Ben Simmons got in a little bit of trouble for his poor grades at LSU, but it turns out that was all a part of the plan. He clapped back at someone on twitter the other day, admitting he didn’t go to class at all:
And then today, in a clip from Showtime’s “One & Done,” college Simmons explained his plan to pass one semester and then stop going:
Though one and done stays intact in its current form in the NBA’s new CBA, this isn’t the best look. No doubt. But did he actually have to go to class? No. Even if “student athlete” is a thing in the NCAA, that’s not Ben Simmons. It’s possible he only went to college because you aren’t allowed to go pro out of high school anymore. He wasn’t going to college to learn. LSU didn’t give him a scholarship to attend lectures. He was there to play basketball for one year so he could go pro, and they brought him in to play basketball to their team could be good. The end.
But if this is the first clip we’re seeing, this doc should have some real interesting moments.
Every year, ESPN the Magazine ranks all of the major pro sports franchises from 1 to 122. This year’s cream of the crop is the Tampa Bay Lightning, while the San Francisco 49ers get the distinct honor of being the absolute worst.
Locally, both the Flyers and Phils made big jumps. The Fly guys, 58th overall, jumped 23 spots from 2015. In the combined categories of title track, ownership, coaching, players, fan relations, affordability, stadium experience, and bang for your buck, they improved a total of 147 spots. Part of that is due to the lingering legacy of Ed Snider:
It’s not often that the suits in the suites endear themselves to the nobodies in the nosebleeds, but Snider — whose enthusiasm and drive to bring the Stanley Cup back to Philly rivaled even the most fervent Flyers fan’s — managed just that feat. Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that just about six months after his passing, Philadelphia posthumously named the team’s ownership as its most favorable asset in our rankings: No. 24 overall.
Though it ain’t cheap. “A night out in South Philly,” the Magazine says, “runs Flyers fans $104.73, on average. That is sixth highest in the NHL and 20 percent higher than the league average.” That hurt them.
The Phillies found themselves leaping 30 spots; their first year gaining on the rankings in the last six. Citizens Bank Park rated as the 63rd best stadium experience in all of sports– it’s not cost-effective:
The Phillies’ average ticket price of $41.50 ranks fourth-highest among MLB teams, behind that of only the Red Sox, Yankees and Cubs and $15 less than the average price for the division-rival Mets.
But coaching was a huge upgrade. Pete Mackanin ranks 78th, while Ryne Sandberg ranked dead last in 2015.
The Eagles dropped 13 spots from 2015 (to 86th overall), a casualty of the voting deadline being in late August. Opinions and outlook on the team have improved by leaps and bounds since then, though the pre-season opinion of Doug Pederson was 69 not-nice spots below where Chip Kelly was last season. Even with all of that, they land one spot ahead of the Cowboys.
And finally, the Sixers experienced a a short stumble down to #102 from #98 last year. The team’s only top-fifty ranking is in affordability, and they have the 12th best average cost per game in the NBA ($68.54 with food/drink/ticket/parking). But the rest is bad:
“The 76ers dropped in all categories but ownership [Ed. note: HOW?], affordability and stadium experience this year and proved egregiously unpopular when it came to fan relations [Ed. note: Okay, makes sense now.] and bang for the buck (third-worst in the NBA for both). Even a fiscally reasonable night out in South Philly, it seems, can’t atone for the team’s woeful showing on the scoreboard: Fans ranked the Sixers’ ability to “consistently win more games than they lose” as — surprise — worst in the NBA. The only two teams across all four sports to out-lose them? The San Diego Padres and Cleveland Browns.
Go screw, Cleveland.
With the addition of Joel Embiid, Dario Saric, and eventually Ben Simmons, the Sixers should experience a bump next year. The Eagles definitely will, and the Phils and Flyers should continue to rise. There were dark days behind, and it’s not light yet, but it’s getting there.
All the methodology mumbo jumbo can be seen at the very bottom over here.
Scott O’Neil spoke to students at BYU and sat down with Desert News to bring us the most unexpected story of the offseason– to explain why he had decided to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. O’Neil’s wife has been a lifelong member of the church and they raised their children in accordance with it, but Scott never fully joined. Of course, the reason he finally did has a lot to do with his wife, kids, and family, but also Chad Lewis and Vai Sikahema:
While in Utah, they attended the BYU-Cincinnati game on Oct. 16, and while riding on the elevator, O’Neil recognized former Philadelphia Eagles player Chad Lewis. After O’Neil introduced himself, Lewis immediately asked if he knew Vai Sikahema, a former BYU and Philadelphia Eagles football player who is now a well-known morning news anchor in Philadelphia. O’Neil said he knew of him but didn’t know him personally. Lewis told him the two needed to be friends.
The O’Neils got back to Philadelphia and Scott had breakfast with Sikahema the next day. The two became fast friends and immediately hit it off, so much so that Sikahema quickly recruited O’Neil’s help with something. Leaders of the LDS Church were flying out to Philadelphia to see prospective sites for the Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple Cultural Celebration, but church leaders in Philadelphia, including Sikahema, had been unable to find anywhere that was available. When told about the dilemma, O’Neil immediately went to work, and it was his help that eventually secured the Liacouras Center at Temple University for the celebration.
He would have probably joined the church anyway at the urging of his daughter, but there’s just something about Chad Lewis being the Forrest Gump of this story, using a chance run-in to change Scott O’Neil’s life, that I find amazing. Don’t think this will get me unblocked on Twitter, though.
Andy Reid couldn’t be reached for comment.
Ilya Bryzgalov, former Flyer, former Duck, space cadet, was at the Flyers game last night, in the stands, in solid but relatively mediocre seats.
- He was with his kid and not trying to be even slightly discreet– the kid had their surname on the back of his shirt.
- I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a recent former player go to a game and just sit in the stands like this. Either you’re in good enough standing with the organization to get free tickets (and usually sit in a suite or hang out in the locker room) or you’re not and avoid the building like the plague. Sometimes you may get the FU appearance by a former player in highly visible seats. But Bryz, it seems, just paid for tickets… and didn’t even spring for rinkside seats. No self-respecting oligarch would even consider those proletariat seats, Bryz. Step it up.
- The Flyers paid Bryz $23 million to go away – $1.64 million per year for 14 years – and not only was it not enough, but he actually paid some of it back to buy tickets to the game. Amazing.
- How do I just find out about this humongous news morning? There are 20k people there, and a handful of people I know working at the building, and no one bothers to inform me that Ilya Bryzgalov is trolling around the Wells Fargo Center like it’s nothing? There is maybe one person in the Philly area that could profit off Bryz being at the game, and that’s me. No one tells me. I’m genuinely mad about this.
I’m disappointed in all of you.
Jordan Matthews, professional ball dropper, laid into the NFL and its utter hypocrisy yesterday, ripping them for their handling of wife enslaver Josh Brown or even Ray Rice compared to, say, Lane Johnson. From Eliot Shorr-Parks:
“They always use the words they want to protect the integrity of the game,” Matthews said. “I think it is always looked at as the integrity of the football game. Obviously, if somebody makes a mistake like Lane did, or even if somebody does it intentionally if they might try to do something to get an edge, then yes, that can affect a game. So obviously there are some disciplines that should take place.
“But then when we talk about the integrity of the game, and the shield [the NFL logo] … you talk about the values that you want to instill in families that actually watch us and look up to us. Then it sends the wrong message that every single time there is an incident with domestic violence or something where there is a physical altercation, especially with a lady … it never seems like there is a really big punishment handed down.
“Even with the Ray Rice incident, nothing was really serious until there was public outrage or until the video came out. But my thing is, why do people have to see something for there to be actual steps taken?”
“I think that the NFL has to take a long, hard look at how they handle situations like this. Especially when the facts are there. Now obviously you can’t convict somebody until they are proven guilty. That is just the country we live in, and that is a good system,” Matthews said. “But when you know you have the concrete evidence, and we talk about protecting the shield and protecting the game, then…you can’t continue to have these things happen where guys just get a slap on the wrist. What is that telling our ladies? What is that telling our daughters? Our sisters? Our mothers? Because, heaven forbid, it was one of the guy’s who handed down the punishments daughter, mother or sister that it happened to.
Oh man. Matthews recognizing real. Good stuff. I fully expect him to never get another pass interference call and, potentially, turn up dead in the Hudson in the shadows of Roger Goodell’s Manhattan office. Would the Eagles have to take a cap hit on that?
I’m pretty sure this is yet another video the Flyers played before the game last night, but this one wasn’t shown on CSN, which opted for either Pregame Live or Jim Jackson walking around in an orange jacket. Either way, this is pretty good.
Side note: Is there anyone more excited to be mayor than Jim Kenney just so he can get close to his favorite team? Like, I’m 90% certain he wanted the job just so he could take Ed Rendell’s spot on Postgame Live someday.