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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Starting over...again

As we muddle through the dead spot in the sports calendar known as the NBA All-Star weekend, the best thing to be said about the winter teams in Philadelphia is that they have lopped off the head of the monsters. Peter Forsberg has followed Allen Iverson and the thief Chris Webber out of Philly, and at least the next phase of these pathetic franchises can begin.

What I know about hockey might fill a thimble, but trading Forsberg seems a bit odd. Granted, the Flyers suck and couldn’t risk getting nothing for him. That said, one player can dominate hockey, it seems, more than any other sport. Whatever was going on with Forsberg’s foot seemed to be finally fixed. They even won a couple games. Even after the trade, both sides seemed more than open to him re-signing with the Flyers when he becomes a free agent. As good as it would be to finally see a Philly franchise pull of a shrewd move like acquiring young talent for a guy they’ll see return by training camp, I have to think avoiding any possible ill will would’ve been a good idea.

The Sixers are just a confusing team to analyse right now. In some ways, they’re doing just what fans want — playing competitively, but losing and keeping their lottery ball count high. But, after a while, the questions start: Can this core win tight games? Is Mo Cheeks a good coach?

Sadly, sports fans still have plenty of time to do little else but find out.

Week in Review:
· Why is everyone convinced that the Phillies can’t go into the season with a 6-man pitching rotation? They have six legit starters. By August, the whole league is whining about dead arms. An extra day off a week wouldn’t be a good thing? Just once a baseball team ought try doing something that hasn’t been done the same way for the last century.
· Tim Hardaway proved how little intelligence it takes to work for the NBA. A guy apparently representing the league, Hardaway said he “hates gay people” when discussing John Amaechi’s acknowledgement that he is gay. The NBA announced Hardaway would no longer represent the league.
· Barry Bonds signed his new contract this week, begging the question: why does baseball hate itself? All they had to do was not sign the steroid-ridden fraud and the biggest problem in the sport goes away without making a mockery of the career home run mark. Instead, the Giants sign him, and for what? Is there really going to be some sort of pay off if he breaks the record?
· The Sixers almost did something right, unveiling secondary road uniforms with “PHILA” across the front. But instead of going with the throw-back look, they kept the terrible logo Pat Croce brought based on his love of Harley Davidsons and pirates. Croce did plenty of good things for the Sixers — his design input wasn’t among them.
· Allen Iverson mouthed off again about the Sixers being unwilling to change, and that being why he’s in a “better situation.” His new team, Denver, is 1 game over .500 — which I believe means they’ve played under .500 since his arrival — and barely holding on to a playoff spot in the West. Think the posse will ever tell him that a) moving him was the Sixers change, and b) he hasn’t made Denver better? Me neither.
· I used to like the NBA All-Star Saturday. Now it’s just a status thing to not show up. Bring back the Legends’ Game, and make actual All-Stars play in the 3-point and dunk contests.
· Mike Missanelli is back on the air . . . sort of. He’s on ESPN radio as the “co-host” on Stephen A. Smith’s show. Sadly, I can’t see that lasting. I only heard 10 minutes on Friday, but the show is still clearly Smith’s and Missanelli’s role appeared to be kissing the ass of Smith. Again, I only heard 10 minutes, but I can’t see Missanelli being that guy’s minion too long. Fans can check him out weekdays at noon on 1050AM, or to actually hear it try www.1050espnradio.com.
· David Stern’s ego has finally met his match. He actually thought he could get Las Vegas to not post odds on an NBA franchise in that city. Now, he’s decided betting is “the American way.” (Maybe he can teach Hardaway how to say the right thing regardless of how he feels.)

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