This weekend in Philadelphia sports reminds us of the power of nostalgia

This weekend in Philadelphia sports reminds us of the power of nostalgia

What a weekend.

We got to honor Dawk and Doc and the 2008 World Champions of baseball. We got to see our favorite athlete ever get immortalized. We got to shed a tear for our favorite workhorse. We got to remember the team that broke the championship curse. And then we got to see the Super Bowl champions back in their nest.

Nostalgia is such a powerful thing in sports, and this weekend was full of it in Philadelphia.

Think about everything that went down:

• Brian Dawkins went into the Hall of Fame and on a day he was honored, made his speech about helping others struggling with depression (see story). Of course he did.

• Roy Halladay and Pat Gillick were inducted into the Phillies’ Wall of Fame. Halladay was honored posthumously and there wasn’t a dry eye at Citizens Bank Park.

• The 2008 Phillies celebrated the 10th anniversary of their World Series win and brought back most of the members from that team. Even Jayson Werth, who fell out of favor with fans after going to the Nationals as a free agent, returned to a deserving hero’s welcome. It was a touching moment from an intelligent fanbase.

And then we saw these first-place Phillies pull off a sweep (see story).

• And the weekend was capped by thousands of Eagles fans showing up for an August practice to see the defending Super Bowl champions at Lincoln Financial Field. It was the first time the Birds were all together at the Linc in uniform since the NFC Championship Game that became a blowout party and sent them to Minnesota.

Sometimes, as sports fans, we get caught up in nostalgia. We remember things from the past fondly and sometimes even neglect the present. But this weekend, it was impossible to not get caught up in the magic. And, man, it was fun.

This weekend reminded me of why we’re all sports fans in the first place. These teams and these players connect us. How many people watched Dawk’s Hall of Fame speech with their dad or brothers or sisters? How many families watched the opening of Saturday’s Phillies game and shed a tear together remembering Doc?

How many folks double dipped on Sunday, getting a chance to see the last World Series champions at Citizens Bank Park and then walked down the street to see the Super Bowl champs at night? That had to be a great day.

A lot of times, we push sports to the back burner in the summer. We go to the beach, we go on vacation, we sit by the pool. But I’m guessing a lot of people this weekend pushed those other things aside and had themselves a great sports weekend.

There will be plenty of new memories to make and heroes to crown. But over the last few days, it was nice to remember the ones who came before.

Malcolm Jenkins fined $12,500 for blasting NFL replay official

Malcolm Jenkins fined $12,500 for blasting NFL replay official

Updated: 7:59 p.m.

Malcolm Jenkins has been fined $12,500 by the NFL for a comment he made about the replay official after the Eagles-Cowboys game, a league spokesperson said Saturday. 

The Eagles — and everybody else in the universe — thought they had recovered Jourdan Lewis’ fumble on the opening kickoff of the Eagles-Cowboys game at AT&T Stadium last Sunday. Kamu Grugier-Hill emerged from a pileup with the football and the only other players in the pile were Eagles.

But the officials ruled that Lewis was down by contact and although the league’s replay official in New York overruled that part of the ruling and said it actually was a fumble, he also ruled that there was “no clear recovery” of the football, which meant the Cowboys got the ball. They went on to win, 29-23, in overtime.

After the game, Jenkins said, “Whoever’s watching that in New York should stay off the bottle (see story).”

Although the replay official was clearly wrong and apparently didn’t understand the rules, you really can’t expect to accuse league officials of being drunk without getting fined. 

Although $12,500 is a large amount of money, it’s a fraction of Jenkins’ four-year, $35 million contract that he signed in 2016.

Jenkins used Eagles' fans' frustration about the fine as a fundraising opportunity for his charity, The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation. 

This is the second time Jenkins has been fined this year for something that didn’t involve his play on the field. He was fined $13,369 for making an obscene gesture toward Saints coach Sean Payton during the Eagles’ 49-8 loss to the Saints last month.

Jenkins was also fined $8,268 for a facemask personal foul on Preston Parker during an Eagles game against the Giants on the last day of the 2014 season.

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Carson Wentz out for Eagles vs. Rams with back fracture

Carson Wentz out for Eagles vs. Rams with back fracture

In perhaps the least surprising injury update in NFL history, the Eagles on Saturday morning ruled Carson Wentz out for their game Sunday against the Rams.

Nick Foles, who led the Eagles on last year’s late-season surge that led to the Super Bowl championship, will make his first start since Week 3 in the nationally televised prime-time game at L.A. Coliseum.

Less than 24 hours before the Eagles ruled Wentz out, head coach Doug Pederson told reporters Wentz would be listed as questionable for the Rams despite a fractured vertebrae in his back that he said would take three months to heal.

Pederson insisted that despite the injury and prognosis Wentz had a chance to play. The questionable designation generally means a player has about a 50 percent chance of playing.

How could Wentz possibly play against the Rams after suffering a broken bone that's going to take three months to heal and kept him out of practice all week?

He couldn't.

Wentz was never going to play Sunday and everybody knew it. 

The Eagles downgraded him from questionable to doubtful late Friday afternoon and then downgraded him again to “out” Saturday morning.

The period of time between Pederson saying Wentz was questionable — about 10:30 a.m. Friday — to the time the Eagles ruled him out — about 11:10 a.m. Saturday — was less than 25 hours.

It's conceivable that the Eagles got more information about Wentz's injury during that period, but Pederson spoke Friday as if the team had a pretty clear idea of exactly what was happening with Wentz's back after the latest battery of test results.

Why would the Eagles play games with the injury report? Maybe in the question for a competitive advantage, to keep the Rams guessing, although the Rams surely knew like everybody else that Wentz never had any chance of playing this weekend.

In any case, Foles will start in the same stadium where he replaced Wentz a year ago this week after Wentz tore his ACL. He rallied the Eagles to a win that clinched a playoff berth and eventually to postseason wins over the Falcons, Vikings and Patriots to earn Super Bowl MVP honors.

Foles went 1-1 to open the season, with a win over the Falcons and a loss to the Bucs. He completed 66 percent of his passes with one TD, one interception and a 78.9 passer rating.

Foles, the NFL record holder with a 113.2 postseason passer rating, is 21-11 in 32 starts in an Eagles uniform, and his .656 winning percentage is highest in Eagles history among quarterbacks who started at least 16 games.

The Eagles, 6-7 coming off a loss in Dallas, go into Sunday with just a 17 percent chance of reaching the playoffs, but if they beat the Rams that number goes up to 43 percent. If they beat the Rams and then the Texans that figure increases to 56 percent. If they win out, it goes up to 76 percent.

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