Philadelphia Sports Talk Radio Doesn’t Disappoint After 76ers Loss

Photo Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Nobody hates Philadelphia sports more than the professionals who cover it on the radio for a living.

Here we are, ladies and gentlemen. Series tied two games apiece. The 76ers blew a completely winnable game in Atlanta that would have seen them take a commanding series lead and now have to return home with their tails tucked between their legs, desperate to find a way to claw themselves out of this quagmire.

It was a demoralizing loss, sure, but here’s something that may make you feel a little better. After you turned off your television and stared blank-faced into the void for several minutes, contemplating how it all went so spectacularly wrong (don’t we all do that?), did you at any point think to yourself, “Gee, I bet Joel Embiid is embellishing his knee injury as an excuse for his poor play“?

You didn’t? Congratulations, you’re probably better qualified to host a radio sports talk show than 90% of the hosts on either station in this city.

Is this where we are as a fanbase? As a collective sports media? We get so worked up when national pundits and outside journalists DARE criticize a Philadelphia athlete, but we continually ensure garbage like this is the number-one rated sports talk show in the city.

What’s the old saying? When you point a finger at someone, you have four more pointed back at you? For every finger we point at obscure outside journalists who criticize Philadelphia, we have Angelo Cataldi, Mike Missanelli, Joe DeCamara and any other sports talk host itching for more social media engagement and more 60-year-old callers to fill three hours of programming pointing right back at us.

And I get it. You need to fill time, you need to have callers, but drumming up pointless “controversy” over an athlete who has had one of, if not THE MOST, impressive seasons in Philadelphia sports is ludicrous.

Yes, he played an awful second half, his worst overall game in the playoffs, but I think most of us can agree that the world isn’t ending if his worst effort is 17 points and 21 rebounds.

Most of us are reasonable fans. Most of us are capable of reasoning that would lead us to the conclusion that his knee was affecting him more than we could know.

And yet, the poll wasn’t an outlier. It wasn’t the only horrendous takeaway from a Philadelphia sports talk host that was vomited out into the ether this morning. I mean, what is this? –

WIP recently hired Ryan as an on-air host and I’d say he’s fitting in with the station’s aesthetic quite nicely.

For all intents and purposes, Ryan seems like a nice guy. I’ve followed him on Twitter for a while, seems like an affable fellow… but this is your analysis from the game? This is your ultimate takeaway? The “loser limp?” A 7-foot, 280 pound superstar of an athlete who may be the best player this franchise has ever had, who has more often than not singlehandedly dragged this carcass of a franchise kicking and screaming to victory, who is averaging 27 points and nearly 10 rebounds a game in the playoffs on a partially torn meniscus while playing all-world defense.. and you think he’s exaggerating an injury?

For what it’s worth, this is a direct quote from Embiid after the game.

“There’s no excuses. I’ve got to be better.”

Hey, I have a good poll question: “Does Ryan’s theory about ‘the loser limp’ suck, or does it merely blow?” Call in and let us know.

I can’t fathom the way a mind works where you’d watch Embiid all season, for his entire career, and then come to the conclusion that he’s milking an injury. The MRIs are real, we know he’s hurt, we know his meniscus is damaged.. so what’s with the conspiracy theories all of sudden? Or are we all so jaded and shitty we have to lay the blame at someone, anyone’s feet, to get our pound of flesh before moving on?

I’m sick of it. I don’t think it’s too much to ask of this city, of its sports talk media, to be able to look at this game and come to the conclusion that Embiid simply didn’t have his best. Only he and the team physicians know how much pain he’s really in, but you could purely see from his jump shots (99% of them short) in the fourth quarter that it was affecting him. He was gassed, he was in pain, and none of the supporting cast elevated themselves to stave off a furious Hawks run.

Yeah it sucked. Embiid sucked. The TEAM sucked.. and that’s what we should take away from this. There was plenty of suckage to go around, and focusing purely on your team’s MVP (and quite possibly the true league MVP) isn’t going to get us anywhere.

Let it go. Find a way to fill air time without resorting to horrendous polls, to horrendously dumb “takes,” and let’s all get on with our lives.