The Best Thing That Happened This Week

October 20, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy (25) yells at Dallas Cowboys fans before the game at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Pittenger-USA TODAY Sports

We were resigned to the Sixers. Hey, it’s a long-term plan, right? And we’d sort of come around on the Phillies. (Maybe Ryan Howard can make a comeback. Maybe you can build a team on Carlos Ruiz’s 36-year-old knees!) But then this week, we bade farewell to Trent and Cary and Shady and hello to Kiko, and it became dazzlingly clear that our lives were about to change. With no Sixers, Phillies or Eagles worth watching, we’ll all turn off our flat-screens and head outside this spring, summer and fall. We’ll play catch with our kids! We’ll plant tomatoes in the backyard! We’ll reconnect with our neighbors across porches and fences! We’ll have so much more free time! Damn, maybe we’ll even go check out the Union! We hear Chester’s pretty this time of year.

Welcome to Salary Cap City

salary cap city

Welcome to Salary Cap City, the sports town where we don’t win a heck of a lot, but by gosh, we have an awful lot of money stored up for future use.

The Eagles joined the party (started by the Sixers and Sudden Sam Hinkie) this week when they dropped a series of bombs on their fan base. Boom went Cary Williams and his $8 million salary. Bang went Trent Cole and his $11 million paycheck. And then the carnage culminated with the elimination of LeSean McCoy and his $12 salary cap hit in a trade to Buffalo that brought the Birds linebacker Kiko Alonso. Read more »

The Sixers Are Good at Math. The Phillies Aren’t.

sixers phillies
We already know that the Sixers stink. We expect that the Phillies — barring a miracle — will do the same during their forthcoming season. But it turns out they stink in vastly different ways.

The Sixers stink in a very futuristic way, you see, while the Phillies stink in retro fashion.

ESPN did an analysis of all teams in the major professional sports — football, baseball, basketball and hockey — then ranked how committed each is to using advanced metrics (mathematical analysis of everything about a sport that can be quantified) to improve the team on the field.

The Sixers ranked first. The Phillies: Dead last.
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What Crossing Broad and Other Bloggers Get Wrong About the Eagles’ Media Silence

(Photo courtesy of USA Today)

(Photo courtesy of USA Today)

The NFL Combine started this week, but we won’t hear anything from the Philadelphia Eagles — not from the head coach or an assistant, not from the newly named general manager or director of player personnel, not from Howie Roseman, whatever he is these days, and certainly not from the team owner Jeffrey Lurie.

The Eagles aren’t talking to the media because they choose not to.

In other words, we’ll have no idea who, or what position, the Birds will be focusing on at the combine. We’ll not be able to glean any information on the team’s possible pursuit of quarterback Marcus Mariota. And more importantly, fans won’t have any light shed on the team’s strange recent front office re-organization with Chip Kelly becoming franchise patriarch and Roseman being demoted to the dungeon. Read more »

The 2004 Eagles’ Super Bowl Starters, Then and Now

Photos | Philadelphia Eagles

Photos | Philadelphia Eagles

It seems like only yesterday. But it has been nearly 10 years since February 6th, 2005 — the last time the Philadelphia Eagles appeared in the Super Bowl.

That season was a magical one for Eagles fans, with the team winning its first seven games en route to a 13-1 start. Donovan McNabb instantly clicked with new wide receiver Terrell Owens. Safety Brian Dawkins and newly acquired defensive end Jevon Kearse terrorized opposing offenses. Jeremiah Trotter returned from two years in exile — Washington — to reclaim his starting middle-linebacker spot. It was a dream.

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Why Chip Kelly and the Eagles Absolutely Need Marcus Mariota

NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Oregon vs Kansas State

There’s a lot to love about Philadelphia sports fans, including the fact that we might be the most overly reactive people in America.

Marcus Mariota made a dreadful mistake Monday night in the college football national championship game. He was the quarterback on the team that lost.

Never mind that Mariota didn’t play poorly. In fact, by most statistical measures, he played well. He completed 24 of 37 passes (65%) for 333 yards and two touchdowns, and his one interception was a meaningless one, coming in desperation in the waning moments of Oregon’s 42-20 loss to Ohio State. The Ducks simply got overpowered by a better team. And it was only the fifth loss of a brilliant career where he won 36 other games in three years, the Heisman Trophy, and four MVP awards in four previous post-season games.

Now fans are fans. They watch games from a knee jerk perspective. Probably about 80% of the audience that watched Monday’s national title game had never before seen Mariota and were only buoyed by hype and hope. The kid doesn’t dazzle? Then he must stink.

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10 Great Chip Kelly GIFs from His New Tostitos Commercial Series

Chip Kelly is going to the Super Bowl.

The second-year coach guided his team to a 10-6 record, but the Eagles missed the playoffs in a competitive NFC. But Kelly will make an appearance in Glendale, Arizona, on Super Bowl weekend on behalf of Tostitos, the tortilla chip concern he’s pitching in a new series of commercials.

“Coach Kelly and Tostitos [as in a bag of Tostitos, yes] are the stars of the campaign, titled Not the Official Chip,” Jeff Klein, Vice President of marketing at Frito-Lay North America, told Forbes (presumably with a straight face, yes).

Above is a playlist of the 10 short Chip Kelly ads Tostitos released to the web late last week. But we know what you’re really looking for: Animated GIFs of Chip Kelly. Here are 10 of them.

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Jeffrey Lurie Enters Competition for Philadelphia’s Worst Sports Owner

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

In case you haven’t noticed, Philadelphia has a sports team ownership problem.

It took last week’s Eagles front office fiasco to get me thinking about this. And the Eagles are the one viable team in this town right now.

Jeffrey Lurie has now owned the Eagles for 20 years. Not only is there no championship of which to speak, but now I’m very leery of the direction this owner provides towards that end. When confronted with in-house bickering of his lieutenants, Lurie caved like a pre-fab house in a stiff wind. His anointing of Chip Kelly as the main architect of the franchise and demotion of Howie Roseman from general manager to vice president of shoulder pads, or some such thing, was not exactly generalship. It was a panic move from a weak leader.
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Christie: Philly Fans Are Worst, but Giants Fans Are OK With My Cowboys Fandom

chris-christie-cowboys-jerry-jones

In a story late Monday night, the New York Times’ Michael Barbaro reported on a conversation “overheard” recently. In it, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said that “these Philadelphia fans, they are the worst in America.” This got a lot of play in the media, but I think much of the coverage has missed a wider point.

Barbaro continues in the Times piece:

He recalled that when he took to the field with Mr. Jones at a previous Cowboys game against the New York Giants, who play their home games in New Jersey: “I didn’t get booed. Giant fans waved, said hello, asked for autographs, didn’t give me a hard time.”

“But these guys?” he added of Eagles fans.

Oh, Giants fans. I actually thought better of you.

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