The Pretty Blonde in Front of You Might Be the Player You Ripped On's Fiancee

The Pretty Blonde in Front of You Might Be the Player You Ripped On's Fiancee

James Clark, a staff writer for the Press of Atlantic City, took in Freddy Adu's Union debut at PPL Park on Saturday night and like most passionate Philly sports fans he and his buddies showed their support for the club in the form of some witty criticism.

After Carlos Valdes' brain fart and subsequent Dallas goal to put them up 1-0, one of Clark's buddies cracked a line about how you'd expect to see that kind of goal against Union keeper Chris Seitz last season. Yep. Pretty much.

But that's when "a blonde,
twentysomething woman turn around from the seats directly in front
of us and defend former Union keeper Seitz ... now a back-up on FC
Dallas' roster ... with a passion."

Ahh, you hate to see the fiancee of the guy you're ripping on sitting directly in front of you. Next to Brek Shea's ladyfriend to boot. I'm sure there were a few cracks about Shea's hair too. It's certainly much easier to make fun of than his game.

For as many sporting events as authors and readers of this site go to, I'm a bit surprised you don't hear about these sorts of encounters more often.

It's only happened to me once.

A handful of years ago, I found myself in a suite at Citizens Bank Park, along for the ride of a company sponsored outing of baseball and beers.

The guy on the mound was Jon Lieber, who we were programmed to believe was the ace of the Phillies staff that year (at least he started opening day in 2005 and 2006). Lieber's lasting legacy as a Phillie may have been that giant frickin' truck he rode to spring training rather than anything he did on the hill.

Anyway, Lieber was having a rough go of it on that particular day at the bank, and I let out some standard criticism for those within earshot to hear. It wasn't anything particularly mean or offensive, perhaps something about the guy being overpaid and sucking on that day. Both pretty hard to argue with. I instantly felt some eyeballs in the suite to our left locking in on me in an uncomfortable fashion. I looked over and noticed a suite full of nice looking family people all wearing Jon Lieber jerseys.

Boy did I feel like a dick.

My urge to go snack on some soft pretzels and enjoy the view of the TV inside of the suite instantly skyrocketed.


Have you ever ripped on an athlete ever to have Mrs. Iverson turn around in the seat in front of you to let you have it? There has to be more tales of this out there.


>>As Adu made his Union debut on the field Saturday, there was even more drama in the stands [Press of AC]

No. 24 Penn State at Purdue: Nittany Lions seek 1st road win

No. 24 Penn State at Purdue: Nittany Lions seek 1st road win

Penn State (5-2, 3-1) vs. Purdue (3-4, 1-3)
Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette, Ind.
Saturday, noon, ABC/ESPN2

Scouting Penn State
The Lions upended the Buckeyes, 24-21, when safety Marcus Allen blocked a field goal and cornerback Grant Haley returned it 60 yards for a touchdown with 4:27 left in the game. The Lions, who rallied from a 21-7 deficit after three quarters, earned their third straight victory.

Allen and Haley were named Big Ten co-Special Teams Players of the Week, and linebacker Brandon Bell, who had a career-high 19 tackles in the game, earned the conference’s Defensive Player of the Week honor.

Running back Saquon Barkley has rushed for 681 yards, fifth most in the Big Ten, and is tied for the conference lead in touchdowns with nine.

Scouting Purdue
Purdue fell to Nebraska last week in the debut of Boilermakers interim coach Gerad Parker, who replaced the fired Darrell Hazell on Oct. 16. Quarterback David Blough leads the Big Ten in passing yardage (2,065) and total offense (300.7 yards per game), and has thrown 14 touchdown passes (albeit with 11 interceptions).

The Boilermakers are, however, last in the Big Ten in rushing offense (120.3), total defense (441.0), turnover margin (minus-8) and red-zone offense (15 for 23, 11 touchdowns) and next to last in rushing defense (249.0) and passing efficiency.

The Lions lead 13-3-1 and have won the last seven meetings, the most recent a 45-21 victory in 2013.

Storyline to watch
This is the ultimate trap game for PSU, and the Lions’ approach to it will say a lot about their leadership and maturity. They have also dropped their last four road games dating back to last season, including both this fall. Their last victory away from home came last Oct. 24, against Maryland in Baltimore.

What’s at stake
The Lions can become bowl-eligible with a victory.

Penn State 35, Purdue 21

Embiid and Okafor want to play together, but not just yet, says Brown

Embiid and Okafor want to play together, but not just yet, says Brown

CAMDEN, N.J. — If all goes as planned, a time will come when the Sixers can roll out a dominating frontcourt duo with Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor sharing the court in lengthy stretches.

That moment has to wait, though, as both Embiid and Okafor are on minute restrictions. As he returns from a knee injury, Okafor currently is coming off the bench and backing up Embiid.

“This conversation with Jahlil and Joel is more intelligent and applicable at a later date,” Brett Brown said at practice Friday. “When Jahlil’s minutes start going up and Joel can, then it’s a real conversation. I do think you may see them sooner than even I thought together. But as far as making it a real constant part of a strategy or rotation, it’s beyond too early days.”

In an ideal world, Brown could pair the two bigs now and use all of their allotted minutes (Embiid 20, Okafor 14) at once. That would leave an extensive workload on second-year bench player Richaun Holmes.

“This is a hot topic,” Brown said. “I will say it one more time: If I play Jahlil and Jo together, I hope Richaun can play 35 minutes.”

It’s an unrealistic expectation for Holmes, who averaged 13.8 minutes in 51 games last season. Brown caps the majority of the Sixers at six-minute segments to keep them competing at a high energy level.

“Right now, he’s a backup,” Brown said of Holmes. “I think he’s going to be an NBA player for a very long time. I just feel like in the role, he’s a second-year player that didn’t really have much of a role last year. He’s shown everybody that he’s for real. He really can play a role. At this early stage, that is the key word.”

Embiid and Okafor have been envisioning competing together since Okafor was drafted two years ago. They became friends long before they were NBA players and have an easy chemistry on the court as a result.

“I think it’s going to be exciting,” Embiid said. “We played a little bit together today in practice. We’re figuring out how to play with each other. It’s a process and we’ve got trust it.”

Yes, the players know they have to wait, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy for them to resist an opportunity to play with one another.  

“I think once we figure it out, we can really dominate together,” Okafor said. “We were able to flirt with it again today. We accidentally keep ending up on the same team even though Coach keeps telling us to make sure we alternate. But we’re having fun. We’re trying to put some pressure on it because we want to play together.”

Is that accidentally with air quotes?

“Yeah, exactly,” Okafor said with a laugh.