In Misc Philly Sports on February 28, 2012 at 10:22 am

Have you ever given any thought to how you pick the players or coaches that become your favorites? My Father says if they wear our colors they’re my favorite. I’ve thought about this for some time but two events took place this past week that forced me to dig in to the books and do some research on the subject. Those two things were the reevaluation of Ryan Howard’s achilles tendon that seemed to bring out the “haters”. There are a lot of doubters out there about Ryan. The second one was the trade of Jeff Carter from Columbus to LA. Let’s start with these and we’ll go from there. Recently we did a poll on and on our Facebook page at Philly Pressbox and not one person selected Ryan Howard as their favorite Phillie. We also did a separate poll of who were your 5 favorite Phillies of all time and only one person mentioned Ryan. Honestly, he’s not my favorite either but he’s a really good player. I did some comparisons to the greatest home run hitter and greatest player in Phillies history to see how they match up. Howard is 31 years old so that was the bench mark to compare Howard’s stats to Schmidt’s when he was 31. Schmidt played in 1336 games and Howard in 1027 games. Schmidt had 4581 at bats and Howard 3794. Schmidt hit 314 HR’s, Howard 286. That’s 28 less homers in 309 less games and 787 less at bats. Schmidt led the league in Home Runs 5 times and Howard twice. Schmidt had 1216 hits and Howard has 1043 hits. Schmitty’s batting average was .265 and Ryan’s is .275. Now for the big stat against Ryan Howard – Strikeouts!!! Howard has struck out 1207 times and has led the league once while Schmidt struck out 1148 times and led the league 3 times. Obviously in the field there’s no one like Mike Schmidt. This isn’t meant to compare Ryan Howard to Mike Schmidt but to compare Ryan Howard to greatness. His numbers match up pretty well against the Greatest Player in Phillies history. Besides that, have you ever heard a bad word off the field about Howard? He’s a genuine nice guy!!!

That brings us to Carter. Why is it that people don’t like Carter? I keep hearing that he and Mike Richards liked the night life of Philly too much. Really? They were in their 20’s, single, millionaires that are out having a good time. Do you think players from other teams sit in the house at night? More importantly why do we care what they do outside their uniform unless it’s David Akers and many others trying to raise money for charities or their foundations? Do you really care about the 76ers player that had 8 children with 3 different women and 2 of the children outside his marriage while he was married to his wife? Who cares, it’s his business so why do we care about Carter? In Carter’s Flyers career he scored 181 goals and had 162 assists scoring 46 goals in one season and topping 30 in two others. Yet, many people were happy to see him traded by the Flyers and seemed it was funny that he was traded to LA to play again with Richards. Why don’t we like Jeff Carter?

Moving along to a few others that I find interesting. We love Dick Vermeil but we hate Andy Reid. Vermeil is still on billboards in town after leading the Eagles to the Super Bowl and losing, ummm 32 years ago. Vermeil coached the Eagles for 6 ½ seasons and had a record of 54-47. The Eagles finished first in the NFC East 1 time and 2nd – 3 times under Vermeil. Everybody seems to want a shot at Reid, although I’m not one of them. Reid has been with the Eagles for 13 seasons. His record is 126-81-1. The Eagles have been to one Super Bowl and lost. They have won 6 NFC East titles and have finished 2nd – 4 other times. Why don’t we like Andy Reid?

Andre Iguodala is next on the list. At the start of the season everybody said this guy had to go. Here we are at mid-season and he’s selected for his first all star game. Iggy is the best player on the team but we have no love for him. He’s a hard worker on both ends of the court and is a fantastic defensive player. He’s in his 7th season with the 76ers and it’s surely not his fault there hasn’t been anyone to play around him. He’s averaged 79 games a year up to this year, they only play 82, and he’s averaing15.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg and 4.8 apg over his career. These aren’t superstar numbers but solid none the less. Why don’t fans like Iggy?

Then we have Jimmy Rollins, he calls out the Philly fans but we love him. Even Jason Avant called out the fans and for some reason we still like him. DeSean Jackson quit on his team, the fans and the City of Philadelphia but we seem to still like him. Shane Victorino has a great smile so we love him. Jayson Werth strikes out too much we don’t like him. Cole Hamels is borderline. A couple bad game and we don’t like him. Mike Schmidt wasn’t a beloved player for most of his career but Larry Bowa was. What about Brett Myers? We loved Harry the K and Whitey but don’t think much of Wheels and Sarge. Donovan McNabb, we’re not sure what to think about him. There’s no in the middle with him, you’re either in or you’re out. The same can be said for Randall Cunningham. Did we really have Ron Jaworski fans in town when he played? Jeff Garcia was a fan favorite. We love Reggie White and I have no idea why. We’ll talk more about him in a future post. Bill Bergey, Vince Papale, Brian Dawkins and Brian Westbrook are in, TO and Freddie Mitchell are out. What about Eric Lindros? Is he in or out? Scott Hartnell is in this year but out last year. How about Mark Recchi who won rings everywhere but here? Rick Tocchett is in. How about Lappy, Ian Laperriere? Do we really love any Flyers goalies besides Bernie Parent and maybe Ron Hextall. Brad Lidge made us nervous but we love the Tugger and even Mitch Williams, talk about two guys that could make you nervous. We love John Kruk but don’t like Ryan Howard.  What about Aaron Rowand and Lenny Dykstra? We even love Darren Daulton but don’t like Scott Rolen and Curt Schilling. Gregg Jefferies, Danny Jackson, Jamie Moyer? What about Dick, don’t call me Richie, Allen and what do we think about Charles Barkley and Allen (It’s only practice) Iverson? How about George McGinnis?

Of course there has to be a separate love/hate category for Pete Rose, Julius Erving, Moses Malone, Ricky Watters, Peter Forsberg, and Jaromir Jagr.  Superstar outsiders that we hated before they got here but cheered for like crazy once they were here. Only Forsberg really let us down.

We’ve thrown out a lot of names and missed a lot as well but what we haven’t figured out is why we like or don’t like players or coaches when in almost every case we’ve never met them. Is it whether they brought a championship to town or if they’re the best players on their particular team? Is it the effort we feel they put in while they’re playing? Is it the way they come across on TV? Is it the way the media presents them or is it because you did see them and got or didn’t get an autograph?

Let us know?

As Andy would say “TIME’S YOURS”

  1. Vermeil gave us “hope and change” before that phrase was used by our current President. The Eagles stunk from the early 60’s through most of the 70’s. They were a joke as a franchise with the the turnover of ownership. They gave away their future draft picks, they played in a terrible Stadium. We never believed that the Eagles had a shot at the Play offs.
    Vermeil made the Eagles act and play like winners and we loved it. He also wore his emotions were we could see them. Mad, disappointed, happy , proud Vermeil made us part of it and his players reflected his personality.

    Reid is the most successful head coaches of our time. He has my respect. He did not have to change a team and city image that Vermeil did. Reid does not have the personality to inspire a whole city to run through a wall for him. Reid needs to win a Super Bowl do be beloved and considered a great coach.

    • Ha. I could’ve written that response for you because I knew exactly what you were going to say. Been there and done that with you my friend. Although Dick let everyone know how he felt the guys in the uniforms play hard and want to play for Reid. No comment on the Ryan Howard numbers or any other of the in’s and out’s on the list?? Disappointed in you on that part.

  2. I think expectations have something to do with it in some cases. We love Dick from bringing the franchise back from the dead. We hate Andy for losing multiple title games with better personnel. We love Matt Stairs for hitting a pinch hit HR of Jon Broxton. We hate Ryan Howard for making two big outs against the Cardinals. We love Harry Kalas and Richie Ashburn because they were great together, we hate Andy Musser and Chris Wheeler because they weren’t Harry and Whitey.

    Hearing from guys like Jaworski and Mitch Williams on TV changed people’s minds about them. Turn the clock back to both 1994 and 1985 and they would be below Lidge and McNabb. Jaworski killed the Eagles in that Super Bowl against Oakland way worse than what McNabb did against NE. Watch the tape. Jaws threw a bunch of INT’s and missed one guy wide open for a TD at the end of the first half when the game was still close. You never hear about that. All you hear about is McNabb throwing up in the huddle. Time heals all wounds I guess.

    • Interesting response. Baseball is the hardest to put in perspecive since it’s a negative game. You make out 7 times out of 10 you’re a star, 6 times out of 10 is, let’s call it, impossible and 8 out of 10 you are unemployed. When you have a HR hitter you expect them to always hit homers, doesn’t work that way. Matt Stairs is an easy like even though I forgot about him. Unforgetable moments get you a pass. As far Birds QB’s I never liked Jaws, Randall or McNabb. Jaws just wasn’t that good and the other two never showed the leadership qualities I wanted to see. They seemed lost most of the time although both were tremendous athletes. I think that’s why we liked Jeff Garcia, Jim McMahon. They seemed to inspire the people around them. To your final comment I’m not a time heals all wounds kind of guy. Jaws being a good well prepared broadcaster doesn’t make him a good football player in the 80’s.

      • Don’t get me wrong, I am not a time heals old wounds either. When Norman Braman owned the Eagles (bad owner), the dopes from WIP would bring Leonard Tose on and lavish him with praise. This disgusted me as Tose was the guy who was an eyelash away from moving the eagles to Arizona. How can anybody forget that?

      • Good clarification. I remember the Tose deal and I think it almost really happened!! I wish you didn’t bring up WIP though. They make me puke!!!

  3. Bill, after thinking about your question, my answer like your Dad’s answer is I have favorite teams. The last 30 years I am exposed so much to Baltimore and DC markets. Philly fans are very different than DC. Wash shows up for the Redskins and the other teams when they are winning.
    Baltimore supports the Ravens but once the Nationals came to DC the O’s lost 15,000 plus ticket buyers. They have more passion in Baltimore for their sports teams but neither City takes it personal on the scale of Philly.
    Wash waived good bye to Hainsworth and blamed Shannahan and Snyder, I think Plilly would have had a different send off.

    • Pop just wants to see championships from his teams. Put that P on on or wings on that helmet and so on and he;s on board. To really press that point he actually has a “U” shirt that he wears on game day. A lot like me blood is definetly thick. Who would’ve ever thunk me and Pop wearing shirts from The U?????? Funny about DC and Baltimore because here in Pittsburgh all week they are nuts about the Steelers, pretty high on the Pens because they’re pretty good right now but don’t even know that the Pirates exist. PNC is the nicest baseball venue I’ve been to, even ahead of The Bank and Camden Yards but they don’t win and people don’t come.

  4. Talk about a city forgetting its past. The Pirates of the 60’s and 70’s were great. One positive about the DC market they have supported the Deadskins through the good and the bad years.
    If a family member or a close friend were to joined the Cowgirls organization I would be polishing the star.
    Bill, i think had we not already known everything 35 years ago we could have learned a lot more from your Dad.

    • Very true about the Pirates. I just heard them making fun of them on the radio again this morning. Interestly it seems at least that radio personalities are young than us, maybe because we’re getting old, but they don’t know the history so they bash the last 20 years only. As far as my Dad, he hasn’t changed one bit as he’s gotten older. Turned 82 last September and rolling on!!! He’s The Man!!!!

  5. Your Dad is clearly one of my all time favorites.

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