Just like fucking clockwork!
Just like fucking clockwork we’re back to inhabiting a world where dipshits hate the Eagles because the notion of serenity in their lives* doesn’t exist.
The coach must know by now that there is nothing more important to fans than the daily updates on the health of the stars, and especially Wentz. If the media asked Pederson 10 different ways to assess the availability of the young quarterback, he owed it to the fans to answer every variation of the same question.
Instead, he lashed out on two separate occasions at perfectly legitimate inquiries, actually parroting agent Drew Rosenhaus on Sunday by snapping “Next question,” over and over to reporters who were trying to find out whether Wentz had been cleared to play. This is not the understanding coach of the first two seasons – not even close.
Over that period, I had to ask Pederson countless tough questions during his weekly visits on my show, and he handled every one with a respect for the fans that he had demonstrated throughout his entire career, both as a player, assistant and head coach. What has changed? The only obvious answer is that success may be spoiling one of the class acts in sports.
After seven months of pure adulation – including the parade, national talk-show appearances, and even a book tour – Pederson may have lost his appreciation for the passion of this city. Wentz will not play the season opener. Everybody knows that. Heck, the first opponent, Atlanta, put the report of Nick Foles starting Thursday’s game on the home page of its website.
Pederson was delusional if he thought he could keep Wentz’s status a secret for an entire week leading up to the game. If Pederson needs a reminder of how things work in Philadelphia sports, here it is: The fans always come first. The media is doing its job. Now do yours. Answer the questions.
We’re, if I’m not mistaken, still more than a day away from the Eagles kicking off their SUPER BOWL DEFENSE on a night where they’re going to raise a big fucking banner and celebrate something the team and city has never enjoyed before. They’ll probably lose. For starters, the -2 line sucks, and defending champions typically lay an egg in these emotion-filled openers– see the Fat Man’s drubbing of the Patriots last year as a recent example. But an 18-point output and season-opening loss hasn’t even happened yet and we’re already, collectively, shitting on the champs.
Make no mistake, our media has no clue how to cover sports without pandering to the lowest common denominator by fomenting fear and outrage. Cataldi is, obviously, one of the biggest offenders. But then there’s also fellow dipshit, Poop Head Marcus Hayes, whose whiny piss drivel posited that Pederson has already reached his breaking point.
The beat writers – who oh so badly want to be Woodward but would struggle to comb Bernstein’s hair (or their own, for that matter) – treat covering the Eagles like a life mission rather than the job of entertainment reporter, which is actually what every sports reporter, writer, host, pundit, blogger, and podcaster is. And while it’s commendable to have that sort of dedication to the craft, in most instances it represents a chasmic disconnect from the audience, which cares little-to-none about the intrigue surrounding the painfully obvious starting quarterback decision, out of which the local media expectedly got more than a month of mileage from. I was there on the day training camp opened and watched in AWE as more than 30 writers sat around for three hours, including a literal tent of NBC Sports personalities and pundits (I know because I was in it), watching 10-10-10 drills, just waiting to try out their new refrain on Doug Pederson: When will Carson be cleared? And then they’d all go on to write the same article, or produce the same live shot, every day, for the next 40 days. Even Jesus would’ve gotten bored with this rote monotony of sameness.
They’d remix the verse 50 times over that stretch until its beat was so familiar that you’d just turn off the radio when you heard it. As expected, they lost sight of the forest through gorgeous redwood that is the franchise quarterback, while the fan base yearned for something… better.
But no, we’re not better. This town doesn’t know how to cover a winner. Celebrate it, sure, but cover it, no. Our media appeals to its worst negative instincts and finds news ways to invent controversy where none exists. It’s all part of the big circle-jerk of sports, which is undoubtedly well chronicled in Mark Leibovich’s new book, Big Game, which shines light on NFL owners and the ecosphere of the league.** Cataldi can systematically shred Pederson over… things… and then welcome him on his radio show, on the flagship network of the team, built around the institution of the franchise itself, without even thinking twice about how disingenuous the whole charade is.
Make no mistake, I was the biggest hater of Doug Pederson prior to, oh, say, last December. But his balls grew on me, and eventually swelled to a Lombardi Trophy. He won’t be above criticism, and perhaps was a little out of line the other day, but can you blame him when faced with the same nonsense day after day?
The Eagles haven’t even started the season yet and, right on schedule, the media has already reverted to their natural state: shit-stirring. They don’t know how to be better.
*Public-facing, as even our resident chuckleheads can’t feign true outrage anymore.
**Leibovich’s book This Town, which goes deep inside Washington to dismantle the incestuous nature of the nation’s capital, is one of the best, most insightful and funny books I’ve read. His ability to cut to the heart of absurd characters is unmatched, and he undoubtedly does this to NFL owners in this new book. I’d recommend you go read this.