A Mournful Monday…

I suppose “mourning” is a tough word to use, but after the way the Eagles and Flyers played yesterday, it seems appropriate.  I’ve already given my thoughts on the Eagles’ disaster and I have a subsequent post for either tonight or tomorrow about what I think needs to change (we’ll see how motivated I get in the next few hours).  In the meantime, here are some miscellaneous thoughts about the weekend:

  • SENATORS 7, FLYERS 4 – A Flyers game that was an exact microcosm of their entire season so far.  Fresh off the Winter Classic the Flyers head up to Ottawa and get an early 1st period goal from none other than Ian Laperriere (which I spelled right on the first try – go me) who broke something like a personal 38 game goal scoring drought.  I’m thinking this bodes well but in the blink of an eye, the Sens score twice in 7 shots and chase Michael Leighton from the game.  Brian Boucher comes in and promptly gives up 2 goals on 9 shots including the first one he faces and the period ends with the score 4-1.  Way to go Flyers.  But then they come out for the 2nd period, get 2 quick goals from Darrol Powe and Arron Asham and chase Ottawa’s goalie Pascal Leclaire.  They fight and claw and eventually end up with a 5-on-3 Power Play for about 1:30.  After Mike Richards breaks not one but TWO sticks on the shift, he eventually takes a beautiful drop pass from Kimmo Timonen & buries the shot top shelf tying the score at 4.  They head into the 3rd period and I’m quite excited by the Flyers’ chances at pulling out a victory.  They then proceed to give up 3 more goals in the third and lose 7-4.  As I said above, a snapshot of their entire season so far.  Up, down, up, down, up, down, up, down.  The Flyers may have just gone 4-1-1 on their 6 game road trip but they still have a lot of issues.  Turnovers were a HUGE problem in this game and continue to plague the team.  Brian Boucher’s rebound control was a MESS yesterday and if he doesn’t fix that quickly, he can expect to be relegated back to the bench until Ray Emery returns.  If the Flyers are to contend for a spot in the playoffs, they NEED to start playing more consistently not just from game to game but from period to period.  One good period in three will not get it done. 
  • BRONCOS FOLD – The only NFL fan base that should be as upset and devastated as Eagles fans are Broncos fans.  Early last week coach Josh McDaniels deactivated starting WR Brandon Marshall and TE Tony Scheffler for what he said were “accountability” issues.  Apparently, Marshall was overreacting to his hamstring injury (MRI showed no damage) and was late for a treatment session on it while Scheffler’s transgressions were never truly defined.  As I understand it, McDaniels even met with team leaders Brian Dawkins, Champ Bailey, and Kyle Orton asking for their advice.  They responded that he should crack the whip and require everyone to be equally accountable (kudos to them for standing up and telling rogue teammates to get in line).  Besides, the Broncos only needed to beat the 3-12 Kansas City Chiefs (at home no less) to clinch a playoff berth.  Sadly, the Broncos managed to get BLOWN OUT 44-24.  The loss was marred by not one but TWO interceptions returned for TD’s by Chiefs LINEBACKER Derrick Johnson.   For a team to start out 6-0 but finish 2-8, something must be severely wrong.  The team certainly has plenty of talent (Knowshon Moreno, Elvis Dumervil, Bailey, Dawkins, etc.) and should’ve been able to beat the Chiefs.  Considering that both Marshall and Scheffler will probably not be back next year (their contracts make them restricted free agents and I think it’s safe to say that the Broncos DON’T really want them), the Broncos may have a more unified team in year 2 of the McDaniels era, but at what cost?  And, should the team go in the tank again late in the season, will McDaniels even have a year 3?  Probably not.
  • BOWL SEASON CONTINUES – Yeah, apparently college football bowl games start the week before Christmas & continue all the way thru the end of this week.  Anybody else feel like that’s sort of anti-climactic?  Not to mention that the ones left this week aren’t all that exciting or important (except for the BCS championship game).  Tonight has Boise State playing TCU in the only matchup of unbeatens in a bowl this year and thanks to the BCS the outcome really means nothing.  Instead of these two teams getting a chance to play a power conference team (like Iowa or Georgia Tech) springing an upset, and really giving the viewers something to watch, they’re forced to play each other in a rematch of the Humanitarian Poinsettia Bowl from last year.  Meanwhile tomorrow night has the Iowa-Georgia Tech matchup that NOBODY seems to care about except the people directly involved in the game.  I don’t know about you guys, but I think i’m over bowl season even though the “National Champion” will be crowned on Thursday (and I use quotes because until there’s a playoff, how can any team say they are truly National Champions?)
  • BOWL SEASON HIGHLIGHTS – Even though I’m kind of over bowl season, not everyone is.  To be honest, though I think the highlights of bowl season so far have been few and far between.  Tebow’s monster performance in his last game at Florida, Bowden winning his final game in charge of Florida State, and Paterno winning 10 games again (a couple years after he was thought to be done) are probably the “lasting” memories so far.  The 2 best games: IDAHO 43, BOWLING GREEN 42 (Idaho wins on a 2 pt. conversion with no time remaining because their coach decided, “Screw it, we’re here to win” and was rewarded) and AUBURN 38, NORTHWESTERN 35, OT (Auburn blows a 21-7 lead only to win it in OT when Northwestern’s attempt at the old “fumblerooskie” play fails).  Those were both great games but for the most part bowl season has been very unmemorable so far (and not even a fantastic BCS championship game will change that). 
  • TOMORROW’S POST – The “controversial” one I was gonna post tonight I’ve decided to put off until tomorrow.  I call it controversial because some of you out there will DEFINITELY think I’m crazy for what I’m saying.  Hopefully, the post will at least spark some debate.  Until tomorrow night…

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