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Eagles vs. Saints, Machado's mentor, Cody Parkey & more

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Happy New Year everybody,

 

There’s always something interesting going on in the realm of Philly sports, and this week is no exception.


In the words of my P2P colleague, Steve Olenski, let’s get to getting...Photo: Time

-Why is everybody getting on Ray Didinger’s case because he picked the Saints on Sunday? Here's where the realistic Eagles fan base and the homers get divided. Does anybody know just how awesome the Saints are at the Dome? They're tough. Extremely tough. The Saints have been the best team in the NFL all season, and they are healthy going into this game. The Birds don’t have a consistent option at running back at this time, which means time of possession could be an issue on Sunday, and that's sorely needed in order to keep the Saints’ offense off the field for extended periods of time. This isn’t Mitch Trubisky here.

Of course, anything is possible, and none of this means New Orleans is necessarily going to win, but don't let the "Team of Destiny" nonsense get in the way of facts. After all, the Saints came into the Linc and beat the Birds five years ago in the playoffs when the odds weren’t in their favor.

That being said, ff the Birds DO win on Sunday, the NFC Championship game will be....wait for it.....a breeze.


-Many Eagles fans seriously need to reign it in for how bad they feel for Cody Parkey. The alternative is him feeling good because he kicked a field goal to beat your team. It's not as bad as Phillies fans cheering for Chase Utley after he hit a grand slam, but chances are Blue Jays fans weren't feeling bad for Mitch Williams, and Blackhawks fans didn't have a problem with Michael Leighton's charity goal. Parkey is not an Eagle anymore. For that day, he was the enemy. Moreover, he's had MAJOR issues during his career with easy and difficult kicking attempts, so this wasn’t entirely unexpected. In fact, I told both my parents watching the game with me that Parkey had missed big kicks before.

Granted, I thought there was more of a chance he’d make it than miss, but was not ruling out that possibility. Please don't let a Super Bowl diminish the fact that Philly fans have had their collective dental bridges kicked in more times than we can count, and NOBODY ever cared. At all. Miserable Philly sports fans. Bah humbug. If you feel bad that Parkey is getting death threats, then that's a different story. There's no need for that nonsense.

-The Phillies hired Bobby Dickerson, a mentor to Manny Machado, as an infield coach. Apparently, he'll also be in the dugout for games. According to The Athletic (from Philly Voice), Dickerson, while in Baltimore with Machado, "had those long talks with Machado about his legacy, about playing the game right and about how not to lose himself in his emotions."

A few things: 1. If anybody watched the playoffs in October, it appears that Bobby failed miserably at his job on several levels. 2. The White Sox acquired his best friend and brother-in-law, which probably trumps this. 3. If Machado doesn't sign here, Dickerson is like the creepy guy standing in the corner at a party who nobody knows. 4. It’s double awkward if the team signs Bryce Harper and not Machado.

-The Sixers, for all their talent, still have a lot of holes who have too many questions moving forward than you’d like for a team trying to contend for an NBA title. Ben Simmons’ recent willingness to take more outside shots is encouraging, but so many questions remain. Will this recent development free up the floor for their other superstars? Will Elton Brand attempt to bolster their disastrous bench as the trade deadline approaches next month? Will the team attempt to move Jimmy Butler? (It’s doubtful he’s going anywhere), will Joel Embiid continue to bristle at the way he’s being used? Is there any update on Markelle Fultz? Can the Sixers three superstars happily exist? Can the team beat a legitimate contending rival opponent when it matters? If the team stumbles in the playoffs again, is Brett Brown’s job on the line? Like I said, too many questions.

Speaking of the Sixers, it was just announced that the team will retire NBA legend Moses Malone's No. 2 jersey during a February 8th halftime ceremony against the Nuggets. I'm not going to get into how amazing Malone was and what he did for that Sixers team in 1983. Everybody knows this. Be that as it may, I have to ask the million dollar question I've been pondering for years: Why in the world was this NOT done 15 years ago? You know, when he would have been alive to see it? Major, major blunder on the Sixers' part. But then again.......

Have a great weekend. Go Birds!


Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com                                                                                                      

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Photo: Time