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It doesn’t get much more Union than the past five days.
OF COURSE this team would find a way to concede four goals to Montreal at home in a must-win game, jeopardizing their playoff seeding and postseason hopes in general.
Then they turn it around in bizarro world fashion by going out to Seattle on short rest and shutting out the Sounders 1-0 with a 93rd minute smash and grab goal, ending the opponent’s MLS record nine-game winning streak in the process.
This Union season just continues to distort reality and redefine everything we previously knew about space, time, and human existence. It really does. This team was dead and buried not three months ago. The final nails were being driven into the coffin as the sporting director took off for greener pastures. The stadium was mostly empty and fans were fleeing the sinking ship without a second thought.
Fast forward to September 20th, and this group is now the winningest in franchise history.
“Winningest” isn’t a word, but whatever – thirteen victories is a franchise record, eclipsing the twelve-win mark John Hackworth’s squad put up in 2013. In more simple terms, no Philadelphia Union team has won more games than this squad of overachievers.
NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA NAMES SERENA WINTERS SIXERS MULTIPLATFORM REPORTER
Winters Joins the Award-Winning Broadcast Team of Marc Zumoff and Alaa Abdelnaby
Philadelphia, PA (SEPTEMBER 20, 2018) – NBC Sports Philadelphia – home of the Authentic Fan – announced today that Serena Winters is joining the network as a multiplatform Sixers reporter. Winters will work with veteran broadcasters Marc Zumoff and Alaa Abdelnaby on all Sixers telecasts, and create coverage surrounding the team across all platforms.
Winters joins from NBC Sports Northwest, where she served as host of ‘The Bridge,’ a daily primetime sports TV show, and contributed to the coverage of the Portland Trail Blazers. Prior to her role with NBC Sports, she was the lead reporter for Lakers Nation, and part of the on-air talent team at Spectrum SportsNet since 2012.
“We are thrilled to welcome Serena to the NBC Sports Philadelphia family,” said NBC Sports Philadelphia VP of Live Events Shawn Oleksiak. “Serena has terrific insight on the NBA from her time covering the Lakers and Trail Blazers, and Sixers fans will find her very informative and engaging.”
“I’ve always dreamed of working sideline for an NBA team, and to do this in the best sports city in the world is an absolute dream come true,” said Winters. “I am honored to join NBC Sports Philadelphia, and to cover the Sixers – one of the most exciting, talented and entertaining teams in NBA.”
For a while people figured that Taryn Hatcher was Molly Sullivan’s replacement on Sixers broadcasts. Nope. NBC actually had plans to fill the role directly. Serena Winters was the choice.
Hit the jump for pics and videos of Serena’s work: Continue Reading
Sports Betting Updates
Let’s not wax poetic over the Phillies’ last stand that begins in Atlanta tonight. The odds are stacked against them as they attempt to erase a 5.5 game deficit with only 11 games remaining. If they are to pull off the miraculous, they will need to win at least three of four games this weekend, but if we’re being honest, they are probably done-zo with anything short of a sweep.
I think I know how this story ends, so I’ve been trying hard this week not to be lured in by the faint signs of life they’ve shown after winning back-to-back series for the first time since late July.
Still, since the Phillies have “a chip and a seat at the table,” as Gabe Kapler said last week, I suppose we can look at what exactly the Phillies are up against in Atlanta because screw it, why not?
I imagine a scenario in which Gabe Kapler and one of the Phillies’ team analysts have a conversation that closely mirrors the one had by Lloyd Christmas and Mary Swanson in Dumb and Dumber.
Gabe Kapler: What are the chances of a team like mine and October baseball…ending up together?
MIT Grad/Baseball Computer Data Guy: Not good.
Gabe Kapler: Not good like one in a hundred?
MIT Grad/Baseball Computer Data Guy: I’d say more like one in a million.
Gabe Kapler: So you’re telling me there’s a chance?!?
Elton Brand is being introduced as the Sixers’ new general manager this morning.
Joining Brand at the table is owner Joshua Harris. Head coach Brett Brown spoke to the media for two hours at his Tuesday luncheon and is not present at this presser.
I’ll continue to update the post with bullet points and quotes from today’s availability:
- Elton is smart, hard working, and everything we’re looking for
- This is a player’s league and Elton is universally respected, he knows how players feel and react, he’s the perfect GM for today’s NBA, where relationships are paramount
- Brand will report to Harris and make decisions off court, while Brett Brown makes decisions on court
- Believes this team has an incredibly bright future, a dynamic young core, veterans, and a great coach in Brett Brown
- I know how passionate the fan base is and I understand what the expectations are, the next 12 months are very important and in the near term we’re focused on advancing further into the playoffs
The organizational structure
- Elton and Brett are partners. Both of them report to me and to ownership. We expect they will be collaborating a lot. Brett is the on- court voice and Brand is the off court voice.
- Not going after a president of basketball operations, pretty happy with the existing structure in place and we’ll put the organizational stuff behind us as we move on
- Via press release: Additionally, Alex Rucker has been elevated to Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations (reported by Adrian Wojnarowski Tuesday night)
- I’ll make basketball decision recommendations to ownership, but Brett and I are aligned. When it comes to trades, draft process, I’m running that. That’s what I’ve been hired for. Brett will have a say in final decisions, as will ownership, who we report to
Here’s an exchange with Howard Eskin about who has the final say in the existing setup:
Eskin: But who has the last say?
Harris: On the court, Brett, off the court, Elton.
Eskin: Well, on the court..
Harris: So minute to minute, coaching sort of decisions will be Brett. Personnel decisions, trades, free agency, will be Elton.
Brand: First of all, thanks for the soft ball question, Howard. Basically basketball decisions, I’m going to make those. I’ll make those recommendations to ownership. Coach and I are aligned. It is a partnership. He said partnership and it is a partnership. Teams that have won in the NBA, the GM and coaches have to get along. He’s gonna have the players; when it comes to trades, draft process, I’m running that. That’s what I’ve been hired for.”
Eskin: But final say –
Brand: Final say, coach is going to have a voice in it. We’re going to discuss it. I’m going to make my recommendations to ownership, just like any other team does.
Eskin: So Josh has the final say?
Brand: On every team, ownership has a final say, especially for big, possible landscape (changes) for our organization. Every team.
The Phillies have struggled against the Mets for the past few seasons and especially this year. New York was seen as a team that would not be a problem for the young Phillies in their quest for an NL East crown. Instead, they’ve been a major thorn in the team’s side.
But the Phils pulled out two wins in their final three-game series last night, capping things off with a 4-0 shutout over their division rivals. Rhys Hoskins kicked things off with a solo home run in the bottom of the first and Odubel Herrera had a two-run blast in the bottom of the fourth.
Zach Eflin returned to his early season form, pitching five innings and striking out nine batters while giving up three hits.
And now, the first big series of the stretch run.
It’s a four-game meeting with the Atlanta Braves. Their magic number to clinch the division is six games. The teams will meet seven times until the end of the season. Atlanta could win three of these meetings this weekend and clinch the division.
Vince Velasquez takes the mound tonight against Kevin Gausman for the 7:35 PM start on NBC Sports Philadelphia.
The Roundup: Continue Reading
The Sixers will introduce Elton Brand as their new general manager at 11 this morning. Media day is Friday and training camp begins on Saturday.
Add to that some unexpected Markelle Fultz footage this morning via a Players’ Tribune interview with Denver Nugget Isaiah Thomas.
Fultz talks about his jump shot, his rookie season, and expectations for 2018. Here’s the Twitter clip the Tribune shared:
.@MarkelleF on the jump shot everyone is talking about.
— The Players' Tribune (@PlayersTribune) September 20, 2018
The form looks good, I guess. I’m not a shot expert. It feels like he’s still “shot-putting the ball” a little bit, but if it goes in, it goes in. Reggie Miller had a funky form and scored something like 25,000 points. Marco Belinelli was more accurate when leaning sideways, so whatever works, works.
Fultz reiterates that he really was dealing with a shoulder injury last year and that criticism from fans and media didn’t really get to him.
The full clip is 17 minutes long and you can watch it after the jump:
Anthony and Russ discuss their biggest takeaways from training camp thus far, predict the final roster, and answer Twitter questions. Plus, Anthony attempts the most obscure edition of “Who’s that Flyer?”.
We recommend subscribing in Overcast, the best iOS podcast player, and using the Voice Boost and Smart Speed functions, which improve sound quality (for all shows) and speed up small gaps in the conversation. Download Overcast and just search “Snow the Goalie” to subscribe.
If you just want to dabble and check out other great podcasts by category, listen over at TopPodcast.com.
If you prefer the more traditional players, here are those links:
There’s no real structure to this week’s video breakdown.
I think we’re just going to go through the Tampa film and look for two things:
- breakdowns in the secondary
- how did the receivers run their routes? were they getting open? where did they line up?
Those are the two biggest concerns heading into week three against the Colts. It’s the secondary play and the offensive skill positions, – i.e., does Carson Wentz have anybody to throw to?
Obviously some of this film will be rendered obsolete with the addition of Jordan Matthews, but I think we can look for some patterns from the Tampa game to get of an idea of how they might be able to use the limited offensive pieces currently on the roster. We can look at the different sets they used and how they deployed Nelson Agholor and Zach Ertz.
I wrote about the DeSean Jackson touchdown pass in my Monday takeaways article, but we’ve got access to the coaches film now via NFL Gamepass, so I wanted to give you the play again from a wider angle where you can see exactly what’s going on:
Malcolm Jenkins took responsibility for this mistake after the game. Continue Reading