SportsNation Blog Archives Philadelphia Eagles
Thirty-five years ago, Philly's four major sports teams nearly achieved unprecedented success when each squad advanced to the championship round of its respective sport -- with the Phillies walking away with a trophy.
The 2014-15 season was a far cry from that feat, as none of the Philadelphia teams even qualified for the postseason. A playoff-free year, combined with the departure of fan favorites such as Jimmy Rollins and LeSean McCoy, has cast a pall over the usually bright lights of Broad Street.
On a day when the struggles of the city's basketball team will be on full display in the NBA Draft lottery show (8 ET, ESPN), it seems an appropriate time to take a look at just how miserable Philly pro sports have been lately.
Sixers (18-64, missed playoffs)
Hair-pulling causes: Tanking talk has tormented fans recently, and it's hard to dispute those claims, as Philly is only the second team in the past 15 years to win fewer than 20 games in consecutive seasons. It's increasingly difficult to buy into general manager Sam Hinkie's rebuilding project, as the failed Michael Carter-Williams experiment and injuries to No. 1 overall picks Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid relegated the lineup to mostly NBA castaways and D-Leaguers.
But on the bright side: Noel's strong finish to 2015, combined with Embiid's expected debut, gives the Sixers a formidable one-two inside punch. If the ping pong balls bounce their way tonight, the cornerstone perimeter star that has eluded the Sixers since Allen Iverson will be available to fortify the starting 5. And if Dario Saric is let out of his contract in Turkey, the playoffs are well within reach.
Eagles (10-6, missed playoffs) Hair-pulling causes: Turnovers played a major role in the Eagles' failed 2014 playoff bid. Turnover again was a hot topic once the offseason began, as Chip Kelly jettisoned fan favorites LeSean McCoy and Trent Cole, Jeremy Maclin left for the Chiefs, while DeMarco Murray and oft-injured Sam Bradford came aboard. McCoy's and Maclin's departures mark the first time in NFL history that a team lost its leading rusher and receiver following 1,000-yard campaigns.
But on the bright side: The Birds are the best bet on this list to end their playoff hiatus. Kelly has strung together consecutive 10-6 campaigns with the likes of Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez under center, so why wouldn't he be able to at least replicate that success with Bradford, a versatile ground attack and a revamped secondary?
Flyers (33-31-18, missed playoffs)
Hair-pulling causes: After qualifying for the postseason in 16 out of 17 seasons from 1994 to 2012, the Flyers were shut out of postseason play for the second time in three years and only the 10th time in the franchise's 47-year history. Slow starts and struggles on the road doomed the underachieving Flyers and led to head coach Craig Berube's dismissal and Dave Hakstol's surprising hire.
But on the bright side: The first year under GM and former hero Ron Hextall was rocky, but two first-rounders -- the No. 7 pick, the team's highest since taking James van Riemsdyk second in 2007, and Tampa Bay's yet-to-be-determined pick -- afford him the opportunity to add firepower to a team that finished 21st in goals scored.
Phillies (73-89 in '14 missed playoffs; 17-23 in '15, fourth in NL East
Hair-pulling causes: Some fans abandoned ship in the spring, and it looks like the team's horrendous start (they narrowly avoided an 11-24 record which would've been its worst since 1971) has alienated other loyalists and led to many half-empty nights at Citizen Bank Park. A punchless lineup around aging stars Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, as well as the Cole Hamels trade rumors, make it hard to gather much positive from a team that appears destined for its fourth consecutive non-winning season.
But on the bright side: The Phillies are tied with Chicago for the longest active win streak in the Majors at six games. Hamels is rounding back into All-Star form, Utley's bat has awoken, and shortstop Freddy Galvis and his team leading .341 average offers hope for the future.
Philadelphia responds to the Eagles' signing Tim Tebow by celebrating, and trolling, him with pretzels
Philadelphia is notorious for its pretzels; the city also is notorious for its avid sports fandom.
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past week -- no, let's take that back, even people under rocks have heard the news -- you know that in another one of Chip Kelly's interesting offseason moves, Tim Tebow has been signed to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Tebow joins the Eagles contingent of misfit quarterbacks assembled by Kelly (including Tebow's former Jets teammate, Mark Sanchez). Needless to say, the people of Philadelphia took action to properly acknowledge his arrival:
Yes, thanks to the good folks over at the Philly Pretzel Factory, you can now enjoy chomping down on a "Tebowing" Tim Tebow treat whenever you please, for only $1 (as advertised on Twitter).
Naturally, this token of Tebow affection couldn't go unanswered by the haters. Those in Philadelphia who are A.T. (anti-Tebow) acted quickly to counter the sweet gesture by the pretzel factory. This is where the "No Tebow" pretzel comes into play. We wonder what it would be like to have a pretzel invented with the sole purpose of trolling you. Is that when you know you've made it?
As expected, there are now "No Tebow" pretzels in Philly pic.twitter.com/FhtqvObfCZ— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) April 23, 2015
Simply because the Internet is a cruel place, someone was inspired by all the Tebow pretzels, and thus decided to introduce the "Sam Bradford" pretzel, in reference to the Eagles' other new QB. We're just going to leave this here. ...
OMG A Sam Bradford pretzel. pic.twitter.com/SYF4EOYfEz— Michael Tanier (@MikeTanier) April 21, 2015
The Eagles made the signing of Tim Tebow official Monday.
Rival Washington? It -- or at least its social media department -- wasn't about to stay quiet:
Or was it? If you're well-versed in Twitter memes, you'll know that Kermit sipping tea is the traditional background photo for the "none of my business" trend, the Internet equivalent to "I'm just sayin'." This typically includes a damning statement on top or in the Twitter text (e.g. "Tim Tebow has a total QBR of 33.4 since 2010"), then the boilerplate fake-shrug at the bottom ("but that's none of my business").
But this picture has none of that!
Now, one might argue that everyone on Twitter knows the Kermit thing by now, and everyone on Twitter at the moment knew the Tebow signing had just become official. Also, not adding any text gives the team plausible deniability: "Tebow who? We just thought it was a funny photo!"
But lack of wording could leave some people confused. Also, trolling a team with a much better recent history -- and with no indication as to what was none of its business -- left Washington open to counter-trolling.
Still, we don't want to hit Washington too hard for this. Good-natured, sports-related trolling is almost as fun as the games. (Plus it would be way too easy for someone to fire back with, say, "the writer of this post has less than 700 followers ... but that's none of my business.")
Are the Cowboys legit contenders?
Since being embarrassed in the opening half of the opening game, the Dallas Cowboys have rebounded nicely -- five wins in a row, to be exact, the latest a surprising 30-23 victory at the defending-champion Seattle Seahawks. Now, in a development virtually no one saw coming, Tony Romo & Co. sit tied atop the NFC East with the Philadelphia Eagles. Will they keep it up?
Three unbeatens left in NFL
We're three whole weeks into the 2014 NFL season, and only three teams haven't lost. The final unbeatens: Cincinnati Bengals, Arizona Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles, all winning teams from 2013, but none exactly thought to be sure-fire contenders before the season. On the other end, a host of playoff teams from last season are just 1-2. What do you make of it all?