Friday, March 31, 2006

No more tights for AI, C-Webb and the other AI?

The NBA is apparently jealous of all the attention the NFL is getting for their brain-dead decision earlier this week to ban all cool touchdown celebrations. In response, the NBA is trying to come up with a stupid rule change of their own. They’ve targeted the tights that several players have taken to wearing this year, including Allen Iverson, Chris Webber, Sammy Dalembert and Andre Iguodala.

Players like wearing the tights because it keeps the muscles in their legs warm and loose, thus lessening the likelihood of cramps and muscle tears. The league, on the other hand, “simply does not like the look of players wearing visible hose.” Convincing. (We're not going to say we love the tights, but we don't exactly see need to ban them.)

Meanwhile, the Sixers have back to back games with the disastrous Knicks this weekend (tonight in NYC, Sunday at the Wac). If the Sixers don’t win both, we will officially be rooting for them to miss the playoffs. If they do win both — as they should — we’re going to hold out hope that they can overtake Indiana and Milwaukee in their final ten games and get the all important six seed.

And for some added entertainment, check out AI2 reach back to the three point line to catch and dunk this alley oop (the only positive play during Sixers v. Pacers last Sunday).

They just hold everything together [ESPN]
Sixers starring in their own “Groundhog Day” [Daily]
The Death of Touchdown Celebrations [TheMightyMJD]
The NFL is stupid [700Level]

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Win Rookie of the Year; Own the City

Did anyone notice that Mayor Street declared yesterday ‘Ryan Howard Day’ or did it go completely under the radar?

I mean Mr. Mayor could do something important like put some muscle behind the proposed smoking ban, but apparently he’s got other priorities, which include helping the Phillies paint the town red.

But we can’t exactly blame him. Ryan Howard is sick. And as Philadelphia Will Do pointed out the other day, he’s everyone’s favorite new Phillie. (Hell, April 3 can't come quick enough.)

And the Weekly has just proclaimed that he’s going to save Philadelphia baseball.

Our only question: was accepting the proclamation in the afternoon worth missing the Fightins’ shut out the Yankees later that night? We don’t know. Pissing on the Yankees is something every Phillie should hold close to their heart.

Mayor Street and Ryan Howard have the fever []
The Phillie Phanatic is not a bird [700Level]
Ryan Howard: Nah, it isn't easy [PW]

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Geno's to Phillies: Eat Shit


The embarrasingly easy left field wall isn't all that's changed at Citizens Bank Park.

Geno's Steaks has pulled out of the concession they ran for the Phils' first two seasons at the Park.

The popular purveyor of cheesesteaks had a prime location in the always lively Ashburn Alley [at right]. The line was often too long to endure… yet we endured it anyway.

Apparently, patrons at the Phillies games were speaking a few too many languages and Geno blew his lid, turning over what was surely a huge cash-cow.

Oh, well. Tony Luke's and the Schmitter are always good options.

In Geno's stead, the Phillies have recruited Rick's Steaks from the Reading Terminal Market. Rick's is owned by Rick Olivieri — the grandson of Pat Olivieri. Yes, the same Pat that invented the steak sandwich and owns Pat's King of Steaks, Geno’s neighbor and bitter rival. Juicy.

Kudos to the Phils on the nice parting shot. While Geno’s does make a fine cheeser, it's time they lost the freedom fries.

Geno's out; Rick's in (third item) [Inky]
Geno's: We couldn't be more racist if we tried [Philebrity]
Phillies: What's new (besides us trying desperately to help our pitchers) []

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Monday, March 27, 2006

Breaking: Eric Moulds passes note to Eagles in homeroom

It reads:

Do you like me?
Yes __
No __
Maybe __

This is our first Eagles post. It's significant because we pretty much have zero confidence in the Eagles organization right now, and we know if we start posting about them it’s going to lead down a road that we don’t want to deal with right now. After all, it’s spring. It’s gorgeous outside. And we have lots of Ryan Howard homeruns to look forward to.

However, there’s an article in today’s Daily News that we must address. Eric Moulds (32) says he wants to play for the Birds. Done. End of discussion. Sign him. Trade the draft pick. Make it happen.

Moulds reception totals since 2000: 94, 67, 100, 64, 88, 81.

Jabar Gaffney’s might be a #1 receiver… on a high school team. (And not one from Central Bucks.) While Javon Walker (24) would be preferable, the Eagles are about as likely to sign him as we are to secure a date with the winner of our Hotties in the News poll.

Moulds has made the first move. What will the Eagles do? Nothing. The organization hates spending money. The Eagles seem to be content with being competitive. Adding Gaffney was their move at WR. Toss him in with Todd Pinkston, Reggie Brown, Darnerien McCants and Greg Lewis and you have yourself a solidly mediocre receiving core — exactly what Andy Reid wants. Andy tried his hand at coaching a star receiver and (understatement of the year) didn’t like the results. He’s done with non-conforming stars.

So next season, we can again look forward to Donny’s passes – the ones not thrown at his receivers’ feet – to be bouncing off their hands.

Awesome. Can’t wait.

Related: Eric Moulds has a crush on the Eagles [Daily]
Earlier: Hotties of Philly Local News, 1.0

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Nova chunks it

On Sunday, Villanova joined a long list of Philadelphia teams that have choked big time when they were given their chance to shine.

This was a true team effort. Randy Foye aside, everyone in a white uni came up small. No need to rehash the details, but you're not going to win many games when you shoot less than 25% from the floor.

So if McNabb, Smarty Jones, Jameer Nelson, the 2005 Phillies and co. would please make room, the 2006 Villanova Wildcats would like to join you as authentic Philadelphia chokers.

Welcome to the club boys.

Well done.

(FYI, This was the eighth Big 5 team to choke it in the Elite 8 since Nova’s championship in 1985. Awesome.)

Villanova to Philly: We’re Main-liners anyway [Inky]

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Saturday, March 25, 2006

Nova survives, advances to Elite 8

Ridiculous game last night. BC forced Villanova out of their game and the Cats still pulled it out, albeit by one point in overtime.

This bodes well for Nova. Even if a team gets physical, slows the game down and forces Jay Wright to go big, the Cats can still win. And against a very good team. (We thought BC deserved a two-seed.)

Randy Foye, who played all 45 minutes in last night’s game and scored 29 inspired points, went as far to say these are the types of games the Cats like: "I know no one believes us, but these are the games we like. We like to battle it out and just grind it out to the end."

Good to hear. With the win, Villanova moves as far in the tournament as the Big 5’s last #1 seed — St. Joe’s in 2004.

Next up is Florida at 5 on Sunday. Florida got lucky against Gtown last night. We don’t think they can hang.

Go Cats.

In other news, Jim Calhoun is a whiny little girl.

Villanova 60, Boston College 59 [Inky]

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Friday, March 24, 2006

A-Ray to BC: You can't touch this

Nova v. BC is almost here.

It’s the most anticipated game of the evening.

Lucky for Philly, Allan Ray, Kyle Lowry and Randy Foye are all on our side.

That has us feeling good.

Let’s do this. Go Cats.

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

You call this dancing? More like a demolition derby

Jesus. The NCAA Tournament is merciless. A few hours after Reddick was nearly brought to tears when Duke choked it against LSU, UCLA just took Gonzaga's pants down in a ridiculous ending. I think Morrison might still be crying.

It's totally fucked. Gonzaga was killing them all game. Somehow, yukla snuck back into it and eeked out a completely bullshit win. Gonzaga was not overrated. This game was theirs. They totally got figged. Fuck yukla.

Later today, Villanova can avenge last year’s loss in the Sweet Sixteen to UNC (on a shoddy traveling call in the final seconds).

Allan Ray will try to be the first Naismith finalist to make it to the Elite 8 [Reddick (done), Morrison (done) and Gay (10 p.m. Fri)].

Nova is the first game tonight, 7:10 EST. See you at the bar.

Go Cats.

Allan Ray: Yeah, right, I traveled [Inky]

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Breaking: It’s not easy being Green a Sixer

Today the Sixers re-signed Willie Green.


Hopefully this will mean much less PT for Johnny Fish. Pretty please? Pretty, pretty please with a cherry on top?? (At least we finally have some company: 1, 2.)

It's also awesome to see Willie make it back after getting screwed out of his contract by a nasty injury last summer.

WIP is reporting that he’s not expected to play tomorrow night v. Orlando. But maybe Sunday against the Pacers.

Do it Willie. Do it for your city.

Willie Green to save season? [Inky]

UPDATE: Mo’d rather play Johnny Fish, says Green not to figure large in last 15 games. Yeah, wait until he takes Fish’s pants down with one leg. Then what? [Daily]

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Monday, March 20, 2006

Breaking: the MLS is coming to town

MLS and Rowan University announced today that they have struck a deal to bring an Major League Soccer team to the region. It sounds like there’s still a lot of work to be done and if, after four months, not a lot of progress is made, the MLS can try to find a different site around town.

We are quite happy with the idea of bringing an MLS team to Philadelphia, however, we have to remain somewhat skeptical of the Rowan location. While it’s part of a very admirable mixed use project, one which adheres to the guidelines of smart growth and transit oriented development (as long as plans to expand Patco along Rt. 55 go ahead), we don't get out to South Jersey that much and don't know many people that do. We’ve even heard this stadium deal also has implications for the 2016 Olympic bid. Another reason why we wish it was closer to the city. Doesn’t Penn want a new field on the Schuylkill?

Give Philly another franchise

Rowan West (renderings and more) [Rowan]
MLS and Rowan University tie one on [PBJ]
Philadelphia needs another professional team [Bizjournal]

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Spring to Philadelphia: Sorry but we're Winter's bitch

Today is the first day of spring, yet there's not a RealFeel over 40° forecasted all week. That’s just mean.

At least we can look forward to Friday’s 7:10 tip. Go Cats!

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Billy Packer is not smart

During the broadcast of Sunday’s Villanova game, Jim Nantz and Billy Packer referred to the biting criticism they directed at NCAA Tournament selection committee chair Craig Littlepage during CBS’ tournament selection show last Sunday. Billy Packer never apologized and did not seem to be overly happy to be talking about it. (The same was the case during the first game he broadcasted.) Jim Nantz was doing most of the talking and tried to be humble, admitting that they were proven dead wrong.

Needless to say, we didn’t agree with BP last week. The SEC deserved six bids as much as we deserve a Pulitzer. At least two of their teams made the Sweet 16. Six teams from the Big Ten were invited and exactly zero are still dancing. Don’t tell us about the power conferences. The Big East was good this year. They deserved eight bids. The SEC sucked this year. So did the Big Ten and the Big 12. Those three conferences should have received a combined 10 bids. While the top of the ACC was very good, the bottom was not. The selection committee correctly awarded them four bids.

We completed our bracket accordingly and, after two rounds, let's see who’s smarter.

We had all four remaining Big East teams correct. (We actually picked five to make it to week two. We had Pitt beating Bradley, not vice versa.) We got the two ACC teams correct. (We picked three to make it; similarly, we had UNC over George Mason.)

We got one out of two MVC teams. (While we had Bradley exposing Kansas as bullshit, we thought Pitt would be too tough). Likewise for the Pac 10 (we didn’t know about WU’s Brandon Roy). We correctly picked that Texas would be the lone Big 12 survivor. Ditto for Gonzaga and Memphis from the WCC and Conference USA.

We were only half right about the SEC. While we correctly called Tennessee out as overrated, we did not think LSU or Florida would still be around.

In the end, 11 out of 16 is OK. We’re comforted by the fact that two Cinderella’s (George Mason and Bradley) got one round further (so far) than we picked them.

That’s right Billy Pack, we’re solidly behind the mid-majors. (And the Big East.)

Nantz and Packer: We heart the Missouri Valley
Nantz and Packer: What mid-majors?

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Allan Ray sends Nova on to the round of 16

Villanova advanced to the Sweet 16 today, thanks to Allan Ray’s clutch free throw shooting (4 for 4 in the last 15 seconds, after Randy Foye missed two only seconds earlier). Just goes to show you how important free throw shooting is — just like our old man used to repeatedly tell us.

If Ray had missed just one of those, the final possessions would have been completely different and Villanova could have easily lost. Kudos to Allan Ray for stepping up and saving the day.

That’s the beauty of having a 90% free throw shooter on your team. Frankly, we don’t understand why there aren’t more of them.

This win is all the more important because it’ll keep our mind off the Sixers for another week. They officially declared themselves a disaster today with a loss to Golden State, in which they once again decided not to make any shots at the end of the game.

After tying the game with 5:03 to play, they actually didn’t make another field goal until there was :23 left and it was way too late. ("Painful to watch" doesn't come close). Oh, and Johnny Fish shot 5 of 18 starting in place of AI.

Nice work guys.

Fuckin’ chokers.

Allan Ray: Hey Sixers, I like playing here
Sixers redefine pathetic

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Wichita State cheerleaders 'shocking' the competition

The Wichita State Shockers knocked off second seeded Tennessee yesterday. (We don’t mind saying we correctly predicted as much in our bracket.)

More interesting than the emergence of this year’s Cindarella, is the fact that Wichita State’s cheerleaders allegedly employed the second meaning of their team’s nickname, by holding up the infamous hand gesture as their team took the court at the beginning of the second half during yesterday’s game.

This is kind of amazing and raises several questions. Is this a regular practice? Surely, Wichita State administrators recognize the double entendre in their school’s nickname. Do they approve? Does the NCAA?

Apparently. The Wichita State Cheerleaders are currently ranked #1 in the country, going into April’s NCAA Collegiate Nationals cheer competition in Daytona Beach.

Well done. More risqué cheers is obviously a trend we welcome.

UPDATE: The University has definitely embraced the second meaning. Here's an official team photo... from 2004. And a pic from their second round game. (Via MJD via BadJocks)

Did we really just see that? [Deadspin]
We're really #1 [Wichita State]
The SEC is overrated [NYTimes]

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Saturday, March 18, 2006

Villanova Basketball: UConn rolls balls deep; we do not

Two of the four #1 seeds in NCAA tournament are playing their second round games here in Philadelphia this Sunday. Those two teams happen to be Big East rivals Connecticut and Villanova.

Teams are not allowed to stay at the same hotel. Apparently, the higher seeded team has first choice of hotel and so on and so forth. UConn (#2 overall) chose the Ritz Carlton and is staying there. Makes sense. Money digs, located right on Broad – a quick, straight shot to the Wac Center, etc.

And then with the second choice (ranked #3 overall), Villanova picked the Westin. Huh? I’m not knocking the Westin, but come on. If UConn shows you what’s up by staying at the Ritz fucking Carlton, you have to man up and trump them with a stay at the Rittenhouse.

Their program might be a little cushier, but you don’t have to act like yokels. These guys are you’re huge conference rivals. You split games with them this year. You’re lined up to meet each other again in the semi-finals in the Final Four. Confidence is everything. You don’t just hand them the “which program rolls harder” status. Especially when they come to your house.

But that’s what Villanova did. Instead of acting like they know anything about the city in which they play, they fucking booked the Westin. They could have stayed at the best hotel in town, which also happens to be independent and on Rittenhouse Square, the poshest address in town.

Judging by this move, I’m guessing the Cats are enjoying a delicious dinner right now at the new Ruby Tuesday’s that just opened next door to the Westin. Meanwhile, the Huskies probably have an 8 o’clock reservation tonight at Barclay Prime.

Because that's how they roll.

Connecticut 2, Villanova 0

Connecticut Basketball: We've done this before
Villanova Basketball: What's a one seed?

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Friday, March 10, 2006

What’s next: Flip-flop Edition

Federated Inc. has changed its mind and is not going to put a Macy’s in the historic Strawbridges at 8th and Market (connected to the Gallery). Instead, they’re putting the Macy’s in the historic Wanamaker’s building adjacent to City Hall, where’s there’s currently a Lord and Taylor. A Federated spokesman said the switch was made after the company received new information about the two stores, including that the Lord and Taylor was smaller, more recently renovated, and did not have gay prostitutes in its men’s rooms. [PBJ]

House of Blues wants to open a large concert venue on 16th and Washington to complement its smaller restaurant and club going in to the Packard Building (The Grande) at 15th and Chestnut. The development could include a grocery store, restaurants and more. Let just hope it’s oriented towards people, not cars. [PhillyBlog]

The owners of the Walnut Room on Walnut Street have taken over the space directly underneath WR and plan to turn it into an eclectic restaurant named Alfa. ETA: end of the month. [City Paper]

A new club is coming to town. Pulse (sounds awesome already) is trying to open by the end of the month as well. It’s upstairs at 16th and Sansom and warns us to “prepare to be blown away.” Wow, thanks for the heads up. [PaperStreet]

And, finally, Nineteen, the new upstairs restaurant, bar, lounge and cafe on the top floor of the Bellevue is days away from opening (the cafe is already open) and boasts the highest alfresco dining area in the city. Yay. All kidding aside, the space is money. [Park Hyatt]

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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Yo Mo, Salmons has to go.

So we have absolutely no idea why Maurice Cheeks is in love with John Salmons. We have no idea why Billy King likes him either. (He's the third longest tenured Sixer behind Iverson and Dalembert.) In fact, we kind of feel like we’re taking crazy pills — no one we talk to seems to be at all frustrated by how much PT Salmons gets.

But Wednesday’s game was the tipping point. Chris Webber did not play a single minute in the fourth quarter. Why, you ask? Because, Mo wanted to go with the combination he had.

We’re sorry. Normally, we don’t like calling individuals players out — especially when they own up to playing like crap — but what the shit? This guy isn’t good enough to start on our cousin's JJBL team. He shot 1 - 12 from the floor. Watching him play in the fourth quarter last night was like having a nightmare. It got so bad (after several obscenity-laden screams at the television for Cheeks to get him out of the game already), we were almost asked to leave the bar.

Four out of five times, when Johnny Fish touches the ball, it ends up bad. How Maurice cheeks leaves him in the game for the final ten+ minutes of the Sixers’ loss to Boston on Wednesday night is completely and incomprehensibly beyond us. I know Mo is working with a weak bench, but come on, Webber is just a scooch better than John mother-fuckin Salmons.

So Mo, this loss is completely on your shoulders. Put Johnny Fish back on the bench where he belongs. You’re fucking killing me.

Related: Sixers try to break fans' spirit with second excruciating loss in a row
Related: Sixers suffer major collapse #14 of the season

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Braking: Activist Mother catches McNabb selling oranges

One of the 300 people that community activist Maryann Cottrell, a mother of an autistic child, has caught parking in spaces reserved for the disabled in the past year is none other than Mr. Black-on-Black Crime himself, Donovan McNabb.

Apparently, he thinks the complete lack of confidence he’s had since his Super Bowl panic attack is a handicap off the field, but not on it.

Fuckin’ choker.

Related: McNabb: I'm fine

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Clip o’ the week: DJ Paul pops his Phillies Red collar at the Oscars

We should've posted this on Monday — it's everywhere by now and Three 6 is officilly blowing up. (Thankfully, we're comforted by the fact that we've been enjoying the excellence of Three 6 for some time now. I mean, Most Known Unknown was crack and all (especially Stay Fly), but we've been 'Sippin on some siz-erp' for years now...)

One of several highlights from the video: towards the end, as Three 6 is coming on stage to accept, the cameras pan to capture crowd applause and there’s a row of five chicks way in the back that go crazy. I’m guessing they’re Three 6’s dates — the seats are just about where you’d expect the Academy to issue Three 6’s courtesy tickets.

Lifetime Oscars: Martin Scorsese – 0; Three 6 Mafia – 1

Related: Juicy J: I aint Denzel but I know I'm a star

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Saturday, March 04, 2006

Breaking: Allen Iverson to save season

It’s true. Being snubbed by the USA Basketball might have been the best thing to happen to 76ers since draft day in 1996. In the two games since being inexcusably dissed by the team he stepped up and led in the summers of ’03 and ’04, Allen Iverson has scored 87 points and dished out 22 assists. It’s the first time someone has had back-to-back, 40-point/10-assist games since 1991. In the closing seconds of the game, Iverson implored the crowd to make some noise (pictured at right) and you could just tell that he feels good about shit — not just about last night's game but about how the team is playing and their ability to do something more than simply make the playoffs.

The Sixers are now 5-1 since the All Star break and only a game and a half behind the division-leading New Jersey Nets (losers of three straight). Chris Webber thinks the team can win the division. His friends think he’s crazy. We don’t think they can win the division. We think they should win the division.

This team has the talent to be a solid three seed in the Eastern Conference. And now they’re finally looking and playing like a team.

(Crazy Speculation Alert: 700Level thinks mediocrity is in the Sixers' future. We (optimistically) think otherwise. With 24 games remaining in the regular season, there’s still plenty of time for them to establish themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the playoffs. We’re conservatively thinking 17 more wins. It’s not hard to envision how, after winning a first-round playoff series, a clicking Iverson- and Webber-led Sixers team rolls into the Eastern Conference Championship. And then, who knows...)

The Sixers’ next game is tomorrow at 1 p.m. It's at home against Indiana and on national television (ABC). You'll probably want to tune in. Hell, you should probably go. Allen loves him a national audience — and you know there's a little extra motivation there after such a public slight — look for him to continue the brilliance of the past two games. He’ll probably flirt with 50.

And now, for good measure, here’s an especially nasty clip from the fourth quarter of last night’s game, in which Allen Iverson made 17 out of 28 shots from the floor. Here, he breaks Antonio Daniel’s ankles. Twice. Enjoy.

Related: Allen Iverson to USA B-ball: No big deal
Related: Chris Webber: I'm not crazy
Related: Antonio Daniels has had better days
Related: Kyle Korver: That game was crazy, ugly, exciting

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

What's Next: 'Brand New' Edition

— Rhymefest can rap. After seeing him throw down at the Puma Store, we're definitely looking forward to March 7, when we can get our hands on his "Brand New" album, Blue Collar. (51:51)

— A
W Hotel on its way to Philly? Apparently Starwood is looking at four Center City sites, one of which would be tied to a deal to buy the vacant lot on the 1600 block of Sansom (from Wayne Spilove) and the adjoining Architects Building at 17th and Sansom and combine the two into a W or possibly one of their new ALOFT line. (Inquirer)

— A new condo to rise where the Best Western Center City now stands over yonder by the Art Museum. (Skyline)

— The creatively named
Walnut Sushi House recently moved into the space formerly occupied by Sunwishes on the 2000th block of Walnut.

too much heart?Tampopo (21st and Walnut) is branching out; it just opened its second location in the space formerly occupied by Blue in Green on Jewelers Row.

— And, finally, Allen Iverson is snubbed by USA Basketball, thereby sealing Mike Krzyzewski’s fate to spend all of eternity eating pieces of shit for breakfast, lunch and dinner. (Inquirer)

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