Hinkie’s Shadow Could Last Longer than Bryan Colangelo

 

hinkieBryan Colangelo has been failing spectacularly in every aspect of his job this past week. Meanwhile, Sam Hinkie is impressing from the dead. For Colangelo, it could mean his third stop as a GM ends in shame.

Here’s the problem: every general manager looks to make a mark on the organization early in their tenure, but Colangelo will have no such chance. Hinkie is too deeply embedded into the future of the franchise.

How so? As Hinkie built for the future Sixers, he compiled extra first round picks all the way out until 2019 and he will deserve some credit until then. Take a look!

Ben Simmons (Tanking): Hinkie
Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (OKC pick): Hinkie
Furkan Korkmaz (Miami pick): Hinkie.
Kings pick swap in 2017: Hinkie.
The Lakers first round pick will convey by 2018: Hinkie
The Kings 2019 pick: Hinkie

That’s four seasons worth of Hinkie looming over Colangelo. Does Colangelo last four years? Not at this rate.

Long live The King.

 

Josh Harris Never Loved You

harrisIt’s been said many times that “sports is a business” but for Joshua Harris business is his business. He doesn’t give a damn about the 76ers or their fans.

We’ve known this all along, right? When Harris and his group of hedge fund managers bought the Sixers in 2011 there was never a sense of marriage between fans and ownership. It’s felt more like befriending a stranger on a plane. The bond brief and shallow with the sale of the team imminent.

We’re still waiting for the plane to land as Harris turns a once proud basketball franchise into a circus. It’s been putrid…depending on who you talk to.

Fans will talk of frustration and lies. They’ll talk of pricier tickets and false CT scans. Forbes will tell you about a new practice facility, a gigantic sales force, and $800 million dollars worth of value.

To Harris, the latter is what matters. Fobes doesn’t give a shit what the fans think as long as they pay money. So why should Harris care? If Harris DID give a damn about the fans he’d have pushed Bryan Colangelo to be more honest in regards to Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons’ injuries. He writes the checks, therefore he writes the culture.

Instead we’re stuck with a regime that is cold, uncaring, and outright disrespectful to their paying customers. As a result, fans need to ask a new question. When will Harris finally sell?

Unfortunately, it may be a while. The Sixers are currently in a long contract with the Wells Fargo Center and the largest value for franchises comes from owning the building you play in. If Harris waits it out, which is more likely, Sixers fans will be in for some extended turbulence.

However, Harris and his group have already tripled their investment in the Sixers, which they initially bought for $280 million. Perhaps they cut bait now and invest their profits elsewhere instead of waiting for the WFC contract to expire.

Either way. It’s just business.

The Phillies Are Dead and Now I can Love Them

World Series Game 5

 

Winning the 2008 World Series was an inescapable cloud for the Phillies. Many fans said their expectations were low in recent years but their hearts said otherwise. It was like believing a loved one will snap out of dementia.

Consider the case of Ryan Howard. He goes from home run mashing  MVP darling to a haggard mess dodging beer bottles. 99.9% of people wouldn’t throw the bottle, but I bet they understand where the frustration came from.

This year no member of the 2008 World Series team reporting to Clearwater. Rollins, Utley, Howard and Hamels are replaced by Franco, Herrera, Nola and Joseph.

There is no history for the 2017 Phillies. There is no looming shadow. The organization is free to build their own identity again and for the first time in nearly 10 years fans can experience puppy love. Perhaps me more than most.

I never related to the recent greats much because the Phillies lost my interest when I was a very young. The departures of guys like Scott Rolen and Curt Schilling ruined my fandom. I was completely uncaring. So much so that I didn’t celebrate the ’08 World Series. Not a high five, a cheer, a smile. Nothing. As a result, talking about the Phillies had felt like watching the last 20 minutes of a movie. I appreciated the action, but had no connection to the characters.

Today I have a chance to truly embrace the Phillies for the first time in 17 years. I can watch the new era grow. I can love again.

What’s Left of Peyton Manning?

peyton-manningFirst all time in passing yards, first all time in touchdowns, 5 MVPs, two Super Bowls with two different teams. Peyton Manning was America’s golden boy. The do-no-wrong quarterback was the perfect story of grit and smarts and hard work.

Yet he’ll still be an afterthought.

Peyton Manning, one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, will forever be a footnote in history. The collapse of the empire to a greater superpower. Tom Brady has won the game, the set, the match, the battle, the war, the era. It’s all his. Brady will start next season at age 40 while being considered the best to ever play the game and the incumbent Super Bowl favorite. Meanwhile Manning is eating mud.

A story came out the other day from Deion Sanders insisting that the Colts regularly stole teams signals–the same crime as the Patriots–but without the use of cameras. This almost exactly a year after stories emerged of Manning committing inappropriate sexual acts against a trainer while attending college at Tennessee. Usually players grow sweeter with age. The time away romanticizes their glory days. Instead, the great Peyton Manning has soured.

That isn’t to say he won’t be a first ballot Hall of Famer, whatever the hell that’s worth, but when you think of Manning’s legacy it’s surprising how the most adored star in America’s most popular sport has been reduced to mashed potatoes next to a filet mignon in the span of a year.

If I were him, I’d hope Brady’s next season is his last.

Gronk Makes Me Question the Sixers

Rob Gronkowski is great. He’s an other worldly football player that, if he could, would get implants in his legs so that he’d always stand at 6’9″.  What’s not to love?

gronkWell I don’t love that Joel Embiid is basically the same guy. Ridiculously talented, goofy, likable, and injury prone. It’s a cloud that’s going to hang over him the entirely of his career. Even the most devout Process Trusters will whisper to each other over PBR’s the next few years that everything is going perfectly “assuming Embiid stays healthy”.

Which brings me back to the Pats. As I write this they’re parading in Boston and Gronk has been an unsurprisingly visible figure. He also hasn’t played a game since November 27th–week 11 of the NFL season–yet the Pats still took home the Lombardi. They won without a generational talent and their second biggest star.

So seeing that I realize I can’t rely on Embiid to be fully healthy throughout his career. There’s no precedent for it. If he wants to take this team over the top Bryan Colangelo is going to have to work significantly harder. He has to build a team that can win without Joel Embiid because there’s no assurance to the contrary. The Sixers need to be good enough to win a title without their superstar.

Think about it. Do you bet on Embiid’s over the next year? Sure. You’ll get enough out of him. How do you feel about him 3 years from now when they’re hopefully competing? What about 7 or 8 years from now as his max contract expires? I’m not paying that insurance plan.

Maybe Ben Simmonds proves he can lead a title team when he returns. At least, I certainly hope so.

We’re Back!

You know, someone once told me that time is a flat circle. Maybe they were right.

After spending the last two and a half years working solely in sports radio I’ve decided to go back to the roots that got me there in the first place. As a result, I’m proud to announce that The Wooder Cooler is officially back in business! Hooray!

In terms of what to expect from us during this revival, the goal is simple. I want this site to be fun. I want it to be informative. I want it to push the conversation forward. That’s it.

Now while we’ll primarily be talking about sports don’t be surprised when we stray from that lane. I like shit that has nothing to do with sports. You like shit that has nothing to do with sports. Let’s talk about it! Will we disagree sometimes? Sure. But that’s what wooder cooler talk is all about.

Looking forward to it!

Vince Quinn

Down the Stretch Fantasy Take on the Eagles

In week 10 of the regular season, many people thought that LeSean McCoy was poised for a pretty big game. Philadelphia as a team looked nice, scoring a total of 45 points in a blowout win over the Carolina Panthers. However, McCoy was not exactly that sharp, as he finished with just 19 yards on the ground and 12 carries. He has not really been able to live up to expectations so far this year, but he could have a strong finish to the regular season starting with a favorable matchup with the Tennessee Titans. He is just one Philadelphia player on offense look for in the next few weeks.

We are starting to get to the end of the fantasy football regular season in most leagues, so people are hoping for McCoy to finally turn things around and provide a good amount of value. He was able to find the end zone last week, and that is going to be key for him in the next few weeks. Philadelphia has scored over 70 points in their prior 2 contests to Green Bay, so the opportunities are going to be there. McCoy just needs to be a little bit more dependable carrying the ball every time he gets a touch. It would also help if he becomes a little bit more involved in the passing game if at all possible.

Tennessee has one of the worst run defenses in the NFL, so that bodes well for him. Not only that, but Philadelphia is going to need to run the ball a bit more now that they have to start Mark Sanchez at quarterback.

Even though Sanchez is a little bit of a liability at quarterback, people are starting to really target Jordan Matthews as a nice pickup on the waiver wire. He is going to be big for them on offense down the stretch as well, especially if he is fully healthy. He will have the opportunity to become the top receiver in Philadelphia if he is a little bit more consistent in the next week or 2. He has outplayed Jeremy Maclin at times this year, so the rookie is really starting to become a fantasy football standout. He had far and away his best game of his career in the NFL in week 10, and I could be a sign of things to come as he is a nice target for the new quarterback to rely on.

Bill Gregory of the Josias A. Sterling Aquatic Fund on 94WIP!

If you’ve checked in with the Cooler around Thanksgiving you know that we’re big supporters of the Josias A. Sterling Aquatic Fund, which uses the spirit of rugby to provide swim lessons to inner city youth. Bill Gregory, who is the founder of the fund, was on SportsRadio 94WIP to talk about the upcoming events for the group!

Be Sure to Check Out The New Podcast!

Vince and Ray have been working n a new podcast called Sports Beyond Measure at CBS Philly! Make sure to check out the podcast and follow us on twitter @boydonsports and @itsVincequinn!

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Nick Foles is a Game Manager. Nothing more, Nothing Less.

folesFollowing a statistically incredible 2013 and with a full offseason as the starter Nick Foles was supposedly primed to break out. Instead, Foles chance to shine has removed some of his luster and we are left with what only the eye test could confirm last season. Nick Foles is a game-managing system quarterback. Nothing more, nothing less.

Depending on how you want to look at it, it could be a good thing or a bad thing.

Old school NFL tradition considers game managers and system quarterbacks to be dirty labels—the kind of language that isn’t suitable for the likes of Lambeau field. It means, simply, that your quarterback cannot play because he is by default not elite. This is wrong.

Read the rest of the article at CBSPhilly.com!

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