The700Level

A Philly fan's defense of Mike Trout's mega deal to play in L.A.

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A Philly fan's defense of Mike Trout's mega deal to play in L.A.

Mike Trout’s monster 12-year, $430 million contract extension with the Angels this week simultaneously broke Bryce Harper’s barely three-week-old record contract of $330 million and broke the hearts of everyone in the tri-state area. While I count myself among the Philly fans who were bummed when the Trout news broke given how much of a formality it seemed that he would come here as a free agent in two years, I cannot blame Trout for his decision.

Every East Coast-born person fantasizes about moving to California at some point. I once convinced a Los Angeles-based company to pay for me to fly out there for several days for a job interview (I also saw the Eagles play at the Coliseum, the game where Carson Wentz tore his ACL, and didn’t get the job. It was a bad week!), so I get it. While I was walking around University City in college on 35-degree winter days bundled up like Ralphie’s brother in A Christmas Story, I kicked myself for not going to a school like UCLA.

I too have wished it was 70-something degrees and sunny every single day while suffering through Philadelphia’s two seasons: freezing rain and brutal humidity. I would also be lying if I said offering me $430 million to do the one thing I might be better at than anyone who’s ever lived wasn’t awesome. Trout’s on his way to truly being the greatest baseball player of all time. He may be mired in irrelevance because the Angels seem so incompetent, but is that really the worst thing in the world for him?

Sure, I know Trout is craving a World Series ring. Racking up MVPs, making hundreds of millions of dollars and cruising through SoCal in semi-anonymity because he’s not a Hollywood star or a guy in 100 commercials has its obvious perks though. He can do all that while having his Octobers free because he plays for a bad franchise, leaving him able to attend six Eagles home games every season. It sounds like the most chill life possible.

Yes, Trout is an Eagles superfan, but just look at what he does when he’s at the Linc. He’ll be on the field before the game shooting the bull with Carson Wentz and then sits in a private little end zone box so Zach Ertz can flip him footballs after he scores touchdowns. He’s not sitting in Section 219 next to a dozen dudes from Grays Ferry and cheersing cans of Miller Lite with them after their umpteetnth “E-A-G-L-E-S” chant. I wouldn’t want to hang out with me either!

Whenever a star player, regardless of sport, inches towards free agency, fans and the media alike are quick to speculate that the athlete may go play for his hometown team, but that rarely seems to happen. The idea of growing up in the Philly area and becoming a superstar centerfielder for the Phillies sounds amazing, but if I was absurdly rich, I probably wouldn’t want to spend my entire life in the same place.

Trout would be a messiah figure if he had come to Philly in 2021. He also wouldn’t be able to walk down the street and grab a half-gallon of Wawa Peach Iced Tea without being mobbed by a hundred rabid Philly fans ready to bow down and kiss his feet. He would potentially have more pressure on him than any athlete in Philly history given how unbelievable his career has been so far, where he was born and who his favorite football team is. He could either be in an environment with unparalleled stress or he could face almost zero pressure while surrounded by palm trees in Los Angeles. Just to reiterate: it’s 70-something degrees there everyday.

Who knows, the DH could come to the National League by 2032 and a 40-year-old Trout built like Jeremiah Trotter could become a playoff hero in the vein of Matt Stairs while clobbering 25 homers in the regular season despite barely being able to jog around the bases. We can always dream even if the ideal situation for Trout in red pinstripes is gone.  

Maybe Mike Trout isn’t really about this life and maybe that’s the best thing for him.

Millville’s not even that close to Philly anyway, right?

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Tim Jernigan rocks Tim Jernigan jersey in Tim Jernigan rap video

Tim Jernigan rocks Tim Jernigan jersey in Tim Jernigan rap video

Back in April, Eagles defensive tackle Tim Jernigan began a rap career with Good Boyz Music and now he’s back with another track and video. 

In this one, entitled “Come Thru” Jernigan is wearing his No. 93 Eagles jersey for his verse, which he drops under the name Stud Muffin (h/t PhillyVoice). At one point, Jernigan is holding a black umbrella in one hand and a wad of cash in the other. 

OK then. 

Check it out, but be warned: There’s some NSFW lyrics in there. Jernigan’s verse starts around the 38-second mark. 

As PhillyVoice pointed out, Jernigan does drop a David Akers lyric in the song — “like my name David Akers or I play rugby.” That seems to be a reference to the previous line when Jernigan mentioned kicking and punting. 

While Jernigan rocked his own jersey in the latest video, back in April, in “Hustle Harder” Jernigan was wearing an old-school Grant Hill Pistons jersey. Here’s that track: 

Believe it or not, his budding rap career wasn’t one of the topics of conversation when a few reporters caught up with Jernigan back in May.

Jernigan signed a one-year, $1.25 million deal to return to Philadelphia this past offseason. That came after what has been a wild couple years for Jernigan in Philadelphia. He was traded here, became a big part of the defense, signed a huge contract, suffered a mysterious injury and then the Eagles declined his option this offseason before he returned at an extremely discounted rate. 

The Eagles this offseason also brought in Malik Jackson, who will likely take over as the starting defensive tackle next to Fletcher Cox. That, of course, was Jernigan’s old position. 

“I don’t care,” Jernigan said in May. “I believe in me. I believe in Timmy. Straight up. I believe in Timmy. I hope nobody take that the wrong way.”

He even believes enough in Timmy to wear his jersey in his rap video. 

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Bryce Harper meets some Philly sports legends at the Sixers game

Bryce Harper meets some Philly sports legends at the Sixers game

The new big man in town, Bryce Harper, went to the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday night to take in the Sixers game against the Milwaukee Bucks. He rubbed shoulders with some of the previous biggest (little) men in town.

Harper was in attendance and rang the bell prior to tip-off — something he'll surely do many times during Phillies games across the street this summer.

When Harper made his way to his seat in a suite, he was seated alongside Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz. Rhys Hoskins was also in the suite as were all of the aforementioned players' significant others. Talk about some serious Philly sports firepower right there.

And then later in the game, the Sixers shared an image of a couple of legendary No. 3s meeting in the bowels of the Center. I'd love to hear the conversation between Allen Iverson and Harper.

Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery was also in the building, sitting a bit closer to the court. Rapper Meek Mill was also in the building and took a photo with A.I. Which got me wondering: What's the perfect storm of Philly sports stardom in a Rat Pack sort of way? Obviously you had Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid on the court last night. In terms of the Flyers, aside from Gritty, you'd have to go Claude Giroux or maybe a fun-loving guy like Scott Hartnell from years past? Recently retired players that could fit the bill from other teams would have to include Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and maybe Pat Burrell just for fun. Is anyone in recent Eagles memory a bigger name than Brian Dawkins? He'd fill the fedora quotient. Nick Foles could be fun in a clean and wholesome sort of way.

My Philly sports Rat Pack would consist of A.I., Simmons, Embiid, Kendall Jenner, Wentz, Jason Kelce and Gritty. We got a good portion of that in the building last night.

Who is in your Philly sports Rat Pack?

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