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Friday, September 15, 2006

A Lost Decade

This summer the Wachovia Center “celebrate” it’s 10th anniversary. As the Flyers opened training camp to kick-off their second decade in the oft-renamed building, and as much as I hate flirting with Negadelphia, I can’t help but wondering . . . what the hell happened?

Wasn’t Comcast supposed to usher in an era in which money was no object? I know Comcast’s purchase of the Flyers and Sixers didn’t exactly coincide with the opening of the bulding, but it was close enough. Wasn’t Philadelphia poised, about a decade ago, to become the next title town? Weren’t the new digs combined with deep-pocketed owners going to let the good times roll?

Every year it seems, this year a rare departure, the Flyers are practically handed the Stanley Cup after signing some big-name free agent. Then the playoffs roll around, and someone else is seen hoisting the Cup.

Then there’s the red-headed step-child of this little arrangement. The fact that the best player on the 76ers in the last decade was brought in by Brad Greenburg should tell you everything you need to know. The team constantly cries about the salary cap, yet never does anything about it. By the way, my understanding is team’s can spend over the cap — they just have to pay a dollar-for-dollar luxury tax. So much for deep pockets, eh?

The worst part? Rumors about the sale of the Sixers are our best reason for hope.

Picks. After a 3-0 week, I’m at 3-1 on the year. I only like two games this week. It must seem like I’m the biggest Domer around, but I promise that’s not true. That said, I like Notre Dame for the third straight week. I took ND-5.5 vs. Michigan. I feel like I’m dealing with the devil combining ND and Dallas, but I like the ‘Boys to beat a woeful Washington team. I took Dallas-6.5.

I wouldn’t touch the Eagles game with a 10-foot pole. The New York Giants looked way better than I thought they would Sunday night, and Litto Sheppard’s absence scares me. I also don’t like the Birds in openers, season and home, and last week’s win against a terrible Texans team did nothing to change that. But, they’re the locals, so I pick their games. They’ll win, but I wouldn’t give the points.

Week in Review:

· A week or so after free agency started this season, Billy King said we should all relax when questioned about the 76ers lack of activity because the off-season had just started. Since then, nothing has changed.
· Frank Fitzpatrick ripped the author of The 700 Level Philly sports blog for his live-blogging in AOL’s Fan House during the Eagles game this morning in the Inquirer. Despite some decent points, he sounded liked a whiney old guy ripping some new-fangled thing called blogs. It was weak. Retire, already, Frank.
· The only thing more frustrating than watching the Phils avoid sweeping teams like the plague is watching Ryan Howard intentionally walked.

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