COURIER-POST, Sunday, August 28, 2011
sportsteams By DON BENEVENTO Courier-Post Staff
Game-day stats: Citizens Bank Park, 1 Citizens Bank Way, Philadelphia, (215) 463-1000; www.phillies.com.
Eagles Andy Reid is beginning his 13th season as head coach and has the most wins and highest winning percentage in club history, but hasn’t won the Super Bowl. Worse, he has lost two straight wildcard playoff games. Owner Jeff Lurie has given Reid the talent to win the big game this year. In addition to Pro Bowl cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, the Eagles signed free-agent defensive end Jason Babin, defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins and quarterback Vince Young. With Michael Vick at quarterback last season, the Eagles set a franchise record for scoring points. Running back LeSean McCoy and wide receiver/return man DeSean Jackson are capable of providing plenty of thrills. Game-day stats: Lincoln Financial Field, 11th Street and Pattison Avenue, Philadelphia, (215) 4635500; www.philadelphiaeagles.com.
Flyers Even the most faithful of
With the opportunity to pitch an ace in virtually every game, the Phillies are the odds-on favorite to win their division for the ﬁfth straight year. Led by Roy Halladay, the reigning Cy Young Award winner, the Phillies' staff also includes Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee, who are among the league leaders in wins, and newcomer Vance Worley, who was the best pitcher on the staff in July. Rounding out the group is Roy Oswalt, historically a strong secondhalf performer. New addition Hunter Pence has shored up the Phils' offense.
Hunter Pence of the Phillies Flyers fans are likely to need a scorecard to tell the players, at least in the early part of the season. Over a period of nine days in late June and early July, the Flyers revamped their lineup, highlighted by the addition of goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, whom the team acquired from Phoenix. Gone are longtime fan favorites Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. Joining Bryzgalov among the newcomers are forwards Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn and Jakub Voracek. Plus, on the ﬁrst day of free agency, the Flyers added forwards Jaromir Jagr and Maxime Talbot, and defenseman Andreas Lilja to the roster. It will be interesting to see how a fan base that jeered, booed and tormented Jagr for years will do a turnaround and cheer him. Game-day stats: Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St., Philadelphia, (215) 218-PUCK,
Sixers The team is coming off a somewhat successful season after going 41-41 and earning a playoff berth under ﬁrstyear coach Doug Collins. However, it's a team that still has many holes. The Sixers added two draft picks, Nikola Vuvevic, a ﬁrstrounder from USC, and Lavoy Allen, a second-round pick from Temple. Former high draft picks Evan Turner and Jrue Holiday give the team a nice, young backcourt, but Andre Iguodala remains someone who may be best suited on a different team. Game-day stats: Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St., Philadelphia, (215) 339-7676; www.sixers.com
Wings Those who enjoy events that are part athletic competition and part rock concert should
get a thrill out of watching the Wings play indoor lacrosse. It's a rough sport with lots of bodies hitting the wall and the ﬂoor, often set to the melodies of AC-DC, Metallica, Medgadeath and other ear-piercing rock. The Wings are a charter team in their league and have won six championships in 25 seasons. However, they've missed the playoffs the past few years, an have a new slogan: 25 Seasons, 6 Championships, A New Beginning. Game-day stats: Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St., Philadelphia, (215) 389-WING; www.WingsLAX.com.
Riversharks Still South Jersey's only true professional home team, the Sharks have become as much a part of summer setting here as the Jersey Shore. Well, sort of. The draw is the chance to sit out on a summer night in
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a beautiful ballpark. Once inside Campbell’s Field, you're right in the action in just about any seat, and there are plenty of other amenities -- a carousel, a Fun Zone, and couple of picnic areas -- that make it all worth the trip. Game-day stats: Campbell's Field, 401 N. Delaware Ave., Camden (866) SHARKS-9; www.riversharks.com
Union If you want to see the world's most popular sport played in a gem of a stadium, head to PPL Park along the Delaware River in Chester, Pa. Now in its second Major League Soccer season, the team offers a competitive variety of professional soccer. With the help of the Sons of Ben, the team's unofficial fan club, tickets have sold at a brisk pace, so call in advance. Game-day stats: PPL Park, 2501 See Page 51
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