Big game for the Flyers tonight. I have to admit that the main reason I want them to win the Stanley Cup is that it would take the pressure off the Eagles.
A good measure of Philly fans' desperation is how crazy they and the Philadelphia media have gone over the fact that a horse (Smarty Jones) that trains in Philly won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness.
I don't start paying attention to the Flyers, generally speaking, until they've reached the Eastern Conference Finals, since they, like the Eagles, are known for their playoff swoons.
Unlike previous Flyers teams however, this one may be built to win it all, because they have a goalie in Robert Esche who makes clutch saves, defenseman who can skate and forwards who can skate and pass.
Bob Clarke has finally come around and acquired European players with, um, skills, as opposed to the lumbering behemoths he used to favor who served as traffic cones for opponents' whizzing skating drills.
Flyers fans, incidentally, possess a resiliency that Eagles' fans lack. For whatever reason, the Comcast Center (or whatever it's called these days) and before it, The Spectrum, is a building devoid of that ill wind of desperation and fatalism that swept through the Linc against the Panthers in the NFC Championship Game and was such a constant presence at Veterans Stadium.
Anyway, if the Flyers win it all, it'll be a good thing. But the indirect effect it will have on the Eagles, by taking the air out of the balloon of pressure that's built up inside Philadelphia sports fandom, is the one I'm most interested in.
Stephen A. Smith
If you've watched any of TNT's covereage of the NBA playoffs, you've had the misfortune of witnessing the antics of Philly Inquirer sports columnist Stephen Smith.
I used to like his columns, because he had good information, which is really what reporting boils down to, and would often "tell it like it is." But he was never a good writer, and he's gotten worse now that he devotes most of his time to being a TV clown.
Like other Philly sports writers before him, such as Sal Palantonio and Jayson Stark, Smith made it to national television. But rather than provide insight, he blathers like an arrogant fool. All you can expect from him is the obvious: "The Lakers are the best! Period!" "The Lakers are playing terribly. They're horrible!" "The Lakers are going to win it all! They're unstoppable."
He is unwatchable, unless you like hyperbole that changes directions like a windsock. He's not half as smart as he thinks he is and about one tenth as charming as he perceives himself to be, plus he talks like a street baller because he thinks he has street cred.