Will We Win Without Wentz?


It’s not the end of the world. The sky is not falling. The bottom has not fallen out. And it’s not over; at least not yet. The fact of the matter is we are suddenly without our wonderful, warhorse of a wizard QB Carson Wentz, but we can – repeat – WE CAN win without Wentz.

Yes Wentz was a savior of sorts. He was having an MVP season. He seemingly set records every time he touched the ball. And all of Philly loved him. But that’s all changed now, at least for this season. But the Eagles can still win, with conditions.

This one’s going to be on Coach Pederson. Now it’s up to the head coach to really do his job; coach. Nick Foles is the man now. No he’s not Wentz but he’s also not a wuss. We can win with Foles if we do a lot of other things absolutely right.

And that’s just like life. Sometimes we have to make adjustments and amendments in order to get the job done. And the Eagles can absolutely win down the stretch and deep into the playoffs playing the kind of football they’ve been playing.

And so there is hope.

This is what owner Jeff Laurie said about Coach Pederson last year when he was hired: “Doug is a strategic thinker, a compelling leader and communicator, and someone who truly knows how to get the best out of his players.”

And Coach absolutely got the best out of Wentz. Now he must summon the best out of the rest of his team.

So, Philly fans, you just gotta believe. And then every Eagle on the team needs to block somebody and tackle somebody and stop those silly, stupid, self inflicted penalties! Where’s my blood pressure medicine!

A Good Loss and A Bad Win

 Dallas Cowboys v Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles defeated the LA Rams 43-35. That’s the good news. The bad news is that we lost our MVP-Candidate quarterback, Carson Wentz to a torn ACL injury.  That’s a win that’s almost not worth it. We won the NFC East but we lost our star QB.

A bad win is a win won when it is not valued or treasured. It is a win won without appreciation or full comprehension of the cost of victory. A bad win is when you win without recognizing with gratitude that it could have gone the other way.

A good loss is a loss that teaches meanings and morals and mottos and maxims. No one wants to lose, but there are times when a loss is just what the doctor ordered. We must realize that in sports and in life, all is not lost when a loss is redemptive and reformative. In actuality, after a positive loss, there can be much gain. This is the balance of life.

So take it from me and my Philly teams.  Last week the Eagles lost to the Seattle Seahawks and the Sixers lost to the LA Lakers and they were not good losses.  Both teams were listless and lethargic lacked the energy and effort needed to pull off a win. The Eagles never got off of the ground, and yet they were “in it” until the end. And the Sixers were behind by 16 at home but yet still tied the game with less than a minute to go. Both could have pulled it out and stole the game but lacked the leadership that was necessary to turn the tide and pull off come from behind wins worthy of mention. 

So let’s take careful stock of our wins, and let’s not bemoan all of our losses.  In fact, let’s be thankful for our wins and our losses. There is nothing to be gained from a bad win, and much to be learned from a good loss.

A Good Start is A Good Thing

NFL 2016-PHILADELPHIA EAGLES DEFEAT PITTSBURGH STEELERS 34-3
Philadelphia Eagles rookie quarterback, CARSON WENTZ, completes a pass to Darren Sproles in the first quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers for a first down. WENTZ completed 23 of 31 passes for 301 yards and 2 touchdowns and no turnovers.leading the Eagles to a 34-3 victory. WENTZ is the first rookie in NFL history without an interception in his first 100 pass attempts to begin a career.

 The Philadelphia Eagles are 8-1. The Philadelphia 76ers are 6-4. Who saw this comin’?

First, the Birds. My Eagles are atop the NFC East AND have the best record in the NFL. There’s still a lot of football left, but by golly – an 8-1 start is not too shabby. In fact, is pretty darn good, if not downright scary. This past Sunday they beat the Denver Broncos 51-23 and it wasn’t that close. AND going into the game, Denver had the league’s No. 1 Defense.  Really!

Now for my favorite sons: DA Sixas! Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have taken the Sixers by storm, and they are on a FIVE GAME winning streak. I just said the 76ers have won five games in a row after starting the season 1-4.  The last time they won five games in a row was 2011. Seriously. 

All of Philly is trying not to overreact or be overconfident or overestimate our chances of . . . well, you know.  But there’s no harm in having high hopes, right?

The moral of the story is this: a good start is a good thing. Yes, you still have to finish, but in God’s Playbook, a good starting point is not a bad thing. So start strong. Start fast. Start with the end in mind.  The goal is always high and lofty and a stretch. That’s why your goals should be just beyond your reach, and your reach should be just short of your grasp. It pushes you forward and pulls you onward above all that you could even ask or think.

So don’t settle for mediocre or middle of the pack or the mean, median or the mode. Your enemy is called average. You can do better than before, and even the rest.

Just get a good start.

As Good As It Gets: Jay Ajayi’s Flying High As An Eagle In Philly

 Jay Ajayi

Jay Ajayi’s debut in Philly was as good as it gets.  He’s off and running, or flying, in Philly and opening day couldn’t have been better for the Eagles and Ajayi, as they steamrolled the Denver Broncos in front of a racous, rockin’ and rolling Lincoln Financial Field crowd. Ajayi was traded to the Eagles for next to nothing (a 4th round draft pick?) and was seemingly dumped and his impact was downplayed because he’s “a problem child” that’s a distraction. But the Eagles said “come to Philly.” And come to Philly he did.

So all of Philly is singing in the rain and dancing in the streets. The Iggles are now 8-1, are in first place in the NFC East with the best record in football and their best start since the Super Bowl Year of ’04.  So go Birds, and atta’ boy Ajayi.  Next Stop: Arlington Texas and the Dallas Cowboys.  And they don’t scare me.

Here’s what ESPN had to say about my Eagles:

“The Philadelphia Eagles went from very good to downright scary with the addition of running back Jay Ajayi. Just ask the Denver Broncos.

Acquired from the Miami Dolphins on Tuesday, Ajayi made an instant impact in his Philly debut, breaking off a 46-yard touchdown run as part of an eight-carry, 77-yard performance that helped the Eagles cruise past Denver, 51-23.

‘It was special,’ Ajayi said afterwards. ‘First off, it’s my first touchdown of the season, and it’s exciting for it to have been in Philly in my first game as an Eagle. I don’t think it could have been written any better than that.’

The Eagles, now 8-1, entered the game as the third-ranked offense in the NFL. Still, executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman stayed aggressive at the trade deadline and worked up a deal with old friend Mike Tannenbaum, who holds the same title with the Dolphins, sending a 2018 fourth-round pick to Miami for the 24-year-old Ajayi.

While there were reported concerns about the long-term health of Ajayi’s knee and his effect on Miami’s locker room, the Eagles believed Ajayi could be a system and identity fit based on joint practices with the Dolphins this summer. They were willing to take a risk in hopes he would regain his 2016 Pro Bowl form when he rushed for close to 1,300 yards and eight touchdowns.  Ajayi’s longest run this season with the Dolphins was 21 yards, but he found his home run swing in his first game> with his new team.http://www.espn.com/blog/philadelphia-eagles/post/_/id/22824/with-jay-ajayi-added-to-mix-eagles-look-unstoppable-against-broncos

God Loves Sports! Another World Series Game 7

 Joc Pederson

Whoever said that God doesn’t like sports hasn’t been watching the 2017 World Series. There’ve been enough plot twists and script flips and stories of redemption to fill up every stadium from Boston to Baltimore and from Seattle to San Diego, and every Midwestern city in between. There have been walk offs and pitching duels, batting slumps and more home runs that ever before. Ever.  

This will be the third World Series Game 7 in four years. The home team had won nine straight since 1979 before San Francisco triumphed at Kansas City in 2014 and the Chicago Cubs captured their first title since 1908 at Cleveland last year.

There is something mystical and even mysterious about Game a 7. When a seven game series boils down to a one game, no holds barred, winner take all contest, it seems as if anything is possible. Anything.  And that’s why we love sports, and that’s why we believe God loves sports too.

A Game 7 is special because the number seven is special.” Did you know that there are 7 layers of skin (2 outer and 5 inner), that ocean waves roll in sevens, the rainbow has 7 colors, sound has 7 notes, there are 7 directions, and that the Jewish Menorah has 7 candles? There are 7 holes in your head (go ahead and count them), the earth was created in 7 days (including a day of rest), a cube has 7 dimensions (including the inside), the male body has 7 parts, and the number 7 is used 735 times in the Bible.” Wow.

“Seven is the number of completeness and perfection (both physical and spiritual). It derives much of its meaning from being tied directly to God’s creation of all things. According to Jewish tradition, the creation of Adam occurred on October 7th, 3761 B.C. (or the first day of Tishri, which is the seventh month on the Hebrew calendar).  The word ‘created’ is used 7 times describing God’s creative work (Genesis 1:1, 21, 27 three times; 2:3; 2:4).

There are 7 days in a week and the Sabbath is on the 7th day. There are 7 deadly sins, 7 virtues, 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit, 7 classical planets, 7 numbers in a N/A phone number (after the area code), 7 hills in Istanbul, Rome and Jerusalem, 7 liberal arts, and 7 wonders of the ancient world.  AND, 7 is the number of games in the playoffs for NHL, NBA and MLB  The number 7 is also important in Hinduism, Islam and Judaism.”  http://www.kitco.com/commentaries/2015-08-13/-7-What-s-so-special-about-the-number-7.html

And this brings us to this year’s World Series comeback hero and new Mr. Joctober, Joc Pederson. Pederson, still only 25, is hitting .357, has hit three home runs and has five RBIs in the 2017 World Series.

“Two years after nearly winning the Home Run Derby, LA Dodgers Joc Pederson spent the end of this summer in purgatory, triple-A Oklahoma City, where hit .143. The once-firm premise that he could contribute to the Dodgers’ championship aspirations became preposterous. The team elected to carry struggling reliever Pedro Baez instead of him during the National League division series.

But that was then and this is now. Now The last Dodger to hit three home runs in one World Series was Davey Lopes, in 1978. The last Dodger to hit more was Duke Snider, in 1955. In World Series history, only three players have ever managed five or more extra-base hits and no singles in one series. Pederson is one, as is his teammate, Chase Utley.” http://www.latimes.com/sports/mlb/la-sp-dodgers-joc-pederson-20171031-story.html

After the come from behind Game 6 win which forced a Game 7, Pederson sat in the interview room with his older brother, Champ, who has Down Syndrome. “I have a feeling that everything is possible,” Champ said. “I’m not going to say they have it, but I’m just going to say they will find a way.”

 

This is why we love sports and Game 7s.

Why Philly Fans Are the Best

AP FILM-FOOTBALL MOVIES A ENT
Bradley Cooper with DeSean Jackson Philadelphia Eagles jeresy on playing Pat Solatano in a scene from the motion picture “Silver Linings Playbook.”

Philly fans are the best.

That’s right. Philly fans are the best. And you heard it right here on www.Godandsports.net. Yes Green Bay Packer fans and New England Patriot fans (booo!) and Golden State Warrior fans and Pittsburg Penguin fans and Ohio State Buckeye fans and LA Dodger fans may be passionate and arrogant and snobbish and boorish when it comes to their team, but Philly fans are the best. The best of the best. Why? I’m from Philly so let me tell you why.

Philly fans are fanatical, and being a fanatic is not a bad thing. Fanatical means to be marked by excessive enthusiasm for and intense devotion to a cause or idea. And there’s nothing wrong with being a fanatic for a good cause. Enthusiasm and fervency and zeal and devotion are part and parcel of sports. And when these ingredients are missing and wanting, there’s a void and a vacuum that just can’t be filled.

Philly fans have Carson Wentz, a born again believer who’s uses his faith for football. John Gruden said it best on MNF: “Carson Wentz believes that his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ helps him play football better.”  Amen brother. I am all for the combination of faith and football, and other sports too. And Carson Wentz is doing just that. 

Carson Wentz is combining his physicality with his spirituality.  He’s a bona fide believer and a darn good football player using his platform to win football games and to point others to spiritual victory.  And since Wentz has been sweetly saved by His power divine, he is be a sell out for the salvation of other sinners whose souls need saving too.  

Philly fans have Joel Embiid. And we “trust” and believe in “The Process.”  Since trust is a spiritual word, Philly fans are full of faith and energized with enthusiasm and jumping’ for joy over the fact that now our football team, (Go Eagles!) and our basketball team (DA Sixas!) are finally doing well, at the same time, and are on their way to being great.

Spiritually speaking, we all should be full of faith and hope and love. And that sums up every Philly fan. We have faith in the process, we hope to win a championship or two (soon!), and we love our teams and the players that have played for them.  And all fans everywhere should be the same way too.  

How High Can The Eagles Fly?

Eagles Nelson Agholor

Bald eagles can fly 10,000 to 15,000 feet high at about 65 mph. They can glide for hours without rest on warm updrafts of air. With their acute vision, they are able to spot prey a mile down below. Eagles swoop down at amazing speeds of 200 mph and lift up the prey with their strong talons.

Wow.  That’s incredible.

So hat’s off to any and all teams that adopt the eagle as their mascot.  And that brings us to my Philadelphia Eagles. This year’s Eagles have promise and potential that previous teams had but with one twist: now we have a quarterback and a coach and a contingent of fans that are rallying around the fact that this could be THE year. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, I know, I know; you’ve heard this before but we will say it yet again.  Before was then but this is now.  

Now is a 2017 team that’s confident, not cocky; self-assured but not self-righteous; relevant and not arrogant.  And one of the big reasons that the Eagles are flying high at 5-1 is the play of wide receiver Nelson Agholor. He had is problems last year, but this year he’s a totally different bird. Talk about turnarounds. 

Now is a 2017 team that has a big game coming up on MNF, Monday Night Football against the heated NFC East rival Washington Redskins. And if the Eagles win and to 6-1, then I say that the sky is the limit.

And that’s the life lesson that sports teaches young and old, rich and poor, big and small, first round draft pick and last-minute walk on; the sky is the limit to what we can have.  Start with your dream, proceed with your desire, progress with your drive and be determined to fulfill your destiny and finish.  

So how high can these Eagles fly? Or more importantly, how high can you fly?  Don’t let anything stop you from climbing higher and flying farther and soring faster than you can even ask or think. And herein lies the beauty of Christianity. The prophet Zechariah put it this way:

 He that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David.  

Zechariah 12:8

“Here is a marked difference between all other beliefs and Christianity. So clear, full, and efficient shall be the salvation of believers under the Gospel, that the feeblest among them shall be as strong, as full of courage, and as successful as David when he went against Goliath. Ergo, the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John the Baptist.” (Adam Clarke’s Commentary)

Fly Eagles, fly.