The A.J Brown saga should be a catalyst for change in how Philadelphia media covers the City’s sports teams

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A.J. Brown
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) and wide receiver A.J. Brown (11) looking up to fans as they head back to the locker room at the end of an NFL football game against the Washington Commanders, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023, in Landover, Md. Eagles won 38-31. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Philadelphia has turned into a battleground between reporters and the city’s most beloved franchise, the Eagles. From the moment that Jalen Hurts mentioned the theory of reports being “rat poison” to the overblown issue of A.J. Brown’s sideline outbursts, various outlets have attacked both of these players even going as far as creating mock trades for them.

Being a reporter has its pros and cons in this day and age. With the birth of social media, you can have instant reactions to your thoughts and ideas. You could even get instant reactions from information that’s given to you by reliable sources. That’s the point, isn’t it? Instant reactions equals more clicks and more clicks leads to greater revenue for you and your company.

That’s all fine and dandy until that power is used negatively. That’s what has plagued the Eagles for years. From the DeSean Jackson “gang” rumors which led to his release and stole years of great play from the Eagles to the Carson Wentz being a bad teammate whirlwind, this City has seen it all. Unsurprisingly, that also led to the QB’s demise.

Does A.J. Brown have a point?

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown, right, celebrates a catch with cornerback Darius Slay, center, and head coach Nick Sirianni, left, during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams Sunday, Oct. 8, 2023, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)

A.J. Brown’s approach to WIP and all of Philadelphia’s media may have not been the most cleanly executed but it was in a way that made a big enough statement that should’ve been heard by the entire Philadelphia market. His key points were that reporters are supposed to be supporting the team. And he is right to a certain extent. Whether A.J Brown’s point is valid or not, what matters now is whether he was actually heard or dismissed.

A.J Brown’s actions should inspire change

For many people, it’s a dream come true to cover the Philadelphia Eagles. Especially if you were brought up in Philadelphia or its sister states. For others, it was a promotion from a dead-end media outlet that was covering a team that could barely put together four wins. One way or another though, it was once a childhood dream for all the media members to cover their favorite sports team.

DeVonta Smith speaks with the media before his Celebrity softball game.

While many have abused their privilege in recent years by leaking locker room secrets that have led to the dismantling of rosters, there’s still more than a handful that have done right by the team and will continue to do so. That’s just in their good nature and it keeps food on the table for their family which is all that matters. It comes with the territory. Balancing information from anonymous sources that could either make your career or break a fanbase is something many of us deal with regularly.

This is in no way an article to call out anyone or judge any of my counterparts at the neighboring Philly media outlets. This is just a moment of reflection. You’ve made it this far in your career. While you have accomplished all you have wanted, you are still responsible for newcomers who will find their way to the limelight. You are also responsible for the fandom of many of the children in the greater Philadelphia area. They admire these athletes who get paid to do a job just like the rest of us. The only differences are that they get paid millions and the world has access to their every move. Access through us.

Eagles nick sirianni
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni reacts to a fourth quarter touchdown pass from quarterback Jalen Hurts to tight end Dallas Goedert during the second half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

It’s time that we help build up this franchise to where it should be. While they continue to go through their natural growing pains, the voices of the people in media should provide an avenue where fans feel connected to their team. They shouldn’t have to worry about the agenda of some radio station and how it could affect their favorite player’s next move. 

They should feel like they know their guys in Midnight Green better than the next fan. It should lead to great debates, not a witch hunt calling for a player to be traded because he stood up to the bully. It’s 2024, it’s time to work smarter at being better, not harder at being worse. 

AP Photo/Alex Brandon