NFL: Kevin Kolb and the Philadelphia Eagles Hype Machine

Mike LangthorneContributor IIMay 14, 2011

PHILADELPHIA - SEPTEMBER 12:  Kevin Kolb #4 of the Philadelphia Eagles warms up before a game against the Green Bay Packers during the NFL season opener at Lincoln Financial Field on September 12, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The hype machine is ever-present in sports.

It comes in all forms, from marketing gurus on Madison Avenue preparing for the next big sneaker launch to the local community newspaper touting the three-sport senior letterman as the next Jim Brown.

In 1992, Reebok International launched an ad campaign in anticipation for the Summer Olympics in Barcelona: “Dan and Dave.” This campaign was geared around two American decathlete rivals, Dan O'Brien and Dave Johnson, and their quest for gold in the Summer Games. Two relative unknowns were essentially cast to the forefront and a nation was gripped by what was to take place throughout the upcoming track and field events.

The hype machine was firing on all cylinders.

There was only one problem; Dan O’Brien failed to qualify for the Olympics.

In the end, there was a lot of buildup, fanfare, commotion and marketing dollars expended for nothing.

In the same way that we remained giddy with excitement for Mike Tyson fights, only to see his opponents get flattened within the opening seconds.

We were fascinated (or were we intoxicated?) by the legend of Mike Tyson.

The bark was always bigger than the bite, but quite frankly, it didn’t matter.

Every six to eight months, we were more than willing to pay the outrageous pay-per-view premiums to simply bear witness to the spectacle that became Mike Tyson boxing.

So then, what is the infatuation with Kevin Kolb?

Is it his proven ability to make smart decisions with the football? Is it his proven ability to lead an offense and, more importantly, his team to victory?

We are being told that he has the potential to be the next great quarterback in the National Football League, yet he has failed to fully prove his worth on the playing field.

Over the past four years, Kolb has accumulated a largely unimpressive stat line, totaling 2,082 yards passing, a completion percentage slightly north of 60 percent, 11 touchdowns versus 14 interceptions, nine fumbles, one rushing touchdown and a passer rating of 73.2.

Remarkably, the Philadelphia Eagles have placed a first-round trade value on Kevin Kolb, yet he has failed to secure the starting quarterback position within the organization on multiple occasions.

Posting a pedestrian sub .500 record in his seven career starts for Philadelphia since his selection in the 2007 NFL draft.

If it’s not talent or leadership, then what exactly makes Kevin Kolb the most sought after quarterback of this offseason?

In a, “What have you done for me lately?" league, a quarterback with a limited amount of repetitions and a limited amount of success should be judged upon statistical evaluation and factual evidence.

The facts remain that four years into his professional career, both Kevin Kolb's skill set and preparedness are still very much debatable.

Will a desperate franchise fall victim to the unmerited praise and take a chance on Kolb as being their savior? Could he eventually develop into the great quarterback his staunch supporters claim he will be?

Only time will tell.

But as the great Chuck D once said, "Don't believe the hype."