Friday, February 16, 2007

Like Rats Leaving a Sinking Ship

So now Peter Forsberg has left Philadelphia-- a trade necessitated by his unwillingness to sign an extension, so it was get something now or get nothing later. I am fine with it; he is a great player and was amazingly fun to watch, but he wasn't going to sign and it isn't like the Flyers are going to the Cup with him this year anyway... and it does fit the "winter of our discontent" in some ways. Webber, Iverson, Forsberg...

It is hard not to compare it to the Allen Iverson trade, even though the whole situation is pretty different. AI had started here, been the "heart" of a gutless franchise (with one blip there at the start of the century), and was a high profile guy. Forsberg, for all the 'might-have-beens' and bizarro Lindros connection, was a big hockey figure, but came here with a quarter tank of gas and bad feet. He never made the leap to being a high-profile guy, despite the big C on the sweater. Might be because hockey isn't big nationally and on some level you can feel that millions of kids around the world own AI jerseys, and know the 76ers because of it, but Forsberg never felt like a world-class talent.

The other thing is Forsberg was never loved here. Respected, yes. It is probably the Philadelphia Fan requirement that players look like they are trying. It is hard for a smooth looking player to get any love in Philadelphia. I think Dr. J is the only one who ever pulled it off. It might be a defense mechanism, based on having losing franchises. You don't have a champion to root for, so you look for some other quality. It is easy to see if someone looks like they are trying.

"I don't care about the winning, it is the effort!" is actually a pretty admirable stance to take, and, arguably, what we are supposed to learn from sports: Effort pays off.

1 comment:

Tim Susman said...

It sounds like the Flyers got a nice package back from Nashville in exchange for a guy about whom the best thing you could say was "his foot hasn't fallen off today!" I haven't heard it described as a "steal," but a "gamble" on the part of Nashville. Any thoughts on what the Flyers picked up?