50 Hot Takes for the Philadelphia Sports Fan

It’s come to my attention that I’ve been incredibly neutral lately, just trying to do quality analysis and post-game breakdowns without the knee-jerk overreaction or outrageous hot takes.

In other words, I’m trying to be fair.

But fair doesn’t necessarily move the needle in 2018, when the most well-known media personalities are people who just say ridiculous and off-base shit, contradict themselves, and continue to make things up until someone finally pulls the plug or they retire.

I can hold my own alongside Jason Whitlock and Colin Cowherd, and to prove that I’m not Mr. Milquetoast, I pulled 50 hot takes out of my rear end, which you can dive into after the jump:

  1. Philadelphia sports writers are some of the worst-dressed people on the planet.
  2. Both radio stations should cut down on listener phone calls by 50-60% and book more guests.
  3. I love hockey, but it will soon be the 5th major sport in the U.S. I’m not just saying this because I’m a soccer guy, but just take a drive around the city and see for yourself the changing demographics in this country.
  4. Baseball didn’t necessarily slow down [editor’s note: it did, as game have risen to an average of over three hours] society just sped up. We have smartphones and Grubhub and instant access to everything, which killed attention spans and our general ability to sit still and relax. The game isn’t broken, but MLB is doing a poor job of adapting to this societal change.
  5. Television personalities who only show up to 8-10 games per year generally ask the most useless questions in press conferences. We use the derogatory term “playoff people” to describe them.
  6. When people tell you to “stick to sports,” they aren’t trying to silence you or suppress your First Amendment rights. They’re simply saying that they would prefer to get their politics from political experts and their sports from sports experts.
  7. Rocky is played out and cliche.
  8. Gritty is becoming dangerously close to played out, like Philadelphia’s love for Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam.
  9. More young and able-bodied writers should be actively participating in the sports they cover because it adds credibility to their stories and opinions.
  10. We don’t care who wins the game. It’s a job. We’re going to write about it whether they win or lose. When sports becomes business, the emotion and fandom is fully drained from you (which is kind of a shame, but necessary).
  11. Very few Philadelphia media bosses have any clue what they’re doing.
  12. Talen Energy Stadium features the best atmosphere of any regional sporting venue.
  13. Building Talen in Chester was a huge mistake.
  14. The Sixers should build their own arena.
  15. College football is better than the NFL.
  16. I hate the fact that Philadelphia does not care about college football.
  17. Penn State and Pitt and West Virginia and Syracuse and Rutgers should be playing each other every year. I know PSU fans don’t want this, but I’m a believer in eastern football and conference realignment really killed a lot of great rivalries and traditions.
  18. Lincoln Financial Field is the third-best football atmosphere in Pennsylvania.
  19. The vibe and excitement at any SEC or Big 10 football stadium is better than anything at the Wells Fargo Center, Linc, or Citizens Bank Park.
  20. Philadelphia DOES have a large section of sports fans who are total assholes. However, bad fan behavior takes place all around the world, which is why we share those stories whenever they happen.
  21. The best local beat writer is Sheil Kapadia. He asks smart questions, doesn’t do hot takes, puts together detailed video breakdowns, and consistently produces interesting content.
  22. A lot of people got totally screwed during the Josh Innes RADIO WARS shuffle. Rob Ellis and Jon Marks are two of them. Jon got shoved on the morning show where he was barely allowed to talk and Rob was pulled off nights, moved to PM drive, then again moved off that shift to accommodate Josh.
  23. I appreciated the fact that Josh challenged the typical corny radio routine that we’ve been subjected to for years. He was an outsider, which was a breath of fresh air. However, he really rubbed A LOT of people the wrong way behind the scenes and wore out his welcome rather quickly.
  24. Butt-hurt Flyers fans need to relax. We don’t hate your sport, it’s just down in the pecking order right now because the Eagles and Sixers are good. I covered soccer for eight years, so I understand the struggle for media coverage and respect in a football town.
  25. I hate music in the middle of a sporting event, especially during Sixers games. It feels corny and inauthentic. The fan atmosphere was great at The Wells Fargo Center last season and you don’t need shitty mumble rap to be played in the middle of a possession to generate an interesting ambience.
  26. The best sports video game was Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.
  27. Robert Covington is overrated by Process supporters and underrated by Process opponents.
  28. Saying that John DeFilippo and Frank Reich were a “big loss” is a bad take because no fan or media member can realistically quantify or qualify their behind-the-scenes contributions to the 2017 Eagles’ offense.
  29. I’m intrigued by the Philadelphia Fusion, but the fact of the matter is that the squad features zero Americans and they do not live in Philadelphia.
  30. The Fusion choked in the Overwatch League final.
  31. Fortnite sucks.
  32. The mental health of athletes is important and I appreciate the NBA’s forward-thinking here. We also have to draw lines between those who have legitimate and diagnosed issues and those who do not. It’s unfair for an athlete who is taking medication for a diagnosed bi-polar disorder to be lumped in with someone who got booed after a bad shooting night. One is a true mental health problem and the other is not.
  33. Dreams and Nightmares is overrated, as is Meek Mill’s music.
  34. Joe Buck and Troy Aikman do not hate the Eagles.
  35. Say what you will about Angelo Cataldi, but the guy is a master of his craft, expertly plays to his listener base, and knows exactly what he’s doing from a business standpoint. Wing Bowl is a cash cow for WIP and the morning show has enjoyed more stability and continuity than any other program in Philly sports radio.
  36. Villanova is a Philadelphia school. I mean, for fuck’s sake, we worship at the altar of Mike Trout, who grew up 46 miles away in Millville. Nova’s campus is 17 miles from Center City.
  37. Every Eagles fan should be pulling for Andy Reid to do well in Kansas City.
  38. There’s too much media availability in the NBA. There’s no reason a coach should have to speak before or during a game. Ben Simmons does not need to speak five times a week.
  39. I don’t like being in the locker room and I don’t think reporters should be allowed in the locker room. I’ve always felt like it’s a “sacred” kind of place reserved for players and their game preparation.
  40. I also HATE advertisements on the Sixers and Union jerseys. Jerseys should have a name, number, logo, and nothing else [editor’s note: rich take coming from a soccer Emirates fan]. I wouldn’t want to be a walking advertisement, no matter how much Bimbo or Stubhub is willing to pay.
  41. Not every show on sports radio needs to feature a former football player.
  42. If you’re a reporter on the team payroll (like Dave Spadaro), please let independent media ask their questions first before tossing up a couple of softballs. This goes for TV and radio broadcasters as well, or anyone affiliated with the team (they generally do a good job of this).
  43. There are too many credentialed reporters at various sporting events who are not working or doing much of anything at all.
  44. When a coach or athlete goes out of their way to tell you that they don’t read your stories or pay attention to Twitter, it means that they definitely read your stories and pay attention to Twitter.
  45. All Philadelphia teams should be owned by Philadelphia-based groups. No more New York City carpetbaggers down here, please.
  46. Big 5 basketball features a lot of interesting matchups and storylines that unfortunately become buried in a pro sports town.
  47. The Flyers’ black uniforms are the best uniforms in town.
  48. I wish people would appreciate mixed martial arts for the interesting clash of styles and incredible physical gifts each fighter possesses. Combat sports are much more than Conor McGregor shit-talking and a violent punch-fest.
  49. “No one likes us, we don’t care,” is a very entry-level way of motivating yourself, though it is effective to a certain point. The best athletes in the world don’t play the rudimentary disrespect card, but have essentially risen above that to a sort of self-motivating nirvana where they know they’re the best and don’t give a shit what anyone has to say (Tom Brady, prime Tiger Woods, Serena Williams).
  50. If you’re young or have the ability to move, go live somewhere else before resettling in Philadelphia. You’ll have a better of understanding of sport and how people around the country (and around the world) support their teams and consume content.

That’s 50. I’m not sure all of them were hot takes. Maybe a couple of aphorisms made it in there, like a Friedrich Nietzsche publication. Twilight of the Idols was my favorite.

Anyway, hope that was hot enough for you. I’ll be back tomorrow with fair and balanced lukewarm takes.

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49 Responses

  1. Good work KK. Just disappointed no mention of Philly legend the cuz . He’s The voice of Philly and is the cats meow

  2. Point 3… drive around liberal democratic plantation Philadelphia and see all the soy boys is what you’re saying… Drive literally everywhere else in the state of Pennsylvania and you’ll see men.

  3. excellent post, agree with. 2 ,3,4,11,13,15,16. dont touch gritty, 17 minus Rutgers, 19 , Charlie o’conner is better, 25, tecmo bowl/nhl94.95 , 33,36 , 40, 41, 45, 46, 47 orange unis are the best.

  4. Regarding #16, I kind of disagree with the notion that Philadelphia doesn’t care about college football. Just to give one example, the Penn State/Ohio State game got an 11.0 rating in the Philadelphia media Market. That’s the same or higher than the Sixers got in the Philly media Market for all of their first-round playoff games against Miami. Factor in that at the same time Penn state/ohio State was being played Notre Dame, (who with all due respect to Temple has the second largest fan following in the Philadelphia area), was playing a game against the then top-10 team, Stanford. If that game wasn’t being played at the same time, the PSU OSU rating would have been even higher

  5. 51. Philly needs a downtown stadium similar to what many big cities like LA have done in the past 10 years or so. To offer a chance to go to a game and walk around neighborhood bars and restaurants before (and sometimes after) just adds to the game experience. If I recall correctly, there was talk that the Phillies really wanted Citizens Bank Park to be built downtown. It is time to revisit that concept for the future. Heck, maybe build a soccer stadium downtown and move the Union? Or, as Kevin suggests, build a Sixers arena downtown.

    1. PPL park or whatever was built with mostly taxpayer money and they were promised riverfront development.

      Wonder if the owners could bail and blame Chester since the whole shopping center / hotel promise wasn’t fufilled?

      Temple and the Union should team up for a downtown / walkable from city hall stadium, or a (philly) riverfront stadium. Make everyone happy while not cramming it into a bad neighborhood.

      1. it was Rendell’s fault, really, but nobody could predict the economy tanking

        honestly, when 2008 happened, they should have taken a step back and re-thought the whole thing, but who knows what would have happened, could have been a big risk to establishing the team and getting the expansion approved

        1. that makes sense and i’m sure they couldn’t just keep playing at the Linc back in 2010….. just curious if the Union ownership looks at it differently. From what I can tell they’re only in the stadium (private money) at $30 or so million. Wonder if they can just bail and split the bill with Temple on a city stadium that’s much easier to access for quite literally everyone interested (as long as it’s walkable from Suburban or 30th). Assume Temple would likely push for artificial surface but there’s enough money to work out the problems or Union to maintain the grass.

          1. They really should just get it over with and stick a stadium on the parkway. I mean it’s closed to traffic like every other weekend already for some idiotic event. This is the kind of forward thinking, problem solving skills that I possess and the city needs. Of course, despite being a stable genius, I have an R next to my name so I have no chance of getting elected and leading this city to greatness.

          2. After further consideration, I am officially announcing my candidacy for mayor. My platform is We are building the stadium on the parkway and Jay-Z is going to pay for it.. Now I’ve got to get my voter suppression operation up and running in time for the next election.

  6. Saying the Flyers dogshit black third jersey is the best jersey is town is garbage when they arent even the best that the team wears…

  7. Thank you for #6. It’s not even that I disagree with their points all the time. But I don’t need Les Bowen teaching me/preaching to me about trade deals and other things WAY out of a sports reporters wheel house.

    1. I am convinced that Les takes the generic liberal stance on the issue of the day to distract from his tongue in cheek sexist and homophobic comments. They go unnoticed because he is assumed to be the typical liberal writer.

  8. What does it say about The Cuz that nowhere in Kinker’s 50 blazing hot sports take is he mentioned. However, Josh “Fat” Innes, who was bum rushed out of town years ago, gets his own number.

    Not a good month for The Cuz. Not a good month at all. Guess Kinker isn’t about that 4 for 4 life, huh?

  9. Edit #37 to the following:

    NOW THAT THE EAGLES HAVE WON A SUPER BOWL, every Eagles fan should be pulling for Andy Reid to do well in Kansas City.

    Because really, until that happened, nobody wanted Andy to win in KC before the Eagles won one here without him.

      1. I’m a big Andy Reid fan, maybe more for who he is as a person than as a coach, but we all know how this season is gonna play out. KC is gonna end up like 14-2 and then end up blowing a 21pt 3rd quarter lead in the AFC Championship game. It’s gonna be fucking glorious in its brutality.

  10. 18. Lincoln Financial Field is the third-best football atmosphere in Pennsylvania.

    Behind Beaver Stadium and Heinz FIeld (Steelers only)?

      1. But I feel sorry for anyone who never saw a game live at Pitt Stadium (RIP). Just a good old fashioned bowl stadium similar to the Michigan Big House. All the Frats where lined up right next to it, shit was lit.

  11. “Covington is overrated by some but underrated by others.” Wow, good thing I didn’t get to close to flames on that one. Scorching take right there.

  12. I think your take on soccer taking over hockey as the 4th sport is not realistic in Philly. Soccer is only interesting at a pro level which really doesn’t exist in the US. If you were able to field a club and star power like they have in Europe then you would have something. But anyone playing soccer in the US couldn’t cut it at the pro level in Europe. Also, hockey is an irrelevant sport and will never be hugely popular.

    1. It’s already a top 2-3 sport in a number of non-northeast markets. Seattle, Portland, Orlando, and Atlanta are examples. Atlanta is pulling something like 70,000 fans per game.

      But I do agree that the Union are light years away from eclipsing the Flyers in Philadelphia, same with the Revs, Red Bulls, and NYC in their respective markets. The traditional “four-for-four”towns like Boston, NY, Philly, and Chicago are big challenge for MLS.

      1. Right, but just because it is 2nd or 3rd in it’s market doesn’t really say anything. The point about Atlanta have 70,000 at every game is more interesting but what is average around the entire country? Look, I love Rugby more than anything but have learned to accept it will always be niche in the US, much like soccer.

      2. Seattle has two actual professional teams, and soccer will be way down to 4th once the NBA comes back. Portland literally has 1 professional team, and is also the whitest large city in America. Orlando, again 1 major professional team. Atlanta you are just completely full of sh!t since the max capacity for soccer games at MB stadium is 42,500. They literally block off have the seating sections so it doesn’t look so empty during games.

          1. That was more of a one off thing due to the opening of the new stadium. They are still restricting soccer seating to 42,500 for most of the rest of the games. Regardless, attendance numbers have always been way overinflated by teams, including free ticket give aways and such. But it does appear Atlanta does regularly draw decent sized crowds, which is surprising considering how poor braves attendance was when they were winning the division every year for over a decade.

      3. Really this battle for third place really comes down to two issues: If Safe Injection Sites gets opened up, then Flyers 3rd place is secured for perpetuity because according to the math I just did in my head 98% of flyers season ticket holders are heroin addicts, so less overdoses means higher attendance. For the Union it’s crucial that the sanctuary city policies remain in force, otherwise might as well close up shop since that’s like 54% of the fan base being deported.

  13. Agree with most of these. Great list. Especially the embarrassing apathy towards college sports in this town. So much fun to go to a local hoops game or Temple at the Linc. #20 Cincy in town for homecoming this Saturday. Go. They have beer.

  14. #2 Thank God someone said this. Who cares what “Joe from Fishtown” thinks? It’s usually stupid like trading our worst player for the other teams best player. The other point about having an ex player/ really ex Eagle on the show is also correct. I don’t listen anymore, it rots your brain. Listen to Podcasts, specific content for what you want to hear

  15. Regarding No. 8, the Phillie Phanatic IS PLAYED OUT. He’s fine for the kids, but it’s embarrassing how the adults act around him at Phillies games check out all the dorks down by the dugout pulling their cell phones out to get a picture — like you’ve never seen him before. People bust on Angelo for doing the same schtick for the past 25 years, how about this tired act for the past 40?

  16. Nice list but 26 is wrong. The only three acceptable answers are: Baseball Stars, NHL 96, or Super Tecmo Bowl.

  17. I know you are referring to sports games, but I’m taking this opportunity to get something off my chest that has been bothering my for the better part of a decade. The PC game Terminator that was released in 1990 gets absolutely no recognition for how truly ground breaking it was. It was the 1st first person shooter played in an open world sand-box style. You could play as Kyle Reese or the Terminator and it took place in Los Angeles. You could break into gun store and military depots and load up on weapons, you could shoot random people on the street, steal cars. It was basically GTA but 15yrs before GTA even came out. I never see this game get any respect in the all time great games list. I mean, read the wiki on it, it’s absolutely insane this game existed at the time.


  18. I don’t understand what we owe to Andy Reid. Every time he falls miserably in the playoffs vindicates is for being ready to have been rid of him after almost a decade and a half of falling short and in some cases downright underperforming.

  19. Heinz field IS NOT a better atmosphere than The Linc! Get out of here!….and during the Birds playoff run, that stadium was absolutely LIT…way better atmosphere than that minor league football being played at beaver stadium

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