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Monday, March 20, 2006

Eagles, Heavyweights, Sixers, and more

Now that the basketball coma that is the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament is over, it’s back to reality. Sadly, returning to “reality” as a sports blogger is almost as ugly as returning to work after vacation used to be. (Almost.)

Some lowlights while we all enjoyed hoop heaven:

The Philadelphia Eagles continue to just not get it. After signing a bunch of B-list free agents, Jeffrey Lurie was quoted in Friday’s Inquirer by Bob Brookover:

"The decision-making is always about evaluating the player, evaluating what he can bring into a potential championship season," Lurie said. "We have never been an organization that would ever want to make a headline for the sake of making a headline.

"I think you look around the league and you find that the teams that make the right evaluations and make the smart decisions, whether it be the Patriots, Steelers or us, it's a much smarter way to go. It's great if you want to make a splash, but unless you pick the right player at the right price, it's a poor way to build a championship team."

Kudos to WIP’s Rhea Hughes for ripping Lurie (it seemed like more than a day before the quote appeared in the paper) for his habit of talking as though he knows a damn thing about building a championship team. To echo her sentiments: someone please tell Lurie that in the NFL the label of “championship team” is reserved for Super Bowl winners. And, please add, that he should stop acting like whatever philosophy he thought of yesterday — the Eagles made a “splash” two years ago and at least went to the Super Bowl — is the blue print to building a winner from a sage NFL veteran.

That said, the Eagles are likely back to an 11-5 type team next year, and I like the Jabar Gaffney signing. He was a high draft choice for the Houston Texans at wide receiver, and was solid on a bad team.

The problem is, Gaffney is the type of guy you sign after, as a team position well under the cap and just a season removed from the Super Bowl, you grabbed a proven stud or two. If you’re always positioned well under the cap, you’re just cheap.

There was a heavyweight title bout on HBO Saturday night, which almost felt like getting it for free. Of course, HBO cost extra on your already pricey cable bill, but at least it wasn’t pay-per-view.

It wasn’t a horrible fight, damning enough praise, until the judges got involved. James Toney looked like one of the weeble wobble toys I had as a kid — too fat to fall. Hasim Rahman at least looked like a fighter, but gave the victory away (falling to a majority draw) because he fought Toney’s fight in later rounds. I still think the draw was a pathetic decision. Rahman was clearly the better fighter, albeit on a night when there wasn’t a great fighter in the ring.

The Sixers are simply unwatchable. As a guy that loves hoops, it hurts to say that, but they’ve become ridiculous. Blowing leads late in games over and over is indicative of weak-minded players, a.k.a. choking. Leave Mo Cheeks alone (for now), and, mostly because we’ve had enough changes at the helm, give Billy King one last chance to overhaul the roster. I’m an Iverson fan, and, no, they’re not better off without him. But he should probably be traded as he’s just too old to build around.

Two things that annoyed the crap out of me watching the tournament, and I just have to mention them. No one seems willing or able to box out, and letting coaches call timeouts is stupid. It’s absurd to see a guard streaking to the basket for a layup only to hear a whistle because his coach was busy screaming for a timeout.

The psychotic wideout Terrell Owens has a mini rap song about signing with the Dallas on his website. It’s almost as bad as watching his warped agent, Drew Rosenhaus, scream about how moving it was to see Owens and Jerry Jones “bond.” Rosenhaus is so happy because he got his money, which is what this was all about — whether T.O. ever figures it out or not.

Upset Birds’ fans should relax — Owens will never win a Super Bowl.

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