Monday, November 19, 2007

Your Opinion Means Nothing

(We make with the Shouting of the Out to Longtime FTT Contributor and Hall of Fame Commenter Tracer Bullet, who provoked this piece.)

Sports talk radio in the greater Philadelphia is among the Most Stupid in a particularly stupid industry, and has as much to do with any other factor for the area's bad reputation for athletes. This form of the media, more than any other, has been on the drumbeat for the forced evacuation of the best quarterback in the team's history, who would be Donovan McNabb.

With the team coming back to beat the vaunted Miami Dolphins at home with Number Five on the sidelines with a bad ankle, you can be sure that the siren call of Dump The Star will begin again, just as they have in the past for Allen Iverson, Charles Barkley, Von Hayes, Eric Lindros, Ricky Watters and countless others. When you have a Daily Broadcast of Hate, you always need a new Eurasia, after all.

Independent of the, um, merit of Dump Don is the following point... the Eagles sell out just about every game. While there were many empty seats at yesterday's game, there was no danger of it not being broadcast locally, and absent a Kotite-like decade of utter futility, that's going to continue to be the case. The stadium is too nice, the rowdy element has gone way down since the Vet days, and the waiting list for tickets, given the attrition rate and hyper-lucrative sell-up rate to out of town swells, is basically Your Lifetime. I know people who have tickets who rarely go to games; it's a simple money-making enterprise for them.

There is also this. The organization has shown innumerable times (short list off the top of my head: Trotter, Stallworth, Owens, Staley, Vincent, Taylor, Simon, Walker) that it will evaluate talent and make decisions on personnel regardless of the public popularity of the individual player. It also routinely operates well under the salary cap, which also causes the fan base to howl in agony routinely. (For the record, I kind of join in that, especially when I see them fail to cover punts or kickoffs. Gah.)

So... are the sports radio maroons just howling into the wind when they call for the ouster of any player, or do they actually have an impact in making a player Not Long For This Town?

If you ask one of the people who work in that industry (and if you have a conversation with them, by all means, please ask them what they first wanted to do in life, before they settled for this version of pornography)... they'll trot out the list of talented malcontents that have taken the express route out of town, and lo, there have been many. But malcontents get tossed from any town pretty quickly, especially if an organization is stable and long-term, which is the very definition of the Eagles under owner Jeff Lurie.

No, the more likely point is that the Eagles Will Do What The Eagles Will Do... and whether that means throwing the ball an unconscionable amount of times against the NFL's 30th-ranked run defense on a wet and miserable day until your Not Quite 100% From A Brutal Knee Injury QB gets hurt, or having the coach also be the GM, and having him continue in both capacities even after his family becomes a national embarrassment... or drafting a QB in the second round several years before your starter is quite ready to be moving on...

Well, here's the deal. You're watching it, you are buying the tickets, and if they somehow pull off the Utterly Impossible and win in New England next week, you are going to be doing the same thing for the playoffs. If they don't win, you are probably watching until they are eliminated, even though they are somehow going to need to win in Dallas, which is looking as likely as winning in New England.

Finally, there is this -- given their track record as Best Era in Franchise History, albeit with many recent patches of borderline painful and/or unwatchable football (I'm looking at you, Cowboys Loss At Home On SNF), maybe that's all for the best.

Because no matter how many athletes get ridden out of town on a rail by yammering media meatheads, the yammering media meatheads keep their jobs.

And maybe, just maybe, we'd be better off if they didn't.

1 comment:

Dirty Davey said...

As I have said before: if you predict that Andy Reid will decide to get rid of Donovan McNabb in this offseason, you are betting against Andy Reid being stubborn.

I personally would not bet against Andy Reid doing the stubborn thing.

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