The Beginning of the End

The Beginning of the End

Photo credit: your pal Matt

Tonight marks the start of the Sixers season.  For all intents and purposes this year will be a mediocre campaign at best.  The Sixers haven't changed a whole lot from the team they put out on the floor last year and with A.I. and CWebb inching closer to the twilight of their careers, things look bleak for the hoops team in South Philly.

The fact that the next few months could be the final games in which Allen Iverson puts on a Philadelphia uniform should give you reason enough to care a little bit.  We could argue A.I. for days, but the fact of the matter is that Iverson is one of the most fun athletes to watch in all of sports.  The Sixers likely won't win squat this year, but enjoy Bubba Chuck while you can because he may be gone in a flash.

Season opener tonight, 7 PM, Wachovia Center vs. Atlanta Hawks - tickets still available.

Now for a look around the web on what people have to say about the Sixers:

  • Phil Jasner has a preview and informs us that Billy King thinks this years group is close.  Close to what? [Daily News]
  • Billy King sees a playoff contender.  I see dead people. [Inquirer]
  • ESPN's power rankings have the Sixers at 26.  Ouch. [ESPN]
  • ESPN's Sixers preview; Tim Legler says, "Take a sub-.500 team that doesn't play defense. Age by one year. Add
    absolutely nothing of note in the offseason. What do you get? Another
    year out of the playoffs for Allen Iverson and Chris Webber." [ESPN]
  • This Sixers blogger picks the Sixers to go 47-35 and win the East! The commenter who said, "papers or pipe?" nailed my thoughts exactly. [NBA Previews]
  • More on the new NBA ball from True Hoop. [ESPN]

Carson Wentz named Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week

Carson Wentz named Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week

As Carson Wentz rolls out of bed, he wins an award. Brushes his teeth, wins an award. Eats breakfast, award.

This time, the Eagles' rookie quarterback has been named the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week for his performance against the Steelers in a 34-3 Week 3 win.

Against the Steelers, Wentz completed 23 of 31 passes for 301 yards, two touchdowns and a 125.9 passer rating. He beat out Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott, Browns CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun and teammate Wendell Smallwood.

This is the second time in three weeks that Wentz has been named the NFL Rookie of the Week.

Here are the awards Wentz has won so far this season:

- NFL Rookie of the Week for Week 1
- NFC Offensive Player of Week 3
- NFC Offensive Rookie of the Month for September
- NFL Rookie of the Week for Week 3

Wentz won't have any chances to win more awards this weekend as the Eagles are on their bye. They'll play again on Oct. 9 in Detroit.

Tonight's lineup: Howard batting 5th with Herrera batting 3rd

Tonight's lineup: Howard batting 5th with Herrera batting 3rd

Ryan Howard is batting fifth to begin his final series with the Phillies.

The 36-year-old first baseman, who has donned red pinstripes for 13 seasons, did not play in Thursday's 5-2 loss to the Braves, but he is expected to start all three games against the Mets this weekend.

The Phillies have a lot of speed at the top of the lineup, even with Roman Quinn likely done for the season. Cesar Hernandez leads off with Freddy Galvis and Odubel Herrera right behind him. The trio lead the Phillies in steals with a total of 59 this year. Herrera has 25 while Hernandez and Galvis each have 17.

If you're wondering, Howard has not stolen a base this season, but he was caught stealing once. He hasn't stolen a base since June 26, 2011, before his Achilles injury. He only stole more than one base in a season in 2008, when he swiped eight bases.

Cameron Rupp returns to the lineup at catcher. He'll bat right behind Howard, followed by Jimmy Paredes and Aaron Altherr in the corner outfield.

Here's the Phillies' full lineup:

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Maikel Franco, 3B
5. Ryan Howard, 1B
6. Cameron Rupp, C
7. Jimmy Paredes, LF
8. Aaron Altherr, RF
9. Alec Asher, P

And the Mets lineup:
1. Jose Reyes, 3B
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
3. Yoenis Cespedes, LF
4. Curtis Granderson, CF
5. Jay Bruce, RF
6. T.J. Rivera, 2B
7. Lucas Duda, 1B
8. Rene Rivera, C
9. Robert Gsellman, RHP