Now this is just getting weird.
First it was the surprise element. Then the New York and Texas thing. Now melodramatic texting.
If you remember, the Phillies’ negotiations with Cliff Lee had seemingly reached an impasse. It wasn’t until Lee’s agent, Darek Braunecker, texted assistant GM Scott Proefrock - writing "is this eating at you as much as it's eating at me?" – that things really got set into motion.
Someone should ask Gilbert Grape that question, but Proefrock's answer was yes, and the deal quickly got done. And that’s almost exactly was transpired between Nnamdi Asomugha’s agent, Ben Dogra (jeez, both agents even have uncomfortable vowel situations going on), and Eagles GM Howie Roseman. We’ll let Peter King tell you the story, since, ya know, he wrote it:
Then, at precisely 12:38 a.m. Friday, Dogra pressed the button on a text message to Roseman that said: "Are u sure ….. be bold. Best deal in history.''
At almost the split second that Dogra sent the message, one time-stamped 12:38 a.m. popped into his phone from Roseman, sent obviously before Roseman had read Dogra's text. "Thanks for taking the time today. I appreciate the process. We need more of ur guys here.''
Dogra thought it was eerie that their texts passed in the ether. And he wanted Roseman to not think it was over, because he knew how much Asomugha wanted to play in Philadelphia. It was true Asomugha liked the Jets too, but he thought the Eagles gave him the best chance to win a Super Bowl in the next three or four years.
Then, Dogra, in some sort of psuedo-Nicholas Sparks acknowledgement of cosmic forces, decided that since both he and Roseman had sent each other the late night texts at the same moment, he should call the Eagles’ GM. The two worked on a deal until 3 A.M., all while a voicemail from Asomugha awaited in Dogra’s mailbox. Frankly, I'm surprised a soaking wet Ryan Gosling didn't enter the equation.
Anyway, the deal was done the next afternoon.
Great read from Peter King. The story truly mimics – from the shock of it all, the cities spurned, last minute developments, and melodramatic texts – the Cliff Lee signing. Only this one took place deep in the night. In fact, I think The Airborne Toxic Event wrote a song about it. I can just see Howie Roseman listening to a band play some song about forgetting yourself for a while.