Tuesday, January 25, 2011

If You Could Add One Player …

So the other day, my roommate asks me, "If you could add one player in any sport to a Philadelphia team, who would you add?" At first I hesitated. One athlete and one athlete only, regardless of sport. Then it hit me relatively quickly. Blake Griffin. No question about it.

For me, Blake is a no-brainer. He would bring some much-needed excitement to the Sixers, and with all due respect to the rest of the NBA, no one is more of a must-see player right now than Blake Griffin. That doesn't mean he's the best, but he's the one guy I'd want in this city more than any other right now.

The funny thing is, as my roommate pointed out, a few months ago I might have said Cliff Lee. And I probably would have. Now I don't have to, because we all know the greatest man who ever lived is back where he belongs.

We both agreed that Griffin was a tremendous pick, and if you had to pick just one athlete to come to your city, it would almost have to be a basketball player. The reason being that one NBA superstar can change the course of a franchise more than any one player can in football, baseball or basketball all by himself. Of course there are exceptions, so we took it a step further: Who would you add if you could add one player to each team in each sport?

That's when it gets tricky. You can look at it one of two ways: Adding that player to your team's current makeup, or the guy you'd like to start your team from scratch with. For instance, for football, my roommate said he take Ndamukong Suh, and he might even take him over anyone else in any sport.

Frankly, that choice is hard to argue. I'd absolutely love to have Suh terrorizing the NFC East as a member of the Eagles. But if I had to add one player right now to this current Eagles roster, I think it would be Patrick Willis.

My reasoning for Willis is twofold. For starters, the Eagles haven't had a terrorizing linebacker since a young Jeremiah Trotter, and it's a position they sorely need an upgrade in. Second, he would bring a presence that opposing offenses fear, a hard-hitter who will terrify wide receivers, running backs and quarterbacks alike. That's something they haven't had since Brian Dawkins went to Denver.

Of course, in reality, I desperately want the Eagles to sign Nnamdi Asomugha and pry Albert Haynesworth away from Washington to reunite with Jim Washburn here in the Philadelphia. Just imagine Haynesworth and Trent Cole up front with Asante Samuel and Nnamdi protecting the back end. Still, in a dream scenario, Patrick Willis is my guy.

However, if we were starting a team from scratch, Aaron Rodgers would be my man. He's only 27 and on the precipice of being one the few elite quarterbacks in the NFL, the most important position in professional sports.

As for baseball, that's a no-brainer for me: Albert Pujols.

There's really no debate, especially when it comes to the Phillies. They already have the most ridiculous pitching staff assembled in my lifetime. What they're lacking is a power-hitting right-handed bat. Pujols is just that. Yeah, he plays first, but who cares? I'd trade Ryan Howard for him today. In fact, if the Cardinals can't sign him, I'm down with a sign and trade, sending Howard back home to St. Louis in exchange for Albert.

That's no slight to Howard, who I love, but Pujols is the best. Even if the Phillies had no hitting at all, Pujols is still my pick. He's just so much better than everyone else in baseball right now. He's my guy.

Then there's hockey. With the Flyers currently tied for the most points in the NHL with Vancouver, there isn't much this team lacks. The one obvious area would be goaltender, that ever-elusive position for the Flyers. However, 22-year-old rookie Sergei Bobrovsky has been fantastic, as has veteran Brian Boucher. And the team is stacked with talent.

Still, I'll take a goalie. And my guy is Ryan Miller.

Miller's have a little bit of a down year, but he's been so damn good in front of a mediocre team. I'd love to see him in Orange and Black. Of course, it wouldn't hurt to get an Alexander Ovechkin or, dare I say, Sidney Crosby. But I like rooting against those guys too much. Give me Ryan Miller.

But first, give me Blake Griffin. He's one player I'd trade an entire franchise for. He's just that good and that fun to watch.


  1. Sorry, but I'd still take LeBron first. I know he's not on your favorite people's list anymore, but I'd have to take him first. He's (arguably) the best player in The League, and one of the most exciting, if not the most (sorry, Blake; I just have to stop the love-fest. As well-deserved as it is, he's still a rookie who has only played half a season in the NBA).

  2. Obviously I would take LeBron first if I wanted to win a title right here, right now. But Blake is like my Allen Iverson. I want to experience him first hand. Would the Sixers have been better with say, Kobe, than with Iverson. Absolutely. But would I trade watching A.I. for anything? Probably not.

    That's how I'm feeling about Blake Griffin right now. I watch LeBron when he's on, but I'm 8,000 times more excited to see Blake. I just am.