Eagles as West Bromwich Albion? This "Pick Your Team" Thing Goes the Other Way, Too

Eagles as West Bromwich Albion? This "Pick Your Team" Thing Goes the Other Way, Too

Screen shot from The Guardian.

The Union are on a bye week. Their playoff hopes, which seemed so promising less than a month ago, are now gasping for air in the deepest portion of the Delaware River.

The only thing positive that came out of Saturday night's 1-0 loss to Houston was my nearly 2-year-old son's initiation into Lot A tailgating (he's a big fan of pretzels and breaking into people's cars). Our fearless leader summed up the only real noteworthy play from the game -- a disallowed Union goal that should have counted. So says no less than the head of professional soccer refereeing in America.

The team still seems to be harping on the disallowed goal, which was, admittedly, a major kick to the gut. But they're also ignoring the complete lack of offensive creativity, midfield pressure, or set-piece defending. Whatever the reasons, they need to figure them out over the last five games if they have any intention of making the playoffs. And make no mistake, while this was never a title-contending team, missing a playoff berth would classify as a massive collapse and disappointment.

But we have more than a week until the Union's next must-win game-that-they'll-probably-lose. And with Big Red back in town tonight, I point you toward an interesting article from across the pond.

Remember when I tried to help you pick a Premier League squad back in August? Of course, I wasn't the only one with that idea (I hope you stayed away from last-place Sunderland).

And as it turned out, the idea spread across the pond a few weeks ago, where The Guardian tried to help Brits choose an NFL team to support. First, on the Eagles:

West Brom – Philadelphia Eagles

After Peter Odemwingie (now at Cardiff) returned to the club after his botched deadline day attempt to leave for QPR failed, Baggies team-mate Steven Reid took umbridge and squared up to him in training. Only this week, Eagles' wide receiver Riley Cooper and cornerback Cary Williams were involved in a similar piece of tomfoolery.

First of all, they had to pick the racist guy to use as an example? Really? Although, I have to give them props for use of the word "tomfoolery." I just wished they used one of my favorite British terms -- calling a fight a "row" (pronounced like "cow").

After the first week weeks of the Chip Kelly offense, I stick to my Swansea City comparison -- a team that won't win a title but is a lot of fun to watch.

As for the other comparisons in the article, I agree with the Liverpool/Cowboys note (not sure Ed Snider would approve that spelling of "organization").

Liverpool – Dallas Cowboys

A famous organisation supported all over the world, and the similarities don't stop there. The last time Liverpool won the league title was in 1990 while Dallas' wait for a Super Bowl stretches back to the 1995 season.

Both still possess very expectant supporters, though, despite their shortcomings in recent years.

Finally, the one that makes no real sense: Tottenham and Kansas City. Not only is there no real connection, Andy Reid is far better looking than Spurs' supposed heartthrob manager Andre Villas-Boas.

Screen shot from The Guardian.

>> Which team should I pick? Sportsmail compares the NFL with the Premier League [The Guardian]

Sixers' game vs. Kings rescheduled for Jan. 30

Sixers' game vs. Kings rescheduled for Jan. 30

The NBA has determined a new date for the Sixers home game against the Kings, which was postponed on Nov. 30 because of unsafe playing conditions on the court.

The game has been rescheduled for Monday, Jan. 30 at 6 p.m. This will create back-to-backs for both teams.

The Sixers are playing in Chicago on Jan. 29. They will play consecutive games against the Bulls and Kings, then have a road back-to-back against the Mavericks and Spurs on Feb. 1 and 2.

The Kings will be on what is now an eight-game road trip. They will play a back-to-back against the Rockets the next night in Houston.

Former Flyers coach Bill Dineen dies at 84

The Associated Press

Former Flyers coach Bill Dineen dies at 84

Bill Dineen, who had the distinction of being Eric Lindros’ first NHL coach, died early Saturday morning at his home in Lake George, New York. He was 84.
“Such a wonderful person, who got along with everybody,” Flyers president Paul Holmgren said. “I never played for him, but worked with him in scouting. Just a great guy.” 
Dineen succeeded Holmgren as head coach during the 1991-92 season.
“When I got fired, a lot of our guys were squeezing their sticks,” Holmgren said. “They were tight. It shouldn’t be hard to play the game. When things got tough, they were a little under stress, Billy coming in, he loosened things up.”
Dineen coached parts of two seasons here from 1991-92 through the 1992-93 season, which was Lindros’ first year as a Flyer.
“Bill treated everyone with the utmost respect,” Holmgren said. “He was the perfect guy for Eric coming in here. That respect goes both ways. He was almost a grandfatherly figure for Eric at the time.”

Dineen served as a scout with the organization from 1990-91 until succeeding Holmgren as coach. He then returned to a scouting role in 1993-94 and remained with the Flyers as a scout through 1996-97.
Mark Howe, one of the greatest Flyers defensemen of all-time, played for Dineen as an 18-year-old rookie in the WHA with the Houston Aeros (1973-74), and also had him during his final year as a Flyer in 1991-92.
“He was one of the best people I ever met in the game of hockey,” Howe said. “He was a real players coach. Of all the guys I ever played for. Maybe a little Paul Holmgren, too. 
“If you lost the game, he was one of the very few people if you went for a bite to eat or a beer after the game you lost, you actually felt poorly for letting the coach down.”
Howe said Dineen’s teams weren’t all about skill.
“He picked people that were about ‘the team,'” Howe said. “He made me earn my spot that first year in Houston.”
Dineen posted a 60-60-20 record with the Flyers. His son, Kevin, played on both of those teams before assuming the captaincy from Rick Tocchet in 1993-94. 
A gentleman behind the bench, Bill Dineen was much the same person as a player. A former right wing who spent the majority of his six-year playing career with the Detroit Red Wings, he had just 122 penalty minutes in 322 games, scoring 51 goals and 95 points.
“I knew Billy for a long time," Flyers senior vice president Bob Clarke said. "He was a player and coach at the minor league level and the NHL level, but I think more importantly he was a really, really good hockey person and really good person.” 

Dineen won two WHA titles coaching the Aeros and two Stanley Cups as a player with the Red Wings. A member of the AHL Hall of Fame, Dineen also coached the Adirondack Red Wings from 1983 through 1988-89.
Three of his five sons — Gordon, Peter and Kevin — played in the NHL. Sons Shawn and Jerry had their roots in the AHL. 
“His boys are scattered all over the map,” Holmgren said. “Just a tremendous hockey family.”
Dineen is part of Flyer folklore trivia. He, along with Keith Allen and Vic Stasiuk, were all Red Wings teammates during 1953-53. They also shared something else in common: all three later  became Flyers head coaches.