It's really an honor and I'm sure all of you shared my excitement when The Inquirer announced last week I had been promoted to Senior Executive Columnist for Sports Content. There's nothing like a new title to make a guy feel important, and I'd also like to congratulate colleagues Bob Brookover, the new Vice President for Sports Columnizing, and Mike Sielski, who steps into the role of Director of Sports Opinion/Columns.
NEWARK, Del. - Even by the standards of the NBA's Development League, Tuesday's game between the Delaware 87ers and the Sioux Falls Skyforce was contested in front of a sparse crowd in the Bob Carpenter Center on the campus of the University of Delaware. The predicted snowstorm meant very few bought advance tickets and, of those who did, many accepted the team's invitation to choose another game ahead of time.
BIZARRO VALLEY, Ariz. - Well, here we are (how's that weather back home?), but even now it's still a little hard to believe that Chip Kelly, in just his second season as head coach of an Eagles team that finished 4-12 two years ago, was able to lead the team all the way to Super Bowl XLIX and a matchup next Sunday against those cheating New England Patriots.
Let's start right at the top and say I had no idea that both teams in an NFL game supplied the footballs for their own offenses. The mystery of how a game ball gets from the Wilson factory to its appointed spot on the field never seemed like an interesting subject. There's a bag of balls, and when they need another, some kid tosses one to the official. What could be complicated about that? What could be more elemental to the game than the mere presence of the football?
The news that the NFL is investigating the New England Patriots organization concerning whether some footballs were intentionally deflated during the AFC championship game on Sunday is interesting, but only in a what-will-Belichick-think-of-next kind of way.
Now that Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota has been safely packed away in bubble wrap until the NFL draft - assuming his decision-making skills include knowing when to come out - it's time to pay attention again to the NFL team that certainly needs him, but almost certainly won't get him.
If there was any doubt Chip Kelly can run an effective hurry-up offense, that question was settled Friday when the coach succeeded in deposing general manager Howie Roseman just two days after Roseman asserted his control of the Eagles organization by dismissing a player-personnel second-in-command considered to be a Kelly ally.
They have accumulated again, like old traffic tickets stuffed in the glove compartment. Despite the best intentions and resolutions of each new year, a large number of corrections and clarifications that should have been published throughout 2014 did not appear because of the diligent effort of the author.
If when December began, you assured Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie that his team would end its season with a win, he would have been a very happy man. At that time, with the Eagles appearing all but certain of qualifying for the postseason, the only scenario that would fit such an ending would be a win in the Super Bowl.
I am looking for Andrei Kirilenko, but he is hard to find. This should not be the case because Kirilenko is a 6-foot-9 Russian. He should either be on a basketball court or in a James Bond movie. I have searched the basketball courts and movie theaters. No Kirilenko.
Bob Ford is an award-winning sports columnist for the Inquirer. He is a four-time Pennsylvania Sportswriter of the Year, as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. His work has been cited numerous times by Associated Press Sports Editors judges, and he won an Eclipse Award for outstanding coverage of horse racing. Prior to becoming a columnist at the Inquirer, Ford was the 76ers beat writer for six seasons and then a general assignment feature writer with a specialty in Olympic sports. In 1995, he was designated a fellow of the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. Ford has written sports in the Philadelphia area since 1981, when he served as the Phillies beat writer and later as a general sports columnist for the Delaware County Daily Times.