The Sixers Are Good at Math. The Phillies Aren’t.

sixers phillies
We already know that the Sixers stink. We expect that the Phillies — barring a miracle — will do the same during their forthcoming season. But it turns out they stink in vastly different ways.

The Sixers stink in a very futuristic way, you see, while the Phillies stink in retro fashion.

ESPN did an analysis of all teams in the major professional sports — football, baseball, basketball and hockey — then ranked how committed each is to using advanced metrics (mathematical analysis of everything about a sport that can be quantified) to improve the team on the field.

The Sixers ranked first. The Phillies: Dead last.
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What Crossing Broad and Other Bloggers Get Wrong About the Eagles’ Media Silence

(Photo courtesy of USA Today)

(Photo courtesy of USA Today)

The NFL Combine started this week, but we won’t hear anything from the Philadelphia Eagles — not from the head coach or an assistant, not from the newly named general manager or director of player personnel, not from Howie Roseman, whatever he is these days, and certainly not from the team owner Jeffrey Lurie.

The Eagles aren’t talking to the media because they choose not to.

In other words, we’ll have no idea who, or what position, the Birds will be focusing on at the combine. We’ll not be able to glean any information on the team’s possible pursuit of quarterback Marcus Mariota. And more importantly, fans won’t have any light shed on the team’s strange recent front office re-organization with Chip Kelly becoming franchise patriarch and Roseman being demoted to the dungeon. Read more »

The 2004 Eagles’ Super Bowl Starters, Then and Now

Photos | Philadelphia Eagles

Photos | Philadelphia Eagles

It seems like only yesterday. But it has been nearly 10 years since February 6th, 2005 — the last time the Philadelphia Eagles appeared in the Super Bowl.

That season was a magical one for Eagles fans, with the team winning its first seven games en route to a 13-1 start. Donovan McNabb instantly clicked with new wide receiver Terrell Owens. Safety Brian Dawkins and newly acquired defensive end Jevon Kearse terrorized opposing offenses. Jeremiah Trotter returned from two years in exile — Washington — to reclaim his starting middle-linebacker spot. It was a dream.

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Why Chip Kelly and the Eagles Absolutely Need Marcus Mariota

NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Oregon vs Kansas State

There’s a lot to love about Philadelphia sports fans, including the fact that we might be the most overly reactive people in America.

Marcus Mariota made a dreadful mistake Monday night in the college football national championship game. He was the quarterback on the team that lost.

Never mind that Mariota didn’t play poorly. In fact, by most statistical measures, he played well. He completed 24 of 37 passes (65%) for 333 yards and two touchdowns, and his one interception was a meaningless one, coming in desperation in the waning moments of Oregon’s 42-20 loss to Ohio State. The Ducks simply got overpowered by a better team. And it was only the fifth loss of a brilliant career where he won 36 other games in three years, the Heisman Trophy, and four MVP awards in four previous post-season games.

Now fans are fans. They watch games from a knee jerk perspective. Probably about 80% of the audience that watched Monday’s national title game had never before seen Mariota and were only buoyed by hype and hope. The kid doesn’t dazzle? Then he must stink.

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10 Great Chip Kelly GIFs from His New Tostitos Commercial Series

Chip Kelly is going to the Super Bowl.

The second-year coach guided his team to a 10-6 record, but the Eagles missed the playoffs in a competitive NFC. But Kelly will make an appearance in Glendale, Arizona, on Super Bowl weekend on behalf of Tostitos, the tortilla chip concern he’s pitching in a new series of commercials.

“Coach Kelly and Tostitos [as in a bag of Tostitos, yes] are the stars of the campaign, titled Not the Official Chip,” Jeff Klein, Vice President of marketing at Frito-Lay North America, told Forbes (presumably with a straight face, yes).

Above is a playlist of the 10 short Chip Kelly ads Tostitos released to the web late last week. But we know what you’re really looking for: Animated GIFs of Chip Kelly. Here are 10 of them.

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Jeffrey Lurie Enters Competition for Philadelphia’s Worst Sports Owner

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

In case you haven’t noticed, Philadelphia has a sports team ownership problem.

It took last week’s Eagles front office fiasco to get me thinking about this. And the Eagles are the one viable team in this town right now.

Jeffrey Lurie has now owned the Eagles for 20 years. Not only is there no championship of which to speak, but now I’m very leery of the direction this owner provides towards that end. When confronted with in-house bickering of his lieutenants, Lurie caved like a pre-fab house in a stiff wind. His anointing of Chip Kelly as the main architect of the franchise and demotion of Howie Roseman from general manager to vice president of shoulder pads, or some such thing, was not exactly generalship. It was a panic move from a weak leader.
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Christie: Philly Fans Are Worst, but Giants Fans Are OK With My Cowboys Fandom

chris-christie-cowboys-jerry-jones

In a story late Monday night, the New York Times’ Michael Barbaro reported on a conversation “overheard” recently. In it, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said that “these Philadelphia fans, they are the worst in America.” This got a lot of play in the media, but I think much of the coverage has missed a wider point.

Barbaro continues in the Times piece:

He recalled that when he took to the field with Mr. Jones at a previous Cowboys game against the New York Giants, who play their home games in New Jersey: “I didn’t get booed. Giant fans waved, said hello, asked for autographs, didn’t give me a hard time.”

“But these guys?” he added of Eagles fans.

Oh, Giants fans. I actually thought better of you.

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Top 28 Philadelphia Sports GIFs of the Year

It was not a good year for Philadelphia sports. The Eagles lost a playoff game a few days into the new year, and the only other Philadelphia team to make the playoffs was the Flyers — who lost in the first round. This fall’s Eagles started 9-3 and missed the playoffs, the Sixers gutted their roster intentionally in order to be bad and the Union missed a wide open net in the final minutes and lost in extra time of the U.S. Open Cup. And the Wings moved and became the New England Black Wolves! Ugh.

But it was a good year for sports GIFs. One was Twitter’s introduction of inline GIFs in tweets. Never before was it so easy (for me, at least) to share stupid little sports moments with the world instantly. It became so easy to share GIFs one of mine was retweeted an obscene amount of times.

The Buccaneers’ Danny Lansanah preventing the Steelers Le’Veon Bell from making a first down gesture was undoubtedly the sports GIF of the year. But there’s no way to connect this to Philadelphia — Lansanah went to Harrisburg, which as close as I can get it — so it will have to remain outside the scope of this column.

Despite the bad year for Philadelphia sports, there was no shortage of great sports GIFs. If this sounds familiar, it’s pretty much the same spiel I did in 2012, when I last did this feature. It has not been a great few years for Philly sports. But the GIFs this year were, perhaps, better than ever. Presenting the best ones I made in 2014.

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The Tragedy That Changed Chip Kelly

Chip Kelly with service members during the team’s Military Appreciation Day in 2013. Photograph by Matt Rourke, AP

Chip Kelly with service members during the team’s Military Appreciation Day in 2013. Photograph by Matt Rourke, AP

Schools were let out the day Army Sergeant Joshua Lengstorf returned home, and the kids, waving small American flags, joined the rest of the community along the side of the road.

His body was flown from Afghanistan into Eugene, Oregon, where a police escort waited to assist in the hour-plus drive south to Douglas County. Businesses in the neighboring towns posted signs of support in their windows. Locals lined the streets. The closer they got to the heart of Roseburg, the larger the crowd became.

“We went through some of the small towns that he lived in, and it was just packed,” says Josh’s widow, Jesse. “It was that way all the way down and even to the funeral home. I think that’s when we realized that this is a big deal.”

Some 500 people gathered to pay their respects on that day in January 2010. Among them was then–University of Oregon coach Chip Kelly.
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