In the midst of it all, who do you put your faith in most? Is it “Ryno or Bust” or “In Chip We Trust?”
We have seen a small sample size from both Ryne Sandberg and Chip Kelly, and with each bench boss getting his shot at “The Show” in similar times, it’s only fitting to imagine who will lead their team back to prominence sooner.
So, who ya got?
In a later version of this article, Sixers new front man Brett Brown would be included, but the guy has barely run a three-man weave with the team let alone made decisions that matter.
So Chip and Ryne it is.
For my money, it’s a toss-up. They both have great things working in their favor. The largest of which is the Eagles’ commitment to Kelly’s Avant-garde system. Howie Roseman is fully dedicated to bringing in the players who will make Kelly’s fast-break offense hum.
There is no such single heartedness -- so far -- from the Phillies for Sandberg in that regard. This offseason will be very revealing about how much of a stamp Sandberg puts on the team and where the dividing line is between him and the front office.
It is also unclear how closely Sandberg and Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.’s philosophies intertwine. The feather in the Hall of Famer’s cap is the Phillies’ abundance of greenbacks -- money is no object, whereas the Birds are limited by the salary cap.
Admittedly, I am the most excited about Kelly. I think all of us are. Kelly has the national cachet, which moves the needle in a way so few Philly coaches ever have. Truth be told, I think I want to see the Eagles win a Super Bowl more than I want my kids to get into a good college. I’ve been bleeding green since I’ve been in diapers and may have had more varying emotions with the Eagles than the short time my children have been on the earth.
Sandberg has the toughest task of the two, looking to reinvigorate the Phillies’ veterans while simultaneously helping the younger players become dependable big leaguers. He also has a team that is the most prepared to win right away. Although Kelly may overachieve with his hodgepodge of first-year Eagles and Andy Reid leftovers, this season is not much more than a building block.
Sandberg is facing the most immediate pressure, although Kelly has the lofty expectations. There is a saying that there is no bigger burden than great potential. Both of these novice professional coaches are faced with the daunting task of leading historic franchises to prominence in a city expecting nothing less than continued success.
Sandberg has an entire offseason to prepare for a run at the Fall Classic, while Kelly’s Super Bowl aspirations are a ways off. But patience isn’t the Philly fans’ best virtue -- passion is. Instead of expecting premature excellence, let’s be sure to hold their feet to the fire of mirroring their invigorated fan base.
Hopefully, the winning will come in bunches for both tenderfoot big-league coaches, and their passion to win will precede it.