My first state of the Eagles address

Quarterback Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles scrambles during the game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Now that the NFL lockout is finally ending, it’s time for the Eagles to show that the past five empty months haven’t been in vain. It’s time for the Eagles to make some changes, not just on the roster but in the way they do business.

As someone who speaks daily to the customers who buy Eagles tickets, jerseys, hats, bumper stickers, etc., I offer some (unsolicited) advice on how the Eagles can make themselves more popular with the people who matter the most, the fans:

Andy Reid needs to stop speaking like a trained parrot, chirping “we’ve got to do a better job” after every bad loss. He also needs to figure out how to use timeouts and challenges, and he needs to say what he actually feels once in a while.

Joe Banner needs to avoid microphones and cameras at all costs. The president is the brains of the organization, but the fans can’t stand the sight or sound of him. His absurd recent comparison of the Eagles to the Steelers should mark his final public appearance.

Jeffrey Lurie needs to cancel his state of the team address. Once a year, the billionaire owner emerges from his mansion to deliver a stream of mindless platitudes that have become an annual insult to our intelligence. Lurie has no clue about football. We get it. Stop reminding us.

Michael Vick needs to do his social work more quietly now. We don’t need a TV clip every week of his latest speech to kids. What we need is the kind of football he played the first half of last season. People are tired of the Vick reform movement. They want to watch him play well.

DeSean Jackson needs to throw away all computers, cell phones and iPads. His tweeting has become an embarrassment. Jackson is a spectacular athlete. He is not a spectacular commentator on world events, as his recent gay slur proved. Log off.

Winston Justice needs to worry less about his newspaper column and more about
protecting Vick. Justice is a very intelligent player, maybe the most articulate Eagle. Unfortunately, he hasn’t learned yet how to block the top pass rushers. It’s now or never for him.

I’m not done. Asante Samuel needs to learn how to tackle. LeSean McCoy needs to honor his commitments off the field. Jeremy Maclin needs to gain a few pounds. Kevin Kolb needs a new suitcase. And Albert Haynesworth — if he joins the team — needs a bodyguard to keep him out of fights, an accountant to pay his fines and a trainer to help him lose weight.

Hey, I realize the Eagles aren’t going to do all of these things — or any of them. But they should. After all, the Eagles need to do a better job, don’t they?

– Angelo Cataldi is host of 610 WIP’s Morning Show, which airs weekdays 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Listen up: The senior adviser is talking

As the debate rages over what the Phillies should do at the trade deadline, I would like to defer to a man whose expertise is undeniable. He is Pat Gillick, former GM and mentor to Ruben Amaro.

In an interview with the website MLB Trade Rumors, Gillick said it’s “very important” that the Phils add a right-handed bat. Let me repeat that for the slow readers. It is VERY IMPORTANT that Amaro add a bat to replace the power and consistency lost when Jayson Werth left for Washington.

Amaro has said repeatedly that no significant moves are planned, that there is no money left in the budget, blah, blah, blah. The implication is, with pitching this good — the best record in baseball — who needs a bat?

The Phillies do. Very badly.

Don’t believe for a second that John Mayberry’s recent surge has any playoff implications. Does anyone want to see Mayberry face Tim Lincecum with the season on the line?

But my opinion doesn’t matter. When Gillick says it is VERY IMPORTANT to add a righty bat, who can argue? Gillick, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday, is listed as a senior adviser to the Phillies. If they’re smart, they’ll take his advice.

Are the stars out?

Now that record-low ratings for the All-Star Game are official, it’s time for all four sports to deal with the reality of these annual showcases. They stink. They should all be cancelled.

No matter what silly new wrinkles the leagues add to stir interest, the public yawns. Home-field advantage in the World Series? Boring. Choosing up sides in the NHL event? Ho hum. Moving the Pro Bowl to the week before the Super Bowl? No thanks. As for the NBA All-Star Game, do they still have one?

The concept of gathering the best players together made sense 50 years ago, when the athletes actually had pride in their leagues. Now, hot cribs and cool rides are far more important. Last week, 16 players named to the baseball squads didn’t participate. Even Derek Jeter, the poster boy for proper sports behavior, blew off the event.

Remember when Pete Rose bowled over Ray Fosse to win an All-Star game? That was 41 years ago. Johnny Callison won an All-Star game with a big home run — 47 years ago. Can you name the most recent big moment? Neither can I.

The only thing keeping these vestiges of another era alive is the nostalgia of sad old coots like Bud Selig, who refuse to acknowledge what the public is saying with the clicker. End the all-star games. They stink.


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