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Chase Utley poses with statue of childhood hero Jim Thome in Cleveland

Chase Utley poses with statue of childhood hero Jim Thome in Cleveland

Jim Thome was a fan favorite in Philadelphia for many years. He also had a big fan next to him in the clubhouse in Chase Utley.

Thome ushered in a new era of Phillies baseball at Citizens Bank Park and Chase Utley flourished into one of the best players this city has ever seen alongside him.

The influence of Thome is not lost on Utley who shared a photo on Tuesday posing with the Thome statue outside of Progressive Field in Cleveland where the Dodgers are playing this week. 

"Couldn't resist the picture opportunity. Thanks big Jim for being an inspiration to me. #jimthome," Utley wrote on his Instagram.

Thome was inducted into the Phillies' Wall of Fame last summer and gave a lovely speech. During that ceremony, a video message from Utley described what an honor it was for Chase to play alongside his childhood hero.

Now Chase has another photo to go into his collection.

Couldn't resist the picture opportunity. Thanks big Jim for being an inspiration to me. #jimthome

A post shared by @therealchaseutley on

In sign of football's true return to Philly, fans at Linc fought

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In sign of football's true return to Philly, fans at Linc fought

Like the first foliage turning orange, yellow, and red in the fall, grown men congregating in large groups to consume alcoholic beverages and watch sport signifies the football season has finally returned.

There was proof of the NFL returning in spades on Thursday night when a couple of fans at the Eagles game against the Buffalo Bills just wanted to get some crab fries at the Linc, maybe a beer as well, and instead wound up in a confrontation with people of similar ilk.

Punches were thrown -- if not punches, slaps that were intended to be punches. Fries were spilled.

And football went on.

Also of note: the one man is wearing a DELCO IRISH shirt.

@barstoolsports first #Eagles home #Fight of the year #Preseason #Nfl #EaglesVsBills #BirdGang #BillsMafia

A post shared by Keith Dotegowski (@keithdote) on

Watch: Ben Simmons dominated some amateurs in Australia, barely tried and finished with 34 points

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Watch: Ben Simmons dominated some amateurs in Australia, barely tried and finished with 34 points

Footage of Ben Simmons playing in a basketball game in Australia has been making the rounds and the Sixers rookie showed off some hops with a couple of nice dunks.

In addition to seeing Simmons looking healthy on the court making players attempting to guard him look foolish, one of the underrated aspects of the video is hearing Australian newscasters describe the game.

The game is described as a "social match" which seems to me like a glorified pickup game featuring a bunch of amateurs. Simmons clearly outclasses everyone on the court. It seems as if Simmons was simply filling in as a favor to a friend.

Here's how the DailyMail described Ben dominating:

From slam dunks to look-away passes and long range shots it was as if his opponents didn't exist as Simmons totaled 34 points.

'He didn't try until the last quarter and then scored like 15 in a row and dunked on two blokes... I've never seen anything like it,' one spectator told the Herald Sun.

You can enjoy two local newscasts talking about the big event below.