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Top 10 Philly Sports Moments of 2012

Kyle Scott - December 31, 2012

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This is easily the most half-assed top 10 list you will read this year. But here are the top 10 Philly Sports Moments of 2012, as is tradition. There weren’t many, so hence the mailingitinedness of the post. I took your suggestions into advisement, and wanted to wait until today. You’ll see why.

10) Lehigh beats Duke

For our first moment, we have to step outside of Philly (because there weren’t enough memorable moments to get a full 10). 

9) Phillies re-sign Cole Hamels

It’s kind of sad that the biggest Phillies signing or acquisition was of their own, homegrown player. But it is.

8) Peter Laviolette gets into it with Dan Bylsma and his glasses

– smiley face –

7) Sixers trade for Andrew Bynum

Well, it was fun until he had to actually play.

6) Chase Utley home run in first at-bat back 

Rushing into Citizens Bank Park to catch Utley’s first at-bat since returning from having no knees, I feared that I would miss something special, cool. I didn’t. I made it to a railing behind the first level just in time to see Utley do the improbable, proving that he is still, in fact, the man.

5) Sixers beat Bulls

Andre Iguodala hit important free-throws and Joshua Harris hugged like a woman.

4) Brian Dawkins number retirement ceremony

This took on a life of its own as the day neared, reminding us all of what it was like when we had a competitive football team.

3) Claude Giroux: The Shift

Just watch it, ejaculate.

2) Fired Andy

It actually happened. It’s going to take to next year until it sinks in.

1) Sidney Crosby shows off his womanhood as Flyers roll Penguins in Game 3

By far the most entertaining, fun, exciting, memorable Philly sports game of the year.

Cole Hamels Will Cook a Four-Course Meal on TV Tomorrow

Kyle Scott - October 16, 2012

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As we told you about last month, Cole Hamels will be appearing on an episode of Life After Top Chef, which will air tomorrow at 10 p.m. on Bravo.

But it gets better.

Not only will Cole be on the show, half of the Phillies roster and Shane Victorino will be, too. From the press release:

WHO: 

– Cole Hamels, Phillies Pitcher and co-founder of The Hamels Foundation

– Heidi Hamels, co-founder of The Hamels Foundation

– Shane Victorino, former Phillies

– Jonathan Papelbon, Phillies

– Ryan Howard, Phillies

– Kyle Kendrick, Phillies

– Jennifer Carroll, chef and star of Bravo's "Life After Top Chef" and in the past, "Top Chef" and "Top Chef All Stars"

– Sponsors and Guests

WHAT: In April, Phillies Cole Hamels and wife, Heidi, hosted a foundation dinner with Chef Jennifer Carroll. The event was filmed for an episode of Bravo TV's "Life After Top Chef' reality show. Watch Phillies Ace Pitcher cooking in the kitchen, alongside Chef Carroll to prepare a four course dinner for sponsors and even his teammates! Proceeds benefited The Hamels Foundation. 

 

Not quite as cool as Entourage… but better than Hawaii Five-0, I suppose.

End of Days: The 38 Most Memorable Games From 2007 to 2011

Kyle Scott - August 27, 2012


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Since it appears that the Phillies will sit at home in October, effectively ending the greatest era in team history, I’ve tasked Papa CB – lifelong Phils fan, J-Roll™ apologist – with ranking the 30 most memorable games from 2007-2011. He came up with 38.

We will roll his list out over the coming days and weeks. Here’s 38-31.


 

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38) October 10, 2008     

Game 2 NLCS

Brett Myers—Silver Slugger?

Phils 8, Dodgers 5      

Brett Myers got a RBI single in an important game against the Brewers in September.   He followed that up with a classic nine-pitch walk off of CC Sabathia in Game 2 the NLDS. By the time his turn came to start Game 2 of the NLCS against the Dodgers, Myers thought he was Tony Gwynn.  He only pitched for five innings, but that was enough for him to stroke three hits.  

In the second inning, he drove in Carlos Ruiz. In the third, his two-run single scored Jayson Werth and Greg Dobbs.  

Myers became the first pitcher to record three hits in LCS history.  He also became the first pitcher since 1919 with three hits and three RBIs in a postseason game. And his wife survived the whole thing.

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Don’t Worry, Graham Spanier’s Top Secret Government Clearance Proves He Did Nothing Wrong, Says Graham Spanier’s Lawyers

Kyle Scott - July 18, 2012

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You say sex scandal? Come work for the government.

What, you thought the case involving a famous football coach raping boys in a shower that includes a dead legend, a missing DA, a former FBI director, possibly the governor, and an airplane flying over a university threatening the hostile takedown of a bronze statue wasn’t going to get weirder? Well! You’re wrong.

Former worst university president in the world Graham Spanier is the one man who, almost, escaped this situation unscathed. Sure, he cowardly ran out of Old Main the night Joe Paterno was fired, was forced out of power by the board and, presumably, has been laying low since… but he hasn’t suffered any legal consequences. [Back in November, we likened his actions to those of Billy Zane from Titanic.] Last week, though, Louis Freeh’s report presented email evidence that Spanier knew about the accusations against Jerry Sandusky and actively worked to cover them up, specifically hiding them from the Penn State Board of Trustees. The findings in Freeh’s report were so damning that one can assume Spanier will eventually face charges for either not reporting the accusations to authorities or lying to a grand jury. Or both.

Yesterday, his lawyers released what may be the most ridiculous statement in this whole saga… more ridiculous than any Paterno Family statement. It read: [via CNN]

The Freeh report ignored many important facts, including the conclusions of a far more independent and thorough investigation of Dr. Graham Spanier conducted simultaneously by federal officials responsible for our national security.

Dr. Spanier has for some time held a top secret security clearance in connection with his work with the federal government. This clearance required a re-review when the Sandusky matter surfaced in November. Federal investigators then conducted a four-month investigation of their own in which they interviewed many of the same individuals the Freeh Group interviewed and other relevant individuals Freeh did not interview. At the conclusion of the investigation the government reaffirmed Dr. Spanier’s clearance.

Although Dr. Spanier told Mr. Freeh directly about the federal security investigation and its result, there is no mention of it anywhere in the Freeh report.

The Freeh report is not an independent judicial evaluation. Mr. Freeh, no longer a judge, runs a company that was retained by the Board of Trustees of the University. His report contained numerous inaccuracies and reached conclusions that are not supported by the data. Meanwhile, Mr. Freeh unfairly offered up Dr. Spanier and others to those insisting upon a finding of culpability at the highest level of the University. Mr. Freeh’s conclusions are not judicial or law enforcement pronouncements.

Dr. Spanier looks forward to the opportunity in the future to set the record straight and as we have previously said, all of our thoughts and prayers remain with the young people who are at the center of this terrible ordeal.

Attorneys for Dr. Graham Spanier

 

WHAT?

Graham Spanier, a sociologist who once wrote a series of books about family, sexuality and child rearing (no pun), has a top secret government clearance? Sure, why not!

According to Spanier’s biography, published by Penn State, he is a member of the National Counterintelligence Working Group. And, in April, he told the Patriot-News that he had taken a job “relating to national security.” 

His full quote: [via Allentown Morning Call, April 12, 2012]

"For the next several months, as I transition to my post-presidential plans, I will be working on a special project for the US government relating national security," Spanier told the Patriot-News in Harrisburg. "This builds on my prior positions working with federal agencies to foster improved cooperation between our nation's national security agencies and other entities."

 

Mind-blowing. The university president who presided over the biggest college scandal of all-time by actively covering up child rape allegations is working on a national security project, and a four-month government investigation reaffirmed his security clearance to do so? OF COURSE IT DID. Spanier’s not working for a daycare. Or at a school. Or with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He’s not working with children or babies. He’s working with some sort of NSA-style spook group. They champion this shit. What’s that, Graham? You successfully put the lid on deviant child rape by one of the most recognizable and famous faces on a massive campus for over a decade? You withheld sensitive information concerning said rape from a board of trustees that included the governor of Pennsylvania??? AND you hid it all in plain sight by not only enabling the predator to continue to feed his desires, but also by selling land to a children’s charity which he oversaw?!?  Revoke your clearance? Fuck, we just raised it! You should run for office. No, the Presidency. Of the country. That’s brilliant, man. Fucking brilliant.

Yeah, I’m guessing those top secret clearance investigations aren't too concerned with transparency.

H/T to (@TimothyDRose)

Top Ten Philly Sports Moments of 2011: #1 Paul Holmgren Shoots Mike Richards and Jeff Carter in a Blaze of Glory

Kyle Scott - January 1, 2012

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Read the full top ten list here.

On June 22, just a day before the Flyers traded Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, I received an email from a valued CB reader. He forwarded me a conversation he had with [a hockey person] who told him that the Flyers could trade their captain and leading scorer.

I absorbed it, but then did what I do with most speculatory emails: filed it away.

That night, CB contributor Ryan Gillon, who moonlights in various sports-related positions, sent me a text saying that he heard from a very connected person that the Flyers may trade Mike Richards.

I laughed. I trusted him and his source, but I laughed.

Ryan and I exchanged a few texts, mostly talking about how it was too crazy to put on site. A part of me wanted to do it, but it was too vague, too improbable. Neither source was reliable enough.

18 hours later, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter were in tears.

I should have posted those tips.

Whether you agreed or disagreed with the Flyers' offseason moves, one thing is clear: trading Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, and signing Ilya Bryzgalov, Max Talbot, Jaromir Jagr and others, signaled the most significant organizational shift for the Flyers since they acquired Eric Lindros.

Discarding their captain – for whichever reason you choose to believe – and then signing a Russian goaltender was just about the most surprising thing the Flyers could have done. 

Richards was labeled the next Bobby Clarke. Ed Snider loves Bobby Clarke. Snider used to hate goaltenders… and Russians– now he has two of them.

The Flyers went from inking Richards, the captain, and Carter, one of the best goal scorers in the league, to decade-long contracts to throwing both under the bus for real or perceived off-ice reasons. 

In 2010, the team came closer to winning a Stanley Cup than they had in the previous 23 years. A season later, the captain, leading goal scorer and both playoff goaltenders were off the roster.

Six months later– today, the Flyers are near the top of the conference, two points behind the Rangers, whom they’ll play in the Winter Classic… with the Russian goaltender drinking tea on the bench and Jagr as the team’s third leading scorer. 

Yeah, things changed a bit. 

And no move or moment in 2011 was more significant or impactful than the Flyers blowing up and reassembling their franchise over the course of a week.

Ladies and gentlemen, your number one Philly sports moment of 2011: Paul Holmgren shooting Mike Richards and Jeff Carter.

Top Ten Philly Sports Moments of 2011: #2 Wilson Valdez Pitching

Kyle Scott - January 1, 2012

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This is our third annual “Top Ten Philly Sports Moments of the Year.” You can find lists from 2009 and 2010 here and here. We will be rolling out the moments through New Year's Day.

19 innings. Wilson Valdez shaking off Brian Schneider Dane Sardinha. Carlos Ruiz playing third. 

Does this really need any more description?

I will refer you to our It Got Weird and post-game video posts to re-live the most memorable Phillies moment of the year.

Top Ten Philly Sports Moments of 2011: #3 Lindros to LeClair

Kyle Scott - January 1, 2012

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This is our third annual “Top Ten Philly Sports Moments of the Year.” You can find lists from 2009 and 2010 here and here. We will be rolling out the moments through New Year's Day.

Number three was originally supposed to be the uber cop out Phillies pitching. And while they absolutely deserve praise, it’s hard to pinpoint one facet other than Cliff Lee’s ridiculous June and August months, which came in at number five on our countdown. 

We have a last-minute, last-day entrant: Lindros to LeClair.

Ms. CB and I were seated high above the net, in section 431. Watching Lindros streak down the side boards as LeClair entered the top of the slot, it was clear what was about to happen. We had seen it so many times before.

Nearly an entire generation – mostly people who fall between 20-35 – experienced their first taste of successful Flyers hockey with Eighty Eight wearing the C. Whatever your opinion of Lindros was, or is, it was clear from the day he was awarded to the Flyers that the direction of organization would be forever changed.

At times he was a crybaby. At times he appeared lazy. And he was always hurt. But when Lindros was at his best, few were better. That best often always came with John LeClair on his wing. 

Yesterday, we got to experience the perfect pairing one final time. It was as if time stood still for the last 15 years– nothing changed… except the 45,000 watching them connect in a ballpark that wasn't even around when they wore the orange and black.

Yesterday, Lou Nolan assured us that all was right with the world: Flyers goal scored by #10 John LeClair. Assisted by #88 Eric Lindros… and #8 Mark Recchi.

The video is after the jump.

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Top Ten Philly Sports Moments of 2011: #4 Flyers Win Game 6 in Overtime

Kyle Scott - January 1, 2012

This is our third annual “Top Ten Philly Sports Moments of the Year.” You can find lists from 2009 and 2010 here and here. We will be rolling out the moments through New Year's Day.

Easter was one hell of a day in Philly sports: Lou Williams beat the Heat (#10 on our Top Ten list), Roy Halladay struck out 14 and Shane Victorino hit an inside-the-park home run in San Diego, and the Flyers won a thrilling Game 6 against Buffalo to force a seventh game in the first round of the playoffs.

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Ville Leino, now a Sabre, won it for the Flyers in overtime. The first three players into the post-game pile-on – Leino, Kris Versteeg and Mike Richards – are all gone.

Sadly, this would probably be the biggest Philly sports win of the year… a first round victory to stave off postseason embarrassment. How fitting.

The above video is our highlight video of all three events set to Kanye’s Jesus Walks.