Today in Philly Sports History: Andy Reid Welcomed to the Fold, 1999

Today in Philly Sports History: Andy Reid Welcomed to the Fold, 1999

The Eagles might have been looking to hire Mike Holmgren to replace head coach Ray Rhodes after a disastrous 1998 season, but unable to land him, they courted his assistant and offensive wiz, Andy Reid. On January 11th, 1999, the decision became final, and Walrus Jr. was on his way to becoming the 20th coach to lead the Green and White. Joining QB and recent #2 draft pick Donovan McNabb as a fellow rookie to the Birds, Reid was charged with turning around a franchise still looking to get back to the glory days of Dick Vermeil, or at least the memorable days of Buddy Ryan.

11 years later and Andy Reid's stay has been...dramatic, to say the least. With eight playoff appearances to his credit in that time span, on the surface Reid would have to be considered among the most successful NFL coaches over that time span. But Andy has nonetheless come under fire repeatedly over the course of his tenure in Philadelphia, for his reserved, uninspiring demeanor, for his occasionally infuriating statements and press conferences, for his perplexing game and clock-management decisions, and most of all, for his seeming inability to win the big one, with the Birds going 0-8 for Super Bowls in their 00s playoff appearances, and only even making the game once.

A recent three-year extension assures that, barring some catastrophe (which is never completely un-barrable, i suppose), Andy Reid will be with the Eagles until 2013, a decision that has caused understandable consternation and mild nausea in a number of Birds fans. Personally, though, I've adapted the sink-or-swim mindset with both Reid and McNabb, in that I feel like for better or worse, they are the coach and quarterback that this franchise has merited and is stuck with, and we need to ride both of them out until one or both of them actually dies (of causes natural or unnatural) on the football field--a fate that might not be as far off as you or I think. Ultimately, what we have with with the two of them is a somewhat tragic but highly poetic three-way relationship between
team, quarterback and city, and really, I can't imagine it any other
way.

That said, it's always interesting to thing what the franchise would look like now had Philly gone the Mike Holmgren / Ricky Williams route back in '99. Three Super Bowls? Zero playoff appearances? A ten-year streak of 9-7 seasons? Anyone's call, but one thing I can guarantee you is that it's not quite the same decade we just had--nor would it be with any duo besides these two.

CSN, TCN to air 25 of Union's 34 games in 2017

CSN, TCN to air 25 of Union's 34 games in 2017

Twenty-five of the Union’s 34 games in 2017 will be featured on CSN and TCN, as Jim Curtin’s club vies for a second straight playoff berth.

Twenty matches will air on TCN, while five can be seen on CSN. The nine others will be appear across 6ABC, ESPN and FOX Sports 1.

The Union’s season opener on March 5 at the Vancouver Whitecaps will broadcast on TCN and the team’s home opener on March 11 against Toronto FC will air on CSN. The next three games — March 18 at Orlando City SC, April 1 at D.C. United and April 8 vs. the Portland Timbers — will be shown on TCN.

The Union are coming off an 11-14-9 season and their second-ever trip to the MLS playoffs in which they suffered a first-round exit to Toronto FC.

For the Union’s full 2017 schedule, click here.

Best of NHL: Toews nets hat trick in Blackhawks' win over Wild

Best of NHL: Toews nets hat trick in Blackhawks' win over Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Jonathan Toews had three goals and two assists and the Chicago Blackhawks beat rival Minnesota 5-3 on Tuesday night for their second win over the Western Conference-leading Wild in less than two weeks.

Toews notched his fourth career hat trick on an empty-netter with 1:02 left to stave off a spirited rally by the Wild, who began a franchise-record eight-game homestand on Feb. 8 with a 4-3 overtime loss to the Blackhawks. Toews had a goal and two assists in that one and has 37 points in 35 career games against Minnesota.

Chicago's captain has been chewing up almost everyone else, too, with 20 points in his last 12 games. Toews' wing men Nick Schmaltz and Richard Panik had the other goals, giving the Blackhawks 34 goals in their last eight games. Their first line totaled nine points.

Mikael Granlund's second power-play goal for the Wild brought them within 4-3, before Ryan Suter hit the crossbar with a shot that nearly tied it (see full recap).

Islanders open 9-game road trip with win
DETROIT -- Calvin de Haan was credited with a go-ahead goal that caromed off an opponent late in the second period and the New York Islanders went on to beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-1 Tuesday night.

De Haan's shot from above the left circle was stopped by Petr Mrazek, but the rebound went off Detroit defenseman Xavier Ouellet and the back of the goaltender's left leg and into the net. John Tavares scored early in the third period to give the Islanders a two-goal lead and they coasted to the victory.

Josh Bailey had a goal and an assist, and Thomas Greiss stopped 26 shots for New York.

Henrik Zetterberg scored for Detroit and Mrazek finished with 19 saves.

The Islanders, in contention for a wild-card spot, began a stretch of nine straight road games by winning for the third time in four games and improved to 8-13-4 away from home (see full recap).

Crosby, Penguins take care of Hurricanes
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Sidney Crosby scored the go-ahead goal on a deflection in the second period, and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 on Tuesday night.

Evgeni Malkin and Scott Wilson also scored to help the reigning Stanley Cup champions bounce back from their only loss since the All-Star break. Pittsburgh moved three points behind East-leading Washington and is 7-1-3 since the break.

Jeff Skinner scored for the last-place Hurricanes, who have their second five-game losing streak in the past five weeks. They have been outscored 19-4 during the current slide.

Matt Murray made 29 saves for the Penguins while Cam Ward stopped 19 shots for Carolina (see full recap).