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Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins

Source: The Washington Post / Getty

 

Let’s get this out the way immediately when it comes to Chip Kelly and the Riley Cooper situation, he in no way shape or form should be on the Philadelphia Eagles. Period. What he said was despicable, and should not be tolerated in any work place in this country. No excuse is plausible enough to even justify using such a vial word in any instance, drunk, angry, anything. If Chip Kelly were to have just released Cooper after the incident, or let him go as a free agent the following year, the comments made by LeSean McCoy couldn’t even be discussed as reasonable. But Chip Kelly did in fact let Cooper stay on the team, and even allowed him to get a new contract to stay around for the next few years. This is something I will never understand and can’t sit here and justify it in any way.

Lets dig deeper into this issue, rather than just look at it on surface alone. The questions still come up frequently in Philadelphia sports talk, what reason does Chip Kelly have to release superstars like LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson? Who is this college coach coming into the NFL thinking he can win on his system alone, when we all know as die hard football fans it takes talent to win championships!

But when you really look at it, yes talent is always needed, but when your at the top of your profession, isn’t everyone talented? What differentiates between dynasty football teams, and constant bottom feeders? It’s a plan, it’s a mind state, it’s a culture, and this is what Chip Kelly is beginning to shape into form as how he see’s it fit.

There are two players I want to solely focus on when it comes to this study, and that is Jackson and McCoy. Was it talent, certainly not. Was it race? Well Chip Kelly did just draft 5 black players out of 6 in the 2015 draft. So probably not. Then what else could it be? To me, the answer lies in one place, the Internet, and the infiltration of social media into our everyday lives.

Philadelphia Eagles v Miami Dolphins

Source: Marc Serota / Getty

Culture is defined as “a way of thinking, behaving, or working that exists in a place or organization (such as a business).” This is what Chip Kelly is now establishing. He came into the league, and essentially played his first 2 seasons with the players Andy Reid brought in and developed, his culture. When the Eagles brought in a “new boss”, they knew they were also bringing in a new culture, because the old one wasn’t working (no playoff wins since 2008).

So, in comes Chip Kelly, a man who wants his type of players. Lots of moves have been made and questioned, but I want to compare the two players let go by Chip, with the two players Chip essentially replaced them with, Jordan Mathews and Demarco Murray and why the internet holds those answers  to the questions eagles fans are searching for.

It’s called social media, and it is still in such its early stages of understanding. We are finally starting to see people, places, and things in an all-new light, including celebrities and athletes who garner millions of views from people all over the globe.

Let’s take a look at Jordan Mathews social media accounts compared to DeSean Jackson. First off, it seems Jordan Mathews once had an Instagram, but seemed to delete it sometime while in college or prior to entering the NFL, (smart man). On Mathews Twitter account (@jmattjmattjmatt), you can see the only things he seems concerned about in his social media life are two things, his career/ improving his craft as a NFL wide receiver, and his love for Kanye West (again smart man).

Compared to DeSean, @OneOfOne on IG, Jackson is an infamous Instagram flexor. He does post a lot of pictures and videos of him working out, but then there is also those frequent pictures of DJack in the club, DJack hanging out with so and so, DJack stunting in his Benz, to whatever DJack feels like posting. And if you remember, Jackson posted some subtle shots on social media when a problem arose with him and Kelly (always a bad idea).

Let’s use this past weekend, the biggest day in sports (May 2, 2015) for example. On social media, DeSean is out in Vegas for the fight, and continues to flaunt that lifestyle. Out at a club, living it up. Compared to Kelly’s choice, Mathews.

Just a bunch of encouraging comments to new NFL players during the draft, made one bland statement about the fight, and asked why it feels like I’m about to play Tekken… DeSean on the other hand, two words, Vegas Baby.

Oh and he now has a reality show, well in his words, “a mini-documentary series” coming out this year.

Now lets take a look at Shady McCoy’s replacement, Demarco Murray. If he has an Instagram page, it’s harder to find then Waldo. There may be a page with his name, but has zero posts. Let’s take a look at Twitter. Demarco Murray (@DeMarcoMurray) only has 732 tweets, a few pictures of him and football, and a sprinkling of some off the field activities such as endorsements and family. Let’s look at his “big sports weekend” like we did with Mathews and Jackson. Well Murray hasn’t tweeted since April 7th.

We all know the turmoil Shady has had when it comes to social media and using it in all the wrong ways. As well as the infamous 18-cent tip that went viral.

Let’s take it all back to using last weekend as a “reason” of why Chip Kelly got rid of Jackson and McCoy. How was Shady acting on social media during the NFL draft and the “biggest weekend in sports?” Well, if you didn’t see the username, you probably couldn’t tell the difference between McCoy and Jackson’s social media actions.

Now, is Chip Kelly basing his football culture off of social media? Probably not. But we need to dig deeper then just throwing out terms like “racism” with little to back that claim up, especially when trying to explain Chip Kelly’s decisions on a football field. To imply racism cheapens its meaning of the term in a world and country where real problems truly do lie. I am the same age as DeSean and LeSean, so I do not want to come off as some old guy mad at young men out enjoying there life and sharing their moments on social media like millions of others do everyday. There is also no problem and going out and enjoying your off season. But when you think about it, on average, NFL players at best have 10 seasons to make money for the rest of their lives. You can live it up when its all over, don’t you want players on your Philadelphia Eagles that only care about football at this stage of their life? Did we see Dawkins out at the club? Did we see Brian Westbrook “turnt up” in Vegas? No, and it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, but there was never a medium created at that time that gave access like Instagram and Twitter do today. So whether players were doing that type of stuff or not, it wasn’t thrown in your face like it is today because of the new “TMZ” world we live in.

Let’s make this as simple as possible. If you have groups of young 20 year old players every year coming into the Philadelphia Eagles locker room each season, a whole bunch of wide eyed college students who just received more money then they have ever seen in their entire lives, need veterans to look to and mold how they are going to go about there career. In a nut shell, do you want the players looking up to guys like Mathews and Murray, who solely based on their social media accounts, care about two things, football and family, and in Jordan’s case, Kanye West.

Comparing that scenario to LeSean and DeSean, who clearly are about that superstar, look at me, celebrity lifestyle. They love being famous, and can be questioned based off of their social media accounts, maybe as much as football. And this is a culture Kelly isn’t going to allow to be established.

Does it mean he will win because of this so called “culture”? No, of course it doesn’t, and this may completely backfire in his face. And if that does happen, fans will brutalize him. But until that happens, insinuating racism in a culture that is festered monthly by tragic tails riddled in racist acts just isn’t fare.

Now some of this article is slightly written in tongue and cheek, do I know if Chip Kelly even pays attention to social media for a fact? Of course not, but I want people to look at this situation in a deeper magnitude rather than just pointing fingers and saying, 2 black players were released, Chip must have a problem with black people, making him a racist, which to me, is a shallow way of thinking, especially when it comes to the importance of dealing with racism.

I used the social media aspect as an example because today, for right or wrong, it seems sometimes the way people see others and their lifestyles is through their social media accounts. When it comes to the two players released, it’s clear they enjoy football, but seem to love themselves and the outside privileges that come with being in the NFL. Equated to their replacements, Mathews and Murray, who are all football all the time, and live a much more simplistic life based off their social media accounts, just like the head honcho, Chip Kelly, who eats and sleeps football 24/7.

Is Chip Kelly a perfect GM and football coach so far, nope, but is he a racist, no, does he despise the new societal norm of social media and flexin’ on the gram with the millennial culture, that answer appears to be very apparent. The Chip Kelly saga continues on, and only time will tell, which is the right way to handle the new era of football players and the power of a brand new outlet that coaches, bosses, corporations, etc. are continuing to learn and adapt with during a new technological era that we live in, and because of its infancy, we continue to try and learn the proper ways of using such a powerful outlet, and that, is where the problem lies. Sometimes it goes beyond the surface, and isn’t as simple as saying something is just black and white.

words by Justin Engelhardt @justinthomasmedia 

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