Over the next few weeks at The700Level, we'll be posting poll matchups as part of our Philly March Madness competition. Examine the cases of the two fine Philadelphia athletes below, and cast your vote at the bottom as to which you think should advance to the next round. And as always, feel free to explain your selection and/or debate the choices in the comments section.
The original #7 QB for the Green and White, it probably seemed like a bit of a dice roll when the Eagles traded three time Pro-Bowl tight end Charle Young for Rams backup QB Ron Jaworski. Within a few years, it was doubtful that anyone was looking back in anger, though. Jaworski--recipient of two of the great nicknames in Eagles history in "Jaws" and "The Polish Rifle"--would lead the Eagles to a resurgence under new head coach Dick Vermeil, taking the team to the playoffs three straight years from '78-'80, including the Birds' first-ever trip to the Super Bowl in '81. That '80-'81 season was Jaws's best as a pro, as he threw for over 3500 yards, with 27 scores and only 12 picks. A rock for the Eagles for a decade, Jaworksi would set the NFL record for most consecutive starts by a QB (116, later passed by some losers for the Packers and Colts), and upon his release after the '86 season, he held the Eagles' record for most TD passes with 170. Meanwhile, Charle Young would play three years for the Rams and rack up a combined 392 yards, never making a Pro Bowl again. So...yeah.
Though he would probably have minor difficulty getting voted class president in Philadelphia, for about half a decade, Bobby Abreu was the most productive hitter that the Phillies had. Pilfered from the Rays for fading shortstop Kevin Stocker in 1997, in his first season as a Phil, Abreu hit .312 with 17 homers and 19 steals, a good portend of the kind of all-around production Bobby would provide the team for the next decade. He would hit .300 or better six times for Philly, hit 20 or more round-trippers seven times, and post at least 30 steals four times, never finishing with an OPS below .875. His best season came in 2004, when he hit .301 with 30 homers and 40 steals, the first 30/40 season in club history. Abreu's occasional lack of hustle (he would become infamous for his seeming phobia of running into the outfield wall) and his trade to the Yankees shortly before the team's ascendancy to NL East superpower status (for pieces who never amounted to anything for the Phils) have earned him an unfortunately-forgotten place in team history, but in terms of his prodigious offensive output only, Bobby has to be considered one of the best Phils of the 21st century.
Results So Far:
(1) Julius Erving (91.8%) over (16) Von Hayes (8.2%)
(8) Simon Gagne (77.9%) over (9) Seth Joyner (22.1%)
(5) Eric Lindros (70.3%) over (12) Eric Allen (29.7%)
(4) Randall Cunningham (77.6%) over (13) Shane Victorino (23.4%)
(11) Cole Hamels (82.1%) over (6) Mark Recchi (17.9%)
(14) Tug McGraw (51.1%) over (3) Moses Malone (48.9%)
(7) Darren Daulton (74.0%) over (10) Andrew Toney (26.0%)
(2) Chase Utley (93.5%) over (15) Andre Waters (6.5%)
(1) Mark Howe (60.2%) over (16) David Akers (39.8%)
(9) Rod Brind'Amour (73.6%) over (8) Rick Tocchet (26.4%)
(5) Brian Westbrook (93.3%) over (12) Jayson Werth (6.7%)
(4) Mike Richards (85.1%) over (13) Trent Cole (14.9%)
(6) John LeClair (89.2%) over (11) Clyde Simmons (10.8%)
(3) Jimmy Rollins (75.8%) over (14) John Kruk (24.2%)