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.

Bylines

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.

Nerlens Noel excited for impending return to game action

Nerlens Noel excited for impending return to game action

NEW ORLEANS -- The weeks and months have quickly piled up. Nerlens Noel has not played an NBA regular-season game since last season ended for the Sixers on April 13. Nearly eight months later, Noel is nearing the return he has been eyeing for quite some time now. 

“It’s always an excitement to be able to play basketball after this amount of time, including the summer, not being able to play organized basketball at a competitive level,” Noel said Thursday. “I’ve been really looking forward to this. I think I’ve gained some momentum coming back from this minor surgery, and I think I’m in a really good place and I’m feeling good with my body. Everything is on point.”

Noel has been sidelined since undergoing elective left knee surgery in October to address an inflamed plica. He traveled to New Orleans on Wednesday to join the Sixers ahead of their 99-88 win over the Pelicans (see game recap). Noel continued his rehab Thursday while the team prepped for the game. 

“I’ve been able do five-on-five, full contact,” Noel said. “I’ve tried to maximize my opportunities of that with the team being gone on the road. I came down here and went through most of shootaround and it went well. Now these next couple of days, [I will be] going through practice, still working on my wind. I do like where I’m at now.”

The Sixers’ next game is Sunday against the Pistons in Detroit. Brett Brown had given Noel’s availability for that game a “maybe” (see story)

“I’m not sure,” Noel said of playing Sunday. “I’m ready to go with these next couple of days and see how my wind feels and how my body feels, which I have been feeling good. So it’s a possibility.”

When Noel does return, there is a scenario in which he could be paired with center Joel Embiid. Last year, the Sixers struggled finding the best way to utilize Noel and Jahlil Okafor, also a center, at the same time playing the four and five positions. As Okafor has said of playing with Embiid, Noel also believes his off-the-court friendship with the towering rookie would translate onto the court. 

“I think it would be something that’s experimented,” Noel said. “It’d definitely be interesting.”

Noel candidly expressed his opinion of the Sixers’ logjammed frontcourt at the start of the season. Since speaking to the media after his surgery, Noel has mentioned he is in a good mental place (see story). For him, that means being out on the court again. 

“I love myself and I love the game of basketball,” Noel said. “When I step out here to come and play, it just brings a lot of enjoyment and excitement to me. Regardless of what the details of it are, I just love the game and I’m happy to just be playing.”

Best of NHL: Flames edge Coyotes in OT for fifth straight win

Best of NHL: Flames edge Coyotes in OT for fifth straight win

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dougie Hamilton scored 1:09 into overtime, Chad Johnson stopped 27 shots and the Calgary Flames beat the Arizona Coyotes 2-1 on Thursday night.

Mark Giordano scored for the Flames in a chippy game filled with big hits and multiple fights.

Hamilton capped a fast-paced overtime by deking Arizona's Mike Smith with a forehand before flipping in a backhander. Calgary has won five straight and eight of 11 (8-2-1).

Max Domi scored before leaving with an upper-body injury and Smith stopped 33 shots for the Coyotes, who have lost six straight and 11 of 14 (3-7-4).

Arizona captain Shane Doan became Arizona's all-time assist leader and is the fifth player in NHL history to own his team's records for games played, goals, assists, points, game-winning goals and power-play goals (see full recap).

Crosby, Penguins roll over Panthers
SUNRISE, Fla. -- Sidney Crosby got his 18th goal and added an assist to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Florida Panthers 5-1 on Thursday night.

Conor Sheary, Tom Kuhnhackl, Matt Cullen and Carl Hagelin also scored for Pittsburgh. Matt Murray made 28 saves.

The Penguins have won four straight and five of their past six.

Jaromir Jagr scored his 755th career goal, and Roberto Luongo stopped 25 shots for the Panthers. Luongo allowed three goals on Pittsburgh's first five shots.

Panthers coach Tom Rowe, who replaced Gerard Gallant on Nov. 28, made his home debut. The Panthers have lost five of six under Rowe, but managed a point in three of those losses (see full recap).

Price loses cool as Habs beat Devils
MONTREAL -- Carey Price lost his temper after being bumped twice in his crease and made 19 saves to help the Montreal Canadiens beat the New Jersey Devils 5-2 on Thursday night.

Torrey Mitchell scored twice and Phillip Danault, Artturi Lehkonen and Max Pacioretty also had goals for the Canadiens in their return from a five-game trip.

Adam Henrique scored a goal and set up one by Taylor Hall for New Jersey, which ended a two-game winning streak.

Montreal had a season-high 49 shots on Cory Schneider.

A wild first period included three goals, four goal reviews and Price's meltdown (see full recap).