Kevin Kolb vs. Bobby Hoying

Bobby Hoying
Kevin Kolb

Bob McFlurry with Sports

I’ve been saying for awhile now that I’m not sold on Kevin Kolb as the answer at QB in Philadelphia.  The situation reminds me of 1997 when Bobby Hoying was anointed the savior of the Eagles franchise. Hoying was a second year Quarterback who took over for Ty Detmer who had taken over for Rodney Peete that year. Hoying threw for over 300 yards in a start against the Bengals which the Eagles won 44-42 in a shootout against Boomer Esiason.  I can remember the newspaper headlines the next day in which the media put the weight of the city on Hoying’s shoulders.

The Kevin Kolb situation is eerily familiar to the Hoying situation. Both QB’s were essentially over-hyped following 300 yard passing games. Kolb had two in a row but only one one to show for it. However, before Kolb took over for an injured Donovan McNabb in 2009 he had not throw for a touchdown. Well technically he had throw at least one touchdown, it just happened to be to the other team in Ed Reed’s NFL record 108 yard interception return. Before 2009 Kevin Kolb had a TD-INT ratio of 0-4 and at the end of the 2009 season he sat at 4-7.

The Kolb / Hoying comparisons go a little further than that:

  • Both players are listed to be 6’3″.
  • Hoying is the principal owner of a Real Estate Agency in Columbus Ohio
  • Kolb majored in Business Entrepreneurship at Houston.
  • Completion %: Hoying 64%, Kolb 68%
  • TD-INT: Kolb 4-7, Hoying 11-15

Maybe that’s where they stop but if Kevin Kolb doesn’t produce a sizable playoff run in his first two years he may go the way of Bobby Hoying and be shipped out of town. Only time will tell.

Success and Failure in Philadelphia Sports

It's a Love/Hate Thing Here.
It's a Love/Hate Thing Here.

Sports with Bob McFlurry

What a bunch of crybabies Philadelphia sports fans are. Oh, the Eagles have never won a Super Bowl, the Flyers haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1975, the Sixers haven’t gotten it done since 1983 and minus the Phillies breaking a miraculous curse in 2008, their only World Series win was in 1980.  It’s like Philly fans are so masochistic that they love to be hurt, we actually brag about it.

Yes there was 25 years between Championships in Philadelphia but that didn’t mean there weren’t teams to root for.  Yes you can give me the whole, “Of the cities with the four major sports teams, Philadelphia ranks last in Championships” crap but it’s still a whole lot better than being in Cleveland or Kansas City. And of the teams with four major sports teams I think we’ve had it a lot better than Phoenix, Minneapolis and Washington D.C.

If you rank a season Quality by the team making it to either the Championship game or the Conference Finals then the landscape changes a bit.

We’ll start our time line in the year 1980:


76ers lost to the Lakers in the NBA Finals 4 games to 2.

Flyers lost to the Islanders in the Stanley Cup Finals 4 games to 2

Eagles lost the Raiders in the Super Bowl 27-10

Phillies Win the World Series over the Royals 4 game to 2


76ers lost the NBA Championship to the Lakers 4 games to 2


Phillies lost to the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series 4 games to 1

76ers Won the NBA Championship over the Lakers 4-0


Flyers lost to the Oilers 4-1 in the Stanley Cup Finals


Flyers lost to the Oilers 4-3 in the Stanley Cup Finals


Flyers lost to the Canadiens 4 games to 2 in the Wales Conference Finals


Phillies lost to the Blue Jays in the World Series 4-2


Flyers lost to the Devils in the Conference Finals


Flyers lost to the Red Wings 4-0 in the Stanley Cup Finals


Flyers lost to the Devils in Eastern Conference Finals 4-3


76ers lost to the Lakers 4 games to 1 in the NBA Finals

Eagles lost to the Rams in the NFC Championship game 29-24


Eagles lost to the Buccaneers in the NFC Championship 27-10


Eagles lost to the Buccaneers in the NFC Championship 27-10


Flyers lost to the Lightning in Eastern Conference Finals to 4-3

Eagles lose to the Patriots in the Super Bowl 24-21


Flyers lost to the Penguins in the Easter Conference Finals 4 games to 1


Eagles lost to the Cardinals in the NFC Championship Game 32-25

Phillies Win the World Series over Rays 4 games to 1


Phillies lost to the Yankees in the World Series 4 games to 2


Eagles: 2 Super Bowl appearances and 6 Conference Championship appearances. 16 Playoff appearances.

Phillies: 2 World Series Championships, 5 World Series Appearances and 5 National League Championship appearances. 7 Playoff appearances total.

Flyers: 4 Stanley Cup Finals trips, 8 Conference Championship appearances. 22 Playoff appearances.

Sixers: 1 NBA Championship, 4 Finals appearances, 4 Eastern Conference Championships. 18 Playoff appearances.

You don’t have to label a season a success if the team doesn’t win their respective sports’ championship that year and to a certain degree I get that logic. However, there have been plenty of years either collectively or individually that professional Philadelphia sports franchises got your heart racing during playoff time. That you lived and died by that team, that you and the city pulled for them.

If you ask me the 2002 NFC Championship loss to Tampa Bay was one of the absolute worst feelings I’ve ever had in my life.  I swore off the Eagles and the next year my heart was in it again for another run. I guess my point here is that Philadelphia fans, for all their complaining and whining have it pretty good I think. Lito Sheppard was recently quoted to say that he thought Philly fans were “spoiled” by the decade of success the Eagles had and I’d have to agree with him. It’s not that easy to win a Championship in any sport even when you do have great players. I’ll settle for 3 Championships in 30 years and revel in the the enjoyment the next time one comes around.

Any playoff game is just another reason to get drunk and hang out with your friends so look on the bright side people, at least we’re not in Cleveland.

Con (Vick)

vickBy: Bones

Michael Vick is one of, if not the most, polarizing figure in the history of American sports. His mercurial skills, horrendous crimes, and incarceration at the apex of his career have made, and continue to make, a story that is hard to resist. The facts themselves are juicy enough to invoke rabid supporters and detractors, but the internet age has allowed the public to be continuously inundated from all angles. The facts, or what pass as facts, have been endlessly reported, twisted and glossed over in so many ways and for so many different people’s purposes that it is really hard for anyone to see through all the muck and make a truly informed decision about how they feel about Mike Vick.

On the surface, Vick’s story has grown so large for an obvious reason: he was (and still could be) a premier player in the country’s most popular athletic organization. The NFL has its own channel, unprecedented revenues, a fanatical fan base, and unending coverage on ESPN, even during the offseason- even the smallest non-stories tend to get blown out of proportion. But the Vick situation goes much deeper than the fact that he throws a ball for a living- it is a case study in multiple social aspects of American society- race and tolerance, the way we treat convicts, and the many ways others can profit from the downfall of another. In my opinion, the results of this case study to date have been disappointing.

Michael Vick financed, committed, and conspired to commit multiple vicious crimes related to dog fighting. There is no argument, in public or with me, that the crimes he admitted to committing were horrendously cruel to animals. Vick himself has admitted as much. In a lot of ways, the fact that he pled guilty to his crimes, and that the details are so well known, has made his detractors more numerous and more unified. The majority of criminals to some degree maintain their innocence, because that is the natural thing to do for anyone, and no one wants to go to jail voluntarily- which usually is the consequence of admitting guilt. But the result of denying guilt is the remaining shadow of a doubt, even after a conviction, that someone who says they are innocent just might be; it presents the situation where one must take sides- who to believe, the defendant or the plaintiff? The evidence or the words? In America, when a person admits guilt, it triggers the instinct of the public to pile on and condemn a person so early on in the process that the opportunity for redemption is has been closed off- there is only one side to take when a man admits he’s guilty. I suspect that there are a decent number of people in this country who condemn Vick coming back because that is a sentiment that doesn’t need an explanation, whereas defending the man’s right to a second chance, forgiving him for his crimes, or recognizing that he has paid his debt to society needs to be defended somehow. And that’s the problem- it should be the other way around.

So why is it so hard for the public to forgive and forget? The answer is complex, for sure. I mean, why should anyone when the personal and professional benefits of condemning him are so great? PETA is an organization whose cause is inherently a good one- the protection of animals from the cruelty of humans. Obviously they had the right to speak out against Vick during his indictment, trial and incarceration. After all, he was a violator of their cause and what they believe in. But now that he has paid his debt to society, has said publicly he will be an advocate of animals rights and will be active in the community to further PETA’s cause, you would think that it would be beneficial for the organization to embrace a reformed, high profile athlete who is invested in its cause. Unfortunately, based on their track record of notorious smear campaigns, protests, and criminal acts, they won’t. They will continue to condemn him for years to come in very public ways because that is the best way to gain attention for themselves. I see PETA’s publicity stunts as very selfish in that they have their own interest in mind, putting animal rights in front of Vick’s rights to a second chance. The provocative headlines in Philly’s newspapers this morning are another example of benefitting from condemnation. The major papers in this city screamed negative headlines because thats the way to sell papers. The idea of condemning Vick, and the headlines and op-eds that go with it, cater to the vocal portion of the city that disagree with the decision, and are much more profitable than headlines that read ‘Good Job’. Those are pretty general reasons, but in Vick’s case I think it has to do with two other issues- his race and the type of crime he committed. Lets start with the latter: animals have a soft spot in Americans hearts- the crimes he committed inspire a very emotional reaction to those who have pets or who love animals. They view his crimes as an abuse of a human’s responsibility to nurture and care for domesticated animals, and that is true. Vick himself used the animals for his own personal pleasure and monetary gain with no regard for their welfare. But his crimes pale in comparison to crimes committed by others, crimes committed against humans. Yet, he’s being treated as if he murdered or raped someone. He didn’t. He is not a danger to those around him, or a danger to the community. The race issue is more complicated, and more subtle, maybe even subconscious. This country is long past the point of outward hate towards African Americans (except in Mississippi); the civil rights movement was 40 years ago. But there is still a definite undercurrent of people who do not show African Americans the same tolerance that they would afford a Caucasian. It’s accepted socially to be tolerant of all races and sexualities now, but individuals still, and perhaps always will, harbor personal biases based on race. Its been that way for thousands of years- people of different races disliked people of other races just because they were different. However, for the majority of history racial hate was based on the fact that nothing was known about the other race, or other civilization.In today’s sociaety, people of different races live side by side, and in this information age, it is possible to learn and be tolerant of other races much easier than it used to be. Yet the hate is still there, bubbling under the surface, which is a shame. I can’t help but wonder what the climate for Vick would be if he were white guy from Iowa. It certainly wouldn’t be great, but I think it would be a little less harsh in that more people would be willing to give him a second chance.

So what about that second chance? Doesn’t he deserve one? His job was an NFL quarterback before any of this happened, so why can’t that be his job anymore? If he were a trashman, or an accountant, or a doctor, he would be allowed to continue his life working at his profession. I don’t by Roger Goodell’s stance that playing in the NFL is a ‘privilege’. It’s his job, and it’s his right. His crime has nothing to do with his job performance. He should be a shining example of the American judiciary system and public working together to reform criminals. That is, after all, the entire point of the prison system. Except in extreme cases, the idea is to reform criminals and turn them into productive members of society upon release. Why is it so hard to believe that it may have worked in Vick’s case? I watched the press conferences, and the man seemed truly and remarkably remorseful, humble, and changed. I heard some yahoo on talk radio this morning yapping about how Vick hasn’t earned his second chance, how he hasn’t proven worthy yet. What do you want the man to do? Go door to door and do the river dance for you? He deserves a second chance, no questions asked.

Obviously, the Eagles didn’t sign Vick as a charitable donation. They want to see the guy who wowed everyone a few years back, and it’s quite possible that it will happen; he’s only 29. But at the end of the day, the Eagles are taking a chance that he will disrupt their image, practice, games, fan base, etc. just by association. The brass knows it’s coming: the intense media scrutiny, protests… But there are potential benefits off the field too; if he walks the walk and is proactive in the community the way he says he will be, it could turn out to be a great thing for the Birds. Regardless, someone needed to give the guy a second shot at his life. I, personally, am proud that my hometown team has the guts, compassion, and stability to overlook the inevitable immediate reaction and give Michael Vick the shot he deserves. Good luck, Mike Vick. I hope you succeed, even if it’s not on the field for the Birds.