Bill Conlin | Boy, oh boy, trading with Dallas
WHEN I'M KING of the World . . . The Trading With the Enemy Act will be expanded to prohibit the Eagles from doing any future business with the Dallas Cowboys . . .
HEN I'M KING of the World . .
The Trading With the Enemy Act will be expanded to prohibit the Eagles from doing any future business with the Dallas Cowboys . . . If Jeffrey Lurie wants to smuggle Cuban cigars into the country or put Emperor Jones, the Cowboys' owner, on speed dial, he will do so at his peril . . . How many Eagles fans do you figure blurted, "What the bleep?" when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell stepped to the podium and announced the Eagles were swapping their No. 26 pick with Dallas for the Pokes' second-, third- and fifth-round slots? And wasn't the "What the bleep?" Greek chorus drowned out when Andy Reid pulled the biggest white rabbit in franchise history out of his hat?
One thing we now know that Coach Andy did not do during his leave of absence while attending to pressing family matters: He did not take a PR course. There is an arrogance of power assumed by NFL coaches once their teams replace religion, nation and family values as the No. 1 priority in the lives of their Kool-Aid-guzzling fans. Ever see a deeply religious person dress up like a priest, minister or rabbi when he or she goes to the mall?
As for the treasonous act of trading with the Cowboys, remember we live in a country that helped build Saddam Hussein's war machine so he could invade Iran; we armed the Taliban in Afghanistan so it could knock out Soviet tanks and helicopters. So, what's a few draft picks swapped by mortal enemies?
When I'm King of the World . . .
Coaches who resisted using the archaic shotgun will get a double-barreled blast of Birdshot (pun intended) in the butt if they draft a shotgun quarterback . . . Conference USA doesn't get a lot of national TV exposure. I can't remember seeing call-in radio's newest whipping boy, Kevin Kolb, ever play on TV. But what in the Warren Moon is going on here? Andy Reid drafting a shotgun quarterback who throws from a Jamie Moyer arm slot is like Hillary Clinton hiring Rosie O'Donnell to manage her run for the White House. But maybe this is Andy's chance to blueprint a West Coast offense QB by starting with a blank sheet of paper. This will be a 3-year project. If Donovan McNabb goes down again, A.J. Feeley will be the man until K-Kolb (if he gets concussed, will the headline be "KK KO'd"?) masters Reid's Koran-sized playbook . . . There are no guarantees in an NFL draft, but Penn State's Tony Hunt has a great chance to be a promissory note the Eagles will collect and cash. He gives Reid many options in a running game he figures to rely on just a little more than before McNabb became a chronic injury. It will be interesting to see Hunt and Correll Buckhalter in a big-back set with Brian Westbrook in the slot. Tony will also be a big-time screen-pass weapon.
Speaking of Penn State, another episode of "Cops" has become reality in Joe Paterno's amazingly turbulent program. The octogenarian coach is faced with the latest and perhaps most damaging disciplinary problem. There are two sets of laws in Happy Valley's parallel universe. There is criminal law and the law of how Paterno will apply violations of the former to his football team. If a player - in this case six defensive players, two of them high-profile stars and two more expected to assume major 2007 roles - is returned to Paterno's jurisdiction, he and he alone decides the institutional penalty. Starting safety Anthony Scirotto (West Deptford, N.J.) and cornerback Justin King head a crowded rap sheet that includes Chris Baker, Lydell Sargeant, Tyrell Sales and Jerome Hayes. They face 24 charges, nine of them felonies, after an earlier fight escalated into the alleged crashing of a party and consequent alleged assault and injury of several persons. This is basic College Boozing 101 stuff. Guy gets punched at a party, goes and gets his buddies. They crash the party, find the bad guys and pound them. Handcuffs soon follow. Let's assume the only charges that stick will be simple assault and disorderly conduct. That's suspended sentence and community service stuff for first-timers. Now, what does Paterno do? At this stage of his reign as Emperor of Happy Valley, the quality of his mercy has to be getting awfully strained.
When I'm King of the World . . .
Major League Baseball will replace the designated hitter with the designated driver . . . Dontrelle Willis knee-walking in South Beach . . . Tony La Russa asleep at the wheel with the motor running and his foot on the brake . . . Willy Aybar, missing from the Braves' clubhouse without a trace. Drugs and alcohol, according to his agent . . . Until autopsy results are released, it is not fair to the memory of Cardinals reliever Josh Hancock to link him to the current epidemic in any way. But you asked yourself the question, right? Accidents happen to sober people, as well. Hancock apparently never saw the tow truck partly in the left lane of a St. Louis freeway until a split second before the deadly impact . . . And you thought I couldn't make it through an entire "King" column without mentioning Dave Montgomery's team . . .