Philly Fantasy Sports Top 10 Super Bowl XLVII Commercials

After the phenomenal Super Bowl XLVII with the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens, John Harbaugh and his quarterback Joe Flacco overcame the surge — and the 34-minute blackout at the Superdome — to win the game 34-31.  With the San Francisco 49ers mismanaging the clock and Colin Kaepernick‘s inability to run a two-minute drill effectively, the Ravens scraped one out in the final minutes of the game.  After all that commotion, the commercials were much the same.  Close to the second half, the real commercials decided to show up, and with that, these are Philly Fantasy Sports Top 10 selections for best Super Bowl XLVII commercials:

Oreo “Whisper Fight”

I enjoyed this one. Subtly funny.

M & M “Love Ballad”

What are friends for when you have friends like Ms. Chocolate

Taco Bell “Viva Young”

Not funny in a funny kind of way but charming in a Taco Bell kinda way.

Toyota RAV 4 “Wish Granted”

The Rock Milk “Morning Run”

Volkwagen “Get In. Get Happy.”

Minnesota people. Represent.  Not just about Harley Davidson motorcycles and bratwursts.

Bud Light “Journey”

I liked this one. Perhaps the voodoo dolls caused the power outage. Or not.

Deion Sanders NFL “Leon Sandcastle” 

Funny. Very funny. Kind of a jilt on Randy Moss, Terrell Owens and others.

Kia Motors “Hot Bots”

Kia Motors got double honors this Super Bowl.  I think the advertising people left Volkswagen and came here.

Kia Motors “Space Babies”

This one had lots of charm to it — and the babies faces were priceless as they rocketed to Earth.

This is Philly Fantasy Sports Top 10 commercials for Super Bowl XLVII.  What do you think?  Do you agree?

 

NFL 2012-13 Season in Review: The ABCs of the NFL

Baltimore Ravens Joe Flacco After the Super Bowl Win Over the San Francisco 49ers

With the Baltimore Ravens winning Super Bowl XLVII over the San Francisco 49ers 34-31, the NFL season has offiically come to an end, and Ravens Joe Flacco and Ray Lewis finally got their rings.  With it, the 2012-13 season of the NFL brought in some interesting twists and turns as the free-agency system has finally matured and transformed the NFL into a season of instability and chaos.  The inclusion of the 2011 rookies also helped as they have created a NFL, a mixture of the old guard and the new.

  • A is for Andy Dalton. Cincinnati Bengals Andy Dalton may have the Donovan McNabb curse.  For the second time in the playoffs, he once again fell flat with the Houston Texans.
  • Y is for Young Guns.  Indianapolis Colts Andrew Luck, Washington Redskins Robert Griffin III, Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson and San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaepernick all changed their teams for the better.  At least for this season. They all have potential to become elite quarterbacks in their own right in the future.
  • A is for Adrian Peterson. Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has always been a a workhorse for the team like the St. Louis Rams Steven Jackson.  But this season he proved himself more than ever.
  • P is for Peyton Manning.  Even though he’s not with the Indianapolis Colts anymore, he is still an elite quarterback who makes something out of nothing.  While he’s with the Denver Broncos, he’s going to keep the team competitive, if not better.  He’s already taken advantage of Demaryius Thomas, Denver’s equivalent to Reggie Wayne.
  • R is for Rex Ryan. For the most part this season, he stayed out of the news this year. Surprisingly.  No more supposed Super Bowl parades, and the quarterback controversy between Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow was kept to a minimum.  However, there was some questionable choices during the mid-season involving his roster of injured quarterbacks.  
  • R is for Read-Option. With the Wildcat formation going the way of the Tim Tebow comes the resurrection of the read-option in the NFL.  This is not a long-term gimmick for the NFL as the Super Bowl showed, but it has served well this season.
  • E is for Elite. The New England Patriots and the Green Bay Packers earned their spots in the playoffs. Again.  With both Aaron Rodgers of Green Bay and Tom Brady of New England, both quarterbacks are performing at a high standard.
  • S is for Second Tier. The Atlanta Falcons, the Baltimore Ravens, the Houston Texans, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Seattle Seahawks all earned their spots in the playoffs this season as well.  These teams don’t have elite quarterbacks, but they are excellent as a team. Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco did rise above when it counted against New England Patriots Tom Brady….
  • D is for Defense. Like in previous seasons, stout defenses win games when the games remain tight. The Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers have proven that.
  • F is for Fundamental. Those teams who planned ahead finally got their due — the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks.
  • A is for Andrew Luck.  Well, the Indianapolis Colts got their Andrew Luck, a quarterback that is decisively better in the long-term than Washington Redskins Robert Griffin III in my opinion.  However, he buckled under the Baltimore Ravens defense and rookie jitters.
  • R is for Robert Griffin III. Robert Griffin III has proven himself to be Washington Redskins’ franchise quarterback.  But with him participating in the Wild Card game against the Seattle Seahawks with an injured knee was a bad idea transformed into a worse idea.  
  • C is for Coaches. This was a dismal season to be an NFL coach. The firings of coaches from some teams, like the Cleveland Browns and the Kansas City Chiefs, was expected.   These teams don’t have a record of keeping coaches — and keeping their teams in competitive shape.
  • H is for Harbaugh. The Harbaugh brothers are remarkably intelligent, and neither of them particularly cater the media.
  • J is for Joe Flacco. Despite winning the Super Bowl, in my opinion, he is still a second-tier quarterback.  He is lucky to have a stiff defense helping him when he needs it most.

This season was indeed intriguing as the elite fell to some of the second-tier teams.  Now onto next season…

2013 Philly Fantasy Sports: Building a Better Sports Site

After dealing with family matters, this site will be rebuilt for the better. Fantasy news for football, baseball and hockey will be returning. Additionally, some Australian and European football news and views will be added. Stay tuned.

Philadelphia Eagles 2012: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (The Post-Turkey Edition)

It's About Time For Change. Definitely.

It’s About Time For Change. Definitely.

With the Philadelphia Eagles season pretty much officially drawn to a close after the horrendous 30-22 loss to the lowly Carolina Panthers, it’s time to take a honest look at the Eagles organization. Or the Turkeys organization. Seriously.

THE GOOD

  • Die-hard Philadelphia Eagles fans. You’ve got to give them props for still able to tough it out.  The few that still attend the games should be given a nod, if anything else.
  • Backup quarterback Nick Foles. We now know what he’s made of — and more of what he isn’t.
  • Backup running back Bryce Brown.  On the bright side, the Eagles finally know how to use running backs.  However, it took a losing season for them to recognize it.
  • Running back LeSean McCoy. He has demonstrated he is one of the stellar parts of this team.  Although he had fewer touchdowns to date than when he was a rookie, he was on pace to beat his yardage total.
  • Tight End Brent Celek. Brent Celek has been one of the stalwarts of the Eagles organization. Tough, classy, and  respectable.  He was on pace to exceed his yardage total over the previous seasons.

THE BAD

  • Backup quarterback Nick Foles. At this point, he’s not worth much in trade value after seeing what he’s capable of performing in the national spotlight.  At best, he’s no worse than Kevin Kolb; and at his worst, he’s no better than A.J. Feeley.
  • Quarterback Michael Vick. Even though he had a phenomenol 2010 season, it is no longer 2010.  The league has changed while Michael Vick hasn’t.  Michael Vick is no elite quarterback.  He does not have the intellectual prowess nor the pocket presence on the field as with New England Patriots’ Tom Brady or Denver Broncos’ Peyton Manning. He never did. And he never will.
  • Running back LeSean McCoy. Well, his touchdown production is worse than when he was a rookie.  In fact, he had only two touchdowns to date compared to four in his 2009 season.  And he doubled his fumbles since his 2009 season.
  • Tight End Brent Celek.  Well, like LeSean McCoy, his touchdown production this season matched his rookie season with only one.
  • The Defense as a Whole. By the numbers, the defense has only gotten slightly worse than the previous seasons. The Eagles defense currently ranks about middle of the pack, and it hasn’t changed much over the past few seasons with or without Sean McDermott.

THE UGLY

  • The Yankees The Eagles Ain’t. Andy Reid got a bit too ambitious perhaps and over his head these past few seasons.  He sought to buy talent like the New York Yankees, but that was not the prize-winning formula for the Eagles during their winning seasons.  Reid always found ways to find diamonds in the rough and transform them into generally great players.  Jeremiah Trotter was one example as he was a mess in the beginning but eventually became a four-time Pro Bowler.
  • Head Coach Andy Reid. He’s unable to energize the troops.  He’s unable to have decent play-calling. He’s an impotent coach.
  • Juan Castillo and His Wide-9 Defense. After Juan Castillo was let go, unfortunately, the defense improved very little.  The Wide-9 defense requires highly talented players at the end/corners who are consistent.  Unfortunately, the Eagles defense does not possess either in Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie or Nnamdi Asomugha.  One more point, the Eagles should return to 46 defense or the 4-3.
  • Turnovers. We can only wish these were the breakfast kind. The Eagles have one of the worst turnover ratios in the entire league this season.

With five games left, and potentially three or four more losses ahead, the regular football season is drawing to a close. With yet another potential loss to the Dallas Cowboys,  the charade of the Philadelphia Eagles may finally come to an end.

My Top 10 Favorite Super Bowl XLVI Commercials

While the Super Bowl was a rematch of Super Bowl XLII, unfortunately, most of the commercials for the Super Bowl were mere regurgitation for the most part.  Some were inventive, and others were not.  With the car companies, after the American public initially bailed them out from their financial meltdown, it’s nice to know that nearly all of these car companies have money to burn for the Super Bowl.  But we’ll leave that issue for another day…when your hangover is over.

Now to my top 10 list of favorite Super Bowl XLVI commercials:

2012 M & M’s “I’m Sexy and I Know It

This commercial was hilarious.  The red M & M made the show.

2012 Honda CR-V “Matthew’s Day Off”

Bueller, Bueller, Bueller. Enough said.

2012 Volkswagen “The Dog Strikes Back”

Fantastic commercial throughout from the dog to the Darth Vader chokehold in the cantina.

2012 Coca-Cola “The Catch”

Amusing Coca-Cola commercial. Best CGI commercial although not quite as inventive as the Warcraft commercial of the past Super Bowl.

2012 Toyota Camry “It’s Reinvented”

The Toyota Camry is reinvented and so is everything else.  Very creative and witty.  The best of the Super Bowl commercials in my opinion.

2012 Skechers “Go Run, Mr. Quiggly”

Funny commercial yet involving another dog.

2012 Doritos “Sling Baby”

Funny but wrong in all sorts of ways. What’s with Doritos launching projectiles in recent Super Bowls anyhow?  First, it was chips, and now, it’s babies.  I guess it’s a step up — sort of.

2012 Acura NSX “Transactions”

Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno and a 2012 Acura NSX.  Of the three, I want the NSX — in black please.  Amusing commercial nonetheless.

2012 Careerbuilder “Business Trip”

Not quite as inventive in the past, but the satire is perfect in today’s business world.  We all have office monkeys in our midst.  It is particularly entertaining when they decide to join for a business trip.

2012 Volkswagen “The Bark Side” 

One last commercial involving a whole slew of dogs barking the Imperial March.  The dog AT-AT and Chewie dogs made this commercial special.

Volkswagen made the best impression in this Super Bowl, but they always have creative advertising minds whether it’s the Super Bowl or not.  In my opinion, Toyota Camry’s “It’s Reinvented!” commercial was the tops.  After the slow-as-molasses (generally) Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and New York Giants, it’s time to prepare for next season’s hangover as the New York Giants win Super Bowl XLVI with the score of 21-17.

Out with the Old, In with the New: The Indianapolis Colts, Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck

With the firing of Jim Caldwell and the change in staff, Indianapolis Colts (former?) quarterback Peyton Manning is feeling the heat.  He had to undergo rehabilitation during the 2011 season, and with his departure from that season, the Colts fell to 2-14, and Matt Schaub and his Houston Texans clinched the division with a 10-6 record in the AFC South without the usual pressure of Peyton Manning and his Indianapolis Colts.  The Houston Texans, however, could not take advantage of Manning’s departure.  They decimated the Cincinnati Bengals 31-10 in the wild card playoffs, but the Baltimore Ravens posed a problem or two for Matt Schaub and his Houston Texans.  The Ravens defense ultimately won at the end of the day with a 20-13 win over the Texans.

This was the season of quarterbacks as several quarterbacks broke records in the regular and post-season.  New Orleans Saints Drew Brees, New England Patriots Tom Brady and Detroit Lions Matthew Stafford all three over 5,000 yards with the Super Bowl-bound New York Giants Eli Manning coming in close with 4,933 during the 2011 regular season.  If Peyton Manning was in the lineup  with the Indianapolis Colts, he could have kept up.  However, he was sidelined with rehabilitation for his neck.  Now he gets to watch his brother Eli perform against one of his rivals, Patriots Tom Brady, in a rematch of Super Bowl XLII.  The Giants no longer have David Tyree, but they have a talented corps of wide receivers from Victor Cruz, Mario Manningham and Hakeem Nicks.

When the Super Bowl comes to a close, Peyton Manning will have to contend with owner Jim Irsay about his contract.  From the initial whispers about potential draftee Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning realized that his future with the Indianapolis Colts would seemingly be coming to a close.  During his last two seasons as a Stanford Cardinal, Andrew Luck threw over 3,000 yards and 30 touchdowns or more.  Luck certainly has the mental capacity and physical assets to be a great quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts.  However, the question remains: is he good enough to replace veteran Peyton Manning?  As close as Andrew Luck has been with Peyton, I am certainly not too quick to endorse him quite yet.  Cincinnati Bengals Andy Dalton proved that a rookie quarterback can take a team to the playoffs, but it also showed the failure of a rookie in the playoffs.  The tension of the game and the increased defensive pressure can certainly take its toll on a young rookie.

In my opinion, it would be a shame to let Peyton Manning go for the Colts sake. Manning is an elite-caliber quarterback even with his neck injury.  The Arizona Cardinals or the Seattle Seahawks both would want a quarterback of his caliber to lead them, but for now, it’s dependent on the next move of Jim Irsay, and Irsay won’t trade his prize horse, no matter how injured, so quickly without compensation.

Penn State Nittany Lions Head Coach Joe Paterno: RIP December 21, 1926 – January 22, 2012

DEAR JOE PATERNO,

We miss you. You were the best coach — ever. 

And thank you for being a thorn in Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan Wolverines side

each and every year.

Sincerely,
Tex 

Letter to My Readers, Mission Statement and the Future of Philly Fantasy Sports

Dear Readers,

Due to tumultuous family affair, I apologize for the delay in updating content on this sports blog.  For those who followed me at eagleshomefan.wordpress.com, this is the new site for your news and content.  I will still cover Philadelphia and fantasy sports  with the statistics, analysis and quality you’ve come to expect.  When time permits, I will cover international and niche sports as well.

You will be glad to know that in the future, those who have followed me and will follow me, the future will hold a lot more for this website than expected.  In the future, there will be cosmetic overhauls to the website, as well the addition of five-minute podcasts, possible contests and swag.  Lastly, there will be a new banner and logo for this website to emphasize the mission statement below.

Passion. Phantasy. Philadelphia.

This is the mission statement of this website, and it will ring true in 2012.

With Sincerest Apologies and Thanks,
Tex, Your Fellow Sports Nut

The Fourth of July State of the Philadelphia Phillies Address

With the Philadelphia Phillies leading the league with 53 wins and 32 losses by the sheer talent of their pitching staff and occasional bumps in offense, all has been well in the land of Phillies generally.  However, the Phillies are not without their problems, and these problems are perhaps more severe than they were last season.  Whereas the major concern with the inadequacy of the bullpen last season, this season the Phillies have contended with a depleted bullpen.  This is not good news at the present time, and hopefully, it won’t get worse as the season comes to a close.  Despite the 7-4 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays yesterday, with pitcher Cliff Lee on the mound, the Phillies are going into the All-Star Game with three Phillies pitchers, including Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels, and third baseman Placido Polanco.  That is impressive indeed as three pitchers have generally been stellar, and Placido Polanco was one potent bat for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Pitching Staff

The much-touted pitching staff of the Philadelphia Phillies so far has been the best in the league with the Atlanta Braves tied at 3.04.  General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. made certain of an improvement in the pitching staff as a whole, after the San Francisco Giants pitching staff closed the doors on the Philadelphia Phillies last season.  However, the San Francisco Giants are not too far behind the Philadelphia Phillies ranked fifth overall presently with 3.20.  And Brian Wilson of the Giants is still one devastating closer as he is tied for first in the National League with 24 saves, and it appears he may come to haunt the Philadelphia Phillies offense this post-season perhaps.

Roy Halladay has been fantastic this season, much like every season as he is one consistent and elite pitcher.  He’s presently tied for first in the National League with 11 wins with Pittsburgh Pirates Kevin Correia and Atlanta Braves Jair Jurrjens.  He presently has a 2.44 ERA and an impressive 1.03 WHIP on 11 wins and 3 losses.  He is matching last season’s numbers so far with a 2.44 ERA and 1.04 WHIP.  Fortunately for him, he’s not known as a batter.  He’s actually performing worse than last season with a dismal 0.73 batting average presently.  It is only slightly worse than his previously dismal .141 batting average.  Halladay is third in ERA in the NL with 2.44 with his teammate Cole Hamels performing slightly better with 2.41 and Atlanta Braves Jair Jurrjens with a stunning 1.89 ERA.

Cliff Lee has been performing actually better than last season, with the month of June did giving him a boost. This season he has a 2.92 ERA and a spectacular 1.08 WHIP on 9 wins and 6 losses.  In his 2010 season with the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers, he had a 3.18 ERA and 1.00 WHIP.  Cliff Lee at present is tied with Cole Hamels in the National League with his 9 wins and eighth in ERA overall.  Lee’s batting average hasn’t been half-bad for a pitcher.  Currently, he has a .205 batting average and a .22o on-base percentage.  Compared to his 2009 season with the Philadelphia Phillies, he had .212 batting average and on-base percentage.  Lee is certainly no power hitter like Ryan Howard, but he contributes to the Phillies offense.

Cole Hamels has been performing significantly better than his previous season. Cole Hamels is currently tied in the NL with his 9 wins with Cliff Lee and, and he has the second best ERA in the NL with 2.41 ahead of Cliff Lee.  He has significantly improved over last season with his present 2.41 ERA over last season’s 3.16 and stunning 0.94 WHIP compared to last season’s 1.18.  Like his teammate Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels has actually contributed to the offense this season.  He has a respectable .222 batting average and .243 on-base percentage.  Hamels is certainly no offensive batting machine, but he is more than capable of generating some runs this season.  With his injury to his glove hand and cleared to play tomorrow against the Florida Marlins, it will be interesting if it throws him off his rhythm or not.

Roy Oswalt, the least-talked-about pitching ace of the Philadelphia Phillies, has been battling through a spinal injury as of late. Presently, he is on the 15-day disabled list as he converses with doctors.  He is the weakest chain of the four with a 3.79 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. Unfortunately, Oswalt has performed much worse than he did last season.  In his 2010 season with the Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies, he had a 2.76 ERA and 1.03 WHIP.  In the meantime, his replacement Vance Worley has performed respectably.  Worley presently has 2.57 ERA and 1.33 WHIP.  Worley too has declined since last season.  His numbers for last season were a 1.38 ERA and 0.92 WHIP on 1 win and 1 loss.  Although Worley does show signs of elite pitching, it’s far too early to count as an ace pitcher.  In the meantime, Joe Blanton, the original fifth ace, is still on the disabled list as well.

Regarding the closers, the Philadelphia Phillies closers still aren’t anywhere elite status either. Brad Lidge has been pitching, and it appears that he is getting closer to returning to the Phillies bullpen.  Ryan Madson is not scheduled to come off the disabled list quite yet either, but no optimistic news has come yet.  Madson so far has had a pretty good season as Philadelphia Phillies closer nonetheless.  He is still 13th in the NL with 15 saves.  He is ranked about 4th or 5th in ERA among closers with a 2.03 ERA. His peer Jose Contreras, ranked 17th in the NL with 5 saves.  Unfortunately, Jose Contreras is still contending with his injury as well.  With the massacre in the bullpen, Charlie Manuel had to often rely on his starters going the distance, and most of them have served him well so far.  Unfortunately, he may be dipping into the well too often, and it might cost the Phillies in the playoffs.

Offense

The Philadelphia Phillies most recognized bat, Ryan Howard, has been performing as well as he did in the 2010 season so far.  He presently has a .253 batting average and a .353 on-base percentage.  Compared to his 2010 season, he had a .273 batting average and .353 on-base percentage.  He is currently second in the National League with 67 RBIs behind Milwaukee Brewers Prince Fielder‘s 69.  It sort of comes to no surprise as these two sluggers contend with each other.  Whereas Prince Fielder is currently ranked 19th in batting average in the National League with .296, Ryan Howard, however, isn’t even ranked among the top 40.  In terms of homeruns, Prince Fielder is ranked third with 21 homeruns. Comparably, Ryan Howard is ranked fifth with 17 homeruns tied with St. Louis Cardinals Albert Pujols and Chicago White Sox Carlos Pena.

Placido Polanco has been the most devastating of the Phillies offense, but he too has been on decline as of late.  With his injury, he has been out of the lineup recently, but he will return this Wednesday against the Florida Marlins.  Polanco currently has a .277 batting average, .331 on-base percentage, 4 homeruns and 39 RBIs.  He is currently ranked 35th in batting average in the National League.  Statistically, so far, he’s been performing comparably to his 2010 with his .298 batting average and .339 on-base percentage.

Chase Utley has made a triumphant return and his impact on the offense so far has been significant.  Presently, he has a .285 batting average, .386 on-base percentage, 4 homeruns and 18 RBIs.  He’s been performing better than last season so far.   Last season, he had .275 batting average and .387 on-base percentage.  During the last week, he’s performed admirably with a .389 ERA on a homerun and 2 RBIs.

Shane Victorino, the last potential man on the All-Star roster, has been impressive this season offensively.  He presently has a .303 batting average,  .376 on-base percentage, 9 homeruns and 34 RBIs.  Victorino is ranked 11th in the National League in batting average and tied for 37th in homeruns.  He has been a fantastic offensive machine for the Philadelphia Phillies this season.  In the past week, he’s had .381 batting average on a homerun and 6 RBIs.

Phillies Problems

Obviously, at this point, the injuries in the bullpen are a major point of concern with the Philadelphia Phillies.  With closers slowly coming back onto the active roster, the Phillies will have a chance of succeeding in the regular season and well into the playoffs.  Ryan Madson would be the first that fans should want to come back soon, but inconsistent Brad Lidge will have to do for now perhaps.  The next problem has been run support.  That relies on a consistent offense of which the Phillies don’t have presently.  When the pitchers have to win their own game on both sides of the diamond, that is a problem. Lastly, the offense as a whole needs to produce more often.  However, pitchers have become better, and it is an issue around the league as batters no longer have the edge.  After the All-Star Game, the Phillies offensive engine needs to get revved up so the Phillies can make a steady push into the playoffs.

All-Star Game and Beyond

The Philadelphia Phillies are poised to win the division at least and clinch a berth easily into the playoffs.  However, the Phillies are also dependable on a slump after the All-Star Game as the offense collapses in August or September.  It has been that way the past few seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies, and this season should go no differently.  While all the clamor goes on the Philadelphia sports talk radio shows and the media about the bats effectiveness, the bats will return somewhat again in the playoffs.  At that point, the only concern is that the bats consistently and constantly generate runs in playoff games, which it has failed to do in the past couple of seasons.  With the way things look now, the Philadelphia Phillies will be joined by the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox, the Atlanta Braves and the San Francisco Giants in the playoffs.  This field of potential playoff contenders could well lead to an interesting path to the World Series.

With this as some food for thought, enjoy your 4th of July with your hot dogs, beer brats, hamburgers and assorted drinks!

Boston Bruins Bring Home the 2011 Stanley Cup: Some Afterthoughts…

After a dominant performance by the Boston Bruins against the Vancouver Canucks for the final game of the Stanley Cup finals, the Boston Bruins bring home the Stanley Cup to their city after three seven-game playoff series against the Montreal Canadiens, the Philadelphia Flyers and the Vancouver Canucks.  It was well-deserved after the Stanley Cup drought since 1972.  With their goalie Tim Thomas winning the Conn Smythe Trophy, he deserved the award with 37 saves and a 4-0 shutout to boot for the Bruins.  Now the Bruins get to return home to add another trophy for Beantown.  Proudly, he ended the post-season with a 1.98 GAA and .940 save percentage.  His rival during the Stanley Cup final, Canucks Roberto Luongo, performed respectably, and he ended the post-season with 2.56 GAA and .914 save percentage.  The Canucks suffered a disappointing last game to end the series on their home ice nonetheless, but it paled in comparison to what happened afterward.

Perhaps the most disappointing thing was that both the Boston Bruins fans and Vancouver Canucks fans caused major disturbances.  Whereas the Canucks fans nearly destroyed their town, with 100 people arrested and 150 hurt, the Boston Bruins had seven people arrested, and they have appeared in the Boston Municipal Court.  Perhaps it’s not the Philadelphia Eagles fans that should get a bad rap after all.  Even with the celebration after the Philadelphia Phillies winning the 2008 World Series over the Tampa Bay Rays, Philadelphia got hit with some malcontents in Center City, but it paled in comparison to what happened on Wednesday night in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Concerning the sport of hockey and the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Philadelphia Flyers still have a lot of issues to resolve, but they should solve the goalie issue first and foremost.  The Flyers do have the physicality of the Boston Bruins, but they need to coordinate their forechecking much better.  The Flyers should make their way into the playoffs again next season, as they have the talent to do so.  Coach Peter Laviolette has some work to do this off-season.

Now as another sport has disappeared into the horizon for most of the country, now the clock is ticking on Major League Baseball as each month passes by. With the labor dispute in the NFL progressing with tempered optimism, sports fans, including myself, want a resolution to come as soon as possible.  And by soon, I don’t mean late August or September.  By that time, the playoffs for baseball teams will be coming into view.  And by that time, either Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay or Cole Hamels will have their sights on the NL Cy Young Award for both of their outstanding performances this season to date.  This has been quite the empty season of sports with no NFL mini-camp chatter or rookie speculation.  Perhaps things are looking up. Perhaps not.