Today in Philly Sports History: The Leon Stickle Game, 1980

Today in Philly Sports History: The Leon Stickle Game, 1980

The Flyers' 1979-1980 year should have been remembered for its triumphs--a 116-point regular season, the highest in the league and the best (even to date) in franchise history, including an NHL-record 35-game undefeated streak, capped with a trip to the Stanely Cup finals against the New York Islanders. Instead, it is primarily remembered for one man, who donned the Black and White rather than the Orange and Black: Leon Stickle, whose no-call in Game Six of the Finals on May 24th, 1980 helped the Islanders seal the game for the series win.

Stickle's brush with infamy came late in the game's first period, when Islanders winger Clark Gillies appeared to send a pass back over the blue line for teammate Butch Goring, who proceeded to advance into the offensive zone. The play looked to be offsides, and the Flyers defensemen reacted as such, but Stickle ruled a safe pass, and Goring's feed to a streaking Brian Sutter led to the Islanders scoring a relatively easy goal. Stickle would later admit that he blew the call, securing his place in Philadelphia immortality for the most undesired of reasons.

Though it's true that the Flyers ended up losing the game, one thing should be said in Stickle's defense: The goal wasn't really as consequential as you might think. When you hear people rant about how a no-call cost the Flyers the game and the series, you figure it was Bob Nystrom's famous overtime goal that should have been nulled, or that at least it was the game-tier late in regulation. In actuality, Sutter's goal merely put the Islanders up 2-1 with two whole periods to go, in what would eventually end up a 5-4 game. Sure, that's still a one-goal differential, and who knows how things would have turned out with the violation called, but as far as all-time scapegoats go, this isn't really Buckner letting the ball through his legs in the bottom of the tenth.

Still, was the call definitely off-sides? Well, you judge for yourself. But yes. Yes it was.

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

CHESTER, Pa. — On the eve of his comeback after missing nearly 13 months with a left tibia stress fracture and other related injuries, Union midfielder Maurice Edu fractured his left fibula on Saturday, keeping him out for the 2016 playoffs and beyond.

“I was trying to take the shot on goal and my foot got stuck in the turf,” Edu said Sunday, in his blue Union-issued suit and supported by crutches. “My ankle rolled and twisted and it kind of snapped a little bit. I heard it crack, and a lot of pain from there. I got a scan afterward, and there was a break.”

There's no timetable his return.

Edu, 30, has spent over a calendar year fighting various injuries that have kept him out of game action. His trouble began on Sept. 30, 2015, when he played through the U.S. Open Cup final with a partially torn groin and sports hernia. It was during Edu’s recovery from those injuries that he developed a stress fracture.

"A little bit frustration. A lot of frustration, to be honest," he said. "But all I can do now is get back to work, focus on the positives and make sure that my situation isn’t a distraction from the team."

Edu’s teammates were equally devastated by the news. Edu, the Union captain when healthy, is popular and well-respected in the locker room.

"I feel so bad for him," said Alejandro Bedoya, who wore a dedication to Edu under his jersey on Sunday. "He’s one of my good friends, so I was looking forward to playing alongside him. I know how hard he’s worked to get back, and to see him go out like that, it’s heartbreaking. I’m sad for his loss and I hope he stays strong."

Edu, who has been with the Union since 2014, returned to training in July and played three conditioning appearances with the Union’s USL team, Bethlehem Steel FC. He was on the bench for the Union’s last three games and was set to make his first appearance in over a year against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, a game the Union eventually lost, 2-0 (see game story).

"We’re gutted for Mo," Union manager Jim Curtin said. "He was slated to start today. It’s real upsetting because he’s worked so hard to get back on the field. It’s been a tough 2016 for him, but I know he’ll come back stronger."

While he was visibly shaken by recent injury, Edu is driven to return.

"What happened, happened," Edu said. "I have no control over that. The only thing I do have control over is my next steps from here, how I prepare myself mentally and emotionally and how I continue to support this group."

Watch: Malcolm Jenkins saves Jon Dorenbos, who can't work his magic with bow tie

Watch: Malcolm Jenkins saves Jon Dorenbos, who can't work his magic with bow tie

The magician himself needed help on this one.

His bow tie.

Hey, this is what teammates are for, right?

On Monday night, Eagles longsnapper and NBC's America's Got Talent star Jon Dorenbos emceed safety Malcolm Jenkins' third annual Blitz, Bow Ties and Bourbon charity event, which raises money for Philadelphia's youth and underserved communities.

Dorenbos, quite the wizard with his hands and card tricks, couldn't solve the bow tie.

“I had no clue,” Dorenbos said in an interview with CSN's John Clark. "In fact, this is the first bow tie I’ve ever worn.”

Jenkins had his back. Watch the Eagles' leader go to work and save Dorenbos in the video above.