Remind Me: Why, Exactly, Is DeSean Jackson-Jay-Z Thing Bad For Eagles?

Remind Me: Why, Exactly, Is DeSean Jackson-Jay-Z Thing Bad For Eagles?

The knee-jerk reaction to DeSean Jackson’s recent flirtation with Jay-Z is that Jackson (a) must not be properly focused on football, seeing as signing on with a sports agent of 30 seconds and rap star of, like, forever has to be all about bolstering his career as a rapper and executive, right? and (b) is making a bad business decision in general. That’s why it’s a knee-jerk reaction made by sports fans.

No, Jay-Z’s exploits with Def Jam and Rocaway and, even now, Roc Nation, don’t make him qualified to identify football talent. But for a guy who’s basically doing this for kicks, being able to find up-and-coming players everybody else has overlooked isn’t really a prereq for the gig. Nor is that really the primary concern of the player, who’s inclined to think he’s the greatest thing ever, anyway.

Look at this from Jackson's perspective. What does he want in an agent?

Basically, two things. Someone who can (a) negotiate the best contract the market will allow for, and (b) be trustworthy. Something’s telling me Jay-Z would do just fine swinging a deal (especially with all of the advisers he surely has to work out the fine print behind the scenes). And because he’s not actually a sports agent, by appearances, that by default makes Jay-Z more trustworthy than, well, the entire industry – Jackson's former agent Drew Rosenhaus included.

For Jackson, who after this season is guaranteed only $750,000 of the five-year, $47 million deal he signed last March, that all makes Jay-Z a pretty good guy to have around. Even for strictly football reasons.

As for the company Jackson might keep: Jay-Z’s legal run-ins are less than encouraging. But since being drafted in 2008, Jackson’s never been arrested. Spent a lot of dumb money. Maybe spent money that wasn't his, if you believe Rosenhaus. But never been arrested. You can name lots of players that fall in either (or both) category. The only one to which Jackson belongs is unfortunate, but can't keep him off the field.

In one year of this whole rap thing, Jackson’s kept his nose clean. In one more year, he’s financially no longer the Eagles problem. If what essentially amounts to a contract year for Jackson isn’t enough motivation to live up to it – or, if he simply can't live up to it – he’ll no longer be your problem.

Steve Mason rediscovers himself in New York just before Flyers return

Steve Mason rediscovers himself in New York just before Flyers return

It had been a while since Steve Mason saw himself.

Walking into the Barclays Center on Sunday, the Flyers’ goalie was 0-6-2 with a 4.03 goals-against average and .844 save percentage over his last 10 appearances (see more recent Flyers numbers and stats).

A far cry from how Mason truly sees himself in net.

But heading into Wednesday’s rivalry clash with the Rangers, Mason will have something to build on, something he couldn’t say since Dec. 21 — the last time he had earned a victory. He’s fresh off his first win in over a month, a gigantic one for Mason considering all the key moments on Sunday the Flyers hope invigorate his confidence.

Without numerous clutch stops from their goalie, the Flyers don’t come back from two goals down to beat the Islanders, 3-2, in overtime. Mason made four saves  — three on four-time All-Star John Tavares — in just over a minute of a third-period power play. The Flyers ended up having to kill two New York man advantages in the final 10 minutes of regulation in order to force overtime.

The extra session is when Mason was just as good, if not better, stoning Tavares on a breakaway attempt that had game-winner written all over it. Mason made four saves in overtime after 13 in the third period.

“I was happy with the way that, personally, this game went for myself,” Mason said Sunday. “It’s been a tough stretch and this is more the type of game that I expect of myself. In recent games, the team was lacking the big saves and tonight it shows what kind of difference it can make.”

It was a massive performance heading into a massive three-game stretch against the Rangers, Maple Leafs and Hurricanes.

“Mase made some huge saves for us,” Simmonds said. “It allowed us to get back in that game.

“It’s not just Mase [with the] ups and downs. Everyone in here has been kind of fighting it and squeezing sticks pretty tight. That one felt good and I think Mase led the charge for sure.”

Mason understands just one game doesn’t turn around a season.

“It’s nice to feel good after a game,” Mason said. “At the same time, whether you’re winning or losing, you have to have a short mindset and get ready for the next one.”

That brings the Flyers to Madison Square Garden Wednesday to face the Rangers, who they’ve lost five straight games to dating back to last season. Mason hasn’t had much luck against New York this season, allowing seven goals in two losses with an .860 save percentage. However, in 2015-16, Mason put up a 1.74 goals-against average and .941 save percentage in five games against the Rangers.

“That’s going to be a tough game going into MSG,” Mason said Tuesday (see story).

The good thing: Mason was in New York two days ago, remembering what he can be.

Manute Bol's 7-foot, 17-year-old son dominates in HS season debut

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Manute Bol's 7-foot, 17-year-old son dominates in HS season debut

Bol Bol, the 17-year-old son of the late Manute Bol, is a top high school basketball prospect with offers from schools like Arizona, Kansas and Creighton. This highlight tape should give you an idea why.
 
Bol, whose father played in the NBA for parts of 12 seasons, including 215 games for the Sixers, now attends the famed Mater Dei High School in California and played in his first game of the season this past weekend. Listed as the No. 16 overall prospect in the 2018 recruiting class by Scout, Bol started his season off with a big 21-point, 10-rebound effort.
 
Take a look at the highlight tape from the 6-foot-11 Bol and expect to see him carry on his father’s legacy on the court at a major NCAA college basketball program soon.