The Dark Side

image from
I spoke about this on the Great Sports Debate (airing tonight at 7 on the Comcast Network!), and think it’s worth calling out here, if only because sports are totally miserable right now (Dear God, make the Phillies good this year or make me a bird, so I can fly far, far far away from here). 

In the summer of 2011, when Paul Holmgren, Howie Roseman and Ruben Amaro played their own Game of Thrones Swords, Philly sports were at an all-time high: best team in Major League Baseball, Flyers shaking up the earth, and Eagles getting all dreamy. At the time, I wrote a post imagining what the bright, and dark, sides of the rainbow would look like if all the moves panned out… or backfired.

Most backfired.

You can read the original post here, but this is what I had for the dark side. I swear to you this was all written in 2011:

Over here, there’s no sun. Just rain. The rainbow only exists because of its reflection off the metallic dumpster, strategically positioned in the alley to hide a strung out leprechaun, who’s selling his last muddied coins for a thimble of coke which he will soon sniff out of the unfriendly end of a diseased hooker.

This is the dark side.

In the corner, an extremity-less Michael Vick rolls himself into a bottle of Courvoisier to help ease the pain of his failed second existence. He played only two years of his contract, earning $35 million. Unfortunately, half of it went to taxes, agents, and lawyers. The other half went to his creditors. He played only four games in 2011. An angry Clay Matthews prematurely ended Vick's season when he removed his right leg with a vicious low-blow. Linebackers had no recourse since Roger Goodell fined every hit above the numbers. A year later, a slowed-down Starship 7 ran himself into limb-breaking injury after limb-breaking injury. He played only three games.

In the powerless apartment above, Andy Reid and Howie Roseman watch re-runs of Good Times on a 15-inch television. They spent $35 million on an unfortunately unreformed criminal, who played only seven games in two postseason-less seasons. Juan Castillo has offed himself in the bedroom. 

The Eagles all-in philosophy failed miserably. Their stellar wideouts couldn’t bridge the gap left in the middle by the horrid linebacking core and their offensive line never stood a chance to protect the expensive investment.

Just a few feet below, on an island in the middle of the street, Paul Holmgren is feeding a now incapacitated Ed Snider a glass of high-end malbec through straw- it’s one of the few luxuries he still enjoys. His 30+ year refusal to bet the farm on a goalie proved to be the right philosophy. He’s spent the last 29 months lamenting the trades of Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, both of whom not only won Stanley Cups, but also led Canada to a gold medal in the 2014 Olympics. They both matured and are widely considered among the best players in the world, with 5-7 years of production ahead of them. Believe it or not, their outlandish contracts actually proved to be valuable. Their old buddy, James van Riemsdyk, never lived up to his $25.5 million deal. He was traded to Toronto for cap space in 2012. His 2010 playoff performance was an aberration, made all the more misleading since he was the only player on that team skated hard. A fed up Peter Laviolette scratched him five times before Christmas of 2011 and got into a locker room fist fight with Claude Giroux, whose only crime, ironically, was that he enjoyed a glass of his owner’s favorite wine with dinner the night before a game. It turns out Lavs is impossible to get along with, a realization that should have been obvious when he used to bench Rod Brind’Amour. We later learn that the media considers Richards a “coaches captain.” 

A violated hooker wobbles over to the aging Snider and steals the remaining change in his pocket. Sadly, Snider doesn’t even care. She will spend the money more wisely than Holmgren.

This is the dark side.


And I didn't even make mention of Hunter Pence later being traded to the Giants, where he would win a World Series.

This is the dark side.


8 Responses

  1. Don’t hop back on the bandwagon without saying you willingly hopped off during the bad times.

  2. But isn’t that the true measure of a real sports Fan ? just like the vows of marriage ? Good times and bad. Bad marriage ? Greener grass or Divorce. Bad Sports team ? Stop going to games. stop buying $8 beers and $4 hot dogs. “It’s an Illusion, really” – Spinal Tap

  3. I’m still trying to digest the fact the Pens got Iginla and still have $5m in cap space. All this while we’re busy extending Timonen for $6m next year. Not hard to see why we suck when you compare it.

  4. Like this sort thing doesn’t happen in every city in the land that has four franchises. Peaks and valleys, my friend. Peaks and valleys.

  5. I’ll say it again: The moves the flyers made then have nothing to do with the flyers failures now. Nor does richie and carter winning a cup on a different team in different situations validate or invalidate the moves homer made back then.
    The flyers were on the brink with richie and carter, and they remained just as competitive and on the brink the season after. This team is failing because of bad coaching and simply a down season for these players, not to mention the lockouts effect. We all agree that they’re awful this year, but this team is too talented too keep having bad seasons like this. Part of that, and the main reason this team is failing at a coaching and player level, is because of holmegrens moves THIS PAST offseason, not the one two years ago. One where, according to you, he apparently traded any any hope of a Stanley cup ever.
    Funny thing is, I didn’t hear any of this from you last year when cooter, simmonds, and read and all the other offseason pick ups we’re tearing it up last year. Didn’t hear a peep out of you about anything whilst we were defeating one of the best teams in the league in the playoffs last year. But apparently rochie and carter winning a cup is the reason our sophomore players are having a down year, and means theyll never be good again. It certaibly has nothing to do with t the loss of offensive and defensive leaders on the ice and in the locker room. Apparently losing and not replacing key players THIS offseason, causing a ripple effect that touches everyone on the team, means that Bryzgalov is terrible, will never be good, and should’ve never been brought in, much less at the price of two guys who won us SO many cups in their six fucking years with the team.
    Concerns you voiced back then were accurate and shared, but now theyre just an incorrect application of hindsight to try and fit this false narrative you’re hawking for whatever reason.

Comments are closed.