Eitan Schander: Let’s thank… to Galen Hurz

It’s the most beautiful time of the year. We all sit down and set aside a day – or a week – to remind the world how grateful we are for the many things we take for granted every day.

Or it may be the other way around. Perhaps that is more of an amplification of the good than it is currently in our lives. We are grateful to the people who support us, and our success is a continuous “thank you” to them but we can dedicate this day – Turkey Day – to that special person. Certainly, a positive influence or influence is a consistent influence – especially when that person is the most influential in our lives. Sometimes it is strange; Someone you’ve never met but who continues to help kindle a positive light.

Today I dedicate the inaugural “Turkey Thanksgiving” award to Galen Hurtz. You deserve it baby and keep shining like a diamond.

I’m grateful for a lot of things in Philadelphia sports – like having Phillies best player Bryce Harper in attendance. His ability to speak as a front office member make moves or add players, which I wholeheartedly support. But it dwindles a little later. The team failed to build around him early on in this long-running deal, and it’s hard to think that he’ll play well five years from now. But I am so thankful that Harper is here and how fun it is to watch.

The Flyers and Chuck Fletcher have really done some positive work in the off-season and are looking to put together a fun squad that will compete in the playoffs. Of course, this comes amid a 3 game slippage as the team lost some ground in the standings. They continue to deal with the injury, and that helps alleviate the team’s long-term anxiety. They give off a feeling that they are definitely headed in the right direction, and are going uphill when they are healthy. There is hope in the air and a plan on the ground. That’s all we ask and I’m grateful for that here, but it won’t dominate my day.

Not like Hurts.

I’m grateful that the Sixers have someone who can do some key things on a winning team. Therese Maxi is blooming. He’s one of the best young guards in the NBA and he’s made a lot of people forget about Ben Simmons – in attack. Maxey is a talented scorer and has a constant presence on the ground despite other players falling left and right. I’m grateful to Joel Embiid, etc, etc, but it’s hard to see what the future holds. We have another year holding our breath until he gets back into the team. Finally, a proactive thanks to Daryl Morey for shipping Simmons out of here.

No, none of these things will match what really drives us into this city. They’re big consolation prizes or secondary talks about turkey and lasagna. But only after the eagles, and only after the mischief. Today I’ll be that 13-year-old fan standing at the Thanksgiving dinner table to give thanks—not to my parents, teachers, coaches, or girlfriends—to Hurts and the Eagles.

Giving the fans their first chance to cheer on the home team after winning was a huge step of the season. The victory over the undefeated Saints was not as important as the victory itself. For four weeks this season, fans left the stadium in annoyance and bitterness. It ignited the negative conversations that permeated this city. It helped cause more division than your social media app of choice, sans dog memes to help counterbalance your anger. Technically, there were “dog” phrases, just no memes.

The way the Eagles won — the way Horz played in front of the crowd — was everything. Fans should see Hurts do something the Eagles quarterback hasn’t done in franchise history. This wasn’t a coincidence, it wasn’t a footnote in the books, it was a sustainable weapon that could be used every week. Hurts set a team on fire with his feet, and New Orleans didn’t catch on. There’s no reason to believe the Eagles can’t pressure every team they face – regardless of record nor their defensive rank.

I am grateful for the recipe found and the chef – Nick Siriani – following the plan. It’s as simple as getting an early lead, then claiming the offensive line’s men for physical control of their opponent. The holes are open, and the different backs were able to take full advantage. A full-back is much easier when they don’t make the first move to avoid a defensive line. It’s easier for offensive linemen when running the block rather than blocking the pass – especially for backup. Once the Eagles got up – which they were above the bad teams – they run up the slopes and downhill.

That’s what we wanted earlier in the season. It’s just that they couldn’t join much better teams. They’re still not a top tier team, but the Eagles aren’t a bottom tier team either. That’s something we weren’t sure of at the start of the season. Now it is clear that we are watching a team that is on the rise. No one knows how far the team could go, even if it was worth losing the spot in the draft to seventh.

What we do know is this – Hurts played himself as the starting quarterback to move forward with his electric game. He has the skill to succeed in the NFL, and if you’re worried he’s not throwing enough — or good enough on those throws — see the people around him. It’s not so much the players – who will improve – but the people who develop it as a talent. It’s not Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, Russell Wilson, or Tom Brady. But he’s also no Carson Wentz, and he’s not surrounded by reports of his co-workers’ ongoing problems. Hurts wants to get better and there’s no indication he won’t take on training.

That’s too much to be thankful for, now pass the filler.

NFL Pick Week

Under 41.5 CHI / DET

I think many people will need a reason to watch this football match, so why not make your time worth it. That total opened at 44.5 and smashed under once Jared Goff was disqualified from last week’s game. The Lions are an absolute mess, but their defense plays a little better. This is key because the Bears are a mess too – although they may have more talent in the QB position with Andy Dalton on injured Justin Fields. People forget that while Thanksgiving soccer is a great creative, it’s still a short week. You usually fight offenses in these short weeks, and when you’re not fouled like either team, it’s easier to bomb under. The total has already moved a full three points, so now jump in while it’s still above the main figure of 41.

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