Blatstein Plans Lavish Party to Unveil $1 Billion Casino Proposal

Bart Blatstein—the developer who completely re-imagined Norther Liberties—plans to have 150 of Philly’s “movers and shakers” over to his catering hall, Tendenza to stay up all night playing video games and drinking Mountain Dew unveil his proposal for an “unprecedented, $1 billion resort and casino complex” at the former home of the Inquirer and Daily News. You know the shindig is going to be legen… wait for it… dary because Blatstein is calling it a “lavish launch party” and says it will be invitation-only. We’re only going if there will be robot butlers and a champagne fountain. Oh, and some of those hand-held masquerade masks so we can cover our faces when things get weird. (There’s a champagne fountain, so things are gonna get weird.) Feel free to insert your own Eyes Wide Shut joke wherever you deem necessary.

Does Philly need another casino, when local venues in Chester, Valley Forge, Fishtown and Bensalem are wrestling for customers, and Atlantic City’s gambling halls are foundering?

Sure, says Bart in his statement: “The sheer size, scope and multi-faceted amenities of this unique resort and casino complex will make it a regional tourism attraction that will ignite other area development and push the prosperity and boundaries of Center City north on Broad Street.” And we’re betting contractors, union workers, hotel and parking operators, and local government agencies that will benefit from more betting will line up on Bart’s side.  [Inquirer]

  • The Answer

    And then he wasn’t good

  • Dutch

    Football allowed Danny Watkins to earn a college education in America and afforded him a lucrative income for a few years that probably will set him for life. He’s more than satisfied with the outcome. He obviously never had an intensity to do much more on a football field. Now he walks away being owed a cool $1 Million in guaranteed money.

    Not a bad haul

    • ACViking

      Not Watkins’ fault the Eagles were willing to throw money at him.

      The fault lay elsewhere.

  • ACViking

    You can’t measure a guy’s heart. The NFL is business. College . . . not so much.

    Who on the Eagles was responsible for digging into this kid’s psyche to find out if he ate, breathed and died football?

    Also, I love how Mayock linked Moffitt and Watkins.

    They’re both gone now from their first teams.

    • laeagle

      I think we’re a little careless with how we throw around the term “heart”, as in “Watkins lacks heart”. No, he lacks passion for football. The two are not one and the same, and I can guarantee you the kid has more “heart” than most people writing in these comment sections. Toughness, intensity, strength of character: these are not all synonymous with success in the game of football. They have many other expressions in life.

      The guy just didn’t have a love of the game. He made out OK. Good for him. I’m just disappointed that we wasted such a high draft pick. But I’m not going to act like he’s a weak piece of S because of that.

      • ACViking

        Yes. I’d have no doubt Watkins would run into a burning house.

        But “passion” for American football . . . .

  • Justin

    This raises an important question: How do so many people get something like this so wrong?

    • UKEagle99

      Look if you are after a job for life you need to either a) predict the weather or b) work in the media evaluating talent. Hard gigs to get, easy to hang on to.

    • DLRJ

      Simple answer: college football is so different from pro football that it is really difficult to accurately predict performance in the latter based on the previous. Someone can be much better at it than someone else and yet still be badly wrong sometimes. To be honest, it has always baffled me that so many people struggle to understand why it is such a difficult task.

  • Media Mike

    See, this really irks me. This guy was universally loved by the “experts” and should have been a GREAT draft pick. Now I read today all over twitter about how much of a non-football lover Watkins was.
    Where were the stories over the past two years about Watkins not cutting it because of heart? The talent was there and obvious, but this dude didn’t care to work at it……….but I never saw word one about Watkins being disinterested in football until today.
    Irksome.

  • TheTurk

    He now becomes the wealthiest fireman in Canada.

  • Myke Lowery

    were those quotes made right AFTER AR drafted him or before the draft? seems media didn’t want to second guess AR.

  • William

    I don’t understand why people are dogging Watkins. The Eagles chose him , he didnt choose them . It appears that because of his size, people have been trying to get him to play football all along. He wanted or wants to be a fireman . What was he supposed to do when he was drafted, say” oh no that’s alright , I don’t want the money or the opportunity” Hell no. He tried to play in the NFL and maybe didnt have the pure drive as so many others that wish they had his natural ability. It happens, the Eagles are trying to rectify it, they are cutting their losses and moving on . Why do we keep referencing A. Reid as well, to every problem this football team has. He won many years here…..the last two we sucked and he never won a Superbowl, so what. Many teams are in the same boat. New regime, new players and we are rebuilding without being totally decimated. Let’s stop crying about every little detail. Let Watkins take his money that he earned and hopefully the Eagles can regain the tradition of nothing less than NFC championship games and maybe this time a Superbowl victory.

    • #7

      Well said

    • UKEagle99

      From a fans point of view I 100% agree, but read it back from Jeff Luries point of view. Whether he is running this purely as a business or as a passionate owner that wants to win “so what” doesn’t cut it.

      People need to be accountable. I don’t begrudge DW a cent of what he has been paid. I agree the Eagles chose him, they coached and ultimately his failure to play on the line is the managements failure.

      That said, you cannot say yeah so what, sorry it didn’t work out lets move on. You need to learn. Why didn’t it work out? What failed? What can we do to ensure this doesn’t happen again? Jeff would tell us, not having Reid & Banner drafting and letting Howie call the shots is the answer.

      • Adam

        If you could ever manage to get that information or accountability out of a football front office, you’ll by vying for Peter Kings job. Fact is, no matter what organization, you’re always going to have guys taking credit for what works and passing the buck for what doesn’t. It’s not a Lurie/Eagles/Howie dynamic.

        • UKEagle99

          In the grander scheme you are absolutely right, but within the Eagles organisation of the last few years, it was very much a Lurie, Reid, Banner, Roseman dynamic. As I said in another post, we won’t know the truth until one of them releases a biography, even then, would you trust it :-D

    • Jernst

      From a sociology point of view, yes…of course, I or any other person on these boards would take the same money and opportunity that Danny took. However, if I took a couple million dollars from any businessman without fully being committed to the job I was being payed to do and then failed to perform as I was being payed…not because of a lack of skill, but simply because of a lack of desire…I’d expect full well to be called a piece of shit by everyone that had a vested interest in my performance.

      • William

        The eagles are valued at over a billion dollars as a corporation and will make 100′s of millions this year. Corporations fire chairmans and high level employees all the time, giving them millions to walk away. That is all it was. I guarantee you Laurie is not worried about it the in the least. A lot of your core players are found in later rounds anyway. Watkins being a bust is not really a big deal, financially or strategically. I won’t call him a piece of S because he didnt have the fire in his belly. It doesn’t mean he didn’t try but just not hard enough. He is just a first round bust , like the 100′s or so before him

    • Jernst

      Also if he wanted to be a fireman than he should have applied for a fireman job, but he applied for the NFL draft….and that’s where your argument fails miserably

      • William

        He didnt apply for the NFL, as you can apply for the NFL, you are chosen. However he did chose to be a fireman and maybe that is what he does well. My statement is that Watkins was a bust. In all sports their are bust. It could be worst( JaMarcus Russel, Ryan Leaf, K cárter who had injury problems.) Mistakes happen, I admire the Eagles for swallowing the 1 miliion, first round pick and moving on. How many times do NFL teams cut a guy in his prime because they don’t want to pay him. Good for Watkins, the Eagles will survive, but they need to get over it and move on. Question , what was worse, drafting Watkins or signing Nnamdi, Babin, Vince young and all those other disastrous Free Agents. Bigger problems to worry about than a over drafted lineman with lack of passion for the game.

  • Shark

    “In terms of pure guard talent, goll-ee, he’s awfully exciting,” another scout said.- Jerry Jones
    Another reason why he is deteriorating, his scouting blows

  • hillbillybirdsfan

    It just goes to show you that nobody knows for sure how most of these guys will turn out.

    • #7

      Including QBs

  • Adam

    The biggest problem with the Watkins pick was always his age. Let’s say in an alternate universe he played well. He’s 30 when his rookie contract is up. What do you do then? Give him a fat contract when you’re not sure if he’s only got a few more years left?

    • Dubiy

      That was my problem with the Weeden pick, besides the fact that he wasn’t highly touted. Even if the dude was a beast in college I would still never have drafted him.

  • Dubiy

    People on eaglesnews are pretty mad about all the oregon players being on the roster instead of some people like Mike mccoy, everette brown, salas, and shepard. It really does look like chip is playing ‘favorites’, hell even matthews is still on the roster.

    • Adam

      Am I missing something here? Matthews has been in this organization for longer than Chip, so not cutting a guy that the other FO has kept for 2 years is Chip’s fault? Which inside linebacker should the Eagles have kept that was better than Matthews?

      Mike McCoy looked great in 4th preseason game but he hasn’t stood out other than that.
      Everette Brown never stood out.
      Salas is a JAG and didn’t contribute on special teams.
      Shephard isn’t NFL ready yet, PS is where he belongs and is the best case scenario for him.

      Eagles also cut Nick Murphy, Dennis Dixon, and Isaac Remington, all former Ducks, but no one is talking about that. Patrick Chung is our best safety.. also a former Duck but no one is talking about that. It’s a case of people looking for a story that isn’t there.

  • Will

    Lane Johnson was a solid 1st RD pick, TE? in 2nd?, QB in 4th…..just
    stupid when you have the 29th Defense to go 3rd and 5th pick for
    help….

  • Adam

    Get off your pedestal, Mike. You have absolutely zero clue what life as NFL player would be like and the pressure that comes with being a first round pick in a city like Philadelphia. There have been hundreds of players before him and will be after him who could have very well loved the game more than anything but couldn’t handle the pressure. Doesn’t make him a “piece of S”.

    It’s easy to sit behind a computer screen and act like you’ve got all the answers, but comparing whatever minimum wage blogging job you might be working to the endless grinds of an NFL player is asinine.

  • #7

    Lol wow

  • Jernst

    Agreed completely

  • Dubiy

    Hes a firefighter so I doubt he lacks heart, just passion or enjoyment for the game of football.

  • CJ

    If there was a story here it’d have been out long before today. Typical piling on. It’s either this or listen to Tim tebow rumors all day. Don’t buy in and slam the guy. They just need something to talk about. If he was the 53rd man, he’d be lauded for his toughness and hard work to gut through learning a new system with a target on his back and one foot out the door, while kicking it in with the other. Don’t treat the guy like a pos because twitter said so after 2.5 years with the team and it just hits the day he’s cut. That’s a clear cut cya tactic by whoever was responsible for picking him and/or salvaging what was left of him.

    If u can’t see right that, then u probably think everything on twitter is true, because everything on the Internet is true. And you know that because your read it on the Internet.

  • Token

    Um, if the “familiar guys” suck than its a moot point isnt it?

  • Token

    Yea, and Todd doesnt look like the same player anymore. Hes obviously on the down swing of his career.

  • Adam

    Refusing to act like a professional? What are you even talking about? Have you ever watched Danny Watkins play and could say he didn’t even try? Passion and effort are two different things that you don’t seem to be able to differentiate. Watkins has always been a hard worker in practice and in the weight room. He just wasn’t a good enough football player.

    Have you heard anyone in the Eagles organization or any football experts over the past two seasons question Watkins effort? No you haven’t. Because if he was just showing up and collecting a paycheck then you would hear about. Teammates don’t just let guys get free passes when they aren’t pulling their weight. This whole “lack of passion” commentary is something the media has formed when sniffing a reason why it didn’t work out, when it was simply a bad pick and a football player who was over drafted and not that good.

    You can call players weak pieces of shit because of a baseless opinion you’ve formulated, but don’t like it when someone calls you out on it? Tough.

  • UKEagle99

    Easy with 20-20 hindsight, where were these comments 2 years ago? Someone in the media now reports he lacks heart and its “all aboard!”

    I think Mudd destroyed the guys confidence. Just because he is a big powerful guy doesn’t mean he’s insensitive, but what the hell do I know? It’s my opinion based on what I have read in the media, unlikely to be wholly representative of the truth.

  • UKEagle99

    I have to agree, I blame Andy for moving him about to cover his draft failings (or Howies, or Banners or whoever actually filled the ticket in). The one thing Mudd did was get Mathis to play but I think Todd would have locked the LG spot down for years t come if left be, 2011 was the beginning of the end for Todd. We’ll never know of course and I hope he plays lights out this year. If he does, I’ll ask Tim & Sheil if I can print an apology.

  • Adam

    Because of his strong play over his career I’m giving Todd the benefit of the doubt for a few weeks, just incase it’s a matter of getting used to playing next to new guy (rookie at that), or possibly a slow recovery from his surgery, but it does look a bit grim.

    Just like any offensive line the most important thing is continuity, so I expect them to get better as things go on. If he becomes a complete liability then you hope Barbre or possibly Kelly can push for his spot in practice. Our depth seems better this year than previous ones.

  • Media Mike

    I didn’t formulate the POS opinion on Watkins, it was put forth by Jimmy Bama, Adam Caplan, and Roob today via Twitter. If you feel the need to thing they’re putting out pure conjecture, take that up with them. Up until this point I had defended Watkins’ talent and the need to match it for a full year vs. coaching better than Howard Mudd’s. We heard ZERO about Watkins lacking a desire to play football up until today, so pardon me if I’m somewhat stung by that bit of news.
    If you’d like to split hairs between passion and effort, feel free. I can just as easily make an argument that passion creates effort and one cannot truly exist without the other. Putting time in the weigh room without putting out the effort on the field of play rings hollow to me as an explanation of effort. The NFL is littered with workout warriors who failed to put it all on the line on the field.
    On a final note, feel free to disagree with any rhetorical point I put forth. Keep the comments on-topic rather than personal and I’ll not feel the need to be terse in replying in a personal matter.
    Neither you nor I can blindly claim any verifiable level of anything on any topic. We can merely put forth a point of view. I don’t care from where your POV originates because it doesn’t impact my opinion of those comments. If you don’t like my comments, call them out. You zero ability to speak on anything beyond the comment itself.

  • #7

    He just wasn’t a good enough player for the Eagles. That’s it

  • Media Mike

    I’d agree on Herremans having earned a “wait and see” approach in spite of the poor play over the past few seasons since his move from LG. They seem to be confident in their backups on this roster and the Barbe / Kelly collective wouldn’t be a D. Bell level of putrid if asked to step in.

    Another element of Herremans’ possible non future with the team lies in his contract number. The link here speaks for itself, but numbers say his aging rear end will be gone by 2014 if the play isn’t at a very high level this year. The dead money is less than his salary starting next season.

    http://www.eaglescap.com/Players/ToddHerremans.html

  • UKEagle99

    That’s certainly fair. Thinking about it, in the early part of his tenure Reid got all the credit for drafting/prioritising ‘up front’ so I’m happy to lay the blame there until given reason otherwise.

    You are right of course, the line is only as strong as its weakest link and continuity is paramount. I for one am not hoping for Todd to fail, I don’t get that mentality from some fans.

    I would agree our depth is better, once, twice, three times bitten… Errr four times shy?

  • UKEagle99

    But nearly every man and his dog that evaluated him thought he would be (regardless of age). So who is to blame? Danny or the management?

  • #7

    Didn’t we all think he would pan out? Once I saw that he was so confused on picking up stunts, I knew it was a wrap

  • #7

    Absolutely. Personally, hiring Mudd was one of the worst choices that AR ever made. They ruined that 2011 team

  • DLRJ

    @UKEagle99 above: Totally agree with part one. People are dying to find a reason to hate the guy. Don’t know enough to agree or disagree with part two.

  • UKEagle99

    And that’s my over-arching memory of Danny, decent in RB, touch and go in PB and seriously confused whenever it wasn’t block the man in front of you.

  • Dubiy

    ^That’s the point, they showed nothing to justify keeping them over the guys cut except that they are chip’s guys.

  • #7

    Now when I see people say that he had no heart, we don’t know that for sure. He just didn’t pan out. Sign King Dunlap again lol

  • Jernst

    The problem is that he clearly had talent. He was big enough and strong enough, and by all accounts of his pro performance, he played well once he got his hands on the defender. However, he never, in three full years, figured out the mental side of who he should block, and when he should block them. If someone has all the requisite physical skills and is by all accounts an intelligent man and still can’t figure out the basics of football (a sport, I have played and many people that could barely count to ten played…and were able to master the basics of)….then yes…it is OK to question if the problem was dedication.

  • Jernst

    agreed

  • Jernst

    No one is saying he is a bad human being…but as a philadelphia eagle…he was a piece of ish. Plain and simple he stole millions of dollars without putting in the necessary work and dedication expected of him when he received that contract. That contract might have been given to him based on past performance, but it wasnt given because that’s all that was expected. The expectation was for further growth and those millions were given with that expectation in mind.

  • Media Mike

    CJ:
    Those aren’t random internet rumors or Pro Football Talk nonsense, they’re reports from:
    Reuben Frank – WIP, Comcast Philadelphia
    Jimmy Kempski – Bleed Green Nation, Philly.com, Allentown Morning Call
    Adam Caplan – ESPN, Sirius NFL
    Again, those are not random internet trolls making up garbage. All 3 are respected reporters on the team.
    The “you read it on the internet” comment is baseless and foolish.

  • Media Mike

    There are a lot of guys who hang around the firehouses of the Greater Philadelphia Area and call themselves firemen. You think they’re all batting 100% in the heart department?

  • #7

    Well alright then. That’s a good way to put it lol

  • CJ

    They’re all local guys with the same source. They’re parroting what the source wants them to and ur buying it. If this was legit, it’d have been out long before yesterday. They’re covering their behinds , kicking a guy while he’s down, and ur buying what they’re selling like a lemming. Im not knocking the reporters, they’re doing their job. But this one is too easy. this doesn’t smell like Howie or Stoutland basically saying he suit on them? That he’d have been a great player if only his heart was in it? Meaning they had the right pick or could’ve salvaged him if only he wanted it more? C’mon man. This is pure CYA mode. How can u not see that?

  • Media Mike

    None of those guys have a history of being company men (i.e. Howard Eskin) and/or Cleveland men (Jeff McLane / Jason LaCanfora), so I’m going to take your read on the situation over three guys with completely different employers.

  • DLRJ

    Of all the reasons you can criticize Danny Watkins, that’s not the one. I think he has some pretty legit firefighting cred. He’s not just some guy hanging around firehouses. No, he couldn’t actually fight fires while he was under a contract that prohibited him from doing so, but he has done so in the past.

  • Media Mike

    I’ll buy firefighting by Watkins as 100% legit. I was more speaking to the fact every piece of trash from Ridley or Clifton Heights tries to claim he’s a firefighter, so one can’t really take a person claiming they’re a firefighter seriously if you’re in the Greater Philadelphia Area.

  • DLRJ

    Honestly, if someone offered me ten million bucks to clean all the bathrooms at Grand Central Station with my tongue, I’d give it serious consideration, and I definitely wouldn’t say, “You know, sir, I’m just not sure I really have a passion for doing this, and I think you should find someone else who does.”

  • Media Mike

    Did you spend 4 years tricking people into offering you $10 mil for that job?

  • DLRJ

    Two things. First, if you have ever watched a reality show, you know that people will get excited to do just about anything if there is a lot of money involved. (And if they are attention whores, although I don’t think that applies to the present discussion). So yes, if I thought that I could get tens of millions out of it, I would do whatever I could to make people believe that I was the man for the job. I think most people would, and I suspect you would too.

    Second, let’s be real for a second. For four years, DW was thinking, “Heh heh. Those fools! They have no idea that I secretly hate football, but I can trick all of them!” You don’t seriously think that’s how it went down, do you? If so, I don’t think there is any reasoning with you.

  • Media Mike

    What is there to reason? There are multiple credible media reports out that Watkins came here and stole a paycheck for two seasons. That is contemptible on a personal level and highly damaging to our franchise on another level. In either case Danny Watkins’ active decision to not take his job seriously has cost us dearly and I’m in no position to forgive that level of sabotage. I defend the NFL players’ rights to earn every dollar they can, but I’ve little tolerance for guys mailing it in. Especially in a salary capped environment. Danny Watkins has earned every level of viciousness and spitefulness the fans can direct his way.
    And he’s lucky his career didn’t overlap with John Runyan or we’d have seen some interesting stories over the past two years.

  • Will

    Iupati still playing for the 49er’s who we passed on….Watkins was an abysmal 1st round pick period…

  • DLRJ

    There are not multiple media reports that he stole a paycheck. There are multiple media reports that he did not feel the same passion for the game that some other players do. Those are two very different things. There is no evidence that Danny Watkins went into the draft thinking, “I have no desire to play football, but I am going to pretend that I want to do it so I can trick people into giving me money.” And I have certainly worked jobs for which I did not have a passion, but for which I was being paid, and I would be willing to bet you have too.

  • Media Mike

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_NFL_Draft
    We didn’t pass on Iupati for Watkins

  • CJ

    they don’t have to have to track of being company men to play right into this one. I’m not saying they’re doing it intentionally. you don’t even question the timing even a little? Really?

  • Media Mike

    I totally questioned the timing, but I was more furious this information about Watkins existed for several years without being reported for reason. I asked Kempski directly on Twitter why this information wasn’t out until yesterday, but he said it was known.
    Up until yesterday I was pounding the table to let Watkins get a year of Stoutland’s coaching before we tossed him out on his rear end because I was under the believe (due to reporting) that he didn’t mesh with Mudd’s system for some reason.
    Evidently Soutland didn’t find him coachable either. Stoutland and Mudd have awesome track records coaching completely different styles.
    Watkins was universally hailed as a can’t miss talent after his career at Baylor and dominating play at the senior bowl.
    Running through all of that information, I can only deduce that the key missing ingredient was effort and interest from Watkins and that the local media failed to report what had been discussed within closed circles around the team for 2 years.
    Ultimately I’m irate over the whole situation on multiple levels.

  • Will

    no we took Brandon Graham….when we should of took Iupati a year before we settled on Watkins…

  • Media Mike

    That is correct, but your original phrasing didn’t connect the two draft years.

  • Will

    True but the need for Guard was there in 2010 and 2011….in 2010 We got a DE that has yet to Crack the 1st string starter, just a rotation player, Iupati was there and we passed…..then we got Watkins the following year….We are abysmal in our drafts….Lane Johnson was a solid 1st RD pick, TE? in 2nd?, QB in 4th…..just stupid when you have the 29th Defense to go 3rd and 5th pick for help….

  • Media Mike

    No doubt the drafting has been good enough in a while, but I’m hopeful with 2012 and 2013.

  • Media Mike

    Here is what I can tell you about my career.
    I attended college with the mindset to pursue a job in my degree field and I did after graduation.
    I’ve worked both part and full time in that field since I’ve graduated.
    On the whole (i.e. we all have bad days at work), I’ve applied a passion for that field in my employment in that field.
    Again, we’re talking chosen career and not some part time teenage type work.

  • DLRJ

    And you are seriously going to tell me that if someone offered you ten million bucks to spend a few years doing something that you like, but aren’t sure if you have a true passion for doing, you would magnanimously say, “Sir/Mam, I’m just not sure that I have enough passion to do this. Give your ten million to someone else.” Again, I’m pretty sure I would convince myself that I did in fact have a passion for doing whatever they were asking me to do. I wish just as much as you do that the guy came in and tore things up because of his Runyanesque passion, but the fact that it turned out he wasn’t passionate about his job doesn’t make him a jerk. (And incidentally, lots of people LOSE passion for their job once they realize they suck at it, which also seems like an entirely plausible explanation here.)

  • Media Mike

    Where I don’t agree with your logic, is that you have to more than just “like” football to choose it as your sole focus in life for 4 years at a Division 1 level and work at it non-stop over those 4 years. It isn’t like the Eagles found this guy on the sandlot playing a pickup game. I’d not put the equivalent of 4 years of grueling work (i.e. what it takes to be a member of a D 1 football program) into something I merely liked.

  • DLRJ

    You just made my argument for me. That supports the idea that he WAS passionate about it, but (if the whole line of argument that he wasn’t passionate here is true) he lost the passion once he realized he sucked. He didn’t suck in college. It’s much easier to be passionate about something you’re good at. So again, you haven’t said anything that supports the idea that the guy maliciously tried to trick anybody.

  • Media Mike

    No, what the argument supports is that he completely and totally quit once he became an NFL player.