Who was the Philly Sports Executive of the Year 2021?
We are in the final hours the 2021 calendar year. Over the past year, we have learned a lot. Of course, that’s in no reference to COVID, which we still haven’t been able to figure out, but rather what can happen in the sports world. We were taught that losing can be hilarious, and that if you do not die a hero, then you will, in fact, become a villain.
As we reflect on 2021, we’d be remiss if we didn’t take some time to honor the titans of sport that have guided Philadelphia sports fans. And with that, it’s time to name the Philadelphia Sports Executive of the Year.
First, let’s go through the list of contenders.
Daryl Morey has spent 2021 caught between trying to capitalize on the prime of Joel Embiid, and battling to the (figurative) death with Rich Paul and Ben Simmons.
We started 2021 with Daryl Morey almost pulling off a league-shaking trade to acquire James Harden, and now we end the year with him making an example out of a young, All-NBA talent who refuses to honor his contract.
After the number one seeded Sixers dissolved like dog poop in a rainstorm against the Atlanta Hawks, everyone collectively held their breath as we all waited to see what moves he could make in the off season to take the Sixers the second round playoff road blockage that has tortured fans over the past few seasons. Little did we know, the true challenge would lie ahead.
Ben Simmons’ hold out has redefined success for Daryl Morey. A lesser executive would have panicked and done something ridiculous like trade for a washed up star.
Instead, Morey held his ground. Calmly reminding everyone just how much time was left on Simmons’ contract. Now as the trade deadline approaches, it appears his patience may pay off.
Joe Banner (executive emeritus)
“The man who turned his back on Brian Dawkins” will always and forever be a Philly sports exec in our book. He may not be able to pour cold water on Eagles fans from the front office any more, but he sure can drive them wild on twitter.
If you love hot takes, cold put downs and guys that have always looked like they were 70 years old, Joe Banner is a must follow on Twitter. He’s clearly a seasoned poster. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a secret Reddit account to fight with strangers on r/eagles. That is, of course, if those dictator mods on Reddit even allow him to post, but that’s a rant for another day.
The actual current head of the Eagles front office had a surprisingly great year. It started off rocky. First, he lost his head coach. Then, he lost his star quarterback. However, Howie didn’t just turtle up and die. He came out swinging and turned one first round pick into DeVonta Smith and landed two other first round draft picks in next year’s NFL Draft.
His pick up of Gardner Minshew was widely derided as more “QB Factory” nonsense at the time. But now given the sudden dearth of quality backups around the league it’s looking like Howie could see the future.
Now Howie is ending 2021 as the President of a football team that is a playoff contender with three first round picks. Very impressive.
So who is The Executive of the Year?
Before we get into the pick, you’ll see that Andy MacPhail and the Philadelphia Phillies received no mention in this article until now. When you miss the playoffs for a decade, even with Bryce Harper and Zack Wheeler, you do not get a place on one of my coveted end of year lists. Sorry.
All of the above makes it pretty clear only one executive stood out above the rest. We are talking about the man who isn’t afraid of Rich Paul or Klutch Sports. The executive who is setting an example for every other NBA team that spoiled babies like Ben Simmons are not the ones in charge. The guy who told us to “buckle up” because we’re going for a ride. None other than Daryl Morey.
Following a fan vote and long serious deliberation it has been decided he was the only real choice.
So Daryl, if you are reading this, just let me know where I can send the tax paperwork for that Applebee’s gift card.
Mandatory credit: getty images