The Inquirer forgot something

Snubbed again
Over the weekend, the Philadelphia Inquirer released their list of the 75 best Eagles of all time. Presumably in an attempt to provoke debate and discussion they decided to leave Brian Westbrook off the list. Now, obviously there are not 75 better players in the history of this franchise then Westbrook. Even given the fact that he's only been here for 5 years, he'll still among the top 75.

So after leaving him off the list, the Inquirer was understandably deluged with emails pointing out their mistake. So today Ashley Fox, who ran the project attempted to justify the silly omission.

First, she tries to play the victim as if anyone cares.

As expected, my e-mail inbox was jammed yesterday morning. There were missives from my usual serial e-mailers, the all-too-common suggestion that I should get back in the kitchen, some know-it-all correcting my grammar

Come on, asking for sympathy for your plight as a female sportswriter doesn't justify the obvious omission. Then she goes on to talk about what a huge task and how difficult this was... I've heard about 1,000 versions of lists of great Eagles debated at every bar I've ever watched an Eagles game at. Plus, the Eagles themselves have more or less already been doing the list all summer.

So what was the real justification for leaving #36 off the list?

Westbrook was tricky. Nearly everyone agreed that if we were debating the issue in 2010 and Westbrook had continued on his current performance arc, his inclusion would be a no-brainer. He might, all agreed, end his career in Philadelphia among the greatest running backs, if not the greatest players, the team has ever had.

But Westbrook is not there. Not yet.

But Westbrook is just getting started. Only once (last season) has he topped 1,000 yards rushing. Only once (the 2004 season) has he been invited to the Pro Bowl.

Oh please... This justification might make sense if they hadn't included so many other plays with such short Eagles careers. Davey O'Brien, who only played 2 years was on the list. That example alone is enough to blow the justification for leaving Westbrook off the list out of the water, but there's numerous more examples of players with as much or less time with the team than Westbrook. Irving Fryar is on the list despite only playing 3 seasons at the end of his career in Philly with the third of those 3 years being well below average. He was good in  There is a punter on the list, which is just silly...

Another part of the justification is his numbers... Fox points out that he has eclipsed 1,000 yards only once, but
RB Keith Byars is on the list despite that fact he's never eclipsed 1,000 yards. In fact, Byars has never ran for more than 600 yards! Also, by only pointing out his rushing stats, she ignores the fact that Westbrook has had over 60 catches 3 times with 2 seasons over 70. Irving Fryar only eclipsed 70 catches twice for the Eagles and he's on the list... In fact, Fryar had 11 TDs just one year which is a feat Westbrook has done twice. She says he only became a full time starter in 2004, but that ignores the fact that he had scored 11 TDs in 2003. Since 2003 he's averaged nearly 10 TDs a season. He has 40 career TDs which ranks #10 on the Eagles all time list. So he has the 10th most TDs all time for the team, but he is not yet one of the top 75 players?

Apparently part of the reason as well was because one member of the panel who selected the top 75, Ron Jaworski, refused to vote for anyone still playing. Again, it's just silly. There are obviously several players still playing who, if they never played another snap, would still already be among the top 75 Eagles of all time. It may sound harsh, but if you're chairing this panel and Jaws says he won't vote for any current Eagles, that's the point where you say "Well thanks for your time Mr. Jaworski but we won't be needing your services anymore. We're making a list of the top 75 Eagles of all time, not the top 75 retired Eagles of all time." I love Jaws, but he just missed the point here. Anyway, good job Inquirer. My guess is that you did a great job doing what you really intended to do with the Westbrook omission. You've got bloggers, talk show hosts, guys at the pub, the barbershop all talking...

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