Suddenly, there is some optimism in the Philadelphia sports scene

Suddenly, there is some optimism in the Philadelphia sports scene.
That will happen when the underdog Philadelphia Eagles erupt on national television with a dominating, not-as-close- as it seemed 33-27 win over heavily favored Washington. It was quite the debut for Chip Kelly, whose electrifying lightning speed offense ran over 50 plays in the first half, had 21 first downs, and scored four offensive touchdowns. Though the team had trouble holding the lead, ultimately the Birds did win. An improved defense, a mostly solid Michael Vick, a terrific performance by Le'Sean McCoy and DeSean Jackson has Eagles' fans thinking Super Bowl. We won't go that far. But if defenses can't figure out Chip Kelly's frenetic pace and dynamic play calling, the Eagles will make the playoffs. Maybe the first real victory is no one is talking about the mishandling of the Riley Cooper punishment for shouting racial profanities at a black security guard at a Kenny Chesney concert in the spring. For the record, we thought a game or two suspension was the right call. But Cooper played all 80 offensive snaps Monday night and looked good as a blocker and accepted by team members.

The Phillies quietly are building a potential winner in 2014. Though they mishandled the Charlie Manuel firing (Did you really have to fire him the day you were going to honor him with 1000 wins?), the Fightin's have actually given fans hope for 2014 and beyond. I love the insertion of Ryne Sandberg. He exudes winning and hard work and leadership and will be better suited to handle this new wave of younger players emerging on the team. Already shortstop Jimmy Rollins seems to be responding to Sandberg's pleas to work counts and give better at-bats and hustle.
Personally, I thought the Phils made a mistake spending money on Michael Young when they had Kevin Frandsen coming off a .300 season at third base. Frandsen had opportunities this year but went into a hitting funk which is what officials thought would happen if he got extended playing time. Regardless, the job is now Cody Asche's to lose. He has shown flashes of a Gold Glover with a power bat that doesn't strike out that much. As much as I love Jimmy Rollins and appreciate all he has done (He still only has 9 errors this season), I think the Phils need to find him a new home for the twilight of his career. Freddy Galvis has all the tools to be an all-star. He is already better than Rollins in the field, only 24 years old, and has a knack of timely hitting with a power stroke, assuming he no longer takes PEDs. The Phils decided to keep Chase Utley, who I think was the team's only piece that could have retrieved two or three solid prospects in return. It blocks the chance for Cesar Fernandez to play, which is a shame since he hit .300 in triple A this year. Ryan Howard's return in 2014 may be the biggest boon to the team's success. If he is injury free, he is still young enough at 34  to return to his old form and hot 35 home runs with 120 RBIs. I'd settle for 28 home runs and 105 RBIs. In the outfield, Darren Ruf's emergence, Domonic Brown's break out season --he is the team's best player--and a healthy Ben Revere is a solid nucleus. Brown and Ruf should both hit more than 30 homers next year. Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels are two of the game's best pitchers. B.J Rosenberg, Ethan Martin, and Jake Diekman are beginning to show signs of future stardom. The bullpen, terrible in 2013, may be great in 2014, especially if Jonathan Papelbon, Mike Adams or Mile Stutes return to old form. But the team must not have lightweights like Michael Martinez on the team next year. It's time to step up the whole roster.

The 76ers have only one way to go.....UP! I like the addition of Brett Brown as head coach and the dismissal of the old coaching regime. Brown did wonders as an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs and deserved this shot. The 76ers are in line to get two lottery picks in 2014; don't expect the team to win more than 20 games in 2014. Nerlens Noel was the best shot blocker in college basketball in his one season at Kentucky, though his knee injury is unsettling to Philadelphia fans after watching trades for Jeff Ruland and Andrew Bynum destroy two different squads. Evan Turner needs to improve greatly. The Flyers keep adding older pieces to fill holes. We think Ray Emery will be a good goalie. He was injured the last time the Flyers' traded for him. Claude Giroux needs to be the game's next star.The Flyers lack scoring punch after trading away so many goal scorers in recent years..see Jeff Carter, Jjames van Riemsdyk. But the team will be in a playoff hunt this season.

Look out also for La Salle's men's basketball team, Temple's football team and field hockey team, Imhotep Charter's football team, and Neumann Goretti's high school biys basketball team.
Suddenly, there is some optimism in the Philadelphia sports scene
Jeremy Treatman - Contributor

Jeremy Treatman is the founder and co-director of the Scholastic Play-by-Play Classics and Sports Broadcasting Camps. Over 50 NBA players, including Lebron James, Kevin Durant, and Rajon Rondo played in his events when they were in high school. Jeremy wrote high school sports for the INQUIRER for 10 years, and was the first TV reporter for the HIgh School Sports Show on Channel 29 from 1994-2001. He currently is Comcast's announcer for all high school games.


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