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Friday, November 4, 2016

Rob’s Rants on Sports: Huff Released; Bad Losses for Eagles, Sixers; Plenty of Dumb Comments

Bad losses for the Eagles and Sixers marked the week until Josh Huff got arrested. Time for a sports rant:

John Clark’s tweet showed Fletcher Cox looking stunned after the loss

  • Josh Huff was waived by the Eagles, but not just because he’s a bad wide receiver. On Tuesday, he was “charged with speeding, possession of a small amount of marijuana, unlawful possession of a weapon” and more, according to Philly.com and other outlets. Writing on Thursday afternoon, I haven’t heard any specific reason for why Huff was released—Eagles GM Howie Roseman called it “the right decision for the Philadelphia Eagles”—but clearly they didn’t want to deal with the distraction. The official reason ought to be stupidity. Huff initially said, “What professional athlete don’t have a gun? I have a wife and I have a son at home. My job is to protect them at all costs.” I’m not going to get into a gun debate in a sports post. We all make mistakes. But I am tired of athletes screwing up and then talking about taking care of their family. Don’t break the law—especially a law involving guns—and then blame circumstances and talk about what everybody else does.

  • As for the Eagles game . . . I don’t usually buy into the “dink and dunk” complaints about an NFL offense, but it was very noticeable with the Eagles in their loss to Dallas on Sunday. Carson Wentz completed 32 of 43 passing attempts for just 202 yards. The longest reception was for 14 yards. Fourteen.

  • I saw this on NJ.com, and it’s already a mildly troubling stat: Wentz has had the ball with a chance to win a game three times, and the Eagles are 0-3 in those games.

    • What the hell is Doug Pederson doing punting from the Dallas 36-yard line in the fourth quarter? This is the second time he’s punted a game away. This week there was 7:17 left in the game with the Birds up 7. It would have been a 53-yard field goal attempt in basically a domed stadium, and, oh, by the way, their kicker already made a 55-yarder in the first half. (Psst, Doug, that’s longer.) If Caleb Sturgis hits it, they’re up 10—two possessions. The game might not be over, but it’s damn close.

    • The defense wasn’t blameless. The punt put the Cowboys on their own 10. They were in the end zone 3:22 later. And the Eagles never saw the ball in overtime because Dallas won the coin flip to start overtime and scored a touchdown on the first possession. Give Dallas and Dak Prescott credit, especially the quarterback on the last play of the game where he scrambled and found Jason Witten wide open for a touchdown. But the defense needs to make a play. The Eagles were up by 10 points twice in the fourth quarter and lost. That’s on the “D.”

    • Tuesday night we saw a bit of what the Sixers hope to be. They were playing another (previously) winless team, but playing a bad team can sometimes let fans see how things should work. Joel Embiid continues to look like the guy we’ve all been waiting for, and Dario Saric shot the ball well. It was a brutal loss as they gave the game away late, and it’s disheartening that they got crushed the next night without Embiid. But I’ll take a “process” of watching a team jell over stockpiling draft picks any day.

    • I’m liking what I see out of Sixers point guard Sergio Rodriguez. He looks like he can be a distributing point guard who can shoot when needed. He’s in the top 10 in assists (7.5 per game) in the young season, shooting 45.5 percent from the field and scoring 12.0 points per game (stats as of Thursday morning). Sixers fans couldn’t even discuss a player like Rodriguez for years because the team had no chance to win, making evaluating role players impossible.

    • Huff wasn’t the only Philadelphia athlete found saying stupid things this week. ESPN quoted Sixers point-forward Ben Simmons bemoaning the fact that he had to go to class in college. “The NCAA is really f---ed up. . . . Everybody’s making money except the players. We’re the ones waking up early as hell to be the best teams and do everything they want us to do and then the players get nothing. They say education, but if I’m there for a year, I can’t get much education.” Besides being wrong—the fact that a player can’t be drafted until a year after his class graduates high school is an NBA rule—he sounds like a spoiled brat. He had to wake-up early? That’s rough. And being that he clearly had no intention of having a sophomore year of college, I’m guessing he wasn’t a regular in class after December. Besides, no one is forced to play college sports nor leave after a year. Don’t play in college if you don’t want to. Go overseas, as NCAA president Mark Emmert pointed out. I know he’s still a kid, and I can’t wait to watch him to play again. But someone needs to teach him when to shut up.

    • It was the week to say something stupid in Philadelphia sports. The NFL Network suspended analyst Brian Baldinger for six months after he said on 97.5 The Fanatic that the Eagles should hurt Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. “There’s got to be 10 guys that want to hurt him every single play,” Baldinger said. “In fact, we may even put a little bounty on [him].” Again, know when to shut up.

    • Congratulations to the Chicago Cubs for winning their first World Series since 1908. Despite Joe Maddon micromanaging the final two games and overusing his closer, the Cubs came back from a 3-1 series deficit. Of course, it would have been nice if the deciding Game 7 ended before midnight on the east coast—and to have “October baseball” end, you know, in October.

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