Eagles-Panthers preview: What are we hoping to see and will people watch? Who are the surprise teams in the NFL as we head to the home stretch? How bad would it be if Andrew Bynum never plays for the 76ers? Phillies hot stove: Where should they be spending? And a nod to Penn State and Mike Mauti for holding it together on the field as they finished 8-4 after the Jerry Sandusky scandal and an 0-2 start.
Listen to the 11/18/12 episode – Eagles-Redskins postmortem. If Falcons loss was an “embarrassment,” was this loss a “disgrace?” Did the Eagles quit on their coach, their fans and their season? How can Andy Reid not only leave LeSean McCoy on the field in the last 2 minutes to suffer a concussion in a 31-6 game, but also say three times ‘We were trying to catch up and win the game?’ Nick Foles’ first start: is he going to be the answer at QB? Phillies hot stove: Will their top target be B.J. Upton? If so, would that be a good move? Is Andrew Bynum the second coming of Jeff Ruland? Did the Marlins bait and switch South Florida into a stadium they didn’t deserve?
Listen to the 11/11/12 episode – Eagles-Cowboys: does anyone care? Do the Eagles have a realistic chance of climbing into the NFC East race – or do they figure to lose more games than they win in the second half, just as they did in the first half? What are the realistic expectations of the Sixers this season – with our without Andrew Bynum? Penn State is having a winning football season – is that a surprise? Will they survive NCAA sanctions and stay out of the Big 10 cellar? And which side – if either – will blink in the NHL lockout?
Listen to the 11/4/12 episode – Eagles draw controversy with Jason Babin’s negative comments toward fans; should Andy Reid have been fired after last season and possibly even earlier than that? Was it acceptable for the Eagles to go 10-6 and make the playoffs more often than not, or should they have tried to be a dominant team more than just one season (2004)? Also, which centerfielder will the Phillies sign – signs are pointing to Melky Cabrera because of its short term nature – or should the Phillies still aim for Michael Bourn? What about B.J. Upton? Finally, is there hope for ending the NHL lockout – or is it false hope?
Listen to the 10/28/12 episode – Eagles lose their third in a row to the undefeated Falcons, their first post-bye week loss in Andy Reid’s tenure. Defense gives up 6 scores in Atlanta’s first 6 possessions under new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. Fans and media circling like vultures around Andy Reid’s head. Sixers open season Wednesday when Andre Iguodala returns with the Denver Nuggets. Sixers still dealing with no Andrew Bynum due to a lingering knee injury. AFter we thought the Tigers would ride Justin Verlander to a World Series win, the Giants are outpitching Detroit and Matt Cain hasn’t even started a game yet.
Listen to the 10/21/12 episode – Eagles fire defensive coordinator Juan Castillo in wake of late loss to Lions – was it justified and will it help? Is Andy Reid in his last season as Eagles head coach? Sixers are scoring more in the preseason – is that a winning recipe? Is A-Rod to the Phillies a valid rumor? Will the NHL owners, who were willing to split revenue 50-50 with the players, will make the other concessions necessary to get a deal done?
Listen to the 10/14/12 episode – Eagles blow 10 point lead late and lose to Lions in OT. Why can’t the get pressure on the opposing quarterback? Why don’t they have a more consistent offense? MLB Division Series all went 5 games and had a bunch of highlight-reel moments.
Listen to the 10/7/12 episode – Eagles lose close one to Steelers, as Michael Vick keeps turning the ball over and defense softens down the stretch. Is there a changing of the guard at the top of the NFL, or will teams like the Steelers, Packers and Patriots get it together? Is Charlie Manuel heading into his last season as Phillies manager, is the failure to extend his contract unfair, and is Ryne Sandberg a lock to take over in 2014?
Listen to the 9/30/12 episode – Phillies mathematically eliminated; what was the highlight of the season (Hamels plunking Bryce Harper, Jim Thome’s hot streak as a DH in interleague play, Ryan Howard’s 9th inning home run at CitiField in September) and what is their major question mark (bullpen, third base, outfield, Roy Halladay and Ryan Howard’s health) going into next season? Replacement refs sent packing by NFL, Eagles host Giants and Brian Dawkins’ #20 retired – where does Dawkins rate among all-time Eagles greats.
Listen to the 9/23/12 episode – Temple still can’t beat Penn State, but mid-majors acquitting themselves well against power conferences. Did Phillies blow their chance at postseason by losing 3 of 4 in Houston? Is Roy Halladay injured or tipping pitches, as Braves pummel him again? Eagles-Cardinals preview: Is Arizona underrated? Are the Eagles’ offensive yardage totals inflated? And finally, a look at the mark Steve Sabol and NFL Films has had on football fans, as we mourn Sabol’s passing earlier this week.
Listen to the 9/16/12 episode – Phillies clinging to postseason hopes, AL/NL races, Eagles take on tougher opponent in the Ravens than the Browns – will the Eagles step up their game? Ron Opher calls for a running back/tight end game plan. Also, a look at the NHL lockout through the eyes of Flyers’ fans and also a look at the issues which for now are an obstacle to a new collective bargaining agreement.
Listen to the 9/9/12 episode – Eagles offense terrible in Cleveland, but team escapes with a win. Also, Phillies again relevant down the stretch and a look at the NHL collective bargaining agreement/potential lockout situation.
Listen to the 9/2/12 episode – Jimmy Rollins was at it again with not running out a pop up and this time got benched. Also, will Tyler Cloyd be in the starters mix next season? In local college football, Ohio U. Bobcats roar back to maul Nittany Lions – will we see this repeat throughout Penn State’s season? What about Temple – was their big win more of a sign they’re ready to compete in the Big East or that Villanova would not join the Big East. What will the NFL season look like – which teams or on the rise and which are in decline? How will the Eagles do?
Listen to the 8/26/12 episode – Scandal week as Lance Armstrong drops battle against USADA, Melky Cabrera accused of hiring a consultant to concoct an alibi to try to avoid PED suspension, Bartolo Colon gets 50-game PED ban and suspected PED user Roger Clemens starts an independent league game at age 50. Also, the issue about how to go about testing and why to test when it would appear that few are caught. Speaking of Melky, is the upcoming free agent crop so thin that the Dodgers’ taking on 250+ million of contracts from the Red Sox a good move for L.A.? Plus Eagles talk and how dominant the defense looked against the Browns, and a look back at the career of the late Steve Van Buren and where he ranks on our Top 10 list of Eagles’ greats.
Listen to the 8/19/12 episode – Jimmy Rollins’ lack of hustle and lack of benching by Charlie Manuel; also, Eagles preseason talk, the Flyers’ re-signing of Wayne Simmonds and a warm welcome for two new 76ers.
Listen to the 8/12/12 episode – Nick Fierro of the Allentown Morning Call calls in to talk Eagles; also, post-mortem on the Andre Iguodala trade and our panel shares their biggest Olympic surprises.
Listen to the 8/5/12 episode – Garrett Reid’s death; the Eagles’ preseason approaches; the good and not so good of the Olympics and its coverage; the Phillies’ trades of the past week and what to expect going forward.
Listen to the 7/29/12 episode – NCAA sanctions Penn State, Flyers lose out on Shea Weber – should they pursue Shane Doan? Can Michael Vick referring to the Eagles as a ‘dynasty’ be good for the team in an way? What will Phillies do as trade deadline approaches?
Listen to the 7/22/12 episode – Joe Paterno statue removed at Penn State and NCAA sanctions to be announced tomorrow, should Michael Vick have picked a different time to write a book? Flyers’ bold move signing Shea Weber to an offer sheet, what will Phillies do as trade deadline approaches?
Listen to the 7/15/12 episode – Freeh report cites failure of leadership at Penn State, what will Phillies do with Cole Hamels as trade deadline approaches?
Listen to the 7/8/12 episode – Sixers amnesty Elton Brand and let Lou Williams go in favor of Nick Young, Flyers miss out on Ryan Suter Zach Parise, lose Carle and Jagr – is a run at Shea Weber next? Ryan Howard is back, but Phillies limp into All-Star break with the possibility of being sellers at the trade deadline.
Listen to the 7/1/12 episode – Sixers draft recap and look at their off-season, NHL free agency opens and its impact on the Flyers, Spain wins Euro 2012, Phillies keep losing
Listen to the 6/24/12 episode – Wrapping up the NBA Finals, lamenting the Phillies’ predicament and acknowledging how bad the situation is, and an in-depth look at the trades of Bobrovsky and JVR, the 2012 NHL Draft from the Flyers’ perspective – including a look at the re-shaping of the Flyers’ roster for next season and a bit beyond.
Listen to the 6/17/12 episode – Do the Phillies still have a shot at the 2012 postseason? Are the Phillies’ problems bigger than injuries? Should Ruben Amaro, Jr. feel the heat for the poor construction of the 2012 Phillies, especially the bullpen? Where do the Phillies go from here in terms of the trade deadline and their upcoming free agents?
Listen to the 6/10/12 episode – Joe Banner out as Eagles’ president; Phillies lose 8 of 9 to fall 8 games behind in NL East; L.A. Kings losing their grip on Stanley Cup? Heat or Thunder in NBA final?
Listen to the 6/3/12 episode – Looking in on the Stanley Cup Final and the slew of ex-Flyers on the L.A. Kings; also looking in on the NBA conference finals; Old expensive pitchers week as Johan Santana throws Mets’ first ever no-hitter, Barry Zito pitches 6 shutout innings and Carlos Zambrano dominates the Phillies; Dodgers go from mediocre team with two superstars (Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp) in 2011 to top team in NL in 2012 – what has changed? Also can the Phillies afford to lose Cole Hamels to the Dodgers – or to any other team for that matter?
Listen to the 5/28/12 episode – Wrapping up the Sixers’ season and looking ahead to 2012-13. Phillies being carried by a handful of players, deep concern over Roy Halladay’s shoulder woes. Remembering these Philadelphia athletes on this Memorial Day: Wilt Chamberlain, Reggie White, Richie Ashburn, Tug McGraw, Pelle Lindbergh, Barry Ashbee.
Listen to the 5/20/12 episode – Sixers-Celtics even at 2 games apiece – how did they get there and what can we expect in next 2 or 3 games? Phillies set table but can’t eat as 6-game winning streak ends with lots of stranded baserunners in 2 losses to Red Sox; 38 years since Flyers won first Stanley Cup – why was that a watershed moment for Philly sports fans?
Listen to the 5/13/12 episode – Is there a rift between Paul Holmgren and Peter Laviolette in light of comments related to the Flyers’ lack of success using the attack style against the Devils? Is Ruben Amaro good at the big move, but poor at making minor moves with establishing a productive supporting cast? Will the Sixers rebound or unravel after a Game 1 loss to Boston where the game was theirs for the taking, but slipped away?
Listen to the 5/6/12 episode – Sixers take 3 games to 1 lead on the Bulls; how did they get there, and will they advance to the second round? Phillies-Nats is now a rivalry? Also, Phils’ bullpen is now a bigger problem than their offense; Flyers down 2 games to 1, and New Jersey is controlling play – can Flyers recover?
Listen to the 4/29/12 episode – Recap of Flyers-Devils Game 1 of Eastern Conference Semifinal and outlook for rest of series; Sixers-Bulls – do Sixers have a chance with Derrick Rose sidelined? Eagles trade up to pick Fletcher Cox at #12 and also pick some other quality players later; Brian Dawkins signs a ceremonial contract to retire as an Eagle – team will retire his jersey #20 on 9/30; is it possible to accentuate the positive with the Phillies, who are 10-12?
Listen to the 4/22/12 episode – Recap of Flyers-Penguins series – especially Game 6, a look at the Phillies’ offense failing to meet even the lowered expectations, the Sixers are likely playoff-bound – but everyone expects a short stay, and the Eagles draft Thursday…will they stay at #15?
Listen to the 4/15/12 episode – Recap of Flyers-Penguins Game 3, a look at the Phillies’ struggles to score runs, and a question of what happened to the Sixers and what will the future hold for Doug Collins and Andre Iguodala?
Listen to the 4/8/12 episode – Phillies drop a pair of walk-off finishes in Pittsburgh, as starting pitching excels while hitters and bullpen fail to deliver; Flyers-Penguins playoff preview; criticism for Andre Iguodala and by extension, concern for the free-falling 76ers
Listen to the 4/1/12 episode – Flyers-Penguins brawl their way toward playoff matchup, Big blow to Eagles as Jason Peters ruptures his achilles tendon, Sixers slipping as they try to rotate 3 guards in 2 spots, Kentucky takes on Kansas in NCAA men’s final, Phillies counting down to Opening Day 2012
Listen to the 3/25/12 episode – Eagles/NFL off-season talk – including news of Andy Reid’s near-departure, Peyton Manning to Broncos, Tim Tebow to Jets, Saints’ bounty suspensions, salary cap penalties to Redskins and Cowboys all discussed, Will Sixers hang on to first place in Atlantic?, Flyers stretch run, Freddy Galvis takes over for Chase Utley to start the 2012 season
Listen to the 3/18/12 episode – Flyers end Penguins’ win streak, teams on playoff collision course?, Importance of Sixers finishing first in Atlantic, Roy Halladay’s 10.57 spring ERA – does it mean anything?, Bizarre Dontrelle Willis Phillies saga, NCAA tourney and Bracket Madness underway
Listen to the 3/11/12 episode – Three-way NHL Atlantic Division race?, Is Chase Utley’s absence a concern?, Evan Turner blossoming, QB carousel underway in NFL with Manning displacing Tebow discussed well before the fact, NCAA selection likely to unfairly exclude Drexel
Listen to the 3/4/12 episode – City Six college hoops talk as NCAA tournament looms, Eagles place franchise tag on DeSean Jackson, Ryan Howard’s injury status, MLB playoff expansion
Listen to the 2/26/12 episode – Ryan Braun case fallout, Is Ryan Howard suffering a setback, Cole Hamels is willing to negotiate an extension in-season, Sixers’ tailspin, will 4 local hoops teams make the NCAA tournament and will Flyers make any more trades before tomorrow’s deadline?
Listen to the 2/19/12 episode – Flyers acquire 2 defensemen, but struggles in goal continue. Sixers struggling of late without Spencer Hawes in the lineup. Drexel runs streak to 15, winning bracket-buster game at Cleveland State, but could they still miss NCAA tourney? Phillies pitchers and catchers report, how does the new-look bullpen and bench compare to 2011?
Listen to the 2/12/12 episode – Super Bowl recap, Sixers do well in tough stretch, is this Jay Wright’s last year at Villanova, Flyers struggles in goal and with the Rangers continue and Roy Oswalt is still out there, are the Phillies interested?
Listen to the 2/5/12 episode – Flyers’ rough weekend/do they need to trade for a defenseman, Sixers heading into tough stretch, local college basketball on the rise, Josh Hamilton’s struggles with addiction and Super Bowl pregame
Listen to the 1/29/12 episode – Are the 76ers contenders or pretenders, Flyers at the NHL All-Star break, Tough coaches get to Super Bowl again, Phillies avoid arbitration with Pence and Hamels, and more
Listen to the 1/22/12 episode – Joe Paterno’s death, premature reports about Joe Paterno’s death and the media’s responsibility to fact-check, the AFC and NFC Championship Games, and do the Flyers need to upgrade their defense?
Listen to the 1/15/12 episode – NFL Divisional playoffs, what will Eagles’ defensive coaching staff look like for 2012, and do religion and football mix well? Also a look at the Flyers’ continued concussion problems and Ilya Bryzgalov’s struggles
Listen to the 1/8/12 episode – A look back at the Winter Classic, Penn State hires Bill O’Brien as head football coach, and Sixers beat writer Tom Moore joins us as a guest
Listen to the 1/1/12 episode – A look back at the Winter Classic Alumni Game and ahead to the Winter Classic
Listen to the 12/25/11 episode – Eagles out of playoff picture, Sixers about to open season, Winter Classic preview
Listen to the 12/18/11 episode – Phillies re-sign Jimmy Rollins and add Dontrelle Willis. Eagles-Jets preview. Flyers concussions: what can be done.
Listen to the 12/11/11 episode – Phillies/hot stove talk, especially regarding Jimmy Rollins. Eagles still alive after stifling Dolphins. Also, a little Sixers, Flyers and Phillies talk.
Listen to the 12/4/11 episode – What went wrong with the Eagles, and where do they go from here into next season. Also, a little Sixers, Flyers and Phillies talk.
Listen to the 11/27/11 episode – NBA lockout ends, Phillies’ acquire Ty Wigginton and get set for 3 possible arbitrations, Flyers announce roster for Winter Classic Alumni Game and Eagles-Patriots preview
Listen to the 11/20/11 episode – Eagles-Giants worth watching?, latest on Penn State, Flyers rise in standings, is it a choice between Cuddyer and Rollins?
Listen to the 11/13/11 episode – Eagles’ season over?, Joe Paterno career over, Jonathan Papelbon joins Phillies, Mark Howe to be inducted in Hockey Hall of Fame
Listen to the 11/6/11 episode – Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, Jim Thome returns to Phillies, tribute to Smokin’ Joe Frazier and Eagles-Bears preview
Listen to the 10/30/11 episode – World Series wrapup, Eagles-Cowboys rivalry talk