This Sunday afternoon, the Phillies and the Eagles are both playing at about the same time (Eagles at 1pm and Phillies at 1:35pm). So if you have to choose one game to watch, which team would you watch?
I think it should be the Phillies. I am hoping this weekend the city of Philadelphia finally makes the right choice. We should be a baseball town, not a football town. We want to paint the town red, not green.
Why should you watch the Phillies rather than the Eagles?
The Phillies are simply a better team. They won two World Series or two more than the Eagles won Super Bowls. The last time the Eagles won a championship was 1960, before I was even born. Back then, they won the NFL Championship. The NFL was just 13 teams or less than the size of the current NFC. Winning the NFL back in 1960 would be like winning the NFC today. They had to win one playoff game to win the title. These days, you have to win 2-3 to win the conference and 3-4 to win the Super Bowl. In addition to winning the World Series in 2008, they made the World Series last year and won the division three years in a row (and are currently leading the NL East as we speak). The Eagles made the playoffs the last two years but if they were happy with that they wouldn't have shipped the star QB out of town (to a division rival, no less).
Which brings us to another reason to choose the Phillies over the Eagles. The Phillies care about winning. The Eagles don't. Donovan McNabb is just the latest of casualties of players the Eagles got rid of before the end of their careers. How about Brian Dawkins? Brian Westbrook? Don't think that trading Donovan McNabb was a spur of the moment thing. They drafted Kevin Kolb in 2007, two seasons removed from a Super Bowl appearance. You don't think they were planning to replace McNabb? And don't forget the whole TO mess. TO wanted to renegotiate his contract after a superb season which led to a Super Bowl appearance. The Eagles refused. Did TO handle it correctly? Of course not. Attacking your QB is like biting the hand that feeds you and I'm sure he enjoyed playing last year in Buffalo with Trent Edwards.
The bottom line is the Eagles care more about making money than winning. If they can find someone who can do your job cheaper, they don't care if the guy is not as good. Does it matter who your favorite Eagle is? In 3-5 years, they will be playing for another team. How cheap are the Eagles? If the Eagles had their way, you wouldn't even have been allowed to bring food into the stadium. Don't forget that they fired an employee for criticizing letting Dawkins go (I'm sure glad I don't work for the Eagles).
Meanwhile, the Phillies take care of their players. Look at the contract Ryan Howard got. And they make trades like the ones for Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt. I don't see the Eagles making those moves (then again the way the Eagles treat players most free agents have no interest in playing for Philadelphia anyway).The Phillies care about you and their players. The Eagles don't. And if the Eagles continue to sell out games and dominate the local market, why should they change? If the Phillies played like the Eagles, Citizens Bank Park would be half full. Or if they traded Howard and Utley away, same. Is anyone left from the Super Bowl Eagles team? Look at the 76ers. They made the playoffs and their attendance was still awful. Why should the Eagles get a free pass for being 8-8 or 7-9 or for trading away all their good players?
So that's where you come in Philadelphia. Why should we accept Kevin Kolb as our starting QB? Why should we accept management that cares more about profits than wins? So, make a statement. Don't go to their games. Don't watch their games on TV. Don't buy their jerseys (of course if you bought a Kevin Kolb jersey I'm worried about you). And support the team in Philadelphia that cares about you, the fans. Hurt the Eagles the only way they'll listen.
And this is where this Sunday comes in. The Phillies and Eagles are both playing Sunday afternoon, both on over the air TV. Instead of watching the Eagles game (who cares, they are playing Detroit), watch the Phillies game. The Phillies only have two weeks left before the end of the season. They are in a playoff race. You can watch the Eagles lose all through November and December.
Sure, the US is a football country and of course the NFL is the most popular league in America. But it isn't unprecedented to see a baseball game outdraw a football game in a local market. Last year, New York of all places overwhelmingly chose the Yankees over the Giants head to head during the playoffs.
Let's make it happen here in Philadelphia. I want to see this week that more Philadelphians watch the Phillies game than the Eagles game. Let's see how Joe Banner and company feel about that.
And if a Phillies playoff game is on at the same time as an Eagles game, watch the Phillies. The team that cares about winning. The team that cares about its players. The team that cares about its fans. And by the way, the BETTER team. The team that actually has a ring.