Monday, October 12, 2009

Sleep = Small Price to Pay for A Playoff Win

What an amazing time to be a Philadelphia-sports fan right now. I feel like Philly is one of those "close but no cigar" type of sports towns. Traditionally we go through 3-4 year periods where all four major sports teams get into the playoffs and come tantalizingly close to grabbing those elusive world championships. These happen about every 20 years. My Philly area buddy Pete Marroni and I were talking about this last week. I hope the younger generations appreciate that they are growing up in, what has the potential to be, one of the great periods for Philadelphia sports teams. I will spare you all the details of breaking down each major sports teams chances, but my plea to the Philly fans is to enjoy the hell out of this run. I think that is why I insisted on staying up until 2:16 AM on a Sunday night watching every last out of the Phils-Rockies game game 3 playoff series. It was surreal texting longtime SFCS reader and fellow lunatic Philly fan Derrick H. about whether the Phils could get J-Roll home, or if Lidge was going to get through the heart of the Rockies order. As tired as I am today, I firmly believe that it's time like these, games like last night's, that can define an era. Last night's game epitomized this Phillies team. Your starter doesn't have his best stuff, you fall behind early, fight back, play the game like your ass is on fire, come back in your final at-bat and pray to G-d (or whatever you believe in) that your closer can get through the meat of the opposing teams' line-up. And what would a Phillies playoff game be without adverse weather conditions? I love this team. I love their heart, their grit, their guile, their focus and their belief in each other, and I think Charlie Manuel is the absolute perfect manager for this group. Sometimes we LOUDLY question his decisions, but at the end of the day, this guy makes far more good decisions than he does bad, and he has an incredible feel for the game. It was all I could do to not jump around last night and throw things, waking up my entire house -- but it was good to see Brad Lidge close out that game. I think retiring the strongest part of the Rox line-up will go a long way to re-establishing Lidge's confidence. Hopefully time will tell. Last item of note -- I really believe Carlos Ruiz is THE MOST underrated player on this team in clutch situations. The guy hit almost .500 last post-season and it seems like he constantly delivers in key situations. Not to mention, he's a helluva defensive catcher. He doesn't get the ink that other "underrated" players like Victorino & Werth get, but this guy plays just as big.

The Eagles
Wow! Hello Jeremy Maclin -- so glad you could join the party this year. Earlier in the day, as the Eagles thumped the Buccaneers (or Succaneers as my buddy Wayne refers to them), Jeremy Maclin caught 6 passes for 142 yards and 2 TDs, as a fill-in for Kevin Curtis. Yeah, Kevin about your starting spot....we have a great spot for you on special teams! While I am not ready to anoint Maclin anything (though I did pick him up in my fantasy league), I feel much better about the offensive future of this team now, then I did 6 months ago. Between DeSean, Shady McCoy, Brent Celek, Avant, Weaver and possibly Kevin Kolb (jury is still out on him), we definitely have some pieces to work with. That being said, I like this year's team. We seem to beat the teams we should beat and we'll see what happens when we play other good teams, which won't happen next week against the horrendous (sorry Rock) Raiders. This team traditionally plays it's best football in late November/December, so it should get interesting as the schedule becomes much more difficult. Our defense still needs some work, but I do think we are getting after the QB much more consistently, which is great. I wish we could cover the TE's, but maybe Sean McDermott, who I think is doing a good job can figure something out. Right now, I think we are looking up at the Giants. They might be the best team in the league, but there's lots and lots of football to play.

The Dawgs
Memo to Coach Richt -- IT'S NOT WORKING. By "it" I mean the offense, the defense and the coaching. The Dawgs defense has given up 37 points in 7 of their last 12 games. That would be a horrendous PS3 stat, not to mention a major SEC Program. Honestly, how does Willie Martinez still have a job? Granted the offense has not helped much lately, but when things are not working and you are a "major national football power" (even if that's only in UGA fans' minds) you make changes. It's time for Bobo and Martinez to go somewhere else. Maybe there are some pee-wee football teams that have openings, b/c that's where those two belong (kindly take Prince Miller with you). We have long been undisciplined and we have not always been the most intelligent team, but when your actual talent belies your lack of discipline, you can get away with it. This team is terrible and they are consistently undisciplined. Every year we hear about what an "amazing" recruiting class Georgia has. Well, outside of a handful of players (AJ Green, Rennie Curran, Jeff Owens, Blair Walsh and a few others) I don't see much difference between us & the mediocre programs of the world. I realize every team has their down years, but when I saw the amount of talent last year's team had and we still didn't even get to the SEC Championship (or come close to competing with UF), I start to question things. Don't mistake my frustration for anything more than it is. I love the Dawgs (always will) and I think Richt has done a very good job taking the program to another level. However, Richt absolutely needs to make wholesale changes in personnel and since this season is a wash just six games in, I think we should get the young players some time to see what we have. Of course, given Mike Bobo's "ingenious" playcalling & Willie Martinez swiss cheese defense, maybe giving playing time to the likes of Marlon Brown, Abry Jones, Zach Mettenberger and/or Aaron Murray and Chase Vasser won't show us much of anything.

Things I've Been Pondering...

  • So my fiance and I have been putting together our registry for our wedding, and it's actually been pretty fun. I was wondering why people don't just register things from an early age and just keep updating your list accordingly. Think about what a great idea this would be. It would prevent those who love and care about you from asking, "so what do you want for your birthday this year? Well, Mom I put the Justice League of America and a pair of Sky Jordans on my registry."
  • If I told you that I knew someone who had the cure for hiccups -- what would that be worth to you?
  • I just read an interview with Hall & Oates (don't act like you don't still drumbeat your steering wheel when they come on) and they said, Michael Jackson took the groove from "I can't go for that" and used it in "Billie Jean." Not sure I'm feeling that.
  • Why does Atlanta continue to let people smoke in bars? It makes no sense.
  • Guaranteed, coolest music video you never saw: http://http//
  • I'll leave you with this zinger. Apparently France is paying students to go to class. They are paying the ones most likely to fail and drop out, to go to school. However, these students can't buy "fun" things with the money, they can only put it towards school-related items (driving lessons, computers, class-related trips, etc). So in short, if you do the things, you are "supposed" to do - no soup (or brie) for you, but if you are a derelict, well does France have a program for you! No wonder that country is so revered!

      1. Ha, yes we were talking about that. I agree with you on Manuel. When he put Lidge in for the last batter to clinch the division he knew exactly what he was doing. It was not only classy but smart. Let's hope Lidge hits a hot spot because it could equate to another championship! - Pete

      2. RJ- A few notes. 1)Carlos is clutch. 2) I have this great DVD of the glory days of the silver & black and I will be watching that on Sunday, not the game. 3) Ur link to the video is f-ed up. But I saw the video and it is a great video, but the song stinks. 4) I don't have a cure for the hiccups, but i do know how to get rid of them. I'll share next time ur up. 5) registry tip- it's about needs, not wants.


      3. 3 questions.

        1) Where are you registered?
        2) Can we blend Eagles green with Phillies red for wedding colors? It will be horrible...or glorious.
        3) can we serve southern fried cheesesteaks, with a side of cheese fries from Pat's?