Rob's Rants: Endless Ezekiel Elliott saga, crybaby James Harden

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Rob's Rants: Endless Ezekiel Elliott saga, crybaby James Harden

Let's see, the Eagles hold the best record in the NFL at 7-1 and Howie Roseman is not standing pat in his search to upgrade the talent on the roster.

The Sixers just avenged a bad home loss last week to the Rockets, and Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid appear to be the one-two punch this town's been in search of for ages.

So there's much to be happy about on this Halloween in Philadelphia. But not every trick or treater's bag in the sporting world is filled with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Hershey's Kisses. There's plenty of Raisinets and Almond Joys being handed out. With that, time for another edition of Rob's Rants.

In or out?
I am so sick of this of this "is he or isn't he" saga when it comes to Ezekiel Elliott's suspension. We lived this once with Tom Brady and that was enough. The difference this time through this lens is Elliott's status much more directly affects the Eagles and the conference they play in.

It seems every five minutes, he's suspended or unsuspended (see latest update). Short of holding a law degree, how can anyone keep up with this? I get he has a legal right to appeal but fans of the sport don't want to hear about preliminary injunctions or emergency appeals. It's a turn-off. They want to know if he's playing or not. The Eagles travel to Dallas out of the bye (Nov. 19) then host the Cowboys on Dec. 31 to close out the season. No one, not the Cowboys, the Eagles or Roger Goodell knows if he'll play in both, miss one, play this week vs. the Chiefs, or what. The entire situation is a joke. Until he's on the inactive list Sunday, I'll assume Elliott's playing the rest of the season.

How do you come off beating the NHL's highest-scoring team on the road in Toronto on Saturday, one that entered the game with a 7-3 record, only to lose to a previously winless Arizona team two days later? At home, no less. Inexcusable. The Flyers sleepwalked through the first two-plus periods and had to put on a mad charge just to tie it up in regulation, only to lose in overtime. The Coyotes ranked last in goals against and penalty kill and 25th in goals per game. The Flyers had three shots in the first period. None by a forward. This is not the Penguins we're talking about here.

Cry me a river
The NBA has its share of cry babies. Players who think they should get every call. Dwyane Wade comes to mind, as does DeMarcus Cousins. But they are all playing for second place when it comes to the waterworks — James Harden is the MVP when it comes to whining and complaining.

TV does not do his moaning justice. You need to see him in person, initiate contact every time and get most of the calls by the way. But when he doesn't, he cries like a hungry baby with a dirty diaper. It's relentless. Watching him up-close and personal last week against the Sixers was to watch petulance personified. He's a great player and I truly appreciate his "old man" game but his act is tired. It's no wonder he's not a good defender, he rarely gets back on defense because he's complaining to the ref on the other end.

Happy anniversary
We close this one out on a non-rant. It was nine years ago today on a beautiful, warm, perfect day in Philadelphia when the Phillies held their championship parade. The day was a culmination of an incredible season and chance for this city to celebrate a title in a major sport for the first time in 25 years. The coolest part for me was seeing generations of families rejoicing along the parade route and at the park. Seeing older people who didn't think they'd witness another championship. And little kids who thought this would be a rite of passage every year. Here's hoping the city can get another one soon.

Nick Foles breaks down his ‘crazy situation’ with Eagles

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Nick Foles breaks down his ‘crazy situation’ with Eagles

At some point this summer, Carson Wentz will be cleared to play football.

And Nick Foles will pick up a clipboard and go back to the bench. The Super Bowl MVP will once again be a backup.

“It is a crazy situation,” Nick Foles said this week. “I don’t know how many times it’s happened.”

It’s never happened. No quarterback has ever been a Super Bowl MVP and began the next season as a backup.

But this is a unique set of circumstances. Wentz remains the unquestioned Eagles quarterback of the future. And Foles, as long as he’s here, is his backup.

“It’s not easy, because part of you wants to be able to lead a team and stay in the huddle,” Foles said Tuesday.

“But I’ve been very blessed to have experienced so much in my career so whenever those thoughts sort of hit you, you have to home back in and take what I learned early in my career, when I went to St. Louis, when I went to Kansas City, when I came here, that I really just need to worry about today, because tomorrow’s not guaranteed. This moment is. And I’m going to enjoy it and do it to the best of my ability.

“And it really makes everything a lot easier. Because whatever is going to happen is going to happen. A lot of it I have no control of it. If I’m traded, it’s really not my decision, so why would I even worry about it?”

Wentz was having a record-setting season when he tore up his knee Dec. 10 in Los Angeles. Foles responded with a record-setting postseason.

But Wentz is 25 and Foles is 29. When Wentz is healthy, he will start.

“My (role) right now is to help this team in practice while Carson’s getting healthy, which I’m excited for,” he said. “I want him to get back out there and get healthy and get back to (being) Carson Wentz.

“I want him to (pick up) off where he left off. That excites me from a friend’s perspective and a teammate’s perspective.

“My mindset won’t change. There’s definitely times where I’m tempted to look at the future, like any of us are. I’d be lying if that wasn’t the case. But you have to reel back in and stay in the present because that doesn’t do you any benefit.”

Foles said he’s had people tell him he should have demanded the Eagles trade him so he can start now.

And after his record-setting postseason, it would be understandable if he did.

“I’ve seen both sides of it,” he said. “The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Do I want an opportunity to run a team again? Absolutely. But am I trying to run away and do it right now? Well, I’m grateful to be here.

“There’s so much here that I really enjoy and I love it here. So I’m not banging on the table. I’m really grateful to be in this moment.”

Some people made a big deal about Foles telling an Austin television station that he would like to be a starter again, but anybody who knows Foles already knew that.

“All I’m telling y’all is what y’all already knew and everyone knew,” he said. “I can’t believe that I had to actually come out and say that I want to be a starter again. Because I’ve always believed your actions speak louder than words. I shouldn’t have to come out and say that I want to be a starter again.

“The key is to go out on the field and lead your team and show people, ‘This guy is a good guy in the locker room, he can lead a team, he did it on the field, and he’s shown it.’

“Right now, I’m a part of this team, I’m a piece of the puzzle, I’m going to help this team win in any way possible, and whatever my role is, do it to the best of my ability and do it with a lot of joy. Because I’ve seen the other side of it, and I have a lot of joy going to work here.”

Emotional Jason Kelce explains origin of epic speech

Emotional Jason Kelce explains origin of epic speech

More than two months after Jason Kelce gave that now-famous and impassioned vulgarity-filled speech on the steps of the art museum, the emotions that led to it haven’t dissipated. 

On Tuesday, the Philadelphia folk hero got choked up trying to explain the impetus of his words for the first time since he spoke them. 

“I found myself literally [after] the Vikings game in the shower, like,” Kelce said before pausing. 

He choked back tears for a full five seconds. 

“Goddamnit,” he said under his breath, cleared his throat. Another three seconds passed. 

“You get pretty emotional, you’re crying,” said Kelce, recomposed. “And all of that, after the Super Bowl, after the game is finally over, I’m running on the field and I still can’t believe it happened. And it all hits you all at once. I think that’s what the whole speech was. It was the culminating of all the stories I’m thinking about at night, I can’t go to sleep, of how I got there. Then you start thinking about how everybody else got there. Then you start thinking about how the city got there.”

Kelce said he didn’t know how much his speech would resonate with fans and that’s not why he gave it anyway. He delivered his speech because in the lead-up to the Super Bowl, he began thinking about all the adversity he had overcome. He didn’t get a scholarship coming out of high school, needed to prove himself at a new position, and not long ago even questioned his own ability to still play at a high level. 

Then he realized it wasn’t just him. He thought about all of his teammates and what they went through. Then he thought about the city’s waiting to get a Super Bowl. 

The epic speech was born. 

“The whole speech was a realization of myself, realizing that I’m not the only person that’s been through something,” Kelce said. “I’m not the only person that’s had to go through [something]. Literally everybody has had something that they’ve overcome. Everybody’s pushed through. Everybody’s persevered through some sort of adversity and that was kind of the mantra the whole season. We had so much adversity, injuries, all these things happening. It just seemed like nothing could stop us.”

Since the Super Bowl and the speech, Kelce has become a wanted man. Everyone wants a photo and everyone tries to get a mic in his hand. A lot of people expect Kelce to be a great speaker, but what he said at the art museum that day had been building for years. He won’t always have that magic. 

While Kelce has spoken to some of the other local teams and his face appeared on beer cans with proceeds going to charity, Kelce has turned down most offers. Because of added fame, Kelce said just going out for breakfast is more difficult these days; and we all know what happens when Kelce doesn’t eat breakfast. 

He understands the new level of fame, though. It comes with the territory of helping the city achieve its dream. There are too many stories to list of fans telling him how much it meant to them and he understands the Eagles are glue for families in the region. He remembered one teammate walking up to him at the parade after a fan poured the ashes of their grandfather into his hands. The teammate didn’t know what to do and Kelce didn’t have any answers either. 

“It’s one of those things for the first seven years,” Kelce said, “that’s all anybody ever talked about when they came up and talked to you as an Eagle. They were like, ‘Just get us one. We’ve been waiting forever.’”

That’s pretty emotional stuff. You’ll forgive Kelce for getting choked up.