We’re a quarter of the way through the season, and as unbelievable as it might sound, the Phillies are in a virtual tie for first place in the NL East.
Unfortunately, the cheers for the Phillies are still being drowned out by the anger and animosity being thrown at embattled Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford.
Just this week, Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett bizarrely joined the fray, blasting Bradford for complaining about the $40 million he’ll earn in the next two years.
"If I was his teammate ... How can you play with a guy that doesn't want to compete at a high level and feels like his position should be solidified without even putting up the stats or the wins to back that up?" Bennett asked.
He’s not alone. Closer to home, Eagles fans flocked to Twitter to voice their anger at a simple gif posted by the team of Bradford and rookie quarterback Carson Wentz throwing a pass together during practice:
@Eagles Welcome back, cry baby.
— Jason Plank (@_japlank_) May 9, 2016
— unpforgettable pfire (@firefire100) May 9, 2016
@Eagles lol. The guy wanted out and we're supposed to be happy he's back. Nah
— Kyle Jones (@Kadrien756Kyle) May 9, 2016
@Eagles Bradford abandoned his team for 2 weeks now he wanna come in likes its all good well it's not he didn't want to compete
— Alicia Simon (@Slimbrownie924) May 9, 2016
@Eagles was that a tail between his legs??
— Cyriac (@realbibbygeorge) May 9, 2016
@Eagles �� nobody wanted him, he had no choice
— Z (@1nK__M) May 9, 2016
@Eagles Can somebody throw a snowball to him please?
— Phanatic✌ (@89_tev) May 9, 2016
@Eagles Get this baby off the team
— Darth Vader (@CutCut94) May 9, 2016
The thing is, other than a group of vocally angry Eagles fans and some talking heads on TV and radio (Ron Jaworski still thinks Bradford needs to apologize, while Angelo Cataldi thinks he’s “un-American”), Bradford’s teammates have maintained a more nuanced perspective, as Daily News columnist Paul Domowitch notes:
"He's still the leader of this team," tight end Zach Ertz said after the Eagles finished up the first of 10 voluntary OTA practices over the next three weeks. "He only ended up missing seven days (of workouts). People want to make it a huge deal. Like it was a holdout.
"No one in here is looking at him with any sort of grudge. I think 90 percent of the guys either texted or talked to him when he was gone. I spoke with him on the phone regularly. He's not a grudgmental guy. He's not going to hold a grudge against anyone. I think he's excited to be here again. Like I said, he only missed seven days. It's not like he held out for the entire offseason program or anything."
Yes, Bradford was an idiot for trying to force a trade, and did come across as an entitled crybaby, as I noted in a recent cartoon:
But he’s back now, and the only one who should have a bruised ego about any of this is Bradford himself.
So why not take a breath, pour yourself a glass of lemonade and try to enjoy the rare sight of the Phillies actually winning baseball games? Believe me, this surprising group of kids is a worthwhile distraction to anything happening in Eagles training camp, at least until Bradford throws an interception (h/t Dan Levy):
Nice McLeod pick as Bradford throws into tight coverage.
— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) May 17, 2016
McCleoud jumps a Bradford check-down for an INT that would be a pick-6. First INT of the day #Eagles
— Eliot Shorr-Parks (@EliotShorrParks) May 17, 2016
Rodney McLeod pick 6 on Sleeves in 7 on 7's.
— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) May 17, 2016
Rodney McLeod picked off Bradford pass. Woulda gone for pick-6. #Eagles
— Martin Frank (@Mfranknfl) May 17, 2016
Rodney McLeod just got a pick six on Bradford. The safety jumped the route on a short pass. Great play.
— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) May 17, 2016
— Garry Cobb (@GarryCobb) May 17, 2016