Sketch gets a lot of hipster clientele and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Hipsters have to eat too and some of them are so emaciated that I think they should probably get two Sketch burgers when they go in there. There’s hand drawn “Sketch”es by customers postered all over the wall and is where it gets it’s name (I’m taking a shot in the dark on this one).
Sketch is a Burger joint at it’s heart but does some things that a traditional burger place might not get into: Kobe beef, eggs, horseradish cheddar cheese, salsa verde. It’s right on East Girard st between Earl and Columbia though the sign doesn’t really jump out at you while driving down Girard. The fries are good, the milshakes are good and certainly the burgers are good. My roll might have been a little greasy but I did get it to go so a lot of the grease may have seeped in while contained in the wrapper. That’s about the only complaint I have about the place, maybe it’s a tad expensive though. But if you want an inexpensive burger there’s a McDonalds down the street.
Overall it’s some of the best food I’ve had in the Fishtown section of the city. Next up to try when I go there, Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork!
What a bunch of crybabies Philadelphia sports fans are. Oh, the Eagles have never won a Super Bowl, the Flyers haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1975, the Sixers haven’t gotten it done since 1983 and minus the Phillies breaking a miraculous curse in 2008, their only World Series win was in 1980. It’s like Philly fans are so masochistic that they love to be hurt, we actually brag about it.
Yes there was 25 years between Championships in Philadelphia but that didn’t mean there weren’t teams to root for. Yes you can give me the whole, “Of the cities with the four major sports teams, Philadelphia ranks last in Championships” crap but it’s still a whole lot better than being in Cleveland or Kansas City. And of the teams with four major sports teams I think we’ve had it a lot better than Phoenix, Minneapolis and Washington D.C.
If you rank a season Quality by the team making it to either the Championship game or the Conference Finals then the landscape changes a bit.
We’ll start our time line in the year 1980:
76erslost to the Lakers in the NBA Finals 4 games to 2.
Flyerslost to the Islanders in the Stanley Cup Finals 4 games to 2
Eagleslost the Raiders in the Super Bowl 27-10
Phillies Win the World Series over the Royals 4 game to 2
76erslost the NBA Championship to the Lakers 4 games to 2
Phillies lost to the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series 4 games to 1
76ers Won the NBA Championship over the Lakers 4-0
Flyers lost to the Oilers 4-1 in the Stanley Cup Finals
Flyers lost to the Oilers 4-3 in the Stanley Cup Finals
Flyers lost to the Canadiens 4 games to 2 in the Wales Conference Finals
Phillies lost to the Blue Jays in the World Series 4-2
Flyers lost to the Devils in the Conference Finals
Flyers lost to the Red Wings 4-0 in the Stanley Cup Finals
Flyers lost to the Devils in Eastern Conference Finals4-3
76ers lost to the Lakers 4 games to 1 in the NBA Finals
Eagles lost to the Rams in the NFC Championship game 29-24
Eagles lost to the Buccaneers in the NFC Championship 27-10
Eagles lost to the Buccaneers in the NFC Championship 27-10
Flyers lost to the Lightning in Eastern Conference Finals to 4-3
Eagles lose to the Patriots in the Super Bowl 24-21
Flyers lost to the Penguins in the Easter Conference Finals 4 games to 1
Eagles lost to the Cardinals in the NFC Championship Game 32-25
Phillies Win the World Series over Rays 4 games to 1
Phillies lost to the Yankees in the World Series 4 games to 2
Eagles: 2 Super Bowl appearances and 6 Conference Championship appearances. 16 Playoff appearances.
Phillies: 2 World Series Championships, 5 World Series Appearances and 5 National League Championship appearances. 7 Playoff appearances total.
Flyers: 4 Stanley Cup Finals trips, 8 Conference Championship appearances. 22 Playoff appearances.
You don’t have to label a season a success if the team doesn’t win their respective sports’ championship that year and to a certain degree I get that logic. However, there have been plenty of years either collectively or individually that professional Philadelphia sports franchises got your heart racing during playoff time. That you lived and died by that team, that you and the city pulled for them.
If you ask me the 2002 NFC Championship loss to Tampa Bay was one of the absolute worst feelings I’ve ever had in my life. I swore off the Eagles and the next year my heart was in it again for another run. I guess my point here is that Philadelphia fans, for all their complaining and whining have it pretty good I think. Lito Sheppard was recently quoted to say that he thought Philly fans were “spoiled” by the decade of success the Eagles had and I’d have to agree with him. It’s not that easy to win a Championship in any sport even when you do have great players. I’ll settle for 3 Championships in 30 years and revel in the the enjoyment the next time one comes around.
Any playoff game is just another reason to get drunk and hang out with your friends so look on the bright side people, at least we’re not in Cleveland.
I am not an NBA fan. But for 3 years or so, I cared immensely about the Sixers, for one reason- Allen Iverson. By himself, he was a force of nature on the court, a one man wrecking crew capable of beat teams through sheer will alone. He elevated a team of bench players to the playoffs, then to the finals. When he left, I stopped caring, and so did the rest of the city. The team has gone downhill since then, and the result was the start of this season with an empty arena and a boring team. Granted, Allen’s got an attitude that rub a lot of people the wrong way, but that never bothered me, and still doesn’t. I’m glad he’s back, even though its obvious he has lost quite a bit, which was inevitable, game shape or not. I don’t care what the reasons are. I just want to see him at his best one more time. I stand by the assertion that when was at his best, a night where he drops 50+ careening like a maniac into the lane, jacking up 3s on the break, that he is the single most exciting player the NBA has ever seen. His style, his size, his fearlessness, and his amazing skills all combined to make some nights almost too much to believe. He’s not gonna do that too many more times, if ever. But i really think he’s got at least one left in him. Sometime between now and April, he’s gonna take it back to 2001 and drop 50 on someone, and it will be nothing short of awesome to watch. For that reason only, I’ll tune into sixers games for the rest of the year…just in case.
So I got a parking ticket recently while parked on the street at the University of Penn. I parked on the street because the lot was full and I had to continually put quarters in the meter. Somewhere around 2PM I went out to put more quarters the meter and the time was not registering. Quarters in, no time allotted on the meter. I’m not sure whether the meter was full or broken or what but it seemed to have worked up until that point. I even went as far as to document this phenomenon in a grainy Blackberry video.
So I put a note on the hood of the car saying that the meter was broken and low and behold I get a parking ticket, $36. Now I have some proof that this happened on my phone but the real question is whether or not to dispute it. I would save a couple dollars by paying the fine and actually working for the two or so hours it would take me to fight the ticket in court. So what do you do here? Take the fine even though it’s not your fault or take the time out of the workday or lose more money in lost work time then I would if paid the fine and get my ass to court?
Well it seems somewhat counter intuitive but I’m going to fight this parking ticket. I don’t like the idea of admitting guilt when I didn’t do anything wrong. I could see if I just parked the car and forgot about it all day. I would take the fine no big deal. However, I did go out every 3 hours, get an obscene amount of quarters from various lunch trucks and feed the meter so I didn’t get a ticket. It just so happens the meter broke on the 3rd time I had to put $4 worth of quarters in it.
I have no reason to lie to you the reader or the court about the truthiness of the parking situation but I am opening myself up to not only losing money on the parking ticket but also the lost wages. I would just rather not admit guilt to something when I’m not guilty.
Now I know sometimes in relationships men are ostensibly forced to apologize for things they don’t feel like are big deals or even infractions and I have been guilty of this from time to time just to continue with regular sexual activity. This, however, is a different situation. This is me against the Parking Authority and if I don’t stand up for myself they will continue to screw me. As opposed to apologizing to your girlfriend for something stupid and being able to screw her again.
I’ll let you know how pissed I am when this whole thing backfires right in my face.
So the Answer is coming back to Philadelphia. When I wrote the Iverson article last week I didn’t really think the Sixers would ever re-sign him given the acrimonious split in late 2006. It’s the kind of homecoming you hope for as a true Philadelphia sports fan. The situation reminds me of how Jeremiah Trotter and Hugh Douglas came back for the Eagles Super Bowl run in 2004. Hopefully Iverson is more Trotter than Douglas in terms of production.
It’s kind of bittersweet though in that I’m not really sure the addition of Iverson puts the Sixers in any real contention to win the Eastern Conference but stranger things have happened. At this point, with Speights and Lou Williams gone for an extended period it can only help more than hurt.
So I’m not a real big sports radio listener and I choose not to listen to it especially when a big headline will dominate the airwaves for the next couple days as in Iverson, Vick etc. However, with the verbal jabs I’ve heard from colleagues and commentators about what kind of player and of what caliber person they perceive Iverson to be I do get somewhat miffed.
1) Iverson is not a team player:
Well if you hear any of his teammates talk about Allen Iverson I have never heard anything bad come out of anyone’s mouth. Yes he clashed with coaches, yes he missed practice, yes he got into some situations which weren’t exactly kosher but if you think he had anything on his mind but winning when he’s on the court then you’re crazy. If not being a team player is taking all the shots then I’ll refer you to the bullet point below.
2) Iverson the Ball Hog:
For much of Iverson’s Philly career the plan from Larry Brown was for Allen to take most of the shots. Dart to the rim and get fouled. Allen takes the shots, they live on the foul line and the rest of the team plays great defense while allowing Iverson to expend his energy on the offensive end. Who was going to take the shots? Eric Snow?
We never got him a complementary player, maybe because he didn’t want to share the scoring or any marquee player was afraid he wasn’t going to give up the ball but during his years in Philadelphia I ask you, who would you rather have shoot the ball?
3) He’s not a winner:
It’s true, Allen Iverson couldn’t win it by himself. It’s also true he didn’t have a whole lot of help. Everyone slurps Jordan but he had players Iverson never had. The Answer never had a Scottie Pippen. Iverson only played concurrently with two All Stars, Theo Ratliff the year he got hurt and Dikembe Mutumbo, neither of which were known for scoring.
For every team that worked out a great trade or drafted a player that helped win a Championship, Iverson was given has been’s and never will be’s. Chris Webber, Tyrone Hill, Jumaine Jones, Tim Thomas, Derrick Coleman, Larry Hughes, Toni Kukoc, Kieth Van Horne, Matt Harpring. Webber was playing on one leg and we paid him 36 million to not play, Coleman would have been a great 3rd option, Kukoc was 25 lbs overweight by the time he got to Philly and every guy we drafted we traded away or didn’t make an impact.
Granted it’s hard for a rookie to grow in a system predicated on getting the star player 30 shots a game but does anyone think if we got a legit second scoring option and still had the defensive players in place that Iverson wouldn’t go deep in the playoffs every year? (note: the unsung hero of the 2001 season in George Lynch who was never the same player after breaking his foot in the playoffs that year).
So we have Iverson back, if he scores 19 or 90 it’s good for the city, good for attendance and good for the fans who love the guy. You can make insinuations about why they brought him back or that he takes time away from the young guys but the young guys aren’t exactly doing much right now.
If anything I hope the guy (and he does) realizes what a special place he has in this city and how coming back for his farewell tour is the kind of reunion only seen in Hollywood movies. To bring it all back where it started, to cap off a Hall of Fame career in front of the fans that made him a household name is something that most Philadelphia Superstars either never wanted to or never could do. (Besides Dick Allen).
At the very least, I’m interested in Sixers Basketball again if only just to see one of it’s greatest players make one more playoff push. It should be interesting.
So Allen Iverson may retire, he’ll probably come back later this year to play for a contender but he’s not playing professional basketball right now after a short stint with Memphis. It’s somewhat sad to see a player I pretty much grew up with on the fence about his athletic future but in a lot of ways the retirement of most of my sports hero’s from my youth prepared me for this time. To tell you the truth I was way more taken aback by the trade of Chuck Barkley to the Suns for Jeff Hornacek and a couple other no names. I cried when Mike Schmidt announced his retirement. I was bitter that Randall Cunningham was run out of town in favor of Rodney Peete only to see Randall lead the NFL’s most prolific offense ever (to that point) 3 years later in Minnesota. I wasn’t particularly shocked that Iverson was traded away a couple years back because just like my last relationship, I could see the signs that things weren’t going to work themselves out.
I love Allen Iverson. He was perfect for a city that prides itself on the underdog status and made millions believe he could bring a Championship to Philadelphia for the first time since Dr.J was running up and down the Spectrum floorboards. He could drop 30+ on any team any night of the week and did most of his time in Philly. He played through injuries and he gave you everything he had any time he stepped on the court in a game (not talkin’ bout practice). I can still feel the goosebumps I got from going to the playoff game in 2001 against the Raptors and Iverson and Vince Carter both dropped 50+. It is a top two sporting event that I have ever been to.
For the better part of his career he led the league in minutes, shots and points, later throwing in steals to the mix. But for every 50 point game, for every feat of athleticism, amazing shot or electric, hustle play he never won a championship. He’s won an MVP, been to All Star games, been rookie of the year but he could never win a title with him as the go to guy. It’s nothing to be ashamed of though, there’s lots of Hall of Famer’s who never got a ring. The thing is, Iverson can still get a ring albeit not with him starting somewhere. If he doesn’t accept the fact that he’s going to have to play off the bench somewhere, hopefully for a contender then he probably should retire. At 34 he can’t be “The Answer” for a franchise but he can be “The Answer” in short bursts coming off the bench and spot starting for a team that is jockeying for a Championship run.
Though for everything that made Iverson great in his career, pride, tenacity and a never say die attitude, these are things that may be holding him back from being a successful 6th man in the NBA. He still feels like he can be the man and help a team win the way he’s been “accustomed” to his entire career save last season. Problem is, no one else thinks the same way, at least not in a starting role.
So for him being “The Answer” he does leave us with a lot of questions. Will he come back, will he retire? What would have happened if Iverson had been paired with a legit big man? There was one thing he was the answer to though, ticket sales for the Sixers and most arenas when he was on the road. Everyone wanted to see the most electrifying player in the NBA in the early to mid 2000’s. Shame we’re here in 2009 and one of the greatest talents in league history hasn’t gotten any closer to a Championship than those halcyon days of 2001. Only time will answer the question if he will ever get back there and we’ll all just have to wait and see.
Tater Tot’s are so in vogue right now it makes me want to boycott them, however, they’re just too fucking delicious. This simple food is served to you in a restaurant/bar essentially the same way they come out of your oven. There’s really no difference except the price and maybe some chives or scallions you’ll get when eating out somewhere that serves them.
So where did the popularity of the Tater Tot come from and why in recent years have I seen a steady increase in places offering them, especially the hipster places.
Notably, I worked at the Barclay Prime circa 2006 and noticed they were serving them there. One of the more fancy and best steakhouses in the city and they’re serving the same thing that run down diners serve to their patrons (granted at a bigger markup). Other places I’ve seen them on the menu is the Urban Saloon and North Bowl, so much so that when my friends and I go either place it’s always brought up how multiple orders of “tot’s” were going to be consumed that night. My comrade has told me that they are available at Sonic Fast Food Restaurants but I’ve never actually seen one of those. My guess is that Sonic is a fictional corporation akin to one of those companies in the movie Boiler Room.
Where did this phenomenon come from? Was it the cult classic Napoleon Dynamite that brought the tot back into mainstream America? Has the tot in some ways always been part of large part of American Culinary Culture? Americans consume approximately 70 Millions pounds of tot’s per year to the French Fries 2 million tons so the tot does have some ground to make up. If the tot continues to be adopted as the potato product of choice for the hipster set and the trendy establishments they frequent, you may well see the tot challenge the fry for it’s dominance. Will we see McDonalds, Burger King and other fast food places start to carry the tot? Only time will tell, in the mean time grab yourself a big bag of tot’s at the supermarket, a pack of your favorite shredded cheese and get totted up!
So now that the SEPTA strike is over with Transportation Workers Union 234, expect an increase in fare’s soon. SEPTA has stated that it was going to increase fare’s in 2010 just as it did in 2007. How much you ask? From what this article says about 10% increase in revenue for the fiscal year of 2011.
I guess we kind of knew that was going to happen though. SEPTA Union workers strike, they get a raise, both sides make some concessions and ultimately they pass the buck onto the consumer. Nevermind a portion of your tax money goes to SEPTA whether you use it or not, that’s besides the point.
So now for some thoughts, suggestions and wishful thinking:
1) How about 24 hour Weekend Service for subways and Regional Rail even at a limited schedule?
How much better would it be if you could get from Point A to Point B in Philadelphia after Midnight without having to take a cab, walk 100 blocks or ride a bike? Insanely great!
How much more business would city bars and restaurants get from the outlying counties if there was even one train on every regional rail that took people home from the city say at 2:40am after the bars closed and giving people ample time to get to Market East, Suburban or 30th St Stations? I can’t tell you how many good times were abruptly averted by friends visiting who had to leave at 11:30 to make sure they got the last train home to Delco/Montco? How many trips to the city were never had by people who don’t want to drive to the city because they would be drinking and don’t want to leave at 12pm to get the last train?
Give the people a reasonable way to get to and from Philadelphia to drink and be merry without having to drive or worry about getting home and you will see a city ripe with fresh faces on the weekends. I guarantee that.
2) How about a freaking rechargeable transit pass like every other city with a subway system has. How about being able to pay with your credit/debit card at every station and or ticket/token dispenser?
Granted these things will cost money. Money to staff subways with police officers, money to pay the money hungry SEPTA employees who no doubt would welcome this as overtime. I don’t know but if New York can do it and we’re pretty much New York’s J.V. team then I’m sure sooner or later we could pull this off.
You know the Yankees beat us fair and square. You can say that A-Rod’s homerun in game 3 that hit the camera which was leaning over the fence was questionable but in the end it really didn’t matter. We were an out away from coming back to win game 4 and once untouchable Brad Lidge had another meltdown. Ryan Howard went from hero in the NLCS and Wildcard series to zero in the World Series setting a record for ineptitude at the plate. Last night and in games previous Hideki Matsui proved to be a Philly Killer.
I’m not particularly angry, the better team won. The team that went out and got the top 3 free agents in major league baseball and has a payroll a little under double what the Phils have practically bought a Championship and in baseball you can do that. There’s no salary cap, there’s no rule that says you can’t collect the best players in the league like baseball cards and so the better team won.
I can handle the losing part but I can’t really stomach A-Rod and Andy Pettite being champions after both admitting steroid and or HGH use. I don’t dislike A-Rod because he’s good but I dislike him because he lied to his fans and supporters for so long. I don’t like Andy Pettite because he seems to get as much of a free pass on using PED’s that Rodney Harrison has gotten. I’m a big believer in treating people equally across the board and if Barry Bonds is going to get ridiculed by the mass media and an asterisk next to his records the same punishment should go down for the two Yankee offenders.
If nothing else, a World Series championship solidifies a career for A-Rod which has Hall of Fame numbers. I feel like A-Rod will get into the HOF when his playing days are over, maybe even eclipsing Bonds career Home Run mark. However, all things being equal, Bonds and A-Rod taking PED’s why is A-Rod seemingly treated with the kid gloves when it comes to the press? Why isn’t there as big a public outcry over A-Rod as there was over Bonds? Steroid Press Fatigue? Are people just that tired of hearing about it that they don’t care anymore to object? I don’t have the answers.
It’s weird because I don’t hate that the Yankees won, I hate that two players with a history of lying and cheating the game won. As ugly as Hideki Matsui is you gotta give the guy props for showing up big when it counted even though Asian people are notorious for having small penises. You gotta give it to Derek Jeter, a class act that continues to prove his naysayers wrong. For as old as Mariano Rivera is he can still get the best hitters in the game to strike out, pop up and ground out with a calming ease. Flamin’ Johnny Damon made his presence felt in a contract year. These are guys I’m happy for. These are guys who I don’t mind losing to. I just can’t stand to lose to a couple of cheaters who are then put up on a pedestal by sportscasters and journalists for all the world and the kids to see that it’s ok to cheat, you can cheat and still win the World Series without so much as a slap on the wrist. Amazing!
Is this Déjà vu? For the second year in the row the Philadelphia Phillies are in the World Series. For the second year in a row I am a complete alcoholic mess and am one game 7 away from checking myself into a Betty Ford clinic. I feel like I have entered “Groundhog’s Day.” I wake up thinking about the Phils previous game, as well as the looming game. I am hung over loathing myself and the fact that I have to suffer through work from 8:30 to 5:00. The only way I make it through work is listening to sports radio 610, which fulfills my Phillies fix. After work, if I do not immediately start drinking or need to get ready to go to the bar to watch another Phils beat down, I try to mix in the occasional run or meal. Over the last month, both of these daily regularities have progressively been thrown to the wayside. After, each series closing game I am not sure who needed more rest, an overworked Chase Utley or my liver.
This drunken voyage has begun during the NLDS and has turned into a sloppy, disgusting, obsessive mess. The key highlights of the NLDS have to be the following: Attending Game 1 of the NLDS watching Cliff Lee pitch his first gem of the post season against the Colorado Rockies. This game was indicative for the rest of the postseason. Cliff Lee beasted, I got wasted, blackedout, and called out of work the next day. Major League baseball needs to realize that it is not conducive to alcoholic Philadelphia fans to have 4:00 PM start times. Seriously, what are you trying to do to us?
Ultimately, the Phils got redemption from 2007 and closed out the Rockies in four games on a Sunday evening into a Monday morning. Eagles smoked the pathetic Bucs starting at 1:00, followed by the Phils beating the Rockies at approximately 2:00 am (Long Day). Thank you to the staff at Paddywacks for not kicking out hundreds of drunk Phanatics from the bar until the game was finished. Also, thank you Christopher Columbus for getting me the day off work on the following Monday. As the late, great Harry Kalas would have put it “Christopher Columbus, you are the Man!”
The next step for the Phils and my liver was the NLCS and a rematch with the pretentious Los Angeles Dodgers and their obnoxious, idiotic fan base. “Hi, I am an asshole Dodgers fan, let me get to the NLCS by the 4th inning and let me try to fight Phils fans. If that fails, maybe I can buddy up with the Bloods or the Crips in the second deck and jump a 12 year old for his iPod touch. If that fails I’ll make a quick exit in the 8th inning so I do not have to watch the Phillies embarrass the Dodgers in LA.” Losers.
To the highlight: Being at game 4 of the NLCS for me was the best in person experience I have ever had at a professional sporting event. For me, it was even better than the only NFC Championship victory of the decade by the Eagles over the Dogkiller, Michael Vick – led Falcons. That night again, I was blasted. I do not know if it was the vodka, liver killer mix my buddy made, the 12-15 bud lights I put down before and during the game, or the free shots of Jack that were being given away in at the Wine and Spirits but I was tanked. For what you ask? To watch Jimmy “Willie Mays Hayes” Rollins hit a walk off, two run double to put the foot on the throat of the Dodgers. (I’m sure you can figure out the nickname. He is the only leadoff hitter in baseball that tries to hit a home run every at bat. As Lou Brown says in “Major League,” “Runs like Mays hits like shit.”) Anyway this led to an all night drunk fest topped off with another call out. Thanks Phils, my employer is getting happier with me by the series.
Now, the Phils are approaching game 6 of the World Series against the New York Yankees. The New York Yankees and its fan base are even more pretentious assholes than the Dodgers. The Yankees are the most reveled and hated team in baseball. Yankees fans think they are entitled to greatness every season and anything less than a World Series championship is a disappointment. I coronate these douchebags as the most annoying and arrogant fans in sports. I digress. Again, this series has led to a drunken fiasco. More drunk nights at McGillan’s Ale House, more hangovers, but fortunately no call outs. Yippee, I have matured. I am tired and sick, yet hungry for another championship.
Bottom line, I have enough in me for three more celebrations, game 6, game 7 followed by another parade down Broad Street. My liver as well as every other die hard Philles fans in Tri-State area shares the same sentiment. I have three more drunken parties, two more wins, one Friday call out, a random Phillie led one night stand, and one parade left that my liver can not miss. These events are necessary in obtaining the ultimate championship in Philadelphia sports history. . . Winning the World Series against the New York Yankees. Go Phils! Please do not let my liver down.