Monday, February 2, 2009

Wide Receivers and Candy Bars

Last night, I hopelessly watched as the Pittsburgh Steelers won their NFL record sixth Super Bowl in what turned out to be really a remarkable game. There was the incredible 100-yard interception return, a valiant comeback by the Cardinals and a thrilling ending.

But what stood out above all was the play of the wide receivers.

Santonio Holmes was named the MVP, leading all pass-catchers with 9 receptions for 131 and that incredibly ridiculous game-winning touchdown catch. Had the Cardinals pulled off the comeback, the MVP surely would have been Larry Fitzgerald, who was no slouch himself with 8 catches for 127 yards and two touchdowns, including the 64-yard fourth quarter sprint to put the Cards on top. Hell, had Kurt Warner just used his stupid head and thrown the ball up instead of running around and getting stripped, I'm almost certain Fitz would have come down the ball and given Arizona an unlikely victory.

But who won and lost is not the point. The point here is that without question, the best two players on that football field, with all due respect to James Harrison (and yes, Kurt Warner too I guess), were Larry Fitzgerald and Santonio Holmes. And Anquan Boldin had a decent game himself, what with his 8 catches for 84 yards. These big-play receivers made what looked to be a dull Super Bowl into an exciting affair, and they were the players that ultimately decided the outcome.

Which brings me back to the Philadelphia Eagles. In my lifetime, the Eagles have had only one truly talented, big-play receiver that could take over the game. When they did, they made it to the Super Bowl. When they haven't had one, they've never even made it to that game. Meanwhile, the Steelers have won six Super Bowls with the likes of Lynn Swann and John Stallworth, not to mention Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes, both of whom have now won Super Bowl MVPs.

The Cards almost won with Fitz and Boldin. The Cowboys dynasty had Michael Irvin. The Niners had Jerry Rice. Sure, teams have won without the marquee guys at receiver—the Patriots, the Bucs, the Ravens—but looking at last night's game, and many of the teams that have won more than one Super Bowl or came close often (the Bills had Andre Reed), they had the dominant wide receiver.

And that's what makes the Eagles staunch refusal to make the wide receiver position a priority that much more infuriating. Watching last night, it was clear that winning a ring is much easier when you have a Fitz or a Holmes. Surely, DeSean Jackson and Kevin Curtis are no slouches. They're good players. Starting-caliber players. Hell, DeSean may even become a Holmes-type player in a few years. But neither of them are on the level of those top-tier guys, or even Holmes, who hasn't had his name among the elite before yesterday but has been rising each year.

A big-play receiver causes matchup problems the Eagles just cannot create right now with their current roster, especially when Brian Westbrook is gimpy. DeSean and Curtis can get open and make plays, but they don't command double teams. They don't command attention with every snap. They don't strike fear in the hearts of the opposition. For better or worse, Terrell Owens did. Last night, Larry Fitzgerald and Santonio Holmes did.

Hopefully, somehow, some way, an Eagles wide receiver will do that in the very near future. It's up to Andy and Joe and Jeff to figure out how to make that happen. Certainly, there are other priorities—offensive line, safety, tight end, defensive end—but the value of a receiver capable of dominating cannot be overlooked the same way it has been for the past 10 years.

Joe Banner said the Eagles can't keep doing the same thing and expect different results. Time to go out and walk that talk.

Now, some of you may be wondering what the candy bars business is all about. Well, let me tell you.

Last night, while rooting for scores that involved the Steelers' score ending in 8 and the Cards' score ending in 7 or 6 (god damn field goals, if the Steelers would have just scored touchdowns, we'd be rich), the topic of candy bars came up. The game was fairly boring in the first half, so we had to pass the time somehow. Well, a debate raged on what the best candy bar is, and naturally, the Seinfeld Twix episode came up.

So after the game ended and we were dealing with the fact that stupid Pittsburgh won yet again, Adam EatShit and I went down to the gas station and purchased 14 candy bars. We lined them up, cut them up and had a taste test with our other roommate. It was glorious.

Of course, Snickers was far and away the winner, but really, you can't go wrong with any candy bar. They're delicious. Like a dominant receiver would be to Donovan McNabb.

BallHype: hype it up!


  1. What? No mention of Carmello bars? Reese's Fastbreak? Nutrageous? Snicker's???? im sure, you'd make such an unbold decision of naming that the #1 candy bar...LAME!!!

  2. oh, we had caramello, bastbreak and nutrageous. But Snicker's was our favorite.

  3. I see you used my theme in your article today. Good choice. And you are right, Snickers beats all!

  4. Your theme? Who is this your you keep talking about?