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The 6 Most Overrated Figures in Philadelphia Sports History

In the last few weeks, we took a look at some of the most underrated athletes in Philadelphia sports history. The guys who deserve more love. Guys who either went under the radar or get more hate than they deserve. But now that we got through the positivity, let’s get negative for a bit. While we may underrate all those guys we mentioned in the other articles, there are plenty of guys we give way too much love to, even now.

These are not guys we overrated at the time, and then eventually grew tired of. Ben Simmons is not on the list, because at this point no one overrates him. people hate the guy. Every time I read an overrated list it’s full of guys no fan actually likes. I read one that had Nnamdi Asomugha. Who still overrates Nnamdi? Eagles fans realized who he was a few games into that season. If someone can read your overrated list and agree with every person on it, something has gone wrong.

This list is exclusively for the guys at least some fans still love. The players, Coaches, and GMs who get overloved either because they are likable because they pandered to Philly fans, or for various other reasons. Even now, some of these guys still get a pass, even if we heap criticism on other people for doing to the same thing. Philadelphians get a lot of crap for being too hard on some players. But we are also very easy to please. And there are certain guys we give passes, that do not deserve them at all.

Not to say all of these people were bad at their jobs. Some of them were. But some I really like. But there are just certain aspects of either their game or their accomplishments, that we as fans overrate.

Here are 6 Figures From Philadelphia Sports History We Overrate:

  • Sam Hinkie

    Sam Hinkie

    Photo By: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

    People in this city love Hinkie. Many are convinced that if the NBA never stepped in, and pushed him out, the Sixers would have won by now. And while what the NBA did was wrong, people are way too generous to Hinkie. Besides the idea of tanking, and lucking into Joel Embiid, what exactly did he do well here? None of his other draft picks panned out, and the Jahlil Okafor pick was a disaster. There is no evidence from his time here he was adept at evaluating talent.

    His vision of The Process landed us Embiid, but even that was luck. The vision was to get Andrew Wiggins. But he actually got lucky by landing the 3rd pick that year. If he had gotten pick 1, or pick 2, they would have had Wiggins or perhaps Jabari Parker.

    Fans of The Process adore Hinkie. And I will agree the NBA screwed him over. But in terms of being an actual GM, he never did much besides stockpile assets. The guy took a center 3 seasons in a row. And some of you think he was going to build a winning team? I doubt it.

  • Buddy Ryan

    Buddy Ryan (right) with defensive backs coach Jeff Fisher during the game against the Buffalo Bills. The Eagles beat the Bills 17-7.

    Photo By: Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

    People love Buddy Ryan. There are certain Eagles fans who hold the lack of a Super Bowl here over the heads of Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb. But Buddy Ryan, who never even won a playoff game, is put up on a pedestal.

    We all know why. It is because he hated the Cowboys just as much as we do. And he made a big deal every time they played them. But the truth is while his defenses were great, his teams wasted offensive talent. There was a point where they had Randall Cunningham, Keith Byars, Keith Jackson, Mike Quick, and Chris Carter on the same team. Pair that with the defense they had, it is a crime they never so much as won a playoff game.

    A lot of that should fall on Buddy. But for some reason, he gets a pass that no one else in the history of Philly Sports does for not winning. If Nick Sirianni won no playoff games in the next 3 seasons, people would be ready to get rid of him. People were ready to fire Howie Roseman a few years after his team won the Super Bowl, and I was guilty of that myself. But Buddy still gets love despite never accomplishing anything while he was here.

  • Cliff Lee

    Cliff Lee

    Photo By: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

    Okay as a player, Lee was great. That 2009 stretch was as good as any pitcher the Phillies have ever had. And even on his second stint here he was mostly fantastic.

    But what lands him on this list is the feeling fans have that he chose us. Did he? Because he sure hasn’t kept any connection to the city since he retired. We still see Rollins, Hamels, Howard, and Utley all the time. But it feels like Cliff Lee hasn’t been spotted in Philadelphia since he left. Which is fine. It just flies in the face of the sense many fans have that he came back here because he loved Philly so much.

  • Bobby Clarke

    Philadelphia Flyers greats goalie Bernie Parent (1) and Bobby Clarke (16) on ice during ceremony before game against Arizona Coyotes at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA

    Photo By: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

    Bobby Clarke the player is fantastic. He is perhaps the greatest player in team history. But as a GM? He was here for a long time and never won. 22 years with nothing to show for it. And a lot of that can be traced back to him.

    Clarke had Lindros, one of the best Hockey players of his era. But Clarke wasted the era publicly feuding with his star player. He also gave up on both coaches and young players way too quickly. He is very much the reason the Flyers got into a trend of trading for aging players just to try and get over the top, and most of those trades never panned out the way the Flyers hoped. And once he moved up from GM, to Senior Vice President the team continued to struggle to break through.

    Clarke has been a massive part of the Flyers these past 4 decades. There have been so many players, coaches, and GMs who have come through this city. He has been a constant. And as much as we love Clarke as a player, he needs to take a lot of the criticism for what has happened to this franchise.

  • TJ McConnell

    Philadelphia 76ers guard TJ McConnell (1) puts up a shot against Brooklyn Nets center Justin Hamilton (41) and guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) in the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. Sixers win 105-95.

    Photo By: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

    TJ is really easy to love. He has a great personality, and few players hustle as much as he does. But the love he gets is a bit over the top. TJ was a fine player. There were games where he was super exciting to watch just because of how much trouble he caused just through sheer scrappiness. It feels like some people think like he was better than he was. Philly fans love a player like TJ. We just take it over the top sometimes.

  • Joe Banner

    Philadelphia Eagles president Joe Banner during training camp at Lehigh University.

    Photo By: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

    This one is a personal vendetta of mine. I can’t stand the guy. People still hold this guy in such high regard. And yes, under him the Eagles had a lot of success. But they also never accomplished the one feat everyone wanted them to. Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb always get the blame for that, but I think so much of it should go onto Joe Banner instead.

    Andy went on to win two Super Bowls with another team. Banner has never won anywhere he was an executive. And a lot of Eagles issues in that era can be traced back to him. They almost never had good WRs. That was Joe. They finally get one in TO, but Joe refuses to give him a contract. We always talk about whether TO or McNabb is to blame for that breakup, but maybe Joe Banner should have just paid one of the greatest WRs in NFL history and gotten it over with.

    There are way too many people who put stock into what this guy says, still to this day. I don’t get it. Howie Roseman is far superior to Banner.

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