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Terror on the ice.
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) September 25, 2018
— SiriusXM NHL Network Radio (@SiriusXMNHL) September 25, 2018
Gritty is everything we dreamed he would be.
— Gritty Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) September 25, 2018
Gritty just shot a dude in the back pic.twitter.com/A1KdXdobpe
— Amanda Hugnkiss 💖 (@orangeandsass) September 24, 2018
It’s pretty cool seeing a professional sports team run the same drills you used to run in high school.
The Sixers capped off Monday’s training session with free-throw shooting and a simple rule: make two shots and you’re good, miss a shot and everybody runs a suicide, up and back the entire length of the court.
Here’s some video of Markelle Fultz getting his turn in the rotation if you’d like to over-analyze his free-throw form:
Markelle Fultz, two for two: pic.twitter.com/xrjo5KsNU9
— Kevin Kinkead (@Kevin_Kinkead) September 24, 2018
Probably not, but the gym was pretty full at this point, with 25-30 media in the corner and some dignitary-types who were on hand for a post-practice event to celebrate the Sixers’ upcoming China trip. Brett Brown knew the cameras were on when he tossed the ball to Fultz and told him that it was his turn to shoot.
He knew what he was doing.
It was a full go today for everybody except Joel Embiid, who took a break for load management but has no health concerns to speak of. Brown says he’ll have his entire group ready and available for tomorrow night’s intra-squad Palestra scrimmage, minus Zhaire Smith.
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Death, taxes, and a shitty penalty flag being thrown in an NFL game.
These are life’s certainties.
The irony of this NFL season is that we watched officials throw myriad flags for lowered helmet hits in weeks one and two of the preseason. That was the new rule that everybody thought would derail the league this year and cause defensive players to rethink their entire game.
But that penalty is really having no impact this season. Jordan Hicks committed a clear violation of that rule yesterday and the refs picked the flag up. Instead, the scourge, the plague, the bane of our existence is the “weight on the quarterback” rule that resulted in Clay Matthews once again committing a ludicrous infraction, this time against Washington yesterday:
This is a foul for roughing the passer – the defender lands “with all or most of the defender’s weight” on the passer. Rule 12, Section 2, Article 9(b): https://t.co/s9YKN8NLuT #GBvsWAS pic.twitter.com/ei2QZkvvzx
— NFL Football Operations (@NFLFootballOps) September 23, 2018
The irony here is that Matthews seems to be immediately waving his hands after the play as to say, “I tried not to put my entire weight on him!” He wraps up the quarterback and brings him to the ground. I don’t see scooping, I don’t see pulling, and I don’t see him driving Alex Smith into the dirt in a way that looks overtly violent or malicious.
Matthews was more than honest when asked about the play in the locker room:
The Phillies, you could say, uh, “presented beautifully” throughout the weekend during a thorough and relentless four-game pounding by the Braves. It was a gutless and pitiful submission, but it also mercifully expedited the inevitable, so taking the energy and effort to question Gabe Kapler’s lineups or bullpen maneuvers with faux outrage feels like a futile exercise because, let’s be honest, does anybody even give the slightest of fucks about the 2018 Phillies at this point? I don’t. But I am interested in the 2019 Phillies, and I’m interested in that team looking nothing like the one that has spiraled out of control this month, so that’s why I found Kapler’s enthusiastic vote of confidence in Vince Velasquez after his disappointing outing in Atlanta last week so interesting.
Velasquez has had his moments this season, but has struggled lately, posting a 7.67 ERA in eight starts since August 8. The rotation was a strength for much of this season, but has faltered miserably down the stretch, and the correlation between its struggles and the Phillies’ late-season collapse is obvious. While their roster has several flaws, if the Phillies truly desire a different outcome in 2019, they will need to bolster the rotation. Velasquez’s disastrous finish, along with his history of inconsistency would make him, in my opinion, the most likely candidate to go. But Kapler, who to what should be the surprise of nobody, apparently sees things differently. Here’s what he had to say about Velasquez in a recent Jim Salisbury story:
FIP is more predictive of what will happen next year than ERA is, and that’s why we look at FIP more than ERA. ERA tells the story of what happened including defense. FIP tells us what might happen going forward.
The Flyers introduced their new mascot, Gritty, this morning in front of children at the Please Touch Museum. God bless those souls. I heard from someone who works for the team that it was going to be really ugly. It appears so. No idea what’s going on here.
Twitter reactions are after the jump. Continue Reading
Oh. My God.
It’s like Scott Hartnell fucked Grimace and then showed up to murder you in cold blood… which is exactly what I imagine the Flyers were going for here.
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) September 24, 2018
From the press release (which is real):
The Philadelphia Flyers introduced today a new official team mascot named Gritty, a seven-foot, orange, fuzzy creature, who will take an active role in embracing the Flyers community outreach initiatives in the Greater Philadelphia Region.
The Flyers officially welcomed Gritty during a special event at the Please Touch Museum in Fairmount Park today, in front of over 600 students from across the Philadelphia School District.
Today’s event was a culmination of several teasers that the club has recently dropped on its social media channels detailing the new mascot’s complete “story.” Gritty was recently “found” by the team, uncovered during large-scale construction and renovations currently taking place at the Wells Fargo Center.
In-Arena Hosts Shawny Hill and Andrea Helfrich introduced Gritty at the Please Touch Museum, where he made a grand entrance on the t-shirt-shooting car he’s set to use all season. In addition to a dance sequence and leading his first “Let’s Go Flyers” chant, the mascot showed off some of his assets and oddities – including googly eyes, a squeaky belly button and hands, as well as the ability to blow smoke out of his ears. As his home has been deep inside the Wells Fargo Center for an unknown amount of time, Gritty has also picked up solid skating and hockey abilities.
“We are proud to introduce Gritty and welcome a full-time mascot program to our community engagement initiatives,” said Shawn Tilger, chief operating officer for the Philadelphia Flyers. “The Flyers have a consistent and active presence in the market through events with our players, wives, alumni and fan development programs, and we see this as a natural progression to keep us active year-round in and outside of our sport.
“First and foremost, the Flyers adding a mascot to our fan engagement program is specifically for our young fans, and we’re excited to add value to their experience both at games and in their communities,” notes Tilger.
The Flyers had a mascot named Slapshot for a brief time in 1976. This is the first time the club has introduced a mascot since.
The Flyers underwent an extensive process to develop and introduce Gritty, enlisting the help of character branding consultant Dave Raymond during the 2017-18 regular season. The process included evaluating over 100 different designs and countless hours of production and planning.
100 different designs… and Gritty killed the other 99.
Look, mascots are for kids, and now with two kids of my own – strategically named Kyle and Chase – I am more amenable to goofy characters. But, ah, wow. I’m still trying to formulate words, even though the only thing I can muster is a soft plea for help before this thing… oh, no, no, Gritty, no, nooooooooooooooo…
… oh, never mind, he just licked me.
The legendary Eagle and Hall of Fame member died this morning at age 84.
McDonald was the speedy 5’9″ receiver who helped the 1960 Eagles win the NFL championship at Franklin Field. He caught three passes for 90 yards on the day, including a 35-yard touchdown thrown by fellow Hall of Famer Norm Van Brocklin.
McDonald led the NFL in touchdowns twice during his Eagles tenure. He’s second in Philadelphia history with 66 receiving touchdowns and 6th with 5,499 career receiving yards, which he accomplished on only 287 career receptions. That resulted in a 19.2 yards per reception number, which is higher than DeSean Jackson, Harold Carmichael, and every other qualified Eagle pass catcher.
No, this wasn’t an instant classic, but the Eagles found a way to get it done, and they did it while leaning on a quarterback that hadn’t played in nine months who also did not have the services of his top receiver and top running back.
When you put things in perspective, a four-point comeback home win against a middle-of-the-pack team looks pretty damn good. The defense essentially shut down the Colts in the red zone, guys like Dallas Goedert and Wendell Smallwood stepped it up, and Carson Wentz did enough to make up for two turnovers while playing his first game since the ACL tear suffered last December.
They got it done without executing anything close to their best game, and that’s really been the modus operandi of this Eagles team during Doug Pederson’s tenure. Good teams find ways to win, which sounds like a big bullshit cliche – and it is – but it also happens to be true. This team just comes up with big plays and big drives at critical times, and the Birds did it again on Sunday to improve to 2-1 on the year.
1) Carson Wentz
Some good, some bad, and a couple of 2017-esque scrambles from the franchise QB.
I thought Doug Pederson did a great job on that first drive of going four and five-wide with a no-huddle tempo to get Carson in an early rhythm. He got the ball out early, didn’t try to do anything too fancy, and eased his way into the game with some simple pitching and catching.
Twelve plays out of the shotgun with a 7 to 5 pass/run balance was the perfect way to get him going, and it resulted in a touchdown on the first drive. Wentz used Zach Ertz, he used Dallas Goedert, and he even hit Josh Perkins on a completion while Wendell Smallwood and Corey Clement ran the ball. It was a balanced drive and went a long way towards unlocking an offense that had started slow in weeks one and two.