Saturday, May 31, 2008
Last week the Willie Watch was on and now it seems to have cooled. Willie seems safe for now, but that can change with another appearance from Aaron Heilman.
But was anything resolved by not committing to Willie for the rest of the season? Should Willie start platooning his players? And Can Pedro's return spark the Mets to a run?
The Yankees have crept to the .500-mark but can they go on a run to to distance themselves from futility. Joba makes his debut in the starting rotation on Tuesday, while Kyle Farnsworth continues to frighten Yankee fans.
We will talk all that baseball and more with The Sporting News' Sean Deveney at 6:30 pm.
We'll also break down the NBA's lastest conspiracy...aka the NBA Finals and Lakers v. Celtics.
And Kimbo Slice fights in Newark tonight as CBS broadcasts tonight EliteXC card live from The Rock in Newark. Jason Probst from Sherdog.com returns to the program at 7:40 to talk Kimbo and tomorrow night's WEC featherweight battle between Jens Pulver and Urijah Faber.
Join the program on WTBQ.com, calling in at (845) 651-1110, or writing an e-mail to email@example.com.
The deal is non-exclusive, however, so Lashley will still be able to do some professional wrestling or hook on with another MMA operation.
Lashley was at the AFL's debut show in Atlanta to announce the signing.
His debut will be at the the AFL's first pay-per-view event, set for Atlanta's Phillips Arena in October.
An opponent has yet to be named.
EliteXC Live Events President Gary Shaw looks on as Kimbo (left) and "Colossus" square off after the weigh-in.
Gina Carano (left) and Kaitlin Young pose after the weigh-in. The women will clash in one of the five fights on the telecast.
Exciting middleweights Phil Baroni (left) and Joey Villasenor go nose-to-nose after they tipped the scale.
The memorable evening's opening bout will feature Jon Murphy (left) against Brett Rogers in a heavyweight scrap.
Crowd-pleasing "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler (left) will defend his EliteXC middleweight title against hard-hitting Scott "Hands Of Steel" Smith in the semi-main event on CBS.
Photos: TOM CASINO/EliteXC
Friday, May 30, 2008
By John McMullen
(The Phanatic Magazine) - Independent leagues are the scourge of professional baseball.
They are not operated in conjunction with a major league team or an affiliated minor league.
And, being independent allows a team to be located close to a major league club without their consent, like the then-Northern League's St. Paul Saints, who still operate across the Mississippi River from the Minnesota Twins.
The current inception of the Saints was formed in 1993 and has been known for over-the-top promotions. The principal owner was Mike Veeck, the son of legendary big league owner Bill Veeck and comedian Bill Murray was brought in as a part owner.
On occasion in the mid-to-late '90s , the Saints would even outdraw the angling for contraction Twins despite playing in the antiquated and tiny Midway Stadium.
It was at this time, I had the opportunity to cover a few Saints games and I was always interested to see one particular player when the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks came to town.
A natural hitter, at least for the indy leagues, was always in the middle of the RedHawks order. A Division III All-American from tiny Concordia College in Minny -- Chis Coste.
Yep, it was the Northern League where Coste made his baseball bones. The Phillies catcher hit .314, .312, .328 and .335 during his years in Fargo but couldn't escape.
Baseball is a funny industry.
You have the new school guys (think Bill James, Billy Beane and Theo Epstein), who think you can scout without ever seeing a player, and the old-school (think Pat Gillick), who live and die by the assessment of their grizzled veteran scouts, who think the independent leagues are filled with garbage.
Only when you realize that can you understand how a hitter like Coste didn't arrive in the major leagues until he was 33.
A catcher will never have the on-base percentage or OPS numbers that double as wet dreams for an Epstein, while a veteran scout is never going to admit he or his brethren made a mistake by letting Coste fall through the cracks.
That's why Coste can come up in 2006, hit .328, and be earmarked to Ottawa the next season.
And that's why he can be a favorite of his pitchers, hitting .341 this season, and throwing out more runners than Carlos Ruiz but still be considered No. 2 in Philadelphia.
I mean everybody couldn't be wrong about Chris Coste...
Or could they?
1. Allen Iverson, Sixers
2. Reggie White, Eagles
3. Charles Barkley, Sixers
4. Donovan McNabb, Eagles
5. Eric Lindros, Flyers
6. Curt Schilling, Phillies
7. Jimmy Rollins, Phillies
8. Brian Dawkins, Eagles
9. Randall Cunningham, Eagles
10. Chase Utley Phillies
11. Ron Hextall, Flyers
12. Brian Westbrook Eagles
13. Ryan Howard, Phillies
14. John LeClair, Flyers
15. Mike Quick, Eagles
16. Tim Kerr, Flyers
17. Mark Howe, Flyers
18. Lenny Dykstra, Phillies
19. Jerome Brown, Eagles
20. Jim Thome, Phillies
21. Terrell Owens, Eagles
22. Scott Rolen, Phillies
23. Jon Runyan, Eagles
24. Peter Forsberg, Flyers
25. Troy Vincent, Eagles
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA., May 30, 2008 – Penn State coach Ed DeChellis today announced the addition of former University of Florida and Notre Dame assistant Lewis Preston to the Nittany Lion basketball coaching staff, filling the vacancy left by the departure of Hilliary Scott for the head coaching position at Lynchburg College. Preston will assume his new position on June 4.
“We are very excited to welcome Lewis to Penn State and our coaching staff,” DeChellis said. “He is an outstanding young coach and a very highly regarded national recruiter with a terrific background in basketball as both a coach and a player. We think he is really a perfect fit with our players and staff and are looking forward to having him join our basketball family.”
Preston spent the last two years as an assistant coach on Billy Donovan’s staff at Florida and before that spent six years under Mike Brey at Notre Dame. Florida won the second of its back-to-back national championships in Preston’s first year on the Gators’ staff where he was an integral part of Florida’s recruiting, scouting, game preparation and on-court teaching.
“I’m really excited about the opportunity to come and work with Coach DeChellis and his staff at Penn State,” Preston said. “I look forward to the challenge and the opportunity to help make the Nittany Lions a force to reckon with in the Big Ten.”
Preston worked with 2007 first-round NBA draft picks Joakim Noah, Al Horford and Corey Brewer and second-round selection Taurean Green while at Florida. At Notre Dame he had the opportunity to work with two first-round draft picks in back-to-back seasons in Troy Murphy (2001) and Ryan Humphrey (2002) as well as current NBA players Matt Carroll, David Graves, Chris Thomas and Chris Quinn.
During his time on the Notre Dame staff, Preston was instrumental in the development of the Irish post players and earned a reputation as a highly regarded national recruiter. He helped the Irish to a 118-70 (.628) mark in six years in South Bend, including three NCAA Tournament appearances and a Sweet 16 showing in 2003. The Irish reached the postseason in each of Preston's six years at Notre Dame.
The Boones Mill, Va., native joined the Irish men's basketball program following two seasons as an assistant on Pete Strickland's staff at Coastal Carolina.
A 1993 graduate of Virginia Military Institute, Preston spent four years playing professionally in Europe with stints in Luxembourg, Ireland and Finland. In his first season in Luxembourg, he averaged 25.0 points, 11.0 rebounds and three blocks per game and continued to average a double-double in points and rebounds throughout his professional career.
Preston had an outstanding collegiate career after playing just one season at Franklin County (Va.) High School. He began as a walk-on at VMI, but left as just the 21st 1,000-point scorer in school history and a school-record holder in four categories. Preston’s 1,146 career points rank19th on the VMI scoring list.
As a senior, Preston led the Keydets in scoring (16.7), rebounding (7.1), field-goal percentage (.540), free- throw percentage (.800) and blocked shots (48). During the 1992-93 campaign, Preston scored in double figures in all but four of VMI's 27 contests and had 20 or more points on seven occasions. His career high came in '93 against The Citadel, when he poured in 37 points while adding 15 rebounds. That performance marked the fourth-highest individual scoring game in school history.
Preston is the school's record holder in career blocked shots (202), registering three of the top four blocked shot seasons in Keydet history, including a school-record 65 in 1992. Preston also is the co-holder of the VMI record for blocked shots in a game, which he set by rejecting seven shot attempts against Marshall in '92. He also shares the VMI record for field goals in a game (16 vs. Western Carolina in '92).
A two-time all-Southern Conference selection, Preston led the league in blocked shots twice and finished as its second all-time shot-blocking leader. He concluded his career at the Lexington, Va., school with averages of 10.6 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.
-Courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions
LOS ANGELES, CA, May 30 ---- After an open media workout in Los Angeles yesterday, WBO World Junior Featherweight Champion Daniel Ponce De Leon (34-1, 30 KO’s) declared that he is mentally and physically ready for his world title defense against Puerto Rico’s Juan Manuel Lopez (21-0, 19 KO’s) on Saturday, June 7 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The bout, which will be televised live on HBO’s World Championship Boxing, should be another in a long line of classic match-ups between a Mexican fighter and a Puerto Rican fighter.
“I’ve trained really hard for this fight and I’m positive that all of my hard work in the gym will show during the fight,” said De
A Mexican Olympian with concussive knockout power who participated in the 2000 Games in Sydney, De Leon, who originally hails from Cuauhtémoc, Mexico, is finishing his final preparations and is already on weight for next weekend's championship showdown even though he doesn't break camp and depart Los Angeles until Tuesday.
The De Leon-Lopez bout is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank and is the co-featured attraction of the June 7 edition of HBO’s World Championship Boxing which features Kelly Pavlik (33-0, 29 KOs), from Youngstown, OH, who makes his first title defense against No. 1 contender and mandatory challenger Gary Lockett (30-1, 21 KOs), from Cwmbran, Wales in the main event and will be televised live at 10:05 p.m. ET/7:05 p.m. PT from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ.
Remaining tickets, priced at $300, $200, $100 and $50, can be purchased at the Boardwalk Hall box office, by calling Ticketmaster (800) 736-1420 or online at www.ticketmaster.com.
Demps, a fourth round draft choice of the Eagles in the 2008 NFL Draft, was one of the top playmaking defensive backs in college football during his career at UTEP. His 17 career interceptions were the most among all players in the 2008 draft class and rank second in both Conference USA and school history.
Demps became the first player in school and conference history to have two 100-yd. INT returns in both a season and a career (at Central Florida and at New Mexico State in 2007). He also holds the school record with 404 INT return yards, becoming only the seventh player in NCAA history to top the 400-yard mark in that category.
In 2007, Demps earned third team All-America and All-Conference USA honors as he set school and league records by posting 220 return yards on five interceptions, including two touchdowns.
Dickerson was promoted from the team;s practice squad and appeared in one game against the Kansas City Brigade. Dickerson recorded 1 1/2 tackles in his only appearance for the Soul, who lost the game 54-47.
Dickerson joined the Soul after being a member of the Columbus Destroyers, where he played three games in 2008. Dickerson accumulated five tackles, 2 1/2 sacks as well as a pass defended with Columbus.
During his three-year AFL career, Dickerson has also been a member of the New York Dragons, Grand Rapids Rampage and the Tampa Bay Storm.
(The Phanatic Magazine) - The Philadelphia Eagles extended the contract of general manager Tom Heckert through the 2011 season Friday, and promoted Howie Roseman to vice president of player personnel.
Roseman replaces Jason Licht, who had a falling out with Heckert.
“I feel we have strengthened our personnel staff today by extending Tom’s contract and by promoting Howie Roseman,” head coach Andy Reid said. “Tom’s leadership and work ethic has continued to impress me over the years. Tom has also done a great job of nurturing and incorporating Howie’s talent into the personnel side of the organization. Howie has demonstrated a sharp eye for talent evaluation along with a knack for creative draft and free agent strategies. Both Tom and I feel Howie will be an excellent addition to the Philadelphia Eagles personnel staff.”
Now is in his eighth season in Philadelphia, Heckert works closely with Reid in all player personnel matters while managing the player personnel department. He originally joined the Eagles as the club’s director player personnel in 2001, and was promoted to vice president of player personnel 2003 and to general manager in 2006.
Prior to arriving in Philadelphia, Heckert served a 10-year stint as a member of the Miami Dolphins player personnel department. Over his 17-year career in the NFL, Heckert’s teams have experienced just one losing season, won their division eight times and made the playoffs 12 times, including five in Philadelphia.
Roseman, formerly the team’s vice president of football administration, is in his ninth year with the Eagles. He joined the team in 2000 as salary cap/staff counsel. He was elevated to director of football administration in 2003 and to vice president of football administration in 2006.
In his new role, Roseman, 33, will work closely with Reid and Heckert in all aspects of the player personnel department. He will manage the college scouting staff, organize and run draft meetings, and scout the top college prospects throughout the country. Roseman will continue to play a large role assisting Reid and Heckert with unrestricted free agency and roster moves throughout the year
In his previous role as the team’s vice president of football administration, Roseman spent a significant amount of his time working with Heckert in the personnel department evaluating players around the NFL and for the draft. He also represented the team to the NFL on contract, salary cap, and player personnel matters.
James Thompson takes his turn at the mike.
Shaw stands next to Kimbo Slice, who will fight England's James "Colossus'' Thompson in the main event of a five-fight telecast
The 10 athletes who will compete during a fight card presented by Los Angeles-based ProElite, Inc.'s live fight division, EliteXC, on CBS, and Shaw pose at the conclusion of the press conference. The fighters (left-to-right): Brett Rogers, Joey Villasenor, Kaitlin Young, Scott Smith, Colossus, Kimbo, Robbie Lawler, Gina Carano, Phil Baroni and Jon Murphy.
Photos: TOM CASINO/EliteXC
Thursday, May 29, 2008
"No, I'm not going back to the UFC," Ortiz said on MMA Weekly's radio show. "I can sleep now and not worry about what's going to be said about me. I don't have to worry about what I have to say to make sure I say the right thing. I'm sick of kissing ass and I'm not doing it anymore."
Ortiz called UFC president Dana White "a monster" and said he is "100 percent going somewhere else."
Ortiz's UFC contract expired after a unanimous decision loss to Lyoto Machida last Saturday.
White doesn't seem that broken up. "He's a dumb guy, a fucking dummy, the worst kind of idiot," MMA's Vince McMahon recently told Rolling Stone."
All the patients listed in the indictment were mentioned only by initials, but there are a number of indictments for prescribing drugs to CMB (Christopher Michael Benoit).
Benoit murdered his wife and young son and then killed himself in June of last year.
Astin's patients allegedly received illegal prescriptions for Percocet, Oxycontin, Demerol, Lorcet, Ritalin, Vicodin, Xanax, Adderall and Soma. The indictment also
alleges the drugs Astin dispensed resulted in the death of a patient (Benoit).
Federal authorities previously accused Astin of prescribing a 10-month supply of anabolic steroids to Benoit every three to four weeks between May of 2006 and May of 2007.
Astin has also allegedly dispensed illegal prescriptions to current WWE star, Oscar "Rey Mysterio" Gutierrez and former WWE and WCW wrestler Mark Jindrak. Jindrak is now a star for the CMLL promotion in Mexico under the pseudonym Marco Corleone.
(The Phanatic Magazine) - Eagles wide receiver Bill Sampy underwent what the team described as successful surgery Thursday on his fractured and dislocated left ankle.
Sampy injured the ankle during an OTA on Tuesday.
The procedure was performed by Dr. Steve Raikin, a foot and ankle specialist from The Rothman Institute, at Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia.
The Phanatic Magazine
A source told The Phanatic Magazine Thursday that a succession plan to replace Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno is being ironed out.
The man in the middle of this plan -- Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano.
The source told The Phanatic Magazine that Paterno's recent poor health and a divided board of trustees over the program's future has led University President Graham Spanier down this path.
It is unclear, according to the source, whether Paterno or the program will issue a statement about the plan or clarify that this is Paterno's final season at Penn State.
The source also stated that the university, by NCAA by-laws, can not have any official contact with Schiano, who is under contract at Rutgers, but has put out feelers to gauge Schiano's interest.
That interest, according to a source, appears to be substantial and mutual.
Barring a last-minute power struggle or change of heart, the source indicated that this will be Paterno's last season in Happy Valley, and that Penn State would move quickly after Schiano at season's end.
The rest of the staff is a mystery. Defensive line coach Larry Johnson, Sr. and defensive coordinator Tom Bradley have scored major recruiting victories in recent years, with Johnson bringing in a host of Maryland prospects for the Class of 2009.
That led many surrounding the program to assume either Bradley or Johnson, Sr. would take over once Paterno retired, while the other (particularly in Johnson, Sr.'s case) became the right-hand man, defensive coaching staff leader and head of recruiting.
That is not the case, according to the source, who maintains the board of trustees would rather go outside the program while attempting to maintain some Penn State ties.
That leads directly to Schiano.
The latest Arbitron ratings are out and WIP is ninth in the local market, holding steady from March with a 3.7.
ESPN 950 is also holding steady in 31st place with an 0.6 despite bringing back Mike Missanelli and going with Mike (Greenberg) and Mike (Golic) in the morning. Cumulative listeners are down from 147,800 to 139,300, however.
Here's the top 20:1. WBEB 101.1 FM (8.0)
2. WDAS 105.3-FM (6.5)
3. WOGL 98.1-FM (6.4)
4. KYW 1060-AM (6.3)
5. WMMR 93.3-FM (5.4)
6. WMGK 102.9-FM (5.1)
7. WXTU 92.5-FM (4.5)
8. WPHT 1210-AM (4.5)
9. WIP 610-AM (3.7)
10. WUSL 98.9-FM (3.7)
11. WIOQ 102.1-FM (3.7)
12. WRFF 104.5-FM (3.5)
13. WRDW 96.5-FM (3.5)
14. WBEN 95.7-FM (3.1)
15. WISX 106.1-FM (3.0)
16. WHYY 91-FM (2.9)
17.WRNB 107.9-FM (2.7)
18. WYSP 94.1-FM (2.4)
19. WPHI 100.3-FM (2.4)
20. WPPZ 103.9-FM (2.2
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Second baseman Chase Utley of the Philadelphia Phillies is the National League’s leading vote-getter in the first N.L. balloting results for the 79th All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 15th at Yankee Stadium.
Utley, a two-time All-Star, leads the National League with 537,788 votes, more than 100,000 votes higher than the next closest N.L. player. Utley, who has started every game this season, is tied for the Major League-high with 16 home runs. Lance Berkman of the Houston Astros has drawn 329,743 votes, placing him atop a star-studded first base race ahead of Albert Pujols (317,317) of the St. Louis Cardinals and Derrek Lee (283,515) of the Chicago Cubs. Berkman, a four-time N.L. All-Star, is batting .384 with 16 homers (tied for the M.L.-high), an N.L.-best 46 RBI and a M.L.-high 56 runs scored. Hanley Ramirez (268,386) of the Florida Marlins leads a tight race at shortstop, currently edging Miguel Tejada (256,613) of the Houston Astros and Jose Reyes (237,800) of the New York Mets. Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones has collected 420,664 votes, putting him nearly 100,000 votes ahead of the N.L.’s starter at the hot corner the last two years, David Wright (321,091) of the Mets. Jones is batting a Major League-best .418 with 12 home runs and 35 RBI.
The National League Central-leading Chicago Cubs have the most leaders with three – outfielders Alfonso Soriano and Kosuke Fukudome as well as catcher Geovany Soto – and have a player among the top four at every position. Soto, enjoying a stellar first full season behind the dish, has garnered 343,427 votes. Soriano, an All-Star in each of the last six seasons, has drawn 352,267 votes, while Fukudome is the next highest outfielder with 325,456. Third among N.L. outfielders with 300,230 votes is Cincinnati Reds star Ken Griffey, Jr., who has received the most votes in the history of Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game balloting program with 44,397,033.
Ryan Howard is fifth at 1b with 140,683
Jimmy Rollins is fifth at SS with 156,620
Pat Burrell is sixth in the OF with 220,596
Overrated: CB Asante Samuel. "He's good, but is he really that much better than a healthy Lito Sheppard? Some scouts think he freelanced too much in New England and he isn't a willing tackler. Good player, just not a great one.
Underrated: RB Brian Westbrook. He continues to be the only real weapon on offense, and yet he can't get to the Pro Bowl. The Eagles must have him getting 25 touches a game.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
at the Bernie Robbins Stadium in Atlantic City.
Canseco and Sikahema are scheduled for a press conference June 3 at Gary Barbera
Chryslerland/Jeepland (7810 Roosevelt) at 10:30 a.m.
For tickets, call Center Stage
Tickets at 800-677-8499.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
IBO and Ring Magazine World Junior Welterweight Champion Ricky Hatton lands right hand on his way to a unanimous decision win over challenger Juan Lazcano in front of over 55,000 fans at Manchester City Stadium in Manchester, England on May 24, 2008.
IBO and Ring Magazine World Junior Welterweight Champion Ricky Hatton poses after his unanimous decision win over challenger Juan Lazcano in front of over 55,000 fans at Manchester City Stadium in Manchester, England on May 24, 2008.
PHOTO CREDIT: Tom Hogan/Golden Boy Promotions.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
The Willie Watch is in full effect as the Mets blew a game to the lowly Rockies yesterday. Is it Randolph's fault that the Mets are struggling? We'll get into that and the possible replacements if Willie is canned.
Meanwhile, the Yankees have won three straight and are getting healthier. Mike Mussina takes the hill today as he tries to rebound from a pitiful performance against the Orioles earlier in the week. We'll discuss the turnaround and if it had anything to do with Joe Girardi getting tossed from Thursday's game. Also, the time is now as Joba Chamberlain continues his transition from bullpen to rotation. Do you agree with the move?
It's been a while since he's come on talk about how this is the year the Yanks won't make the playoffs, but today he gets his opportunity. ESPN.com's Rob Neyer joins the program at 6:30 to talk about everything baseball and his new book, "Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Legends: The Truth, the Lies, and Everything Else."
Also, joining the show is Eugene Robinson, who just came out with his new book,"Fight: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Ass-Kicking but Were Afraid You'd Get Your Ass Kicked for Asking." He'll talk about that and the fight card of tonight's UFC 84.
Celtics need to win a game at the Palace at Auburn Hills, while the San Antonio Spurs are staring another 0-2 series hole in the face. That and the Stanley Cup finals get underway tonight. Who's facing off and do you even care?
Join the program on WTBQ.com, calling in at (845) 651-1110, or writing an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Calathes, a 6-10 forward from Casselberry, Florida, had his best season as a Hawk last year, topping the team in scoring (17.5) and rebounding (7.5).
He was an Atlantic 10 All-Conference Firt Team selection and shared Big 5 Player of the Year honors with Mark Tyndale of Temple, who will also participate in the Pre-Draft Camp. Calathes was the Hawks' 2008 MVP and earned selection to the A-10 All-Championship Team as SJU advanced to the title game.
Earlier this spring, Calathes earned All-Tournament honors at the Portsmouth Invitational.
(Phanatic Magazine) - Very rarely am I one to agree with loud-mouthed athletes who just continuously feel the need to spout off at the jaw time and time again, but for once, even if it was years later, I can see where they are coming from.
Former Flyer Jeremy Roenick sparked a bit of a stir when he told fans who perceived NHL players as spoiled during the league’s lockout to no longer attend games or watch them on television.
Oh, his rant, which he later claimed was taken out of context, also included the line, “kiss my ass.”
In my humble opinion, those so-called “fans” were the same ones who hardly pay attention to the league, condemn its violent nature and plainly know nothing about the league itself.
So, I echo Roenick’s words to Michael Smerconish.
In a clueless and misinformed opinion article appearing on Philly.com Thursday, Smerconish of Big Talker 1210/AM attacks the violent nature of hockey, knowing full well that he is likely to be called a “wimp” or worse.
Not only is Smerconish’s article just plain laughable and lame in nature, but the content itself is weak compared to the Mike Wise’s article from the Washington Post in mid-April that drew such negative scorn from Philadelphia faithful.
Smerconish instantly destroys his credibility when he writes that he spent “many years away from the sport” after growing up a fan of the Broad Street Bullies, adding he only began watching the Flyers again this year during their playoff run due to the sudden interest his son had in the sport.
That’s like Dane Cook showing up at a local comedy club barking out orders on how to be funny. Sorry dude, nobody is listening.
Smerconish attacks the sport as barbaric with too many fights. He mentions the infamous I-95 bulletin board that was also referenced in Wise’s piece, not only failing to identify Riley Cote as the player on the board -- unlike Wise, who at least knew who he was writing about -- but also completely misses the point of “vengeance” being on the ad, something fans who endured the 2006-07 season completely get.
(He also slyly mentions he took a picture of the ad with his Blackberry, informing us readers that he is cool enough to have one.)
Smerconish’s argument seems to be based on one incident, a fight between Philly’s Scottie Upshall and Tyler Kennedy of Pittsburgh. Was it a brutal encounter? No. Was the overall series physical? Yes. Was it as bloody and fight-filled as it was thought it would be? Not even close.
Much like Green, Smerconish, born in Doylestown, is obviously oblivious to hockey. He claims to have been a big fan as a youth, but appears to have forgotten its lore to the public.
Hockey, you see, is the perfect combination of finesse and toughness on ice. Watch Washington’s Alex Ovechkin use brute force to create a scoring chance in one game or Pittsburgh’s Marian Hossa dance through the offensive zone around and between defenders before effortlessly directing the puck into the back of the net, then tell me different.
No, Smerconish is an idiot who wanted to stir the pot and get people talking about his opinion. Sure, I fell for it but I’m taking it beyond water-cooler talk.
Violence has, and always will have, a place in hockey. Even with the ridiculous instigator penalty, the players on the ice still can police themselves, cutting down on cheap hits and first-shot-wins sequences that plaque basketball, football and baseball.
Take baseball for example. Often, if a team seemingly hits an opposing player on purpose, both benches are warned. This prevents the other team from retaliating on its own terms, leads to festering rage and often culminates with high-intensity violence and brawls.
No so in hockey. If you have the stones or the stupidity to take liberties on the other team, you better be prepared to back it up.
So, to you Mr. Smerconish, kiss the NHL’s ass.
Michael Rushton can be reached at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
"Couple his fantastic experience in college wrestling with his dedication, power and brute strength and it's easy to see why many give Carlton a legitimate chance to make the difficult transition from football to MMA,'' said EliteXC president Gary Shaw. "But this is a tough fight for him. I'm really looking forward to watching all the fights on May 31. It's really going to be a historic, significant and memorable night of mixed martial arts.''
The Haselrig-Moreno preliminary fight is one of five that will be streamed live and for free at ProElite.com.
Following the undercard fights, the first-ever MMA event broadcast live in primetime will take place when "CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS'' debuts on the CBS Television Network at 9-p.m.-11 p.m. ET/PT.
Unbeaten sensation Kimbo Slice will be opposed by England's James "Colossus'' Thompson in the CBS main event.
According to Eckel, coach Andy Reid told Licht to “start looking for another job” before the draft, and was informed that he was done after the draft.
Licht, 37, was close to GM Tom Heckert but the pair reportedly had a falling out last season.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
MMA fighters, l-r, Robbie Lawler, Kimbo Slice, Gina Carano and Scott Smith at the CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS media day held at CBS Studio Center in Studio City, CA on Monday, May 19, 2008. Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2008 Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.
MMA fighter Kimbo Slice performs an open workout at the CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS media day held at CBS Studio Center in Studio City, CA on Monday, May 19, 2008.
Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2008 Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Dickerson was singed to the practice squad last Friday and He joins the Soul after being a member of the Cleveland Gladiators, where he played three games in 2008.
Dickerson accumulated five tackles and 2 1/2 sacks in Cleveland.
During his three-year AFL career, Dickerson has also been a member of the New York Dragons, Grand Rapids Rampage and the Orlando Storm. Dickerson played two seasons at the University of Tennessee before coming to the AFL
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
During Turner Network Television’s pre-game show before Game 7 of the New Orleans Hornets/San Antonio Spurs series, Barkley said the debt was paid and he was giving up his highly-publicized gambling addiction.
The Wynn resort alleged that Barkley failed to repay four $100,000 casino markers, or loans, received last October 18 and 19 in a civil complaint filed May 14 in Nevada state court.
Meanwhile, Clark County DA David Roger has promised to file a criminal complaint if Barkley doesn't settle the debt by June 9.
In addition to Evans, Athlon selected four Nittany Lions first team All-Big Ten: punter Jeremy Boone (Mechanicsburg), guard Rich Ohrnberger (East Meadow, N.Y), center A.Q. Shipley (Coraopolis) and kick returner A.J. Wallace (Waldorf, Md.), who also was selected to the third team as a cornerback.
Athlon selected three Nittany Lions second team All-Big Ten: PK Kevin Kelly (Langhorne), cornerback Lydell Sargeant (Lompoc, Calif.) and safety Anthony Scirrotto (West Deptford, N.J.).
Disgraced baseball star Jose Canseco has hooked up with local promoter Damon Feldman for a celebrity boxing event set for July 12 at Bernie Robbins Stadium in Atlantic City.Feldman is still Seeking a challenger to fight the juiced-up former A's star.
The chosen opponent will net $5,000 and those interested should e-mail email@example.com.
Canseco's opponent is scheduled to be revealed in Dan Gross' Philadelphia Daily News column next week.
No word on whether the New Jersey Athletic Commission plans to test Canseco. Tickets will be available through Center Stage, 800-677-8499.
New York: The 2007 Giants
Boston: The 2007 Red Sox
Chicago: The 2005 White Sox
Detroit: The 2004 Pistons
Miami: The 2003 Marlins
Denver: The 2001 Avalanche
Phoenix: The 2001 Diamondbacks
Dallas: The 1999 Stars
Atlanta: The 1995 Braves
San Francisco Bay Area: The 1995 49ers
Washington: The 1992 Redskins
Minneapolis/St.Paul: The 1991 Twins
The company declined to comment on what drugs were involved.
The owners unanimously exercised their option to terminate the agreement, which was set to expire in 2013.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Philadelphia, PA (The Phanatic Magazine) - The Soul waived defensive end Derrick Strong on Monday.
Strong appeared in five games with the team and tallied 7 1/2 tackles and one fumble recovery but was inactive for Philadelphia's win on Saturday against the Columbus Destroyers.
The Phanatic Magazine
After laying down my prediction for the first round against
Following Joffrey Lupul’s ascent into Flyers folklore on April 22, I never dreamed the club would win the following round against a supposedly superior opponent, and do it in such a spectacularly efficient and entertaining manner.
The course of the last 17 games reminded me of the first time the franchise climbed out of the doldrums and shocked the fan base back into a sense of confidence and entitlement.
Just like in mid-June 1995, when the Flyers bowed to the upset-minded New Jersey Devils in the conference finals after five seasons out of the playoffs, expectations for next season will be very lofty.
Unlike 1995 with Terry Murray at the helm, however, the Flyers do not have a head coach who can rise to the occasion and take the team to the mythical Next Level.
John Stevens was given the reins back in October 2006 in a win-win situation, taking a loose bunch of kids and castoffs and guiding them through the worst season in franchise history without the burden of expectation.
Now, though, these “kids” such as Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, Braydon Coburn, R.J. Umberger, Lupul, The dueling Scotts, Randy Jones and Lasse Kukkonen will find that they have become bona-fide veterans almost overnight.
Plus, the unnatural acceleration from worst in the league to one of the NHL’s final four in only one season demands an upgrade in leadership. They need a steadier, wiser, more experienced hand to guide them through what should be the next steps toward greatness. John Stevens is not the head coach who can do so.
Flyers fans can ask the question, “Doesn’t Stevens deserve a shot to stay with the team?”
I say, deserve’s got nothing to do with it.
The organization has demonstrated a pathological need to stick with people who have “paid their dues” and worked their way up to the top spot, instead of going for the brass ring and the coach who has the pedigree. You can blame the end of Mike Keenan’s tenure 20 years ago for that.
Like chairman Ed Snider once said during a long-ago rant on WIP, the name of the game is to win. W-I-N. Even the most ardent orange kool-aid drinker can figure out that promoting from within is not a guarantee of ultimate success.
Stevens has won a Calder Cup as a Phantoms head coach. But how well did that work out for Bill Barber? One of the main points stemming from the revelation of the 2002 playoff mutiny was that Barber failed to implement a plan beyond a basic framework. And I think this is what Stevens has shown he is incapable of providing.
Case in point is the listless way the club reacted during multiple home games, the most glaring times during the six-game skid and 10-game losing streaks.
Also notable was the careless way their tempo seemed to drift after opening up two-goal leads, the most egregious being Game 6 against Washington. You can’t say that Stevens and his coaching staff didn’t have ample time to work on altering a game plan based on evolving game situations.
If you look at the Penguins series, the difference between the clubs was not really size, or skill, or finishing ability, but the system in place.
During Games 1 and 2, the Flyers missed at least half a dozen loose pucks because Stevens’ system dictated his players back check immediately after giving up possession or on line changes and that limits overall puck awareness.
By Game 3, the gap was totally evident. Every time the Flyers tried a dump-and-chase or to work the puck towards the net, there was a Penguin skater already anticipating the play.
Naturally, with their backs to the wall in Game 4, the rigid plan went out the window. Forechecking pressure, passion and energy guided the team to a 3-0 first-period lead before a series-saving 4-2 win.
Unfortunately, the system returned in Game 5, and the Penguins gained two quick first-period goals and control of the game thanks to the Flyers sitting back and waiting for the game to come to them.
Steve Downie’s miscues? Don’t blame the player, blame the man who decided to put him into the lineup two games for which he made two killer series-turning, unforced mistakes. Failure to call valuable timeouts to regroup after the team got behind early in all but Game 4? Not the captain’s call.
Nothing in the wildly fluctuating regular season or the playoffs has given indication that Stevens can change, or even step back and see how his old ways need to be tweaked. He’s another in a long line of
As in 1985 and 1995, the growth spurt of the on-ice product has jumped beyond projections. The future is now and the front office must take the right step to ensure progress. The first step is to bid adieu to John Stevens.
Ron Wilson is available. So is Pat Burns and Bob Hartley.
Flyers faithful, sleep well for now and hold the memories of the last six weeks dearly. You’ll need to rest your vocal cords for the spate of off-season drama to come.
Just make sure you let it be known in the right circles that the success you crave for your team must include the hiring of a better head coach.
(The Phanatic Magazine) - When the Flyers missed their flight across the Keystone State and a listless group of impostors bowed out of the NHL playoffs in a 6-0 shellacking at the hands of the Pens, it was official -- Philadelphia has now suffered through 100 professional sports seasons without a championship.
It's a stunning accomplishment. For 25 years, management of all four professional teams in town share just one thing -- incompetence.
The Flyers are always the closest to ending the quarter-century of ineptitude for one simple reason -- they actually try.
Even when the Orange and Black ended 2006-07 as the worst team in all of hockey, I remained steadfast -- the Flyers were still the closest Philadelphia team to a championship.
Fast forward one year and that seems obvious.
The Phillies and Sixers have absolutely no interest in competing with the big boys, and your beloved Birds are too caught up in some warped sense of entitlement to be taken seriously.
That leaves the Flyers and they seem pretty darn close...I mean, they did reach the final four in the NHL.
Not so fast...it was folly to think the tough, gritty, overachieving Flyers would end the drought against the skilled Pens -- Stan Marsh's Park County Pee-Wee team had a better chance to knock off the Detroit Red Wings in Stanley's Cup.
The sad truth is the Flyers -- although they are the best team in town -- aren't really that close.
The organization is still living in the mid-70s, obsessed with the "Rocky mentality" their stereotypical fans love.
Unfortunately, that thought process comes at the expense of skill.
While the Penguins were playing the tic-tac-toe like hockey that the NHL is pushing, the Fly Boys were still ruminating about their love for "muckers" and "grinders," while dreaming of conspiracies hatched in Toronto.
The sad truth is that the NHL changed and the Ed Snider-led Flyers are stuck in neutral, longing for the days of The Hammer and The Hound.
So, while the Flyers can bask in the mythical title of "Best Team in Town," they still have a long way to go before raising the Stanley Cup.
Enjoy the second century.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Timonen will make his first appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals having missed the last four games with a blood clot.
Through the first two rounds, Timonen was leading the Flyers in ice time, averaging 24:55 per game.
Coburn will miss his third game of the series after sustaining a facial injury early in Game 2.
Don't expect that to change.
"If [UFC President Dana White] learns to shut his mouth and learns to respect me there is a possibility [I would return]," Ortiz said. "[He needs to] give a public apology for the things that he has done... I want to go with a company that is going to respect me and see me as the champion
"I am and the ambassador that I am of the sport and not really downplay me or disrespect me on television or anything else."
"Tito is a fucking idiot. He's one of the dumbest human beings I've ever met. Everything that comes out of his mouth makes no sense."
"I put up with his shit when he was a good fighter," White added. "He's not anymore. I have no interest whatsoever in being in the Tito Ortiz business. I've never wanted to see anyone get their ass kicked worse than I want to see Tito get his kicked next Saturday night."
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Meanwhile, Braydon Coburn is still a question mark..
“Right now, I'm just kind of dealing with some things with the eye and stuff like that,” Coburn said. “So, every day it's been getting better. Tomorrow we're reevaluating it again.”
The Soul (10-2), playing without star quarterback Tony Graziani and four key defenders -- defensive end Bryan Save, linebacker Rod Davis and defensive backs Mike Brown and Brian Mance, snapped a two-game skid and remained perfect at home (6-0).
Matt D'Orazio completed 19-of-23 passes for 284 yards and seven touchdowns, while Chris Jackson had five receptions for 80 yards and three TDs, surpassing Eddie Brown for second on the all-time AFL TD receptions list.
Larry Brackins added eight catches for 127 yards and two scores.
Former Delaware star Matt Nagy connected on 23-of-35 passes for 308 yards and three TDs for the defending National Conference champion Destroyers (2-9), who dropped their fifth straight game.
Calvin Russell had six receptions for 125 yards for Columbus and C.J. Johnson had five for 61 yards and two TDs.
With the game deadlocked at 28, the Soul received a scare when D'Orazio left for a play after his bell was rung. The QB returned, however, and hit Brackins on a seven-yard slant to make it a 35-28 game with 4:40 left in the third quarter.
Philadelphia then finally carved out some breathing room when All-AFL defensive end Gabe Nyenhuis got loose on a stunt and sacked Nagy in the end zone for a safety, giving the Soul a 37-28 edge and the football.
D'Orazio then quickly hooked up with Jackson on a 26-yard corner route for a TD and all of a sudden Philadelphia had a 44-28 advantage with 1:03 left in the third.
A miraculous Nagy TD pass to Derek Lee early in the fourth quarter put the Destroyers back in the game. The Delaware product threw the ball across his body and to the middle of the field while being crushed by both Anthony Dunn and Kevin Carberry. Somehow it found Lee and Columbus was down by just nine points, 44-35, with 11:48 left.
Any Destroyers momentum was quickly stymied just over three minutes later when D'Orazio found the 322-pound Phil Bogle on a brilliant slip-screen for a 21-yard score.
The Destroyers weren't about to go down easily and made it a one-possession game, 51-43, when Johnson made a leaping TD grab and Russell followed with a two-point conversion with 4:37 left.
The Soul responded by using a series of short, high-percentage passes that siphoned time off the clock, moved them slowly down the field and forced Columbus to burn its remaining timeouts.
After D'Orazio found a wide open Brent Holmes in the right flat, the Destroyers were forced to use their final timeout with 1:16 on the clock and the game belonged to Philadelphia after D'Orazio kneeled down twice to seal things.
The Philadelphia defense came out on fire and forced Mark Lewis to miss a 46-yard field goal on the Destroyers' first possession. Consecutive sacks by Dunn and Justin Cleveland forced the long kick and gave the Soul a chance to light up the scoreboard first.
D'Orazio needed little time before hitting Jackson for a seven-yard score with just over eight minutes to go in the opening quarter.
Columbus answered with a methodical drive, capped by a one-yard Harold Wells TD run. The ensuing PAT failed, however, when holder Justin Zwick couldn't handle a shaky snap from Howard Duncan and the Destroyers trailed 7-6 heading to the second quarter.
Philadelphia drove all the way to the Columbus three before a D'Orazio fumble and a false start penalty bogged things down. Soul coach Bret Munsey made the call to let Connor Hughes attempt a 28-yard field goal that went wide right, giving the Destroyers an opportunity to take their first lead.
Nagy cashed in by hooking up with Johnson on a 20-yard score, putting Columbus on top 13-7 with under six minutes to go in the half.
The Destroyers lead didn't last long as D'Orazio went deep down the left sideline to find a streaking Jackson for a 32-yard score. The TD was Jackson's 35th of the year and 304th of his career, surpassing Brown for second on the all-time AFL list.
The see-saw action continued when Nagy took it in himself from a yard out and Wells followed by converting a two-point conversion to give the Destroyers a 21-14 edge with 33.3 seconds left before intermission.
Rob Keefe bumbled the ensuing kickoff forcing D'Orazio and Company to go 49 yards in the remaining time. Brackins was up to the task, taking a hitch pass and breaking a tackle, before racing 43 yards to the end zone and deadlocking things at 21 with 19.3 ticks remaining.
A major facemask penalty on Sean Scott gave Columbus an extra play at the end of the half but Lewis came up empty from 28 yards out, keeping things even.
The Soul took the opening kickoff in the second half and went back in front when D'Orazio found Holmes, who was signed earlier in the week, for a 18-yard TD.
The Destroyers matched Philly on their opening possession of the half thanks to a six-yard TD run by Rasheed Marshall.
Soul Food: Damian Harrell is the AFL TD reception king with 312...Glen Gauntt, who was signed earlier in the week, replaced D'Orazio for one play in the third quarter...Jackson also passed Eddie Brown for fourth place on the all-time AFL reception list with 952...Philadelphia is 6-4 all-time versus Columbus...
Gatineau Olympiques forward Claude Giroux received the Guy Lafleur Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the 2008 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Playoffs.
“Claude has had an outstanding season,” said Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren. “With the World Junior gold medal for Canada and now his run with Gatineau to the Memorial Cup, it has been great to see his development.”
Giroux, 20, recorded 17 goals and 34 assists for 51 points and six penalty minutes in 19 games as Gatineau captured the President Cup Trophy as QMJHL champions. His 51 points and 34 assists led the QMJHL and he set a new team record for most points in a playoff year. He finished tied for second in the league in goals with 17.
A native of Hearst, Ontario, Giroux was named to the QMJHL First All-Team, after posting 106 points (38G,68A) in 55 regular season games. He led Gatineau in assists (68, tied for second in the QMJHL), points (106, second in the QMJHL), plus/minus (+40, third in the QMJHL), game-winning goals (8, tied for fifth in the QMJHL) and shorthanded goals (6, third in the QMJHL). He tied for first on the team in goals with 38 (tied for 13th in the QMJHL) and was named Olympiques’ Offensive Player of the Month for September, November and February/March.
Giroux was scoreless in two games for the Flyers this season after being recalled from Gatineau on February 22.
He posted six points (2G,4A) in seven games as a member of the gold-medal winning Canadian National Team at the 2008 IIHF World Under-20 Championships in Paradubice and Liberec, Czech Republic, was a member of the QMJHL Team at 2007 ADT Canada-Russia Challenge and of Team Canada at 2007 Canada/Russia Super Series, posting eight points (3G,5A) in eight games.
Giroux was drafted by the Flyers in the first round (22nd overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.
(The Phanatic Magazine) - A day after placing starting wide receiver Kenny Henderson on injured reserve for the second time this season, the Soul have signed veteran receiver Brent Holmes.
After posting a game-high eight catches for 156 yards and three touchdowns during the season opener in 2008, Holmes was waived by the Georgia Force and later picked up by the Tampa Bay Storm, where he played in four regular season games.
Holmes then joined the Grand Rapids Rampage practice squad before being signed by the Soul.
Holmes played in one regular season game in 2007 and also in the National Conference Championship Game for the Force where he recorded nine catches for 89 yards along with 76 kickoff return yards.
Before joining the Force in 2007 Holmes was a member of the Green Bay Blizzard of af2. In 2004 Holmes played his only year in the Indoor Football League for the Corpus Christie Hammerheads.
Holmes also attended college at Texas A&M Kingsville where he was the teammate of current Soul defensive back Eddie Moten.
The Soul also signed defensive lineman Mondre Dickerson to the practice squad on Friday.
Dickerson joins the Soul after being a member of the Cleveland Gladiators where he played three games in 2008. Dickerson accumulated five tackles, 2 1/2 sacks as well as a pass defended.
During his three year career in the AFL, Dickerson has been a member of the New York Dragons, Grand Rapids Rampage and the Orlando Storm.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
(The Phanatic Magazine) - The Soul placed wide receiver Kenny Henderson on injured reserve Thursday with a broken collarbone.
Henderson suffered the injury while hauling in a touchdown with 12:17 left in the third quarter of the team's 63-62 loss to the Georgia Force on Monday. He finished the game with eight catches for 83 yards and two touchdowns.
The game was Henderson’s first since returning off the injured reserve with the same injury. He initially suffered the broken collarbone in the season-opener against Orlando when he landed awkwardly on his shoulder in the second quarter, again during a touchdown catch.
Henderson’s season ends with 10 receptions for 122 yards with three touchdowns.
He arrived in Philadelphia in the offseason after posting 75 catches for 895 yards with 18 touchdowns in his rookie season with the New Orleans VooDoo last year.
In other AFL news, the league's board of directors unanimously approved the use of instant replay as an officiating tool for the 2008 playoffs. It marks the first time in the AFL’s 22-season history that instant replay will be used.
"The coach's ability to challenge a call on the field that could ultimately decide the outcome of a game is not only great for the game, but is also great for the fans," said Dallas Desperados CEO Shy Anderson, who also serves as chairman of the AFL rules and competition committee. "We are able to make this happen because of the great partnership that we have with the leader in sports broadcasting -- ESPN. We are extremely proud that the AFL continues to improve its game for the fans where possible."
Each coach will have a total of two challenges per game that can be used at anytime during regulation. An additional challenge will be granted if the game requires overtime. Challenges remaining from regulation will not roll over into overtime.
Coaches will be equipped with a red challenge flag to be thrown on the field to alert officials that they wish to challenge a play. No play may be challenged after the ensuing play has begun.
Reviewable plays include: scoring, change of possession, fan interference and, at the referee’s discretion, game administration.
Once a review begins, the referee will have 90 seconds to determine whether the call on the field will be upheld or if there is "indisputable visual evidence" to overturn it.
Use of instant replay will be conducted throughout the playoffs beginning on Friday, June 27 and culminating with ArenaBowl XXII on Sunday, July 27.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Hansen (6-foot-6, 220) threw for 4,277 yards and 19 TDs during his two-year career at Norfolk State, where he led the MEAC in 2006 with 2,166 yards. He was a second-team All-Foothill Conference performer as a sophomore in 2005 at Chaffey Junior College in Rancho Cucamongo, CA, after transferring from Colorado State.
Butler (6-foot-1, 235) registered 69 tackles, 12 sacks, and four forced fumbled in his senior season at California (PA), earning PSAC West Defensive Player of the Year honors and leading the Vulcans to a 13-1 record.
Staffieri (6-foot-3, 232) recorded 54 tackles and one sack during his senior season at BYU and finished his four-year career with the Cougars with 132 tackles and two sacks.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
(The Phanatic Magazine) - Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn will not play in Game 3 of Eastern Conference finals against Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
Coburn left in the first period of his team's 4-2 loss to Pittsburgh in Game 2 on Sunday, after a puck hit him in the face.
Just 1:51 into the game, a blast from the point in Philadelphia's end ramped off the stick of Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin and into the left side of Coburn's head.
On Monday, Philadelphia general manager Paul Holmgren stated that there were no fractures and that the defenseman is doing better, but that the eye is swollen shut. Coburn received more than 50 stitches to close the wound.
Rookie defenseman Ryan Parent will be in the lineup in Coburn's place. Head coach John Stevens indicated that Parent might be paired with team captain Jason Smith.
Philadelphia is already without star defenseman Kimmo Timonen, who will miss the entire series after being diagnosed with a blood clot in his left leg.
The Flyers trail the best-of-seven series, two games to none.
(The Phanatic Magazine) - Seattle SuperSonics swingman Kevin Durant, the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year, and Atlanta Hawks big man Al Horford headlined the NBA's All-Rookie team, announced on Tuesday.
Horford, the runner-up to Durant for Rookie of the Year honors, was the only unanimous selection on the team, receiving 58 points, while Durant compiled 57.
Horford averaged nearly a double-double during his freshman season, turning in 10.1 points and 9.7 rebounds, while Durant led all rookies in scoring at 20.3 points per game.
"This year's rookie class is loaded with talent, so making the All-Rookie First Team is a great accomplishment," said Horford. "This honor adds to the successful season my teammates and I just experienced, and I look forward to seeing our team build on this in the future."
Houston's Luis Scola, the Los Angeles Clippers' Al Thornton and Seattle's Jeff Green rounded out the first team.
The NBA All-Rookie Second Team consisted of Jamario Moon of the Toronto Raptors, Memphis' Juan Carlos Navarro, The Sixers' Thaddeus Young, Detroit's Rodney Stuckey and Houston's Carl Landry.
This past season, Young appeared in 74 games, averaging 8.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 0.99 steals in 21.0 minutes per game.
He started 22 of the final 38 games, averaging 10.6 points and 5.0 rebounds in those starts. Young also started all six games for Philadelphia in the playoffs, averaging 10.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.17 steals in 26.7 minutes per game.
"On behalf of the 76ers, we want to congratulate Thaddeus on earning this recognition," said general manager Ed Stefanski. "The progress that Thaddeus made during the course of his first NBA season reflects not only the talent he possesses, but also his disciplined work ethic and determination to succeed."
Young joins Andre Iguodala as just the second Sixers' rookie to be named to an All-Rookie team dating back to the 1998-99 season. Iguodala earned First Team honors in 2004-05.
The voting panel consisted of the NBA's 30 head coaches, who were asked to select five players for the first team and five players for the second team, regardless of position.
The coaches were not permitted to vote for players on their own team. Two points were awarded for first team votes and one for second team votes.
(The Phanatic Magazine) - Former New England Patriots employee Matt Walsh met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for over three hours on Tuesday to discuss what he knows about the team's videotaping practices.
Walsh sent the NFL eight tapes showing that the team recorded play-calling signals by coaches of five opponents over six games between 2000 and 2002.
However, the tapes did not include video of the St. Louis Rams' walkthrough practice prior to Super Bowl XXXVI, which Walsh had been rumored to possess.
The taping of such signals is in violation of league rules.
After the meeting, the NFL played the tapes Walsh provided. The clips cut from shots of opposing coaches giving signals to the ensuing play and didn't show any new rules violations.
"(Walsh) was responsive and well prepared," Goodell said at a press conference after the meeting. "The fundamental information that Matt provided was consistent with what we disciplined the Patriots for last fall."
Last year, a New England employee was caught videotaping New York Jets coaches during the 2007 season opener.
Pats head coach Bill Belichick was fined $500,000, and the team was fined $250,000 and forfeited its first-round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft for that indiscretion.
Goodell had suggested that further evidence could lead to additional penalties to both Belichick and the franchise.
Walsh's lawyer, Michael Levy, told the New York Times earlier that his client did not have a tape of the St. Louis walkthrough despite a report in the Boston Herald the day before this year's Super Bowl that cited an anonymous source who said such a tape does exist.
The Patriots and the NFL both denied reports of the alleged taping of the Rams walkthrough. New England upset St. Louis in Super Bowl XXXVI.
Walsh confirmed that saying he had no knowledge of anybody with the Patriots taping the Rams' final walkthrough before the Super Bowl, according to Goodell.
Walsh did not comment after the meeting, quickly leaving the NFL offices to travel to Washington to meet with Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) -- who has been steadfast in his public criticism of Goodell and the NFL for destroying previous evidence handed over to the league by the Patriots.
Specter met with Goodell in February after raising the possibility of congressional hearings if he wasn't satisfied with the commissioner's handling of the investigation.
"Mr. Walsh is pleased that he's had the opportunity to assist the National Football League in its investigation regarding the Patriots' videotaping practices," Walsh's attorney Michael Levy said after exiting the meeting with Goodell.
"As all of you know, Senator Specter has been waiting quite a while to speak with Mr. Walsh as well. Out of respect to Senator Specter, we're going to proceed immediately to his office in Washington, D.C. and we'll have no further comment until after we have a chance to speak with Senator Specter."
Walsh, who is now a golf pro in Hawaii, was fired by the Patriots in January 2003 for allegedly tape-recording a conversation with vice president of player personnel Scott Pioli.
Goodell did reveal two other possible violations by the Patriots revealed at the meeting, but neither is considered serious.
Walsh indicated there was a player on injured reserve that practiced, which violates NFL rules, and that a few Patriots players illegally scalped their Super Bowl tickets.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; May 13, 2008 -- Penn State defensive end Maurice Evans (Brooklyn, N.Y.) has been named to the Watch List for the 2008 Bronko Nagurski Trophy, presented to the nation’s top defensive player.
Former Nittany Lion All-America defensive end Tamba Hali was a finalist for the 2005 Nagurski Trophy and former All-Americans LaVar Arrington and Courtney Brown were among the finalists for the 1999 honor.