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Full Range of Emotions: 10 Takeaways from Flyers Press Conference with Chuck Fletcher and Dave Scott

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(Photo: Zack Hill/Philadelphia Flyers)

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

In the midst of a 13-game losing streak, the longest in franchise history, and really no end in sight to the team’s apathetic play, the Flyers brass was set to meet the media on Wednesday morning. GM Chuck Fletcher was expected to give his State of the Team address at the halfway point.

But there was an unexpected addition to the press conference. Flyers Governor Dave Scott was also in attendance, and to his credit, acted as a leader of ownership should. He made a statement. He was a presence. He fielded more questions than anticipated. 

That said, this press conference was another example of just how far the Flyers are from an identity and a sense of direction. It presents more questions than answers, and it runs through a range of emotions that rival the five stages of grief – some congruent like anger and denial and others like irrationality and delusion.

Let’s dive right into it with 10 takeaways from today’s press conference in order of the quotes presented.

Continue reading "Full Range of Emotions: 10 Takeaways from Flyers Press Conference with Chuck Fletcher and Dave Scott" »


Eagles Guard Brandon Brooks Announces Retirement

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By Jennifer McGraw, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

Philadelphia Eagles guard, Brandon Brooks, officially announced his retirement Tuesday morning in a press conference. Brooks helped the Eagles win their first Super Bowl in 2017 during his six years with the team. The 3x Pro-Bowl and Super Bowl LII Champion expressed gratitude towards his family, coaches, fellow teammates, and fans in his opening statement.

"I would like to thank my family for all of their love and support," Brooks said as he started to list off all of the people he is thankful for in helping him in his career. Besides the plentiful amount of Eagles coaches, players, and staff he thanked, he also gave a shout out to the Houston Texans organization.

Brooks joined the NFL in 2012 as a third-round draft pick to the Houston Texans. He started with the Texans for three seasons before signing with Philadelphia in 2016 as a free agent. The 6-foot-5, 335-pound beast was an incredible asset to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Though Brooks was a tremendous athlete on the field, he did a lot of work off the field to bring light to mental health awareness off the field. Following a game against the Seattle Seahawks in 2019, Brooks released a statement on Twitter following the reason he could not finish playing, alluding to his struggles with his anxiety. Brooks was diagnosed in 2016. According to Forbes, after seeing a psychologist in once a week, Brooks "went more than 2 seasons without missing a game." His inspiration paved the way for fans, and fellow teammates, such as offensive tackle Lane Johnson, to share their stories as well.

Brooks attributed a reason for his retirement being the way his injuries in recent years, as well as his age, contributing to his decision to retire.

"Lastly, to the city and the fans, I was extremely fortunate to help bring a championship to the city, have multiple Pro-Bowls appearances, but none greater than having the honor of being an Eagle," said Brooks.

"Since day one you've had my back and supported me through my ups and downs by sending love and support through my struggles. You will always be family to me. Though I may no longer play, I will always be an Eagle forever." Brooks said.


Flyers Set Franchise Record, Fall to Islanders for 13th Straight Loss

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

It's officially a record year for the Flyers. Last Thursday, their 10th straight loss marked the first time in franchise history that they have had two such streaks in the same season, Now they have set a franchise mark for the longest streak of its kind.

A goal midway through the third period was the difference for the Islanders, as the Flyers suffered the loss for the 13th straight game, setting a new franchise record in a 4-3 defeat on Tuesday night.  

Continue reading "Flyers Set Franchise Record, Fall to Islanders for 13th Straight Loss" »


Deep Playoff Run or Play-In Tournament Exit? What Is In Store For The Sixers?

By Michael Doctorovitz, Sports Talk Philly Staff

Starting on Tuesday, January 25th, the Philadelphia 76ers will begin a five game homestand. The team currently sits at sixth in the Eastern Conference but is only 2.5 games out of the top spot. How did they get here? How far can they go? What can they do to improve? How important is this homestand as they try to avoid the single elimination play-in tournament?

The Sixers started this season off slow, picking things up towards the end of December and continuing that momentum into the new calendar year. They are currently 8-3 in January and are facing a five game homestand a week before the highly anticipated trade deadline. The toughest matchup during this homestand will be on Monday, January 31, vs the 32-17 Memphis Grizzlies and perennial All-Star Ja Morant

The question remains: Can the Sixers make a deep playoff run? The odds are stacked against them and, unless they make a trade or they can get certain players back in the rotation, the team is looking more and more like a play-in team. As of right now, the Sixers are playing some good basketball. Joel Embiid is playing his best basketball and keeping the team above water with contributors like Danny Green, Seth Curry and Shake Milton remaining out. The rotation has been another problem this season due to health and safety protocols along with injuries preventing more consistency and time to gel.

With the reports this past week about James Harden and Ben Simmons swirling, a lot have questioned whether it is the right thing to keep Simmons until the offseason and waste this year of Embiid. The problem is that, although the Sixers have heard offers from the Sacramento Kings and Charlotte Hornets, nobody wants to trade a top player for Simmons who has yet to play this season. The Sixers hold no leverage. 

Currently sitting at 27-19, this homestand is big for the team. Winning all five could be possible if they play how they can. At times this year the Sixers have looked great but at other times they have looked average at best. Winning at least four of these games is crucial for the Sixers as they have already played 46 games and the All-Star break is quickly approaching. According to ESPN the Sixers currently have the fifth easiest strength of schedule (SOS) remaining with their SOS being .489. 

With Embiid having another MVP like season, the team needs to do whatever they can to help him. Whether or not Daryl Morey is right in believing it is best to keep Simmons until the offseason remains to be seen but they should still keep their focus on this years team and try to deal Tobias Harris. Harris has more trade value than Simmons, especially with the way he has been playing as of late, and dealing Harris could bring in a good playmaker along with making minutes available for the younger talent on the team to develop. 

As it stands right now the Sixers are a play-in tournament team with the potential to do some damage if they get past that round. For a team that can be on or off on any given night, they should be hoping to avoid the single elimination play-in. That is also what could make them so dangerous in a seven game series though. No team in the East has a center that can stop Embiid, in fact no team in the NBA has a player that can really contain him, and as long as the wings and perimeter players are having a good night, then the Sixers could be dangerous. 

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Flyers-Islanders: Game 43 Preview

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

The Flyers get right back on the ice on Tuesday night after suffering a loss at home on Monday in the closing minutes of the third period to the Dallas Stars. There will be some history on the line.

For the third time in eight days, the Flyers and New York Islanders face off. It was be the second time on Long Island. For the Flyers, a loss will be their 13th straight, setting a new franchise record for the longest winless streak.

Game time is 7:30 p.m.

Continue reading "Flyers-Islanders: Game 43 Preview" »


Weighing An Important Question for Sixers Heading Into Trade Deadline

By Matt Gregan, Sports Talk Philly Staff Writer

Trade rumors continue to swirl as the trade deadline looms just over two weeks away. The Philadelphia 76ers will continue to be the team everyone is watching leading up to the Feb. 10 trade deadline. Will general manager Daryl Morey receive an offer worthy of ending the Ben Simmons saga? Or will it continue past the deadline and into this offseason?

One question rises above all the others: Should Morey make a move to help the team, with Joel Embiid putting together another MVP-caliber year, this season or should he hold all the cards in an effort to hit a home run this offseason and in all probability waste yet another year of Embiid's prime?

Multiple reports came out on Monday pointing in the direction of the Sixers preferring to wait until the offseason to make a trade in the hopes of landing Brooklyn Nets star James Harden. Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic reported the Sixers would prefer to wait and pursue Harden or another superstar player in a sign-and-trade this offseason.

Continue reading "Weighing An Important Question for Sixers Heading Into Trade Deadline" »


Report: Progress Made in Talks Between MLB, MLBPA

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We are just days away from the calendar turning over to February.  That means that pitchers and catchers are about ready to report to Florida and Arizona for Spring Training.  Or are they?  The new/old Phillie Phanatic is surely ready.  For the first time since December 1's lockout of players by Major League Baseball, there appears to be real progress in negotiations, bringing optimism that Spring Training could start on time.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that after productive, in-person talks on Monday, the two sides are set to negotiate again Tuesday, with what Nightengale calls "optimism" that Spring Training could start on time.

The biggest news of the day seems to be confirmation of what is widely expected: a universal designated hitter:

The two sides have already all but officially agreed to a universal DH with the elimination of draft pick compensation that penalizes teams for signing premier free-agent players.

These two moves are beneficial for the players because the designated hitter position will open up 15 more starting players in the Major Leagues, and a player's free agency will not be devalued by having draft pick compensation attached.

Among the other issues at play:

  • How many teams will be in an expanded postseason.  Major League Baseball reportedly is looking for 14 teams to make the postseason.
  • When free agency will begin for players.
  • How to keep competitive balance.
  • Luxury Tax threshold: there is a likely increase coming but by how much?

While the Phillies have not announced an official report date for pitchers and catchers, it should come the week of February 13, which should immediately follow the latest-ever Super Bowl.

The Phillies are scheduled to open Grapefruit League play in Tampa against the New York Yankees on Saturday, February 26 before splitting the team with games on Sunday, February 27 in Clearwater at BayCare Ballpark against the Minnesota Twins and in Dunedin at TD Ballpark against the Toronto Blue Jays.


Late Goal for Stars Hands Flyers 12th Straight Defeat

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

In the third period, the Flyers found themselves in a position they have been in before during this losing streak – in a position to get the win that snaps it. Then with 3:25 to go, the moment that breaks them in that pursuit struck again.

Jacob Peterson scored the eventual game-winning goal at 16:35 of the third to put the Dallas Stars ahead in a 3-1 loss that was the Flyers 12th straight on Monday night at Wells Fargo Center. 

Continue reading "Late Goal for Stars Hands Flyers 12th Straight Defeat" »


Flyers-Stars: Game 42 Preview

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

The start of the second half of the Flyers season has arrived. For most teams, this would be a chance to evaluate where you are and use the remaining stretch of road ahead to do everything you can to improve in the standings. But when you're mired in a slump and losing streak like the Flyers are, it feels like an eternity to go.

The Flyers will face the Dallas Stars on Monday night while on the cusp of two historical moments. Keith Yandle with tie Doug Jarvis' consecutive games record at 964, while the Flyers would match a franchise-record winless streak of 12 with another defeat.

Game time is 7 p.m.

Continue reading "Flyers-Stars: Game 42 Preview" »


Has Charlie Brown Jr. Earned a Consistent Role on the Sixers?

By Matt Gregan, Sports Talk Philly Staff Writer

Charlie Brown Jr. has been on quite a journey over the past few weeks. It did not take long for him to make his presence felt, becoming a high-energy player off the bench priding himself on his defensive abilities.

The Philadelphia 76ers, his hometown team, signed him to a 10-day contract on Jan. 3. He quickly made a good impression, debuting on Jan. 7 against the San Antonio Spurs, totaling three points, three rebounds, two steals and a block in 12 minutes. About a week later, the Sixers signed him to a two-way contract. Has his play since being signed by the Sixers earned him a consistent role in the rotation?

Brown Jr. excels on the defensive end, something the Sixers are in desperate need of. His perimeter defense has really come through over the past few games, when the Sixers were without their top two perimeter defenders in Matisse Thybulle and Danny Green.

He had one of his best games this season in the win over the Spurs on Sunday. Head coach Doc Rivers tasked him with the defensive assignment of guarding the Spurs' best player, Dejounte Murray, and he mostly did a good job. He held Murray to 19 points on 6-of-14 shooting while also recording two steals, including this one at the end of the first half.

Brown Jr. brings the right combination of length and athleticism to be an impactful defensive player. Due in part to his ability to disrupt the passing lanes, he is averaging 0.8 steals per game for the Sixers in limited minutes.

Continue reading "Has Charlie Brown Jr. Earned a Consistent Role on the Sixers?" »