Happy New Year, Happy New Era

Happy New Year, Happy New Era

While we’re always a little sad to come to the realization
that football season is nearing its conclusion, this year is different. It
pales in comparison to the disappointment felt after a crushing playoff loss,
that’s for sure. In fact, when the Eagles are 4-12, there’s actually quite a
bit of relief involved.

Andy Reid is the only head coach The700Level.com has ever
known, but tonight we turn the calendar over to a new year, and tomorrow the Eagles awaken with a fresh start.

In case you’re just joining us, Reid along with five other
head coaches from around the league received their walking papers on Black
Monday.
Philadelphia’s head coaching search begins immediately.

We’ve probably been kinder toward or even defensive of Reid
than some of the other outlets that cover the Eagles, at least I admit I have.
It hasn’t always been like that – few seem to remember moments like the time we
“found” Andy’s infamous play chart back in 2008. In general though, the belief
here is we were fortunate to have a pretty good football coach.

The business of Reid’s legacy is for another conversation.
What I’m trying to get at – quickly, so I can enjoy my holiday – is change can
be exciting, and change can be necessary. Reid will get another job, he may
even win the Super Bowl somewhere down the road. Good luck to him.

I think I speak for 99% of Eagles fans when I say that I’m
ready for change. Sure, that sounds like
a no-brainer. However, any way you slice it the next head coach almost
certainly will not duplicate the success Reid had, even less likely for the
duration Reid enjoyed. Yet it’s the chance we’re all willing to take, because clearly
it was time, arguably past due even.

In closing, we’re looking forward to the Eagles starting
over, looking forward to what change will bring, and hoping for the best. And
that truly is fitting, because that’s sort of in the spirit of starting a New Year
– turning over a new leaf and trying something different.

Have a safe and happy New Year, folks.

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Union see 4-game winning streak end in shutout loss to Real Salt Lake

Union see 4-game winning streak end in shutout loss to Real Salt Lake

BOX SCORE

SANDY, Utah -- Joao Plata scored his first goal of the season and Real Salt Lake beat the Union, 1-0, on Saturday night to snap Philadelphia's club-record winning streak at four games.

Plata tapped in his goal in the 36th minute after quickly exchanging short passes twice with Jefferson Savarino. Tony Beltran got the play started by saving the ball just before it went over the goal line.

The Union (4-5-5) had a chance to tie it in stoppage time, but goalie Nick Rimando blocked Haris Medunjanin's belt-high free kick and Salt Lake (4-8-2) cleared it after a scramble in front of the net.

Union goalkeeper Andre Blake made seven saves.

Howie Kendrick makes 4th rehab appearance in Lehigh Valley

Howie Kendrick makes 4th rehab appearance in Lehigh Valley

Howie Kendrick on Saturday night made his fourth rehab appearance in Triple A during Lehigh Valley's 13-1 rout of the Louisville Bats in Allentown.

Kendrick went 1 for 5 with a run scored and three strikeouts. He also grounded into a double play and left two runners in scoring position.

It was his second rehab game playing third base. He played third during his appearance in the IronPigs' 8-4 loss Thursday to the Indianapolis Indians. He was 0 for 1 in three plate appearances with a run scored and was hit by a pitch twice (see story).

The Phillies' plan for Kendrick was to have him play a minimum four games at Lehigh Valley. He played left field in two games and third base twice. Pete Mackanin said Wednesday that Kendrick would also get a game at first base but he hasn't gotten a game at first yet.

There is a chance Kendrick could be recalled Sunday before the Phillies’ series finale against the Cincinnati Reds depending on how he feels.

Kendrick has been sidelined since April 15 with an oblique strain. In 10 games before the injury, Kendrick went 13 for 39 (.333) with five extra-base hits and four walks while exclusively playing left field.