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Sports Then and Now



Sports in Philadelphia: As Good As It Gets 24

Posted on August 07, 2011 by Teddy Bailey

The 4 Major Sports Teams In Philadelphia.

For years, the thought of Philadelphia as a sports city was unheard of and rare by national fanatics. Now, with the recent surge from the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers, and possibly even the Sixers, Philadelphia is finally becoming known to the sports nation.

We’ll start with the Philadelphia Phillies, baseball’s best team. With only 2 championships in hand, the Phillies reputation is diminished and scarce. In 2008, doubters were quieted after a postseason field day was brought to the city of brotherly love, with the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Tampa Bay Rays to win the 2008 World Series. After a year of heartbreak, the Phillies are back for more. At 74-39, Philadelphia is completely destroying Major League Baseball, and a 9.5 division lead over the Braves is showing it. With a more than solid pitching rotation, including Hamels, Halladay, Oswalt, Lee and outstanding rookie Vance Worley, Philadelphia has a 3.06 team ERA. Recently acquiring OF Hunter Pence from Houston solidifies the lineup and brings more power and consistency for the postseason. For the Phillies, it can’t get better than this.

Now we turn to the Eagles, a team getting national attention for the big named players recently acquired by the organization. Philadelphia was keen on defense, bringing in CB Dominique Rodgers- Cromartie, CB Nnamdi Asomaugha, and DE Jason Babin along with shipping out unhappy QB Kevin Kolb in the process. Don’t forget the pickup of QB Vince Young, which is solid security for the injury plagued, mobile Quarterback Michael Vick. With Desean Jackson ending his holdout, and WR Jeremy Maclin getting healthy, Philadelphia has emerged as the team to beat. Granted, the season hasn’t even started yet, but the Birds new look is hard to argue against. I’m not sure with the “Dream Team” phrase that has rumored around the city of brotherly love, but a Playoff Caliber team is surely in store for the Eagles. Read the rest of this entry →

On This Date: Ron Hextall Becomes First Goalie To Score A Goal 9

Posted on December 08, 2010 by Dean Hybl

On December 8, 1987, Ron Hextall became the first goalie in NHL history to score a goal.

Today is the anniversary of one of those interesting sports footnotes that were truly unique and deserve to be remembered. It was 23 years ago that Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ron Hextall did something that had never previously been accomplished in an NHL game.

When you watch the replay, it doesn’t seem all that difficult a feat to accomplish, but before Hextall whipped a shot the length of the ice into an empty net on December 8, 1987, no goalie had ever actually scored in an NHL game.

The accomplishment came at the end of a contest against the Boston Bruins. With Philadelphia leading 4-2, the Bruins pulled their keeper, Rejean Lemelin, to add another offensive player. After Hextall picked up a loose puck near his goal, Hextall whipped it the length of the ice and it easily nestled into the net.

Hextall would repeat the accomplishment on April 11, 1989 in a playoff game against the Washington Capitals to become the first goalie to score in a playoff game.

Interestingly, Hextall was not the first goalie credited with a goal.  Because of hockey’s score keeping rule that credits a goal to the last offensive player to touch the puck, on November 28, 1979, Billy Smith of the New York Islanders  was the first NHL goalie to be credited with a goal even though he didn’t actually shoot the puck into the net. Smith was awarded the goal during a game against the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies’ goaltender left the ice for an extra skater after a delayed penalty was called on the Islanders. During the ensuing play, Smith made a save, then a Rockies player passed the puck to a vacant point, and it traveled the length of the ice into the empty net.

There have been a total of 11 goals credited to goalies in NHL history with six of them resulting directly from a goalie shooting the puck into the net. Following the two goals by Hextall, the next to accomplish the feat was Chris Osgood in 1996. Martin Brodeur, Jose Theodore and Evgeni Nabokov are the others with Nabokov being the last to do so in 2002.

Below is a look at Hextall’s historic goal.

Winter Walkoff: Bruins Have Classic Comeback At Fenway 3

Posted on January 02, 2010 by Joe Gill

Marco Sturm etched his name in Boston Sports lore with his Winter Classic clincher.

The Winter Classic lived up to all the hype and then some. It truly was a spectacle and made hockey relevant in this country again. It was a needed shot in the arm for a sport that has been taking up the rear behind baseball, football, and basketball for years.

Personally, I was very excited just to WATCH this game. I watched the Winter Classics in Chicago and snowy Buffalo, but now it was in my backyard at Fenway Park.

I was down at Mohegan Sun and MGM at Foxwoods for New Years. My whole departure was planned around this game.

One of the cashiers at the MGM said to me after seeing my Bruins cap, “I hope you make it home before the game.”

Me too, but those one armed bandits put their magical spell even over the most die hard Bruins fan.

My girlfriend said, “It’s 11:30am.” I told her to give my version of the two hour warning, but I didn’t listen.

I was going to miss some of the game!

Read the rest of this entry →

New NHL Season Is Off and Running 0

Posted on October 08, 2009 by Scott Weldon
Hockey is back! Rejoice!

Hockey is back! Rejoice!

The new NHL season has opened up and it has started up with a bang. The NHL regular season is a marathon followed by the playoffs. The playoffs are a marathon run at high tempo while somebody beats you with a stick. Alexander Ovechkin however only knows how to sprint. He’s exploded to start the season with three points in each of his first three games.

That’s a Gretzky/Lafleur start to a season that hasn’t been seen in the NHL for 20 years.

Philadelphia and Washington played an important game in October, honest!! They played a great, exciting, back and forth game that Philadelphia won 6-5 in overtime. There were five lead changes in a 6-5 game as in Philly, Washington, Philly, Washington Philly. Besides Ovechkins third three point night and Semin’s highlight reel goal there was a hat trick for Philadelphia’s Mike Richards. Daniel Briere got the overtime winner. Is it time for the playoffs yet?

Read the rest of this entry →

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Iron Man Randy Smith
      February 2, 2019 | 5:58 pm

      Randy Smith-BravesThe Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month may have had a pretty common name, but his iron man streak as an NBA player was anything but ordinary.

      In a streak that lasted more than a decade, Randy Smith played in 906 consecutive NBA games to establish an NBA iron man record that lasted more than a decade.

      That Smith made it to the NBA at all was somewhat of an underdog story.

      A three-sport standout at Bellsport High School in Long Island (basketball, soccer and track), Smith also was a three-sport All-American at Division II Buffalo State College. He helped lead the Bengals to three straight basketball conference championships and a spot in the 1970 Division II Final Four.

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