Philly Winter Classic Wishlist

Philly Winter Classic Wishlist

When reports started to circulate on Friday confirming the rumors that the 2012 NHL Winter Classic would be played at Citizens Bank Park I couldn't help but imagine the ways in which the Flyers could transform CBP. How could the two local franchises combine to make January 2, 2012 a uniquely Philadelphia event? I tossed a few ideas out there on the Twitter, and Matt P. suggested I post them on here and get your thoughts and suggestions. Check out my ideas after the jump.

Let me preface this by saying that the Winter Classic is an unbelievable opportunity to showcase Philadelphia and our rich sports history and traditions. Citizens Bank Park looks unbelievable on television for a ho-hum mid-July game against the Pirates. Imgaine how ridiculous it's going to look when given the full NBC treatment. This is a showcase event. The Phillies and Flyers have a tremendous opportunity to combine to make this Winter Classic truly Philadelphian.

I suppose it bears mentioning that these ideas were prefaced by some tongue in cheek tweets regarding a couple of recurring Flyers themes. First, I wondered what entrance music the Flyers back-up goalie would use when he emerged from the CBP bullpen. Second, I felt some relief for the official NHL scorer who will finally be able to use the scoring shorthand E19 for all of the times Scott Hartnell falls to the ice for no apparent reason.

Ok, here are some of my ideas.

- Put the Phanatic on the zamboni. His ATV license has to be transferable to a zamboni, no?

- Change Ashburn Alley to Ashebee Alley. We're talking about two legendary and beloved players from each franchise. This is a no brainer.

- Similarly, give me "Bernie's BBQ" in place of "Bulls BBQ". Two local legends who still spend lots of time around their former teams. I'll even volunteer to write the copy for the radio spots promoting Bernie's BBQ. I'll simply lift the line from the hair replacement ads he used to do and go with "Great 'Cue, Doc".

- Another name change I'd love to see would be to change Harry the K's Restaurant to Gene Hart's. The iconic voices of each franchise. In my mind, when I think back to great moments in each team's history I hear their voices narrating the action. Make this happen.

- Finally, @cranekicker (one of the funniest follows on Twitter) suggests that they ring the outfield bell after each Flyers goal. Done and done, right?

Ok, those are my suggestions. Thoughts? Additional ideas? Is it January 2nd yet?

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?