5 Reasons to Fear Sunday’s Eagles-Cowboys Game

Photos | USA Today Sports. Tim Heitman (left), Dennis Wierzbicki (right)

Photos | USA Today Sports. Tim Heitman (left), Dennis Wierzbicki (right)

The Eagles playoff chances dangle at the mercy of the Dallas Cowboys Sunday night, and this mantra keeps echoing in my head: Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Why should I feel this way? The Eagles dominated the Cowboys on one of the best Thanksgiving Days any Philadelphia fan could have. They proved they were the better team, even though the mercurial Mark Sanchez was the quarterback. The Cowboys’ vaunted offensive line crumbled like feta cheese that day — and that is supposedly the best element of their team. In addition to that, Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is a notorious December choker, and he’s taking the field with cracked rib cartilage and a double fracture in his backbone.

I’m not a sky-is-falling guy. I consistently urge folks to move past that Philadelphia fan mentality of impending doom. And yet I have this nagging feeling that we could lose Sunday’s Eagles-Cowboys game, finish with an 11-5 record, and perhaps lose the final wildcard playoff spot via an NFL tiebreaker. (For the Birds to survive after this, the Cowboys would have to lose one more game this season).

To sort this out in my brain, I yield to a bullet point presentation:

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Sixers Acquire Draft Pick They Can Use if the NBA Still Exists in 2020

While NBA players may all be wearing exosuits like in that Jonathan Lethem short story by the time they can use it, the Sixers made a trade yesterday to acquire a draft pick in 2020. Heck, let’s hope the NBA still exists then!

The Sixers traded Brandon Davies to the Brooklyn Nets for Andrei Kirilenko, the right to swap second-round picks in 2018 and a 2020 second-rounder. The Sixers also got cash. More assets for Hinkie! Won’t you be excited when the Sixers make that extra second round pick in 2020, if you’re still alive then?

So why no mention of Kirilenko?

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11 Best Jimmy Rollins GIFs

Although it’s not finalized yet, it seems Jimmy Rollins will soon be a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers. It’s good, in a sense, that the Phillies are plunging into a rebuild that will hopefully see them emerge a contender again. It’s also awful, because one of the best Phillies — a guy who has been here since the 2000 season — is leaving us.

Let’s remember J-Roll through the magic of the animated GIF 89a format.

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UPDATE: Rollins Trade Called “A Matter of Time”



UPDATE: 5 a.m. Thursday The trade still isn’t official, but that is expected to change today. MLB.com reporters said completion of the trade is just a “matter of time.”

The deal has not been finalized because a third team is involved in the trade, and money needs to be exchanged among them, which requires approval from the Commissioner’s Office.

“I know that there’s a lot of Jimmy Rollins stuff out there,” Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said in the team’s hotel suite at the Winter Meetings. “There’s nothing to announce, and as I’ve said before, we’re keeping our options open and our minds open on any way that we can improve our club long term.”

The Daily News elaborated:

If money is involved – Rollins is in the final year of a 4-year, $44 million deal – the commissioner has to approve the deal.

Another possible holdup: One of the final pieces in the deal might not have even been property of the Dodgers when the agreement was reached around 2 p.m. in San Diego, first reported by CSNPhilly.com. Later in the afternoon, the Dodgers agreed to a deal that will bring four players, including pitching prospect Andrew Heaney, to Los Angeles in exchange for All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon and veteran pitcher Dan Haren.

But as of midnight, it still remained to be seen who will be coming to Philadelphia in exchange for Rollins.

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Penn Charter’s Reece Whitley May Be America’s Next Olympic Star

Whitley (with Coach Keelan) is fast enough to qualify for the 2016 Olympic trials. Photograph by Jared Castaldi

Whitley (with Coach Keelan) is fast enough to qualify for the 2016 Olympic trials. Photograph by Jared Castaldi

When the grueling pace of kindergarten life overwhelmed him, Reece Whitley would escape to the bathtub. Two hours of soaking soothed his tired mind and prepared him for another tough day of coloring and story time. Even if the water cooled or his skin pruned, Whitley stayed in. “I just liked the feel of the water,” he says.

Whitley still loves the life aquatic, although those restorative soaks have been replaced by punishing swimming workouts. The Penn Charter freshman is one of the hottest young swimmers in the nation, owning a stack of age-group records and already posting fast enough times in the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke to qualify him for the 2016 U.S. Olympic trials in Omaha. At this past summer’s Junior (18-and-under) National Championships, 14-year-old Whitley finished third in the 200 and won the 100-meter “B” final.

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Penn State Makes First Bowl Since 2012; Temple Snubbed

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The Nittany Lions are Bronx bound. Penn State’s players learned yesterday the team will play Boston College in the Pinstripe Bowl on December 27th. It’s the first bowl game since 2012 for the Nittany Lions, who were banned from bowls the next two seasons in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

A team needs just six wins (and a .500 or better record) to qualify for a bowl. Penn State went 6-6 this year, its first under new coach James Franklin. The Lions opened the season 4-0, but lost 6 of its final 8 games. With its Big Ten Conference bowl tie-ins, that was enough to get the Nittany Lions into a bowl.

The 6-6 record was not enough to get Temple into the a bowl game, however.

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The Best Thing That Happened This Week

Philadelphia 76ers center Drew Gordon, left, forward JaKarr Sampson (9), forward Jerami Grant (39) and guard Hollis Thompson watch from the bench in the fourth quarter.

Philadelphia 76ers center Drew Gordon, left, forward JaKarr Sampson (9), forward Jerami Grant (39) and guard Hollis Thompson watch from the bench in the fourth quarter.

Shut up. Sure, it was ugly right from the start, when the teams lined up the wrong way. All those missed three-pointers. That second quarter! Again with the passes to the refs! But somehow they held it together, right up until the end. For almost a quarter of the Sixers’ roster — Nerlens Noel, K.J. McDaniels, Jerami Grant and JaKarr Sampson — it was the first NBA win they ever played in. And yeah, you don’t want to show it too much when you’re 1-and-17, but it felt good.

Plus they warded off that “All-Time Worst Start” tag. Whew.

Now get back to what you do best.

I Like Charles Barkley, But He’s Wrong on Ferguson

TV personalities Kenny Smith (left) and Charles Barkley watch action from their set during the championship game of the Final Four in the 2014 NCAA Mens Division I Championship tournament at AT&T Stadium.

TV personalities Kenny Smith (left) and Charles Barkley watch action from their set during the championship game of the Final Four in the 2014 NCAA Mens Division I Championship tournament at AT&T Stadium.

What are CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, the Drudge Report, and every conservative radio talk show going to do now that Charles Barkley will no longer be a regular guest on the Mike Missanelli Show?

For the last two weeks, these news organizations have fed like piranha to a gyro spindle on Barkley’s opinions about the situation in Ferguson, Missouri, thanks to a bet I made with Charles. The bet was that Barkley would come on my show the day after every 76ers loss and we would donate $200 per loss to his favorite charity. Charles was sure the Sixers were close to a win — he is very supportive of the Tanking Mission the local professional basketball team is on. I, however, felt that the losing streak could stretch out to as many as 30 games in a row, which would have meant a cool six-grand to charity.

We got two sessions in with Barkley before the Sixers stopped their losing streak at 17 games — the all-time record for losses at the start of an NBA season is held by the New Jersey Nets at 19 — but those two sessions yielded a mother lode of material, for which Barkley was either excoriated as a traitor to the black race or embraced by white America as one black dude who “gets it.”

Clearly, when Charles Barkley speaks, the entire world listens, and reacts.

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Flyer Legend Tim Kerr’s Son Helps University of the Sciences Stun Drexel

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Garret Kerr | Twitter

Garret Kerr, son of former Flyers star Tim Kerr, hit a three-pointer with two seconds left last night to lead University of the Sciences over Drexel. It’s the first win for a Division II school on the road against a Division I school in 227 games this season. Okay, so the schools are like 15 blocks apart. It still counts.

USP coach Dave Pauley celebrated by giving a quote that doesn’t make any sense, per City of Basketball Love.

“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus,” USciences head coach Dave Pauley quipped, referencing a famous 1897 editorial in the New York Sun. “Really, there’s two plays in basketball – Romeo and Juliet, and Give Garret the Ball.”

Wait, what’s the Romeo and Juliet play? Fake a suicide then score when your opponents are distracted? Eh, it’s better than the Hamlet play (distract your opponents with a ghost).

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