In this week’s edition of Around the Dorm, “Ref” Miguel Gonzalez asked our panel of three experts — Michelle Lampariello, Ashton Leber and Maximillian C. Burgos — three questions: Are the Philadelphia Eagles the best team in the NFL right now? Who will win the MLS Cup playoffs? Was the New York Yankees’ decision to release manager Joe Girardi a good one?
1. Are the Philadelphia Eagles the best team in the NFL right now?
Michelle: As much as it breaks my little North Jersey heart to say this, the Philadelphia Eagles are the best team in the NFL right now. The Eagles’ stats for sacks, interceptions and both passing and rushing yards this season are above the NFL average. Their record stands out, and people are taking notice. Even though he didn’t come from a flashy university, Carson Wentz is going to bring the Eagles to the top — not only to the top of the NFC, but to the top of the NFL.
Ashton: They are now 7-1 after beating the San Francisco 49ers this past Sunday. Without a doubt, the Eagles are the best team in the NFL. Quarterback Carson Wentz has really improved since last season, driving his team to every touchdown. In his second season with the team, he’s already succeeded previous quarterback and legend, Donovan McNabb. They’re the one team that’s consistent. The Eagles have been complete in every aspect with coaching, defense, offense, etc. It’s hard to say any other team is the best in NFL right now when the birds have just been dominating play after play and game after game.
Max: The Eagles may be at the top of the NFL right now in power rankings, but they aren’t the best team in the League just yet. The Rams, Chiefs, Steelers and Patriots are still arguably the best in the league. Who have they beaten so far? NO ONE. The Cardinals are trash this year, the Redskins are hit or miss every week and the 49ers are garbage. The Chiefs beat the Eagles with their defense and explosive offense. Every team the Eagles beat are not that good except for the Panthers, who are the most inconsistent team in the league. The one good team they played, beat them. The Chiefs are the best team overall.
Ashton gets 3 points for mentioning McNabb. Max gets 2 points for writing about strength of schedule. Michelle gets 2 points talking about Wentz.
2. Who will win the MLS Cup playoffs?
Michelle: I think Toronto FC will win the MLS cup playoffs. This season, they have broken records set as far back as 1998. They’ve already captured the Supporters Shield, and with their string of victories lately, I think they’re set to capture the MLS championship.
Ashton: Since I work for the New York Red Bulls and have always been a fan, I’m hoping that they will be the eventual MLS Cup champions. There has been a lot of talent in MLS this past season in both the western and eastern conferences. There’s some tough competition coming up for the Red Bulls. They will face Toronto FC, whose roster is filled with incredible players like Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley. Hopefully, the Red Bulls win. They beat the Chicago Fire on the road and weren’t favored to win, so hopefully they can knock off the first seeded Toronto FC in their series of two games.
Max: The Red Bulls. Red Bull gives you wings, which should understandably gives the team the ability to fly to the top of the League, right? NYCFC? D.C. United? Columbus Crew? Nah, the Red Bulls have my vote because I know nothing about soccer and the Red Bulls seem like a dope team to win it all.
Ashton gets 3 points for pointing out Toronto FC’s best players. Michelle gets 3 points for mentioning records. Max gets 1 point because Red Bull doesn’t give you wings.
3. Was the New York Yankees’ decision to release manager Joe Girardi a good one?
Michelle: Plenty of people are sad to see Girardi being let go after being the Yankees skipper since 2008, including Girardi himself. The decision to replace Girardi was essentially made by Brian Cashman — the same guy who made the decision to hire him. While Cashman is developing a long list of candidates, internally, the likely candidate to take over for Girardi is Joe Espada. For this reason, I think the Yankees have made a good decision in deciding to release Girardi. Espada is about 10 years younger than Girardi, and he has strong relationships with many of the young players, especially players who are Spanish-speaking. If Espada leaves his position as third base coach to become the manager of the Yankees, the team will be better poised for the future. Having a manager who is well-liked among players who will be on the team for a long time is crucial to the team’s success. While Girardi was a great manager for the Yankees, the expiration of his contract this fall marks an opportunity to bring in a manager ready to take the team into the future.
Ashton: I really feel that Joe Girardi was one of the top managers in the league. He really put together a young and upcoming team that’s filled with talent from players like Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez whose undoubtedly on the rise. I know Girardi’s contract was up, and he “mutually” agreed to part ways with the Yankees, mainly because he didn’t see eye to eye with general manager Brian Cashman. Now Cashman must pick someone to fill Girardi’s seat, but choosing that contender is definitely going to be a challenge. On that note, no, I don’t think it was in the Yankees best interest to release Girardi.
Max: Joe Girardi has been an amazing manager with the Yankees, but the Yankees have the potential to be great with their baby bombers like Aaron Judge. Girardi has seen most of his success as a manager with the Yankees, but they haven’t won a World Series since 2009. This year the Yankees could have gone all the way to the World Series, but some questionable decisions may have been part of the reason they didn’t make it. After this season and all the games that Tyler Clippard gave back to the opposing teams because Girardi kept giving him chances, I’d say it’s time for a change. The Yankees need to bring home another Commissioner’s Trophy.
Michelle gets 3 points for giving a suggestion. Ashton gets 3 points for talking about Cashman. Max gets 2 points for criticizing Girardi’s decisions.
Ashton wins ATD 9-8-5
“Girls can be sporty too, boys.”