The Reading Phillies Are Now the Reading Fightin Phils, Mascot Is an Ostrich for Some Reason

The Reading Phillies Are Now the Reading Fightin Phils, Mascot Is an Ostrich for Some Reason

After 46 years, the Reading Phillies are no more. Philadelphia’s
Class AA affiliate unveiled the end result of its re-branding process to
anxious fans on Saturday. Say hello to the Reading Fightin Phils.

The Fightin Phils moniker should ease some of the angst over
the name change at least, as it does further the franchise’s long-standing ties
with the Phillies organization. Then again, the ostrich is an odd choice to
represent the city.

As you can see, the logo depicts the gangly bird engaged in fisticuffs. It’s a nod to the popular “Crazy Hot Dog Vendor” who runs
around the field throwing hot dogs into the seats between innings. The
character wears a costume that makes it appear he is riding an ostrich.

The goal is to appeal to kids according to general manager
Scott Hunsicker, via the Reading Eagle’s Mike Drago.

"Our main impetus (in the rebrand) was that we felt the
Reading Phillies (logo) didn't speak to kids," Hunsicker said. "It
was a word. We've got to speak to the children of our community; we've got to
engage them, and kids really latch onto animals.

Damn words. Kids don’t want to read. They want to pet cuddly
animals. Like ostriches…

The re-branding also includes eight new uniforms which use
varying forms of the ostrich and feathered lettering from the logo, or the Baseballtown
signage complete with Bunbino, which Drago describes as an “angry hot-dog figure.”

Fans were staunchly opposed to the changes prior to the
reveal. The Reading Phillies resonates in the area perhaps as much or more
than the Reading Railroad or Reading Outlets. The Fightin Phils breaks from
that tradition, but only slightly.

While unnecessary, none of these alternations truly detracts from
the experience at the ballpark. People will get used to the name and logo over time, no
matter how ridiculous both may seem.

>> R-Phils become Reading Fightin Phils [R-Phils.com]
>> New baseball name in town: Reading Fightin Phils [Eagle]

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Temple cracks Top 25 in final CFP rankings, will play in Military Bowl

ap-temple.jpg
The Associated Press

Temple cracks Top 25 in final CFP rankings, will play in Military Bowl

After winning its first American Athletic Conference championship Saturday, Temple learned its postseason fate Sunday and it does not involve a New Year's Six bowl game.

The Owls will play in the Military Bowl on Dec. 27 in Annapolis, Maryland. Their opponent will be announced at 4 p.m. Temple also finished No. 24 in the final College Football Playoff rankings and No. 23 in the AP poll.

At 10-3, Temple has its first back-to-back 10-win season in program history. It's also the first time the Owls have been ranked in consecutive seasons. Head coach Matt Rhule now has 28 wins as Temple's head coach, tying him with Bruce Arians' for the sixth-most in school history.

Flyers-Predators 5 things: Going for longest win streak since 2014

Flyers-Predators 5 things: Going for longest win streak since 2014

Flyers (13-10-3) at Predators (11-8-4)
6 p.m. on CSN and CSNPhilly.com

The Flyers have won a season-high four games in a row. They'll try to make it five Sunday night when they visit the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena for the second game of a back-to-back set.

Let's take a look at five things you need to know.

1. Streaking like 2014?
Not only do the Flyers have a chance to extend their season-best winning streak, but they're also looking to win their most consecutive games since March 15-22, 2014, when they also won five straight.

The Flyers have put up strong showings in the back ends of back-to-backs, going 4-1-1 thus far.

“You just have to have the work ethic night in and night out," Steve Mason said Saturday after the Flyers' 3-1 win over the Blackhawks. "And, I think we were struggling to find that. There are games when we were swarming and giving teams no other option, and other nights we were chasing the puck.

"We have another tough test going to Nashville to play. So, we’re going to have to follow up with another great effort.” 

2. A Provorov encore?
Ivan Provorov's confidence has to be at his highest of the season.

In Saturday's win, the 19-year-old blueliner scored two goals in a 31-second span to double his goal total through the first 25 games.

Provorov said he thinks defense first, but the offensive production is a good sign.

“Score one goal in a game, it’s a good feeling. Score two in one shift, it’s unbelievable,” Provorov said.

“Every time you score, it’s like a confidence booster."

3. Predators finding stride
After losing eight of their first 11 games, Peter Laviolette's Predators have gotten on track, going 8-3-1 since.

Nashville ranks in the top half of the league in goals per game (3.00 — tied for fifth), goals against per game (2.61 — 15th), power-play percentage (22.6 — sixth) and penalty-kill percentage (84.5 — 10th).

Last time out, the Predators blew a 4-1 lead in the third period for a 5-4 overtime loss to the Devils on Saturday, so they should be extra focused.

4. Keep an eye on ...
Flyers: On Saturday, Brayden Schenn scored just his second goal in his past 18 games. Schenn can be streaky so maybe he feeds off that goal. He's also a career plus-4 against the Predators, with two goals and three assists in eight games.

Predators: Let's go P.K. Subban, who isn't exactly a favorite among Flyers fans. He's off to a nice start in his first season in Nashville with six goals and 10 assists, and eight points (three goals, five assists) in his last eight games.

5. This and that
• Flyers goalie Steve Mason is 7-7-5 with a 2.42 goals-against average and .916 save percentage in 20 career games against the Predators.

• Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne is 3-2-2 with a 2.91 goals-against average and .906 save percentage in seven career games against the Flyers.

• Claude Giroux is four assists away from passing Rick MacLeish (369) and Eric Lindros (369) for fifth on the Flyers’ all-time list.