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Friday, December 15, 2006

A.I. Drama Continues Philly Trend

It’s time for an exorcism in Philadelphia. No, I’m not talking about the pending trade of Allen Iverson, at least not directly. I’m talking about the level of absurdity that our city’s sports scene consistently gets to.

Before we’ve fully recovered from the Terrell Owens debacle, the 76ers create another national story by jettisoning Iverson. They can’t just quietly work to trade him. No, they have to deactivate him, and make it an ongoing story while they ensure that the world knows they have to trade him.

Unfortunately, Billy King can’t trade with himself, and is destined to get nothing for the leading vote-getter among Eastern Conference guards for the All-Star game. In fact, King won’t even do that well. Lost in all the talk about obtaining salary cap relief for Iverson — a tale of the absurd manner in which trades in the NBA are made unto itself — is the fact that King has cried about cap constraints since he got here. It’s been his job in at least some capacity to fix that problem for almost a decade, and it has only gotten worse.

But, I digress. I’m talking about the entire sports scene. Drama after drama befalls this city. In no real order:

· Randall Cunningham was dubbed The Ultimate Weapon and played with one of the best Ds ever, but never won squat because he’s a head case. From gold-tipped shoelaces to inside-out jackets on the sidelines, his antics never stopped.
· Eric Lindros has concussion issues, and it ends up as a pissing match between then-GM Bob Clarke and Lindros’ parents.
· Charles Barkley wanted to retire or be traded every other week, claimed hatred and love for Philly often in the same sentence, threw a guy threw a window, and yet was the most approachable star around.
· The Phillies get a new ballpark, but it plays like Wrigley Field.
· Donovan McNabb is booed the second — the second! — he becomes an Eagle, and has never really let it go.
· Brett Myers assaults his wife, and, of course, is allowed to pitch the next day.
· T.O. — enough said.
· Allen Iverson pledges undying loyalty to coach after coach, only to bitch and moan about coach after coach.
· Ed Snider exiles Pat Croce, who somehow breathed life into the city’s sports scene, seemingly because Croce got more credit than he did.

I could go on and on, and, in fact, fans going on and on about these dramas should be on the list. But others already have, and likely will again soon. My point is, this can’t go on. It can’t just be bad luck, can it?

It’s enough to make you give up on sports. But, the Eagles are on Sunday, so, please, somebody call an exorcist.

Week in Review:
· Speaking of the Eagles, a win against the Giants gives them a realistic chance to win the NFC East. Anyone want to completely pooh-pooh the idea that Jeff Garcia is better for this offense than McNabb?
· I’d rather see the Sixers wait out Iverson’s contract than let Billy King pull the trigger on this trade.
· Brandon Lang claimed to be perfect on last week’s Daily News Live. By the end of the segment, Michael Barkann read an e-mail saying he actually had a push and an L. Can you say “fraud?”

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