— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) April 28, 2017
Me, on March 22:
Little birdie: The Eagles will take a defensive lineman in the first round.
— Kyle Scott (@CrossingBroad) March 21, 2017
I don’t like to pump my own piston… but, you could’ve saved yourself six weeks of absolute nonsense, sports talk radio hysteria and big-headed bloviation if you just followed me on Twitter (@CrossingBroad). I don’t know why you’d read any other site!
Here’s what Dan, who predicted the Eagles would draft Barnett in his first mock today, wrote about him: Continue Reading
Let the fun begin!
Victor Fiorillo wrote a banal screed about the NFL Draft for Philly Mag today, and I’m trying to wrap my head around how unhinged someone could be in print.
Look, I hate the draft hype. Hate it. The NFL and ESPN have figured out a way to milk every cent out of an event where sports teams pick a few rookies. But the draft itself is fine, and like it or not, it’s really popular. It’s the biggest non-championship event for the biggest sports league in the country… and this year it happens to be in Philly. Cool. Does it lead to a lot of road closures and congestion? You bet. Would I want to have anything to do with that if I lived in the city? Nope. That’s why I don’t live in the city and I live in the middle of Bucks County (my neighbor lamented to me that there was a day last year where he couldn’t go on his patio because there was a cow in his backyard– it sounded truly awful). So I get how people could be all boned up over this. But Victor’s rant is insane: Continue Reading
I used to be an NFL Draft whore, a wannabe scout. I was ambitious and genuinely tried to give it a go, with the ultimate dream of working for a team. I had some hits, plenty more misses, and eventually came the wakeup call that I had no chance to make this a career path. As I understood I wasn’t good enough at this inexact science of evaluating and projecting football talent, I stopped deluding myself about my potential. General fatigue set in, thankfully, at the same time other, infinitely more practical priorities took precedence in my life. The fantastical rat race rolled on, and while I’m no longer as fanatical or in depth following the draft, old habits die hard. I still keep tabs on the circus from the periphery, read pretty much every draft-related article out there, and cherry pick prospects who interest me most.
Today is the day the city has been waiting for, and with that, here are 10 Eagles mocks I put together as a way of culling together all the information out there and wrapping up yet another crazy draft season in one gigantic, sesquipedalian manifesto. I spent hours and days working on this (because I’m a loser), and no, Kyle doesn’t pay me per word (if he did, it’d be $.02 per, which is fitting I guess). Now watch the Eagles draft someone in the first round who’s not one of the 10 below. Speaking of not getting any picks right, how many of the 80 guys – yes, 80, I’m a maniac – I’ve listed actually get drafted by the Eagles? Setting the over/under at 3.5 and will take your action. Continue Reading
First, a primer on what the hell happened yesterday: ESPN laid off GOBS of on-air and other public-facing “talent” and writers. Many good or popular ones: Jayson Stark, Ed Werder, Dana O’Neil, Jade McCarthy, Andy Katz, Pierre LeBrun and many, many others.
Contrary to what idiots may think, the layoffs are not due to ESPN’s ostensible political agenda (even if SC6 is unwatchable) or because they talked too much about Deflategate. Many people lost their jobs yesterday because ESPN is trying to cut costs while their revenue – which is generated mainly by the roughly $7 fee most cable subscribers pay to them (wittingly or otherwise) and advertising – decreases. ESPN pays an obscene amount of money to sports leagues and conferences, particularly the NFL and NBA, to broadcast their games. For years, they were able to do this because they had a never-ending, steady stream of cash from virtually every cable subscriber in America, and because shows like SportsCenter were indispensable and commanded premium ad buys.
This is exactly what has happened to ESPN, and, by extension, explains what is happening with these layoffs. For three decades ESPN didn’t really have to worry about running a business: carriage fees were up-and-to-the-right, its low-cost studio shows like Sports Center commanded relatively strong ratings, and it had plenty of sports at prices that were much-to-low relative to the value they provided ESPN. That meant that ESPN would afford to spend all kinds of money in businesses that had very little connection to the bottom line, whether that be relatively obscure sports, team-specific reporters, or ESPN.com.
However, the aforementioned assault on the pillars of ESPN profitability has laid bare the cost of this largesse: the fact of the matter is that there are a huge number of ESPN employees that contribute nothing to the bottom line. By extension, what is driving these layoffs is clearly a calculation around bottom-line profitability. That is, with this decision, ESPN is being run like a business, not a franchise.
So ESPN let go of many of its talented reporters.
Thompson concludes that ESPN will ultimately be fine. His argument is that because they bought in early on being a part of streaming bundles, and so long as they continue to get valuable broadcast rights, they will remain a must-have product for sports fans, regardless of whether they’re available through a cable subscription, streaming bundle subscription, or even direct subscription. I don’t fully disagree with him, and ESPN’s reasoning for getting rid of low-value, sometimes expensive reporters makes financial sense.
But that’s assuming ESPN will continue to win sports rights deals and maintain some semblance of quality in their non-live sports offerings. The problem with this notion is that ESPN will have to raise subscriber fees to compensate for cord cutters who will seek out services that don’t force them to pay for sports programming or any programming that they don’t want. And so that leads to some calculus on the part of people who do want ESPN. How much am I willing to pay for this? $7 per month? $10? $20? The more expensive it gets, the more who will decide that they don’t need it. Continue Reading
I know only 62-year-old steamfitters read the Daily News and that this plays right into their wheelhouse, but… whyyyyyyy? What is wrong with us? No other self-respecting city would do this. None. Do you think the Boston Globe would put Billy Costigan hugging Roger Goodell on their back page if the draft was in Boston? Did Chicago put Eliot Ness? Even Pittsburgh would have the restraint not to put Bane on the cover today.
Never mind that it’s creepy, never mind the hacky YO or the insecure “it’s our time” trope (as Adam pointed out on the podcast yesterday, we’re a top 5 market– getting big events is not some once-in-a-generation shock), this does nothing but fuel the stereotype that Philly is filled with the unwashed masses hungry for their fighting chance. And you think it doesn’t rub off on outsiders? Here’s Phillies reliver Hector Nerris speaking last night about his entrance music:
“I needed to pick a song so I asked my agent for some help. He said, ‘Remember, Rocky Balboa is from Philly. They might like it here.'” — Phillies right-hander Hector Neris, on why he chose Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” as his entrance music in the ninth inning. Neris is the Phillies’ unofficial closer.
Look what we’ve done.