You know the protracted rivalry between sportstalk radio networks 97.5 and WIP (which hasn’t been much of a rivalry of late) has reached a new level of disturbing oddity when a tweet like this one, from WIP blowhard Josh Innes, shows up in your feed last night: Read more »
Welcome to mid-December, where, when it comes to the Philadelphia Eagles, we never run out of issues.
Just this week, as the Birds prepare to play the highly potent Arizona Cardinals, there were two more: the possible contract extension of quarterback Sam Bradford, and the reduced playing time of $8 million running back DeMarco Murray.
We’ll explore those issues one at a time.
ISSUE ONE. Bradford. This week, the quarterback was pressed (sort or) about a future contract with the Eagles. Now the “A” answer to a question such as “would you like to re-sign here as the Eagles quarterback” is “Sure, I’d like to stay here, and grow with this team, but that stuff will take care of itself at the end of the year because football really is a business.” Instead, Bradford appeared non-committal to anything Philadelphia, even when questioned on whether he liked it here. To that question, he said some things that all but suggested he’d be more more comfortable almost anywhere else.
But the issue really isn’t whether Sam Bradford wants to stay here. The issue is whether it’s appropriate to commit big dollars to a Bradford, who at best will preside over a division-winning Eagles team with an 8-8 record. Considering that quarterbacks such as Jay Cutler make about $18 million a year, with about $40 million guaranteed in a multi-year contract, the going rate may scare the Eagles front office a little bit. I can tell you from sports talk radio that fans are certainly scared about that kind of price tag for a guy who’s been pretty much mediocre and injury prone.
But what is the alternative? If the Eagles get into the playoffs, can they possibly cut ties with the quarterback who would have likely gotten them there — even with that mediocre record? Would they cut loose from Bradford and pursue a quarterback such as deposed 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick? The Eagles don’t have a second-round pick this year to barter (they paid that for Bradford, ironically). Do they draft a quarterback with their first-round pick? If they make the playoffs, the first four ranked quarterbacks in the draft will likely be gone, meaning the Eagles would have to grab a signal caller in the third round, and groom him under some lower-level free agent signee.
The above circumstance makes Bradford’s non-committal answers even larger.
ISSUE TWO. Murray. Chip Kelly was asked on Thursday whether he felt any pressure to play the halfback more considering he makes a lot of money and was the second most-prized free agent signee. The coach said he has never paid much attention to the specific needs of the individual over the team. The sounds swell, if you’re coaching Pop Warner, or even college kids. NFL players pay attention to a comment like that and if Kelly isn’t willing to acknowledge that Murray gets paid for a living, and get special consideration for that, then how are other players supposed to feel special and want to run through walls for their coach.
It is a tangled web the Eagles weave.
Many people lately have asked me to comment on the state of Philadelphia sports talk radio, which finds a competitor station acting out a myriad of desperate acts and claims that attempt to prove their viability.
They have used personal insults, sophomoric phone calls and embarrassing bits on the street, in the wake of the Caitlyn Jenner announcement, that had 19-year-old interns go up to random men on the street and ask whether they would “hit” Caitlyn Jenner.
The topics discussed at that station — where I worked during the time of the true Genesis of sports radio in Philadelphia, when most of the hosts came from legitimate sports reporting backgrounds — during evening drive became so distasteful to one of the co-hosts of this evening drive show, this week he abruptly resigned.
I have been doing sports talk radio for 20 years now. And while I have pushed an envelope or two over the years, my discourse has always served what I think is the most important part of this industry: the great sports fans of Philadelphia. Read more »
1. Where is Tony Bruno?
The News: Regular listeners of 94 WIP have likely realized that something has been missing from their afternoon sports radio show over the past two days — host Tony Bruno. And it doesn’t appear to be a summer vacation.
Instead, he’s in a cooling off period over a rift with co-host Josh Innes, according to Crossing Broad. Apparently, Bruno “was put off by Innes’ constant badgering and trolling of his own audience – a conclusion that is obvious to just about anyone listening,” said Crossing Broad. “Things may have come to a head a couple of weeks ago when Innes made fun of a caller who was clearly under the influence and had an admitted coke problem.” Read more »
I like Mike Missanelli. I could listen to him talk sports and pop culture for hours on end, and have. Mike is the afternoon host on 97.5 The Fanatic radio station and a fellow contributor to PhillyMag.com. But he is wrong in continuing to use the police shooting in Ferguson as an example of a pervasive racial bias in police departments across America.
Missanelli made his case on this site last week when he chastised sports commentator and Hall of Fame basketball player Charles Barkley because he “didn’t express outrage at the non-indictment of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the confrontational shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.” And because Barkley said “the grand jury was righteous in its weighing of the evidence, and defended police officers as deterrents to even worse things that can happen in the ’hood.”
All of that is true and based in fact. Barkley is right.
Here is the definitive report on Nick Foles:
He doesn’t dazzle you in any aspect of the game. Sometimes he looks really good shooting the ball down the field to open crossing receivers. And sometimes he has peculiar moments of uncertainty, heaving balls to the middle of the field off his back foot. Those are the moments that allow fans to drift into negative land with thoughts that Foles may not the quarterback who will lead this franchise to future riches.
But know this: Foles will be the franchise quarterback going forward — because the Eagles really don’t have any other choice.
We all have things we want to do when the job is over and after this week, I have decided that I’m going to create a chain of rehabilitation centers for Twitter addicts.
In 2014, you can get hooked on Twitter more easily than crack. Crack at least requires money that you have to get from somewhere. Twitter is free and can be used by anyone — from the boardroom executive to the 14-year-old boy postulating from his mother’s basement. Twitter can be informational and enlightening. And it can also be very dangerous — a phenomenon that gives everyone the power to publish any thought, without endorsement or accountability. It’s where Average Joe can be judge, jury and hangman on any particular subject. And it’s a power we plunge deeply into our veins like the worst addict in a dark and seedy alley.
When it’s all said and done, I’m going to do my part with these rehab centers. I know a lot about this topic because I have been both a Twitter player and a victim.
In the third quarter of Sunday night’s Eagles-Giants game, right after the Giants’ Victor Cruz dropped a touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone, I tweeted: “Hey Giants fans, Victor Cruz is over. Dance to that.” It was s spur-of-the moment tweet, which all of us in sports talk radio do from time to time. It was intended both to pander to the Eagle fan base for which I do my daily show, and to take a shot at the Giants, who occasionally infiltrate our area with their own brand of braggadocio. And on the surface, it seemed like a heartless thing to write, especially when Cruz subsequently collapsed with a ripped-up leg.
What got lost in the shuffle is that I never saw the player get hurt.
Many people, especially angry Giants fans, have asked how that is possible. Well, here is the story, letter by letter:
Via Crossing Broad, it appears that WIP’s Josh Innes is in no mood to forgive The Fanatic’s Mike Missanelli for the latter’s tweet (later withdrawn) about Victor Cruz’s injury during Sunday’s Eagles-Giants game. (Missanelli claims he did not know Cruz was injured when he posted the tweet in question.)
“He’s the outright, undisputed king of douchebaggery in the city of Philadelphia,” Innes groused during his Monday night show.
Read more »
Mike Missanelli, a host on 97.5 The Fanatic, is an unpopular man in New York this morning after he sent out a taunting Tweet in the wake of Victor Cruz’s injury in the Giants’ game against the Eagles.
That Tweet is even on the cover of the New York Daily News today: