Welcome To The700Level.com 2.0

Welcome To The700Level.com 2.0

Veterans Stadium was the place where many of us first fell in love with Philadelphia sports. We loved that rat-infested pile of concrete. And while we were sad to see it go, we also welcomed in the shiny new ball park and state of the art football field across the street.

After over seven plus years running this website on our old software, we've upgraded to something different in hopes of making the overall experience of following Philly sports more enjoyable here on The700Level.com.

Yes, it's a bittersweet day. I don't have a pet, but I'd guess my feelings today are a bit like having to put the trusty old family dog to sleep. Plenty of good memories with that old guy, but he was starting to walk a little funny. That said, we're stoked to get to play with our new puppy.

We didn't just put makeup on the old site, we switched to an entirely different back end and software tool. At the same time, we kept the blog layout The700Level has followed since day one, with plenty of added bells and whistles to make it even better. You'll still get the newest main stories front and center every day, but we'll also have some top stories we pick at the top of the page everyday for easy browsing, as well as unique content areas for each of the teams we cover.

What's new? Top Stories! Team Pages!

In addition to the row of top stories with accompanying photos at the top of the page, we now have customized team pages set up for all of the squads we love to cover: the Flyers, Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, Union, as well as one for NCAA coverage.

What's the point of these Team Pages?

Well, they're a quick and easy way to find all of the news on whichever team you may be interested in all in one place. But additionally, there were plenty of times we may not have posted on a topic in the past because we didn't deem it "newsworthy" enough or "frontpage-worthy" while we had another story in the main column that we didn't want to bump below the fold. Now, we'll have the ability to post smaller news items such as injury updates, photos, or videos from a game solely to the team-specific pages if we so choose. Basically, it gives us more flexibility to cover the Philly sports scene the way we want to do so. Plus, if you're more into one sport than the others, you can bookmark the team page and have that be your front door to The700Level. Basically, with the team pages, you'll get more content, more efficiently.

Facebook! Twitter!

One of the things you'll notice is that each post on the main page now has its own Facebook Like button. Please don't hesitate to use this button. If you enjoy a post here on The700Level.com, use all of that energy in your fingers to click on the Like button giving us a virtual pat on the back while also spreading the good word of Philly sports. It's always appreciated and often a good barometer for the type of posts you'd like to see. The more you like it, the more we can try and bring you similar stuff in the future. Also, tweet us if you're into that.

Custom Feeds, New Tagging, and Search

If you look on the new left rail, you'll notice a couple of custom feeds for Interviews, Athletes Behaving Badly, Fans Behaving Badly, Ladies, etc. These are kind of like the team pages, but organized by popular blog fodder categories. Again, just something to help people find something they may be looking for.

Also, we'll be learning a whole new tagging system which should help us make the content you're looking for easier to find. Or maybe find content you didn't even know you were looking for.

There's also a very visible Search box in the masthead. Give it a whirl.


Every article page now has a very clear Byline at the top of the post. The old site tended to hide the author name way at the bottom. This will be more prominent and easier to find.

Will we be required to register to comment?

No. You currently do not need to register in order to leave a comment on any post.

Can I register if I want to anyway?

Currently, no. But we hope to have a way for regular commenters to gain the benefits of registering with such things as avatars, etc. We're still working on it at the moment.

Where are all of my old comments?

When porting the old content over, we were unable to include comments from the old site, but you can always go back and read them here.

Mobile Site!

This has been a very frequent request in the past, and understandably so as the the computing world moves from desktop to laptop to tablets and smartphones. It's an upgrade we put off for way too long. Now, if you access The700Level.com on your iPhone, Android, or other smartphone, you'll see a special mobile version. Be sure to email us your feedback if you have any suggestions on how we can optimize this version for you.

Let us know

Finally, if you see any glitches, or just something you really, really dislike, please don't hesitate to email us: the700level at gmail dot-com. We've been working on it for months, but this is all new to us too now that it's gone live. We'll try to fix everything that's not perfect, and bring you new features that may not be currently available. Be cordial in your criticisms and we'll try to do our best to make the site as user friendly as we can.

This is only the first step.

Thank you

This redesign wouldn't have been possible without the hard work of several people at CSNPhilly, including Jason Weitzel, godfather of the famed Beerleaguer.com. Thanks very much for your patience with us through all of our requests and indecision.

Follow us on Twitter @The700Level and join our Facbook page here.

Penn State's signature win over Ohio State has it feeling it's back on map

Penn State's signature win over Ohio State has it feeling it's back on map

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – In another day and time, the late John Facenda — the voice of NFL Films and the very “Voice of God,” as he came to be known — described Marcus Allen “running with the night” while scoring a particularly memorable touchdown for the Raiders in a Super Bowl victory over Washington.

On Saturday, another Marcus Allen went soaring into the night, not to mention Penn State lore.

A blocked field goal by the Nittany Lions’ junior safety resulted in a go-ahead 60-yard TD return by teammate Grant Haley, as PSU upset No. 2 Ohio State in Beaver Stadium, 24-21 (see story). That led to the team’s fans, dressed appropriately for a White Out, to storm the field, and led to the kind of emotions that hadn’t been felt on campus in a long, long time.

“This is for everybody,” coach James Franklin said.

The Langhorne native talked about the game being “a big step in the right direction” as far as healing a community wounded by the Jerry Sandusky child sexual-abuse scandal. He talked, with tears in his eyes, about the death of his brother-in-law four days earlier.

Yet he didn’t wish to discuss whether it was the kind of signature victory he needed to propel the program back toward prominence (or, for that matter, ensure his job security).

“That’s for you (media) guys, all that signature stuff,” he said, adding that he “didn’t want to spend a lot of time talking about the big picture.”

Rather, he said, “I just want to enjoy tonight.”

Understandable, since the Lions, 5-2 after their third straight victory this season, beat a ranked team for the first time since 2013 (No. 14 Wisconsin), beat a team ranked in the top five for the first time since 1999 (No. 4 Arizona) and earned a victory over their highest-ranked opponent since knocking off No. 1 Notre Dame in 1990.

PSU also snapped a 20-game road winning streak on the part of the Buckeyes (7-1). Seventeen of those victories had come in Big Ten play.

Few people saw it coming, though middle linebacker Jason Cabinda said that amid a sleepless Friday night at the team hotel, he and his roommate, fellow ‘backer Manny Bowen, allowed themselves to dream.

“We were just talking about how great it would be to pull this off,” he said, “and how we believed we could pull this off, and how it would be like writing history.”

It was already etched upon the pages of Brandon Bell’s mind.

“This was no fluke,” the senior linebacker said. “This is what we train for. This is what we go out there and play for. Obviously everybody is (saying) we shocked the world, but this is what you expect. Or what I expect.”

Bell, playing for the first time since the season’s second week because of a leg injury, had a career-high 19 tackles and one of his team’s six sacks. Cabinda, playing for the first time since the opener because of a hand injury, had 12 tackles and a sack of his own. Bowen added 11 stops, and defensive end Garrett Sickels, suspended for the first half for violating a team rule, had career highs of nine tackles, 3½ tackles for loss and 2½ sacks.

“Maybe,” Franklin said, “I should suspend him for the first half for the season.”

With Cabinda and Bell back, the Lions were more aggressive on defense than they had been, more varied. Yet the game seemed to be getting away from them when Ohio State built a 21-7 lead through three quarters.

J.T. Barrett, the Buckeyes’ splendid quarterback, had thrown for one touchdown, Curtis Samuel had busted off a 71-yard run for another and PSU’s repeated special-teams blunders (a blocked field goal, a fumbled punt and a bad snap on a punt) had left the Lions staring up at a team that had won its previous 78 games when leading by 14 points or more in the fourth quarter.

OSU had, however, been extended to overtime the previous weekend at Wisconsin, while PSU had a bye, two things that might very well have contributed to all that happened next. You had Lions QB Trace McSorley capping a brisk 90-yard drive with a scoring run early in the final period. And freshman linebacker Cam Brown blocking a punt (even though the block wasn’t on) to set up Tyler Davis’ field goal, cutting the gap to 21-17 with 9:33 left.

Then Allen blocked Tyler Durbin’s 45-yard field goal attempt as well, the first time since 2007 the Lions had rejected two kicks in the same game. Haley collected the rebound and set sail down the left sideline.

Durbin and holder Cameron Johnston gave chase, and Johnston, the punter, closed the gap on Haley, one of the fastest guys on Penn State’s team.

“I told him, ‘If you would have gotten caught by the kicker I never would have let you live that down,’” McSorley said.

Never mind that — Haley admitted he would have never forgiven himself.

He managed to make it the distance, though, and after Ohio State’s final drive ended with a pair of sacks, PSU had the victory.

When the gun sounded several Lions sprinted toward the student section at the south end of the stadium and performed their own version of the Lambeau Leap. And as the fans spilled out onto the field, two male spectators turned to each other high up in the west stands.

“We’re back in business,” one said to the other.

That seemed to be the feeling in the locker room, too.

“It’s just a game that put Penn State back on the map,” Haley said. “We needed that signature win, and we did it tonight.”

All because Marcus Allen soared, and took everyone else along with him.

Flyers Notes: Ivan Provorov bounces back with help from Shayne Gostisbehere

Flyers Notes: Ivan Provorov bounces back with help from Shayne Gostisbehere

Shayne Gostisbehere has been through it before.
The ups and downs of a rookie season. Although his season a year ago was mostly up and up as a Calder Trophy finalist.
Nonetheless, Gostisbehere felt badly for 19-year-old Ivan Provorov following that minus-5 performance in Chicago on Tuesday and then another minus effort in the home-opening loss to Anaheim on Thursday.
So "Ghost" had a talk with his Russian counterpart about life on the blue line.
“He was down after a few games,” Gostisbehere said. “I didn’t really tell him much other than, ‘Hey, we’ve got 79 more of these.’ I told him to keep his head up and he’ll get over it. 
“He’s a hell of a player and sometimes you don’t get all of the bounces. He’s a great player as you guys could see. He had a great bounce-back game tonight.”
Indeed he did during Saturday’s 6-3 win over Carolina (see story).
Provorov says when the play seems slow to him, he knows he’s focused on what has to be done.

“Once you get comfortable, you get used to the speed and the game slows down for you,” he said. “With every game, I’m getting more comfortable and trying to make more plays.”
Provorov set up two critical early Flyers goals with two assists during a plus-2 outing that led to a 3-2 lead in the second period. The Flyers didn’t trail thereafter.
Both his shots went right to the net. Several other times this week, he had his point shots blocked.
“You try to read off how much time you have and stuff like that, how fast the player is coming at you,” he said. “You’re trying to [decide] what kind of shot to take.”
Provorov admitted some of his teammates were giving him encouragement.
“I think everyone is going to have tough games, it’s only his third game,” Gostisbehere said. “You have to give the guy a break. It’s tough to be in that position, he’s 19 years old.  
“He’s a kid, it’s tough. I was 22 so it was a little different, I’m a little older and everyone is going to have those tough games, but it’s how you bounce back.”
Provorov also had two hits and four blocked shots.
Scoring streaks
Matt Read and Wayne Simmonds both extended their goal-scoring streaks to four games. They are each one shy of their career-high — five games.
The last Flyer to have a four-game goal-scoring streak was Claude Giroux, who did so from March 19 to 28, 2015, with five goals.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, the last time the Flyers had two players concurrently on goal-scoring streaks of four games or more was 1993, when Josef Beranek had an eight-game streak from Oct. 9 to 23 and Eric Lindros had a six-game streak from Oct. 12 to 26.
Read is truly enjoying the best start of his career.
“It made hockey a little bit more fun,” he said. “The last couple of years have been frustrating. You are battling as much as you can out there to try and get better.
“Scoring a couple of goals here early gets the confidence high. I enjoy going on the ice every shift and giving it your all and trying to make this team better every shift.”