By Jared Trexler
The Phanatic started as a sounding board for four colleagues who one night decided that the Pacific vs. Nevada Big West hoops showdown wasn't the top of the mountain but rather a dark cave in the side of the massive rock sculpture (It's a dark, dark cave).
It took us some time to find our niche (and 1,000 page views), but over the last several days The Phanatic has been hit, and hit, and hit (we are not cheap and I refuse to reveal the location of our corner).
However, for those just joining us, we welcome you. We'd also like to get you up to speed on some of the material that we at The Phanatic have covered since the very beginning.
From the Madness of March and an all-encompassing look at Philadelphia sports to rants on national sports headlines and even jabs at each other, The Phanatic has been a fantastic and creative writing outlet for us.
Below are some of the best lines from me and my colleagues over the first 3,000 hits. Thanks again for your support and keep coming back. We will have new articles on a daily basis and are even adding some new faces to the staff.
"Philadelphia sports fans have stayed loyal to their teams despite annual heartbreak. That's passion. And we at the Phanatic want to exude that same passion to our readers."
-- Our motto
"Today, Billy King is nothing more than a punch line. Once upon a time, the smooth talking, impeccably dressed, would-be politician's dazzling personality won over the area's scribes in record time. You see, sportswriters are an insecure group. Privy to the exhilarating world of the athlete but unable to attain it, King made this pathetic, self-doubting group of wannabes feel important and got a free pass because of it. But those days are over."
-- John McMullen, 3/22/06 (John hates Billy King)
"(Jay) Wright doesn't have any big men of Craig Smith's caliber on his roster. Once(Will) Sheridan picks up his second foul, and everyone knows that will happen sooner rather than later, Wright will look down the bench. He'll see Jason Fraser, who can barely run after multiple knee surgeries. He'll glance at seven-foot senior Chris Charles, who will give up about 30 pounds to Smith. He'll quickly look at freshman Dante Cunningham, knowingfull well that Smith would take the youngster to school on the block. He'll then yell to the end of the bench at Curtis Sumpter. Coach, a player can't enter the game in street clothes and Dockers. They will mark up the floor."
-- Jared Trexler, 3/23/06 (BC blew a large first-half lead to Villanova)
"Jim Johnson better find a way to keep T.O. out of the end zone when Dallas comes to the Linc this season. If not, Mayor Street might have to call in the National Guard."
-- Steve Lienert, 3/26/06 (T.O. and Steve will not be dining at The Beef tomorrow)
"For sometimes fate overwhelms all else. When (Folarin) Campbell's rain-making fadeaway left his hand with about 1:15 to play in the extra session, it looked like a last-second heave to beat the shot clock. The ball reached its apex at the doorstep of Heaven, and when it began its descent it had no where to go but through the net.84-80 Patriots."
-- Jared Trexler, 3/27/06 (George Mason's magical run was a sportswriter's dream)
"Here's the point -- the Phillies stink. I mean they not only stink, they stink on a legendary level. They are far worse than the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox, who have both built their identity and grossed an endless amount of income based on their failures."
-- Tim McManus, 3/30/06 (And McManus is a Phillies fan)
"People that make a living working at the Wachovia Center should start looking for seasonal work now. The Flyers and Sixers (if they make it all) will most certainly be first-round fodder in the postseason."
-- Steve Lienert, 4/12/06 (Steve, amongst other things, is a prognosticator)
"Sure, Congress is busy with the war, tort reform and budget problems but the collective brain wizards that make up our ridiculous two-party system sure jump when the opportunity to get some extra TV time exists. And the Congressional hearings into steroid abuse in the sacred cow that is Major League Baseball were just the type of headline grabbers that make John McCain and Ted Kennedy throw away the viagra."
-- John McMullen, 4/18/06 (John is not a huge fan of Massachusetts liberals)
"But, after reading about what happened to Moe Williams, I'm starting to think about heading north of the border myself. In case you missed it, the former Minnesota Vikings running back was found guilty of disorderly conduct on Thursday. For what? Touching the breasts of a dancer in a public space during the infamous "Love Boat" cruise on Lake Minnetonka. Now granted, a jury found him not guilty of two other misdemeanors -- indecent conduct and lewd or lascivious behavior -- but I don't want to live in a country where I can't fondle a stripper. Isn't that what you are supposed to do? Isn't that what makes this country great (at least for men)?"
-- John McMullen, 4/21/06 (This one was photocopied and sent to John's girlfriend)
"This is what the quest for Lord Stanley's Cup is all about. It's a war. It's a fight. Players get knocked unconscious. They lose teeth. They bleed from the nose. Teams don' t disclose specifics on injuries. Intensity, adrenalin and testosterone levels are off the charts. Players get cut, go to the dressing room, get stitched up and come back to play in the same game."
-- Steve Lienert, 4/23/06 (Steve should write copy for OLN. I'd watch the Stanley CupPlayoffs after reading that description)
"When war rooms like Philadelphia's banter about a player's name value, Pittsburgh and New England will be wondering how that player would fit in the team's current system. And on Draft Day it will again be evidently clear. I'll listen to my trusted colleague -- shut up, turn around and look at my Lombardi Trophy. I don't need to say a word. The Draft will speak for me."
-- Jared Trexler, 4/27/06 (I set off Tim...read below)
"I am bitter, a bit depressed and have created a bald spot from all the head-scratching over the past several months. That said, I can't just let a Stiller fan use the LombardiTrophy for a soap box as he spews his holier-than-thou (and largely misinformed) opinions about our organization. I didn't want to do it JT, but you have forced my hand."
-- Tim McManus, 4/27/06 (Take that JT)
"The dirty little secret, though, is that the NFL and the NCAA's policies simply don't work, and neither will MLB's. Stopping performance enhancing drugs in any sport is impossible, and anyone who tells you different is either uninformed or a con man."
-- John McMullen, 5/04/06 (You should really read this piece in its entirety)
"Make sure you packed more than a travel kit, Geoff Geary. If Cole Hamels and the Phillies brass have anything to do with it, you won't be trading destinations with the prized lefty phenom ever again. Geary ironically was the first player to greet the lanky pitching prodigy on his initial trip to the Phillies clubhouse. And Geoff has been pitching well lately, but the time-honored management cop-out of a player's available options reared its ugly head. I hear Lackawanna County Stadium is beautiful in mid-May."
-- Jared Trexler, 5/12/06 (Both pitchers are now with the big club. The Phils stink)
"The good teams -- you know, like the ones who don't go 13 years between playoff appearances -- garner their strength from the mound. This way, they are sustained even in the times when the offense whispers rather than roars. Without pitching as a backbone, a team is vulnerable to sudden streaks --sometimes toward the heavens, sometimes toward the sewer."
-- Tim McManus, 5/14/06 (Wiser words have never been spoken)
"In the end, the only thing that's truly missing from Abreu's arsenal is a kille rinstinct, an ability to realize when the game lies in his hands alone, and the desire to crush that moment into the right-field seats. As evidenced during that All-Star weekend in ’05, there is superstardom in this man, a character that oozes passion and charisma and a hunger for center stage. The boos are nothing more than a plea for him to assume that lead role for a town desperate to embrace him."
-- Tim McManus, 5/20/06 (C'mon Bobby)
"By the way, since when did Red Sox fans become like a swarm of chowdah-slurping, funny-talking locusts? There were more Tom Brady jerseys at Citizens Bank Park las tweek than there were at Boston's Patriot's Day festivities. Who dresses these people?"
-- Steve Lienert, 5/23/06 (Lienert's return after an appendectomy)
"Welcome to Wednesday. Five hours and 21 minutes after Tuesday's pivotal NL Eastshowdown began, a weary Ryan Madson stared at dangerous left-handed hitting thumperCarlos Beltran. The slugger was thinking one thing. I want to go home. One swing of the bat later, Beltran got his wish and the cruel fate of baseball handed out its penalties. Madson was a loser for stats purposes only. The real loser of the marathon with the Mets was manager Charlie Manuel."
-- Jared Trexler, 5/24/06 (It seems to be the chronology of every loss).
"Jimmy Rollins began this season hounded by the media and chasing the ghost of Mr. Coffee himself, "The Yankee Clipper" Joe DiMaggio. Of course, placing the name of a deeply flawed hitter next to DiMaggio is folly. Joe D. was a legend and I am not talking about any 56-game hitting streak or multiple World Series rings. Yeah, those things are nice but DiMaggio was married to Marilyn Monroe! Talk about greatness...."
-- John McMullen, 5/26/06 (I'm Jimmy Rollins and I'm just one more reason to believe)
"With this defensive, dismissive and even aggressive side of Wade revealed, it is not a stretch to suggest that his non-action before the deadline was in part to service his ego, and it even helps explain why many blue-chippers in this organization(Schilling, Rolen, Wagner) were quick to flee. There's a reason why Wade is now just a scout for the San Diego Padres."
-- Tim McManus, 5/30/06 (Poor Ed Wade)
"Get busy living or get busy dying. Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding, Morgan Freeman's character in the Shawshank Redemption, uttered that line throughout the movie, talking about how people either live life or let it wither away. The Phillies got busy dying this week and, quite frankly, they are left to play out the string in the middle of June. Welcome to baseball in Philly, Mr. Gillick."
-- Steve Lienert, 6/16/06 (Good Luck Pat)
"He looks and talks exactly like Marcellus Wallace from Pulp Fiction. The man either has some infinite wisdom or is medicated, because despite the tight quarters, the terrible hours and the constant exhaust running through his nostrils, he always has this cool, I'm-on-an-island-in-my-mind demeanor."
-- Tim McManus, 6/21/06 (Believe it or not, this article had plenty to do with sports)
"Brett Myers should stay behind and let his anger out on something other than the woman he vowed to love, honor and protect."
-- Jared Trexler, 6/25/06
"If less people come to your Stanley Cup parade than went to the Phantoms' Calder Cup final, you shouldn't have a hockey franchise....."
-- Steve Lienert, 6/25/06 (Jeff Foxworthy would be proud)
"I have an optimistic colleague that always thinks the Phillies are just a move or two away from becoming the 1927 Yankees. Unfortunately he keeps forgetting one thing-- a lot of players just don't want to come here. The ugly Philadelphia fan has turned off a whole generation of athletes who rather go in exile to Kansas City than go through the hell that they think awaits them in Philadelphia."
-- John McMullen, 6/26/06
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