Oct 7, 2012, 12:30 PM EDT
Another chapter in the sports rivalry between the cities of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh gets written today, albeit a much different one. The Flyers and Penguins play each other six times over a normal 82-game season, and can then meet in the playoffs for seven more as they did in April. The Phillies and Pirates play at least two series per season as well, and also could meet in the postseason — if the Bucs ever got there.
The Eagles and Steelers meet just once every four years, unless they were both to wind up in the Super Bowl. It appears both could be a long way from that goal in 2013.
The Steelers are 1-2 entering today, and there is a belief their entire campaign could hinge on today’s result. That’s not being melodramatic either, not in the AFC North where the Bengals are 3-1 and the Ravens are 2-2. Luckily for the Steelers, they are coming off of a bye and return three great players in Rashard Mendenhall, James Harrison, and Troy Polamalu.
Oct 6, 2012, 2:30 PM EDT
Braves fans looking for sympathy obviously won’t find much here. You can debate the merits of the infield fly rule in a specific situation, and it sure looked funny on a ball hit into what most people would consider the outfield on Friday night, but based on the letter of the law, I personally would have to agree it was a subjective call and therefore technically accurate. (I’m not as sure I agree with its application though.)
Braves fans weren’t having anything resembling a debate at Turner Field, which erupted into an uncomfortable scene in the moments that followed the controversial play.
Oct 5, 2012, 12:38 PM EDT
Now that some folks are finally starting to come around on Juan Castillo — very slowly, we will add — we thought it would be helpful to look at some of the numbers that explain why.
Oct 5, 2012, 10:30 AM EDT
It’s only October, but four weeks into the season it sure looks like the injury to Jason Peters is something the Eagles may never quite fully overcome in 2012. Pass protection and running to the left have been issues, and they’ve already flip-flopped Demetress Bell for King Dunlap at left tackle, then back again.
But Peters looms in the shadows of the non-football injury list, eligible to rejoin the 53-man roster between Weeks 6 and 9. As impossible as that prospect might sound, both Peters and Andy Reid seem to believe he could still make it back in time to contribute this season.
Oct 4, 2012, 4:55 PM EDT
On the same day the NHL announced the cancellation of the first two weeks of its 2012-13 season, two important Flyers finally made the move several of their teammates had already made as far out as weeks ago. Claude Giroux and Danny Briere, two of the franchise’s most recognizable players, are heading to Europe to play hockey.
Giroux and Briere apparently were a package deal, as both opted to join Eisbären Berlin in the Deutsche Eishiockey Liga in Germany. I’m not sure who else their roster is comprised of, but I’m willing to venture a guess they’re going to have a pretty good team with these recent additions.
Oct 4, 2012, 2:44 PM EDT
The puck was slated to drop in Philadelphia one week from today, but in what was essentially a foregone conclusion, the NHL has announced the inevitable: the 2012-13 season will not start on time.
Oct 4, 2012, 2:00 PM EDT
As new friend of the Level and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writer Alan Robinson pointed out on Wednesday, Michael Vick has experienced some success in two career meetings against the Steelers. Then again, the Eagles quarterback’s struggles in Arizona might be telling us something completely different about this Sunday’s matchup.
Oct 4, 2012, 12:42 PM EDT
When the Phillies announced several changes in their coaching staff roughly an hour or so after the season ended, speculation was Triple-A manager and Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg would be hastily promoted to the position of bench coach.
On Thursday, Sandberg was indeed hired by the big club, but reportedly to be the team’s third base coach. Nothing further — for now at least.
Oct 4, 2012, 3:52 AM EDT
This could be considered taking some journalistic liberties as we paraphrase ever so slightly, but we’re pretty sure what Jimmy Rollins was saying here is the equivalent of, “We’re still the team to beat.”
With the Nationals on their way to the playoffs, and the Phillies headed to the vacation spots of their choosing, J-Roll did not seem so convinced of the natural order of things. We’ll allow the ’08 MVP to describe this season on his terms, but it’s not much different from what we’ve suggested all along — that injuries played a prominent role in holding the Phils back first and foremost.
Oct 4, 2012, 2:47 AM EDT
Somehow, somewhere there is actually an ongoing conversation about who will win the American League MVP award. As an impartial observer, allow me to settle this for everybody, be it voters and fans alike.
Uh… I think it’s the guy who accomplished a feat that hasn’t been witnessed in 45 years.
Oct 3, 2012, 5:01 PM EDT
The time to say goodbye to the Phillies is upon us. While a sad occasion, for the first year since their last World Series appearance in ’09 — where win or lose, the season is over — we can’t say we didn’t see it coming.
For all intents and purposes, baseball season was over one-to-two weeks ago, at whichever point you felt the Phillies had fallen hopelessly out of the Wild Card race. Then again, by that logic some might say baseball season was already over as far back as July, when the team was 14 games under .500. Or you could argue baseball season wasn’t over until this past Friday, when they were eliminated from playoff contention.
Oct 3, 2012, 2:55 PM EDT
Round and round it goes…
The Eagles signed Demetress Bell in April to fill in for Jason Peters while he recovered from a ruptured Achilles that in all likelihood cost him the 2012 season. King Dunlap was retained as insurance, a policy from which the team had already drawn from after just one preseason game. Then a hamstring injury forced Dunlap from the lineup in Week 2, but now that he’s ready to return, it appears the offense will stick with Bell.
Where it will stop, no one knows.
Oct 3, 2012, 12:54 PM EDT
Each week during the 2012 season we’re hitting up some of the most knowledgeable people on the Internet when it comes to the Philadelphia Eagles’ opponent that particular Sunday. Today we have Alan Robinson, Steelers beat reporter for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Kulp: Pittsburgh is 1-2 heading into the intrastate matchup, and you wrote their campaign could very well hinge on this game. The team seems to be getting healthy right on cue, with Rashard Mendenhall, James Harrison, and Troy Polamalu all potentially available this week. Assuming they all play, are the Steelers’ problems suddenly solved?
Alan Robinson: Not necessarily. (Full response below.)
Oct 3, 2012, 10:43 AM EDT
I’ve never eaten at a Jack in the Box, but I hear it’s really good. As a matter of fact, their new Sourdough Cheesesteak Melt looks tasty right about now. Of course, anything cheesesteak has to be promoted with a Philly stereotype, and here’s Jack’s.
Oct 3, 2012, 10:40 AM EDT
I’ve never eaten at a Jack in the Box, but I hear it’s really good. As a matter of fact, their new Sourdough Cheesesteak Melt looks tasty right about now. Of course, anything cheesesteak has to be promoted with a Philly stereotype — it’s the rule — and here’s Jack’s.
Oct 3, 2012, 1:09 AM EDT
The Phillies lost 4-2 on Tuesday, but that’s hardly the point. The night belonged to Darin Ruf anyway, who notched his second and third bombs of the season.
Reminder: he’s been playing in the big leagues on a regular basis for all of eight days.
Oct 2, 2012, 5:56 PM EDT
If you work a normal 9-to-5, that means tonight is likely your final chance to see the Phillies in action in 2012. Not saying you should be excited, just saying you might not want to take that opportunity for granted.
Oct 2, 2012, 3:34 PM EDT
Better drop that puck soon, ref. Max Talbot has his eagle eye on it.
With the lockout going strong, NHL players are finding plenty of other places to skate. In Max Talbot’s case, he’s currently involved in a Quebec vs. Montreal exhibition with new Flyers teammate and good friend Bruno Gervais. But in this case, it’s the unconventional
activity in his spare timeadvertising campaign that caught our attention.
Oct 2, 2012, 2:32 PM EDT
The Eagles-Giants rivalry is going as strong as ever, but the Shady-Osi feud appears to be running its course.
Osi Umenyiora stood by his pledge to take the high road after McCoy’s “ballerina” comment, and per an exchange between the two in the aftermath of Sunday night’s contest, the All-Pro back has declared a cease fire in the war of words.
Oct 2, 2012, 1:14 PM EDT
Heading into last night’s game in Washington, the Phillies still had a slim chance to prevent being on the other end of another team’s celebration. Who ever said that would have been a positive?
By now you know the Nationals lost, but experienced their moment of glory anyway because the Braves couldn’t take care of business against the Pirates. Know what? That’s okay, and not just because it was bound to happen anyway.
Oct 2, 2012, 11:56 AM EDT
Brian Rolle found himself in an unlikely position this time last year: weakside linebacker.
A sixth-round pick out of Ohio State in 2011, Rolle wound up replacing fellow rookie Casey Matthews in Week 3, and was thrust into the Eagles’ starting lineup from that point on. Perhaps even more unlikely, the 5’10″ Rolle was arguably their best linebacker the rest of the way, and entered this summer the favorite to start at weakside again.
Continuing in a string of unlikelies, Brian Rolle was released on Tuesday morning, exactly one year to the day since he made his first NFL start.
Oct 2, 2012, 10:59 AM EDT
This is a two-part story. Part one: Tony Romo threw five interceptions — including two returned for touchdown — in the Cowboys’ 34-18 loss to the Bears, leaving sole possession of first place in the NFC East to the Eagles.
Part two: Jerry World needs to be fumigated, stat.
Oct 1, 2012, 4:55 PM EDT
For five consecutive years, some poor saps in the opposite dugout had to retreat back inside the clubhouse with heads hanging as the inevitable unfolded on the diamond: the Phillies celebrating an NL East pennant. On three of those occasions, the poor saps were the Washington Nationals.
At some point in the next three days, there’s a very good chance the shoe will finally wind up on the other foot. However, inevitable it is not — yet.
Oct 1, 2012, 12:16 PM EDT
The Eagles handed it off to LeSean McCoy 23 times on Sunday night, but despite Andy Reid’s track record, we probably shouldn’t be all that surprised by the numbers. Against the Giants, McCoy’s big games are becoming par for the course.
Believe it or not, this was the third consecutive meeting with their rivals to the north in which Shady carried the ball at least 23 times and rushed for over 100 yards.
Oct 1, 2012, 10:32 AM EDT
You probably jumped out of your seat when Lawrence Tynes missed his 54-yard field goal to the left, as did the 69,000 fans at the Linc on Sunday night, only to have Andy Reid pull the rug right out from in under you, too. There was no 54-yard field goal attempt. That fleeting moment of jubilation may have suddenly turned to panic as you realized what had transpired.
The head coach did one of those things head coaches do that nobody else understands. He iced the kicker
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