@PhillyWings Introduce North America to Twitter Jerseys

@PhillyWings Introduce North America to Twitter Jerseys

Ordinarily, the debate on tastefulness and sports jerseys revolves around advertising, when it's acceptable and when it isn't, if ever at all. Obviously ads are a staple of soccer kits, and nobody seems to mind minor league teams earning some extra revenue, but there would be a serious outcry about the purity of the game if the Phillies opened 2012 with a Tastykake patch on their arm.

Philadelphia's indoor lacrosse team has discovered a new way to divide fans over what is appropriate to slap on a jersey. When the Wings host Buffalo today at 4 p.m., their shirts will don Twitter handles in place of the players' names, supposedly becoming the first professional sports team in North America to adopt this fashion trend, and perhaps inventing the next hot-button issue for uniform enthusiasts.

The good news is the jerseys will be auctioned off after the game, with the proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society. It's hard to get offended over anything that raises money for a good cause, or anything going on in the NLL for that matter.

The bad news is this gimmick exists now. I would like to think a major sports league such as the NFL or NBA would never promote Twitter, but you never know. The idea is out there, and it's not so dissimilar to the defunct XFL's claim to fame, allowing players to choose nicknames and cute messages to stitch across their shoulders -- most notoriously Rod Smart's "He Hate Me."

Good for a laugh... just like the XFL.

You might be saying to yourself, "Kulp, what's the big deal? Will never happen anyway, and Twitter is cool." If you aren't envisioning @thekidet dunking a basketball during an Eastern Conference Championship game, a garish Twitter handle adorning a retro-style Sixers basketball jersey, then scenarios that involve our computers becoming self-aware and sending killer robots to attack us probably aren't keeping you up at night either.

And Twitter simply isn't that cool (follow me at @kulp700level!). If this stunt brings the Wings and indoor lacrosse a little extra publicity while raising money for cancer treatments and research, that's great, as long as it ends there. But when the day comes where a form of social media, especially one that limits interactions to a shallow 140 characters or less, becomes so popular that our handles are more important than who we are, we will have taken a big step backwards as a society.

>> Wings to ditch names in favor of Twitter handles [Philly.com]

Doug Pederson: Dak Prescott knew he didn't have to win by himself

Doug Pederson: Dak Prescott knew he didn't have to win by himself

For the most part, Carson Wentz had a pretty successful rookie season. 

Sure, the Eagles finished with a 7-9 record, but Wentz did enough to continue the franchise's belief that he is indeed the quarterback of the future. 

Another guy in Dallas did the same thing with the Cowboys. Actually, Dak Prescott had an even more impressive rookie season, leading the Cowboys to 13 wins, while winning the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. 

Prescott, a fourth-round pick, had a great year, but didn't try to do too much. And that's what impressed Eagles head coach Doug Pederson the most. 

"[Prescott] understood this right away, that he didn't have to win the game for them," Pederson said on The Doomsday Podcast, hosted by Matt Mosley and Ed Werder. (Pederson also talked about running the Rocky steps). "He knew that he had a good defense, a tremendous offensive line, a great runner, he had some veteran players that he could rely on and he learned that early. As soon as he had the opportunity to play and that was early, from Day 1. 

"That's something that a young quarterback, sometimes it takes them a while to figure out the game that way. That's the impressive thing, that he learned how to handle that business that well, utilize the people around him and understand that he didn't have to go win the game."

While Prescott had plenty of help during his rookie season, it was pretty evident Wentz was lacking in that area. 

Prescott had a great offensive line, Dez Bryant, Ezekiel Elliott and others. Wentz had an offensive line that was missing Lane Johnson, an often-injured Ryan Mathews and receivers like Nelson Agholor and Dorial Green-Beckham playing serious snaps. 

So it made sense when the team went out this offseason and signed Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, and recently LeGarrette Blount, as free agents, finally getting Wentz some real help. 

"We had opportunities to get those two guys and it was obvious last year, we were young at the wide receiver position," Peterson said. "We needed some leadership, some veteran presence there and we went out and got that with Torrey and Alshon. We still want to build through the draft, we still want to acquire young talent. 

"LeGarrette Blount now is a guy that gives us that big back, running back, that can come in and compete and hopefully he does everything he did at New England the last couple of seasons. He had 18 rushing touchdowns for over 1,000 yards and we just expect that same level of performance here."

Maybe having weapons will allow Wentz to do what made Prescott so impressive to Pederson in 2016: not too much. 

Tonight's lineup: Michael Saunders dropped to eighth in order

Tonight's lineup: Michael Saunders dropped to eighth in order

Pete Mackanin is still searching for answers to the Phillies' offensive woes following Sunday afternoon's disheartening 1-0 loss in Pittsburgh during which the Phils could only muster three hits.

The latest lineup twist as the search for an answer continues will see Michael Saunders bat in the eight-hole tonight as the Phils open a four-game series with the surging Rockies tonight at Citizens Bank Park (see game notes).

When he has started this season, Saunders has been a fixture within the middle of the Phillies' order. After all, the offseason free-agent signing was an All-Star for Toronto last season when he hit 24 homers and drove in 57 runs.

But this season hasn't gone as planned as Saunders is hitting just .232 with four homers and 15 RBI in 41 games with the Phils this season.

With Saunders' drop down the lineup, Tommy Joseph will bat fourth, Maikel Franco fifth and Odubel Herrera sixth against Rockies spot starter Jeff Hoffman.

Tonight's full lineups can be found below:

Phillies
1. Cesar Hernandez 2B
2. Freddy Galvis SS
3. Aaron Altherr LF
4. Tommy Joseph 1B
5. Maikel Franco 3B
6. Odubel Herrera CF
7. Cameron Rupp C
8. Michael Saunders RF
9. Jerad Eickhoff SP

Rockies
1. Charlie Blackmon CF
2. D.J. LeMehiau 2B
3. Nolan Arenado 3B
4. Carlos Gonzalez RF
5. Mark  Reynolds 1B
6. Gerardo Parra LF
7. Alexi Amarista SS
8. Tony Wolters C
9. Jeff Hoffman SP