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Union essentially lock up playoff spot in the most Uniony way possible

Union essentially lock up playoff spot in the most Uniony way possible

It was an unbelievable scene Sunday at Talen Energy Stadium as the Philadelphia Union all but guaranteed their first playoff berth in five years.

There were hugs and cheers and fireworks and pure jubilation and … and actually none of that happened at all.

In fact, it was the exact opposite as the Union played perhaps their worst game of the season in a 2-0 loss to Orlando City as some fans left early and booed, the only solace coming from the fact that the New England Revolution lost to the Chicago Fire at the same time — a result that, barring a near-impossible turn of events in next week’s regular-season finale, means Philly will still sneak into the playoffs, perhaps on a seven-game winless streak.

How Union, right?

First, it should be said that making the playoffs is still an accomplishment.

Yes, it’s a little silly that six out of 10 teams in the Eastern Conference get in. Yes, the Union will finish with a below-.500 record. Yes, falling from first to sixth in the East over the past few months has been frustrating, marked by an ugly slide to end the season that will ensure them a brutal first-round road game, probably against a star-studded team like Toronto or New York City FC. 

But, let’s be honest, this team was never a true MLS Cup contender. They remain in a building process with a first-year sporting director, a first-year practice facility, a first-year minor league affiliate and a first-year star Designated Player in Alejandro Bedoya, who’s still getting his feet wet after coming to town this summer. Some of their top players are rookies who figure to only get better with time. And let’s not forget that their captain Maurice Edu hasn’t played all year.

So, yes, making the playoffs is not nothing, especially when you consider all the disappointments of the past few years. You could even go as far as calling it a good building block going into 2017, even if they get bounced in the first round as expected. And if they win a game while there, it would suddenly turn an average season into a, dare we say, successful one.  

The problem, of course, is there’s now little buzz and excitement surrounding the team because of their recent run of form. Union head coach Jim Curtin said there’d be a different feeling if they were charging into the playoffs on a roll like D.C. United, and he’s right. But there’s something to be said at peaking at the right time like D.C. as opposed to a team that’s backing their way into the playoffs like Philly.

And considering that all the Union had to do was tie an already-eliminated Orlando team to officially clinch a playoff spot and instead gave up a horrendous goal while failing to score any of their own is, well, not a good October omen.  

It also put Curtin in a weird position of wanting to sort of celebrate his team getting into the playoffs for just the second time in franchise history but, at the same time, not really knowing how to react.

Leave it to the Union to have something good happen and it STILL feels bad. 

Howard, Rollins, Utley, Manuel connected again in fun way

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TBS

Howard, Rollins, Utley, Manuel connected again in fun way

This was pretty darn cool.

The core members from the greatest run in Phillies franchise history were all connected in a way on Wednesday night.

Jimmy Rollins, who has been performing in-studio analysis for TBS during the MLB postseason, was joined by special guest Ryan Howard.

The ballgame they watched and analyzed? Game 4 of the Dodgers-Cubs NLCS, featuring old friend and teammate Chase Utley.

And then beloved former manager Charlie Manuel joined the fun. Let's just say he was a fan of the TBS crew.

Next season marks the 10-year anniversary of the 2008 world champion club.

Let's hope all four can reunite at Citizens Bank Park for the festivities.

That'll be special.

Twitter roasts the heck out of Markelle Fultz's brutal free throws

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AP Images

Twitter roasts the heck out of Markelle Fultz's brutal free throws

Oh man, oh man, oh man. It's finally here. The 2017-18 Sixers season is underway with our squad locked in a pretty tightly contested game down in Washington after a quarter of play.

We've already seen Joel Embiid attempt to destroy the world -- and get fouled.

But the most buzzed about moment from the first frame of the Sixers' young season was clearly when Markelle Fultz went to the foul line and... well, tossed up some ugly bricks.

This isn't the first time we've seen this but it is the first time non-preseason Sixers fans are seeing it. We wondered aloud if the Sixers were doing the right thing with Fulz prior to tonight's game. The lack of information on his injuries is troubling. So what's the deal with that form?

Well, Twitter had a field day with it.

Although Fultz's shoulder looked perfectly fine on this delicious block! He also had a couple of early buckets.

It's a long season, rook. Just please work on that free throw motion.