Another fabulous Philly year of sports corrections | Bob Ford
Perfect doesn't describe 2017 in Philly sports, and that goes for the writing, too.
They have accumulated again, like old traffic tickets stuffed into the glove compartment. Despite the best intentions and resolutions of each new year, a large number of corrections and clarifications that should have been published throughout 2017 did not appear because of the diligent effort of the author.
The 14th annual Corrections Column is not something we're proud of, but it is time to come clean, ask forgiveness, and make a new start. Once more, the promise is that this won't have to happen again.
In a Dec. 12 column on the Eagles, Bob Ford wrote: The coaches will do the best they can, and the players will do the best they can to finish this thing, but, if we're being honest here, the clock has stopped on the next Eagles championship, or trip to a Super Bowl, and it won't start again until Carson Wentz is back on the field.
The Inquirer regrets that Mr. Ford might be right.
In a Feb 21 column on the NBA All-Star Game, Bob Ford wrote: The game, played in the Smoothie King Center, put defense in a blender, added a large dollop of three-point shots, generous scoops of both dunks and layups, and poured out a 192-182 win for either the East or the West. I'm not sure because I didn't watch. I would have, but I love basketball.
The Inquirer does enjoy a good smoothie from time to time.
In a Dec. 1 column on the Flyers, Bob Ford wrote: The Flyers will host Boston on Saturday hoping to end a nine-game losing streak. It hasn't been pretty, but they have extracted five points from the mess, one in a shootout and the other four in overtime losses. Dave Hakstol has chosen to repeatedly praise his team for getting those points in the manner of someone surveying a totaled car who is pleased the hubcaps are still in place.
The Inquirer regrets the NHL's insistence on awarding points in losses.
In a May 12 column on the Phillies, Bob Ford wrote: The Phillies like the way Mackanin thinks, even as their todays are overshadowed, hopefully, by their tomorrows. General manager Matt Klentak announced Thursday that the team had extended Mackanin's contract through the 2018 season with a club option for the following year. For a guy who waited a long time for security and an organization to take a chance on him with its biggest field job, that sounds like a lot.
The Inquirer regrets that Mr. Ford was not correct regarding Mr. Mackanin's job security.
In a July 11 column on the 76ers, Bob Ford wrote: Sam Hinkie is still the one whose name is placed on banners and hoisted aloft like pirate flags above the good ship Process as it sails through heaving seas toward the coming shore.
The Inquirer regrets that Mr. Ford is still taken with analogies involving the sea.
In an Aug. 29 column on the Stanley Cup, Bob Ford wrote: Tourists and locals wandering the mall area in front of Independence Hall on Monday morning were greeted by an odd sight, if you consider seeing hockey's Stanley Cup at the very cradle of liberty an odd sight. Except for very occasional appearances, the Cup has been independent of the city of Philadelphia for 42 years.
The Inquirer did kind of chuckle at this one.
In an Oct 1 column on Louisville basketball, Bob Ford wrote: Once your college basketball program has gone on probation for providing strippers at parties for potential recruits, it's a natural progression to simply cut out the working girls and instead give the money directly to the recruits. Why go through all that trouble and have to sweep up a bunch of tassels and pay to clean the limos when you can just buy the players and their services for a semester or so?
The Inquirer regrets that Mr. Ford's "tassel" reference is so 1960s.
In a May 25 column on the Eagles, Bob Ford wrote: So very sorry to be the one to tell you, but it ain't all pep rallies and let's-go-get-'em for NFL players. They aren't fans. They aren't cheerleaders. For a short, sometimes very lucrative, period of their lives, they are workers in the meat factory, and it could end any time. If Fletcher Cox doesn't want to attend a voluntary workout in May, that's his business. Spare me the high school horseshoes about leadership and camaraderie and team-building. This isn't a bunch of Boy Scouts building a footbridge across the creek.
The Inquirer regrets that Mr. Ford's creek analogy takes us perilously close to the water again.
In a Sept 25 column on the Eagles, Bob Ford wrote: Then on fourth down, the Giants finally ran the ball up the middle and went backward, with Orleans Darkwa getting his behind powdered by the entire Eagles defense.
The Inquirer could not possibly regret more Mr. Ford's sophomoric misappropriation of lyrics from "The Battle of New Orleans," as recorded by the great Johnny Horton.
In an Aug. 3 column on the Phillies, Bob Ford wrote: At some point, and it was just this April, the Phillies decided that Pete Rose, like nuclear waste that has finally lost its radioactivity, was a safe inductee for the Wall of Fame. He'd sell out the park and enough time had passed that a guy who committed baseball's most egregious sin could receive whatever absolution a plaque in South Philly might offer.
The Inquirer would like to point out that Mr. Rose thought she was 16.
In a June 22 column on the 76ers, Bob Ford wrote: During the three seasons in which Sam Hinkie steered the 76ers ship serenely into icebergs, the strategy was both obvious and intentional. He wanted the team to play badly enough to accrue high draft picks. In that, if in no other tangible way, it was a successful albeit painful course.
The Inquirer regrets that we are once again at sea.
In a July 18 column on the Eagles, Bob Ford wrote: It wasn't easy to be the most disappointing receiver on a team that had Dorial Green-Beckham and a guy who crossed state lines with weed and a weapon, but Nelson Agholor somehow pulled it off.
The Inquirer does not regret that the Eagles kept Agholor around, although it had doubts.
In a Nov. 5 column on the Phillies, Bob Ford wrote: In Gabe Kapler, the Phillies also have a fitness-obsessed manager who is their first to pose in a skimpy leopard-print bathing suit, and whose blog has extolled the testosterone-building advantages of exposing a male's nether regions to UV light. Neither of these is something one had to report about Charlie Manuel.
The Inquirer once had a Pink Floyd poster that looked awesome under UV light.
In a July 2 column on Philadelphia sports, Bob Ford wrote: The fact is that not every crack in the sports sidewalk was put there to make Philadelphia stumble. Not everyone is out to get us. Sometimes things just happen, and in other cities, they shrug. Here, we shudder with rage.
The Inquirer regrets that Mr. Ford does not properly recognize the indignities heaped upon our fair city.
In a Feb. 2 column on the NBA, Bob Ford wrote: If the rest of us have been annoyed ever since, despite LeBron's greatness, apparently veteran basketball observers like Charles Barkley felt the same way. Constructing an all-star team in a city of your choosing isn't exactly an organic way to work toward a championship. That was true when James decamped Cleveland for SoBe, and it was true when the tide fell in Miami and he made his triumphant return to Ohio. "I'm taking my talents to Lake Erie."
The Inquirer agrees with everything but the return to lakes and falling tides.
In a Jan. 19 column on the baseball Hall of Fame, Bob Ford wrote: If justice were really sought, getting into the Hall would be solely about baseball accomplishments, and when you visited Cooperstown and read the text on Pete Rose's plaque for the game's all-time hits leader, the description would be an accurate account of the good and the bad. Barry Bonds? Same thing, with every bit of Balco testimony available for the listening. The Hall of Fame would form a textbook for the game, a dispassionate history. That is what it should be, not a hall of mirrors in which Stan Musial and Ty Cobb are given the same reflected glow. Baseball would survive being a little less godded up.
The Inquirer regrets that Mr. Ford will never be listened to about this one.
Well, once again, I feel better. The slate has been wiped clean for the new year, and there will be no repeat of the same mistakes, the same hiding of corrections. As always, trust is our bond.