Friday, August 12, 2005

TO Needs Help

Before training camp, I believed TO & Westbrook would be in camp pretty much from the start- and that Simon would use his “veteran’s prerogative” to miss some of the innate cruelty of summer camp in August before coming to terms. I still think my read on Westbrook and Simon will prove largely correct- but yesterday, I backed off TO.

Boy, that was some crazy, stupid interview TO administered last night. I watched it in its entirety and left with three conclusions.

First, the Eagles clearly are going to get a pass from everyone- no matter what they do. TO is so lost, so visibly lost, that it is almost sad. There is no dealing with the guy from a rational standpoint- and as long as that is the status quo the Eagles get a pass.

True, this won’t help the 2005 on-field product. But the experiment was a free one- the Eagles gave nothing to get TO and underpaid him immensely while he was here. They got to a Super Bowl. The roster spot he took would have been filled by a receiver worse than Mitchell- no loss of future potential there. They might yet turn the zero investment into something good for the future. A decent wide out and a first round pick was a proposed trade on NFL Tonight last night.

Second, the zenith of Drew Rosenhaus as a force near term in the NFL has been reached. He might still be powerful, etc.- but he has managed to steer his prestige client into a situation where the only question is how much money, face or respect TO stands to lose- and he stands unabashed as the architect of it all. If you can’t get along with the classy Eagles’ organization, if your desire to publicly humiliate a guy like Joe Banner currently stands to cost your client a $9 million team option- well, I guarantee other agents can do better. This is not the NBA. Player reps don’t make trades. Smart teams hold the hammer here: not agents, not players.

There will always be moronic front offices- like Washington and Cincinnati- but fewer and fewer for bullies like Rosenhaus. Teams want to emulate the Eagles' and Patriots' front office. A key portion of the formula is saying "No to Drew" and his ilk.

Third, this is not funny anymore. Look, we’ve all seen TO. He’s nuts, a spazz. But he was always a like-able guy if you didn't have to actually deal with him. He undoubtedly loved to play, loved the fans. But clearly, this is something else- like he could be manic-depressive- or simply depressed. Just watching him on television, you could tell something was different. Honestly, something just isn’t right with the guy: the paranoia, the creation of alternative realities, bizarre “facts”.

Still, today I am still standing by yesterday’s speculation: TO is probably done in Philadelphia. Nonetheless, the upside to both the Eagles’ on field product and TO’s future bottom line are so far in the “TO plays and plays great in Philly” camp that, well, they probably both got to try one more time.

Anyway, enough TO. To cheer everyone up, I am including a link of my favorite painting and artist. As artchive writes:

"Jan van Eyck was the greatest artist of the early Netherlands school. He held high positions throughout his career, including court painter and diplomat in Bruges. So outstanding was his skill as an oil painter that the invention of the medium was at one time attributed to him, with his brother Hubert, also a painter. Van Eyck exploited the qualities of oil as never before, building up layers of transparent glazes, thus giving him a surface on which to capture objects in the minutest detail and allowing for the preservation of his colours. Nowhere is this better displayed than in this portrait of Giovanni di Arrigo Arnolfini, a merchant from Lucca and a frequent visitor to Bruges, and his wife Giovanna Cenami. The signature on the back wall - 'Jan Van Eyck was here, 1434' - and his reflection in the mirror has led many to believe that he was a witness to their marriage. The carving of Saint Margaret, the patron saint of childbirth, on the bed, and the presence of the dog - a traditional symbol of faithfulness - accentuate the marital theme."