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Points allowed during 1st quarter this season by Penn State

The Greek God of Wrestling explains how the Hardys and other wrestlers are taking control of their careers. Achilles Heel also tells you who became Ring of Honor’s new world champion, wonders what’s next for Goldberg after winning the WWE Universal Championship, and marvels at the reaction Undertaker can generate without saying a word.

Chairman Ed Snider says the Flyers’ culture “is to win.” But is that culture, which includes a heavy dose of loyalty, also responsible for the Flyers’ failure to win a Stanley Cup since 1975?

After his game-winning hit Sunday against the Mets, Ryan Howard said the Phillies are headed in the right direction, but Eric Fisher says if The Big Piece is correct, it’s only because they’re so bad that they have nowhere to go except up. Eric also reviews Charlie Manuel’s induction into the Phillies Wall of Fame, questions why older players are starting late in the season and wonders if a Phillies pitcher will win 10 games.

Archive for the ‘Soccer’ Category

Young Philly players

Posted by Eric Fisher On October - 21 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

There were many years when we would have had to stretch to create a Top 10 list of good young players on Philadelphia teams. But now there are more good young players in town than at any time in recent memory. The criteria for this list is a player must be younger than 25 years old and can’t be beyond his third year with the professional team. (Sean Couturier, 24, is ineligible because he’s already played six seasons. Aaron Nola, 24, has already completed three seasons with the Phillies. Union goalie Andre Blake is 26 years old. Scott Kingery, 23, hasn’t joined the Phillies yet.) We’re also putting more value on long-term potential rather than how good they are right now.

Without further ado, PhillyPhanatics.com presents its Top 10 list of the best young players in Philadelphia.

10. Nick Williams In his first half-season in the big leagues, talented outfielder displayed little of the immaturity and lack of discipline that had people questioning his future while in the minors.

9. Derek Barnett It usually takes defensive ends a year or two before they begin to make an impact in the NFL. The Eagles should be patient with the 14th overall pick in this year’s NFL draft.

8. Nolan Patrick The second overall pick in this year’s NHL Draft, Patrick has already displayed terrific vision and play-making skills. There are questions regarding whether he will ever develop into a top-line center.

7. Markelle Fultz There are questions about the game of this year’s top overall pick in the NBA Draft. Fultz may turn out to be good, but he may not be great.

6. Shayne Gostisbehere After a rough sophomore campaign, Gostisbehere seems even better than he was during his impressive rookie campaign.

5. Ben Simmons The top overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Simmons has an amazing combination of size and speed. The question as his NBA career begins is how much he can improve his shooting.

4. Ivan Provorov He was the Flyers’ best defenseman last season as a rookie. Just 20 years old, Provorov plays with the calmness and poise of a veteran. Barring injury, he should be a mainstay on the Flyers’ blue line for at least a decade.

3. Rhys Hoskins Although he tailed off at the very end of the season, Hoskins hit 18 home runs and drove in 48 runs in 50 games after being called up from Class AAA Lehigh Valley. The first baseman of the future has the power to be a superstar.

2. Joel Embiid If he can get healthy, Embiid has the potential to be among the NBA’s best players. Nobody would be surprised if Embiid wins an MVP Award.

1. Carson Wentz Playing with the poise of a veteran, the second-year quarterback inspires supreme confidence among his teammates. Less than halfway through his second season, Wentz may already be an elite NFL quarterback.

Honorable mention: Ronald Darby, Nelson Agholor, Jake Elliott, Jalen Mills, Dario Saric, Travis Konecny, Travis Sanheim, Robert Hagg, J.P. Crawford, Jorge Alfaro, Josh Yaro, Derrick Jones, Keegan Rosenberry.

 

 

The Philly fan quiz

Posted by Eric Fisher On April - 19 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Fisher column logo2With the NFL Draft coming to Philadelphia next week, we are certain to be reminded of the 1999 NFL Draft, when Eagles fans traveled to New York to boo the selection of quarterback Donovan McNabb with the No. 2 overall pick because the fans preferred running back Ricky Williams. (In fact, you might even find that video right here at PhillyPhanatics.com.)

The booing of the McNabb selection joins the booing of Mike Schmidt and the throwing of snowballs at Santa Claus, as well as at Jimmy Johnson, in the folklore reinforcing the negative image of Philadelphia fans.

But there is a difference between booing and being a pessimist. Philadelphia fans are proud of booing the opposition. Ask any Philadelphia fan if they are embarrassed about booing Sidney Crosby, Kobe Bryant or the Dallas Cowboy of your choice.

The last time a major professional sport held its draft in Philadelphia, Flyers fans proudly attracted international attention (Canada makes it international) with deafening boos for NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and the Pittsburgh Penguins – as well as booing every other team – during the NHL Draft. We may have a repeat performance at the NFL Draft with the Cowboys, Giants, Redskins, Patriots and any of the former Cowboys-turned-broadcasters who has the misfortune of taking the public stage.

But are we truly that negative? I prefer to think of Philly sports fans as incredibly passionate. The optimism and pessimism are two sides of the same coin, which is why I sometimes consult Joe Optimist and Joe Pessimist, whom I created to represent the two conflicting views that often co-exist within the brain of the Philly sports fan, in my columns.

Are you more Joe Optimist or Joe Pessimist? Let’s find out by taking the following quiz.

1. With the 14th selection in the NFL Draft (in Philly!), the Eagles will draft:

A) a terrific starting defensive player. The draft is deep in corners. The Eagles can’t miss.

B) a solid contributor, but they won’t get an elite starter.

C) an average player … and they’ll pass up a player who will become a star.

D) a mistake. I don’t know whom they’ll pick, but I know it will be a mistake.

2. When you hear the phrase “Trust the Process,” your first reaction is to:

A) bow down in front of your Sam Hinkie poster.

B) get excited about two lottery picks in this year’s draft joining Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Dario Saric on the court next season

C) worry that Joel Embiid’s and Ben Simmons’ careers will be hindered by injuries.

D) try not to throw up from the bile rising in your throat.

3. The Phillies’ bullpen will be:

A) good once Hector Neris becomes the closer and everyone settles into their new roles.

B) decent, but it doesn’t really matter right now because the Phillies are rebuilding.

C) a problem until they can find a reliable closer.

D) lit up all summer like a charcoal grill.

4. Flyers captain Claude Giroux:

A) wasn’t fully recovered from surgery this year. He will be much better next season.

B) will bounce back next season, but will never regain his peak form.

C) should be stripped of his captaincy because he’s not a good leader.

D) is on an irreversible downward spiral. The window to trade him has already passed.

5. Carson Wentz is:

A) the quarterback who will lead the Eagles to multiple Super Bowl victories.

B) going to be a long-time starting quarterback, but he won’t be an elite quarterback.

C) vastly overrated by Eagles fans desperate for a winner.

D) a flash in the pan who will be replaced by Nick Foles by midseason.

6. Maikel Franco batting .160 through the first 13 games is:

A) not important. Once he’s warmed up, he’ll be the team’s best hitter again. It’s early!

B) mildly concerning, but nothing to worry about.

C) a sign that he might not be as much of an impact player as Phillies fans had hoped.

D) a sign that he doesn’t know how to hit. Trade Franco now while you can still get something for him.

7. Ivan Provorov, Carson Wentz, Joel Embiid and J.P. Crawford are:

A) destined to usher in a new golden era in Philadelphia sports.

B) future superstars who will help make their respective teams championship contenders.

C) overrated because Philadelphia fans are so desperate for a winner.

D) destined to leave via free agency as soon as they can get out of this cursed city.

8. The Union’s next win will be:

A) this weekend

B) in May

C) after head coach Jim Curtin is fired

D) before Christmas

9. The best general manager (or equivalent front office position) is:

A) Ron Hextall

B) Matt Klentak

C) Howie Roseman

D) Bryan Colangelo

E) There a “best” general manager in this town? Really?

10. The next of Philadelphia’s major sports teams to win a championship will be:

A) the Eagles. E! A! G! L! E! S! EAGLES!!!

B) the Sixers. Trust the process!

C) the Flyers. Look at all those young defensemen!

D) the Phillies. Wait until all the kids arrive!

E) Championship? Don’t talk about championships. Let’s try to get a team into the playoffs before we talk about winning a championship. And let’s get a team over .500 before we talk about the playoffs. A championship? That’s a long, long way away.

Carson Wentz owes Jake Elliott some money