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Home for the holidays and making magic | Sports Daily

Codie Hazen’s unconventional skating journey has him back home and performing with Disney on Ice. And can you believe it’s been 12 years since the Spectrum closed its doors for the last time?

Many athletes chase their dreams in college, but only a few do so in the sport of figure skating. Codie Hazen has followed his own star and is now part of the touring company of one of the country’s most successful ice shows, Disney on Ice.

Speaking of family-friendly, have you ever wondered what life is like for the children of famous Philadelphia athletes? Well, here are a few perspectives on that situation.

Happy holidays! We wish you all a restful and revitalizing season of merriment. Our newsletter will be on hiatus until Wednesday, when we’ll be back in your inbox. Remember, you can always find the latest on Philly sports on our Inquirer sports page.

— Inquirer Sports Staff, @phillysport

Tell us: What’s your favorite personal memory of the Spectrum? And keep the stories family friendly, please!

Early Birds

What a difference one game makes. Before the win against WFT, some Sports Daily readers didn’t even want Jalen Hurts to start. Now, he’s a Pro Bowl alternate.

Another Eagles person who might be going places is former coach Doug Pederson.

Off the Dribble

Furkan Korkmaz returned to the Sixers on Thursday — and he couldn’t have been happier to be back with his teammates after spending days on bed rest. The Sixers forward, who was suffering from the flu, woke up one morning with chills. His first thought was that it was COVID-19 with how much the virus has traveled around the league this December.

“One day I woke up, and I just started feeling really cold,” he said Thursday morning. “That was the flu. That was not COVID. That’s the good news.

“But I was knocked down. I was in the bed for two days almost.”

Korkmaz last played for the Sixers on Dec. 13 against the Memphis Grizzlies, missing three games as his teammates continued to fight through yet another tough stretch. Korkmaz said his teammates were excited to see him return.

“Especially right now,” he said, “we are losing most of our bodies. Everybody’s down. I hope everybody gets back healthy as soon as possible. But I know my teammates. They enjoy seeing me back.”

What the Sixers didn’t enjoy, however, was another loss.

Next: The Sixers will take a few days off before traveling to play the Washington Wizards at 6 p.m. Sunday.

On the Fly

It’s been 12 years since the Spectrum closed its doors for the last time.

But have no fear nostalgic Philly fans, thanks to former Flyers vice president and later 76ers president Lou Scheinfeld’s new book, Blades, Bands and Ballers, you can relive all the magic that happened inside the revered arena ... and hear some fascinating and hilarious untold stories from the man who knew the Spectrum better than anyone else.

From the Flyers to Sinatra to Springsteen and everything in between, Blades, Bands and Ballers has it all and could be the perfect last-minute holiday gift for a Philly fan missing the glory days.

Fleet Street

Julián Carranza could be the striker that is the missing piece for the Union in their quest for the MLS Cup, and they have a yearlong loan to find out.

Jonathan Tannenwald explains how the deal came together thanks in part to Inter Miami’s bungling of the league rules governing players — executives of the team simply got too greedy with the number of designated players brought in. That’s a big reason why Carranza was a relative bargain, but he still has to produce goals to avoid being a bust.

Worth a look

What you’re saying

Our Sports Daily readers had a lot to say about Ben Simmons possibly rejoining the Sixers. A sampling:

Don’t bring Simmons back. He is a cancer that will hurt more than help. John W.

No, no. Hell no. No. — Arthur C.

There is no mending this fence. Ben Simmons is another Carson Wentz — an entitled, infantile excuse of a person whose only goal is his own pleasure, at whatever cost to everyone else. — Milton T.

I most certainly do believe that if he got off his high horse, and worked on his game like many have suggested like Charles Barkley, Magic Johnson, Shaq and so on, he could be a good player for the team, but until he changes his thinking and changes his approach to way he plays the game, he will not improve. — Coach

Yes, we need Ben. Get him back if at all possible. — Edward C.

I would be overjoyed if he would relent and continue playing for the Sixers. I believe that any trade at this point would not create a team equal or better than they would be with him — Anonymous

Yes. I’m open to his returning to the lineup. — David M.

I’d be accepting of Ben Simmons playing for the Sixers again if he showed some remorse for acting like a baby when he was rightly criticized after the playoffs. But he won’t. — John

He said it

We compiled today’s newsletter using reporting from Sam Carchidi, Josh Tolentino, Jonathan Tannenwald, Gianna Han, Keith Pompey, EJ Smith, KC Joyner, Tyler Small and Bridget Hyland.