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February 09, 2016

McCoy, Manziel leading us on a road to ruin

When it looked like everything was getting out of control it used to be said the world was going to hell in a handbasket. There probably aren’t many handbaskets left anymore, but it sure appears that the world of sports is going to hell in some sort of vehicle – and LeSean McCoy is the one behind the steering wheel.

Everything is upside down and turned around. What do you expect when the coffee at your local Wawa is more expensive than a gallon or two of gas? More to the point, what do you expect when Fishtown hipsters moan and groan about the cost of living while lined up to get robbed by the barristers at trendy coffee shops … or pay more for a single craft beer then a case of old school stuff?

First order of business on the road to hell is the strange case of McCoy and his alleged participation in a brawl in an Old City club over the weekend.

Although you might suggest that McCoy has a track record of nefarious stuff, there is nothing to suggest he would get involved in a fracas that leads to severe injuries to a couple of off-duty Philadelphia police officers.

He was roundly criticized for his boorish actions involving a bus filled with women being transported to a party when one of the women was removed from the bus; his much-discussed “no tipping” incident in which he refused to tip a server in a Northern Liberties restaurant for poor service; and his suggestions that he was traded from the team because coach Chip Kelly didn’t appreciate black players.

It’s all very bizarre, but hardly as nasty and dangerous as the allegations of being among a group that brutally beat a patron in an after-hours club in a dispute over a bottle of champagne.

One of the problems in this case – and many other cases is that the public is no longer willing to give the athlete the benefit of a doubt. And why should they?

Week after week, the public is inundated with stories about athletes behaving badly, so when a story comes out such as the one involving McCoy, why shouldn’t there be an immediate reaction that the player was wrong?

And that should be the top of the agenda of things to fix with the leader of any league.


If you need to see an even swifter track to nowhere, check out the ongoing story of Johnny Manziel. It seems Johnny Football has become Johnny Jackass and he has punched his ticket right out of the NFL.

Manziel is now in some real deep trouble with allegations of domestic abuse, and there is virtually nobody on his side. He will soon by dumped by his team. He’s already been dumped by his family, girlfriend and agent.

The most bizarre aspect of this story is that the last person on earth who might have the ability to save him in a football sense is none other than Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. It’s no secret that Jones has always been intrigued by the talents of the quarterback out of Texas A&M, but this situation might turn into the rarest situation in all of football – too toxic for even the Cowboys.

In short, Manziel dug his own football grave and it’s time that he lie down in it, forget about football and say a prayer that he can save his life.


The Phillies might not be headed to hell, but they sure look like a team headed for the basement.

It was five years ago this week that the Phillies opened their spring training complex in Clearwater with the dream pitching rotation of Cole Hamels, Doc Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Roy Oswalt.

All the national media were there to take photos of the four and put them on their respective covers. And all four insisted that Joe Blanton be included in the group photo.

And this week? Well, this week Joe Blanton would actually be one of the stars of a Phillies pitching staff that will feature Aaron Nola and … and … maybe, Jeremy Hellickson and Jerad Eickhoff.

Forget it, it’s just too painful to remember the days of Hamels and Halladay. Speaking of Hamels, he did get involved in a bar fight in which he broke his hand – and he turned out all right. So maybe Shady McCoy can be saved.

Are you buying that? Didn’t think so.


Need more proof the world is running to hell in a pair of fancy sneakers? Take a look at the Philadelphia 76ers.

While the rest of the NBA is firing coaches left and right, Brett Brown has a new contract from the Sixers. It’s true enough that he has been given a strange hand to deal, but since taking over Brown’s teams have a record of 45-171 for a winning percentage of .208.

And since he has been hired, the other three Philadelphia major sports franchises have all fired coaches or managers – Craig Berube of the Flyers, who had a .553 winning percentage; Chip Kelly (.553) and even the Phillies’ Ryne Sandberg (.428).

The moral of the story – have exceedingly low expectations and you can take a long-term mortgage.


The Super Bowl also provided a close-up of the sports world headed into bad places at a great rate of speed when the use of replay once again turned into the enemy of getting things correct.

After a pass to Panthers WR Jerricho Cotchery was ruled incomplete, a coaches protest flag was thrown – and to just about everyone with eyes it appeared the call would be reversed on review.


While football fans watched they were all told they didn’t see what they saw, and the ruling on the field was upheld. Thus, the use of replay which was supposed to make everybody feel better has now become a vehicle for fans to realize that NFL has a very basic problem – nobody knows what constitutes a catch.

In the same game, another huge flaw was revealed when Denver defensive back Aqib Talib was called for a blatant facemask penalty when he dragged a receiver out of bounds on the 3-yard line.

The penalty saved a touchdown, and the assessed penalty cost the Broncos only about a yard and a half. Indeed, the Panthers scored, but imagine it had been the end of a game and the Broncos defense held Carolina out of the end zone.

It’s another rule that needs fixing, but why spend energy on that when you can chase the myth of deflated footballs for over a year?