Mechanic's Grandmother Says McNabb Should Be Back

Mechanic's Grandmother Says McNabb Should Be Back

SLOW NEWS DAY, PA -- Tony Chiareli, a 39-year-old chief oil checker at the Meineke on 48th and Spruce, watched the Super Bowl at his parents house at 3rd and Moyamensing yesterday in South Philly where his Grandma Teresa was a guest for the evening. "My Grandma be crazy and shit," Tony told the cashier today while discussing his favorite Emerald Nuts commercials from last night. "She thinks McNabb should be back even though the fact is he's a total bum. He's never gonna win a Super Bowl. That's undisputable."

The longest tenured member of the Chiareli family woke up from her second quarter nap on the couch last night to watch The Who perform and join in the halftime discussion of what a bum Donovan McNabb is and always will be. Despite the Eagles having nothing to do at all with the big game yesterday, aside from former Eagle Hank Baskett becoming the biggest goat of the day, the subject, as always, turned to McNabb. "They need to trade McNabb for two first round picks, a third, a fifth, and maybe Brian Urlacher," Tony said, but Grandma Teresa felt differently.

The 4'10'' elder Chiareli went off on a tirade, citing her favorite player's recent opinion as her back up, "Brian Westbrook says 'you would be hard-pressed to say that there was better quarterback in the league than Donovan McNabb,' and I always listen to what Brian Westbrook says. He's been hit in the head quite a bit just like I have and he's such a nice boy. Plus, Donovan's always smiling out there while that Vick fellow is an animal beater. Imagine if our Chase got treated like that!"

Chase, of course, is the name of the Chiareli's pure-bred award winning Labrador Retreiver.

The party and debate abruptly ended when Tony's wife Colleen got upset at him for calling Danica Patrick a fine piece of ass. Colleen tried to throw everyone's favorite buffalo chicken dip at him but missed by about four feet and ended up hitting Tony's favorite Angelo Cataldi portrait.

"Just like that bum McNabb," Tony added.

Sixers-Thunder 10 observations: Joel Embiid electrifies in debut

Sixers-Thunder 10 observations: Joel Embiid electrifies in debut

Joel Embiid and Dario Saric playing in a regular-season game for the Sixers? Check.

Russell Westbrook being, well, Russell Westbrook? Check.

An overzealous fan giving Westbrook a crude salute and getting tossed from the arena? Yeah, check that one off too.

The Sixers' tight 103-97 loss to the Thunder in Wednesday night's season opener at the Wells Fargo Center had a little bit of everything (see Instant Replay).

Let's take a closer look at the action with 10 observations.

1. Embiid is already a rock star among Sixers fans thanks to his personality and social media antics, but if his game ever matches his fame, look out. When he caught the ball at the free throw line during the first quarter and did a mini "Dream Shake" to bury a jumper for his first NBA points and then followed it up on the other end with a massive swat of a Westbrook layup attempt, he gave the crowd an in impressive glimpse of his vast potential. He was even showered with “Trust the Process” chants when he stepped to the free throw line during the second half. Embiid finished the game with 20 points on 6 of 16 shooting and seven rebounds along with two blocks.

2. That's not to say the big fella was without his faults. After spending two years on the sidelines, Embiid was understandably amped up and tried to do too much at times on both offense (held the ball too much, four turnovers) and defense (over-helping on rotations, which left the paint open). Like anything involving Embiid, it's a process.

3. Note to fans: Westbrook is already a supremely focused and competitive player. He doesn't need any help to get going. However, one Sixers fan took it upon himself to rev up the Thunder's All-Star point guard with a special salute in the first quarter before being promptly ejected (see story). No wonder Westbrook scored 12 of his game-high 32 points in the first quarter and finished just one assist shy of a triple-double.

4. Saric didn’t have a great shooting night (2 of 12 from the field for five points), but he still looked relatively solid in the victory. The Croatian showcased the versatility that had the Sixers salivating over him for the past two years, including a number of pump/head fakes to get defenders off balance before he missed the ensuing shot. He was overmatched inside when OKC went to its super-sized lineup with mustache afficionados Steven Adams and Enes Kanter (combined 33 points and 17 rebounds) down low. But that’s more on Brett Brown leaving the rookie out to dry than Saric’s ability.

5. Speaking of Brown, I’m not sure if the Sixers will ever value possessions like they should under a head coach with his Spurs pedigree. However, just 14 for a squad that has finished 30th, 30th and 29th in that category during Brown's first three years at the helm is definitely a step in the right direction.

6. Surgery for a meniscus tear didn’t do anything to hamper Jahlil Okafor’s post moves. The second-year big man looked spry after playing in just one preseason game before the opener. His shot was a tad rusty (4 of 10), but Okafor managed eight points in 16 minutes.

7. I’ve been critical of the Sixers’ defense over the years mainly because … it was non-existent. That wasn’t the case Wednesday until the fourth quarter. They were outscored, 34-22, in the final period. For the most part, the Sixers closed out to shooters and rotated with purpose on the defensive end of the floor. They held the Thunder to 41.5 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from three-point range. Not bad when the “crown jewel” of the D in Embiid was limited to 22 minutes.

8. Jerryd Bayless might want to hurry back from that wrist injury. Sergio Rodriguez had the ball on a string all night long for the Sixers. The point guard had 12 points to go along with nine assists, zero turnovers and countless dribble moves that left Thunder defenders grasping at air. Not bad for a guy who hasn’t played an NBA game since 2010.

9. Sauce Castillo lives! OK, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, but Nik Stauskas was excellent. He was decisive with his movements and got himself going by driving to the rim. The guard posted 13 points on 5 of 6 shooting off the bench. Perhaps coming into a season without the pressure of having to live up to being the No. 8 pick in the 2014 draft and playing with close friend T.J. McConnell are what the third-year player needed.

10. Wednesday’s game was a thriller down to the end, but you can’t help but feel that some of the extra juice that would have been in the building for No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons was missing. Instead of suiting up, Simmons held a press conference to discuss his health after foot surgery (see story).