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Dave Montgomery Takes Leave of Absence, Leaving Pat Gillick in Charge

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We here at Crossing Broad would like to wish Dave Montgomery a speedy recovery and Ruben Amaro a nice, forced vacation while Pat Gillick just maybe borrows the chair behind his desk for a little while.


My Dad’s Fantasy Football Draft List Was Just Spectacular

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As I’ve mentioned, I had my fantasy draft last night. My Dad and I are co-managing Footlong Foles. This is the first time we’ve shared a team, but we’ve been playing fantasy sports (mostly baseball), sporadically, since the early-90s. Back then, to prepare for the draft, we would sit around the kitchen table with newspapers and a copy of Who’s Who in Baseball (the book that forever confused me about the meaning of the word who) and compile our draft lists. The whole process was done with pen and paper, and sometimes a calculator to compute a stat my Dad called Power, which was simply the sum of a player’s home runs and RBIs. I think this is still how Ruben Amaro prepares for the Winter Meetings. Anyway, the rest of us have evolved with time and use websites, computer programs and apps to prepare for our drafts. But not my Dad. No, no. In advance of ours last night, for which I readied 20 minutes beforehand with Football Guys’ Dominator app (which is great), he forwarded me an email that had originally been auto-sent by a copier, because that’s the ultra modern contraption he used to scan his handwritten, handruled draft rankings – a homebrew cheat sheet based on magazine and website(!) data - and turn them into a versatile PDF.

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Incredibly, however, he FaceTimed me in for the draft so we could discuss and make our selections in real-time. Which was a great relief, because had that not worked, I’m pretty sure the backup plan was to telegram our picks in.


Sixers Buy Insane Technology to Make Pre-Game Intros Infinitely Cooler

Do I understand how this works? NO!

According to Bloomberg, the 76ers have bought technology from Quince Imaging to make their pre-game intros really cool once they have players worth introducing. As Bloomberg says, the Sixers and Devils — both owned by Josh Harris — will be using the technology, which changes the court (or ice) surface into a projection screen on which you can lay out just about anything [Editor's note: a healthy big man?]:

While some arenas have used the technology for special events, the 76ers are the second National Basketball Association team to buy it from Herndon, Virginia-based Quince, following the Cleveland Cavaliers, the club said. The Devils are the first U.S.-based National Hockey League team to buy the technology that transforms the court or ice surface into what Quince calls an immersive video display. The Montreal Canadiens also own the technology, which costs about $1 million per team.

You can check out the Cavaliers’ use of it above (and you can imagine they’re gearing up one hell of a show on it for this season). It’ll be interesting to see the moments from 76ers history that they use in the show, but then again they could just lay down Joel Embiid’s Twitter feed and I’d be alright with that.

H/T to (@nick_waters)


Yes, the Taney Kids Deserved a Parade

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Yesterday, a spotty yet rambunctious group of a couple thousand fans watched an undersea-themed float, a Statue of Liberty-themed float, and a Delta Queen-themed float carry a bunch of children (and the Mayor) down Broad Street. The Taney Dragons Little League Team (and family and supporters) started their parade at 20th and Market and ended it at FDR Park with Mayor Nutter declaring yesterday Taney Dragons Day in Philadelphia. Afterwards, they were honored at Citizens Bank Park.

There was a lot of grumbling beforehand, talk saying the Taney kids didn’t deserve a parade because they didn’t win the whole thing. That, of course, didn’t stop a lengthly line from forming to get Erik Lipson’s autograph.

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That also didn’t stop an off-duty Ben Franklin from cycling on over to scope it out:

Casual B. Franks supports Taney Baseball

Casual B. Franks supports Taney Baseball

The Taney team made it to the U.S. Semifinal, the first area team to make it that far since the team from Newtown Square finished in 3rd place in 1967 (a year where the U.S. title was also won by a team from Chicago). They were the first team from the city of Philadelphia to ever make the tournament, and along the way captured the enthusiasm of fans whose efforts were wasted on the Phillies. Sports fans and people who don’t care at all were wrapped up in the story of a multi-racial, inner-city team with a girl pitcher who threw the ball 70 m.p.h. Mo’ne Davis was on the cover of Sports Illustrated. She was called a “national treasure.” SportsCenter broke down the science of her delivery.

Note the police officer walking alongside the float, there solely to protect the Mayor

Note the police officer walking alongside the float, there solely to protect the Mayor

Davis and her teammates (including Kyle’s favorite, ZION SPEARMAN, holding a small child above) captured the attention of an entire city in the sports vacuum of late summer. In stretches, the parade was a total mob scene. At the first stopping point, in front of the Kimmel Center, it was nearly impossible to navigate the sidewalk and difficult to hear the Mayor speaking from the podium that was about twenty feet away. The chanting and cheering was nearly constant. At one point, summing up the whole parade, an accented woman asked no one in particular “What’s this for?” A passerby answered in her general direction, without ever slowing down, “LITTLE LEAGUE WORLD SERIES,” leaving the accented woman to ask to herself, “Statue of Liberty?”

No, they didn’t win. But if we throw parades for millionaires who aren’t from here when they win championships (and we definitely should), then we can throw a damn parade for a bunch of born and bred Philly kids, playing for the love of the game, who became the coolest story in sports. The Taney Dragons are Philadelphia, and they deserved to be honored.

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Comcast Would Love to Buy Your Support for Its Proposed Merger with Time Warner

Comcast, Philadelphia’s very own Eye of Sauron, is busy not giving you customer service and trying to convince people that this whole Time Warner isn’t in fact a gigantic tidal wave of shit that only benefits those with a Comcast logo on their paychecks. And what is the best way to convince people that you’re the good guy and you’re on their side? A whole lot of dollars. According to National Journal, a number of groups that have come out in support of the merger have received large donations from the cable giant:

Nine United Way chapters, 12 Big Brothers Big Sisters chapters, 25 Boys & Girls Club chapters, and 14 Urban League chapters all filed comments urging the Federal Communications Commission to approve the merger of the nation’s two largest cable providers. Comcast is a major donor to all four organizations.

The company also received support from diversity groups such as the NAACP, the Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans, the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies, the Latin American Association, the National Congress of Black Women, the National Urban Indian Family Coalition, 100 Black Men of America, and the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation.

Many of the groups explicitly pointed to Comcast’s support (through corporate donations and employee volunteering) as the reason for supporting the deal.

To be fair to these groups, many of them do not seem to be advocating for Comcast’s great product and customer service and total non-monopoly, they’re just saying, “Hey, Comcast is nice to us, so if they expand to Time Warner’s territories, maybe non-profits there can benefit too.” But Comcast is citing those endorsements as the main reason why you should be totally fine with getting fucked. And it is here where National Journal (and I) would like to remind you that those who do not rely on Comcast for donations pretty much agree that this shouldn’t even be up for debate because holy shit they shouldn’t have even been allowed to buy NBCUniversal in the first place what the fuck is going on?

National Journal spoke to Matt Wood, policy director for advocacy group Free Press, who said that having the non-profits write letters of support is “good politics,” but he doesn’t know “how much they’ve analyzed the loss of innovation and competition that we think a merger would be certain to cause.” I know how much they’ve analyzed that, Matt: Not at all. But that is not their job. That is our job, and it’s not difficult.


The Flyers’ Third Jersey Will Probably Be Their Winter Classic Jersey

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Not these

Today, a person wondered if the Flyers’ new alternate jersey will actually be their 2012 Winter Classic jersey. Here’s that thought, undoubtedly told in a hushed tone, perhaps you’d even call it a whisper*:

Among them [at the Skate Zone] was Zac Rinaldo, wearing black pants with an orange stripe down the side and many players donned black helmets, which had cream-colored numbers and an orange outline. Usually, the Flyers wear solid black pants and the black helmets have solid white numbers on them.

In the locker room, the striped pants hung in most players’ stalls with the cream-numbered helmets above. In all likelihood, this is part of the Flyers’ new alternate kits this season. .

Shh. As I murmured quietly last monthI bet the Flyers’ new third jerseys are the Winter Classic jerseys from 2012. 

Those robots will be here any day now, and even they’ll know that kits is a soccer word.

*That’s how Dave cites reports nowadays:


Media Rumblings: Colleen Wolfe Is Heading to the NFL Network, CSN Gets New Football Show

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Earlier this year, the NFL announced NFL Now, a streaming, mobile, over-the-top-service that brings you in-game highlights, original content, and for a small fee, access to the NFL Films library. The service won’t show live games (yet?), but it’s the NFL’s first step toward cutting the cord, and it’s something they’ve been pushing a lot lately. It’s available online, on IOS and Android, Apple TV, and PS4 and Xbox One. Anyway, hearing that Colleen Wolfe is leaving FOX 29 for the network, which is based in LA. She’ll be its lead female anchor. Scott Hanson is already sort of a big deal over there, obviously as the host of RedZone, so this makes two former CSN-ers with prominent NFL Network roles.

CSN is adding another pun-y-titled show. From a press release:

Comcast SportsNet expands its robust football programming with a new 30-minute show “Quick Slants,” featuring Comcast SportsNet’s Derrick Gunn and columnist Reuben Frank. “Quick Slants” will air weekdays at 6 p.m., and will feature discussions on the top stories around the league, centering on the NFC and the Philadelphia Eagles. “Quick Slants” will also feature national football experts from NBC Sports and “ProFootball Talk,” as well as social media integration through Facebook and Twitter.

While writing this post, Molly Eichel of the Daily News also reported that Wolfe is leaving FOX and will be replaced by Keith Russell, formerly of 6 ABC.

Starting this fall, I’ll be a regular contributor on FOX’s weekend morning show. Have breakfast in bed with me, please.


Video: Nick Foles Surprises Fantasy Drafts

God I love Nick Foles’ sponsors: Acme and Courtyard by Marriott. I swear Smuckers is next, and with a name like that, it has to be good!

Foles – loosely dressed as a waiter, but mostly as a hipster Nick Foles – surprised a bunch of fantasy leagues holding their drafts at the Courtyard Marriot by the airport, apparently the day after the Eagles’ first pre-season game. I’ll just go ahead and assume this was real and not staged (“Dude, Nick Foles sucked yesterday!”) because these guys melting when they realize Foles is their waiter is outstanding.

Nick and I are going to have a fantasy relationship this year. He just had to be on Footlong Foles, the early favorite to destroy the league:

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Picked up Jeremy Hill after the fact for added redundancy. Should just shut the league down now.

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