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Friday, September 3, 2010

Week-in-Review: Bipolar Phils, Enough of Vick, MMA, Lockout Contingency, more

As football fans rejoice over being able to watch games that actually count for something, it’s time for a Friday Rob Q. Week-in-Review:

• If you can figure out the Phillies, then you are a better fan than most. I still think there’s a twinge of mental laziness on this team. To get swept at home in four games by an admittedly improving Houston Astros team, only to go out west and sweep San Diego, beat the Dodgers, and head to Colorado for one makeup game to win in another great comeback, makes little sense. Could the answer be as easy as the fact that Chase Utley is finally getting back into a groove after being out so long with a broken hand? If it is, I think a rematch of last year’s World Series is on the horizon.

• I didn’t watch much of the Eagles final preseason game, and I don’t even know Michael Vick’s stats from (I think) his one quarter of play. But enough with this guy. Having him come in to take snaps as the regular quarterback is going to be a disaster. It makes no sense, it has to disrupt Kevin Kolb who is adjusting to the starting quarterback role, it has no future on a team that isn’t poised for any sort of Super Bowl run, and has shown absolutely zero signs of being effective. They won’t do it, but cutting Vick would be the best move.

• There are legitimate reasons, besides the Michael Vick experiment, to be concerned about the Eagles offense. I don’t think they scored a touchdown with Kolb on the field. But when the preseason has the Texans beating the Cowboys 23-7, there’s just no way to really evaluate these games.

• Villanova plays Temple in tonight in what the universities and the city of Philadelphia are trying to establish as an annual game for the Mayor’s Cup. A little hokey, but I like it. Why the heck isn’t this game on television? Comcast SportsNet would prefer to air Daily News Live not once, but twice, this evening? Channel 6 can air Eagles preseason games, but not this? I’m sure there are plenty of financial reasons not to air it, but a little city spirit – hokey or not – would have been nice. Technically, it is on at espn3.com.

• I understand that USC is in NCAA sanction hell, but I still don’t get them opening the season in Hawaii at 11 o’clock EST on Thursday night. Of course, the Trojans sneaking off the island with a win doesn’t help my case, but I have to figure that they’re still a major draw on television. Plus, college schedules are generally made years in advance.

• James Toney was pummeled Saturday night in a Mixed Martial Arts bout by someone named Randy Couture, referred to by SI.com as an “UFC Hall of Famer.” Let’s ignore the ludicrous suggestion that this so-called sport should, or God forbid does, have a hall of fame. If this was supposed to legitimize the sport of mixed martial arts as shown on television, it failed miserably. To people not into the MMA, it was just a 41-year-old, out of shape boxer who was never all that dazzling getting beat up. But it’s somehow legal because these fights have been deemed an “extreme sport.”

• I watched The Sports Reporters for the first time in ages this week. Watching Mike Lupica, Mitch Albom, John Saunders, and some other guy that gets rotated in once in a while psycho-analyze Tiger Woods reminded me of why I have switched to shows like PTI. These guys shouldn’t be allowed to talk about topics for any more than 30 seconds, not because of Americans’ dwindling span of attention, but because they sound like idiots beyond that.

Watching Lupica et al try to put on a “Sunday morning show” about sports mimicking what the networks do for worldly news is bad enough. Pomposity and sports just don’t mix, and watching Lupica practically genuflect at his own presence makes viewers want to skip breakfast. But when they a) invoke their own golf games into discussions about Woods, b) actually think they have a clue about what he’s going through, and c) care about how he feels about his divorce, breakfast might be coming out in a whole different way – as it’s spit out through fits of laughter.

• In an ESPN story about Maurice Clarett signing to play with the UFL Nighthawks, I couldn’t help notice the names of former Eagles Jeff Garcia and Hollis Thomas mentioned as being on the team. With an NFL lockout almost a certainty, according to most reports, I’m just wondering . . . should we jump on the ‘hawks bandwagon now? C’mon – H A W K S . . . Hawks!

• Loser of the week, part I, was found via a Facebook post, I believe from 97.5’s Jon Marks. According to Yahoo! Rivals, “a 21-year-old man named Julious Threatts registered to play for the 13-14-year-old Town N' Country Packers of the Tampa Bay Youth Football League on Aug. 21, and played in a game with the team the same day. Threatts, who had a past burglary conviction on his record, reportedly signed up for a spot on the team under the name 'Chad Jordan' with a forged birth certificate. After further investigation, it now appears that Threatts -- an avowed Danielle Steele fan who recorded poetry readings on a personal YouTube channel -- also played in the TBYFL two years ago and another youth league in the Tampa area last year.” Talk about needing to get a life.

• It may be a little harsh calling this guy the second loser of the week, but I’ll admit I’m a bit old fashioned in some ways. I still don’t get the amount of time many NBA players clearly spend doing their hair, because this was the road I didn’t want to see coming. From SI.com, “Several Miami Dolphins crawled across the field after practice Tuesday -- not due to exhaustion, but because they were looking for a diamond earring. Defensive end Kendall Langford said he forgot to take his earrings off before practice and lost one during drills. He said the diamond was nearly 2.5 carats, which is why he was still on the field an hour after practice scanning the grass.” How soon ‘til a coach in the mold of Buddy Ryan tells a player to take his skirt off, and then has to explain that it was just an expression?

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