Pittsburgh Steelers

5 reasons to hate Pittsburgh sports

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5 reasons to hate Pittsburgh sports

On the surface it’s a difficult time in Philadelphia sports to muster up a lot of animosity. We are the envy of the sporting world.   

The Eagles won a Super Bowl with a backup quarterback. They didn’t just beat any old team; they knocked off a dynastic one with arguably the greatest coach and QB ever. Villanova just won its second National Championship in three years. Only Florida and Duke can lay stake to that claim in the last quarter-century. The Sixers have won 14 straight en route to their first 50-win season since 2001, when they went to the NBA Finals with Allen Iverson. The Sixers won 10 total games two seasons ago. TEN! The Phillies are too early into the Kapler era to draw any real conclusions, but their lineup and the addition of Jake Arrieta are certainly reasons for optimism. Last but not least, we have the Flyers. They return to the postseason after a one-year hiatus.

Super Bowl, national championship, playoffs for both winter teams. Where are we?

But it’s who the Flyers are playing that can wash away the good will very quickly. Yes, the stinking Penguins. So let’s provide a little refresher course on why we have sports hate for our stately neighbors to the west.

Sidney Crosby
No doubt he has been the most dominant player in the game when on the ice during his career. He’s won three Stanley Cups, two Conn Smythes, two Hart Trophies, and two Olympic Golds. That’s the short list of his accomplishments. But it’s not his talent, it’s the way he carries himself that brings out the ire in Philadelphia. The face, the whining to the refs, delivering the cheap shot and then running and hiding behind a teammate. He is a great player but he is a world-class crybaby. Here’s hoping “G” goes after him like he did in the first round of the 2012 playoffs.

Barry Bonds
Again, no questioning the ability. Bonds was a great player, pre and post special vitamins. But a bigger jerk, you will not find. Whether it was treatment of the fans, run-ins with managers, coaches, teammates, the cream and the clear, Bonds was a world class bleep. He broke in as a Pirate in 1986 when his hat size was 7 1/4 and stayed in Pittsburgh until 1992 when he wore I think a 9 1/4.  

Primanti Bros Sandwich
I get it this might sound odd considering we are the city that made scrapple famous. But have you ever had a Primanti Brothers sandwich? If you haven’t, spare yourself. Here’s what it’s made of:

Italian Bread, Capicola ham, coleslaw, Provolone cheese, fries, tomatoes, mayonnaise, among other variations … Yummy, huh?

The Steelers
This one admittedly is more jealousy than hate. For a city with a population nearly five times smaller than Philadelphia, Pittsburgh owns six Super Bowl titles. Enough said. 

Yinzer 
Lastly, there’s the accent. Spend some time in the city or take a listen to Bill Cowher for a couple of minutes and yinz will know what I mean. The Pittsburgh accent makes the Philadelphia accent sound Elizabethan. Hooooagie any one? Ear muffs.

Finally, Eagles have the right kind of drama

Finally, Eagles have the right kind of drama

The 2017 Eagles' script is one final scene shy of a perfect Hollywood ending. Avenging a previous Super Bowl loss to the villainous Patriots would be a fitting conclusion to a season filled with its share of drama. The good kind.

Sports these days are filled with drama. Take the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are in the midst of one of their annual sky-falling, finger-pointing, he-said, he-said, let’s-all-blame-Kevin-Love, cover-your-ass production.

How about our in-state neighbors, the Steelers. They just fired their offensive coordinator, who prior to the playoffs got into a bar fight in Pittsburgh. Their star running back is threatening to sit out next season because of his contract status. Their quarterback, who questioned the team’s discipline, is now defending his embattled coach.

Despite the success both of those organizations have had in the past, this is not the kind of drama you want. 

We’ve seen plenty of the bad kind of drama up-close and personal. Chip Kelly, “the dream team,” T.O. circa 2005, Eric Lindros and his parents vs. Bob Clarke, A.I. poom-poom pants, Andrew Bynum bowling for dollars.   

This year’s version of the Eagles have had their fair share of drama. The good kind. Like a quarterback in his second season lighting the league on fire? Or a coach who few truly believed in leading his team to within one game of the biggest win in franchise history? How about a group of players undaunted all season by massive injuries? Or a team that totally encompasses that word that, despite having tied for the best record in football and owning home-field advantage, will be an underdog in every postseason game they play? Two down, one to go.

There have been singular moments. Carson Wentz inexplicably escaping a pile of massive human beings and scampering for a big gain. Chris Long’s strip sack in L.A. which led to backup Nick Foles driving his team down the field for a game-winning field goal in a game that more than likely got them that home-field advantage. Or rookie Jake Elliott nailing a 61-yard game-winning field goal. Doug Pederson defiantly telling the assembled media that despite losing his star quarterback, that his team will be fine. Foles pulling a “Wentz” and staying alive in the pocket long enough to connect with Alshon Jeffery on a 53-yard touchdown strike in an NFC Championship Game. 

There were many detours and potholes that could have flattened the Eagles' tires along the way but they never let it happen. The head coach and the character players in this locker room did not allow it. Instead, it’s been a joyride filled with memorable moments.   

You couldn’t write, produce, or act out this kind of quality drama. Or maybe you can.

Eagles biggest Super Bowl underdog in nearly a decade

Eagles biggest Super Bowl underdog in nearly a decade

Two weeks is a loooooong wait, but if the opening line doesn't move between now and Feb. 4, the Eagles will be the biggest Super Bowl underdog in nearly a decade.

The Eagles open as 5½-point underdogs against the Patriots, according to Bovada. No team has been a bigger Super Bowl underdog since the Cardinals, who were 7-point dogs against the Steelers after the 2008 season.

The line could move, though. It already has, in a way. Last week, Bovada's pre-championship weekend odds pegged the Eagles at plus-7 if they were to face the Patriots in the Super Bowl.

If you got your money in on the Eagles last spring, you're loving life right now. The Birds were 50/1 to win the Super Bowl until the season began, and they were 40/1 as late as Week 3.

Super Bowl MVP
Courtesy of Odds Shark:

• Tom Brady: -150

• Nick Foles: 6/1

• Rob Gronkowski: 10/1

• Danny Amendola: 14/1

• Jay Ajayi: 16/1

• Dion Lewis: 16/1

• Brandin Cooks: 16/1

• Zach Ertz: 20/1

• Chris Hogan: 20/1

 Alshon Jeffery: 25/1

• James White: 25/1

• Rex Burkhead: 25/1

• Nelson Agholor: 33/1

• Torrey Smith: 33/1

 LeGarrette Blount: 33/1