Philly transplant and current New Orleanian Jrue Holiday sticks up for Philly fans in Santa bait piece

Philly transplant and current New Orleanian Jrue Holiday sticks up for Philly fans in Santa bait piece

Sometimes when the Earth is at a certain distance from the Sun during a certain time of year and the clouds high in the atmosphere become too condensed with H20, gravity forces the water molecules to fall from the sky, often freezing along the way and forming things called snowflakes.

Sometimes, in certain parts of the world, humans who are also fans of sports take a big handful of these snowflakes and crunch them into a sphere in the optimal shape for throwing. Sometimes they toss these snowballs at Santa Claus.

And all of the time these rare instances are written about by opposing teams heading to Philadelphia to play a sporting event.

Up today, Jeff Duncan of the Times-Picayune, who writes about the hostile environment the Saints will face on Saturday night in South Philly. And yes, he mentions the 700 level Mount Rizzo of booing Santa, throwing batteries, Pukemon, and a giddy fanbase after Michael Irvin's injury.

But then the writer decides to ask a guy playing in New Orleans today who just a year ago was working hard in Philadelphia - former Sixers All-Star and current Pelican, Jrue Holiday.

"I think (Philly fans) are very supportive, but they keep it real with you," said New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday, who played his first three NBA seasons for the Philadelphia 76ers. "If you're playing bad, they are going to let you know you are playing bad. Like in basketball they talk about the sixth man, the crowd is going to be their (Eagles) sixth man. They are very vocal. It's going to be fun for the Saints."

Thanks, Jrue. We wish you all the best in NOLA.

Okay, who else can you get to say nice things about Philly fans? How about the Saints' head coach Sean Payton?

"The sports fans are amazing there, very passionate and a real die-hard fan base," Payton said. "That presents challenges when you play, especially in the playoffs."

So you can go on mentioning all the shitty shit we've ever done and use players and coaches to talk about how awesome we are.

I'll bask in the latter. Maybe do a snow angel while I'm at it.

Joel Embiid not named All-Star starter, can still make it as reserve

Joel Embiid not named All-Star starter, can still make it as reserve

Joel Embiid will have to hope NBA coaches trust the process.

Embiid on Thursday was not named a starter in the 2017 NBA All-Star Game. LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jimmy Butler locked in the three Eastern Conference frontcourt spots. Kyrie Irving and DeMar DeRozan rounded out the backcourt.

James (25.6 points, 7.8 rebounds, 8.1 assists) and Antetokounmpo (23.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, 5.6 assists) were locks as starters. That left Butler, Kevin Love and Embiid as the next in contention. Butler is a two-time All-Star averaging 24.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 36.8 minutes for the 21-22 Bulls. Love is posting 20.7 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 31.6 minutes per game on the Eastern Conference-leading, 29-11 Cavaliers.

The Western Conference starting spots went to Stephen Curry, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Anthony Davis. 

The voting was made up of fan votes (50 percent), player votes (25 percent) and media votes (25 percent). Embiid has a chance to be voted in by the NBA coaches, whose reserve selections will be announced on Jan. 26. 

Embiid would have been named a starter had the results been based on fan voting (50 percent). He finished third ahead of Love and Butler.

Embiid was in the running for a starting role during a breakout rookie season. He is averaging 19.9 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in 25.4 minutes per game. Even though his playing time is capped at 28 minutes, he ranks seventh among all players in scoring per 48 minutes. He is eighth overall in free throw attempts per game (7.9) and 10th in those made (6.2).

Embiid had obstacles, though, when it came to the voting: rookie status, 28-minute restriction, limited games played (29) because of his allocated workload, and the Sixers’ record.

Even though the All-Star Game highlights individual achievements, team record is often taken into consideration. The Sixers have won seven of their last nine games (see story), but still stand well below .500 at 14-26.

When it came to the players’ vote, it is hard for a rookie who hasn’t even competed against every team in the league to make a strong enough impression for another player to influence their perception of the top talent. Embiid finished outside of the top five in the players' vote, behind James, Antetokounmpo, Butler, Paul George and Kristaps Porzingis. Meanwhile, the Sixers' big man finished fifth in the media vote.

Embiid and the Sixers were very active in pushing for the fan votes. Embiid received the social media support of celebrities including Triple H, Kevin Hart and MLB MVP Mike Trout, among others. The Sixers promoted Embiid through a Shirley Temple campaign based on his favorite drink.

Embiid picked up major steam in the last week of voting. He had trailed Love by 16,028 fan votes in the second returns on Jan. 12.

He took to Twitter to express his gratitude.

Chip Kelly still jobless after swinging and missing with Jaguars

Chip Kelly still jobless after swinging and missing with Jaguars

Chip Kelly's job search continues.

The beloved (sarcasm) former Eagles head coach reportedly interviewed for the Jaguars' offensive coordinator opening. However, on Wednesday night, Jacksonville announced it was retaining Nathaniel Hackett as its OC.

“We are excited to announce Nathaniel Hackett as our offensive coordinator and he will immediately be tasked with installing and implementing our offense this offseason,” Jaguars new head coach Doug Marrone said in a statement from the team. “I have had the pleasure of working with Nathaniel for seven consecutive seasons and know firsthand how knowledgeable and passionate he is about winning.”

So, Kelly swung and miss twice on the Jaguars, as he reportedly interviewed for Jacksonville's head coaching job, as well.

"I’m not going to close the door on any opportunity, but I have to be very smart in what I do next,” Kelly said, via CSNBayArea.com, two days after his firing as 49ers head coach. “I don’t have to take anything, but I wouldn’t rule anything out. I need to make sure that I’m in the right situation.

“I don’t know what the future holds. I’ll do my due diligence. I’m not going to coach just to coach.”

Kelly's decline is staggering, even if you saw it coming.

Look at this NFL coaching history ...

With Eagles in 2013: 10-6, wild-card playoff berth
With Eagles in 2014: 10-6, missed playoffs
With Eagles in 2015: 6-9, fired before final regular-season game
With 49ers in 2016: 2-14, fired after regular season

Who knows what's next for the Chipper?