How a horrifying monster took over Philadelphia sports

How a horrifying monster took over Philadelphia sports

Carson Wentz is back at quarterback for the first-place Eagles. Villanova's the defending national champion. The Phillies suffered a monumental collapse and even worse, the bar in their stadium is going out of business. The Sixers celebrated the start of training camp by finishing up the longest GM search in history.

But no one in Philadelphia cares about any of that. We've all somehow fallen under the spell of a giant, orange, prickly monster. 

No, not you, Angelo.  

I'm talking of course about Gritty, the ghastly, googly-eyed, bearded, dancing monstrosity who was introduced earlier this week as the Flyers's new mascot. Even though Gritty resembles an unwashed Muppet, he's drawn national media attention, while taking up so much oxygen locally that none of even had time to argue over Wentz vs. Foles. 

I don't like it. Silly mascots that got talked about on Good Morning America are not what the Philadelphia Flyers are about. They represent actual grit, and toughness, and missing teeth. It's bad enough that we have a coach who's from North Dakota. But now a fluffy mascot? How can Gritty represent the Flyers, when he wasn't even on the 1975 team? 

But don't take my word for it. Listen to Ed Snider's grandson, who wrote for the Inquirer op-ed page that Gritty misrepresents what the Flyers are about. I know whenever the Eagles are facing a big decision, the first question I ask is, "what do Leonard Tose's grandchildren think?"

I will, though, give Gritty a chance to prove himself to me, the way all new Flyers players do: By getting into a fight on the ice, and winning it. None of this T-shirt gun stuff.

Other Philly sports takes: 

- For the last ten years, injured big men have been such an important part of the Sixers as a franchise that it was only a matter of time before they put one of them in charge. I'm okay with Elton Brand, though, as long as he doesn't have a Twitter account, a father, or a wife. 

- How can the Phillies come back from this year's collapse? Once they've signed Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and Clayton Kershaw, it's simple: 1) Fire everyone, 2) bring back Larry Bowa as manager, and 3) Name Lenny Dykstra general manager. 

- There is one thing I like about this Phillies team, though. Unlike the post-championship Eagles, there's no need for a wrenching, existential debate over whether it's okay to boo them this year. 

- It's nice to have Jordan Matthews back on the Eagles, but as long as we're bringing back Chip Kelly-era wide receivers, why not Paul Turner? And of course, where's Riley Cooper? So sick of the double standards. 

- Mychal Kendricks may be headed to jail, but I'll always appreciate that he used "cheesesteaks" as a code word for "kickbacks." He'll always be a True Eagle to me. 

- Ava Graham tweeted recently that while "Angelo’s tweets are his own," he types some himself while while he dictates others. This makes one thing clear: Angelo could be president of the United States. 

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Using a fake account to tweet about Philadelphia sports is wrong

Using a fake account to tweet about Philadelphia sports is wrong

First of all, to answer your question: No, I’m not actually Bryan Colangelo. My phone number doesn’t end in -91.  

Secondly, to pose a question of my own: Would Buddy Ryan use a series of fake Twitter accounts for underhanded purposes? Would a member of his family? Actually, never mind, bad example. 

So as The Ringer reported earlier this week, a web of interconnected Twitter accounts connected to Sixers general manager Bryan Colangelo has tweeted a variety of crazy things, including inside information about trade talks, injuries, and shots at current and former Sixers players. The team has launched an investigation, and if I know this organization at all, the guy running it has a background in zoology and will run it out of Qatar.  

Some are speculating that The Ringer’s secret source for the story was none other than Sam Hinkie, but I don’t buy it -- that would have required Hinkie actually speaking to a member of the media, and we all know Sam doesn’t do that. 

Whether the tweets are coming from Colangelo himself, his son, his wife, or even his dad, this is wrong. It’s hard to imagine anything more disgusting, weak and gutless than someone tweeting their opinions every day about Philadelphia sports teams from an anonymous Twitter account. I mean, who does that? 

On the other hand, this happened: 

I think it’s high time a local general manager, or someone connected to him, started paying attention to my ideas, although I sort of wish he could have done it under his own name -- and not possibly cost himself his job in the process. 

Don’t say I’m inconsistent. When that guy who worked at 97.5 turned out to be imitating a fake sports radio caller who pushed gross, over-the-top stereotypes, I wasn’t okay with that either. 

So if things go the way I think they’re going, it’s time to find a new Sixers GM. And it’s very important to get it right this time, with a GM who doesn’t trade for injury-prone Lakers centers with a weakness for bowling, who doesn’t spend years losing on purpose, and who doesn’t have multiple anonymous Twitter accounts in place to praise himself, while regularly sharing confidential inside information. Allegedly. 

I’m sure that in this executive search, the Sixers will do the right thing, the only thing: Hire whichever guy LeBron James says he wants. 

Anyway, Sixers fans, it could be worse. Ben Simmons could be dating a Kardashian. 

Other Philly sports takes: 

- Thank you, President Trump, for speaking out repeatedly about Spygate. It’s about time we had a president who took the crimes of the New England Patriots seriously. 

- Everyone got so excited last week, but I think it was kind of a disgrace that the Phillies weren’t in first place for 2,000 days. And they lost the next day, so let’s hope it’s not 2,000 more. 

- The Golden Knights have a guy named McNabb? Let’s go Capitals!  

Follow @FakeWIPCaller on Twitter. 

Philly sports this year are good — maybe too good


Philly sports this year are good — maybe too good

So far in 2018, you’d think there’d be a lot to be happy about here in Philadelphia. The Eagles won a championship. Villanova is one win away from one. The Sixers have won ten in a row and clinched a playoff spot, and Markelle Fultz is back on the court. The Phillies actually spent some money and signed some guys I’d heard of, and even gave Scott Kingery a six-year deal. The Flyers are probably headed to the playoffs. 

But of course, we all should have known it couldn’t last. That when things are good in this town, they’re probably too good, and won’t stay good for long. 

Shouldn’t we all have known that new Phillies manager Gabe Kapler would spend his first weekend making the sort of inexplicable moves that made us all long for Charlie Manuel’s bungled double switches? One more loss, and Kapler’s going on the hot seat before his first home game. It just shows once again what I’ve always said: that analytics, plus coconut oil, equals losing. 

We should have seen it coming that new Eagles acquisition Michael Bennett would get arrested for knocking over a paraplegic woman at the Super Bowl before last. Even if it’s an obvious play by a Texas sheriff who has it out for the Eagles, it still doesn’t bode well. 

And yes, we should have known that Markelle Fultz, in his second game back, would accidentally break Joel Embiid’s face and concuss him to boot. And beyond that, Fultz refused to answer questions from the media after his first game, which if you ask me is a much more unforgivable sin than injuring your own franchise player. Fultz should be made to atone by, I don’t know, sitting out another 60-something games, just to be safe. 

We as fans had gotten too happy, too positive, too complacent. Let the events of the last couple of weeks serve as a wakeup call that we’re still Philadelphia. And this town, the high of the parade is likely to give way to the low of another freak Embiid injury or Gabe Kapler using an average of 15 pitchers per game. 

Other Philly sports takes: 

- The Sixers probably have two first round picks this year. There’s really no excuse for not using them on Mikal Bridges and Jalen Brunson. 

- Shame on Sam Bradford for signing with the Cardinals and therefore blocking a Nick Foles trade destination. And shame on Cris Carter for saying on TV that Bradford is “more accomplished” than Foles. Clearly, he’s still bitter about what happened with Buddy. 

- Don’t be happy about that Kingery contract. Be outraged that he wasn’t called up a year ago. The deal reminds me an awful lot of one of those old Joe Banner deals that’s going to leave the young star underpaid and bitter a few years down the line. 

- When the Red Sox won the World Series, they forgave Bill Buckner. When the Cubs finally won, they made peace with Steve Bartman. This is Philly, though- I have no interest in forgiving Andy Reid or Donovan McNabb, and neither should you. 

Follow @FakeWIPCaller on Twitter.