By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — They say it’s the one time per year that the 94WIP airstaff is all on the same stage at the same time. Based on Friday’s “Great 4 For 4 Debate,” at Chickie’s and Pete’s in South Philadelphia, it’s probably because one of them wouldn’t survive if it happened more often. Thrown crab fries, championship belts, flexing biceps, name calling, and a a lot of talk about the direction of the local pro teams highlighted the festivities.
Dan Klecko, Rhea Hughes, defending champion Rob Ellis, Angelo Cataldi, Howard Eskin, Glen Macnow, Michael Barkann and Ike Reese were this year’s participants. Anthony Gargano made the move from debater to moderator.
The event, previously called “The Great Birds Debate,” used to focus just on the Eagles. With fewer sides to the football team’s story this year, the focus was spread to all of Philly’s teams. Whether Flyers can contend for a Stanley Cup with Ilya Bryzgalov, the Sixers need to trade for a superstar, and if Charlie Manuel is a good manager were all discused. Of course there was the usual debate about the Eagles front office, Andy Reid, Joe Banner and Howie Roseman.
The Phillies got support from Rob Ellis and Glen Macnow, both sure that the team would bring home another World Series with this core of players. While Rhea Hughes said that manager Charlie Manuel had “won the team a World Series, but cost them two more.”
Much of the Flyers talk focused on the owner of the team, Ed Snider. Angelo Cataldi was critical, saying that his ownership of the Flyers and Sixers hasn’t produced a championship in 49 total seasons. While Howard Eskin defended Snider, saying he does anything and everything he can to win.
The focus of the Sixers discussion centered around whether they should continue to build around their young core, or attempt to trade some major pieces for the elusive “superstar.” Ike Reese backed the plan to make a trade, saying the team should strike while the iron is hot.
There were subplots, as there always are. A tension developed this year between Angelo Cataldi and Rob Ellis, with Cataldi promising to end Ellis’ title run, and convincing fans to boo Ellis. Michael Barkann threw his support to Ellis in his closing statements. There was the usual jabs taken by Eskin and Macnow, and Rhea Hughes and Dan Klecko were throwing crab fries at each other for a good portion of the event.
Listen to the entire debate:
Then, you can vote for the winner at cbsphilly.com/debate. This year’s champion will be announced Monday on 94WIP.
Some of the best quotes from the debate:
“The cliche king will be toppled. This is the end of the reign of Rob Ellis.” — Angelo Cataldi
“You have to prey that Borat [Ilya Bryzgalov] gets his mind together, and gives you something in the post-season, and I don’t think he can.” – Glen Macnow
“If we truly define success as winning a championship, he’s had 49 goes at it without winning.” – Angelo Cataldi on Ed Snider
“I think Ed Snider is terrific. Give him his just due for his attempts he makes, which are sensational.” – Howard Eskin
“The Sixers can’t fall in love with their own players. At their best, they’re going to be a middle of the pack team.”- Ike Reese
“It’s really close, but McNabb still is.” – Angelo Cataldi on whether Andre Iguodala is a bigger martyr than Donovan McNabb
“It’s time you open your eyes Eskin, (Doug) Collins isn’t doing that good a job.” – Angelo Cataldi
“There is no team that has more talent top to bottom than the Phillies, oh yeah, they’ll win another one.” – Glen Macnow
“Charlie had the four greatest pitchers this organization has ever had last year, and he managed to lose.” – Angelo Cataldi