The NFL player reps are allegedly on a phone call right now that will be the last step in ending the NFL lockout. With a deal expected to be in place by later this afternoon, teams could start signing their own players today, could move on to draft picks by tomorrow and the free agent market will open Friday. Expect a frenzy. NFL teams are going to have to cram a months long off-season into about a week. Of course, we all know that teams have been in contact with players, players have been in contact with other players and there are probably any number of deals already in place by wink and nod agreements. Try proving the Eagles have talked to the Cardinals already in court. You can’t. But, it happened, we know that much, and so when they ring that bell on Friday–it’s going to be like those stampedes you see at Kohl’s at 3 am on Black Friday.
Of course, the MLB trade deadline is also this weekend, so there should be plenty of player movement in baseball this week as well, building toward a crescendo on the weekend. This could be the first weekend in the history of sports that validates the “ticker,” or any type of “trade tracker.” It is going to be very difficult to keep track of the movement, especially if you are anything like me and don’t really have any idea which players in the NFL are free agents outside of Nnamdi Asomugha. A lot of things need to shake out, and we need to absorb all that information. Your fantasy draft is right around the corner. Time to learn your sleepers and your handcuffs.
I hate to say it, but you might actually have to pay attention to Twitter this weekend. Or, you’ll at least have to pay attention to someone who pays attention to Twitter. Especially since it’s the weekend. The scribes will be in full tweeting mode, and it’ll take some work to distinguish the informational tweets from the purely speculative ones. We know how these things can get out of control. One tweet about Brett Favre coming to Philadelphia has now morphed into an article titled, “Vick wants Favre in Philly.” I”m thinking about tweeting, “Blake Lively rebounding from Leo with Three Putt Territory. #slummingit” Someone will run with that, no?
I heard that during the U.S. Women’s Soccer World Cup Final collapse that Twitter nearly shut down. Is this hyperbole? I think Twitter has occasionally crashed. If we get a bunch of stuff happening simultaneously this weekend, I think Twitter is going down. Hard. What if the Eagles traded Kolb and signed Farve on the same day the Phillies traded for Hunter Pence. What if the Eagles signed Favre just because the Phillies traded for Hunter Pence (don’t put it past them)? I’m pretty sure that would crash Twitter Septa.
The real question is where will the focus of the Philly fan be? Are they more concerned about the deadline or more concerned about their cherished Birds. I think this little Favre wildfire is a sign that Eagles mania is, if anything, just dormant. The Phillies are a juggernaut and the town still has that red hue, but the switch is always there ready to be flipped. Sure, there were sell-out crowds sweating off countless pounds at the Bank this weekend, but everyone had one eye on the NFL lockout. The real advantage I think the Phillies have is that their deal could have more of an impact, and will likely be better received.
I fear there are still those Eagles fans who are holding out for Asomugha. Or, they think Patrick Peterson is coming. Or, they think Kolb is going to bring an obscene haul of draft picks. It’s likely none of that is going to happen, and when the lockout ends and these moves start to happen it’s going to be closure. No Asomugha. No Patrick Peterson. The Eagles will get something for Kolb, but it likely won’t be a name that will create a banner headline. They’ll sign a back-up quarterback, but that will likely be blah as well. Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see the Eagles doing a deal that will heighten anticipation for this season very much. If the Phillies make the right move, people will be absolutely rabid for the post-season, if they aren’t already.