Quarantine has driven sports writers and networks to the ends of the earth in search of a story.
Brackets of “which Offensive Coordinator with O- blood type has the best odds of dating Miss America” satiate our otherwise unquenchable thirst for athletic distraction.

The modern opium of the masses, screeching to a halt in the face of a global pandemic, has unexpectedly become a golden opportunity to reflect on even the most mindless moments in the respective histories of our favorite games. However, the world ought not to be seen solely through rose-colored glasses lest we forget our heroes’ humanity. I will lock myself indoors and watch Joe Blanton’s World Series home run every day and twice on Sunday if it means not getting sick, but what about when Kyle Kendrick broke his toe kicking a bench in anger? For every “Joel Embiid’s Greatest Tweets” listicle we read, do we not have a moral obligation to scroll through Colangelo’s burner as well? 


Simply put, if we want to truly recreate the raw, unfiltered experience of Philadelphia Fandom, self-selecting the ’83 NBA Finals, ‘08 World Series, and ‘17 Super Bowl falls short of acknowledging both the highs and lows of cheering on Broad Street. 

Snowballs. Sit-ups. The Bounty Bowl. The Eagles are certainly no angels when it comes to scandals.


To fill in the gaps where implicit bias has failed you, we here at Philadelphia Sports Nation have put together a compilation of the worst off-the-field moments in recent Eagles history. Before we begin, however, the methodology:We brought in the foremost specialists in their fields: Nobel laureates, climate change scientists, and Tony Romo announcing a Titans game. This panel of experts found three metrics for evaluating the craziest news stories: Relevance, Absurdity, and, most importantly, Did-Anyone-Actually-Get-Hurt?To assess the relevance, it is crucial to consider a story’s recognition both within Philadelphia and in the national media. Some stories are like the Jersey Devil: if you aren’t from the Armpit of America, you probably have not heard of it. Others, however, vault into the national conversation. Think DeflateGate, but if it was Philadelphia. Which it was not. Because only the Patriots cheat. Absurdity can impact a story’s craziness in many ways. The stupidity of the act that caused the story is the primary basis for evaluation, but a typical news story can add to its absurdism should the culprit be an unexpected character. Take, for instance, insider trading: it happens all the time, but when Senators do it, BAM it becomes a crazy story. Finally, we want to consider: did anyone actually get hurt? Kidding aside, people are capable of pretty horrible things. While even the worst in sports is worthy of reflection and conversation, we never have and will never extend these discussions into a celebration of viciousness.


So without further ado, the Eagles’ Craziest Off-The-Field Moments of the 2010s! 


Honorable Mention: Nigel Bradham bringing a gun to the airport, Fletcher Cox having an affair with literally everyone’s wives, Lane Johnson’s PEDs, Jalen Mills subtly getting arrested, and fun fact: the Eagles had more arrests from 2012 to 2017 than any other NFC East team!


10) Riley Cooper N-Word (15)

Riley Cooper Will Not Be Suspended For Racial Slur Caught On Viral ...
Photo: YouTube

Relevance: 7

Absurdity: 5

Did anyone *actually* get hurt: 3

First things first: Riley Cooper sucks for saying this. Before the start of the 2013 season, Riley Cooper was filmed dropping the old N-Bomb, a big no-no for a white guy at a Kenny Chesney concert (or really anywhere). It was a pretty important moment, with Chip Kelly, Tim Tebow, and Roger Goodell all chiming in with their thoughts. It gets a sadly low absurdity score, though — a dude from Oklahoma plays football in Florida and drops a racist slur? Not super shocking.No one was physically hurt, but this was just a shallow moment for every fan, teammate, and coach. If you are reading this, do not use racist slurs. 


9) Mike Scott Fights Fans (18)

Sixers: No discipline for Mike Scott after fight with Eagles fans
Photo: —

Relevance: 3

Absurdity: 7

Did anyone *actually* get hurt: 8

Imagine you are at your team’s tailgate: the sun is shining, the beer is cold, the dogs are hot (hot dog, get it?). 10 seconds and too many poor decisions to count later, you are in a fistfight with the Power Forward of your favorite basketball team, a man dressed in pajama pans donning the opposing side of today’s game. Mike Scott decided to make that dream a reality for one lucky fan. For those of you not in the Mike Scott Hive, Mike is a loveably chaotic Power Forward who gets around 15 minutes on the court per night and spends most of it deciding who to punch. He is the modern basketball version of Bob Kelly. If you do not love Mike Scott, I do not love you.


8) Josh Huff: Locked and Loaded (18)

Relevance: 3

Absurdity: 8

Did anyone *actually* get hurt: 7

The Josh Huff arrest is the most hilarious crime in Eagles’ history. It started with a speeding ticket over the Walt Whitman bridge, a bridge notoriously sped over. Literally, every Philadelphian knows the bridges are where there is no shoulder, confirming the impossibility of being pulled over (right? That’s how bridges and lanes work? Asking for a friend). Then, after the cop smells weed, Huff, completely unprompted, whips out a 9mm and informs the officer that it has six hollow-point bullets in its magazine. Completely. Unprompted. Josh Huff could have lined up against the Falcons later that week $25 poorer, but instead, he just told a cop that he was committing multiple state and federal offenses. The perfect crime.


7) Dream Team (19)

Wake up Eagles, you're no Dream Team yet | Newsday
Photo: —

Relevance: 7

Absurdity: 3

Did anyone *actually* get hurt: 9

Vince Young is a double agent for the Giants. Prove me wrong. 

 


6) Eagles Sign Michael Vick (20)

Relevance: 9

Absurdity: 3

Did anyone *actually* get hurt: 8

To the haters, Vick did his time and has been proactive in ending animal abuse. If anyone deserves a second chance, it is Michael Vick. Vick takes the 5th spot over Chip because one is a feel-good story, and one is a wake-up-in-an-apartment-you-do-not-recognize story. To everyone else, yes, Vick was signed in 2009, but his presence forced a narrative onto the entire franchise for his entire tenure in Philadelphia. Wildly nationally relevant, but not that absurd to sign a Hall of Famer who has made amends. And to those of you asking yourself, “why is this an 8 for who got hurt?” Google it. 


5) Scandrick Snaps (22)

Orlando Scandrick says the Dallas Cowboys struggle with ...
Photo: Undisputed

Relevance: 8

Absurdity: 5

Did anyone *actually* get hurt: 9

Orlando Scandrick pulled a Skip Bayless and just started spewing nonsense until someone gave him a microphone. Then he yelled it louder, and on ESPN. He said dumb things, no one got hurt, and we all wasted a lot of time and energy over a name, not even Pro-Football-Reference will remember. Absolute clown.


4) Eskin Outs Alshon (22)

Relevance: 7

Absurdity: 6

Did anyone *actually* get hurt: 9

Perhaps the only storyline powerful enough to quiet the “We should have kept Foles” goons, Howard Eskin announcing Alshon Jeffery was the anonymous source trash-talking Wentz still poisons the waters of Delaware today. It eeks out Orlando Scandrick for the third seed with the addition of a rogue radio host. Check your bingo cards, kids.


3) LeSean McCoy’s Totally-Not-Weird-Orgy-Thing (23)

LeSean McCoy is throwing a secret 'females only' party this Sunday ...

Relevance: 6

Absurdity: 8

Did anyone *actually* get hurt: 9

Remember that time LeSean McCoy did the very normal and not remotely super weird and creepy thing to do and threw a party inviting only women? You know, the one where you had to sign a confidentiality agreement? Every helicopter parent this side of the Schuylkill does. This one is SO WEIRD. And it is NEVER talked about. Please bring it up every chance you get. If it was not good enough already, McCoy’s defense was “…it was no weird orgy thing going on.” Super normal thing people say all the time when discussing very average and not strange things.


2) Fan Punches Horse/Eats Poop (23)

Relevance: 5

Absurdity: 9

Did anyone *actually* get hurt: 9

Philadelphia should be grateful this was not talked about more. It could still become this generation’s Snowballs-at-Santa, but some fan punching a police horse and another eating its poop (can anyone confirm if it was the same horse? Or guy? I’m worried about both) is as absurd as it gets.


1) Chip Kelly vs. DeSean Jackson: BountyGate III (25)

Relevance: 9

Absurdity: 8

Did anyone *actually* get hurt: 8

The craziest and most important off-the-field narrative in the last decade revolves around a conflict between Chip Kelly and DeSean Jackson. Kelly made three enormous moves, trading Brandon Boykin, trading LeSean McCoy, and releasing his star wideout the same year he extended the same Riley Cooper from the Kenny Chesney concert to a five-year, $25 million deal.In response, Boykin asserted that Kelly was uncomfortable not being able to relate to black players, and McCoy suggested Kelly was racist (without saying it). Jackson, then a Washington Redskin, continued to deny claims he was involved in a gang. 


This story was studied under a microscope nationally, what an absolutely absurd storyline, and while no one was hurt physically, a point was deducted for how Chip Kelly damaged the franchise and the men he disrespected in his actions. 
Now go watch Super Bowl LII again. Go Birds.

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