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.