Voice of Philly Sports Fan: Making sense of Howie Roseman’s absurd rise

Howie Roseman is like a cockroach in a nuclear war, a survivor against all odds. In fact, while the pathetic team he helped to assemble disintegrates, the Eagles GM just keeps gaining power. And he will emerge soon to lead the head coaching search.

As the inevitable end to the Andy Reid era draws closer, attention is turning to the quest for a new head coach, and to the man who apparently will lead that expedition, a lawyer by trade and talent evaluator by accident. At 37, with absolutely no track record of NFL success, somehow these are Howie Roseman’s Eagles now.

After yet another bad game — this time a 30-22 loss to the putrid Carolina Panthers — a sense of anticipation continues to grow around Reid and the army of overpaid underachievers who comprise this horrible team. Many of them will be gone soon, though clearly not soon enough. The coach will take the fall first, a departure at least one year too late. Mike Vick will leave at the end of the season, as will free-agent bust Nnamdi Asomugha.

Expected to survive (indeed, to prosper) will be Roseman, who has emerged from the shadow of his mentor, Joe Banner, to assume an improbable position of power. Other than owner Jeff Lurie’s proclamation that Roseman is “one of the brightest young guys in the league,” nothing tangible supports this meteoric rise. There is plenty of evidence that the GM is clueless.

Two years ago, Roseman called Reid from the NCAA combine and announced that Danny Watkins, a 26-year-old offensive lineman who had played football for only four years, was the steal of the draft. Since Roseman told this story himself, there is no doubt how the Eagles came to waste that first-round pick on a slow lineman with a chronic ankle condition.

Reid has been careful not to reveal who in the organization was responsible for the rest of that disastrous 2011 draft, or for the free-agent frenzy that followed. All we can say for sure, Roseman was there for all of it while crowing repeatedly about the talents of a player who later would fail spectacularly.

Well, now even the crowing has stopped. Roseman hasn’t been heard from in two months. Not

coincidentally, the last time the Eagles won a game was Sept. 30. Suddenly, when times are toughest, Roseman has scurried for cover. Rest assured, he will emerge soon to lead the search for a new coach.

Howie Roseman is the ultimate survivor, the lone Eagle who is profiting from one of the worst seasons in team history. Can he lead the Birds back to respectability? Can he find the perfect coach for this imperfect team? Don’t bet on it.

Not worth our time

There was a report last week that Andrew Bynum doesn’t like basketball. What a coincidence. Since he became a Sixer, I haven’t liked it. Bynum’s absence has made me not care about a team I have loved for half a century.

A recent fan poll revealed that 48-percent believe Bynum will never play. a stunning shift from the euphoria of his arrival. Was it really less than four months ago that 700 people turned out for his gala introductory news conference?

In that time, the only athletic endeavor he has attempted has been bowling. The bowling fiasco followed experimental knee treatments in Germany, lubricant injections and a couple of daring new hairstyles.

When he will play is anyone’s guess. The Sixers finally tried to stop the speculation over the weekend when they ruled him out indefinitely. GM Tony DiLeo finally admitted the Sixers knew it was a “calculated risk” to accept Bynum and his bad knees in the deal, but they decided to take it.

You may notice that I haven’t written a word about the team in recent columns other than weekly updates on Bynum. I speak to the fans every day on my WIP radio show, and there is almost no interest in the other mediocrities on the roster, nor in head cheerleader Doug Collins.

Until Bynum actually walks onto the court — preferably without a limp — the Sixers are dead to me.

Last star standing in Philly

‘Tis the season to be jolly, you say? Tell that to a Philadelphia sports fan after a year of injuries, controversies and failure. We have an Eagles team in total disarray, the window of opportunity about to slam shut on the Phillies, a huge hole in the middle of the Sixers’ roster and no Flyers hockey.

Jolly? The best gift for the Philadelphia sports fan this holiday season is a prescription for anti-depressants. But we are not here to wallow. We are here to do what Philadelphia does better than any city: prevail over our grim circumstances.

If you want to continue the long tradition of putting a player’s jersey under the Christmas tree, you will need to work a little harder. Last year, LeSean McCoy or Mike Vick were popular choices. Both are hurt and neither is having a great year. Forget all Eagles.

The Sixers have one big star, but who is going to invest in Andrew Bynum? He may never play a game here. Claude Giroux seems like a safe choice, but he has managed to get injured, too, even though the Flyers aren’t playing. Besides, does anyone want to spend money on the NHL these days?

The Phils have the most stars, but Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard are in decline. That leaves one clear choice: Cole Hamels. At 29, he is coming off a great season, just signed a six-year contract and was the World Series’ MVP of our only championship team in the past 29 years.

Buy your Cole Hamels jersey today. He is the last star standing. In fact, he is the only star still standing.

– Angelo Cataldi is the host of 94 WIP’s Morning Show, which airs weekdays 5:30-10 a.m.

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