This is a wonderful development, of course. What could beat a great day spent outdoors with the sun, and the wind and the grass and the trees and the bees and whatever else?
So as the days get shorter and the cool air reminds us all that winter looms, how did we spend our glorious Sunday?
Well, lounging on the couch with the remote in hand in order to flip back and forth between the Eagles and the Phillies, of course.
Seriously, a little bit of Mother Nature goes a long way.
Oddly, the Phillies’ big game against the Marlins in Miami and the Eagles’ Week 3 showdown against the Steelers both began at 4ish and ended within a few minutes of each other, too. In fact, when the action got tight during the late innings in the Phillies’ game, the Eagles were conveniently in a time out. Better yet, when the Eagles’ defense was turning the game into a football version of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, the Phillies were between innings.
It was as if the players on both Philadelphia teams knew how we decided to stay indoors with the remote and created an organic picture-in-picture for us.
Thanks, guys. Thanks a lot.
And while we were all indoors watching the games, eating too much unhealthy food and trying to come up with witty and smart comments to make about the games to our friends, there was a group of guys sitting in a well-lit room with industrial-style carpeting and wireless Internet access doing the same things. The only difference is some of them wrote down some of their smart comments and zapped it out there through the Internets so we can follow along.
Take Bob Ford for instance… typically he spends beautiful Sundays antiquing through Amish Country with his wife (the fabulous tennis/cycling writer for ESPN, Bonnie D. Ford). But rather than firing up the chopper bike, putting on the goggles and the leather and attaching the sidecar, Bob kicked dirt all over the Eagles’ big victory.
Missing from Bob’s story on the Eagles’ rather languid offense was the line, “… other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?”
More: Eagles' win hid a few nasty details – Bob Ford, The Philadelphia Inquirer
Additionally, Mike Sielski, a.k.a. the Derek Jeter of the press corps in that he’s polished, presentable, hard-working, subtly self-promotes and dates lots of models (OK, I made up that last one), also expressed some concern about the offense.
More: Eagles need more from reserves – Mike Sielski, Bucks County Courier Times
Obviously a lot went right in the Eagles’ victory, such as the bulldog defense, a topic that Paul Domowitch took hold of without using the cliché, “Defense wins championships.” Also, there is no “I” in team, but there is a “ME.”
More: Johnson's defensive mission a success for Eagles – Paul Domowitch, Daily News
Meanwhile, baring a Mets of ’07 type of crash, the Phillies will be in the playoffs next week for the second year in a row. If this proves to be a new Golden Age of Phillies baseball just like the only other spanse of time that could be deemed glorious for the Phils, we are witnessing 1977. If history is, indeed, repeating itself, last year was ’76 and in two years Charlie Manuel will be fired just like Danny Ozark was in ’79. It also means the Phillies are a year away from getting a new Pete Rose and three years away from actually winning a playoff series.
Now that we have it all figured out, lets skip the part where the gritty, undersized and fiery shortstop from Sacramento becomes the manager a couple of decades from now. Once was enough for that.
Once is never enough for the sporting stylings from Todd Zolecki, who checked in from Miami with a story about the all-important pitching matchups for the rest of the week, as well as a note on the ageless wonder, Jamie Moyer. Actually, Moyer is not ageless, he’s almost 46. Worse, because the Sunday game started so late in the afternoon, Todd and Jamie had to postpone their customary rollerblading outing through South Beach they plan for every trip to Florida. Jamie says Todd finally perfected the “Ollie” stunt.
More: Next start a big one for Moyer – Todd Zolecki, The Philadelphia Inquirer
The Flyers kick off the exhibition portion of their schedule this evening when they host the New Jersey Devils at the Wachovia Center. It also marks the first game that Sam Carchidi takes over the Flyers’ beat for The Philadelphia Inquirer. It’s not as if Sam is new to the scene, though. Far from it. In fact, ol’ salty Sam covered the high school scene in South Jersey for years and stepped in to fill in on the Phillies coverage from time to time over the last decade. Actually, Sam became a bit of a media gadfly himself last August when he had that infamous spelling showdown with Phils’ pitcher Brett Myers in the clubhouse after a game in which many a home run soared through the South Philly air.
The interesting part about that incident was not that Sam and Brett attempted to match wits… oh no. The interesting part was that immediately after that post-game session the Phillies shook loose from a draining losing skid and went onto a surge that boosted them into the playoffs for the first time in 14 years.
As such, many in the press corps gave credit not just to 2007 MVP Jimmy Rollins in helping the club reach the post-season, but also to Sam for inspiring the local nine with a little dust-up with the local sporting press. Yet during the whole thing only one local scribe came up with an idea for the Phillies to honor the source of the inspiration.
Last August, Dennis Deitch wrote:
I have to admit, the clubhouse before the game was actually quite relaxed, as if last night's Myers-Carchidi shouting match sort of turned the release valve on the pressure. Sure enough, the Phils have come out and put a whuppin' on the Padres.
I suggested that the Phillies should thank Sam for distracting them from the messy week they had. In fact, I even made a template for the patch they should wear on the sleeve of the jersey to commemorate this pivotal moment. That's it above - like it? (Sam has glasses and a moustache. Wanted to make that clear, since I'm no Picasso. On second thought ... it is a little Picasso-esque.)
Let’s all hope that Sam has a similar affect on the Flyers and can carry the club to a Stanley Cup.
Finally, Yankee Stadium closed up for good on Sunday night in the South Bronx with a nostalgic and tear-jerking send off filled with old faces from the past. As with anything involving the Yankees, the farewell to the ballpark was filled with self-indulgence yet poignant slices of Americana. It was really quite neat to watch the old place go out.
Meanwhile, just over the Triborough Bridge in Queens from Yankee Stadium is Shea Stadium, which is also gasping to the finish line of a long run. Next year the Mets plan to open brand-new CitiField, but before they do they are hoping to challenge the Phillies and advance to the playoffs. The trouble is, it’s just not going as well as the New Yorkers would like…
More: For Mets, Familiar Beginning, Same Sad Ending – Ben Shpigel, The New York Times
More: It’s Gone! Goodbye! – Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated
From us to you Media folks travel a lot and because they do, they often know of a few restaurants, sights, hotels and short cuts that the regular sports fan misses out on. So as a public service, I thought it would be nice to pass on some of the wisdom the local scribes have about places on the road the fans might be interested in. Since this is the first installment of this feature and since we’re going to be in town all week, I decided to start off things with a Philly restaurant everyone ought to check out.
Friday, Saturday, Sunday 261 S. 21st. St., Philadelphia My wife digs this place because it’s supposed to be all romantic and stuff. I just like the food — especially the “famous” mushroom soup. Set on a tree-lined street in a small and cozy space, diners are greeter by the gregarious host (but not obnoxiously so) and led upstairs to the fish tank bar to wait for the table to be prepared. Later, upon ordering, one learns that the wines are priced just $10 above cost and good time is starting to gear up.
Go here. It’s worth it.