Thursday, July 26, 2007
1. Our Flyers have lost in the Stanley Cup twice, 1987 (7 games) and 1997 (4 game sweep)
2. Our Phillies lost in the World Series in 1993 (Joe Carter)
3. Our 76ers lost in the 2001 NBA Finals against of the dominant squads of all time, LA Lakers
4. Our Eagles lost the Super Bowl by 3 points to one of the NFL's greatest dynasties
It gets worse:
1. Our Flyers were up 3-1 against the New Jersey Devils in the ECF when they came back and won in game 7
2. Smarty Jones loses the Triple Crown by one length in the Belmont in 2004
3. The Villanova Wildcat's mens bball squad, in 2005 fail to get to the Final Four after botched call by the ref at the end of the game against the Tar Heels
4. The St. Joes Hawks lose on a last second shot to Oklahoma State, keeping them out of the Elite Eight
5. The Temple Owls have just missed reaching the Final Four 5 times
As bad as it gets:
1. Barbaro, our Philly horse who is favored to win the Triple Crown, dies
2. The Phillies are now the only team in professional sports to get to 10,000 losses
3. After Ryan Howard finally gets on track, Pat Burrell begins to regain focus and the Phillies are 2 games out of the wildcard and hot with a month and a half left of baseball to play, Chase Utley, a NL MVP candidate, goes down with a broken hand
Is it real? It's hard to ignore the facts.
I think it's time to knock down all the skyscrapers in Philadelphia.
Who's with me?
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Washington Redskins: While they obtain the best rushing attack in the NFC east, I think their ability to protect the pass and defend the pass is what will bring down the Redskins this year. Their linebackers are getting old and they have minimal depth at defensive tackle, I see a ton of teams running down their throats all season long. Sure they have some highly talented safeties, but their cornerbacks are nothing special. Their o line is solid with the run, but their pass blocking and qb Campbell needs to know the playbook and not look so lost in order for their entire offense to be a threat this year. He has a high ceiling and has shown that he has a great arm and can really let it loose, but this is not the year he puts it all together. Their inability to generate a pass rush will be their demise. Adding Laron Landry was a great great pick to sure up a lacking defensive backfield, but they are still very weak in their front 7. They added London Fletcher who's a productive player but he won't be a major impact to what was the worst defensive d line in the league last year (last in the league in sacks). Player to look out for: Laron Landry, who's playing alongside one of the best in Sean Taylor. How they gel and play next to each other will be fun to watch. Prediction: 5-11
New York Giants: Simply the ability to establish a running game. With Tiki Barber gone, opposing defenses will force Eli Manning to beat them with his arm. It won't happen this year, but this could be the beginning of the end for Manning. IMO it's a career year, but he's got tons of opportunity with guys like Steven Smith and a more developed Moss. He needs to establish what he is in the NFL and must do so without leaning on a hall of fame running back this season. However, in the end, I don't see this team as having that bad of a season. I think they'll be competitive enough to challenge for a wildcard spot. They should be able to fill in production in their running game enough to be mediocre this season. Everywhere else, their decent. Their in the middle of the pack in the division terms of passing game, running game, stopping the run, and defending the pass. I see this team giving the Eagles headaches; scrappy team that is inconsistent and unpredictable. Player to look out for: Mathias Kiwanuka, who had an up and down rookie year. Prediction 7-9
Dallas Cowboys: Easily it's the stardom of Tony Romo. Is he the qb that got to the pro bowl or is he the qb that teams learned to beat? Stopping Romo became clear: keeping him in the pocket will keep him from creating plays out of the pocket, his strength. Other big quesiton marks are their running game and their ability to defend the pass. Not their running back, but their offensive line. To beef up their o line, they've added Leonard Davis, a big name and body but will have to shift to guard in order to remain effective. They added versatile Ken Hamlin to the defensive backfield, but even Hamlin has cover issues. Player to look out for: Anthony Spencer, who should become an excellent complement to Demarcus Ware in the 3-4. Spencer must be an impact player this year if the Cowboys want to make the playoffs. Prediction 9-7
Philadelphia Eagles: Of course one may say the Eagles biggest question marks revolve around the health of Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook, but IMO it's the run defense. All year the Eagles were burned by their inability to stop the run. All offseason they've beefed up the front seven by adding guys who are quicker and more physical such as Takeo Spikes, Ian Scott, Victor Abiamiri and Steward Bradley. Chris Gocong looks to add more strength and physicality to the front seven. Much of their failure to close out games early last season was due to the big play nature of their offense. This year the Eagles look to rely on a much more balanced attack with the running game of Brian Westbrook. Rookie Tony Hunt, who is an upgrade in blocking and receiving in the backfield, looks challenge Correll Buckhalter as the second running back in the depth chart. The health of Jevon Kearse will make a huge impact this year. The Eagles proved last year that they can be extremely successful by rotating players in and out of their d line. After Kearse was injured, the effectiveness of that rotation and depth was significantly reduced. The loss of Donte Stallworth was replaced by speedy, sure handed receiver Kevin Curtis. Player to look out for: Jason Avant, who could surprise and end up being the number 3 slot receiver on offense. He's a great pass and run blocker with sure hands and a big body. Prediction 10-6
Ten Bold Statements:
1. The Eagles will establish the running game this year and Brian Westbrook will rush for 1500 yards.
2. Tony Romo will have an excellent but inconsistent season and make the pro bowl.
3. Rocky McIntosh will emerge as a solid weak side linebacker for the Redskins this year.
4. Eli Manning will have more interceptions than Jason Campbell.
5. The lack of a pass rush will keep the Giants out of the playoffs.
6. If McNabb gets injured in 2007, it will be his last season as an Eagle.
7. Jeremy Bloom will emerge as an elite return man (3 return tds).
8. Anthony Spencer will emerge as a great complement to Ware and be one of the most productive rookies in the NFL (10 sacks).
9. Ladell Betts will have more rushing yards than Clinton Portis.
10. Takeo Spikes will be in the pro bowl.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Sunday, July 22, 2007
The absence of Joe Smith will hurt the Sixers more than anyone thinks. Sure he didn't put up Allstar caliber numbers, but his presence will be sorely missed. For one, especially in the second half of last year, Smith was THE leader/vet in the lockeroom that reached most of the young guys. Not only that, Joe Smith literally won us about 5 or 6 games last year in the remaining seconds of each contest. Take out Joe Smith last year and we would have had a top 6 lottery pick guranteed.
Second, 0ur young players will not have a guy like Joe Smith to depend on this year, which will lead to much more inconsistencies and struggles compared to last year.
With Smith out of the way, guys like Jason Smith, Shavlick Randolph and maybe Amundsen are gonna have to step up considerably. Bottomline, I see the same weaknesses on this years team that harmed the season prior - rebounding. Our perimeter defense may be a bit improved, but that won't stop opposing teams from getting consistent offensive rebounds, which killed our season last year. Offensively it'll be the same story. Sure the chemistry may be a bit improved, but the Sixers were a poor offensive team last year. There are lots of question marks surrounding Rodney Carney, like his dribbling, passing and rebounding, who must step up if the Sixers want to make the playoffs. Unfortunitely our most natural born scorer, Lou Will, is only 20 years old and will get extremely limited minutes this year (10 per).
I see this team as worse as last year. Inabilities to rebound and stop teams from rebounding on the offensive end will haunt this squad the entire season. Gone are proven vets that provide leadership and limit rookie mistakes. Our rookies will show flashes, but expect the 07 Sixers to lead the league in turnovers.
Due to this team being so young, (no pun intended), there is hope. This is the year the Sixers, as we all hoped last year, will have their rebuilding season. Because of their limitations, the Sixers will have the ability to get a quality player in the high lottery next season. I fully expect a top 5 draft pick for the team next year. I anticipate no more than 25-28 wins for them as I see a ton of growing pains in the upcoming season.