thekrisheim’s 2013 Year in Philly Sports

thekrisheim’s 2013 Year in Philly Sports

One of our favorite end of year traditions here at The700Level.com is having one of our longest tenured commenters and friend, thekrisheim, reflect back on the year in Philly sports that was. You can read his look back at 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and today his look back at 2013 below.

No playoffs, new faces, bandwagons gathering dust, the undercurrent of disappointment has returned.  Sure, the year is ending on a high note with the Eagles seemingly headed in the right direction, but don’t fool yourself, eight weeks of Chip Kelly magic and one battle cry doesn’t mask what a downright boring and terrible year 2013 was for Philly sports.

We’ve already covered the biggest wins and losses, so lets look back at some of the bigger stories.

Under New Management

You want new coaches? Philadelphia had you covered in 2013 as all four franchises, five if you give soccer the respect that it is due, turned over the reigns to new faces at some point during the year.

The 2012 Eagles season was a disaster on and off the field and Andy Reid was finally replaced.  Who knows what happened? Who knows why Reid starting making knee jerk changes all over his coaching staff, but what it resulted in was worthy of his dismissal.  Reid deserves a ton of credit for what he achieved with the Eagles and it wont truly be appreciated for a few more seasons.

Charlie Manuel was dumped from his position on a Friday in August in a strange fashion that seemed to have been planned out so he could achieve the most wins in franchise history.  What followed was an emotional press conference where RAJ couldn’t hide back tears, Charlie was Charlie and the Ryne Sanberg era began.

Mr. Snider said it was the worst training camp he had ever seen and the coach who took an 8 seed to the finals was dumped before anyone could see Peter Laviolette's fourth orange tie of the year.

Doug Collins yelled, Doug Collins cried and Doug Collins was canned.  Collins’ firing was only one part of the failed 76ers marketing plan that sent the team into complete rebuilding mode.

Doctor’s Orders

2013 saw the end of Roy Halladay’s career. There isn’t a better athlete that represents just how fantastic and entertaining the last 7 years for Philadelphia fans were than Roy.  He came to the city in the prime of his career to win a Championship, something unheard of before the likes of Howard, Rollins, Hamels and Utley made it a reality.  He was a tireless worker, understood the fans and pitched injured. During the Phillies run it was really easy to get caught up in players wanting to play in Philadelphia, but Halladay was the first and will be beloved forever.

Culture Clash

Fans never really know what it is going on inside a franchise.  Who’s doing what?  Who’s really making the decisions? They signed who?  As the losses added up this year, may fans and writers alike tried to pull back the veil a bit and tried to decipher what was going on.

The Eagles seemed to be the easiest at this point, although following the Giants loss the over analyzing of their roster was at an all-time high.  Chip Kelly coaches, Howie Roseman GM’s.

They Flyers, “Flyered” things up this year by dumping their coach, appointing one of the most beloved goons in team history head coach, dispatched of their “goalie of the future,” got into a line brawl where their backup goalie assaulted the other team and got into arguments over their “culture” with whoever would dare question the franchise.

The Sixers went from talking 24/7 to avoiding the media, trading their best player and enter into full on tank mode except no one told the players.

The Phillies retained their GM, kept their core together, added more old guys, got a stat guy (who may be an intern) and for some fucking reason kept John Mayberry Jr.

The Year In Drugs

Chooch started the year suspended.

Antonio Bastardo destroyed any career momentum he had by getting suspended for his involvement in biogenesis.

No proof that Ilya Bryzgalov acutally uses controlled substances, but he continued to be the most entertaining Philadelphia athlete throughout the year.

There’s nothing funny about what Riley Copper said, and recording and selling the video is a whole different discussion, but if Copper could take some drugs to erase his racist remark made in a drunken stooper you’d imagine he would.

Best GIFs of the Year

5. Snow game for the ages

4. Miss you, Andy

3. Your 2013 Phillies In One GIF

2. For a 3 week stretch Philadelphia actually liked Dom Brown

1. Shady from opening night

The Year In Acquisitions

The rest of the teams don’t matter in this category, only one franchise’s scouts worked overtime to bring these guys to town.  The five best acquisitons this past year are…

5. A guy the fans love to hate? Sure, throw him in the starting rotation and don’t mind his injury history – John Lannan
4. Injury prone set-up man who may or may not have needed surgery before he signed on the dotted line? – Mike Adams
3. 36 year old career 2nd baseman who waived his no trade for a shot at the WS – Michael Young
2. Washed up, bad outfielder with off the field issues – Delmon Young
1. 38 year old journeyman? Who? What? Phillies have them for days – John McDonald

The Year In “What?”

Dom Brown attends professional football game, fans not happy

Claude Giroux hurts himself playing “golf”

The Sixers open the season by beating the Heat

Why You Should Be Positive

5. Scott Laughton

4. Cody Asche

3. The NBA Draft & MCW (tie)

2. Shady

1. “We’re from Philadelphia and we fight”

Penn State uses dominant second half to top No. 6 Wisconsin for Big Ten title

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USA Today Images

Penn State uses dominant second half to top No. 6 Wisconsin for Big Ten title

INDIANAPOLIS — Penn State’s offense rewrote the Big Ten Championship’s offensive record book Saturday night but its 38-31 victory over Wisconsin wasn’t secure until the final minute.

And Linebacker U. got the game-saving play from the secondary.

Wisconsin, armed with a pair of timeouts and lining up for a fourth-and-1 play from the Nittany Lions’ 24, called on Corey Clement. Clement, who’d already racked up 166 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, got the ball but never got close to the marker.

Grant Haley made sure of it.

The junior cornerback wrapped up Clement’s legs and safety Marcus Allen kept Clement from leaning forward and the game was over. Penn State (11-2) has the 2016 Big Ten title and, at worst, will play in the Rose Bowl for the first time since 2009.

“They ran [a counter] early in the game and split it for a touchdown,” Haley said of the final play. “I saw them set the edge, so I got triggered really well and Marcus finished off the play.”

Haley and company watched the Badgers run wild in the first half; 164 yards and three touchdowns, including Clement’s 67-yard scamper. Wisconsin, one of the conference’s best rushing teams this season, managed less than half that total (77) in the second half.

“They really weren’t running that many plays,” Haley added. “We just came out in the second half and had a jolt. 

“We just had the energy going into the second half.”

Wisconsin got the ball twice in the fourth quarter but managed only 65 yards - 51 of which came on its final drive.

“Give credit to Penn State for coming out in the second half and making those adjustments and allowing those big plays to happen,” Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst said. 

Give plenty of credit, too, to the Nittany Lions’ offense. 

Quarterback Trace McSorley was named the game’s most valuable player after completing 17 of his 25 passes for 319 yards and four touchdowns - both championship game records. He helped Penn State complete the biggest comeback in the game’s six year history after his team fell behind 28-7 in the first half and also finished the regular season with 3,360 yards and 25 touchdown passes, both school records.

Saeed Blacknall had six catches for a Big Ten Championship-record 155 yards and two touchdowns and DaeShean Hamilton finished with 118 yards on eight grabs.

Tailback Saquon Barkley, injured in last weekend’s victory over Michigan State, returned with 88 yards and a touchdown on the ground and caught an 18-yard scoring pass from McSorley early in the fourth quarter to put the Nittany Lions ahead for good.

Penn State, in its first-ever trip to this game, is coming home from it with just its second outright Big Ten title. It’s on a nine-game winning streak that has seen it average 40 points per contest.

It also could present the College Football Playoff selection committee with a bit of quandary. The Nittany Lions, who were ranked seventh by the committee last week, topped the No. 6 Badgers and claimed a conference championship, something likely playoff teams Alabama, Clemson and Washington all boast.

On the flip side, Penn State’s last defeat was a lopsided 49-10 loss at Michigan, which sits at No. 5 in the rankings and likely won’t move into the top four after losing last week to No. 2 Ohio State.

Penn State coach James Franklin stated his team’s case after Saturday night’s win, but also made it clear he and his team won’t be moping their way to Pasadena, Calif., where the conference champion is slotted if it is not chosen for the playoff.

“We’ve got great options in front of us,” he said. “I hear people on TV talking about they feel like maybe the playoff has taken away from the bowls. 

“Are you kidding me? The Rose Bowl? It doesn’t get a whole lot better than that.”

Report: Jordan Matthews (ankle) not expected to play vs. Bengals

Report: Jordan Matthews (ankle) not expected to play vs. Bengals

Jordan Matthews will not play Sunday against the Bengals after missing practice all week with an ankle sprain, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Matthews is the Eagles' leading receiver with 57 catches for 686 yards and three touchdowns. The team has called him a game-time decision.

Second-year receiver Nelson Agholor will reportedly be inserted back into the lineup. If Matthews doesn't play the Eagles will have only four healthy receivers active on Sunday: Agholor, Dorial Green-Beckham and undrafted rookies Bryce Treggs and Paul Turner.