So Long Shady

March 6, 2015
Adam Thomas

The Shady McCoy trade was a great example of a trade that seems to help both teams. Buffalo most definitely improves in the short term and the Eagles would seem to benefit more down the road. The trade also cannot be viewed as simply a player for player swap as an astute reader of the Headrush pointed out that the trade is Kiko and 10 million dollars in cap space for Shady–so it is really Kiko and whoever the Eagles sign in free agency for McCoy.

However, what I don’t like about the trade is that it looks like Chip Kelly is clearly in control of both coaching and personnel moves for the Eagles. This would scare me if I were an Eagles fan because I don’t think Chip has done enough in his brief tenure to have earned that power. He has only made the playoffs once and, save for the first game the system was implemented against the Redskins, the league has seemed to caught up with his up-tempo offense.

He also seems to be incredibly stubborn when it comes to getting rid of talented players. Desean Jackson would’ve helped the team last year. Shady would’ve helped the team this year. And for some reason, he doesn’t seem to like Nick Foles. It seems like instead of simply wanting to win, Kelly wants to win and get all the credit for being the mastermind behind the team’s success.

And I will say this, for a coach who seems to believe in player nutrition–smoothies! Fruits! Vegetables! No more junk food!–as part of his revolutionary ‘system’ shouldn’t he be buying into the program himself? It can’t be easy to have to hear about nutrition in the Eagles team meetings from a guy who looks like an avocado.

Anyway, getting back to the topic, if the Eagles sign a guy like Mark Ingram or CJ Spiller for $3-5 million, then can sign 1-2 other players with the remaining money, I think that the trade looks better for the Eagles. If, however, they waste the money on some more Oregon scrubs, well, than I think they are the clear losers in the deal.

Free Agency

Want to see how much more loaded the 2015 free agent class is than the 2014 free agent class? Look no further than the top 10 free agents available from each year:

2014:

Jairus Byrd, Eugene Monroe, Michael Johnson, Alex Mack, Lamarr Houstin, Jared Veldeer, Brandon Albert, Alterraun Verner, Michael Bennett, Aqib Talib.

2015:

Ndamukong Suh, Justin Houstin, Dez Bryant, Demaryius Thomas, Jason Pierre-Paul, Julius Thomas, Mike Iupati, Randall Cobb, Devin McCourty, DeMarco Murray.

Good God! It’s night and day! In 2014, two freaking Raiders made the top 10, that’s how weak that free agency class was. This year, holy smokes, it is LOADED.

Now, granted, some of those names in the top 10 received the franchise tag already, but 10-25 looks even better than the top ten from last year. Needless to say, this is the year to have all the monies.

Bracketology

People get on Kiper and McShay all the time for the stupidity of their Mock Drafts but is there anything stupider on ESPN (talent excluded) than Bracketology? I mean, “Joey Brackets” has to have the eaiest job in the world. Just look at the rankings, factor in strength of schedule aaaaaand your done. In fact, his job gets easier once all the conference tournaments are done and half the field is set, so I’m not even sure what he does all day. Look at rankings, look at strength of schedule, go back to sleep.

Album of the week

Last week, I talked about how the women were rocking it this year, so this week’s album will dip into last year and be very male centric as it’s Tomorrow’s Hits by The Men. Not only is the album lean and mean at 8 tracks (which a lot of albums are trending towards these days) but I watched a video of them on the AV Club and the bass player looked like Fat Mac from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. So definite bonus points for that.

Until next time….

Castles Made of Snow

March 2, 2015
Adam Thomas

On Saturday night, I was sound asleep when I woke suddenly to the sound of my dogs barking viciously at something outside. I got out of bed and went to the window in my spare bedroom to do the nosey neighbor peak and noticed two teenagers in hoodies standing directly in front of my house. My mind started to race: what could these hooligans be up to? Are they messing with our cars? Are they going to do something to our house? Gaaaaaaaah!

Thinking these thoughts and worrying about the teenagers made me feel old, as not too long ago–or perhaps, longer than I want to admit–that would’ve been me out there in my hooded sweatshirt causing mischief on a Saturday night while scared old neighbors looked on terrified from their windows.

I watched as they moved into the street when suddenly a car came by and caused them to spring back onto the sidewalk. They each took out their cell phones and with the blue lights shining, they looked like druids walking around with lanterns ablaze.

Once the car went by, they went back out into the street and started moving around again. Their heads were down and their movements were deliberate. I knew they were up to something….but what?

I watched them suspiciously as my dogs growled on the bed beside me. I wondered what I would do if I saw one of them do something to my car. My heart started to race when suddenly, they moved away from my house and back into the night.

I kept an eye on the street for a few more moments. There was no sign of them but before long, another car came by and shined its headlights on the street. That’s when I saw it and I realized what they were doing. They weren’t doing anything malicious. They were simply drawing a large penis in the middle of the street out of snow. Which is hilarious.

I started laughing. And laughing at this made me realize that perhaps I’m not as old or mature as I think.

The next morning, I looked outside to see if the snow penis was still there for all the neighborhood to see.

Sadly, it had melted and washed away.

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Random Friday Thoughts

February 27, 2015
Adam Thomas

1.) NFL free agency is about to start so let’s keep one thing in mind that I’ve talked about on this blog before: whoever wins free agency is not going to win in the regular season. Do the Patriots ever ‘Win’ free agency? No. Teams like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers win free agency. In fact, they were declared winners by many media outlets last year and what did that get them? The number one pick in this year’s draft. The Bills won free agency in 2012 by signing Mario Williams and haven’t sniffed the playoffs since. Keep this in mind when players start flying off the shelves on March 10.

With that being said, I will definitely be up at midnight on March 10 to see who the Raiders pick up. Just because it’s fools gold doesn’t mean it’s not fun to imagine that it’s the real thing!

2.) If you can give up Michael Carter-Williams and get (potentially) the number 4 pick in the one of the next two drafts or a top ten pick in this year’s draft, I don’t have a problem with it. Put it this way, with MCW the Sixers were terrible. Without MCW, the Sixers are terrible. They aren’t winning any games this year with or without him so why not capitalize on the best value you can get for an over valued player like MCW? I like it.

And if you are doubtful of Hinkie, just take a moment to watch his press conference. The dude seems like an evil genius and I have no doubt that when the time comes, he will strike and bring a superstar to the Sixers because remember, that’s what you need in the NBA. You need one of those guys like Lebron if you want to win a championship. You don’t get there by holding onto players like MCW when a chance at the potential number 4 pick (in 2016 or 2017) comes around.

Some notable picks at #4: Chris Paul, Chris Bosh and Russell Westbrook.

If you can acquire a pick with the potential to turn MCW into a player like that, go for it.

3.) Speaking of NBA teams, for some reason, I just don’t trust the Warriors to make it out of the West. Call it the curse of Iggy, but they just seem like they aren’t there yet. Why do I feel like it will be Memphis or San Antonio this year?

4.) The album of the week is Colleen Green’s “I Want to Grow Up.” Which is the balls. In fact, let’s just do a quick shout out to the lady rockers out there who keep churning out some of the best albums around. This year, Sleater-Kinney dominated January, now Colleen Green is rocking February, what’s next for March? Guess we’ll have to find out.

Until next time…

Sam Hinkie Shakes Up the Sixers, Again

February 20, 2015
Randy Neil

Yesterday, Sam Hinkie traded away considerable pieces to what was thought to be cornerstones in a long term rebuilding plan for the 76ers franchise.  The biggest piece was Michael Carter-Williams, 2013-14 NBA Rookie of the Year, which has left some people questioning the decision.

Hinkie addressed the media this morning and elaborated on the mindset behind some of these decisions.  He noted that while trading Carter-Williams was difficult, in put them in a place where they were more hopeful for the future.  Hinkie gushed about the flexibility these additional assets gave them, noting that there is no timetable or certainty to the culmination of these moves.

As a Sixers fan, I can’t make up my mind about these trades.  More importantly, neither can you.  Neither can Sam Hinkie.  He understands that a lot of these moves are calculated risks which can pay off big, but also can work out to be nothing.

It’s hard to explain to a 2015 fan that these moves put the franchise in a ‘better’ position.  Not only is long-term projection a difficult thing for an emotionally invested fan, but more so when everyone in the Philadelphia area has witnessed considerable progress in this season alone.

I can honestly say I’ve watched more games this season attentively than any other season.  It was interesting to see the player development that Sam Hinkie iterates constantly, in spite of their wins and losses.  You could see a progression in this team’s chemistry and resolve.

That might be the biggest factor in my hesitance to embrace these moves.  Metaphorically, we are playing 5-card stud and trying to have unlimited re-draws.  Right now, we are hoping for something better and a lot of us thought the hand we had  could play into something big already.  Who knows what cards we are going to pick up, and that’s the scary part.

More importantly, what kind of morale does this have on the players whom Hinkie does consider long-term pieces to this rebuilding process?  How much does that factor into his decision making?

When Joel-Hans Embiid is tweeting this —

— you have to wonder what kind of mindset this will put him in regarding his future in Philadelphia.  He has since Tweeted much more optimistic things, but again, these are intangibles.

When you look at a championship caliber player like Lebron James, it’s pretty clear that the faith in his franchise weighs on his decision making.  When we speculate in a high draft pick like Joel-Hans Embiid to be that type of player, those things should be considered.

I guess, in a Brett Brown New-England accent, I will just need to, “Trust the Prawcess.”

Lame Best Ever Debates

February 7, 2015
Adam Thomas

Is Tom Brady the best quarterback EVER?

You probably heard that question asked about a bazillion times over the past week. The short answer? Probably. But who cares? Aren’t best ever debates incredibly subjective? A fan of the Patriots would definitely say Brady, but a fan of the 49ers would lean towards Montana while a Steelers fan might be inclined to throw Bradshaw’s name out there. It all depends on who you ask. The problem with sports debates, however, is that you can only pick from a handful of candidates–only those 3 quarterbacks and maybe one or two others.

It’s just weird how sports can be completely matter of fact about debates like this while when it comes to other things–like music, movies, books–the debate can go on forever and include a huge number of possibilities. Hell, Tom Brokaw even wrote a book about how one generation was better than every other generation in the history of the world and some people agreed while others were like ‘Shut up old man!’

Of course, in sports, there are tangeible results. Championships. But with those championships come about a trillion different variables (like, what if Pete Carroll hadn’t lost his mind and ran Beast Mode on the one yard line?). It’s weird to discount the variables and just focus on the results. (Yeesh, even I barely know what I’m trying to say at this point.)

I guess it’s like this, with sports, if you don’t say Michael, Gretzky, now Brady/Montana, Ali are the greatest ever at their sports, then your ostracized. I remember back in college I had a debate–after a few brewskies–about how Barkley was better than Jordan and everyone was so taken aback that you would’ve thought I proposed that the world was still flat. One guy even stole my can of Pringles in retaliation. Now, I was in North Carolina mind you, and I tend to not be the quietest person in the world after a few beers, so that might have played a part, but if I want to believe that Barkley was better than Jordan, then that’s my right even though everyone else will probably argue otherwise.

So the next time you ask me who the greatest players of all time are, I’m going to say that I don’t know. I only know who are the players that I like the best, and they are Iverson, Barkley, Kirby Puckett and (hall of famer) Tim Brown. And I believe them to be better than guys that are always listed like Jordan. 

And then you’ll steal my Pringles.

Album of the week: Teenage Retirement by Chumped.

This is the greatest album that Weezer never made, and by that I mean that at its best, the album sounds like Weezer used to when they were turning out classic albums like the Blue album and Pinkerton. It is that good at times.

It’s also one of the most Emo/pop/punky things I’ve listened too in quite some time and sounds like it would’ve been right at home on the old 90’s Kevin Smith movies soundtracks–especially Mallrats.

I’ve got to say, 14 year old Adam may have fell in love with this like he did Pinkerton. As it is, I still really dig it.