WHEN DOES independence among professional athletes become insubordination, then dereliction of duty? When players act without permission. Insubordination once was a rarity, quickly quashed by authoritarian coaches who ruled with iron fists. Today, insubordination has become more common. Athletes' wealth and branding have increased their power. More are willing to say what's on their minds, even when those thoughts contradict the party line.
- Poll Does Joel Embiid deserve to be an all-star? (3651 votes)
STEPHEN MEANS loves the Incredible Hulk. That's who Means turned into when Mighty Mouse got knocked out. Means had seen Washington assassin Deshazor Everett launch himself at the head of scrappy Eagles punt returner Darren Sproles well before the ball arrived. He did so with what appeared to be clear and premeditated intent, and with actual malice.
LITTLE ELSE turns the stomach like watching football players quit. Their job is brutal; their nature, brutish. Yet they choose this life and they are paid like princes to perform, and they never turn down their paychecks. It is their job to fight and flail and finish.
- Poll Should Doug Pederson be on the hot seat? (4366 votes)
FOR A FOUR-WIN team one day removed from another administrational humiliation, the 76ers sure were a happy, hopeful bunch. Franchise center Joel Embiid was ready to play almost a whole game. Former franchise center Nerlens Noel practiced with the team, sort of, the first step in his latest injury comeback. Stopgap franchise center Jahlil Okafor might get to play with Embiid, if, for a change, Okafor tries real hard.
SEATTLE - Offsides turned a punt into a touchdown. Illegal formation turned a touchdown into a punt. In a span of 2 minutes, 33 seconds in the second quarter, this delightfully bumbling Eagles team short-circuited its best chances to win against the best home team in the NFL.
- Poll Where do the Eagles go from here? (4989 votes)
DOUG PEDERSON just couldn't help himself. Every page in the Book of Football directed him, as head coach, to take the three points and trust his defense. Every instinct in his football soul pulled him toward going for it on fourth down. Again.
- Poll Do the Eagles look like a playoff team? (4315 votes)
Marcus Hayes is a sports columnist for the Daily News. Hired more than 20 years ago as a features writer, he has since covered the Eagles, Phillies, and Sixers beats as well as Big Five basketball, college football, golf, and the Olympics.