Passion in philly

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The biggest winners at the NFL draft last weekend were not the hundreds of young athletes who realized their dreams, not the teams that filled major roster holes and not the army of planners who threw a spectacular three-day party in Center City. No, the biggest winners were the sports fans of Philadelphia, who added drama and humor to the normally sluggish annual event and embraced their heritage in the process.

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On a personal level, the incessant booing — sometimes with genuine rancor, sometimes with big smiles — brought me back towhen I led a pack of lunatic Eagles fans into Madison Square Garden for our now-infamous tantrum after the selection of quarterback Donovan McNabb. We have been ridiculed ever since then for our inappropriate behavior, so much so that all 30 of us have been banned from the draft.

What the NFL learned over the weekend, however, was that we were providing a service, spicing up a dull recitation of names with some Philadelphia-style passion. Eighteen years later, the draft became a special event for one reason — our fans. They exposed a surprisingly likable side of commissioner Roger Goodell, greeted the newest Eagles with our trademark honesty and inspired a new jolt of passion into the rivalry with Dallas.

He's the reason the Draft is on the road. For example, Eagles fans made it clear they were not thrilled with the first-round selection of defensive end Derek Barnett of Tennesseebuzzing with a mixture of cheers and groans when his name was announced. No one was safe, not even the newest Eagle.

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After a blistering boo from the fans, Pearson returned fire with a screaming, adoring defense of his team. Despite my ban, I was at the draft to do my WIP radio show Thursday and Friday mornings, and I was able to visit, up close, the statue of the Cowboys player that was stationed on the walkway leading to the theater. It was marred with an obscene sketch and had been used in countless inappropriate photos by Eagles fans.

One such partier, who identified himself as Kevin, called into the show to say his friend John had hoisted him up to the top of the statue, naked butt-first, to create the ultimate depiction of his disrespect for the Cowboys. The photo went viral. Kevin was proud. It is no coincidence that the arrival of Joe Douglas has dovetailed with one of the best offseasons in Eagles memory — highlighted by an extraordinary draft that brought two first-round talents and an array of other promising pieces.

Is it possible Howie Roseman truly has turned over the roster development to someone with a far better ? Yes, it is possible. Douglas was with the Ravens when Terrell Suggs developed into an elite pass rusher, and the Suggs comparison to Barnett is a major clue on who wanted the Tennessee kid the most. Roseman was quick to credit Douglas for the endorsement, if not declaring that the new personnel director made the final call. This is a huge concession by Roseman, for several reasons.

First of all, he has always preferred the glitzier choices in the first round. Second, he had such a successful off-season last year — remember his maneuvering to claim Carson Wentz? And third, no one loves draft day more than Roseman. In his 11 months here, Douglas is already having a major effect on the roster. With Wentz as the foundation, the Eagles now have a chance to be exceptional — a playoff team ina Super-Bowl contender a year or two later. If that parade ever happens, there will be more than enough credit for Roseman and Douglas to share.

Many fans were disappointed when the Eagles failed to draft any of the troublemakers like running backs Joe Mixon or Dalvin Cook when they had a chance in the early rounds. Make no mistake. The Birds did their share of bargain hunting, but the risks they took were medical, not behavioral.

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Jones was a calculated, and wise, decision. There are already boycotts being planned, amid an avalanche of bad press. Cook was no better, really. The running back had a long list of missteps in his career at Florida State, including the abuse of animals.

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He went in the second round also, to Minnesota. There was talk that the Eagles were prepared to claim him two picks after the Vikings did, but there is no tangible proof of that speculation.

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What I learned during the Michael Vick experiment was that, in the moment, I am capable of rooting for someone who electrocuted dogs. Picking at No. As a point of reference, Hextall might consider what the Eagles did with the No.

They got a kid named Carson Wentz. The real story is, the top executives at the overrated sports network miscalculated when they paid billions for rights fees for the top events. When will the bosses pay the price? They should have been the first to go. Closer Jeanmar Gomez had already crashed and burned by the end of last season, and yet the only moves were ing over-the-hill year-old Joaquin Benoit and year-old sidewinder Pat Neshek?

Is it possible GM Matt Klentak and his minions are not so smart after all?

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Sounds great to me. The NFL Network analyst finally lost it on the air when the league used an orangutan to announce a few of the picks. Angelo Cataldi PhillyVoice Contributor. Menu PhillyVoice. May 01, Philly fans showed the nation what real passion is all about.

Opinion Angelo Cataldi. More than 30, PGW customers need to re-register their online s. Sponsored Main Line Wine Gala returns al fresco! Pfizer takes next step in study of Tamiflu-like drug from. Government Officials in Philly region urge residents to report storm damage caused by Ida. Children's Health How to keep your kids safe in the sun by. Real Estate Five essential tips for first-time Philly homebuyers by. Personal Finance Five ways you can achieve financial security by.

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Passion in philly

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Philadelphia Passion