Posted on: December 18, 2010 1:03 am
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How far McNabb has fallen...

I didn't know what to think when I heard the news about Donovan McNabb's demotion. Not only is Donovan the backup, but he's the "backup's backup", a.k.a. third string.  We know what his agent thinks.  Fletcher Smith was pissed.  He said all of the things that McNabb probably won't say.  Maybe, just maybe, this will finally push McNabb to grow a pair and speak up for himself directly...not make little side comments or beat around the bush.  Fletcher Smith should be pissed at himself for letting Don sign that long term deal.  Now the Redskins pretty much own McNabb, and all Donovan really got was about 3 million.  Let's not be too concerned for McNabb when it comes to money though, I think he will be able to get by.  Like I said, the problem is that now he is pretty much property of the Redskins.

I understand the choice Mike Shanahan made.  If I was a Redskins fan I would not have liked his choice of words though.  Exact quote..."I told Donovan that WHEN we were mathematically eliminated...".  So basically Shanahan knew all along that his team was not going anywhere.  Gee, it wasn't hard to see that coming.  The Redskins are a mess.  The coach and his boy wonder can't win without John Elway.  Really this all started in July when Shanahan had his pissing contest with Haynesworth.  In my opinion Shanahan acted like a complete child instead of a vetern NFL coach with an established Super Bowl winning pedigree.  Then after pulling McNabb in Detroit he basically called his supposed franchise QB dumb, out of shape, and "not clutch at all".  Clearly the coaches aren't the only problems.  The players simply are not that good either.

Here's why I have mixed emotions.  Donovan McNabb provided me, an Eagles fan, with many great moments.  Despite what the rest of the world thinks the large majority of Eagles fans did not and do not hate McNabb.  I actually feel bad for the guy.  The past few games he has been a little better.  I know he does not have good wideouts.  Nor does McNabb have an effective O-line that gives him much time.

This is where the other side comes in.  I am not rooting for McNabb to fail...well...except against the Eagles of course.  But, the things that everyone are talking about now are the same things that we "stupid", ungrateful", etc. Philadelphia fans have been saying for years.  Again, the large majority of fans here never said McNabb sucked.  Most knew he was a good QB...at times a very good QB.  But the national media, and this past summer all of D.C., put Donovan on this pedestal of greatness that simply does not exist.  HE IS NOT A HALL OF FAME QUARTERBACK!!!! I will list the major frustrations Philly fans had with McNabb.  After reading them, and looking at what is happening right now in D.C., I think it is clear that the Philly fans are vindicated when it comes to McNabb. 

While most Philly fans felt McNabb was a good QB, many of us did not like his personality.  That's where I will start.  The smirk/smile coming off the field after a bad play drove us nuts.  The way he portrays himself as a martyr...poor me this always happens to me everyone is unfair to me etc. Another part of that personality is how Donovan often pushes the blames off on others.  He did it in D.C. this year when he said publically that the plays weren't coming in fast enough.  Even if that was true, you don't say that to the media!  Another thing Philly fans always said about Donovan was that he is not an accurate QB.  All of them miss a throw here and there, but Donovan many times would throw at the feet or over the head of a receiver only tens yards away.  Down in D.C. that has been happening a lot...the guys on NFL primetime tonight were discussing how inaccurate he has been.  That has nothing to do with a weak WR crew.  One last thing that Philly fans knew was a weakness of McNabb's was his inability to play at a high level when the lights get too bright, or his team is losing and time is short.  I don't know exact numbers, but actual statistics bear how rarely Donovan lead his team to victory when they were losing in the fourth quarter.  Three NFC Championship games when the Eagles were significant favorites Donovan played average at best.  We here in Philly just knew that McNabb was never going to win a Super Bowl.  So did Andy Reid, that's why he was finally traded.  Think about THAT!  If Andy thought that highly of McNabb as a threat he would never have traded him in his team's own division!

So there you have it.  The three major issues we had with McNabb:  The personality, the inaccuracy on a regular basis, and simply the lack of that "it" factor that a QB needs to win a Super Bowl.  Were there some fans that complained about everything and never gave Don any credit?  Of course. But those people were a small crowd. Sadly there were even some fans that would not accept him just because of his race...just like they were with Randall Cunningham.  But I read the papers and listen to the sports talk radio, and I'm telling you those were the three main issues.  And now after a few months in D.C. those same Redskins fans who were calling us dumb and ungrateful are now realizing that maybe we knew what we were talking about.  Same with all of the national media/ESPN folks.  Chris Berman and Tom Jackson are a little more reserved with the "McNabb=greatness and the Philly fans don't know what they are getting into" nonsense.

One final thought.  I will end on a positive and say this.  With Donovan McNabb you knew you would never wake up and see that he had shot himself in a nightclub, snuck young girls into bathrooms, or tortured and killed animals.  Donovan has always been an upstanding citizen.  I will continue to wish the best for him except against the Eagles.  Unfortunately though it looks like his best, whatever that was, is behind him now.

Posted on: September 19, 2009 11:15 pm
 

Let's give him a chance...

I can't beleive I am typing this...but I feel it is necessary.

I hope the Eagle's faithful give Kevin Kolb a chance tomorrow.  I know, I know...I agree with you.  I don't think he will ever be a quarterback that will play to the level of the pick the Eagles spent on him. I hope I am wrong.  It was a second round pick, but to us it was really a first round pick as it was the first Eagles pick of the draft.

The situation might just be a good one tomorrow.  The Saints defense isn't really scaring anyone.  Our defense probably has more work to do than the offense does against New Orleans.  Now, if the defense has a lot of work to do because of turnovers that might be Kevin Kolb's problem.

Many are saying that Kolb has played and not shown anything.  Again...agreed.  It needs to be looked at fairly though.  Last year against the Ravens and then last week against the Panthers Kolb was coming in cold...physically AND mentally.  Of course the backup always needs to be ready to play, but it is not the same as preparing all week and knowing you are the guy.

For the first time ever Kolb got to practice all week with the first team.  He got the majority of the snaps.  That has to mean something.  Even in past preseason games when he "knew" he was playing Kolb rarely got to play with the first team O-line, running backs, receivers, etc.

I am going to give him a chance.  I will not scream for Jeff Garcia if he goes three and out on his first drive.  I hope the folks down at the Linc give him a chance to.  If you are all booing by the second quarter there will not be a victory tomorrow.  Come on guys, all year long we have still been giving Lidge a standing ovation of support every time he comes in down at the Bank.  Now it is the Eagles fan's turn to show some support and patience...
Category: NFL
Posted on: August 31, 2009 10:41 pm
 

Random thoughs on a night the Phillies don't play

On what will be one of the last nights the Phillies have off I thought it would be best to just shoot from the hip here.  Some random opinions from yours truly.

First to all of the Eagles fans:  I will not pick fights with you, I just have two things that I thought I should point out.  First, is a question you can answer yourself..."How's Quentin Demps, the guy we were all told was a suitable replacement for Brian Dawkins, look so far?".  My second point is on Mr. Vick.  Strictly talking football, not the past.  Donovan has already shown he was "irked" by Vick getting snaps...and its only the preseason!  Do those of you who thought this was a good FOOTBALL moves still think so?  Do you still think his 4-6 plays a game are worth all the trouble?  The Eagles had more serious needs such as an experienced running back (Brian always gets hurt and his backup is a rookie), offensive line, depth at safety, linebacker, etc. and they decided to sign a guy who will only play 4-6 plays.    If you ask me its the same story different year.  They got Vick at a bargain rate, but Donovan was already complaining...

Next on to the Phillies.  If its not Brad Lidge giving up late runs its Ryan Madson.  They need JC Romero back, but looking at their own website the best answer The Phillies have for his return is "unknown".  Back when Lidge was hurt I mistakenly believed Madson was the best fit for the closer role.  I thought JC was a bit of a head case to be a closer, but at this point it would be worth a try.  That is if he can make it back.  I am not ready to give up on Brad yet though, as when he "on" like last night he's still damn good...

I was at the Phillies game last night.  I love it when one of my Sunday games get switched to the ESPN game.  It was a definate playoff atmosphere last night.  I have written this before...the one thing that is often overlooked about the Phightin's is how good their defense is.  Last night's win was a direct result of good defense/intelligent baseball (intelligent at the top of the innings, not at the plate).  And by the way, when Joe Blanton was up with zero outs and the bases loaded 45,000 people were praying he would just strike out...

Let jump across Pattison Avenue to the Wachovia Center.  It will soon be time to drop the puck.  Did the Flyers do enough to contend at least in the Eastern Conference?  In my opinion the Chris Pronger trade was a huge move...giving up a dime a dozen, soft, 20 goal scorer in Joffrey Lupul. Sorry, the 20-25 goals are nice...but Joffrey didn't forcheck, hit, or do anything special on defense.  For you Flyers fans that follow the Orange and Black but not the rest of the league as much, I am telling you now that you will love Chris Pronger.  If he was a Flyer last year the Penguins simply would not have come back from two goals down in that ill-fated Game Four.  Last Flyers thought...I am witholding judgement on Ray Emery.  Not because of his past, because he is now a "Flyers goalie".  We all know that the Flyers have not been quite good enough between the pipes for what seems like forever...

I can't think about the Sixers yet...

College basketball comes to mind next.  Scottie Reynolds, who could contend for Player Of The Year, will be back for Villanova. The Wildcats are at least going to be a bigger team.  Their three "big" freshman recruits are small forward Dominic Cheek (6'6"), power forward Isaiah Armwood (6'7"), and center Mophtauo Yarou (6'9"). The freshman may not be starters, but that is a pretty big bench which is crucial in the NCAA's best conference the Big East...

What is my biggest "random" thought in sports that is not Philly connected?  The New York Jets.  I think asking Mark Sanchez to lead the Jets to the playoffs this year is a reach.  I hope the fans give him some time.  I believe Sanchez is "for real" but won't succeed as quickly as Matt Ryan did.  Let's face it, Mark Sanchez plays in a much tougher division and conference than Matt Ryan does.  If new head coach Rex Ryan is anything like his father that team will play hard hitting defense.  Buddy Ryan was a complete failure here in Philly (zero playoff wins), but he is still held in high esteem because of how his teams played the game.  We Jets fans just have to hope Rex isn't taking advice from Buddy on how to run an offense...


 



Posted on: August 27, 2009 11:03 am
 

Mets fans deserve better than this...

Lets start with the obvious.  I am a die hard Phillies fan.  I also am a die hard baseball fan.  The whole Phillies/Mets thing was getting to be fun, so I am honestly disappointed it ended up this way.  That being said, I am here to challenge the Mets fans not to buy the crap you are being fed...

Looking at your injury list, I see a few torn ligamnets and tendons, but I also see a lot of bruised egos.  Come on, Chase Utley played through the World Series with a torn hip labrum.  Brett Meyers had the same injury just a few months ago, had it fixed, and will likely be on our bullpen playoff roster.  You should be questioning the heart of many of your overpaid gutless star players.  Carlos Beltran misses most of the season with a "bone bruise"???  Jose Reyes misses most of the season with a "small hamstring tear" and "knee inflamation"???  Ramon Martinez has been out since June 3rd because of a "dislocated pinky"???  I BROKE my pinky in 7 places when I was sixteen, and was playing hockey again about 9 weeks later. This injury information is directly from the Mets official website. These guys, and several other Mets are a JOKE!

The other joke is that every day I hear about another "injury".  This is just perfect for your manager and general manager; I'm starting to really see that it is their escape route.  Are you guys really going to just accept the fact that Omar and Jerry did NOTHING??  Omar made zero roster moves to address the problems.  Your "manager" Jerry Manuel...did he do anything to challenge the manhood of these divas?

I said this after your 2007 collapse, and I stand by it.  Here's what you do:  Build a bomb shelter.  Find David Wright and invite him inside.  Find Johan Santana and invite him inside.  Find Francisco Rodriguez and invite him inside.  Seal the door TIGHT...and then blow the rest of it up!  Just don't do it near your beautiful new ballpark. 

I, as your natural enemy, am here challenging the fanhood of the Mets fans.  Don't buy this injury crap. Make noise, flood the airwaves.  We got loud enough here they had to fire Ed Wade.  Yes, he put the core pieces into place for the Phillies, but then refused to put the finishing touches around them.  Every year the Mets organization is full of excuses, especially from the general manager.  Your multi-million dollar divas are soft.  If you are being honest with yourself you should want the Mets to look more like the Phillies.  At the victory celebration last year Jimmy Rollins challenged the entire Mets organization, which really pissed you guys off...

Gee, like it or not, Jimmy was dead on...
Category: MLB
Posted on: August 15, 2009 1:36 am
 

Mandatory blog entry on Vick from a Philly fan...

Well, since it looks to be one of the most significant things to have ever happened here in Philadelphia as far as sports, I suppose I should write about it.  Let me start this off by saying I have no qualms hiding my negative feelings towards the Eagles, mainly Joe Banner and Andy Reid.  I have written another blog early Spring spelling out why I am a Philadelphia fan that not longer roots for this current Eagles organization. That is still on my blog page so feel free to check it out if interested.  Needless to say I still will not be rooting for the Eagles this season, but that was decided by myself long before this happened.

I believe there are three reasons the Eagles made this bold move... 

Reason one is because it was a football decision as they say.  I don't feel in my opinion it was a very good football decision.  Nobody, including the Eagles which they openly admitted, even knows if Vick can still play.  There are no workout videos, or "combine type" demos that Vick held for scouts.  The Eagles are telling the truth when they say he is not a threat to Donovan, so I openly wonder if losing even a small percentage of fans forever is worth the 4-6 plays he'll be involved with in a game.  The second reason is there are serious doubts within the organization about Kevin Kolb, the wasted first draft pick they took several years back that Andy and Co. have been shoving down our throats as "the future".  Kolb was recently hurt, and Donovan is injury prone, so more than other teams the Eagles need a strong backup.  Third reason, believed by many fans and inside media sources here, is that the Eagles had to come up with a way to get some publicity back from the Phillies.  There was very little talk about the Eagles throughout July which is absolutely unheard of here, and several media sources reported that the entire situation wasn't sitting well with the organization.  So kudos to the Eagles...there was no better way in the world to accomplish that, and of course it worked.

So those are the reasons Vick is here, trust me I am a huge sports fan in this town.  Now for my opinion.  I don't think he should be, but not for reasons you might think... 

I don't blame the Eagles so much for this.  Hearing Jeff Lurie, Andy Reid, Donovan McNabb, and even Micheal himself speak I honestly believe they all have good intentions.  I was impressed with Andy and Donovan the past 24 hours.  I feel as if they showed more honesty in a day than they had in ten-plus years.  I put the full blame for this injustice on the NFL.

Let's talk about forgiveness.  I am a devout Christian, who is highly involved with my church and several charities, so I 100% believe in forgiveness/second chances.  But forgiveness doesn't always mean you simply get to pick up where you left off after "paying your debt".  If he true about his faith, Vick has already been forgiven by the most important forgiver of all sins. I am not one of those unreasonable folks that think Vick should have rotted in jail, or doesn't deserve any chances to repair his life.  I just don't think that it should take place on the stage of the NFL.  When Vick met with the NFL comissioner Roger should have told him "you can no longer work for this company".  Roger could have cited the fact that many loyal money paying NFL fans (customers) are pet owners, and because he INTENTIONALLY committed those horrible acts it is just not right for him to play in the league again.  Micheal Vick not being reinstated in the NFL does not mean that he being denied forgiveness, it simply means that he has to find a new job.  Nobody in life is "entitled" to their job. A job is a give and take agreement between yourself and your employer that can be terminated at any time.  Let's not forget that on top of the dog fighting Vick blatently lied to his boss the comissioner, and made Roger look really bad when he went on record to defend Vick.  I work with kids as a behavior therapist. If I comitted the same crimes, and then made an ass of my boss, I would no longer work with kids.  It would not be illegal for an agency to hire me, I am not on a predator list. Regardless of that, no one would hire me to work with kids in any way...ever.  There are consequences for such horrible acts that aren't about forgiveness, such as going to prison, losing money, and losing a job.  Although we can all be forgiven our sins to live eternally, we will all suffer death here on Earth one day as a CONSEQUENCE to sin beofre we receive that ultimate forgiveness and eternal existance.

Maybe...MAYBE...if the league would have had Vick wait a decent period of time (longer than two weeks) and then discussed him seeking employment in the NFL I would be a little more accepting.  Please don't say the fact he isn't allowed to play yet covers that.  He still has a job, and a big paycheck, so the fact that he still can't play yet covers nothing.  If he messes up, and ends up never being allowed to play, he still gets 1.6 million and has basically stolen money from the Eagles fans.  If the NFL would have waited an acceptable a period of time we could all see if there were actions to match with his words that come out so easily.  I do believe Micheal Vick has already paid a huge debt, but...

Now I am going to put on my professional experience behavior therapist hat.  I worked for years with young people that had to rehabilitate themselves from all sorts of problems.  After a so-called awakening, or a release into mainstream society, people go through something we in this line of work call the "honeymoon period".  That can last days, weeks, months...there is no perfect timetable.  Sadly a high percentage of people with serious problems like Michael Vick finish the honeymoon period and regress at least a few times.  Many of the people I worked with showed up at my facility again after a few months.  How do I justify that Michael Vick has "serious problems"?  Tortuing and killing animals is a strong indicator that someone has a severe personality disorder and/or mental health issue.  Look it up if you don't want to take my word for it.  That is why I feel that Vick at the very least should have had to wait months not weeks to be reinstated.  Wait several months, maybe even a year, and then let's see if Vick actions truly match his words.  Then, and only then, do I think Michael Vick should have gotten his job back.
Posted on: August 9, 2009 1:42 am
Edited on: August 9, 2009 2:02 am
 

Stop stereotyping Philly fans!

I can't take it anymore.  I read threads on this website all of the time, and eventually they lead to Philly fans getting bashed about throwing snowballs at Santa Claus.  This nonsense is ESPN driven.  They mention it constantly.  It is LAZY journalism.  It is just cliche, so whenever something happens ESPN brings it up because they pick on our fanbase constantly.  Independent polls paid for by ESPN, polls that they use to determine programing, etc. consistently show that Philadelphia fans' loyality is above the average of major metrpolitian areas for all four sports.  As a whole we are decent, loyal fans.  I am going to break down examples of all the incidents that ESPN, FOX, and other national media conglomerates throw in our face.  Every time you see the phrase "Philly Fans" I want you to know and think about the fact that I am reffering to the fanbase consisting of millions of people who root for the four teams here.

Let's start with poor Santa Claus.  This happened FORTY years ago by the way.  There were about twenty people who probably had too much to drink and got in trouble for throwing snowballs at Santa during a halftime show.  TWENTY people, FORTY years ago. I wasn't even alive, yet somehow myself and the "Philly Fans" all threw snowballs at Santa...

Next we'll go to the day Donovan McNabb was drafted.  There was a strong sentiment in this city (and other NFL cities) that our team draft Ricky Williams.  He was the best looking RB to come out of college since maybe OJ.  A sports talk radio host Angelo Cataldi (whose station is owned by CBS)  took a group of about thirty guys to the draft as a publicity stunt.  The plan was to simply boo loudly if the Eagles did not draft Ricky Williams.  They were not booing Donovan, there were booing "not -Ricky".  Angelo has gotten beat up here for this since the day it happened.  Was it unfair for Donovan...of course!  Every single year the NBA draft is held at MSG, and nearly every single year the New York fans loudly boo the guy their squad takes.  When I see a Knicks game on TV, I don't hear that mentioned constantly throughout the game.  Whenever there are Knicks highlights on SportsCenter with those players I don't hear Stewey Scott harping on the New York fans.   Again, THIRTY OR SO people booed at this publicity stunt so how is it that the "Philly Fans" booed Donovan on his draft day?...

Let's head over to Veteran's Stadium.  I'll make no bones about it, after spurning the Phillies nobody here liked JD Drew.  We still don't...unless he came here as a Phillie we never will.  His first game here in town I believe a group of no more than a half dozen people got in troube for throwing batteries at him, with again I believe alcohol involved.  Do the math my friends.  About SIX people committed this stupid dangerous act, but now when it is told the "Philly Fans" threw batteries at JD Drew.

Now we'll journey to the NBA All Star game at the Wachovia Center.  Philly's own son Kobe won MVP and got booed heavily.  Mike Wilbon definately did not tell the whole story as he ripped those horrible "Philly Fans" on PTI.  Our beloved son had completely disowned us.  Before the 2001 NBA Finals Kobe was asked about playing against his hometown.  Usually in that situation a guys goes the route of "I have a job to do", "its nothing personal", "they have a proud franchise with good fans", etc.  Basically, a guy tends to show some level of respect to his hometown.  Kobe showed us no respect.  His comment was "I don't care about that, I am going to cut the hearts out of the Philadelphia fans". He showed us no respect, so guess what...when he won his MVP trophy I will proudly say the "Philly Fans" returned the favor...

The last few years there was a courthouse and holding cells at Veterns Stadium that was used only for Eagles games.  That is an undeniable fact.  Instead of being a "blemish" though, that should portray intelligence and creativity.  It became a deterrent to criminal behavior, and it saved the city a lot of tax dollars as the legal process was carried out quickly. There is behavior at all stadiums that could warrant the usefulness of an in-house legal system.

Just a few weeks ago there was a fight while there a Phillies game going on that ended up with a young man being killed.  ESPN reported it with the purpose of making us look like horrible violent fans.  Here are the facts.  This fight started at a bar/resteraunt called McFadden's which is simply connected to the ballpark.  The fight ended in the parking lot where the man sadly was killed.  This fight had absolutely nothing to do with the game.  It was all people who had been drinking too much.  The way ESPN reported it though, those "Philly Fans" were all at it again as someone was murdered "at" a game.  Within the past few seasons (I don't know exactly when) there were fans killed in LA at a game IN THE STANDS!!!  I don't remember seeing that spoken about on PTI and SportsCenter...

This past October the Phillies won the World Series.  The city's first championship since 1983.  While there was some wild behavior and property damage, let me tell you what the "Philly Fans" DID NOT do.  We did not flip and burn cars like they did in other nameless cities.  We did not loot hundreds of stores like they did in other nameless cities.  Overall, it was reported by our city police department that our 25 year in the making celebration that night was overall peaceful with only small amounts of minor incidents. SportsCenter and/or PTI failed to mention that of course.  I won't name the other cities because it flies in the face of what I am trying to prove...those good fans shouldn't be punished either for the senseless acts of people who probably weren't real fans anyway...

To show I am fair, now I will add some balance to this.  When Michael Irvin was being carried off on a stretcher he was cheered, and not the good type of cheer.  Yes, most of the fans at the game did do that.  That was definately not okay or appropriate.  Micheal Irvin himself is on record though stating he constantly went at the "PhillyFans", so he understood and forgives our poor behavior.  I am not excusing it, just stating that the man has forgiven "us"...

I am not here claiming that by any means "Philly Fans" are angels.  There is of course bad behavior, with fans of other teams and amongst ourselves.  Guess what folks, behavior such as this happens in every stadium for every team in every sport!  The reason I mentioned alcohol several times was not to use it as an excuse, but to show that as long as it is sold at games stuff like this is sadly bound to happen...everywhere.  They will never stop selling it as long as it stays legal. The teams will take the bad behavior because the money they make outweighs it, period.

I will not excuse the actions of others, intoxicated or not.  What I am tired of is the stereotyping that goes on seeming without end, stereotyping that is perpetuated by ESPN, FOX, etc.  Enough is enough.  I am one of the "Philly Fans", along with millions of other decent peaceful people.  Of course other fans will still throw this stuff in our face, along with ESPN and Co.  All it shows is that the media types don't do real research, and/or have a biased opinion along with an ax to grind such as folks like Michael Wilbon, Colin Cowherd, and Skip Bayless. For the common sports fans, it shows they believe everything they hear from people/entities like these doing any real fact finding. 

Lastly, I did not do this to simply bash ESPN. I enjoy most of their programming.  I just can no longer stand the way they constantly put down Philadelphia fans on their network, going out of their way to make us look bad.  I mentioned the New York fans at the NBA draft, and how they "get away" with their behavior.  I am not stupid, they have a large viewing audience so of course ESPN will not treat them unfairly. 
Category: General
Posted on: May 6, 2009 10:51 pm
 

So just how long is that free pass?...

An interesting subject has come up here in the City of Brotherly Love.  We are not used to being able to call a team "defending champions".  I was 7 years old when Moses and Doc gave the city its last parade before this past October.  Having the wait from age 7 to age 32 finally broken has made myself, and the hundreads of thousands Philly fans, more appreciative of the Phillies that most outsiders can comprehend.  100 full seasons of professional sports without a title.  You have heard the expression "the old ball and chain"...that about sums it up.  It was horrible, being the laughing stock of the folks from NY, Boston, and everywhere really.  Such a genuine relief came over this city when the Phillies won it all that now we are in unfamiliar territory.  Philadelphia fans have a rep of being mean, tough, quick to anger, "eaters of their young".  Yes, we demand effort.  And if a player is one of the top paid on a team, or constantly calls himself "the leader", we do get on their case when they do not get the job done.  No different from New York or Boston, the fans of professional sports in the Northeast are a little different (and better) then the rest of the nation.

Back to that unfamiliar territory.  Myself, and many of the fans, are not sure how long this love affair should go on.  I called a sports talk show tonight, and got the host pretty fired up because I basically told him he is trying too hard to play the role of "negativity breeder"  Negativity raises the ratings for sports talk radio around here. They get a lot more callers after an Eagles loss than an Eagles win.  I called the ESPN station, but there are guys on the CBS sports talk station trying to do the same thing.  It make sense (and cents) really, the pain and negative feelings of coming up short is all we knew for a quarter century.  My problem with the sports talk guys is that they are trying to tell us when and how we should be getting on the case of the Phillies.  Don't think I am railing on sports-talk radio.  I am not at all...in fact I call both stations regularly and don't listen to much else when the radio is on.

Here's the deal.  The Philadelphia fans did not get "soft".  The guy I guy I called said he was "disappointed in the fans" because the fans not being hard on this team is the attitude that will cause our teams to only win it all once every 25 years.  Really, it was our fault the teams went so long without a title?  HELLO!!!!!  Don't Philadelphia fans always get criticized for being too hard on the players!!!!  Yes, there is truth in that...like I already said we are hard on the players at times so clearly that is not what was missing for 25 years!  Of course we want this team to repeat. 

The fans can see that the starting pitching has been horrible.  And we also know that after JC Romero was suspended for fifty games the team should really have gotten a decent left handed pitcher to replace that missed time.  But how can we criticize ANYTHING Ruben Amaro did in the offseason?  All he did was keep an entire team intact that just won a championship...how often does that happen in sports today?  Just ask the Marlins fans, they could tell you that answer.  Oh wait, I'm sorry, he replaced Pat Burrell with Raul Ibanez...possibly the best free agent signing of the entire MLB offseason!  So in conclusion, we did not get soft.  We see the probelm areas that this team looks to have.  But I also think it is fair to give the players and/or management time to address these issues, and  respect that they can do that successfully, before we fans pile on over the sports talk airwaves. They just won a World Series, so we know they can do that...they've earned that respect. 
Category: MLB
Posted on: May 3, 2009 11:02 pm
 

Now that I have had time to cool off.

I wanted to wait to type this.  If anyone has read my previous blogs you know I have strong opinions about Philly teams that most Philly fans do not have.  I didn't want to base these thoughts on how extremely pissed off I was after the humiliation the Magic laid down on the Sixers this past week in Game 6.

Let's look at our four major franchises.  The Philles are the crown jewel for the moment...a moment which will probably last a long time judging by the makeup of the other three.  But despite the recent bliss, the Phillies have only been world champs twice in let's just say a really long period of existance.  The Eagles are 0-43 in the Super Bowl era, but they have at least been to Super Bowls, unlike other longstanding franchises such as Cleveland, New Orleans, and Detroit.  The Flyer's are a respected franchise in the NHL, having the distinction of being the first expansion team to hoist Lord Stanley's cup.  Sports Illustrated did an article a year or so back stating the The Flyers, Sabres, and Wild had the most dedicated fans comparing to all the other US soil teams.  Lastly there are the "Sixers".

Maybe that is part of the problem.  Very rarely do I hear them refered to as the "76ers"...when did that change?  The 76ers have always been our bragging right.  In the begining both Philadelphia teams the Warriors and the 76ers were among the top squads.  Some of the best players ever have played for Philly franchises.  The entire league was started on the rivalry between Wilt Chamberlin and Bill Russell.  From the late 70's to the mid 80's, a time period considered by many purists to be the best times of the NBA, the league was all about the Lakers, Celtics, and 76ers. 

Today I think it would be fair to say that the 76ers are a top 5 all time franchise, if you tally championships along with talent.  That list by the way if you were wondering would be the Celtics, Lakers, Bulls, 76ers, and maybe a tie between the Spurs and Knicks.  But the 76ers having been living on their history for too long now.  We had our brief joy in 2001, but other than that 76ers basketball has disappeared.  I have no answer as to why specifically.  Maybe the salary cap, possibly expansion thinning out talent, years of poor scouting and coaching.  There are many reasons our proudest franchise the 76ers have fallen from glory.

Although there have been much worse teams then this recent one, I am hoping this loss in Game 6 will be the "rock bottom" for them, thinking along the lines of the rock bottom it is said addicts hit when they realize their current direction is completely wrong and drastic change is in order.  I personally don't feel Ed Stefanski has done a good job so far.  Similar to what Billy King did, he has this team capped out for a long time with very little wiggle room.  All summer long last year I was screaming for them to sink the big money on Josh Smith, not Elton Brand.  Friends told me I was crazy...it would be fine.  It is too early to say I told you so, but from what we saw Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand are not effective at all when they are both on the floor at the same time.  UH OH...they are the contracts I was talking about that we are buried under.  At his age and salary it may be nearly impossible to trade Elton Brand.  Although Stefanski says Iguodala is untouchable, if they can't play together what choice does he have than to trade Andre?  This would still be a difficult trade to pull off, he is WAY overpaid...and we will get stuck with the overpaid garbage from another team.

There are some good young players to work around.  Marreese Speights had a nice rookie year; Lou Williams and Thaddeus Young have got some skills, but like many young players need to seriously work on their defense.  This is not a complete start from scratch like it was 3-4 years ago.  But seeing that the 76ers are pretty much stuck with Elton, they better do something in the next few years as Elton is not a young player by any stretch.  That is, if Elton can ever play more than a quarter of a season again...
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com