People, Vick Really Is Out with a Concussion

People, Vick Really Is Out with a Concussion

A couple weeks back, a very good friend of mine came to me
and asked, “So when are you gonna break the big story?”

About what, I wondered. “You know, about Mike Vick not
really being out with a concussion.”

I pooh-poohed the idea, and eventually he left it go. Too
bad for ESPN it did not do the same when Ed Werder came to them with a
similarly good yarn.

Werder filed a report on Friday that claimed Vick was
unhappy he has not yet been cleared to play after sustaining a concussion three
weeks ago against Dallas, and that front-office politics were to blame for his
delayed return. In other words, this is an all excuse to get rookie Nick Foles
on the field.

As conspiracy theories go, it’s almost plausible. There’s
only one problem: the decision to clear Vick is out of the front office’s
hands.

Andy Reid pulled the curtain back on some of what goes on
with the concussion protocol, and as it turns out, Eagles doctors don’t even
decide if Vick has passed a certain test.

“Listen, there are no conspiracies here,” he said. “We don’t
grade the ImPACT test, which he has not gotten back to baseline [on]. I send
that paper from the computer off to the people in Pittsburgh. They come back
and say he’s not past baseline. That’s an NFL rule.

So there you have it. There is no crazy plot to keep Vick
inactive – at least not one that is currently in practice. We’ll see as Vick
continues to improve, but for now, Reid continues to claim No. 7 is the
starter.

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Steve Mason rediscovers himself in New York just before Flyers return

Steve Mason rediscovers himself in New York just before Flyers return

It had been a while since Steve Mason saw himself.

Walking into the Barclays Center on Sunday, the Flyers’ goalie was 0-6-2 with a 4.03 goals-against average and .844 save percentage over his last 10 appearances (see more recent Flyers numbers and stats).

A far cry from how Mason truly sees himself in net.

But heading into Wednesday’s rivalry clash with the Rangers, Mason will have something to build on, something he couldn’t say since Dec. 21 — the last time he had earned a victory. He’s fresh off his first win in over a month, a gigantic one for Mason considering all the key moments on Sunday the Flyers hope invigorate his confidence.

Without numerous clutch stops from their goalie, the Flyers don’t come back from two goals down to beat the Islanders, 3-2, in overtime. Mason made four saves  — three on four-time All-Star John Tavares — in just over a minute of a third-period power play. The Flyers ended up having to kill two New York man advantages in the final 10 minutes of regulation in order to force overtime.

The extra session is when Mason was just as good, if not better, stoning Tavares on a breakaway attempt that had game-winner written all over it. Mason made four saves in overtime after 13 in the third period.

“I was happy with the way that, personally, this game went for myself,” Mason said Sunday. “It’s been a tough stretch and this is more the type of game that I expect of myself. In recent games, the team was lacking the big saves and tonight it shows what kind of difference it can make.”

It was a massive performance heading into a massive three-game stretch against the Rangers, Maple Leafs and Hurricanes.

“Mase made some huge saves for us,” Simmonds said. “It allowed us to get back in that game.

“It’s not just Mase [with the] ups and downs. Everyone in here has been kind of fighting it and squeezing sticks pretty tight. That one felt good and I think Mase led the charge for sure.”

Mason understands just one game doesn’t turn around a season.

“It’s nice to feel good after a game,” Mason said. “At the same time, whether you’re winning or losing, you have to have a short mindset and get ready for the next one.”

That brings the Flyers to Madison Square Garden Wednesday to face the Rangers, who they’ve lost five straight games to dating back to last season. Mason hasn’t had much luck against New York this season, allowing seven goals in two losses with an .860 save percentage. However, in 2015-16, Mason put up a 1.74 goals-against average and .941 save percentage in five games against the Rangers.

“That’s going to be a tough game going into MSG,” Mason said Tuesday (see story).

The good thing: Mason was in New York two days ago, remembering what he can be.

Manute Bol's 7-foot, 17-year-old son dominates in HS season debut

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Manute Bol's 7-foot, 17-year-old son dominates in HS season debut

Bol Bol, the 17-year-old son of the late Manute Bol, is a top high school basketball prospect with offers from schools like Arizona, Kansas and Creighton. This highlight tape should give you an idea why.
 
Bol, whose father played in the NBA for parts of 12 seasons, including 215 games for the Sixers, now attends the famed Mater Dei High School in California and played in his first game of the season this past weekend. Listed as the No. 16 overall prospect in the 2018 recruiting class by Scout, Bol started his season off with a big 21-point, 10-rebound effort.
 
Take a look at the highlight tape from the 6-foot-11 Bol and expect to see him carry on his father’s legacy on the court at a major NCAA college basketball program soon.