Saturday, November 1, 2008

Phillies Win! Will Our Weekly Picks?

Quick note: The Phillies won the World Series. I could type that sentence 142 times and not get tired of reading it. The Phillies won the World Series.

However, after long, rain-delayed nights, Game 5-winning celebrations, and Broad Street parade insanity—enjoyed with my daughter Caitlin and two other class-cutting friends whom I won’t name to protect the innocent—I haven’t had a chance to write.

Thankfully, that’s where friends step in, contributing this week’s picks:

2008 World Series Champions—Philadelphia Phillies!! You’re kidding me! I don’t believe it! Incredible! Last week I predicted the Phillies would win the World Series in 6 games. They did it in 5!!! Congratulations to the Philadelphia Phillies, World Champions!

As for my pick: a certain trend doesn’t bode well for the Philadelphia Eagles this week against the Seattle Seahawks. The Eagles have lost their 8th game in each of the last two seasons the Philadelphia Phillies were in the World Series. In 1983, head coach Marion Campbell’s Eagles, led by Ron Jaworski, lost to the Chicago Bears in a defensively tough game, 7-6.

In 1993, Rich Kotite and Randall Cunningham led the Eagles in a 16-3 loss to the Phoenix Cardinals. The Eagles are coming off of an important win against the Atlanta Falcons, but once again find themselves traveling across the country to play in hostile territory. The Seahawks are floundering, having had high hopes of making the playoffs this year, and are desperate for a win to turn their disappointing season around. It will be another close game. The Eagles will be lucky to win and will require Brian Westbrook to once again carry the team by himself to victory.

Philadelphia Eagles – 45, Seattle Seahawks – 10 — Troy V. of Yardley

Seems like this was a time for streaks (both good and bad) to end and new ones to begin.

Readers of this blog, and those not residing beneath rocks, no doubt are now aware that Philadelphia's 25 years of suffering (at least sports-related) is at an end.

Yet I doubt many were aware that Chelsea's 86-game unbeaten home streak also ended recently (10/26 0-1 to Liverpool). The Blues hadn't lost at Stamford Bridge since February of 2004. No, it's not 25 years, but still 86 home games without a loss is quite impressive and a Premier League record (the old record coincidentally held by Liverpool at 63 games from 2/78 - 12/80).

Turning the page... Philly now has its own streak of two consecutive sporting championships (why not count the Soul?!), so I'm looking for Chelsea to begin a new home unbeaten streak of their own by handling Sunderland Saturday.

(While I'm on the topics of streaks coming to an end, regardless of what happens on Election Day, January 20, 2009 will end a 20-year streak in which someone with the last name of either Bush or Clinton was President—and it's not too hard to imagine that the streak could have extended to 28 years!) — Phil

How can you pick against Sunderland? Heresy, I tell you, heresy! — John

Things Pittsburgh Football: The University of Pittsburgh Panthers travel to South Bend, IN, to take on the Golden Domers. It’s been a topsy-turvy season for the Panthers—two embarrassing losses to Bowling Green and Rutgers, and a road win against then-No. 10 USF. Both teams are 5-2, but considering last week’s action—Pitt’s loss to Rutgers, and ND’s convincing win over Washington—it doesn’t bode well for the Panthers. But for some strange reason, that’s when Pitt plays its best. Pitt wins in a squeaker, 21-20.

The Pittsburgh Steelers end their 0-2 slide against NFC East teams and beat the Redskins, in Washington (oops, Maryland) on MNF.

On record alone, the WPIAL AAAA high school playoff game between the Upper St. Clair Panthers (6-3) and McKeesport Tigers (7-2) appears as if it will be a close game. It won’t… McKeesport takes the win in a cake walk, 42-17. — Kurt

As we enter game 8, we should look at the Birds' historic record for game 8's. Specifically, let's look at the era of greatness, the Buddy Ryan years. We have:
1986, beat San Diego 23-7
1987, beat Washington, 31-27
1988, beat Dallas 24-23
1989, beat Denver 28-24
1990, beat New England 48-20

So, the Birds were 5-0 in Game 8 under the Great One's years. Now, they face a feeble Seattle team. If Ryan were coaching, I'd pick the Philadelphia Eagles 45, Seattle Seahawks 10. But, the Winner ain't in town any more, so my prediction is less sanguine: Birds - 34, Hawks 10. — Carnac the great

A 34-10 predicted rout is "sanguine?" Wow, in a mere days a Phillies World Championship has spoiled us. And it's nice to be so spoiled!

I need a win for once—my predictions have been worse than the Rays. Troy V. and Carnac are so far ahead of me I can barely even see them.

So I’m taking a gimme in what used to be a rivalry. Oklahoma blows out Nebraska Saturday night, 63-21. — John

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