After Drexel Broadside, Temple Prez Defends College Football

Neil Theobald won’t let John Fry rain on his parade.

Just a few days after Fry, Drexel’s president, wrote a critique of college football’s effect on, well, college, Temple’s Theobald has responded. His argument: Good football teams make great universities even better.

“A well-run football program can create innumerable benefits to a national university,” Theobald, Temple’s president, wrote in a letter shared with Philadelphia Business Journal. Read more »

Philly’s Imhotep Charter Is First Public League School to Win State Title

The 2015 Imhotep Panthers. Photo | Courtesy Imhotep Charter School

The 2015 Imhotep Panthers. Photo | Courtesy Imhotep Charter School

It was not even close.

After spotting Erie Cathedral Prep a 3-0 lead, Imhotep Charter scored 40 unanswered points to capture the PIAA Class AAA state championship. The win was the first for a team from the Philadelphia Public League.

(Pub teams only began playing in state playoffs in 2008.)

Mike Waters ran for 201 yards in Imhotep’s 40-3 win. He had three touchdown runs, while Aamir Brown ran for two scores. The Panthers had 383 rushing yards on 41 carries, an eye-popping 9.3 yards per carry. Highlights from the game show a completely dominating performance. Read more »

Philly’s Imhotep Charter in Football State Title Game Friday

The 2015 Imhotep Panthers. Photo | Courtesy Imhotep Charter School

The 2015 Imhotep Panthers. Photo | Courtesy Imhotep Charter School

A Philadelphia public school has a chance to make history tomorrow.

The Imhotep Charter Panthers will play Erie’s Cathedral Prep at 7 in Hershey Friday in the PIAA Class AAA state football championship. Imhotep is 14-0 this season; no Philadelphia public league school has ever won a state football title. (Philly Pub schools began playing in state football playoffs in 2008.) Read more »

Sam Bradford Isn’t a Championship Quarterback

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

The Philadelphia Eagles find themselves in a quagmire of an NFL season with two directions: With several wins in a row they hey can re-establish their pre-season status as one of the better teams in the NFC, or they could go down the drain faster than a dropped Advil in the sink.

(Think about it, have you dropped an aspirin and saved it from sliding down the black hole?)

As I look out unto the football landscape, I see more bad things going on with the Eagles from this point than good. The bad deals mostly with the quarterback Sam Bradford. There are two schools of thought with Bradford. One, he is a quarterback still on the mend, both physically and mentally. Coming off of two ACL surgeries, Bradford is said to need more time to find his groove playing the most trying position in the NFL. The other theory, the one I believe most, is that Bradford has lost his edge as a professional player, that battled by injuries and inconsistencies in his pro career, he no longer possesses the requite competitive instinct needed to succeed at the championship level. Read more »

Tom Brady Fights For His Legacy

NFL: Divisional Round-Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots

If reports are true, then Tom Brady might find himself on the losing end of a legal case: The supposed divorce proceedings with his wife, supermodel Giselle Bunchen.

Certainly I don’t see Brady losing in his legal case against the NFL, and I have said that from the jump, even when some of the sports legal experts —uh, Lester Munson, are you listening? — were kowtowing to the NFL and the mastery of the league’s “commissioner powers.”

I am a lawyer – currently non-practicing due to some other current profession that takes up most of my time – who teaches a class in Sports Law to college undergraduates. We spend a lot of time in this class on the subject of professional sports leagues, their collective bargaining agreements, and how they interact with the federal anti-trust laws of this country.

Think of it this way: Most EVERYTHING you see in professional sports – drafts, trades, dress codes, salary caps – on its face and without a collective bargaining agreement – would be violations of anti-trust. Anti-trust laws exist to prevent price fixing and economic monopolies. The theory behind a collective bargaining agreement is that both sides – management and employee – have had a fair chance to agree to certain provisions with arms-length bargaining at the same bargaining table. Fair, right?

Yes it is. Except when some provisions of a collective bargaining agreement go way over the line and they are thus challenged legally. Which brings us to the case of Tom Brady. Read more »

Philly Police Solve Mystery of Super Bowl XXXIX

You may have seen all the hullabaloo about the really awful Tom Brady courtroom sketch that emerged from the quarterback’s challenge to his suspension in the “Deflategate” case. But the weird art apparently helped Philadelphia Police solve one mystery — why the Eagles lost Super Bowl XXXIX: Read more »

The Trouble With Tom Brady

NFL: Divisional Round-Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots

With one, swift, arbitrary NFL commissioner’s office decision, Tom Brady went from perhaps the best quarterback in league history to the game’s biggest pariah. And the sporting world seems to be ecstatic over the ruling.

That, my friends, is an interesting dynamic and defines so much about the players we like and don’t like.

Brady is too perfect. He’s tall, handsome, has a Brazilian supermodel wife, and is secure enough to rip up his man card and wear Ugg boots, the brand created primarily for women. And, he plays for a team that, outside of New England, is universally despised because they win, they cheat, they have a curmudgeon coach who’s about as likeable as a lizard, and an owner who flaunts perfectly coiffed, $500 pocket silks on his five-thousand dollar suits.

So when we can chip away at the perfect man’s statue and stuff flakes off, we are very content. Read more »

Philly’s Ibraheim Campbell on Being Drafted by the Browns

IBRAHEIM-CAMPBELL-JERRY-LAI-USA-TODAY-SPORTS-940X540

Ibraheim Campbell grew up in Germantown, went to Chestnut Hill Academy and still has a huge family in the area. And in the weeks leading up to the NFL draft, Campbell heard the rumblings that the Eagles — whose secondary struggled last season — might be interested in drafting the prospect out of Northwestern who looked good at the Senior Bowl. But he said he never really saw himself getting drafted by his hometown team: “I didn’t think they were all that interested.”

In contrast, he had several visits with the Cleveland Browns, the team that took him in the fourth round of this year’s NFL Draft. He met with them three times at the Senior Bowl and twice at the NFL Combine, an event where the only physical activity he did was bench press due to a nagging hamstring injury. Read more »

No Mariota? No Hope.

NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Oregon vs Kansas State

For Philadelphia fans, the most nerve-racking 10-minute waiting period of any professional sports draft ended with a figurative hot knife to the belly.

After months of anticipation coupled with downright obsession that the Eagles would land Marcus Mariota and everything would be right for the world, the Tennessee Titans took Mariota with the No. 2 pick in the draft. And if that weren’t enough, minutes later, the Titans general manager popped out of his war room to say that they were not trading him ANYWHERE. Ouch.

Does it really matter that the Eagles tried hard to get Mariota? Perhaps reports are true that the Birds offered two starting defensive players and three draft picks in an attempt to move into the No. 2 drafting spot. Chip Kelly can never admit that because if he does, he tells the quarterback who now must start for him this year, Sam Bradford, that he wasn’t adequate enough. Bradford’s a big enough boy to understand what was going on this whole time, but still.

I’ve said that if the Eagles didn’t acquire Marcus Mariota, it would haunt this city’s fan base forever. So let the haunting begin. Read more »

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