POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Aug 1, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 10:24 p.m. HST, Aug 5, 2011
So what'd ole Santa leave in your stocking? Nah, I'm not five months ahead of schedule, or seven months late. You know what I'm talking about if you're a fan of an NFL or MLB team, especially if that team happens to be based in Philadelphia.
It was Christmas in mid-summer — times two for the City of Brotherly Love and Shane Victorino's summer home.
Due to the timing of the end of the NFL lockout, a bonanza of pro football free agency transaction action and the annual flurry of baseball trades close to the annual in-season deadline coincided this year. And much of the biggest news included the Eagles cornering the market on corners and the Phillies nabbing an excellent corner outfielder.
Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick is now in the good graces of seemingly everyone, maybe even the Dog Whisperer.
Vick brushed off the rust and ascended to starter last year, while saying and doing the right things. He's now considered such a solid player and citizen that Philadelphia felt comfortable dealing coveted backup quarterback Kevin Kolb to Arizona. It got a nifty cornerback, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, to go with another Pro Bowler, Asante Samuel.
The Eagles also picked up Vince Young to be the backup QB. Young's flakier than grandma's apple pie. But he's got NFL starter talent, and perhaps Vick can show him the road to redemption.
FOR GOOD measure Philadelphia added Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Babin and defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins. Jenkins knows about winning; he comes from the Super Bowl champion Packers.
Finally, the centerpiece. Maybe that's a strange way to describe yet another cornerback. But this one was the biggest name in free agency — as well as the hardest to spell and pronounce. All you really need to know is that the first two syllables of Nnamdi Asomugha's last name sound like "awesome." And he is.
The way football's played now, three great corners is not one too many. You've got plenty of slotbacks to cover now, too, and corners are generally better at that than linebackers and safeties.
As for the Phillies, the best team in the National League got better with the addition of Hunter Pence to play right field. His right-handed bat makes the lineup less vulnerable against left-handed pitching, which was a glaring weakness. And Pence is a high-energy player like Victorino.
It's safe to say now that Victorino may be the greatest baseball player to ever come out of Hawaii, barely ahead of Sid Fernandez. Let the debate continue.
It's not close in football, though. Olin Kreutz, by far.
Kreutz is a six-time Pro Bowl selection and a member of the NFL's 2000s All-Decade Team.
He's a free agent. Kreutz and the Bears, the only team in his 13-year NFL career, couldn't come to terms and ESPNChicago.com quoted him Sunday saying he's close to retirement, that he has no interest in playing for another team.
But wouldn't it be fun to see him in another Super Bowl? The Eagles aren't special at center, but would be if they added him. I doubt this will happen given Kreutz's current state of mind.
At any rate, the departure from Chicago of its most esteemed player and team leader left the Bears with a lump of coal.