Real People

Posted: October 20th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 19 Comments »

Kinda off topic, but something I’ve been wanting to cover recently.

I have been very hard on Jarrad Page in recent weeks.  I’ve called for him to get cut.  I probably mentioned something about a one way ticket to Siberia at some point.  He’s not been my hero, to put it mildly.      

I’ve also heard from multiple people that Jarrad Page is a great guy.  He didn’t pout about his benching at all.  He took it like a man and supported his teammates.  No one was happier for the success that Kurt Coleman had.

I recently heard Jerry West on the Dan Patrick Show.  Jerry’s autobiography is coming out soon.  He had a very hard childhood and early part of his life.  I wasn’t aware of that.  Apparently his father was very abusive.  Jerry witnessed an incident between his father and sister.  He didn’t go into details in the interview, but said that after that she left to go live with an aunt.

At that point, Jerry decided enough was enough.  He told his father “If you ever lay another hand on me I’m going to kill you.”  I figured this was a high school athlete finally summoning the courage to confront his father.  Uh, no.  Jerry did this at age 11.  He then slept with a loaded shotgun under his bed every night.

I hated Jerry West for years.  I hated him based on seeing his picture in a book when I was a kid.  He was Mr. Laker and that didn’t sit well with a kid obsessed with Dr. J and the Sixers.  I never heard West say a word or even saw a highlight of him and already intensely hated him.

Today we learned that the reason Jerome Harrison failed his physical is that the Eagles found a brain tumor.  He’s done for the season, but the tumor can be dealt with.  He should be fine and should be able to play next year.

As Adam Schefter pointed out, without the trade and subsequent physical, no one knows about the tumor and that could have been very bad for Harrison.  Suddenly comparing and contrasting Ronnie Brown and Harrison as members of the Eagles backfield seemed a bit trivial.

I mention these stories about the 3 different players for a simple reason…these guys are people.  We’re all guilty of getting caught up in judging athletes as if they are just a commodity.  That’s fair to a certain extent.  The players are well compensated.  They know what they’re getting into.  I’m not asking for us to go easy on these guys and be all sunshine and rainbows.

I do think from time to time we need to remember that these guys are people.  I was horrified at something I heard on the radio recently.  I listen to several local coach’s shows.  I love listening to football coaches, whether I follow their team or not.  Anyway, a member of the audience asked the coach why he wore a suit and tie to the show that night.  The coach said he had just come from a wake for one of his former players.  The lady responded that he looked nice in the suit and tie and the audience clapped.


The man tells you he just left a wake for a kid under the age of 25 and you’re talking about his damn suit and tie?  Insanity.  And this isn’t some football factory school either.  These fans are supposed to be more level-headed.  Nope.

Don’t worry.  I’m not going to suddenly start writing nice things about Jarrad Page (unless he deserves them).  He still deserves to be cut.  I’m just not going to take such pleasure in seeing the actual headline.

I still hate the Lakers, from George Mikan to West to Gail Goodrich to Wilt to Kareem to Magic to Kobe and Shaq.  I’m not going soft.  I just hope that we occasionally do take a moment to remember there is a difference in the uniform and the guy.

Except for Dallas Cowboys.

19 Comments on “Real People”

  1. 1 Andrew Price said at 4:40 PM on October 20th, 2011:

    Very true Tommy, good post. Hit the nail on the head with the Cowboys though!

  2. 2 Anonymous said at 4:47 PM on October 20th, 2011:

    So does this mean you’re canceling the post comparing/contrasting Juan Castillo’s Defense and Hitler’s Nazi Germany?

  3. 3 Anonymous said at 4:57 PM on October 20th, 2011:

    [Deleted by poster.]

  4. 4 Anonymous said at 5:02 PM on October 20th, 2011:

    I’m expanding it to also add in the story behind the rise and fall of Tina Yothers acting career.

  5. 5 Anonymous said at 5:03 PM on October 20th, 2011:

    Germans are also people.

    Austrians are not.

  6. 6 Ty said at 6:30 PM on October 21st, 2011:

    What about Austrian corporations?

  7. 7 Anonymous said at 4:56 PM on October 20th, 2011:


    Nail on the Head!!!

    Football and the NLF . . . they’re just sports.

    And the player are — for the most part — good human beings.


  8. 8 Anonymous said at 5:22 PM on October 20th, 2011:

    And there isn’t a team I detest more than the COWGIRLS!!

  9. 9 Cliff Hall said at 7:29 PM on October 20th, 2011:

    Well said.

  10. 10 Wil MacKenzie said at 8:02 PM on October 20th, 2011:

    Fair point Tommy. Good thing for us Eagles fans that every player on the Cowgirls and Ginas are horrible people and we need not feel any guilt in spewing our hatred towards them.

  11. 11 Jack Wesson said at 8:56 PM on October 20th, 2011:

    I heard that during training camp, members of the cowboys inject puppies with AIDs……just what I heard.

  12. 12 Anonymous said at 8:59 PM on October 20th, 2011:

    Tommy, this isn’t just a good piece of sports writing, this is a fine piece of writing. Period. Thanks for expressing something I’ve pondered at times but have never put into words. I’ve also thought it must be tough for the families of pro athletes. It must be hard for a kid to hear that his Dad is a bum and deserves to be fired. I guess it comes with the territory.

    But the Cowboys still suck!

  13. 13 Anonymous said at 9:19 PM on October 20th, 2011:

    Hey Tommy,

    I quietly follow your writing all the time – have since IgglesBlog, and I try to keep up with the BGN guys – I live in Packer country currently, so I read everything I can, usually without comment. This is a great great post, and I really appreciate the honest analysis you do, even when we members of the masses are yelling “Rabble Rabble Fire the Walrus!” (Love him hate him he’s the best we’ve ever had)

    I saw a bit on ESPN the other night about DaMarcus Ware and his wife and their struggle to start a family and felt the same sentiment you wrote about here, about a Cowboy’s player no less.

    Jerry Jones is Satan, and Romo is his little flute-playing goat-boy, but Ware seemed like a genuinely decent guy.

    Keep up the great writing- definitely keeps those of us in exile from Philly up to date and upbeat about our birds.

  14. 14 Brian said at 11:07 PM on October 20th, 2011:

    Good post, Tommy. I think what’s going on w/5 is a good example of this, too. He won a lot of games with the Eagles, and seemed to be a generally good guy albeit maybe with a tendency to occasionally put his foot in his mouth. I can’t believe the level of vitriol still directed in his direction — for example Angelo Cataldo who was just overjoyed about his benching.

    I know Donovan makes more in a year than I’ll make my whole life, but I still feel bad for him and I’m sure he feels terrible.

  15. 15 Anonymous said at 11:21 PM on October 20th, 2011:

    This post is too positive!

    Grr, hate… I, uh… I HATE doing laundry. And visiting my girlfriend’s parents. And mustard plugs.

    There. In your face, sentimentality!

  16. 16 Steve H said at 11:46 PM on October 20th, 2011:

    This is a very true thing Tommy, but I think it works in the other direction as well. At times there are guys that you can’t stand because of what they are away from the game, regardless of what uniform they wear, even if its someone on a team that you like.

    I’ve come to accept that Vick is on my team, and as a player I think he’s doing some great things. I think the Eagles are in better shape because we have him, and I think he does some remarkable and unique things that are admirable on the field. Away from the field though, as a person, I don’t like the guy one bit. I don’t believe he’s sorry for what he did, I don’t believe he regrets anything other than getting caught, and I don’t believe that he loses any sleep at night over it. I don’t wish ill on the man, nor do I believe that he should be barred from continuing his career or anything silly like that based on what he did (it is only a game after all, not the presidency of the country) but I can’t help but feel a little creeped out by Mike Vick the person, not Mike Vick the athelete.

  17. 17 Anonymous said at 8:44 AM on October 21st, 2011:

    It does work the other way. Dr. J turned out not to be a saint. Kirby Puckett turned out to be a pretty weird guy. And so on.

    I learned a long time ago not to buy into the general hype. Even the best people generally have some flaws.

    Except me of course. Unless you count being too humble as a flaw.

  18. 18 Rob Cabacungan said at 11:19 AM on October 21st, 2011:

    Hi, Tommy,

    Been reading your posts since Eagles Blog (no version number) days, and have always appreciated the sense of humor and perspective that go along with your knowledge and insight.

    My memory wasn’t good even in my younger days, but I don’t recall you ever outright calling for someone to be cut — so I took that as being a indictment of Page’s play (his play not his person) more than you switching places with the mirror universe Tommy (the one with the goatee).

    And now for something completely different — what’s up with Casey Matthews? Have you heard anything? You seem to have some mysterious sources outside of the usual suspects… 🙂



  19. 19 David Heaney said at 12:04 PM on October 21st, 2011:

    Hey Tommy, speaking about Jerry Wests autobiography, are there any sports books or autobiographies you highly recommend. Not necessarily Eagles or even football books but other sports books also.
    i know you mentioned “bringing the heat” in a previous topic and i intend to get that.
    BTW, love your work, great for people like me not living in the US (live in Ireland)