Monthly Archives: October 2009

Love ‘Em or Hate ‘Em- Philadelphia has passion.

Whether you live in Glenside, Lansdale, Kensington, Mayfair, Rittenhouse Square, South Jersey, North Jersey, New York, Boston, LA or anywhere else…. There is absolutely no question about the passion and dedication of Philadelphia fans.

Philadelphia sports fans are some of the most loyal sports fans in all of sports.

The Philadelphia Phillies have more losses than any other franchise in any other sport. No other franchise has ever lost 10,000 games and the Phillies managed to do it by 2007. Despite this fact, the Phillies, over the past two seasons, have managed to draw over 7 million fans and 3.6 million fans in 2009. Phillies fans always have been supportive and passionate. The Phillies sold out 73 of 81 home games in 2009 and EVERY home game between May and October. Yes, the losingest franchise in all of sports selling out over 90% of its home games. Continue reading

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A Look At the Fall Classic

By Alex Green, ’11

Last year was euphoric. You can take away the night-long celebration on Broad St. with every Philadelphian; you can take away the parade of over two million people. The fact of the matter was that for one time we were the best. For me, an avid Philadelphia sports fan, that was enough.

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Our generation watched Eric Lindros’ head get smashed into frozen oblivion. We sympathized with Allen Iverson, the ultimate David character whose champion size could not quite conquer the Goliath duo Kobe and Shaq. We were fools to believe the inept duo of Donovan McNabb and Andy Reid could actually win a super bowl, only to watch Ronde Barber and Jake Delhomme celebrate on our home field. Continue reading

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Midnight Madness: Pics and Notes

It’s a little late but here are some pictures from Midnight Madness last night. Suffice it to say any night that starts with Phil Martelli in a bird suit is going to go pretty well.Phil Hawk But here are some pictures and observations from Night one in the Hagan Arena:

– The night started with the usually frivolities: free food for students, introductions of both teams, some fans fun and games. And the most important portion of the night, The Hawk Walk benefitting Coaches vs. Cancer, which raised $1,340 for cancer research.

– The scoring opened with a three-pointer by Carl “Tay” Jones, ’13. His jumper is decent, and he looks quite quick and shifty. With his lack of size, he better be.

– Idris Hilliard, ’11, looked excellent on the court. He looks faster and stronger than last year, and is evolving into a type-flight slasher. His stroke from the line also looks improved, which will be vital (just ask Ahmad Nivins, ’09). Continue reading

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Women’s Basketball Practice Notes: 10/19

In the first installment of what we hope is going to be a weekly practice, here’s some observations from St. Joe’s women’s basketball practice this afternoon:

– After coming off an injury-riddled 2008-09 season, the Hawks are starting off this year with a few concerns already. Dominique Bryant, ’11, and Ashley Robinson, ’13, were both on the sidelines throughout the practice. Kelly Cavallo, ’12, turned an ankle during practice and had to be carried off by two assistant coaches; she spent the rest of practice with the leg elevated and iced, and no word was given yet on the extent of the injury. Mariame Djouara, ’10, also went down with leg cramps, but recovered to finish the day.

– The guard corps is fast, led by Djouara. Head coach Cindy Griffin stressed speed today during fast break drills, and told the team she believed they had the speed to cause problems.And Djouara, cramp or not, was tearing everyone else up in speed drills.

– First impression of the freshmen: Shelby Smith looks very comfortable in the point guard role. It may not be hers to start the season, but it will be in the not to distant future. Only problem with her is that it’s difficult the tell her and Katie Kuester, ’12, apart on the court sometimes. Ashley Prim lacks a height at 5′ 7″, but she carries herself like a tough, heady guard. My first impression was a huskier LaKiesha Eaddy (maybe a bit much this early). Mireia Vila looks like a fundamentally sound European player. She’s long and looks raw at this point, but the potential is pretty obvious.

-Matthew De George ’10

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Men’s Basketball Practice Notes: 10/19

After three hours spent watching men’s basketball practice, I figured I had to write something. So here goes a few observations:

– I was most impressed today with Carl Baptiste, ’13. I’d been led to believe that he was really rough around the edges and a project, and he looked a lot more polished than I would have ever suspected. While he looks like Shetland Blake Griffin, he’s actually pretty fundamentally sound, has a decent jump shot, is comfortable above the rim, and an impressively big body. For me, he’s already supplanted Temi Adebayo, ’12, as the first big man off the bench. Which brings me to:

– Temi’s offensive game is the basketball equivalent of a 1998 Dodge Neon that hasn’t been buffed out: it has absolutely no polish. I know he’s still relatively new to the game, and he obviously has the length to make it work, but it’s not there yet.

– While we’re in the low post, might as well talk about Todd O’Brien, ’12. It’s no secret this area could be a problem this year, and O’Brien is the person with the most power to stop it. He showed decent range with his jumper, is very fluid from the line, and was commended by head coach Phil Martelli (while being yelled out), saying he should be “the best offensive rebounder I’ve ever coached”. But what impressed me the most was his passing ability and vision. During halfcourt drills, he fired a few crisp backdoor passes and a behind-the-back pass on the baseline that led to a lay-up.

– In the backcourt, Carl Jones, ’13, is the shortest six footer ever. Maybe it’s the fact that he’s 146 pounds. But he was noticeably the first in the backcourt to tire today and left a lot of shots short in the last hour of practice. His stamina will definitely have to improve.

– Martelli was harping on toughness a lot during practice, which included a drill in how to take charges. During five-on-five drills later, he stopped play several times to reprimand players not taking charges, especially Darrin Govens, ’10.

– Matthew De George ’10


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EXCLUSIVE: Hagan Arena Dedication Pictures

The Saint Joseph’s University basketball programs marked the long-awaited unveiling of the new Michael J. Hagan, ’85, Arena Saturday night with a gala celebration commemorating both the new facility and the centennial of basketball at St. Joe’s.

The celebration was highlighted by a parade of decades, in which former players and their families from each decade of St. Joe’s men’s and women’s basketball dating back to the 1940s were recognized. Speeches were given by a number of historic members of the St. Joe’s basketball community, including Mike Bantom, ’73, and Susan Moran, ’02. Other famous faces, such as Dr. Jack Ramsay, ’49, Tyrone Barley, ’04, and Chet Stachitas, ’06, as well as the current men’s and women’s teams, were present as well. Donors such as Denise and Mike McNulty, ’85, Tom Wynne, ’63, and Paul Hondros, ’70, Chairman of the St. Joe’s Board of Directors also joined the celebration.

Neil Hartman of Comcast SportsNet served as the Master of Ceremonies and honorary Hawk for the evening and was assisted by Assistant Vice President of Marketing Communications Joe Lunardi, ’82. Also in attendance were a number of local politicians involved in the process, including Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell, who spoke about his history with St. Joe’s basketball. Athletic Director Don DiJulia was one of the night’s final speakers, followed by university President Timothy R. Lannon, S.J., who blessed the arena and, together with Hagan, cut the ribbon officially opening the new home of St. Joe’s basketball.

For more pictures from the historic night, visit our main web site.

– Matthew De George, ’10 (photos by Sam Koch, ’11)

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Undefeated does not mean unbeatable

Alert: The Florida Gators are the #1 team in the country. Well, that is not breaking news; come to think of it, it is not even news. With a 23-20 win yesterday in the final seconds over Arkansas, Tim Tebow & Co. pushed their record to 6-0 on the year to try and fulfill Tebow’s promise he made after the Ole Miss loss last season.

My question is: why does being undefeated mean that you’re the #1 team in the country?

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I understand that being undefeated means that you beat everyone who you’ve faced. That makes sense. But does being the best quarterback mean only having the best statistics (see Graham Harrell)? Or does it mean that you need to have the statistics, the arm strength and accuracy, and intangibles? I’ll choose the second one.

Why is there a double standards between how we rank players and how we rank teams? We rank the best players by stats, skill level, and the natural ability to win. As I sit here and try to think of a possible way to rank the top 25 teams, I can’t. I’ve got nothing. But I do feel that the AP, USA Today, and BCS (obviously) are mistaken in how they are evaluating these teams. Continue reading


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EXCLUSIVE: First look at new Hagan Arena

The official dedication of the new Micahel J. Hagan, ’85, Arena won’t be until Saturday. But you can get your first looks at the finished product right now:

(photos by Matthew De George ’10)



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Who has the momentum?

Heading into the National League Championship Series, the buzz around Philadelphia is about the nerves on the mend from the Phillies-Rockies NLDS. And those nerves don’t look like they are going to have an easy road ahead. The Los Angeles Dodgers enter the NLCS boasting the best record in the NL with a 95-67 record, finishing two games ahead of the Phillies.

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Game 1 is slated for 8:07 p.m. on Thursday. That’s about the only thing set in stone right now for the Dodgers. With starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda returning after taking a line drive to the cheek bone in August, the Dodgers have six starting pitchers vying for four spots. Two of the starters, Vicente Padilla and Randy Wolf, anchored the Phillies pitching staff during the early 2000s, when people started looking ahead to “next season” by mid-May. The other four, Chad Billingsley, Clayton Kershaw, Jon Garland, and Kuroda, are all solid pitchers who could make a big impact on the series. The Dodgers come into the NLCS with a stronger bullpen than the 2008 squad, but more or less a similar lineup with just another year under theirs belts.

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At the Bank: Game 1

If you’ve never been to a playoff game at Citizens Bank Park, you have to go. If you’ve ever been to a regular season game there, you know how at crucial moments in the game the crowd can get very into the action. Imagine that craziness for nine innings and double it. The intensity is amazing: everyone is hanging on every pitch and the 46,000 fans standing and waving their rally towels will give you chills.

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The game against the Rockies was my third Phillies playoff game, and the feeling still hasn’t gotten old. Even though we had horrible seats, it didn’t really matter. It’s an experience that you want to a part of no matter where you sit, if you even sit at all. Being part of home field advantage means being part of something special. You won’t regret it; it’s worth every dollar. Continue reading

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