Immediate Impact: Francisco, Valdez, and Mayberry Help Phils to Opening Day Win

Immediate Impact: Francisco, Valdez, and Mayberry Help Phils to Opening Day Win

While their passion is undeniable, some
Philly fans' fickleness is both predictable and unbecoming. It's these
fans who wait an entire off-season for baseball to return to
Philadelphia on the first day of April, crossing off every day that
passes on their calendar, only to let their first boos rain down less
than two hours after the first pitch of the season. A little patience,
people.

Now, to be fair, the Phillies offense was not creating
much of anything at the plate, and they were certainly not making Brett
Myers and the Astros pitchers work, so maybe a little ribbing couldn't
hurt.

In fact, Jimmy Rollins said after the game that hearing it
from the fans before the bottom half of the ninth may have lit a fire
under their asses.

"We had a couple of fans jumping on us right on top of our dugout," said
Rollins. "It was kind of comical. He was talking about American Legion
ball, and how his team would have done better than that. I don't know,
but maybe it inspired us. The next inning we came out and only made one
out and found a way to win."

Jimmy led of the bottom half of that final inning with a single. That
was followed up with more singles than we've seen in some entire
homestands in recent memory from this club. A single by Ryan Howard, a
lone popout by Raul, and singles by Ben Francisco, Carlos Ruiz, and then
the walkoff winner from John Mayberry Jr.

The veterans like Jimmy and Howard stepped up, but they got assits
from the guys many list as question marks. Charlie must be pretty
excited with the transformation into today's exclamation marks.

So where does this opening day in Philadelphia rank in recent
Phillies history? According to Jimmy Rollins, the same spot he batted in
the order today, third, behind the opening of Citizens Bank Park and
the day they received their World Series Championship rings.

But
this one may have ranked a bit higher for John Mayberry Jr. who hit his
first career walkoff winner and received a lovely shaving cream pie to
the face from Ryan Madson.

As mentioned, John Mayberry Jr. wasn't
the only non-regular to come through late in this one. Ben Francisco
notched a key hit as did Wilson Valdez that kept this game alive.

"That's why we're here," Wilson Valdez said. "I learned from last
year. I'm the kind of player who likes to learn everyday. When I had a
chance to play, in that kind of situation, I just try to do my job. We
fight and make things happen."

The rest of the team appreciates the greener guys stepping up in the clutch.

"It's good to get it out of the way," Ryan Madson said of the
immediate contributions from guys like Benny, Wilson, and Mayberry. "If
you can do it once, you can do it 100 times."

And they'll try to do it again tomorrow with Cliff Lee on the mound.

NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

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NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: NBC Sports Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours

Deadline: November 20

Basic Function

This position will work closely with the Vice President of Sales in generating revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship sales. The intern will gain first-hand sales experience through working with Sales Assistants and AEs on pitches, sales-calls and recapping material.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Assist Account Executive on preparation of Sales Presentations
• Cultivate new account leads for local sales
• Track sponsorships in specified programs
• Assist as point of contact with sponsors on game night set up and pre-game hospitality elements.
• Assist with collection of all proof of performance materials.
• Perform Competitive Network Analysis
• Update Customer database
• Other various projects as assigned

Requirements

1. Good oral and written communication skills.
2. Knowledge of sports.
3. Ability to work non-traditional hours, weekends & holidays
4. Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
5. Must be 19 years of age or older
6. Must be a student in pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, Master or Juris Doctor degree
7. Must have unrestricted authorization to work in the US
8. Must have sophomore standing or above
9. Must have a 3.0 GPA

Interested students should apply here and specify they're interested in the ad/sales internship.

About NBC internships

Patriots advance to 8th Super Bowl in Brady, Belichick era

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USA Today Images

Patriots advance to 8th Super Bowl in Brady, Belichick era

BOX SCORE

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Give `em a hand: Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are heading back to the Super Bowl.

Brady shook off a hand injury and threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Danny Amendola with 2:48 remaining, rallying the Patriots to a 24-20 comeback victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC championship Sunday.

Brady, wearing a black bandage on his right hand after hurting it during practice earlier in the week, showed no signs of being hampered.

And, with the game — and possibly the season — on the line, the Patriots star came up big again.

"I've had a lot worse," Brady said. "I didn't know that on Wednesday. It was a crazy injury. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday was a little scary. Then I started getting some confidence and today we did just enough to win."

Brady finished 26 of 38 for 290 yards and two touchdowns for the Patriots (15-3), who'll play the winner of Sunday night's game between Minnesota and Philadelphia in Minneapolis on Feb. 4.

It's the eighth Super Bowl appearance for Brady and coach Bill Belichick, who have won five times — including last year's 34-28 overtime rally against the Atlanta Falcons.

The Jaguars (12-7) led 20-10 early in the fourth quarter, but couldn't hold against the defending champions.

Jacksonville — looking to reach the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history -- had one more shot, but Bortles' throw on fourth-and-15 to Dede Westbrook was knocked away by Stephon Gilmore.

The Patriots then ran out the clock, with Dion Lewis' 18-yard scamper with 90 seconds remaining sealing the victory. And they did it mostly without tight end Rob Gronkowski, who left the game late in the first half and didn't return.

Brady's hand was the most-scrutinized body part in Boston since the quarterback's right ankle before the 2008 Super Bowl and Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's right ankle tendon — the bloody sock — in the 2004 playoffs.

Brady was listed as questionable after he hurt his right hand during practice earlier in the week. He was limited Wednesday, sat out Thursday and was limited again Friday because of the injury.

That caused some panic among the Patriots faithful.

Turns out, it was nothing to fret about.

Brady came out for warmups without a glove on his hand, and he came out throwing. He completed his first six passes — including a 20-yarder to Amendola on fourth-and-1 from the Jaguars 30 — for 57 yards to march the Patriots down the field. The drive stalled when Brady was sacked by Dante Fowler Jr., and New England settled for Stephen Gostkowski's 31-yard field goal.

A wide-open Marcedes Lewis gave the Jaguars a 7-3 lead 45 seconds into the second quarter with a 4-yard touchdown catch from Blake Bortles, who was 5 for 5 for 66 yards on an impressive and efficient seven-play, 76-yard drive.

Leonard Fournette gave Jacksonville a 14-3 lead midway through the second quarter with a 4-yard TD run, hushing the crowd at Gillette Stadium.

The Jaguars made some big mistakes that hurt them just before halftime. Bortles completed a 12-yard pass to Lewis on third-and-7 from the Patriots 44, but Jacksonville was called for delay of game -— after New England called a timeout.

That wiped out a first down, and Bortles was sacked by Adam Butler on the next play to force a punt.

With just over two minutes left before halftime, New England's offense took over and the fans chanted "Bra-dy! Bra-dy!"

And their quarterback delivered — with some help from the Jaguars on two long penalties.

On first-and-10 from the Patriots 40, Brady threw a long pass for Gronkowski, who was injured when he got popped by Barry Church just as the ball was arriving. Church was called for unnecessary roughness, putting the ball at Jacksonville's 45.

A.J. Bouye was called for pass interference on the next play on an incomplete throw for Brandin Cooks. The 32-yard penalty put the ball at the Jaguars 13. After a 12-yard catch by Cooks, James White ran it in from the 1 to make it 14-10 with 55 seconds left.

Josh Lambo gave Jacksonville a 17-10 lead 4:37 into the third quarter with a 54-yard field goal. He added a 43-yarder 8 seconds into the fourth quarter to make it a 10-point game.

But Brady & Co. were just getting started.