It's Getting to the Point Where the Union Need Three Points

It's Getting to the Point Where the Union Need Three Points

Due to bad weather the Union have not played a league match in two weeks. Due to poor play the Union have not won a league game in over six weeks -- going 0-2-3 over that stretch. The Union, who look to get back to their winning ways, will face Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium (9PM/The Comast Network).

The Union, who were victimized by a dubious hand ball call against Columbus two weeks ago, are due for a break or two. They'll catch one tonight as Real Salt Lake will be without leading scorer Alvaro Saborio, who was on international duty last night with Costa Rica. Considering how physical he was for the Ticos last night it's a good thing he's not playing.

This is particularly true considering the Union will be without Carlos Valdes, who is suspended due to yellow card accumulation. Real Salt Lake center back Nat Borchers is also suspended due to yellow card accumulation.

It'd be nice to see the Union take advantage of these absences, but Jason Kreis has a resilient group of players, as evidenced by their 2-1-1 record in games where they've had a player sent off. That's the sign of a mentally tough side. Combine that with the cross country travel and the Union will have their hands full tonight.

Bottom line, the Union need to find a way to score. I'd like to see Peter Nowak give Freddy Adu a start tonight, but not in the center of the field. I feel like Adu's creativity and ability to run at people would best be utilized on the flanks. With Keon Daniel away with the Trinidad & Tobago team there will be an opening on the flank. There's so much traffic in the center of the field. Why not create some width and play Adu wide on the touchline?

The Union find themselves out of the top two in the Eastern Conference for the first time all season (they currently sit in fourth). Could the loss of Carlos Ruiz have really affected them this much?

Here's the lineup I hope we see tonight: Mondragon, Sheanon Williams, Danny Califf, Stefani Miglioranzi, Gabriel Farfan, Justin Mapp, Brian Carroll, Kyle Nakazawa, Adu, Le Toux, Paunovic.

Final Score Prediction: I just can't see the Union walking out of Utah with all three points. I'll say 2-1 RSL.

The Toni Stahl Memorial Union Player Most Likely to See Red: Gabriel Farfan, who has shown a bit of a chippy side lately.

Jim Harbaugh takes blame for Jim Schwartz handshake feud

Jim Harbaugh takes blame for Jim Schwartz handshake feud

With one season in Philadelphia under Jim Schwartz’s belt, Eagles fans are well aware of the intensity the defensive coordinator brings to the sidelines. But before joining Doug Pederson's staff, Schwartz attracted plenty of attention during a five-year stint as head coach of the Detroit Lions from 2009-2013. A highlight of his tenure in the Motor City developed a new wrinkle this week.

Maybe the most memorable moment during his time in Detroit was the unnecessarily ugly midfield feud in 2011’s Week 6 with then-49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh. Schwartz marched to midfield for the postgame handshake after his Lions took their first loss of the season. Harbaugh, a usually-excited guy with cause for a little extra enthusiasm after a fourth straight win, came in too strong for Schwartz’s liking. Schwartz chased down Harbaugh as he ran for the tunnel and the two exchanged some choice words. Coaches and players flocked to the tussle. What started as standard postgame procedure became the national talking-point nobody needed for the ensuing week.

The six-year-old incident returned to the conversation this week with Harbaugh, now the head coach at the University of Michigan, admitting on Barstool Sports’ Pardon My Take podcast (and as transcribed by ESPN) that he was to blame for things getting out of hand. 

"I went in too hard on that, too aggressive on the handshake," Harbaugh said on the podcast. "We've talked, and we're good. We're back to friends. ... There is a protocol in a postgame handshake. I've been there as the winner. I've been there as a loser. You just, 'Nice game,' then go celebrate. Premature celebration there, in the wrong."

On top of discussing his gifting Pope Francis a pair of Jordan sneakers and his theory that bringing a glove to catch a foul ball is acceptable for fans, Harbaugh went on to explain the last time he got in a real fight, as opposed to the silly scrum that went down at Ford Field that fateful day. He was 39, at the end of his days as a player, and got into it with two men at a restaurant.

"I did not win," he said. "I cannot say I won. I didn't get crushed, either. I got some blows in."

Harbaugh has a reputation for his passion, and the handshake debacle with Schwartz was no exception. It’s just that his passion often translates to doing things in a non-traditional way. He’s the khaki’s guy, always sporting his trademark dad-pants on the sidelines — he even tucked an Allen Iverson jersey into them once. He’ll do anything to get a leg up in recruiting, for example, sleeping over at a recruit's house for some “Netflix and Chill.”

Schwartz, similarly, is frequently fired up, and that aggression bleeds into his defensive scheme. 

Harbaugh is in the college game now, so the development in this nearly forgotten exchange isn’t life-changing. But if he ever returns to the pros, it’s good to know a postgame handshake with Schwartz wouldn't revive any bad blood.

Phillies minor league affiliate to ban tacos for one night to demonstrate bacon superiority

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Phillies minor league affiliate to ban tacos for one night to demonstrate bacon superiority

Everybody loves bacon. Everybody loves tacos. So why can't we all just get along and eat bacon tacos?

That's not what will go down on Saturday night when the Lehigh Valley IronPigs are BANNING the sale of tacos at all concession stands at Coca-Cola park.

Brutal!

It's all part of the Bacon vs. Taco night as the IronPigs host the Fresno Tacos.

"It was an easy decision. Serving tacos on Saturday would be hypocritical," said Lehigh Valley IronPigs President and General Manager, Kurt Landes.  "Saturday is about proving once and for all that there is absolutely no substitute for bacon. Period."

Yeah, but like I said: BACON TACOS.

The IronPigs are at least trying to make up for their lack of tacos by making bacon bits available to add to any food item for the low price of 75 cents. Seems like a steal. And there's always the candied maple bacon on a stick at least.

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We're going to share some of the official press release for this event because it's just so juicy:

While the feud between Lehigh Valley and Fresno seemingly dates back to the beginning of mankind (or at least the beginning of Minor League Baseball), we should remind you that it was the IronPigs who first received national and international acclaim in 2014 for their "Smell the Change" rebrand that included the introduction of their now iconic bacon strip on-field cap and bacon-themed uniform. The IronPigs have doubled-down on bacon recently, embracing the "Bacon, USA" theme by doubling the amount of bacon sold at all games. The original bacon cap remains one of the top-selling lids in the history of Minor League Baseball. With widespread interest and publicity, the bacon logo quickly sold to each of the 50 states as well as Australia, Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom.

It wasn't until a year later in 2015 that the Fresno Grizzlies announced a one-game name change to "Tacos" (we don't get it either) hoping to garner similar attention while claiming the Central Valley of California as the "Taco Capital of the World."

Regardless of your favorite team or food, there's little argument that these two clubs have distinguished themselves promotionally throughout Minor League Baseball and professional sports. In fact, the IronPigs have been awarded the most Golden Bobbleheads in the history of the award, honoring promotional excellence in Minor League Baseball across various categories. Recently, Fresno captured the top prize in 2015 and Lehigh Valley in 2016. The winner of this contest will have a leg up in the race for the 2017 Golden Bobblehead award.