Sunday, March 27, 2011

Philly Sports: Week in review 3-20 / 3-26

The worst NCAA tournament bracket of all time now belongs to me.  My final four was Duke, Ohio State, Notre Dame and BYU, all eliminated.  It gets worse, my elite eight teams were Ohio State, Syracuse, Duke, San Diego State, Kansas, Notre Dame, Pitt and BYU; one out of eight is just embarrassing.  I'll still watch the final four and the championship of course, but I have to say my interest is much lower now that no rewards can be reaped from the outcome.  It is time to concentrate my efforts on the four major sports of Philadelphia and here is this weeks: Philly Sports Week in Review:

The Flyers had a rough go this week, the games were exciting but all ended on the opposite side of good for the orange and black.  A 5-4 shootout loss to Washington on Tuesday had a negative impact on the standings with the Capitals trying to catch the Flyers for the first seed in the playoffs.  The Flyers again lost in a shootout against Pittsburgh on Thursday 2-1.  The Flyers bounced back with a 4-1 win over the Islanders on Saturday.  Going into this week the Flyers hold a 2 point advantage over Washington in the east 100-98.  After playing at a high level all season concerns are on the rise, let’s see if the Flyers can get back on track before the playoffs.

The Sixers saw little action this week.  They had a nice victory over the ATL on Wednesday with the help of 17 points off the bench by Lou Williams.  Friday night’s game was a measuring stick to see where the Sixers stood against a team like Miami.  The Sixers hung in there and had a 10 point lead late in the second quarter, but turnovers did them in and the Heat took the win 111-99 behind Wades 39 points.  The Sixers enter the week in the sixth spot for the playoffs, 3 1/2 games behind Atlanta.  All five teams above them have clinched playoff berths.  They will start the week today at home against Sacramento starting at noon.  Monday they will be in Chicago followed by home games on Wednesday against Atlanta and Friday against New Jersey.  The Chicago and Atlanta games will be two more tests for the Sixers. Let’s see if they can come out on top.

The Phillies were handed another major injury this week with the news that closer Brad Lidge will start the season on the 15 day DL.  Lidge has soreness in his right shoulder and hasn't been healthy since early in spring training.  Ryan Madson and Jose Contreras will compete for the vacancy at closer with Madson getting the edge.  The Phil's stand at 18-13 going into the final week of spring training.  Wilson Valdez will start the season at second base with Utley on the DL for the foreseeable future; the question is will Luis Castillo make the opening day roster?  The Phillies go up against Atlanta today and Houston on Monday to finish out their 2011 stint in Clearwater.  They come home on Tuesday to play two back to back games against Pittsburgh at the Bank before opening the season at home against Houston on Friday.  Last week of spring training and opening day on Friday, can't wait.

The Eagles remain stuck in limbo with the NFL lockout.  The talk of the week was the movement of Kevin Kolb.  There was talk of mystery teams such as Seattle or Minnesota, either way it doesn't matter; with no new CBA the Eagles hands are tied.  The draft is now less than one month away and there is a hearing in Minnesota on April 6th regarding the injunction against the NFL.  Hopefully some answers come out of that hearing, but at this point it looks like it may be the first draft in a very long time where there is absolutely no movement.  Wow, I'm excited about that, can you tell?

The Flyers and Sixers seasons will soon come to a close, but both will be in the post season.  The Phillies will begin on Friday and even with the injury concerns they are still the best team in baseball.  The "savage" Phillies fans, as GQ called us, will continue their sellout streak of 123 straight home games and I don't see that streak ending anytime soon.  The over under in Vegas is 97 wins for the Phillies; put me down for triple digits at 100.    

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