The700Level

Sixers enter All-Star break the world's most intriguing 21-35 team

Sixers enter All-Star break the world's most intriguing 21-35 team

Would've been nice to squeak out that win in Boston last night. As messy as the Philadelphia 76ers have been off the court the past few weeks, they've been veritable poetry in motion on it, and beating the Celtics for the first time in forever would've given 'em four Ws in a row heading into the All-Star break. But the Celtics made big shots (and got some big calls) down the stretch, and that was enough for them to edge out the 116-108 victory. (At least the Kings finally lost again last night, too.)

So the Sixers enter the All-Star break at a confused 21-35, already comfortably the best Sixers team of the Brett Brown era, though almost certainly out of any serious playoff contention. Normally, this would be the time of the year for fans to kick their feet up and see what else is on TV -- but with this Sixers team, even if it was possible to turn away from the Dario and T.J. show, there's still a bevy of critically unresolved issues that need closure before we can even begin to consider checking out. 

Will Jahlil Okafor actually get traded this season? The Sixers have a week, until next Thursday's trade deadline, to figure out just how badly they played themselves in their Jah maneuvering, and whether or not they can still get a half-decent package out of New Orleans (or some other poor saps) in exchange for our supposed blue-chip big. When is Joel Embiid coming back from his bone bruise / meniscus tear / voodoo curse? Brett Brown insisted he was definitely going to come back and play at some point, which is mostly terrifying for the implication that they had at least considered the possibility he wouldn't. Is that Simmons guy coming through? He's got 26 games left to prove the team hasn't been misleading us all along about our No. 1 overall pick. 

Heady times ahead for Sixers fans, and in the meantime we'll get to watch Jah and Dario (but not T.J., because foolishness) at the Rising Stars challenge tomorrow night, with JoJo likely attending but sadly not participating. (Give him a clipboard and a tweed jacket and let him coach the international team, why not?) It's never been both the best of times and worst of times as simultaneously as this for Sixers fans, but the weeks to come may push us even further in the direction of both extremes. In the meantime, definitely remember to look for the blue check on those Twitter accounts.

Eagles fans, get Malcolm Jenkins that petition on Pete Morelli

Eagles fans, get Malcolm Jenkins that petition on Pete Morelli

The online petition to ban Pete Morelli from officiating Eagles games is rapidly gaining signatures.

Count Malcolm Jenkins for one.

"I would definitely sign that petition if it came across my desk," Jenkins said with a laugh to NBC Sports Philadelphia's John Clark on Monday at the safety's Blitz, Bow Ties and Bourbon charity event.

The Eagles beat the Panthers, 28-23, last Thursday night despite a significant discrepancy in penalty yards. It was a game officiated by Morelli's crew — and you can see why that's notable by clicking right here.

"We felt like a lot of those were ticky-tack, or weren’t good calls," Jenkins said after the game. "For us, adversity is nothing new for us. We just kind of strap up and keep playing, and hunker down. We continue to play aggressively, that is the biggest thing. We don’t want that to take away our aggression, or our ability to make plays. So we just go to the next play."

What about the next signature? 

Eagles fans just need to get that petition to Jenkins' desk.

Dodgers fan wearing Chase Utley jersey catches Justin Turner home run ball for 2nd year in a row

mlb.com-dodgers-fan-catches-baseball-in-utley-jersey.png
MLB

Dodgers fan wearing Chase Utley jersey catches Justin Turner home run ball for 2nd year in a row

Dodgers fans had a reason to be ecstatic on Sunday night after Justin Turner hit a walk-off three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Cubs, 4-1, and give Los Angeles a 2-0 lead in the NLCS.

But not as ecstatic as one fan in particular.

Keith Hupp, a retired police officer and lifelong Dodgers fan, was waiting under the home run ball in the center-field stands and snagged it with his son's glove. He was also wearing a Dodgers Chase Utley jersey.

He even made the catch with his non-preferred hand.

“I’m a lefty,” Hupp said to J.P. Hoornstra of the Orange County Register. “I’ve dislocated my right shoulder so many times, I had to resort to my son’s glove on my left hand. So the last five or six home run balls I’ve caught, I’ve caught with my left hand.”

And the craziest part about this story is that it wasn't the first time it had happened. Hupp caught Turner's sixth-inning solo homer in Game 3 of last year's NLCS against the Cubs in almost the same place, the center-field stands at Dodger Stadium.

Although he has 24 home run balls in his collection, Hupp won't be keeping last night's game-winner. After making the catch, he gave the ball to a security guard, and was escorted underneath the stadium to meet Turner and make a trade with him. 

In a postgame interview with MLB.com, Turner said Hupp couldn't decide what he wanted for the ball right away. They exchanged information and agreed that Hupp will get back to Turner in a few days when he decides what he wants.

Twitter had some good responses to Hupp's memorable home run catch: