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Friday, April 24, 2009

Eagles Can’t Win; Week-in-Review

Even when the Eagles are right, they’re wrong. So, now Sheldon Brown wants to be traded. He’s unhappy with the contract extension that reportedly has four years left on it. And he feels disrespected because the Eagles won’t negotiate with his agent.

First of all, Brown and his agent are stupid to do this. Brown’s not even a perennial All-Pro. He took the signing bonus before he hit free agency. Now he’s upset because other players at his position are being paid more than him.

If only he or some sort of legal representative could have seen this coming. If only there was a trend of NFL player contracts escalating year after year, even in the worst economy most people alive have ever experienced.

Oh, wait. He had the benefit of both.

Yet, the most absurd part of the situation is that Brown’s entrance into the Idiots Hall of Fame with his comment that he was being disrespected – ah, yes, another athlete being paid millions to play football is so discouraging to watch – didn’t make the Eagles the clear winner in the public eye.

I’m not even referring to the Eagles’ statement about Brown hurting his own cause. Or the fact that billionaire Jeff Lurie has gone to court with the city over $8 million with the (hopefully) ridiculous assertion that former Philadelphia mayor John Street agreed to take less than $1 million. Joe Banner even went so far as to suggest that the issue should be a concern to anyone doing or thinking of doing business in the city.

Class move, Joe. Way to show the city – and its residents – who stuff your organization’s pockets how much you support it by discouraging businesses from operating here. (See my last Week-in-Review item below for a contrast of Banner in Dikembe Mutumbo.)

The real problem is that the Eagles continue to do business in such a way that they are constantly embroiled in these nonsense battles. Every year now, someone is ticked off about their contract and the team has a public distraction. The concept of “locking up” players early might be working for the bottom line in accounting over at the NovaCare Complex, but it’s clearly not working in the locker room.

After Arizona bounced the Eagles from the playoffs last year, Joe Banner quoted the definition of insanity as doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. So far, that realization hasn’t affected the Eagles’ free agency strategy, and I’m guessing it will not affect the way they draft players this weekend.

Clearly, it’s not affecting how they deal with their own players either.

Week-in-Review:
• It’s the weekend for rumors as the NFL Draft arrives. So far the best was ProFootballTalk.com’s “report” that the Eagles were trying to trade Shawn Andrews. This would have been arrogant even for the Birds. Ok, maybe not. But a report about a team trading a guy that missed last season with physical and mental issues, and a guy whose brother the team signed to hold his hand, didn’t make much sense.

• I’m not a hockey hater. In fact, hockey (albeit wheelchair hockey) is the only sport I ever played as a kid. But I just can’t get into watching the sport, and Sidney Crosby’s goal on Tuesday – scored by crashing into the net and having the puck bounce off an allowable part of his body – is a prime example of why. (See it here.) I just can’t watch a game for three hours, sometimes many more in the playoffs, to see it turn on a fluke goal that often can’t even be seen without a replay. Yes, fluke points occur in other sports, but the frequency with which it happens and the amount of scoring that takes place in hockey makes it worse.

• There was actually a better reason not to watch hockey offered up on Monday. Fans of the Montreal Canadiens booed the American national anthem before the team’s game with the Boston Bruins. Had this happened in reverse, especially in Philadelphia, there would have been no end to “ugly Americans” stories. Yet, fans from a country that pretty much rely on our military as their national defense and needs our cities to make their national game viable as a professional sport (ok, I’m making an educated guess on both), can boo our national anthem and I just barely caught it on PTI. Nice.

• I was actually getting nervous about the fact that my last sports post regenerates a link on philly.com’s Fan’s Blog Roll every time I update my template or even write a non-sports post. I even employed a blank post to avoid having a dated headline by my blog’s title. Even after I saw a post on March Madness on their blog roll this week, I considered continuing to employ the tactic after a post got old. Then I saw this -- a supposedly funny post on the Flyers signing Jesus, as in Jesus Christ. Concern for putting old headlines on their site evaporated.

• Dikembe Mutombo retired from the NBA after 18 seasons, including at least part of one with the 76ers in which they went to the Finals. The guy was 42-years-old, and still playing in the NBA, but that wasn’t the best reason to mention it. His humanitarian efforts for his native Africa have always been a prominent part of his career. I believe I heard he even had a hospital built with his own money. Just thought it was worth mentioning, and a nice contrast to the “disrespected” Sheldon Brown and the Eagles front office.

Note on Comments:

After my last sports post ran in the Philadelphia Inquirer, I got some of the strongest response yet to one of my posts – at least regarding sports. Part of my hope is to engage people on this blog. Obviously, I have various goals for it, and the more people use it the better. I welcome comments whether people want to agree or disagree with me, or interject their own angle.

I don’t mind people being flip with me, either. I can be as flip as anybody; in fact, I’m better at it than most. Yet, I was left wondering where people get off being offended when they get a flip or rude response in return to their original rude comment.

I even had one individual suggest in a comment, which I deleted (because he or she was just repeating earlier whines and rips of me), say something about my writing an opinionated post as if that gave him the right to get personal. Of course I write opinionated posts – who writes a blog of neutral posts? But I wrote about the Philadelphia Eagles, a public entity. I didn’t attack a private individual.

Now this guy or woman posted anonymously, so it’s not like there was any real conviction behind the comments. I allow anonymous comments because (so far) I want to make it easy to offer responses. I’ll even admit that I may not have handled my responses to these comments well.

That said, I’m truly curious why people feel a right to just lay into people, calling them stupid or whatever, based on a disagreement about a non-personal issue, and then get offended when they receive the same type of response in return. It’s not even the first part that baffles me. I’m guilty of that at times. I wrote a post and posted it online. People have the right to rip me, and if they need to call me stupid to make their point, they can do so.

I certainly know this isn’t unique to my blog. Read almost any blog on philly.com, and people are just ruthless in the comments section. Clearly, negative reactions to a post prompts people to actually write a comment more than a positive one. I get that. But some people are clearly just waiting for a particular writer to post to rip them. Maybe it really is the relative anonymity that gives people their bravado. Although philly.com no longer links to blogs of commenters, it was always clear in the past that the rudest people rarely had their own blogging efforts going. Their asinine responses is no doubt what prompted the need to register in order to comment.

I hope to avoid that. I still welcome comments, including on this subject, and hope to avoid limiting it to registered Blogger users so I can ban anyone that gets too stupid. But if you’re going to challenge me, be prepared for a response. If you’re going to call me stupid, prove it, or I’ll point out why maybe you’re the idiot. If that offends you, or you must get personal, don’t comment.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

MDefl posting:

Rob,

It is funny that people get all bent out of shape over differences in opinion. Anyway, I find myself in the awkward position of agreeing with Eagles management vis a vis the Sheldon Brown situation. Now that Hobbs is on board, Sheldon will be a second stringer if he does not get traded. Hopefully, the birds can pick up a 3rd rounder for him.

The birds need to pay the $8m and shut up. Then they can sue for what they think they are owed for the missed pre-season game. This whole netting process and a "secret deal" that the Eagles are positioning as their defense is absurd. Good luck to them in trying to enforce a verbal contract especially since the argument could be made that real estate is involved.

Lastly, I think the Eagles had a very good draft.

Rob said...

Thx for the note -- I was kind of looking for you in the midst of getting ripped. Glad you stuck around. If I have to go to only registered users, hope you'll register.

I just posted on the draft. I agree -- very solid.

Anonymous said...

MDefl,

I would register even if it is a pain. I like your stuff even the parts I don't agree with. There is no reason for us not to act in a civil fashion when we disagree. It boggles my mind every time I see personal attacks based on differences in opinion.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to congratulate Matumbo for finally calling it quits at age 55. 42 my A!!!

MDefl