Tag Archive: sixers wins by 5 points or less

Always Finish Strong

May 16, 2012 Randy Neil

The past week has had some incredible finishes. Let us review them, shall we?

First, I’m going to jump back to the Sixer’s win over the Bulls to clinch the series. I couldn’t imagine a better finish. Our “star” player who’s struggled at the line all year completed two free-throws in the final seconds to win the game. I remember texting Adam during that time and saying something like, “If Iggy misses these….”

Imagine if he did miss them. I’m pretty sure he would have been murdered ala Andres Escobar style when he returned to Philadelphia. It would have been ugly. But, let’s forget that. He DID make them. It was ridiculously gratifying to see the Sixers win a close game, with Iguodala, in the fashion he did.

How about Doug Collin’s press conference at the end, too? “I started hearing the rumors about firing me. You hear that stuff. I’m a Sixer for life.”

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!! That’s what I want to hear. That’s exactly what I want him to say. Preach, Doug, preach. Preach… and stop crying post-game.

Moving on to soccer, if you didn’t happen to catch basically the most epic game in the history of soccer, Manchester City had one of the most amazing comebacks of all time by scoring 2 goals within a 5 minute period of stoppage time. Not only did they win the game, they won the entire Premier League title. It was about as dramatic as it could get.

I don’t want to focus on that, however. I want to focus on the lack of focus this game received. I understand that soccer isn’t necessarily the most appreciated sport in the United States these days, but its fan base is increasing and this game needed to be covered more than it was.

I’m pretty sure if you took the total audience of the last 4 NHL and NBA playoff games and compared them to the audience that watched the Manchester City & Manchester United games, it wouldn’t even come close. Internationally, mind you. I know that ESPN has different broadcasts for different countries, yada yada, that’s not my point.

It is remarkable how much control the media has over determining what it deems “worthy” of broadcasting. This goes for more than just sports, but I couldn’t believe that ESPN openly admitted that 4% of their broadcasting time is dedicated to hockey. 4%. For a league that only exists in the United States and Canada.

You build a fan base by creating interesting, identifiable players and teams. You can’t make them identifiable without exposure, and you can’t expose them unless they are interesting. So, you can, in some instances, make them interesting, justifying your exposure (see Tebow, Tim), or they do something interesting to organically justify that exposure. I think soccer has done that several times over.

Manchester United and City have had a huge rivalry fueled by the shit-talking of Wayne Rooney (only the biggest player in the league) and many of the City players. To have the entire season determined in less than 5 minutes from a miraculous comeback between those two teams is a story line worthy of discussion. Monday morning, however, it’s like the game never happened. PTI and Around the Horn didn’t even include it in the first 2 blocks of headlines.

Chock that up to whatever you’d like, but the media essentially dictates interest just as much (if not more) than actual public interest these days. It was disappointing to see them dismiss something that the rest of the world reveled in for days.

Switching back to them Sixers, though, a couple notes from our current series with Boston:

1 – Kevin Garnett, you ARE the dirtiest player in the NBA. It’s not a coincidence that several different players, coaches, and owners have labeled you this. I don’t know why the media portrays you as a hero, but you told Charlie Villanueva he had cancer during a game. That’s all I need to say about that. It was fitting that you lost Game 2 to an blatant offensive foul and cost your team the game. I honestly don’t even think it would have mattered. They were down by 3 with like 7 seconds to go. Only a miracle was making a difference anyway.

2- I don’t want to count my eggs before they hatch, BUT, BUTTTTTTT, if the Sixers win this series, and the Pacers somehow knock out the Heat, we will have another favorable matchup with a team we could beat in the Easter Conference Finals. We even beat the Pacers late in the season in a game determined by 3 points or less. Just a thought….

3 – We have won a lot of playoff games now by 5 points or less. During the regular season, that game I mentioned with the Pacers was the only one out of 10 or something. There is really no explaining that. The Evan Turner from December 2011 and the Evan Turner from May 2012 are completely different, though. I will say that much.

Alright gang. That’s it for me. Excelsior!


On Some Real Talk

April 24, 2012 Randy Neil

First off, I just want to introduce everyone to the changes I’m going to be making in the future. Since Adam and I both have a long history (and trophy collection) in Yahoo fantasy sports, I’m going to be putting in our Yahoo avatars and links to our trophy cases. Adam’s is much more impressive than mine, but he does like 800 leagues a season, so he’s bound to win some right? Jab.

Second, I did not see the Sixers’ overtime win over the Pacers coming. Did you know that’s the first game we’ve won all season in overtime, and the first we’ve won by 3 points or less? It’s only the 3rd game we’ve won by 5 points or less. We couldn’t win a close game all year, then to have it be in OT by a good team in the East?? Just when I think I have them figured out…

I didn’t get a chance to see Metta World Peace’s elbow until this morning. Good lord man. That’s all.

I think I’m joining Adam on this one, hockey playoffs are not only 10x better than hockey regular season, but they are definitely in the top 5 sporting events of the year. Mmmmmm, ok, top 10, but they’re good! I don’t want to chime in now after this whole season, but I gotta 2 cents about something. That guy Torres who got a 25-game suspension, what’s the big deal about that?? Baseball: 162 games a season, HGH gets you a 50-game suspensionn. Hockey, 82 games a season, 25 game suspension sounds about right. The guy’s a repeat offender (5 suspensions for similar offenses), sent the other dude off on a stretcher, and hit him waaaaaaaaaaaay after it could have ever been mistaken as a legitimate check. Seems fine to me.

I watch a lot of sports at the gym, usually without sound, so my awareness of the commercials and their marketing tactics have been somewhat elevated, even without sound. Like the 5-hour energy commercial that tells you to take their drink EVERY DAY. EVERY DAY. EVERY DAY. Just the repetition of some ‘average joe’ cramming that shit in your face is alarming. No, people, you should not take 28000% of your daily vitamin B, every day. There’s a guy at my work who was taken out on a stretcher last year because he took 5-hour energy. Every day.

I suppose the most infuriating commercials to watch are the car insurance companies that don’t even bother trying to lie to you anymore. I won’t get started on the rights and wrongs of privatizing an industry that dictates it’s own prices and value, but when there’s a commercial about tasting Geico versus a competitor I kind of lose it. How about that douchebag from Progressive who hands out $20 bills at gas stations because he’s ‘saving people money?’ I’m pretty sure Progressive ain’t helping anybody by handing out $140 at a Sunoco dude.

Last week the Phillies played San Diego…. poorly. Yes, we all know the Phillies are going to suck this year. We can see it from a mile away, but since I’m on the topic of advertising, I had to capture the gem encapsulating the Padres and San Diego baseball. Aladdin Bail Bonds?? Just this one single image raises so many questions. How did a bail bonds company manage to get so much money that they can advertise at a baseball stadium in primetime slots? Are San Diego advertising slots really cheap or something?

Honestly, why do bail bondsmen even need to advertise? When you’re in jail stuck in a drunk tank with some schmuck with one arm and a grizzly beard, are you really giving a shit about what company is going to post your bail? When the guard comes over to let you know you can make that one call get try and get bailed out, is Ray-Ray going to pop up and say, “Yo, make sure you use Aladdin Bonds dawg! They premium!” It makes no sense to me.

Last night’s loss was embarrassing by the way. More embarrassing than normal. I had just finished watching the Sixers clinch a playoff spot, my Sportscenter app gives me the heads up that the Phillies are playing, and today’s starter is… Kyle Kendrick? He’s still on the roster?? All I ever hear is “Kendrick is a great prospect, he’s improving, he’s on his way, blah blah blah.” I’ve been hearing that since 2007 when he was first called up. How long does it take you to figure out that he just doesn’t have what it takes? Kendrick has a career 4.41 ERA. Yikes.

Remember Kyle Lohse? He was on our roster in 2007. I can even recall the discussion when he was being traded in the off-season. It went something like, “Kyle Lohse is no good, Kyle Kendrick is the future.” Where’s Kyle Lohse now? Well, he started opening day for the Cardinals, pitched a no-hitter into the 6th, and he’s 3-0 this season. He was 14-8 last year.

I’ve talked to a lot of Phillies fans about the upcoming season, and they all seem to have the same prospective: “It’s going to be a long year.” You got that right, buddy.

I don’t talk about it much, but I’m a pretty big Manchester City fan. My and my friends started playing Fifa 2010 non-stop and ever since then, I’ve been hooked. If you haven’t paid any attention to Premier League soccer, now would be the time to start. Two weeks ago, Manchester had about a 1% chance of winning the league title (they don’t have playoffs…. I know, crazy, right?), but some strange events in the season have culminated to make Manchester City and Manchester United a mere 3 points (1 game) apart for first and second place. Even better, this Monday night (I think like 3PM ET), they will be playing one another. It’s epic. There’s only 3 games left in the season, but this is being dubbed as the game to determine the title.

A marketing team that actually deserves praise is the guys over at Scott’s. I don’t know what it is about that delightful Scottish man yelling at you instructions on lawn care, but whatever it is, it works. Perhaps it’s his unique catchphrase, “Seed your lawn. SEED IT!” Let that be a lesson to all you potential marketers out there. Double commands are the unlocks to a consumer’s soul.