Eagles

Ronald Darby's Twitter blocking spree was lame

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Ronald Darby's Twitter blocking spree was lame

Sixers' frustrations, thin-skinned players, and a hate-the-face are the focus of the latest Rob's Rants. Enjoy. 

Block party
Full disclosure, I've done my fair share of blocking on Twitter. Inappropriate language, appropriating something false, trolling, overall jackassery is grounds in my eyes for a block. What I don't block for is a disagreement on a sports take of mine. That's what I do for a living, and it would be quite boring if we all agreed on everything. Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby, as you can see below, took to Twitter to announce he's going to block fans and media members alike who criticize him.

Darby has since deleted two of those three tweets.

And while I'm sure many that crossed the line were worthy of getting "Mutombo-ed," I'm not really sure announcing it is the best course of action, especially after getting toasted for most of the Giants game. The appearance he is concerned or devoting his time to anything other than getting better on the field is not a great look. All the troll or "halfway fan" wants is a rise from him and he gave it to them. Athletes are human, and negative comments hurt us all, but Darby needs to avoid going public with this kind of nonsense.

What the Fultz is going on here?
The Sixers have lost seven of eight. That includes home defeats at the hands of the Suns and Kings — two of the NBA's worst teams. They are a turnover waiting to happen. Did I mention they're not getting nearly enough from their high-priced free agents? 

Also, despite being very willing, they have not been able to consistently knock down a three-point shot. Ben Simmons is allergic to any shot beyond the paint. And not to bury the lede, Joel Embiid could miss up to four total games now after his 49-minute, triple-overtime, Herculean effort in a gut-wrenching loss Friday to the Thunder. So things are not so rosy in Sixer-land right now. Help is needed. 

Which leads us to the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft. Remember him? Markelle Fultz. The same guy who hasn't played since the fourth game of the season. The same dude who the hyper-cautious Sixers thought was healthy enough to play through his shoulder issue? The same cat who shot the ball better than 41 percent from three in his lone year in college while also being able to finish at the basket and has a great handle. The guy the Sixers traded the third overall pick and either the Lakers 2018 or Kings 2019 first-round pick for. In other words, they gave up a lot.

Fultz apparently injured the shoulder at some point prior to the regular season. Then to compensate, he developed an ugly shooting form which led to bad results. The organization said nothing was wrong structurally, he can play through it. Fultz's camp thought otherwise and eventually, he was shut down. That was Oct. 23. We sit here nearing Christmas and the New Year and all we've gotten are these vague updates about how the soreness has subsided but no real idea when he'll get back on the floor. Even by Sixers standards, this one has been bizarre and frustrating. But the bottom line is, this team desperately needs what Fultz brings to the table. He can create his own shot, he can knock down a three, and most importantly, he can provide another scoring option when Embiid is not on the floor. It's time he starts playing and delivering for a team that needs a life preserver right now.

Hate the face
Is there anyone in sports that combines arrogance, smugness, entitlement, and a face that makes you want to go through the TV more than Lane Kiffin? Few come to mind that encompasses all of those wonderful traits but the Laner has them all in spades. To his credit, he turned around the Florida Atlantic program in his first year there, winning Conference USA and a bowl game. And he's had success as an offensive coordinator, but listening to him for an extended period of time and knowing some of the stuff he's pulled in his various coaching stops, it's no wonder he's not just burned bridges but also taken a flame-torch to them. FAU's next. 

On that note, happy holidays to one and all.

Eagles are raffling off a real deal Super Bowl ring for charity

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Eagles

Eagles are raffling off a real deal Super Bowl ring for charity

Jeff Lurie has turned into Willy Wonka for a good cause. 

The Eagles on Wednesday announced that they’re going to raffle off a Super Bowl ring and all the proceeds will go to the Eagles Autism Challenge, Inc. 

This is pretty cool. 

Click here to donate and enter.  

The coolest part is that the ring the Eagles will give away on Dec. 3 before Monday Night Football against Washington at the Linc, is the real deal ring. The one the players got, with all 219 diamonds and 17 green sapphires. And it'll be personalized. 

The contest is underway and runs through Sept. 30 at 11:59 p.m. Fans can enter the contest by making a donation to the Eagles Autism Challenge, starting at $10 for 100 entries. The fan who wins will also get 50-yard line seats to that Dec. 3 game. 

There are also other incentives for fans who submit 2,500 entries or more. 

The Eagles have already done incredible work through their autism challenge, raising over $2.5 million at the inaugural event in May. This is a pretty cool way to raise even more money for a good cause.

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On his 35th birthday, a look at possible Darren Sproles milestones

On his 35th birthday, a look at possible Darren Sproles milestones

Generally speaking, running backs either begin to decline or hit a wall around the time they turn 30. 

That hasn’t happened to Darren Sproles. 

In fact, today is Sproles’ birthday. He turns 35 and after rehabbing his way back from a torn ACL and a broken forearm, he still hasn’t shown signs of slowing down. That, in itself, is pretty incredible. 

Since it’s Sproles’ birthday, it seems like a good time to look into the elite company he can join this year as a productive 35-plus-year-old in the NFL. 

Sproles will enter the 2018 season with 19,155 all-purpose yards. He’s already eighth in NFL history and has a chance to surpass quite a few names on this list with a productive season. There are just seven players in front of him and five of them are already Hall of Famers: 

Jerry Rice: 23,546
Brian Mitchell: 23,330
Walter Payton: 21,803
Emmit Smith: 21,564
Tim Brown: 19,682
Marshall Faulk: 19,190
Steve Smith Jr.: 19,180

It’s impossible to know just how productive Sproles will be in 2018, especially as he’s coming off a significant knee injury. Last year, he had only two healthy games and he had just 88 all-purpose yards in them, putting him on pace for 704. That would have been significantly lower than his three previous seasons with the Eagles. 

In those three previous seasons, we saw a very slight decline from 1,237 in 2014 to 1,171 in 2015 to 1,108 in 2016. 

But if Sproles can return to form and is able to eclipse 1,000 all-purpose yards in 2018, he’d become just the eighth running back in NFL history to do it at age 35 or older. A search of Pro Football Reference shows the top mark ever for a running back over 35 (must be 35 or older on Dec. 31 of that year) was Herschel Walker’s season in 1997 (1,336). 

If Sproles eclipses that 1,000-yard mark, he’d also become just the second Eagles player (any position) to do it at 35 or older. The only other Eagle to do it was Irving Fryar, who had 1,316 back in 1997 too. 

He’d also move past Smith, Faulk and Brown into fifth all-time in all-purpose yards, becoming just the fifth player in NFL history to surpass the 20,000-yard mark. 

Even in 2016, when he had a down year as a punt returner, Sproles still had 224 punt return yards. If he surpasses the 200-yard mark this season, he’d be just the third player in NFL history to do it at 35 or older. The other three are Michael Lewis (336 in 2007), Leo Lewis (225 in 1991) and Mel Gray (205 in 1996). 

And this year, with the new kickoff rules, there’s a chance the Eagles might use him as a kick returner too. More chances to pile up yards. 

The man himself doesn’t care too much about individual achievements; he’d rather win another Super Bowl. But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy tracking his progress. 

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