Written By Jason Voorhees
An article in the Philly Voice, written by Joseph Santoliquito, that was published on Monday has created a huge stir across all Social Media Sources. The article included material that was gathered from anonymous sources from the Eagles organization including more than half a dozen players and other sources close to the team. The story portrayed Carson Wentz in a totally different light than many people have grown accustomed too. In fact, the piece used language that was very antagonistic and downright degrading towards the young star quarterback.
The title of the article was...EXCLUSIVE: SOURCES inside EAGLES paint Carson Wentz as 'Selfish,' 'Uncompromising' and 'Playing Favorites.' This definitely paints a different picture of Carson Wentz that has not been viewed up until today. The article then went on to say...The franchise quarterback 'complicated' the offense, sources said, adding he didn't want to run 'Foles stuff.' Many of Carson Wentz's teammates and coaches(current and former)have taken to social media in defense of their star quarterback.
The list of those that have come out to defend Carson Wentz include...Fletcher Cox, Lane Johnson, Jason Kelce, Torrey Smith, Frank Reich, Malcolm Jenkins, Stefan Wisnewski, Wendell Smallwood, Zach Ertz, and Brandon Brooks. Not that it signifies anything, but some notable names that have not come to Carson's defense are Nick Foles and Doug Pederson. However; in my opinion this probably is along the lines of those guys not wanting to give any further legs to the story by refraining from any type of reaction. Pederson and Foles do not seem like the kind of guys that would be taking to twitter to air out 'family' business.
A list of journalists have also been extremely critical of the Santiloquito piece including Marcus Hayes, Howard Eskin and Elliott Shor-Parks. Of course, Monday's sports debate would have likely been dominated by the Championship game officiating drama (bad calls/no calls). However; the Philly Voice article made sure that those plans were put on hold.
Here was WIP morning show host Angelo Cataldi on Twitter- "Carson Wentz is selfish and uncompromising? Really? I've gotten to talk to him a dozen or so times since he joined the Eagles, and he has come across as one of the most thoughtful and determined athletes I have ever encountered." Echoed by another host Ike Reese (also on Twitter)- "Who's really the 'bad teammate' here, Carson or these 'Anonymous Sources'" referring to the unnamed players who apparently were bad mouthing their leader.
Any time that a controversial piece is written, it is important to note the timeline of events surrounding the story and what the agenda may have been for writing such a damning narrative. Joseph Santoliquito is a very reputable writer and there is no reason to believe that he was making this story up. Having anonymous sources in an article is nothing new or extraordinary. However; the language in the article and the additional plot lines of the story were very demeaning of a guy that has frankly been viewed as an upper echelon character and person.
Some of the words that were put to paper in the article describing Wentz included "arrogant", "egotistical," "selfish," "uncompromising," and "selfish." were very vicarious. Of course this was according to several teammates and other unnamed sources to describe their levels of dissatisfaction of their starting quarterback. These are very veracious accusations to make of a person with no levels of facts to back them up. Was Joe out of line for publishing the piece?...Absolutely not. Freedom of press is still a right in America today and everyone is entitled to their opinion. Were the accusations overblown? Absolutely.
I think the aftermath of this bombshell article brings to light one major point. The morale of the story is that when you have any large group of individuals (in this case more than 50), peoples attitudes and opinions of each other will not all be the same. This is obvious as evidenced by the amount of Wentz supporters that shellacked social media in defense of their leader. However, there are obviously a few players that have differing opinions of Carson Wentz and that will not change season to season. And I think this is a journalist that chose to take these players opinions and use them not only for the gain of the company he works for (Philly Voice), but also for his own betterment.
In less than an hour after the piece was published, this story graced the national spotlight. The story was all over ESPN and many other media outlets (tv and radio) were also joining the debate. So in essence, Joe and Philly Voice were garnering a ton of national attention that may not have come their way otherwise. As mentioned...I believe that the story was not made up. However; where was the timeline of these comments?? These comments could have been made at any point in the season as these were all unnamed sources and there was no actual event mentioned in retrospect.
Read the article for yourself and then form your own opinion. On one side of the spectrum are those staunch Carson Wentz supporters that feel this is a total lie. A fabricated story that was brought to light to slander the star quarterback and push a journalists "own agenda." Santoliquito had many negative comments towards Wentz on twitter in months past, so this could back up that argument. On the other side of the spectrum there are the Carson "Haters" who totally believe the story and want to ship Wentz out of town on the first train available. These are also the same people that live and breathe the motto "In Foles we Trust." Odds are, you will probably fall somewhere in between on this story, like myself.
Only time will tell what becomes of this story. We may never ever know who these "Anonymous Sources" are. Meanwhile, plenty of media outlets have interviewed Santoliquito and he obviously is not backing down from his report. So we will have an offseason of debate on whether these allegations are the beginning of bigger issues inside of the soon to be former "NFL World Champions" locker room.
One things for sure...Carson is still the starting quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles. The organization came out last week and told us this much moving forward. Carson has dealt with so much adversity already in his very young career. From last season...the ACL injury to watching the team win its first ever super bowl behind a backup quarterback Nick Foles. To this season and the very poor start and another major injury (back)…and once again watching that same backup QB in a magical run at the end of the season and playoff run. And now Carson will once again deal with adversity. This time at the feet of social medias doorstep.
I believe that this report will only make Carson Wentz stronger. He will once again be out to prove his doubters wrong. The fact of the matter here is that Wentz is a superb talent that is less than a season removed from serious MVP contention. This is still a 26 year old quarterback that is still maturing not only on the football field but also off of it. One thing that came out in the report I do believe. "The only thing holding Carson back is Carson." "Carson Wentz is his own worst enemy." Those two statements I do believe are true when it comes to the Eagles star signal caller. Now its time for the rubber to meet the road. Now its time to get away from distractions and focus on getting back on the football field.
I am pretty sure these reports will all be "fake news" the minute the Eagles kick off next season and Carson walks onto that field of play as "The Man." Eagles fans will quickly forget this moment when Carson gets back to leading this football team on the field once again. However; the organization needs to make sure that he has a supporting cast because no matter how much talent he has...he is not super man. So...this may turn out to be Howie Roseman's most important offseason yet. Many hard decisions will have to be made including who will stay and who will go. Lets all hope that Howie and company make the right decisions and the Chosen One comes back to reality. Lets face it...Carson Wentz is the franchise and this team will go as far as he takes them moving forward.
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About Jason Voorhees
Jason resides in Norristown, PA and writes about all things sports and heavy metal music.