Random Philly Thoughts

Random Philly Thoughts

On my drive home from work yesterday I  listened to Glen Macnow commenting on the recent booing going on at the Phillies games.  He also noted that yesterday's game against the Washington Nationals drew the smallest crowd ever at Citizen's Bank Ball Park..  The smallest by 9,000 People!  I find that incredible.  Philly fans are some of the best fans in all of sports; you can't convince me otherwise, but they are fickle.  Anyway, back to Glen.  He was talking about booing Charlie Manuel, Placido Polanco, and Kenny Lofton.  Glen says the fans aren't booing Charlie of Mayberry and his players, they are booing 20 years of losing.  They are booing the lack of aggression by the front office.  They are booing the Sixers sub .500 record.  They are booing Ed Wade and Dave Montgomery.  They are booing no playoffs in over 10 years.  They are booing the Eagles loss in the Superbowl.  They are booing the lack of Flyers hockey.  They are booing Tito Francona going to Boston and winning a world series.  They are booing Rich Kotite, Mitch Williams, and Freddie Mitchell.

Philly fans are frustrated, and they have a right to boo.  Some people hate the fact that Philly has a bad rap as fans.  They boo Santa, they throw batteries at J.D. Drew, they throw snowballs and pee on your wife for wearing a Giants jersey.   Most of this is a creation of the Media, but not all of it.  You would be nuts to bring a wife or girlfriend to an Eagles playoff game, unless she knew what she was in for.  I love the fact that Philly has a bad rap.  I was in Boston last year to see the Phillies at Fenway and I saw a very nice looking female at the game sporting a great tee shirt; it said, "I'm from Philly.  Don't F$*K with me."

You have to realize there are extremes to all fans.  There is the guy who drinks 14 Miller Lite's by the 6th inning and can't talk anymore from screaming at Chipper Jones, and then there are the stat heads who analyze players win shares and make graphs and charts of the effect bringing Jeromiah Trotter back would have on the Eagles payroll and potential chances of making it back to the big game.

I like to think I'm somewhere in the middle of the two.

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 of 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 previous time he had earned a victory. He’s fresh off his first win in over a month, a massive 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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AP Images

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.