Category Archives: Hockey

Philadelphia Sports are Ready for Lift Off!


philly future

It definitely has been a long couple of years in the city of brotherly love. We have gone through many blunders and mistakes by the management of our clubs, as well as an array of losses we all can still feel. As a person in his late 30’s, I vividly remember the same times of heartache before that left us searching for answers. If you are in the same group you remember too…….

The Phillies looked to never be able to catch the Atlanta Braves with their Aces, the New Jersey Devils with Scott Stevens and Marty Brodeur were tag teaming our Flyers, Bubby Brister and Rodney Peete were leading our Eagles, and Charles Shackleford was still trying to figure out why he was on the 76ers roster. We could sit here for hours and bring up all the names of the late 80’s and early 90’s flops that we had to watch for our respective teams. Thankfully the pendulum swings back from time to time to give us something to get excited about and like John Cena says, “That time is now!”

The rapid developments of our franchises are not a secret anymore. We have begun to move past the process and now are beginning to build towards a promising future. Let’s start with our Philadelphia 76ers. I beg to differ with the opinion of any when I say Sam Hinkie should have a statue in this town for what he built. For all the naysayers and non-believers just look back and remember the post Allen Iverson era. Yeah, the memories last that quickly.

Billy King continued to try and vie for the 8th playoff spot in the East every year just to be knocked off the throne and sent packing by the #1 seed. It was time for a change in theory and that’s what Sam brought to town. Sure the losing stung a little bit, but in the end it will all be worth it. If anyone witnessed 5 minutes of a summer league game then they know Ben Simmons will be something to get excited about. His court vision and willingness to distribute the ball is something this town has not seen in a LONG time. Are we going to compete for the Eastern Conference this year? Of course not. However, with Noel, Saric, Embiid, and Simmons games will definitely be talked about on a daily basis. I can already feel the Sixer love beginning to take over.

As another process we should trust, The Philadelphia Phillies have turned a minor league farm system from happy hour joke material to a respectable topic on MLB Tonight. It was about 8 years ago when the nucleus of the Phillies took over the NL East and fought through the wicked rains of October to give this town a championship. Unfortunately, they were never able to capitalize on that talent again. For those of you who follow me and read my articles know I do not hold Ruben accountable. As much as you disagree, I remain comfortable with my opinion. He tried and he tried. He assembled, what should have been the best rotation in baseball. How did he know it wouldn’t work out? Did he trade away Cliff Lee prematurely? Sure. However, this is the same guy that gave you Roy Hallady. All things considered he drained our farm system dry with his single most destructive move being letting go Mike Arbuckle. Mike went to Kansas City who won a world series. Yeah, enough said.

After years of knowing it was time to rebuild, the Phillies assembled a front office with guys who had a proven track record. Andy MacPhail comes from the Orioles and will always be remembered for making a slew of headline trades with one of the biggest being the move that consisted of the following…..

Orioles trade to Seattle: Erik Bedard
Orioles get from Seattle: Adam Jones, Chris Tillman, George Sherrill, Kam Mickolio, Tony Butler

Even now, this trade is so good that you almost can’t even fathom how much of a rip-off it has turned out for the Orioles. Without even going into statistics, all you need to know is that Bedard bounced around and had more injury plagued seasons than Mike Hampton and Adam Jones, along with Chris Tillman (14-3 so far this year) are two of the biggest reasons for Baltimore’s turnaround.

Andy MacPhail looks to have rewritten his fairytale with the Cole Hamels trade and the hiring of Matt Klentak from the Angels organization seems to be another well calculated move. Matt has been talked about as the next young mind in baseball to succeed and has done some good things already. Just looking at the farm system we have assembled, we are only a few years away from contention.

Now onto the orange and black. As we still lay to rest the beloved Ed Snider, Gm Ron Hextall and Head Coach Dave Hakstol are putting together a plan to make you get behind. Hakstol has single handedly changed the style of this team and continues to bring the same development success he had with players such as Jonathan Toews and Zach Parise to the Flyers forefront. With the stocked farm system the Flyers have it won’t be long before they are atop the Eastern Conference. GM Hextall continues to make trades to wash away all the past salary cap destruction all while hanging his hat on prized prospects like Ivan Provorov, Travis Sanheim, and Sam Morin. It won’t be long before they are skating around the Wells Fargo Center.

We saw the first stage of the plan when Shayne Gostisbehere took the NHL by storm and Nick Cousins proved he can be player you can rely on in the future. As the Flyers’ young players continue to emerge, the Wells Fargo Center will be rocking night in and night out.

As we dwindle down the list of the top 4 we can’t forget our beloved Eagles. Wow, what a few years it has been for the midnight men in green. Do we all remember that moment when we found out Chip Kelly was coming? We went through weeks of speculation when the chants for the Gus Bus came to a screeching stop. It was the simple text message that was received by Howie Roseman minutes before Gus Bradley was ready to sign on the dotted line that said, “I’ll take the job!” With that came the Chip Kelly era that began with a very weak, “Yo Philly” chant from the Chipster himself at his first appearance during wing bowl. Did Chip get out of dodge because of the sanctions came down by the NCAA? This is something we will never be able to get a definitive answer on. However, the path of excitement that turned to emotional devastation will forever be remembered by all who follow the team on a consistent basis.

It started out as the most exciting 1st half in sports with the unleashing of the hurry up offense on national television. The Washington Redskins didn’t know what hit them, while Al Michaels couldn’t read his script fast enough. One thing is for sure, Chip Kelly made the entire NFL go back to work. From referees to camera guys, everyone needed to be in tip top shop in order to call an Eagles game.

Unfortunately, the success never turned into a consistent formula and the team became a mockery of what it once was. It was obvious the owner’s patience was wearing thin as it was evident the team had given up on the once heralded coach.

We now are introduced to the Dougie P Era and one that will definitely bring with it tons of criticism. Will Doug work out as a HC? It all remains to be seen. My theory still remains that Jim Schwartz only picked Philly because he felt it was his quickest path to become a HC again. I just cannot help but think the main reason for Doug’s presence was his knack for not rocking the boat. Between him and the beloved Howie Roseman, there will always be a story to report on or a move to criticize.

Either way, the keys to our future are in the hands of Carson Wentz. It took one snap and 30 seconds into the first public training camp practice to hear the chants of, “We want Carson.” Just wait until Sam Bradford gets his arm stuck in his big sleeves and throws his first wobbler to a wide open receiver. Those chants will get louder and more passionate.

Carson Wentz is the single most important figure in Philadelphia Sports right now. He will either lead us to success or failure over the next 10 years. What end of the spectrum we will be on remains to be seen. However, the one thing we have that we didn’t for years is the hopes of stability in the pocket.

As we look over the landscape of Philadelphia Sports we can always agree that the passion is what gets us through the bad times and strings of bad luck. We have certainly endured a long period of losing in all areas and a time period we want to leave in the dust. The end looks to be finally approaching with a glimmer of hope sprinkled into the mix. It won’t be long until we are on the national viewing scene once again as we get treated to the criticism of an overrated Joe Buck as he talks about things he can only look up on the internet and a bunch of rookie reporters bringing up the booing of Santa Claus. In the end it will be worth it as we will be cheering once again!

Reported By:

Tony Cutillo (@TCutillo23)

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NFL Draft Slides and Surprises


nfl draft

Sum of All Sports Report

 Fantasy Sports, Real Sports and Sports Entertainment All in One Place!

The NFL Draft of 2016 has come and gone, but the stories will continue to play out throughout the season. Being drafted in the NFL is a privilege and one that cannot be underestimated. In due time we will find out what players were worth the investment.

This day had many surprises and some that none could predict. Either way it was another weekend full of suspense and one that definitely didn’t disappoint. Come join in below and leave your thoughts to the following observations for some of the tops stories in sports this week.

* #LaremyTunsil slide….Going from the best player in the draft to dropping all the way to 13…If Miami didn’t have some inside information, would the slide have continued to Day 2?

* #JaylonSmith hobbles all the way up to 34….Did the Cowboys stretch for a player that will red shirt for a whole year? Could they have picked him later?

* #JaredGoff or CarsonWentz…What guy will be the better pick? Are they both a reach?  

* #SamBradford still an Eagle…..How will this situation pan out?

* #SanJose is first team to take a 2-0 series lead…Games 3 and 4 move to Nashville…Can the Sharks keep their momentum going?

* # NolanArenado early vote for MVP…305 with 11 homers and 25 RBI…Does playing in Colorado hurt the Gold Glover’s chances?

* #GoldenState…Playing without Curry, the Warriors and Draymond Green continue to roll in round 2. Will he be back by Game 3?

Come follow my weekly Sum of All Sports Report to answer these questions and weigh in on the latest news in Fantasy Sports, Real Sports and Sports Entertainment. Leave your comments below and let your voice be heard…Come follow me on twitter @TCutillo23 for live sessions and responses.

***If you want to hear the voice behind the story, I can be heard on “Sun Coast Live” airing 4:00p ET every Monday on WENG 1530am/107.5fm, Hosted by Guy T. Wehman.  Also catch me on Friday nights at 7:30pm ET on “Live from Seattle” with Michelle Mendoza…Come stop by and listen for my weekly sports review.

***Also for all my secret wrestling fans out there, come follow my column at eWrestlingnews.com.. This site offers a ton of content and breaking news stories that pertain to the past and present business.

Reported by:

Tony Cutillo

Golden State on Pace to Hit 73…Sum of All Sports Report


stephcurry

Sum of All Sports Report

 Fantasy Sports, Real Sports and Sports Entertainment All in One Place!

The Golden State Warriors are in the midst of a historical season. Having already set the record for best start to a season by winning 28 straight games, they are also on pace to break the NBA’s win-loss record of 72-10 set by the Chicago Bulls in the 1996 season. Will they do it? How did the Bulls fare that postseason? Is Steph Curry the new face of the NBA?

* #CalvinJohnson hangs up the spikes…Does he bolster a HOF resume?

* #ProBowl is one giant cringe fest…Is it time to finally kill it off?

* #NHLAllStarGame new format was unveiled. Was it a complete success or an underwhelming failure?

* #JohnScott named All Star MVP…How does this situation make the NHL and Mr. Bettman look?

* #SuperBowl50 will showcase age versus youth…Can Cam continue his dominance against the league’s top defense?

* #MLBSteroidEra could be making a case for Cooperstown….We the steroid class be inducted in the next class? How will that be perceived?

* #AJStyles debuts on main WWE Roster…Is he the main driver behind the rating increase?

Come follow my weekly Sum of All Sports Report to answer these questions and weigh in on the latest news in Fantasy Sports, Real Sports and Sports Entertainment. Leave your comments below and let your voice be heard…Come follow me on twitter @TCutillo23 for live sessions and responses.

***Check out www.facebook.com/extremesportsaddicts23 for breaking news, stats, comical stories, and weekly projections.  I can be heard on “Sun Coast Live” airing 4:00p ET every Monday on WENG 1530am/107.5fm, Hosted by Guy T. Wehman. Come stop by and listen for my weekly sports review.

***Also for all my secret wrestling fans out there, come follow my column at eWrestlingnews.com.. This site offers a ton of content and breaking news stories that pertain to the past and present business.

Reported by:

Tony Cutillo

Timberwolves Notch #1 Pick….Sum of All Sports Report


Sum of All Sports Report

 Fantasy Sports, Real Sports and Sports Entertainment All in One Place!

  • Toronto Maple Leafs find their Coach….Mike Babcock signs 8yr/50 million
  • Blackhawks edge Ducks in Triple OT….Series tied 1 -1….Who has the advantage?
  • NBA Draft Lottery concludes…Timberwolves notch #1 pick…Who will it be?
  • Ryan Tannehill signs massive extension …6yr/96 million…QB market affected?
  • Automatic Extra Point no more…NFL votes to push back XP to 15yd line…
  • WWE Raw ratings rise…Elimination Chamber exclusive on WWE Network May 31…
  • Kraft drops appeal and accepts punishment…Tom Brady battle ensues…
  • Houston Astros take MLB by storm…Best record in Baseball 24-17…What changed?

Come follow my weekly Sum of All Sports Report to answer these questions and weigh in on the latest news in Fantasy Sports, Real Sports and Sports Entertainment. Leave your comments below and let your voice be heard…Look for the all new radio show coming later in 2015!!!!!!

Most Overrated Athletes of All-Time


Never wanting to shy away from controversy, I will share my thoughts on Hall of Fame athletes I find overrated. Now, my criteria is strictly based on my gut and my version of the eye test we sports fanatics use while watching games.

Baseball…Cal Ripken

What, over 400 hundred homeruns and 3,000 hits! Mr. Ironman himself!  Yep.  As a fan I never feared him when he came to the plate.  His glove work was solid, but because of his bat, he was given too much credit for having average range.  I recall interning with the Orioles during his errorless streak in 1990.Ripken  He missed a throw from the catcher while trying to catch and tag the base runner simultaneously.  The ball went into the outfield and the runner advanced to third.  Clearly an E6…but you guessed it; they gave it to the catcher. How many horrible first halves of a season did he have? How many times was he was voted to the All-Star game purely because of name recognition? I, for one say there were too many to count!   Ultimately, I feared Dave Parker at the plate much more than the man who is in the Hall, Cal Ripken.

Hockey…Luc Robitaille

luc rHow can I say this about a 500 goal scorer? Well, again, I did not fear him on the ice.  His defense was suspect, and he was an average skater.  However, to his credit he amassed great numbers.  Yet, I feared Claude Lemieux more, also, not in the Hall of Fame.

 

Basketball…Bob Lanier

During overlapping eras playing with Wilt, Kareem, Moses , and Robert Parrish, I just never waslanier concerned when my team faced the Pistons or Bucks with Bob Lanier. I did not feel threatened when a player went to the hole, or concerned he would shut down my big man.  Enough said, after all, we are talking about the NBA.

Football… Brett Favre

favreSay what! Yes, he had one cannon for an arm, and until recently,  the most career TD passes, and he threw for many frequent flyer miles as well; over 71,000 yards!  That being said, I did not fear him in the clutch.  I actually, along with many others, was anticipating an interception.  I love how he is considered a gunslinger and other dopey quarterbacks who are forcing throws into small holes and double covered receivers, are just making poor decisions.  I guess the strong arm and brain makes him a “gunslinger”!

Now, for my All Time All Time overrated athlete…Don Sutton

He had 300 plus wins, and 3000 plus strikeouts. These numbers are “designated HOF numbers for a pitcher”.  In this case, these numbers were compiled over 150 years of pitching (23 actually).  don suttonDon was very steady; I will not knock that, but steady and a 15 game a year winner does not always equal overpowering and staff ace.  He only won 20 games once and had only 5 plus 200 strikeout season, with a high of 217!

I’ll admit, I would probably lose a few debates at the local watering hole over some of my choices. However, I will never cave on Don Sutton being in the Hall of Fame.  He was a consistent compiler, but never a dominating force during his tenure.

Those are my thoughts, how about you?

Reported By:

Dan “Old School” Green

State of the Flyers: Riddle Me This!


flyers

The state of Flyers hockey is more of a riddle than poetry.  Here are some riddles for you… I wear a number 5 and love to turn the puck over?  Or, I am a right handed defenseman who skates in mud, who am I?  Try this, I was paid $30 million over six years and cannot get the puck out of my zone, and no other teams even wanted my services, who am I?

Next, we would be a number 7 defenseman on any other team, who are we?  Get my point!  The Flyers entire defensive core is a disgrace! If I see another moment when Braydon Coburn Coburnis behind the net with no pressure and the other team is on a line change, and then watch him ice the puck, I will throw the remote through the TV!  How about when DelZotto or MacDonald reverse the puck for no reason, and then create a self-imposed fore-check!

Then you have Nicholas Grossman…love his effort, but talk about skating in cement!  Now Nick, can I Grossmancall you Nick?  Please use your size and bury someone.  Also, clear the crease with anger and take a head off or two.  If I bring up Luke Schenn, this author won’t have enough time to include my “why did you trade JVR for this piece cr@p rant!”   Next article, the forwards…uggh!  Those are my thoughts, how about you?

 

Reported By:

Dan “Old School” Green

Waxing Poetic for Old Time Hockey


old time hockey

Having become an intense and knowledgeable fan of hockey since the mid-1970s, I just feel something is missing in today’s game. As I write this in my Don Cherry sports coat, I will admit the speed and skill is obviously better than ever (less Mr. Gretzky, Lemieux, and Orr), and the restrictions on clutching, grabbing, and hooking is nice to see. Yet, once again, something is missing.gretzky

I hate to sound like a dinosaur, but I truly miss the “honest” fight in hockey, and the occasional bench clearing brawl. I believe I am not going out on limb thinking the fans do as well!  If you were to put a microphone on the fighters in hockey today, you might hear at the face-off circle, “How’s your family, try any good IPA beers lately, and oh yea, wanna drop the gloves?”

Then after the bout, often you will see pats on the back and nods of solidarity. What the hell is that!  I hate these scripted fights.  The mindset that the team is playing sluggish, so let’s create a contrived fight is utter nonsense!  When Dave Schultz and Terry O’Reilly went after each other, it was over a cheap shot, or a vicious check.  Clark Gillies and Tiger Williams did not ask about the wife and kids before dropping the gloves.  Ask Mel Bridgman how he felt about Bob Nystrom!

gordieI want good old time hockey back, from Eddie Shore, to Gordie Howe, to Bob Plager, to Rick Tocchet, and maybe I’ll include Colton Orr, if he does not invite someone to fight, then share a milkshake after the game.

Those are my thoughts, how about you?

Reported By:

Dan “Old School” Green

Orange and Black Holiday


openingnight

 

The Philadelphia Eagles may have stolen the headlines all week with the hiring of Chip Kelly, but today the whole city is filled with emotion and angst, looking forward to the opening of the their beloved Flyers season. Philadelphia is a city filled with football, baseball, basketball, and hockey fans that clamour together as one unit. Over the years, the Phillies and Eagles, have notoriously been at the top of the towns conversations. However, the sea of orange and black seems to have taken over the fan base as a whole, brining an electric element to start of the year.

Early in the morning, people began to pour ou their emotions on social media, posting Facebook statuses and Tweets about their feeling of anticipation for today’s game against the Penguins. Supermarkets are busy with people getting their snacks and entrees for the crowds expected to be in their homes to watch Claude Giroux give Sydney Crosby his first hit of the year. In many instances, shortened seasons can be beneficial in many ways to teams who have a well laid out plan. All teams have had the same misfortunes on missed team practices and workouts, leaving only the strict strategist as the early favorite. Even though it takes stamina to outplay your opponent, don’t downplay the advantage of scheme and execution to help be successful. Peter Laviolette has given us every reason to expect this, with his invaluable ability to coach through adversity and devise a great game plan to overcome the enemy.

Over the last few season, the Pittsburgh Penguins have become a pesky rival of the Flyers, meeting each other in 3 of the last 5 seasons in the playoffs. The first meeting between the Flyers and Penguins occurred on October 19, 1967 in the first ever game at the Philadelphia Spectrum and in 1988-89, the Flyers and the Penguins met for the first time in the playoffs in the Patrick Division Finals. Through the years there have been many ups and downs, in regards to the rivalry, but in the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, the Flyers won the series in six games, surprising the hockey world, as the Penguins were heavily favored to win the Stanley Cup. The teams combined for an NHL-record 45 goals in the first four games as well as combining for 309 penalty minutes throughout the fight-filled six-game series. Many NHL players and media personalities commented that it was the most engaging series they had seen in a long time.

Consequently, this has seemed to bring an intriguing element to the matchups of these two franchises. These games have gone from finesse-style skating and passing, to an all out, roller derby brawl. There are more hits in these games then a celebrities twitter account and more scuffles than in an eighth grade lunchroom. It is this kind action that brings the positive energy and excitement, to a fane base that was already pegged on overdrive!

By: Tony Cutillo ( @TCutillo23 )

O Captain My Captain……


As the 2012-13 shortened season approaches,  there has been a passing of the torch in Philadelphia sports.  Chris Pronger,  who has stepped aside because of the lingering effects of post-concussion syndrome,  has passed his confidence on to Claude Giroux to lead the Flyers on the ice.  We have seen many captains pass through this city,  with the lcrosbyhitikes of Eric LindrosBobby Clarke, and  Rick Tocchet,  who have shown us what it means to bleed Orange and Black.  If the infamous Game 3 hit on Sydney Crosby is any indication on how he chooses to lead by example,  I think we are all in for a treat.

The Captain label is very important in the game of Hockey,  not only because of the tradition and values it stands for,  but for the pure leadership it requires.  It seems like the Philadelphia Flyers did not expect this from Giroux,  when they drafted him in   the 2006 NHL Entry Draft  22nd overall because of the simple fact  that the draft is always full of surprises.  After some growing pains along the way, being bounced around to the AHL,  Giroux looked to turn things and stared to blossom into a future superstar of the ice.  This sudden rise to stardom, after much inconsistency along the way,  led GM Paul Holmgren to make a historic decision to trade away Jeff Carter and Mike Richards in the 2011 off-season, leaving Giroux to take over the role as first line centre for the club.  At the time, this looked like an extreme act of uncertainty,  but looked ingenious int the end as Giroux ended the season  Giroux ended the season as both the Flyers’ top regular season point-scorer (93 points) and top playoff point scorer (17 points).

Usually the offseason is filled with rumblings of potential free agent visits and breakdowns of numerous trades,  but    girouxthis one was filled with emotion, angst,  and disappointment, due to the NHL Lockout.  With the lockout behind everyone,  now is the time to focus on the trials and tribulations of the upcoming season.  While many teams are still trying to decide on their roster,  the Philadelphia Flyers were busy making their 25-year-old phenomenon the center piece of their organization.  As a professional Hockey player, your emotions are always worn on your sleeve and taken out on your opponent.  As evidence in his play,  Giroux always played with notorious pride and emotion,  but now it will be forever acknowledged by the presence of his patch!!!!!!

  BY: Tony Cutillo

Passion and Perseverance!!


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The City of Philadelphia is known for its passion,  history,  and fan base when it comes to our sports teams.  I dare anyone,  in any city,  to try and compare to the likes of the Orange and Black Sea that is called the Wells Fargo Center.  We cheer,  boo,  and tell you exactly the way we feel,  which is why we sometimes get a bad reputation.  The national media loves to portray us as animals and derelicts,  instead of the intelligent fans that we actually are.  However,  there is nothing but positive feedback to be heard from the way the fans congregated to express their support at the first official practice of the 2012-13 season.

Organizationally,  the Philadelphia Flyer brass,  shows their love back by making every effort possible to put a winning product on the ice.  Within minutes of the 202-13, 48 game schedule being released,  General Manager Paul Holmgren,  was already working the phones to complete his first transaction of the season.  The Flyers acquired Goaltender Brian Boucher and defensive prospect Mark Alt from the Carolina Hurricanes  in exchange for prospect  Luke Pither.  Granted, it’s not the most exhilarating move,  but something to show the fans they are never done trying to improve the roster.  In the day and age of free agency,  Flyer’s Chairman Ed Snider,  is never ashamed or hesitant to write a check to express his desire for a winner.  He is always visible and doesn’t shy away from the spotlight.

As you can see,  the Philadelphia Fans will always be there to support their team through the good times and bad.  They are always behind the glass to show their feelings in the way of signs and emotions.  Consequently,  the franchise has shown, in leu of their continuous support,  they will always be willing to do everything necessary to try and book another trip down Broad Street!