Forget The Llama’s And Lets Get Back To Sports

Though it seemed as if nothing happened this week besides an interracial llama couple on the run and a WHITE AND GOLD dress, the sports world was still turning. I discuss the impact of the Dez Bryant rumors, LeBron James returning to form, Kentucky basketball, Bossman Jr. Upton & more in this weeks sports rundown.

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Philadelphia Flyers Remain in the Hunt for a Playoff Position

Washington Capitals v Philadelphia Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers beat the Washington Capitals 3-2 Sunday during a matinee game in Philadelphia, keeping them four points away from a wildcard position in the 2015 National Hockey League Playoffs.

Flyers captain Claude Giroux opened up the scoring with a power play goal in the first period, assisted by Mark Streit and Jakub Voracek. The Flyers went up 2-0 in the second period when alternate captain Wayne Simmonds scored with assists from Streit and Giroux.

However, the Capitals responded later in the second period. Tom Wilson and Joel Ward scored for Washington, tying the score 2-2 going into the third period.

15 minutes and 47 seconds into the final period, Michael Del Zotto scored a slap shot that made it by Capitals goalie Braden Holtby. Chris Vandevelde and Voracek were awarded assists on the play. Flyers goalie Rob Zepp is now 5-1-0 when named the starting goaltender this season.

With the win, the Flyers were two points behind the Boston Bruins for a wildcard playoff position for a brief amount of time. However, the Bruins defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 6-2 Sunday after the Flyers win. This keeps Boston four points ahead of Philadelphia, three points ahead of the Florida Panthers, and still in a playoff position.

The Flyers play the Carolina Hurricanes Tuesday in Raleigh, North Carolina. There are 22 games remaining on Philadelphia’s schedule, each one important for their playoff hopes.

Written by:  Joseph Markle

IUP Journalism 2015

Why the Next 28 Games are Important for the Philadelphia Flyers

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The Philadelphia Flyers are now trailing the Boston Bruins by 8 points for a playoff position with the 2-1 overtime loss to the Montreal Canadians Tuesday night

The Flyers have won 4 out of their last 6 games, with both losses coming in an overtime and shootout period. Therefore, they have gained 10 points in the last 6 games. This sort of surge is needed for any sort of playoff hope.

Being 8 points behind the Bruins means that the Flyers are 4 games out of a playoff position. In hockey, teams get 2 points for each win and one point for each overtime or shootout loss.

In the overtime loss, Matt Read scored the Flyers lone goal with an assist from Wayne Simmonds. The two goals scored by the Canadians were by Tomas Piekanec and David Desharnais.

However, the Flyers posted significant statistics during Tuesday night’s game. Although they were out-shot 41-24, the Flyers posted 25 blocked shots and 30 hits. The Canadians blocked 14 shots and had 15 hits during the game.

The Flyers are now 23-22-9 on the season, just above .500. Their next game is away against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday at 7:00 p.m. in Nationwide Arena.

Written by:

Joseph Markle

IUP ’15

Journalism

The Legend of Bobby Grier

I had to write the following essay for my Sports Journalism course. I enjoyed learning about the courage of Bobby Grier and the University of Pittsburgh football program. I thought some of you might too.

How could a team that lost 7-0 in the 1956 Sugar Bowl still manage to win, in spirit?

The Sugar Bowl that year was much more than a game. It was a risk. It was a bold move. It was the day that Bobby Grier became the first African-American to play football in the Sugar Bowl.

1956 was obviously a much different time in the United States of America for African-Americans than it is today. Today, the president of this country is part African-American. Today, every college and professional football team has African-Americans playing on it.

But the way this country works, and the way football works, is much different today than it was in 1956.

The University of Pittsburgh Panthers played the Georgia Institute of Technology Yellow Jackets in the 1956 Sugar Bowl. Georgia was a much different place for African-Americans in 1956, than it was in Pennsylvania.

“The South stands at Armageddon. The battle is joined. We cannot make the slightest concession to the enemy in this dark and lamentable hour of struggle,” said Marvin Griffin, Georgia’s governor at the time.

Was Griffin referring to the Civil Rights Movement? Was Griffin referring to the desegregation of schools? Was Griffin referring to Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., or Malcom X?

No. Griffin was referring to a 19-year-old African-American teenager named Bobby Grier.

And what did Grier do to spark such an emotional and passionate statement?

He wanted to play football against Georgia Tech in the 1956 Sugar Bowl.

Griffin proposed to “forbid the athletic teams of the university system of Georgia from participating in games against any teams with Negro players, or even playing in any stadium where unsegregated audiences breathe the same air.”

This shocked the Pitt players, but it was not something totally uncommon to the Deep South during this time period. The fact that something like this was said less than a century ago is unfathomable.

“This can’t be that bad,” Grier said.

Georgia Tech students and players, infuriated with the governor’s proposition, decided to march on his mansion. There was no way that one player was going to stop Georgia Tech from competing in the Sugar Bowl.

The game itself was low-scoring. The end result left Bobby Grier crying.

Was he crying from happiness for being able to play? Was he crying from the amount of taunting he received? Was he crying because Pitt lost the game?

The answer to the last question is yes. But, it holds more significance than a simple one-word answer.

Bobby Grier was flagged for pass interference, which gave Georgia Tech a first-and-goal that led to them scoring a touchdown. The end result of the game was 7-0.

“I was crying because it was because of me we lost.”
But Bobby didn’t lose that day. Pitt didn’t lose, either.

They won. Because if it wasn’t for this one day in history, this one 60 minutes of football, it might have taken years, maybe decades, for someone as courageous and valiant as Bobby Grier and the University of Pittsburgh football program to have an African-American compete in the Sugar Bowl.

Florida State is Getting Screwed by the College Football Playoff Rankings

For years it seemed like all anyone could talk about was eliminating the BCS in college football. Now that our wishes have finally been granted it seems like the college football playoff rankings have come along with the same amount of controversy and discussion as the former BCS. The new college football playoff rankings were released and with that of course comes debate. There is a problem in college football in the fact that there will always be an argument for that last spot to get in the playoffs. For the most part the BCS got it right with the two championship teams almost every year. Yes, that includes the year Notre Dame was embarrassed by Alabama but had the hardest schedule in college football. I love the idea of expanding to give more teams a run at a national title because as we all know in sports the playoffs are a new season, a clean slate. What I simply can’t understand is why a loss at the beginning of a college football season is better than a loss towards the end.

The problem with these College Football Playoff Rankings are purely the rankings in itself. Simply, they’re dropping the ball with Florida State being #3 to this point. I don’t think there is a single debate that FSU is as good as the championship team from last year because they’re simply not. To this point what has Florida State done to deserve to be dropped in the rankings? Last time I checked Florida State plays in a power five football conference. Last time I checked they’re the ONLY undefeated team in a major football conference and besides Marshall the only undefeated team in Division 1-A.

Notre Dame v Florida State

Alabama after an intense game this week was the latest team to jump Florida State after a major win against the undefeated Mississippi State whom to that point was the only team deserving of #1 ahead of Florida State. The SEC is the deepest conference in all of college football and we all know that, yet that still does not crown any 1 loss or 2 loss SEC team as the best team in college football. Could they be? Absolutely.  At the same time though as demonstrated last year this same Florida State team was the best team in college football and they’re not an SEC team. Alabama to this point has only beaten 3 ranked teams (the same as Florida St.) and also lost to a ranked team. The Oregon Ducks are another team clearly deserving of being in the top four for the college playoffs but not more deserving of number two than Florida State. The Ducks alike have three victories against top 25 opponents with a loss to an unranked Arizona.

Jameis Winston has had his idiotic moments and been given some simple advice from Kevin Hart regarding this.

The integrity of the program has been in question multiple times in the past two seasons and quite frankly the past few decades. Multiple investigations and accusations have come to light. Regardless, even with suspensions, investigations, back-ups, and injuries this Florida State team has consistently won on the field. This is a 10-0 team regardless of their margin of victory. Since when is your point differential more important than the number of wins/losses in your stat line? Three victories against ranked opponents and no losses and they’re ranked #3 behind two 1 loss teams with the same amount of victories vs ranked opponents.

Virgina v Florida State

Mississippi State after their loss dropped to #4 and remained in the playoff picture because being ranked where they deserved at #1 gave them a little bit of wiggle room even with a loss. Unfortunately for this undefeated Florida State team if they were to lose in these final two games they will hands down drop out of the playoff picture. It’s no secret that you’re safer in college football if you get your loss out of the way early in the season as opposed to the end, even though a loss should simply be a loss. Florida State could lose their first game of the season to an unranked opponent and be 5-10 spots behind an Oregon team with a eerily comparable record, schedule, and results. The rankings are setting Florida State up for failure with their placement in the latest rankings and not allowing them the same opportunities that Mississippi State was deserving of and received. Whether it’s the drama that comes with Jameis, the ferocity that comes with Jimbo, or just the disappointment with the extracurricular events that surround the Seminoles team, there is bias when it comes to their ranking. The CFP rankings haven’t got it right to this point and have a lot of work to do. Florida State may not win the national title, they may not even make the national title, and they very well may not be the best team in college football as we may come to find out. The point is until they give you a reason to clearly say that they aren’t, you don’t punish this team for doing nothing but winning in a major conference.

Florida State v Louisville

Will the Philadelphia 76ers ever win?

The Philadelphia 76ers lost to the San Antonio Spurs 100-75 in San Antonio, Texas, Monday, reassuring they are the worst team in the National Basketball Association.

The Sixers, now 0-10 on the season, are the last team in the NBA without a win. During their embarrassing 123-70 loss to the Dallas Mavericks, fans became so bored they started reading the newspaper to pass time.

mavs-newspaper

Keep in mind, this picture was taken before the end of the first half. It seems that the Sixers have a lot of work to do to save their 2015-2016 season, even being only 10 games into the 2014-2015  season.

The Sixers chose Joel Embiid as the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 draft. However, the injury to his foot continues to delay the possibility of him having any sort of impact on the team.

The active players on the Sixers, that were supposed to have an impact, are doing anything but that. The 2013 No. 6 overall draft pick Nerlens Noel was expected to stand out among other players on the squad. After playing eight games, Noel is averaging 6.6 points per game, 5.9 rebounds per game and 1.6 assists per game. He is shooting 40% from the field, according to ESPN.com.

2013 Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams hasn’t been playing horribly, but has only competed in three games so far this season. He is averaging 16 points per game, 6 rebounds per game and 4.7 assists per game, according to ESPN.com. It seems as if his focus has been more on Stephen A. Smith than winning games for his team.

In case you haven’t heard of what has been occurring between MCW and Smith, Carter-Williams accused Smith of playing a character in the locker room, in an essay he posted to the Players Tribune. Maybe this was said out of anger, or perhaps frustration. Regardless, it doesn’t help the Sixers win games.

The one glimmer of hope on this Sixers squad is shooting guard Tony Wroten. Wroten is averaging 19.1 points per game, 3.9 rebounds per game and 6 assists per game, according to ESPN.com. However, it takes more than one player performing to win games.

Starting 0-10 is tough for any team, but the schedule the Sixers will be facing in their upcoming games doesn’t exactly provide any hope to Philadelphia fans. Their next five opponents are the Boston Celtics (3-6), Phoenix Suns (6-5), New York Knicks (3-8), Portland Trail Blazers (8-3), and Brooklyn Nets (4-6).

One thing that distinguishes these next five opponents from the Philadelphia 76ers? They all have won at least one game.

Philadelphia faithful are not so quick to forget the 26-game losing streak the Sixers had during the 2013-2014 season, which is tied for the longest of all time in the NBA. As of now, they are on pace to surpass that streak without a single win on the season.

Written by:

Joseph Markle

Indiana University of Pennsylvania ’15

Journalism

Writer’s note:  Allen Iverson, if you can read this, THEY NEED YOU.

Mark Sanchez and the Philadelphia Eagles Defeat Carolina Panthers 45-21

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The Philadelphia Eagles and backup quarterback Mark Sanchez defeated the Carolina Panthers 45-21 on Monday Night Football in Philadelphia.

Sanchez finished with 332 yards, two touchdowns, and completed 20 of 37 passes. Cam Newton, Carolina’s quarterback, finished with 306 yards, two touchdowns, three interceptions, and completed 25 of 40 pass attempts.

The most surprising player of the game?

That would have to be Eagles rookie wide receiver Jordan Matthews. He caught both of Sanchez’s touchdown passes and racked up 138 yards on seven receptions.

Jordan Matthews’ best game statistically before Monday night? Week 3 against the Washington Redskins, in which he racked up 59 yards and two touchdowns.

Eagles running back Darren Sproles was also a key component in the win. Sproles had an 8-yard touchdown run early in the first quarter, and a 65-yard punt return touchdown later in the first.

With the win, the Eagles remain in first place of the NFC East. However, the Dallas Cowboys are not far behind. The Eagles are now 7-2, while the Cowboys are 7-3.

The Eagles play the Green Bay Packers next week, and the Cowboys have a bye week. Both teams will play each other on Thanksgiving day.