By and large the world of professional sports is dominated by public relations professionals and team spokespeople who are trained to stay on message. Organizations carefully craft and manage their image. Whether fair or not, of all the teams in town the Eagles are generally thought of as the most neurotically perception obsessed.
As a result, you rarely get any genuine insight into the personality of Eagles players. Gone are the days when athletes hang out at a bar with beat writers and provide unfiltered glimpses of their personality. However, the internet provides a medium through which social media savvy athletes can put themselves out there. Evan Mathis is such an athlete.
This past Friday Mathis took to social news website Reddit to participate in an Ask Me Anything ("AMA") dialogue with users. Mathis, true to the AMA spirit, willingly answered questions from users regarding everything from Howard Mudd, to his best friend on the team, to what it will take for him to resign in Philly (he jokingly suggested trolling Howie Roseman), to how he used to game and take financial advantage of the beanie baby market in high school, to how he would hypothetically defeat a Tyrannosaurus in a Gladiator-style battle.
He was engaging, honest, funny, intelligent, and down to earth. He didn't touch on anything too inflammatory, but he didn't really censor himself either. The whole endeavor was really quite refreshing.
The Redditors appreciated his willingness to answer anything to the tune of 2,900+ comments. I encourage you to check out the AMA in its entirety, but here are a few brief highlights.
Question: "How often do you guys make fun of Jason Babin for his stance? I mean...the guy has his face dug into the grass"
Answer: "His stance is fine. He dresses up as a Jersey Shore cast member way too often though."
Question: "Given the recent focus on concussions, are you at all concerned for your long-term health? As a lineman who is constantly running head first into a brick wall from 12 inches away, are you more or less concerned then if you were a WR who would get hit much less often, but in a more violent style?
Answer: "Linemen are constantly banging their heads. Each of those sub-concussive impacts is having some negative effect on the brain. I really don't know how long I expect to live but it's been a great 30 years. I'm kind of willing to sacrifice a decade or two for the chance of not having to work in my 40's or 50's."
Again, I highly recommend you check out the full AMA. And before you haters complain that he should be in the gym working out and getting better instead of answering questions on the internet you should note that by in large he attributes his success this past season to an intensive workout program. No matter where he signs as a free agent he'll no doubt be in fantastic shape.
Hopefully he remains an Eagle. I know I'd love for him to continue to provide insight into his experiences as an athlete in this city.
Photo Credit: Howard Smith - US Presswire