Posts for Uncategorized Category

After Ten Long Seasons, the Philadelphia Union Finally Won a Playoff Game

Kevin Kinkead - October 21, 2019

The Philadelphia Union won a playoff game. It took ten years, but they finally won a playoff game.

Gotta be honest; I thought it would never happen. We’re talking about a team that was 0-4 all-time in the postseason and 0-3 in U.S. Open Cup finals, compiling a whopping 0-7 record in games that really truly would have brought this franchise to the next level and maybe, perhaps, resulted in people giving a shit about soccer. Every single time this team previously got close to doing something relevant, they’d fall flat on their face and kill off the goodwill and momentum they had built with their own fans and “four for four” types alike.

They were on track to do that again Sunday, when they went down 2-0 and then 3-1 at home in front of a sold out, 18,500 capacity crowd. Goalkeeper Andre Blake put in the worst 45 minutes I’ve ever seen from him, first blowing a save I’ve seen him make 100 times previously and then flapping at a cross before colliding with a teammate on a poor parry.

That’s so Union,” I thought to myself, as they looked destined for another disappointing finish, this time in their first home playoff game since October of 2011.

But the second half defined what we’ve said about this team 50 times previously on the “It’s Always Soccer in Philadelphia” podcast –

This 2019 squad wins games that they would have lost from 2012 to 2018. You and I had seen so many iterations of this team just choking away leads or blowing big games at home, but not this season. They accomplished the following:

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The Phillie Phanatic Tattoo Guy Got Some Gritty Ink

Russ Joy - October 19, 2019

Remember Robert Dunphy? Well, the man who captured the hearts and minds of the Delaware Valley during a 34-27 win over the Packers at Lambeau Field and eventually raised nearly $20,000 for charity popped up at the Flyers game against the Dallas Stars on Saturday night:

The lady next to him looked a bit less enthusiastic than the rest of the Wells Fargo Center faithful. Regardless, I’m glad to see Dunphy’s fifteen minutes of fame get extended. Anyone who raises money for a children’s charity is good people in my book. If you’re interested in learning more about that charity, Storm The Heavens Fund, head over to their site.

It’s John Middleton’s Show: Takeaways From Today’s Phillies Press Conference

Bob Wankel - October 11, 2019

John Middleton is the CEO. It’s his show, and he wants you to know it.

That is THE primary takeaway after a 57-minute press conference at Citizens Bank Park earlier this afternoon in which Matt Klentak, Andy MacPhail, and Middleton traded turns (and I use that phrase very loosely) answering questions about the Phillies’ direction in the wake of the team’s decision to part ways with former manager Gabe Kapler yesterday.

It was a clinic on how to dilute the substance of an answer with verbosity–saying much to say very little–specifically on the part of Middleton, who at one point reached the 11-minute mark with one of his answers:

Takeaways and observations from an hour with John & Friends, after the jump.

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Unpopular Opinion: Angelo Cataldi Does, in Fact, Speak for Philadelphia Sports Fans

Anthony SanFilippo - October 10, 2019

I know I’m going to get killed for this post, but I’m going to write it anyway, so here goes nothing…

My colleague Kevin Kinkead wrote an article about 94.1 WIP’s Angelo Cataldi’s reaction to the Gabe Kapler firing today, calling it “cringe worthy” and took some pot shots at the morning talker for his frequent self-plaudit that he represents the voice of the Philadelphia sports fan.

This, of course, becomes a generational argument.

Cataldi, who has been on the air longer than a lot of Philadelphia sports fans have been alive, is in his late sixties.

The preponderance of loud sports voices today are at least half his age, if not more.

So, as the ever-growing trope goes, Cataldi must only represent the voice of fans in their 60s and doesn’t accurately reflect the voice of the younger fans in town.

That’s because there’s also a stereotype for the younger fan. That somehow, everyone under the age of 35 are Millennial lemmings who all think the same way and that inherently, every one of those fans thinks differently than us old heads.

Meanwhile we think the younger fans are idiots, while they think we’re clueless curmudgeons.

It’s kind of a vicious cycle.

But I’m not writing this to fuel a generation war. This isn’t the point of my post. And besides, that generation war already exists.

Instead, my point is to tell you that yes, Angelo Cataldi is right.

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New Owners Essentially Gutted Sports Illustrated

Kevin Kinkead - October 4, 2019

What a mess.

So Wednesday night the Wall Street Journal reported that Sports Illustrated was headed for mass layoffs after previous owner Meredith sold SI to a new company, which licensed the publishing rights to a group called TheMaven, run by a dude named Ross Levinsohn. A brief Googling reveals that this guy was booted from the LA Times after a newsroom revolt and has a pretty poor reputation in the industry.

It’s always a bummer to see this stuff happen at media outlets, and it feels like we write about a different place being hollowed out every other week. The Inquirer just went through another round of layoffs and buyouts while smaller newspapers in this area saw a change in ownership.

Sports Illustrated is another one of those outlets that was trying to evolve digitally in a world where magazines just aren’t what they used to be. Inevitably the business model changes; it’s just a matter of whether the new people in charge actually give a shit about journalism as much as money.

The layoff tweets started coming in last night, and I see headlines out there saying “half of the staff” was let go while the WaPo is reporting a 35-40% number. Here are some of the folks who didn’t make it:

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How to Get Cheapest Flyers Tickets for 2019-20 season

Russ Joy - October 3, 2019

Hockey season is underway and the Flyers are prepping for their first game abroad in the Czech Republic as they face the Chicago Blackhawks in Prague on Friday. Unless you’re planning on hopping on a plane in the next 24 hours, it’s probably a good time to look for tickets to one of the Flyers’ first home games. But how will you know if you’ve found the best deal? According to TicketIQ, the key is to shop around, both on the secondary market as well as from the team directly to find unsold face value tickets. As they explain in their season preview:

Like most other teams, the Flyers use dynamic pricing, charging variable amounts depending on the quality of each game. For marquee match-ups, such as divisional clashes against the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins, primary market seats range from $89 to $258; for a lesser game, prices range from $42 to $121. Currently, even the most desirable games have unsold face value tickets available in many sections. For sold out seats, the Secondary market is the best option, and for most games, the lower level is mostly sold out. For lower rows in the 200-level, the secondary market also has the most availability.

The home opener on October 9 against the Devils has sold out tickets via TicketIQ, and also tickets still available directly from the Flyers. For the opener, there are lots of unsold face value Club Seats available directly, starting from $190, with the cheapest face value seat going for $62 in section 219. For 2019, the team has also introduced a $25 standing room only tickets, which are sold out for the opener, but are available for most of the other games. Buying directly from the team is the best way to get SRO tickets.

While the Flyers have more tickets available to sell direct to fans than ever, for most games they’ve only got a few hundred seats to sell compared to about 2,000 on the secondary market, so for this season, it’s more important than ever to shop around.

MatchupDateAvg PriceGet-in Price
New York Rangers at Philadelphia FlyersFeb 28th '20
7:00 pm
$142$65
Detroit Red Wings at Philadelphia FlyersNov 29th '19
4:00 pm
$140$62
Pittsburgh Penguins at Philadelphia FlyersJan 21st '20
7:00 pm
$137$57
Toronto Maple Leafs at Philadelphia FlyersNov 2nd '19
7:00 pm
$133$51
New York Rangers at Philadelphia FlyersDec 23rd '19
7:00 pm
$131$26
Dallas Stars at Philadelphia FlyersOct 19th '19
7:00 pm
$124$59
Tampa Bay Lightning at Philadelphia FlyersJan 11th '20
7:00 pm
$122$56
Washington Capitals at Philadelphia FlyersJan 8th '20
7:30 pm
$119$48
New York Islanders at Philadelphia FlyersNov 16th '19
7:00 pm
$118$50
Calgary Flames at Philadelphia FlyersNov 23rd '19
1:00 pm
$116$56

As of writing, TicketiQ can get you into the opening game for as low as $79 each for 1-3 or 5 tickets in section 219, while the average price for seats to that game are going for $124 on the secondary market. The good news, however, is that this season marks the lowest average ticket price at $103, which is down 37.2% from a season ago when the average ticket price was a nine-season-high $164.

SeasonHome Average
2019-20$103
2018-19$164
2017-18$123
2016-17$107
2015-16$124
2014-15$162
2013-14$122
2012-13$127
2011-12$124

So why TicketiQ, you ask? TicketiQ offers the lowest price on the secondary market and they’re willing to back it up. Tickets with a “Low Price Guarantee” are the cheapest on the secondary market, or they’ll beat the difference by 200%. Check out their deals for Flyers tickets today.

Sports Illustrated Overhaul Will See More Than 40 Positions Eliminated

Kevin Kinkead - October 3, 2019

Feels like we write one of these stories every week.

Sports Illustrated is the latest media outlet/publication to be stripped down and re-worked, with The Wall Street Journal reporting that owners are planning to axe more than three-dozen full time jobs and hire a bunch of freelancers instead.

WSJ:

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Yuengling and Hershey’s Teamed Up on a Beer

Kevin Kinkead - October 1, 2019

Yuengling chocolate porter? With Hershey’s?

The Pottsville folks teased this yesterday on social media and revealed it this morning.

It’s 4.7% alcohol with “smooth chocolate tones” and looks pretty good to me:

Here’s the blurb from the Yuengling website:

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