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Archive for the ‘Sixers’ Category

dornyIt’s just a building right? Millions of people come and go through Philadelphia every day without realizing that it’s there. Sure America’s Showplace has events every now and then, but people still line up for tickets to see the Phantoms play. Maybe they even take in a Kixx game. Still, how often do we head to a Phillies, Eagles, Sixers, or Flyers game walking right by the Wachovia Spectrum without so much as a second glance? It’s a feature of the Sports Complex landscape like the rising presence of the Vet which may not have been the most beautiful building in the world but carried us through decades of Eagles and Phillies games. When that was torn down we all mourned as if our world had changed forever. We watched it collapse on TV, bought souvenirs, told our friends and family where we were sitting when Dawkins made that crushing hit or Scott Rolen knocked one further than you can imagine walking as a little kid taking at your first Phillies game. This is just my young generation though. Countless memories were made there before I was born as well. The only keepsakes we have left of the Vet are the tiny pieces of rubble we were sold or stole, the video clips of the amazing things that happened there, and the images that float around in our heads from time to time. So what will it be like when the Spectrum is finally brought down to the rest us this summer? Over 40 years it stood there. It’s seen more things than any one person could take in during a lifetime of Philadelphia sportsfan-ship.

The statues outside ranging from the one of Dorny’s incredible goal in the 1973 playoffs, the Flyers secret weapon who still sends chills through spectators standing for “Good Bless America” when appearing on the screen at the Wach, Julius Irving, and the one of Rocky which has been moved to the Philadelphia Museum of Art since are some of the most amazing in the entire city. They tell of the history of Philadelphia more than any building or skyscraper could. Some of the most incredible sports stories came to light right there in the complex with the Spectrum playing a major part. spectrumSo how could we possibly just move on? Inside is the Phantoms hall of fame as well with a detailed past of some of the greatest players ever to wear a Flyers uniform. Remember when Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, Randy Jones, and a team of some of the leagues most important players including Patrick Sharp now of the Chicago Blackhawks, RJ Umberger now of the Columbus Blue Jackets, along with Joni Pitkanen and Dennis Seidenberg both now of the Carolina Hurricanes won the Calder Cup right there in the Spectrum?

Oh yeah, ladies and gentlemen. I can even do you one better. Ever seen this?

For all of our heartache and bitter failure there is always something else; something that’s been with us the entire time. The Spectrum has shared all of our memories with us. It has been there through the good and the bad. It will not likely get as much coverage as Veteran’s Stadium because we don’t associate it with the Flyers or Sixers anymore, but this is a place that deserves our love, admiration, and thanks for over 40 years of Philadelphia sports history. The clock is ticking down. The Phantoms have only 8 games left.

games-left

So what were you doing this whole time? Have you ever been to the Spectrum? Have you touched the Dorny statue and relived the Flyers’ Stanley Cups? Have you walked the halls where they cheered for the Sixers as they won their championship in 1983? Did you see where the Boss stood in the center of a sell-out crowd, like he has many times, and sang as the crowd drowned him out? If you haven’t seen the Spectrum then you have missed out on more Philadelphia history than you could possibly imagine.

So when the Spectrum leaves us what is going to be erected in its place? They’re calling the project “Philly Live”. By now I’m sure everyone has heard about it. Plans for a huge entertainment strip along with bars, restaurants, and maybe even a hotel have been announced. It’s going to be a spectacular place in the heart of the Philadelphia sports complex. One day we’ll all go there and walk into a bar, grab a drink, and remember what used to be in its place. My biggest hope is that those same statues that adorn the outside of the Spectrum will be kept as a reminder of the history that happened right there on the ground beneath the feet of people as they hustle about. Nobody knows what will happen when the Spectrum is torn down, but if they don’t put up a plaque or leave the statues where they are they will still never be able to take our memories.

I’m proud to say that I’ve touched the Dorny statue. I’ve walked the halls and gotten an expensive hot dog where they ran and shouted as the Flyers hoisted the Stanley Cup. That is sacred ground. I wasn’t alive for it, but every time I walk into the Spectrum I become a part of it.

So I ask you all. Are you a part of it? Are you what makes up Philadelphia history? Our history? Go take in a game before it’s too late. I promise you won’t regret it.

Take a look back at 40 years of Flyers history at the Spectrum.

Tough Breaks All Around…

Posted by David Foley On February - 24 - 2009

Flyers/Caps Square Off Tonight – Timonen Might Not Play

In what may be a developing rivalry between two Eastern Conference powers, the Flyers will head to D.C. to take on the Alexander Ovechkins tonight. Alex has 10 goals in his last 10 games so shutting him down will be the Flyers main task, but it will be made quite a bit tougher given that Kimmo Timonen may miss the game with the flu.

For those of you keeping tabs on the goaltending situation: Antero Niittymaki gets the call between the pipes for the Flyers tonight while Biron will get the nod tomorrow against the Kings.

Sixers Blow ANOTHER Late Lead

For the sixth time this season the Sixers lost a game where they led heading into the final 10 seconds. This time their poor free throw shooting kept the Nets in it, and Devin Harris finished it off with a miracle half-court heave.

There are questions over whether Harris got rid of the ball in time, whether the clock started on time, and whether or not he traveled, but at the end of the day the Sixers really only have themselves and lady luck to blame. They have yet to win a game since the All-Star break (0-4).

Happy Monday Everyone!

Posted by David Foley On February - 23 - 2009

Some of the latest and greatest from the world of sports…

Sixers Look for First Win Since the All-Star Break

Losers of three in a row since returning from the break, the Sixers will look to turn it around tonight against the Nets. One guy who really needs to step up is Andre Iguodala, who is shooting just 32.5% from the field during the losing streak.

McNabb Holds off on Extension Talk

According to ESPN, Donovan McNabb met with his agent, Andy Reid, and Joe Banner last week to clear the air on his Week 12 benching and work on a potential extension. Details of the meeting are confidential, but the part of the story that interested me the most was this…

Although McNabb wants to remain in Philadelphia, if the Eagles aren’t successful in significantly upgrading an offense that needs help at wide receiver, running back and offensive tackle…not only may McNabb drop his request for a new contract he may consider going as far as to ask the Eagles to trade him.

I can’t imagine it would actually come down to that, but I’m glad to see Donovan is forcing the Eagles front office to make a bold move to improve the team. The Eagles wasted enough years of Donovan’s career surrounding him with absolute crap (Thrash, Pinkston, need I say more?)

Marvin Harrison Wants Out of Indy

One possible guy the Eagles could bring in to make Donovan happy just requested his release from the Colts. Marvin Harrison and Indianapolis had been trying to restructure his contract, but when that process failed Harrison requested to be released. The big questions before bringing in the veteran: will his legal problems be a factor, and at 36 can he still be a top 2 receiver?

Keep in mind though that Harrison was a teammate of McNabb’s at Syracuse, and he is a Philadelphia native. If the price is right this might be something the Eagles’ brass needs to consider.

Renney Fired

The coaching carousel in the Atlantic Division continues: first Michael Therrien was dumped by Pittsburgh, and now the New York Rangers have fired head coach Tom Renney. The move really doesn’t come as too much of a surprise given that the Rangers have dropped from first in the division to being on the brink of missing the playoffs.

ESPN is reporting that the Rangers might have already found a replacement. They are supposedly working on a multi-year deal with former Lightning coach John Tortorella.

Brodeur Ready to Return

The first place Devils might be getting a big boost shortly as Martin Brodeur has announced he is ready to return from a November elbow surgery.

Coach Brent Sutter refused to pick a date for Brodeur’s return, saying he wants to see how the 36-year-old does at practice the next two days.

The Flyers play the Devils next Sunday and there might be a good chance Brodeur is back by then.

A Big Thursday Update…

Posted by David Foley On February - 19 - 2009

A lot going on today in the world of sports, so let’s get to it.

Flyers, Biron Look to Stay Hot

Tonight the Flyers will host the Sabres at the Wach. Bob Ford takes a look at Marty Biron’s hot play of late. One Flyer who hasn’t been so hot has been Jeff Carter: he failed to score in last weekend’s two wins over the New York teams. When Carter scores the Flyers are 19-2-6; when he doesn’t they are 11-14-3.

One Less Option at Tackle for the Birds

Jordan Gross, a young offensive tackle for the Panthers, agreed to a 6-year deal to stay in Carolina today. He would have been a free agent, and very likely would have been a target for the Eagles to fill one of their two vacant tackle spots. Plan B for the Birds? Turn to the draft for at least one tackle, move Herremans there from guard, or sign a free agent. This is going to be a very interesting offseason.

NBA Trade Deadline Comes and Goes

The deadline just passed at 3 pm ET today, and as of now it appears the Sixers didn’t make any moves. I really would have liked to see Philly trade Andre Miller considering there are doubts whether he’ll resign with the Sixers. Keep in mind, some moves are announced after the deadline so there is still a possibility that the Sixers made a move, it just isn’t extremely likely at this point.

Ouch!

Posted by David Foley On February - 18 - 2009

Not a great night for the Sixers…and what’s the deal with Speights playing just two minutes?!? Hell, even Donyell Marshall played more than he did! (Speights was, however, in the game just long enough to be posterized by the mediocrity that is Troy Murphy. Yikes!)

76ers Pacers Basketball

Sixers Back From the Break

Posted by David Foley On February - 17 - 2009

Andre Iguodala and the Sixers are back from the All-Star break tonight as they take on the Indiana Pacers in Indy at 7 Eastern. Believe it or not the Sixers have had the best record in the NBA since January 6th, winning 14 of their last 18. A lot of the credit obviously has to go to the veterans for stepping up, but rookie Mareese Speights has been outstanding of late making 21 of his last 31 shots.

Aside from the team’s torrid play the big stories have revolved around the upcoming NBA trade deadline and what the Sixers plan to do with guard Andre Miller. Bob Ford says in today’s Inquirer that there are definitely benefits to keep the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent.

Some other Sixer-related items:

- A very interesting bit from Chad Ford’s trade deadline preview column on ESPN.com…

One rumored trade I’ve heard: McCants, Collins and Brian Cardinal for the Sixers’ Samuel Dalembert, who would give Minnesota shot-blocking and athleticism in the frontcourt. But is he worth the two years and $25 million left on his contract?

Both Rashad McCants and Jason Collins are going to be free agents at the end of the season (McCants will be restricted, Collins unrestricted), but I’m still not sure I’d like that trade. Who would be the starting center?!? The move would clear a lot of salary to bring in a free agent or two, but if you are going to blow up the team now by trading away Dalembert you might as well try to get something for Andre Miller too.

- GM Ed Stefanski has gone on record saying he’d like to add an outside shooter, but no deals are on the table at the moment.

-  Dei Lynam takes a look at the second half of the Sixers’ season over at csnphilly.com.

Big Win for the Sixers, a Mock Draft, and Boldin News!

Posted by David Foley On February - 10 - 2009

ELTON WHO?

The Sixers handled Amare, Shaq and the Phoenix Suns last night 108-91…and all of a sudden Philly finds themselves two games over .500 and playing some of their best basketball of the season. Rookie Mareese Speights scored a career high 24 points (on 11 of 16 shooting), Thaddeus Young added 25 and Andre Iguodala had 22 points in the win.

I scoffed originally at the notion that the Sixers would be a better team without Elton Brand, but as the team keeps getting better and better it’s easy to see that they are getting back to the running style that got them to the playoffs last season and away from the slower half-court style they had to play with Brand. Will their improved play translate to a long playoff run? Probably not, but GM Ed Stefanski has some big decisions to make in the coming months.

With the team playing as well as they are…do you still trade Andre Miller? You could probably bring in some good young talent and a draft pick or two if you move him, but if the team has a shot at up-ending the Celtics or Cavs in the East (unlikely) do you keep him and risk not being able to re-sign him?

In my mind, as long as you keep that young core of Iggy, Thad, Lou, and Mareese together the Sixers should be competitive and fun to watch for years to come.

MOCK DRAFT!

I’m not gonna lie…I LOVE the NFL offseason. The drama of free agency, the draft, and the always present trade rumors; it’s enough to give a football fan goosebumps! In Todd McShay’s latest mock draft (you’ll need ESPN Insider to see the whole thing) McShay has the Eagles taking Oklahoma State TE Brandon Pettigrew at #21 and Georgia RB Knowshon Moreno at #28. Pettigrew and Moreno would be a couple of great additions to our offense, but I don’t think that will be how the situation plays out.

For one thing, Pettigrew has some character issues in his past (he was charged with felony assault and battery of a police officer in February of 2008 before pleading to a lesser charge) and the Eagles usually steer clear of guys like that. I have no problem with taking either Moreno or or Pitt RB LeSean McCoy with one of our first rounders but we need an offensive tackle with the other first rounder. A guy like Michael Oher out of Ole Miss would sure up the left tackle position for years to come, and even if we don’t get him this is a very deep offensive tackle draft. Considering we realistically might need 2 new starters, picking up at least one young guy through the draft will be a high priority.

My Dream? Boldin in Midnight Green…

Cardinals star reciever Anquan Boldin has made it abundantly clear he has no desire whatsoever to return to Arizona. John Clayton was on NFL Live earlier today and listed the Eagles and the Giants as the two teams most likely to acquire Boldin. All I have to say is…DO IT NOW! Clayton said the asking price could be a first and a third round pick, which would be more than fair for one of the top wideouts in the game today.

Can you imagine how good the offense would be with Boldin lined up opposite Desean Jackson, with Curtis working the middle of the field? Can you say Super Bowl good? A move like this would go a long way towards making Donovan happy, and we all know how good McNabb played when he had another #81 to throw to…

Brand Done for the Season

Posted by David Foley On February - 5 - 2009

The Elton Brand “will he-won’t he play” rollercoaster ride has come to an abrupt end today. The Sixers big offseason free agent signing is getting shoulder-surgery that will end his ’08-’09 season.

Brand averaged nearly 14 points and 8 boards a game in his first season in Philly, but never really found a comfort level playing in the Sixers fast-paced offense. Brand signed a five-year $80 million deal last offseason…here’s hoping he comes back healthy and ready to contribute next season. I really don’t want to have another Derrick Coleman case on our hands.

Ready for Round 2 with Beantown?

Posted by David Foley On February - 4 - 2009

The Sixers were a Ray Allen last second three from taking down the best team in the East last night (granted without Kevin Garnett) but still came up short. Tonight the Flyers will try to finish the job against the Eastern Conference leading Bruins.

A few key players to keep an eye on:

- Martin Biron: If he does indeed get the start as expected, this is a great opportunity for him to show Coach Stevens and the rest of the organization that he deserves to be the #1 guy. If he struggles…all bets are off. History is certainly on his side however; in his last 10 starts against the B’s he is 8-0-1 with a 2.00 GAA.

- Mike Richards: Had a four-game point streak going until that debacle in St. Louis. In his last six against Boston he has 5 G and 3 A.

- David Krejci: A good sign for the Flyers: the impressive young Boston center man has now gone his last 3 games without a point. The negative? Krejci still has 53 points in 51 games this season and is too talented to struggle for long.

- Patrice Bergeron: This will be his first time facing the Flyers since October 17,2007 when Randy Jones gave him a concussion and ended his season.

Credit for a majority of the miscellaneous stats goes to NHL.com (Flyers/Bruins Game Preview). Puck drops at 7:00 PM ET.

Elton Brand Update

Brand was a non-factor in yesterday’s loss to Boston, playing just 9 minutes and being held scoreless. There was speculation that he might be shut down yet again, but today the Daily News’ Sixerville blog is reporting that he is being listed as “Day-to-Day” and should play tomorrow night against the Pacers.

For all you goalies out there…

Here’s an interesting NHL.com story about goalie masks. On of the artists quoted worked on a personalized mask at one point for Ron Hextall. The article also discusses how Ottawa rookie goaltender Brian Elliot decided to decorate his mask upon arriving in the NHL.

Sixers to face Garnett-less Celts Tonight

Posted by David Foley On February - 3 - 2009

It’s a battle between the first and second place teams in the Atlantic Division tonight at the Wachovia Center, as the Sixers take on the Celtics. Here’s the thing: while the Sixers have been toiling along at a .500 clip (23-23) the Celtics lead the Eastern Conference with an insane 40-9 record.

Add to that the fact that the Sixers have gotten trounced in their two prior meetings with Boston, and it’s easy to not be too optimistic about Andre, Iggy and company’s chances tonight. Just about the only thing the Sixers have going for them is the absence of Kevin Garnett due to an “illness.”

Tip off is at 7pm ET.

Sixers-Celtics Game Preview – ESPN

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