Mike Missanelli Takes on Skip Bayless, Defends the Philly Rep, Likely Adds to It

Mike Missanelli Takes on Skip Bayless, Defends the Philly Rep, Likely Adds to It

I've never been a fan of the talking heads shows on ESPN and ESPN2. Fortunately, I'm at work when they're on, and I don't get home until well after the PTI/Around the Horn nonsense is over. Usually the shows strike me as a bunch of guys I don't know loudly disagreeing about the minor points of a minor story, making the discussion a little more about themselves with each parry.

Usually the combatants are current or former columnists at major papers around the country, so they often know their topics fairly well, but the format just brings out their dumbassedness (in my opinion—obviously somebody likes this stuff or they wouldn't keep rolling it out). The only context in which I know Skip Bayless is this argument-based sports coverage. So, I wasn't surprised to get in the car and hear Mike Missanelli of 950 ESPN radio fired up about something Bayless said yesterday, when in a discussion that had NOTHING to do with Philadelphia fans, teams, or anything at all related to this townl, he described an incidence of poor fan behavior as "Philly-style, rude, crude, dangerous behavior in the stands."

Bayless agreed to call into Missanelli's show yesterday, and it didn't take long to get ugly. Listen to the clip here. More after the jump.

Bayless' first response out of the gate shows he's not ready for what's about to happen ("Isn't that a 'duh'?"), and after he stops saying he's going to hang up because Missanelli insults him, which Bayless says he himself doesn't do, despite the fact that he's on the call because of something insulting he said, Bayless resorts to big-timing the guy whose show he's appearing on. Skip pretends not to know Missanelli's name a minute after being given it before joining the on-air program, and presumably before agreeing to appear. He may in fact not know Mikey Miss, but that has nothing to do with the question he's being asked. Missanelli does his best to dismiss that tactic, saying "just Google me when we're off the phone" (btw, Google "Mike Missanelli." It's fun!).

The interview may be something of an ambush, but it's definitely clear that Bayless is relying on the same old BS stereotypes that Philly fans are the worst in the country, despite the fact that nearly every town has its share of negative stories, and none of Skip's are even remotely recent. I do love the story of how his friend who ran the away-game tours for Cowboys fans had a rule that you couldn't wear Dallas gear during trips to Philly though, and that "Skip" talks about being afraid to go to the Vet.

I've heard Mikey Miss take on some national voices from ESPN before,
beating them up about making weak, general statements about Philly
sports fans—most recently Colin Cowherd, another hack. I don't always agree with his opinions on Philly sports
news or the role of the media (nor do I any other host), but I dig
that he's made the defense of Philly a primary objective despite it
requiring him to slam people who work under the same network banner as he does.

How do you score this one?

Thrust into bigger role, Sixers' Holmes stars in win over Wizards

Thrust into bigger role, Sixers' Holmes stars in win over Wizards

BOX SCORE

For as much as the Sixers’ bigs are talked about, Richaun Holmes often is left out of the conversation. 

He’s not the centerpiece of the team like Joel Embiid nor was he heavily involved in trade talks like Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor. He is the backup center who bides his time on the bench and quietly stays ready when he gets the nod.

And on Friday, he was the standout player in the Sixers’ 120-112 win over the Wizards (see Instant Replay)

“He’s been sort of the person that people forget about because of the logjam of five men,” Brett Brown said. “We all sort of think, ‘Well, he should just accept it because he’s behind Joel and Nerlens and Jahlil. Good ol’ Richaun. Go to the D-League and it’s OK.’ And that doesn’t work. He’s a pro, he’s competitive. He’s handled it. He’s really been a wonderful teammate.”

Holmes was bumped up in the rotation following the trade of Noel to the Mavs. He moved into the second-unit role while Okafor started in place of the injured Embiid. 

Holmes recorded his first double-double with 12 points (6 for 9 from the field) and 10 rebounds (three offensive). He also blocked a career-high five shots, tying Embiid for the most by a Sixer this season. The second-year big man put together this impressive performance in 26 minutes off the bench. 

“Just play hard,” Holmes said of his approach. “Just go out there, show what you’ve been working on, play hard every second you’re out there. That’s the motto I’ve got.”

Holmes is averaging 16.1 minutes and has appeared in just 32 of the Sixers’ 57 games. This season he also spent time with the Delaware 87ers of the Development League to get playing time. Holmes embraced an opportunity similar to Friday’s a month ago when he scored 18 points in as many minutes against the Clippers. 

“I try to approach every game this season the same way, whether everybody was playing or people were hurt,” Holmes said. “Prepare like I’m going to play 30 minutes a game. I think having that mindset helped me to stay ready at all times and be aggressive when I had a chance.”

Brown did not rule out the possibility that Holmes could start at some point if he continues this production. The Sixers are limiting Okafor to 20 to 24 minutes per game, according to Brown. That, combined with Embiid’s injury, could lend itself to an increased role for Holmes. 

“I think in that environment, it wouldn’t seem out of the ordinary for Richaun to get a start from time to time,” Brown said. 

Even if he remains on the second unit, Holmes proved he can provide a spark off the bench. Dario Saric noted how Holmes’ impact on both ends of the floor bolsters the frontcourt in addition to a more offensively-minded Okafor (11 points, two rebounds). 

“I think he played unbelievably good in both ways,” Saric said. “Everybody knows he’s an elite guy finishing around the rim, and he stepped in Nerlens’ place, he replaced him unbelievably good. I hope he will get the same minutes for the next game because we have Jahlil, who is more like a post-up player, who likes more to score from the low-post block, and we for sure need some guy like Richaun who will play in both ways." 

Perhaps the person least surprised by Holmes' game was Holmes himself. It was the result he puts in long hours to produce.

“It’s all about the grind,” he said. “All about keep working, keep trying to move up, keep trying to get better every second and it’ll pay off.” 

Ilya Bryzgalov talks goalies playing in contract year, Las Vegas and more

Ilya Bryzgalov talks goalies playing in contract year, Las Vegas and more

Gotta love Bryz, right?

Former Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov was his usual humorous, unpredictable self in a recent interview with Sportsnet.ca's Luke Fox.

From what he's doing now to talking pressure as a goalie, here are some of the highlights ...

On a goalie's mental state when job security is up in the air (referenced to Flyers goalie Steve Mason)
“So many goalies take the job for a long time, so it’s easy to be out of game. You worry. You want to find a long-term job, pay bills. It’s not a secret. That’s why when there’s no [contractual] certainty and you don’t see 100 percent confidence from your team, it might affect your game. If the season’s not going well, you start thinking about it.”

On his son playing goalie
"He chose it. He’s the guy who gives his team a chance to win. Make some saves. But he plays as a player once a week, too. Shoots the puck on goalies every Wednesday pretty much.”

On being a hockey dad
“I’m pretty calm. I only get upset when I see the referees make the bad calls. The kids work so hard and play so passionately, you can’t take sides. Only when the referee’s unfair.”

On being a pro hockey player in Las Vegas
"I’m family guy, settled down. I’ve never been too emotional or casino-addicted. For me, no problem. For the young guys to play there, it causes trouble, man. Difficult trouble. … The young ones with the cash? Las Vegas can provide lots of scenes, know what I mean?"

The rest is just as good. For the full Q&A, read Fox's article right here.

Also, Bryzgalov will be a part of Sportsnet's trade deadline coverage next Wednesday.

And side note: Bryz remains active on Twitter. And remains random as ever.

Just look at his last tweet ...