Remember that Kumbaya news conference, when Jeff Lurie spoke of rebuilding the Eagles through the efforts of a collaborative team of executives?
Yeah, well, maybe not. We’re now into February and Lurie has yet to hire that “player personnel head” he spoke about. Meanwhile, resurrected GM Howie Roseman led the Eagles delegation at last week’s Senior Bowl. And Roseman extended the contracts of three veterans – Zach Ertz, Lane Johnson and Brent Celek. None was urgent. Each could have waited until the new personnel guy came in and offered input.
All, by the way, were solid signings, in my opinion. Roseman got good value.
Although Lurie spoke of “accountability” at his Goodbye, Mr. Chip newser, don’t hold your breath waiting for the owner to produce a management flow chart. Make no mistake: With a rookie head coach, a supportive boss and a personnel man eventually reporting to him, Howie Roseman is more powerful than ever.
Fall of a king
One of the amazing business case studies for the future will be the rapid rise and fall of daily fantasy sports. Last week, a company called Vantiv, which processes payments for DraftKings and FanDuel, indicated it will quit at the end of February. In short, Vantiv’s execs fear they could be held liable if federal courts rule that the risky business is, in fact, akin to illegal sports gambling.
This follows government moves in several states – including New York and Illinois – aiming to put daily fantasy sports out of existence.
A decade ago, the idea didn’t even exist. In the first half of the 2015 NFL season, the two industry giants spent $250 million on advertising – including $140 million during NFL broadcasts. Suddenly, they’re in jeopardy of disappearing quicker than they rose.
For what it’s worth, I think it should be legal to bet fantasy sports – as long as state governments are pitching me far-fetched lottery dreams
- The NHL’s three-on-three format provided for the most-exciting All-Star Game in decades. (Yes, that’s a low bar). All-star games are sports’ equivalent of junk food, but every once in a while, a Shake Shack burger and chocolate shake do the trick nicely.
- It’s piling on now to call out CBS officiating expert Mike Carey for his ineptitude. But I’m betting “yes” on the proposition wager that Carey botches a call during the Super Bowl. Also, every time Nantz and Simms call on Carey, doesn’t it sound like they just roused him from a nap on his couch?
- You’ll hear the name “Carson Wentz” 65,736 times between now and draft day as the North Dakota State QB becomes this year’s must-have pick for Eagles fans. Problem is, with four teams ahead of them looking for a new quarterback, the Eagles seem to stand not much more chance of getting Wentz than they did of drafting Marcus Mariota last year.
- For what it’s worth: Carolina 27, Denver 14. Cam Newton’s coronation.