Crazy sports weekend.
Let’s hit it!
But first, a word from our sponsors:
Sale. We are catching up on stock and all orders already placed are going out this week. Everything else will ship in 3-5 days. Shop now.
Amazon. You’re going to shop there anyway– use our link and give your favorite blog a little kickback.
Great block from Zach Ertz! pic.twitter.com/rk3xPcj8K7
— Kyle Scott (@CrossingBroad) December 4, 2016
So this could be the Tweet that does Zach Ertz in in Philly, ironically on the day that he helped me win money on Draft Kings due to his garbage time destruction. Bobby Abreu has been getting hounded with this in his timeline since I tweeted it yesterday, and, frankly, I’m just proud of my son for shouting his first player out of town.
I’m not sure what else there is to say about the Eagles game. They suck. They’re regressing. There was no effort, more bad penalties, Carson Wentz looked really bad and somehow managed to throw directly into defensive linemen on what felt like every play despite being 6’5 (call that Garb Shotz), and the defense continued to be maddeningly inconsistent as it got torched by – is this correct? – an A.J. Green-less mediocre Bengals team. In fact, the only positive may have been Nelson Agholor, who at least showed some effort as he worked through his case of being not very good at football. Well done, guys!
You think I’m joking when I talk about the anti-Nova bias in this city, but are you fucking kidding me with this Tweet? I was all set to write about Temple’s and Penn State’s big weekends winning a conference whose acronym I still don’t know and not getting selected for the championship series or whatever it’s called, but now I’ve got to stop my praise and pivot to point out that Villanova, who THROTTLED once competitive and respectable St. Joe’s, will become the number one team in the country today. That doesn’t warrant a mention. Someone explain to me how they aren’t, by far, the most successful and best college program in the state, region and maybe country right now, and they can’t even crack a Tweet by the local sports morning program? Fuck outta here. Buy a shirt— it will arrive in time for Christmas:
But hey, I’m a reasonable guy, and I too think it’s time to give Penn State and Temple their due. Especially Penn State. They got jobbed, somehow not jumping ahead of Ohio State despite winning the Big 10 and beating them head-to-head. Here’s CBS Sports trying to justify why they didn’t get in:
Another theory: Conference championships are meaningless since Penn State won the Big Ten and beat Ohio State yet got left out. Except … 11 of the 12 playoff teams so far have won their conference and none of them had two losses like Penn State.
And that one team to not win its conference? OHIO STATE! That example literally works directly against the point it’s trying to make.
Anyway, congrats to the NITTANY LIONS!
And then there’s Temple. Wait a minute, Temple beat Navy to win it’s conference championship. NAVY?!?!?! It’s worse than I thought.
— Alex Holley (@AlexHolleyFOX29) December 5, 2016
You know what, screw this impartial bullshit. Temple football is the epitome of the sort of mediocrity that gets championed in Philly and holds us back from being winners. For real, let’s parse this bullshit from hall of fame reader (@PhillyPartTwo):
@CrossingBroad So many Nova posts. Too bad Temple didn't win a title, have fball & bball ranked, and a goalie on the Blackhawks. TU obvs sux
— Michael MPH 🇺🇸 (@PhillyPartTwo) December 4, 2016
Have a football and basketball team ranked and a goalie on the Blackhawks. Yes, the football team won its slop conference and eeked into the top 25 as a consolation prize. The basketball team… well, they too are about to eek into the top 25. Cool. And the goalie on the Blackhawks is essentially the script of every Disney movie ever, which is fine. I’m not hating, but let’s not pretend any of these things are remotely on the level of what Villanova basketball is doing right now.
Speaking of the goalie, this is a cool story!
Take Eric Semborski, a 23-year-old who last played club hockey at Temple. Semborski was working Saturday morning at the Flyers’ practice facility doing his job running leagues for kids of all ages.
Then he got a phone call from somebody on the Flyers. He wasn’t sure who it was.
“Go home and get your stuff,” Semborski said he was told.
“What was happening?” Semborski thought.
Semborski was put on alert he might be pressed into action under the NHL’s wonderfully quirky emergency backup goaltender rules. The Hawks needed one Saturday when Corey Crawford had an appendectomy at an area hospital after he felt ill Saturday morning.
Per NHL rules, teams are allowed to sign a backup goaltender, who can be almost anyone. The Hawks, though, couldn’t sign goaltender coach Jimmy Waite because, as a former professional, Waite’s salary would have counted against the cap and the Hawks had no room.
They needed an amateur who would cost nothing and with the Flyers’ help they found Semborski, who was pressed into duty. When Semborski saw a Chicago area code pop up on his phone, he said, he knew this was for real. “Someone named Tony” had called him — Hawks’ senior director of team services Tony Ommen.
“I seriously had to take my skates off from coaching and just come (Wells Fargo Center) as fast as I could,” said Semborski, who said he got the call only two hours before the game. “I still couldn’t believe it was happening as I was walking in.
“I was at work, at the rink in Voorhees just coaching,” Semborski said. “My boss called me and I missed it. I walked off the ice and started talking with someone from the Flyers, he started asking me, ‘Where’d you play hockey, what’s your playing history?’”
Semborski was confounded.
“I didn’t even know what he was getting at,” he said. “I asked, ‘Why are you asking me this?’ And he said, ‘Oh, Chicago needs a goalie.’ I just lost it. He said, ‘Go home, get your stuff and if they’re going to use you, they’ll call you.’ I left right away.
“I was like, OK, this probably isn’t going to happen, there’s no way.”
Ten minutes later …
“I’m in the truck and I got a call from Chicago,” Semborski said.
Who was it?
“I just know his name’s Tony,” Semborski said. “That’s all I know.”
How the heck did the Chicago Blackhawks, winners of three Stanley Cups since 2010, find a regular, hard-working guy living in Manayunk to be their reserve netminder?
“No idea,” Semborski said, still in awe talking after the game outside the locker rooms. “I think it had something to do with me working with Snider Hockey, working at Voorhees. They asked around and people just threw my name out I guess. I really don’t know how it happened. I’ll have to get to the bottom of that and thank some people. I have no idea who gave them my info, but whoever did, thank you, because it was awesome.”
What I want to know– where did he park when he got to the arena?
Jay Wright is such a goddamn gentleman:
Jay Wright after the SJU game about possibly being #1 on Monday: "Ah, hell… I don't care." pic.twitter.com/tu5OySrI3c
— VU Hoops 🏆🏆🏆 (@VUhoops) December 4, 2016
The Philadelphia Eagles are likely to pursue a reunion with Washington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson during the offseason, sources told ESPN.
Multiple teams believe that Jackson, who will be an unrestricted free agent after the season, could return to Philadelphia. The Eagles would benefit from the addition of a speedy deep threat, and Jackson and Eagles coach Doug Pederson are big admirers of each other, sources said.
You talk about re-chasing old glory. D-Jac hasn’t caught more than five balls in a game since Week 1, he has only two games over 100 yards, and three touchdowns, on a high-powered Redskins offense. To say that he’s lost a step would be an understatement. I’m embarrassed for Jeffrey Lurie, Howie Roseman and Doug Pederson that they’re even linked to this.
That’s the common theme in the assessments of multiple NFL personnel evaluators who say Wentz is exhibiting some of the mechanical flaws that he illustrated prior to the NFL draft. And evaluators say they are manifesting in accuracy issues and the length of time it takes for Wentz to deliver the ball after making a decision.
Wentz didn’t seem to agree with such an assessment on Sunday, when he said his mistakes were garden-variety errors that are prone to happen when throwing the football frequently. Wentz made 60 attempts on Sunday and completed 36 passes.
“I don’t think it’s the mechanics,” Wentz said after Sunday’s loss. “You make mistakes. Things happen.”
But a handful of personnel evaluators who spoke to Yahoo Sports over the past week about Wentz’s mechanics said his throwing motion is showing up prominently on film. They also believe it’s leading to some accuracy issues and mistakes. Two issues in particular are sticking out to those who have viewed the rookie quarterback: a long-armed looping windup that needs to be more compact; and an awkward arm position in the middle of his throwing motion that is slowing down his delivery.
One NFC East source likened Wentz’s arm positioning to something from a baseball pitcher. Another evaluator said the rookie displayed “bountiful bad arm angles” during his throwing motion.
“[The] ball is dropped down, turned out, then looped back around,” one evaluator said. “With his long arms and that motion, [it’s] very hard to be accurate. Especially on the move. … [The] inability to get the ball out quick and on time is key.”
You’d almost think he didn’t have quarterbacks as his head coach and offensive coordinator. If Doug and Frank aren’t coaching the quarterback, then…
It’s 2016 and a punter is the coolest guy in the NFL:
— SB Nation (@SBNation) December 5, 2016
Oooooo so that's how I got caught… 😏 pic.twitter.com/VPuvLWcvFK
— Marquette King (@MarquetteKing) December 5, 2016
The touchdown was good, but that’s one weak-ass snow angel:
The strategy worked:
Isaiah Thomas: "We wanted to get Okafor in as many pick-and-rolls as possible."
— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) December 4, 2016
It’s not officially the baseball off-season until the Phillies sing a reliever who is damn near 40. It’s almost here.
We talk Joel Embiid’s amazing debut, the recent changes at WIP, Double Bird Man, the “We Matter” shirt controversy, and watching NBA League Pass:
The Stepover Episode 17 talks winnable games, Brett Brown criticisms (before the Cavs loss), and some fun Joel Embiid stats:
Number 1 Hockey Podcast Episode 2: