Today in Philly Sports History: "For Who? For What?" 1995

Today in Philly Sports History: "For Who? For What?" 1995

Despite being a five-time Pro Bowler, a Super Bowl champ with the 49ers, and in the minds of some a fringe Hall-of-Famer, for many, Ricky Watters will forever be remembered for this moment of ignominy. On September 3rd, 1995, in his very first game as an Eagle, Watters short-armed a pass from QB Randall Cunningham to avoid getting plastered by a Tampa Bay defender. His self-preservation tactics drew boos from the crowd, but the real blunder came after the game, as Watters was asked about the incident in the press conference. "I'm not going to trip up there and get knocked out," offered Watters by way of explanation, before asking the four-word rhetorical question that would drew the ire of millions of Green-Bleeders: "For who? For what?"

Watters, oft considered to be something of a loudmouth, endeared himself to few with his me-first remarks, especially as he had not had time yet to build up any sort of credibility with Eagles fans. Coach Ray Rhodes voiced his displeasure at Watters' half-stepping, saying "You've got to make the plays that are presented to you. If you've got to take a lick, you've gotta take a lick." Former Eagles running back Keith Byars tut-tutted Watters's behavior as well. "He doesn't know anything about
Philadelphia," explained Byars. "He just made himself a living hell for a long time." The Inquirer even had a catchy name for the whole mess: "Wattersgate."

Luckily for Ricky, he was able to turn things around somewhat with a couple highly productive years in Philly, making appearances in both the playoffs and the Pro Bowl in his first two seasons. But so unlikely is it that he will ever shake the stigma of "For Who, For What? that Watters has even come to embrace it, even using the phrase as the title for his 2002 autobiography.

Penn State not going to College Football Playoff, likely headed to Rose Bowl

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Penn State not going to College Football Playoff, likely headed to Rose Bowl

Penn State's wild comeback win over Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship was not enough.

The Nittany Lions were not selected to the four-team College Football Playoff, finishing fifth in the rankings.

Undefeated Alabama takes the top spot and will play No. 4 Washington. No. 2 Clemson will face No. 3 Ohio State.

Penn State earned its signature win of the season, handing felllow Big Ten member Ohio State its only loss of the season. 

However, Penn State sputtered in the beginning of the year, losing to unranked Pittsburgh and was thrashed by Michigan — who finished sixth in the College Football Playoff rankings — 49-10.

The Nittany Lions likely will play in the Rose Bowl, facing either USC or Colorado. The official announcement will be made later Sunday.

Dario Saric halts slump with 'best game as a 76er'

Dario Saric halts slump with 'best game as a 76er'

Dario Saric came into the NBA knowing his rookie season would be one of ups and downs. He would have successes based on his talent and struggle because of the newness of the league and matchups.

Saturday’s performance against the Celtics was one of those highlight nights. Saric scored 21 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, both tying career-highs, for his third double-double. He was efficient in his performance, playing 27 minutes off the bench in the Sixers' 107-106 loss.

“I thought that was his best game as a 76er,” Brett Brown said.

Saric had struggled the night before against the Magic. He barely made a dent in 16 minutes, posting just two points (1 for 5 from the field) without a single rebound. The poor showing was on his mind Saturday, as he got ready for the second game of the back-to-back. He went in early to get up extra shots, met with coaches, studied film and thought about the matchup throughout the day.

“I prepared a little bit more for this game,” Saric said. “After I have some bad rhythm of five or six, maybe, games. Now I concentrate more. I try to give my best, try to play my best, try to think before everything happens.”

Saric showed his aggressiveness in crunch time in the fourth quarter, when he scored seven points and five rebounds in eight minutes. He nailed a three to cut the Celtics' lead to 92-91 with 4:28 to play. Then with 1:09 remaining, Saric’s free throws cut the Celtics' lead to two points. On the other end of the court, he snagged the rebound off an Isaiah Thomas miss and scored a game-tying layup from Jahlil Okafor.  

“He played great,” Okafor said. “He’s working hard every day, getting used to the NBA process. It was good to see hard work paying off for him.”

Saric has been adjusting to new roles throughout the season. He was thrown into the starting power forward spot when Ben Simmons was injured, and then moved to the bench when the team acquired Ersan Ilyasova. On Saturday, Brown also played Saric at small forward in Robert Covington’s (knee) absence, a shift the Sixers may try again.

“He’s a good teammate,” Brown said. “He’s biding his time. He understands he’s a rookie. Incrementally, he’ll be given these opportunities. Tonight he did and he responded and you’re seeing continued growth.”

Saric still is early in his NBA career, and Saturday's showing was a game he can look back on and study for the rest of the season. 

“I feel like tonight … you’d walk away and say, ‘Shoot, that’s a hell of a player for playing 20 games in the NBA and he did what he just did against a hell of a team,’” Brown said. “I’m proud of what we saw all over the place from Dario.”