@FakeWIPCaller's Ten Best (And Ten Worst) Philadelphia Sports Moments of 2013

@FakeWIPCaller's Ten Best (And Ten Worst) Philadelphia Sports Moments of 2013

The year 2013 got off to a pretty good start for Philadelphia sports fans, with the firing on New Years' Eve of Andy Reid. Unfortunately, nothing else good happened for quite awhile, with the Phillies, Sixers and Flyers all turning in awful seasons. It was another year without a local championship, just like all of them except for '80, '83 and '08.

But there were happy developments too, even a few that didn't involve Nick Foles. Here are the ten best and ten worst things that happened in local sports this year:

Best:

1. That Flyers line brawl, in which Ray Emery skated the length of the ice in order to deck the Capitals' goalie, hereby kicking off one of the best weeks in Philadelphia sports history. Emery should never have to buy a drink in this town again.

2. Chip Kelly's appearance at Wing Bowl. Sure, the season itself has been pretty exciting, too. But wasn't that just awesome?

3. Nick Foles' emergence as the best Eagles quarterback ever, or at least since Jeff Garcia.

4. Riley Cooper's complete and total redemption. After all those touchdowns, no one can ever say a bad word about him again.

5. No longer in Philadelphia: Andy Reid, Andrew Bynum, Nnamdi Asomugha,  Ilya Bryzgalov, Jason Babin, Juan Castillo, JIm Washburn, Delmon Young, Kwame Brown.

6. The Sixers finally discovered, years too late, that you have to lose to win.

7. The Redskins and Giants both suffered major, highly embarrassing franchise collapses. Your turn, Cowboys.

8. Chase Utley finally wrote back to Mac.

9. Bernie Parent's surprising emergence as America's leading sex advice columnist.

10. This.

And the worst:

1. The Eagles retiring Donovan McNabb's number. A.J. Feeley was much more deserving.

2. Sam Hinkie's outrageous refusal to give talk radio interviews during the offseason.

3. Sports Illustrated putting Nick Foles on the cover. It's like they're trying to destroy us on purpose.

4. The Sixers hiring a new coach without even considering Allen Iverson.

5. Ilya Bryzgalov giving an interview in which he praised Stalin and, even worse, criticized Philadelphia.

6. The Phillies, continuing to hang on to their own expensive veteran players and not even lifting a finger to sign away other teams' expensive veteran players.

7. Philadelphia was rejected as the host city for Wrestlemania in 2015, because apparently we're "not friendly enough." For Wrestlemania.

8. Nick Foles narrowly lost out to Pope Francis for Time's Person of the Year.

9. Cary Williams on sconses.

10. Cary Williams on the field.

Other Philly sports takes:

- Awesome win for the Eagles Sunday night against the Bears. But it's concerning to me that they couldn't get to 60 points. I'm afraid that might come back to bite them.

- I hear Festivus was earlier in the week, although for me, every day is the Airing of the Grievances.

- Comcast this week showed Ruben Amaro talking on his BlackBerry. Yes, he still uses a BlackBerry.

- Welcome, Josh Innes. Looking forward to speaking with you.

Merry Christmas, everyone! It's the one week out of the year when Santa Claus isn't associated primarily with irate Eagles fans.

Follow @FakeWIPCaller on Twitter.

NHL Playoffs: Penguins beat Senators in 2OT of Game 7 to reach Stanley Cup Final

NHL Playoffs: Penguins beat Senators in 2OT of Game 7 to reach Stanley Cup Final

BOX SCORE

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins are heading back to the Stanley Cup Final.

Chris Kunitz beat Craig Anderson 5:09 into the second overtime to give the defending champions a 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final Thursday night.

Kunitz scored twice, his first two of the playoffs. Justin Schultz added the other in his return from an upper-body injury, and Matt Murray stopped 28 shots on his 23rd birthday.

The Penguins are trying to become the first team since the Detroit Red Wings in 1998 to win back-to-back titles. They will host Western Conference champion Nashville in Game 1 on Monday night.

Mark Stone and Ryan Dzingel scored for Ottawa. The Senators rallied twice to tie it, with Dzingel making it 2-2 with 5:19 left in regulation.

Craig Anderson made 39 saves, but couldn't get a handle on Kunitz's shot from just outside the left circle. The Senators are 0-6 in Game 7s in franchise history.

The Senators forced a return trip to Pittsburgh -- where they lost 7-0 loss in Game 5 on Sunday -- by leaning heavily on Anderson in a 2-1 Game 6 victory, putting both teams at odds with history.

Ottawa came in 0-for-25 years in winner-take-all games, while the Penguins were 0-7 in Game 7s at home in series in which they also dropped Game 6.

Ottawa coach Guy Boucher told his resilient team to not get caught up in the big picture but instead focus on the small ones, a recipe that carried the Senators throughout a bumpy transition under their first-year head coach to the brink of the franchise's second Cup appearance.

The Penguins, trying to become the first defending champion to return to the finals since Detroit in 2009, came in confident they would advance if they could replicate their dominant Game 6, when they were undone only by Anderson's brilliance.

Pittsburgh has been nearly unflappable in the face of adversity under Mike Sullivan, going 12-2 in playoff games following a loss over the last two springs. He encouraged his team to "just play," code for fighting through Ottawa's neutral zone-clogging style and the bumping, grabbing and pulling that comes along with it.

A chance to play for their sport's ultimate prize on the line, the sheets of open ice the Penguins found so easily in Games 4-6 closed up. For most of the first 30 minutes, loose pucks hopped over sticks to spoil some scoring opportunities while Anderson and Murray gobbled up the rest.

Kunitz, relegated to the fourth line since returning from injury in the second round, picked up his first postseason goal in a calendar year when he completed a two-on-one with Conor Sheary -- a healthy scratch in Games 5 and 6 -- by slipping the puck by Anderson 9:55 into the second period.

The momentum lasted all of 20 seconds. Ottawa responded immediately with Stone -- who stretched his left skate to stay onside -- fired a wrist shot that handcuffed Murray.

Pittsburgh kept coming. Schultz, returning after missing four games with an upper-body injury, zipped a shot from the point through Kunitz's screen and into the net with 8:16 left in the third.

Once again, the Penguins could not hold the lead. Dzingel set up at the right post and banged home a rebound off Erik Karlsson's shot that hit the left post and caromed off Murray's back right to Dzingel's stick.

Notes
The home team is 21-20 in overtime Game 7s in NHL playoff history. ... Pittsburgh F Patric Hornqvist skated during warmups, but was held out of the lineup for a sixth straight game with an upper-body injury. ... Karlsson had 16 assists in the playoffs to set a team record. ... The Penguins are 10-7 in Game 7s. ... It was the fifth one-goal game of the series.

Howie Kendrick hit by pitch twice, removed from rehab start at Triple A

Howie Kendrick hit by pitch twice, removed from rehab start at Triple A

Howie Kendrick experienced a painful rehab start on Thursday night.

Rehabbing with Triple A Lehigh Valley, Kendrick was hit by a pitch twice before being removed after the sixth inning of the IronPigs' 8-4 loss to Indianapolis at Coca-Cola Park.

Both times Kendrick was plunked in the upper left arm, according to Tom Housenick of the Morning Call.

There was no update on if Kendrick was injured or taken out for precautionary reasons. Thursday marked Kendrick's second rehab start as he recovers from an oblique strain that has sidelined him since April 15.

The Phillies' leftfielder started at third base Thursday. At the beginning of his rehab assignment, Kendrick was expected to play four games and see time at third and first base, as well as in left field.

Kendrick made a throwing error at third on Thursday and finished 0 for 1 with a run scored. In his two games, he's 0 for 3 with two strikeouts.

Kendrick hit .333 with four doubles, a triple and five RBIs in 10 games with the Phillies prior to landing on the DL.

When he returns, he could see time at third base instead of left field if Maikel Franco continues to struggle (see story).