Monday night’s list of speakers at the DNC featured some of the heaviest hitters in the Democratic party, including the passion and exuberance of N.J. Senator Cory Booker, power and grace from First Lady Michelle Obama and a strong, unifying message from Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Heck, even comedian Sarah Silverman had a moment to remember. And that was just Day One.
Philly was represented on Monday too, with Mayor Jim Kenney and Sen. Bob Casey getting mic time, but if the DNC really wants to rile up the crowd at the Wells Fargo Center the rest of the week — after feeling the Bern, of course — they should have picked some Philly athletes to speak at the Convention.
Here are some suggestions for who the DNC should slide into the speaking schedule this week to showcase a little more Philly fanaticism at the event.
Monday was an emotional night. Bernie supporters were brought to tears throughout his speech, so if the DNC is looking for more crying, there is no Philly athlete — current or former — better suited to bring the waterworks in a big speech than Michael Jack Schmidt.
On a more serious note, former Phillies have dabbled in political speechmaking in the past. Jimmy Rollins was on the Hope and Change train in 2008, publicly campaigning for Barack Obama the week after the Phillies won the World Series. Rollins even introduced Vice President Joe Biden at a local event on the eve of the 2008 election. Tell me J-Roll wouldn’t be a great speaker at the DNC this year.
Of course, if the DNC was looking for someone a bit less loquacious but just as impactful, there’s Rollins’ former Phillies teammate Chase Utley. One has to believe ol’ No. 26 sauntering on stage and saying “Hillary Clinton. Hillary F***ing Clinton!” before walking off would be pretty darn impactful.
Speaking of cursing (and NSFW videos) if the DNC wants to fire up the Wells Fargo Center crowd, there would be no one better than former Flyers coach Peter Laviolette. Who wouldn’t want to run through a “huge” wall for this guy after this?
Back to the more serious suggestions, there is perhaps no more beloved athlete in Philadelphia than Brian Dawkins. B-Dawk was the heart and soul of the Eagles as a player, and nearly 20 years after his Philadelphia debut, he is as respected and revered as ever. He is passionate, articulate and the type of leader the DNC probably wishes they had this year.
Do you think Doug Pederson would give Connor Barwin some time off to speak at the Convention? Frankly, it’s ridiculous the organizers at the DNC didn’t push to get Barwin on stage during this event, as the cache of a socially conscious (and local) NFL player would have been a huge story that could reverberate outside the echo chamber of partisan politics.
Barwin can talk about a myriad of topics, from LGBTQ rights — Barwin’s brother is gay — to civic responsibility — he has been extremely active in Philadelphia since coming to the Eagles — to the ongoing issues that surround the NFL today, including proper medical care and the struggle with domestic violence, both topics that parallel everyday life in this country.
The more I think about this, the madder I get that Barwin isn’t speaking. There’s still time, DNC. Figure it out.
I don’t know the former Sixers owner’s politics — he did donate $5,400 to the Friends of Patrick Murphy – Democrat fund in 2015 — but the man is a paid motivational speaker, entrepreneur and local success story. He would have been a great local addition to the DNC Convention.
Speaking of the Sixers, who better to represent Philly than our adopted son, Allen Iverson? Listen to this and imagine replacing the word ‘game’ with ‘president’ and ‘practice’ with ‘Trump’?
“We sitting here…talking about Trump. I mean, listen. We talking about Trump. Not a president. Not a president. Not a president. We’re talking about Trump. Not a president. Not a president that I’d go out there and die for…not the president. We’re talking about Trump, man. I mean, how silly is that?”
And nobody owned the Wells Fargo Center like Iverson. This is him. This is his environment.
If you know anything about Philly sports, you knew this was coming. While Slyvester Stallone has leaned to the other side of the aisle in the past — he supported McCain in 2008 and told Variety back in January, “I love Donald Trump. He’s a great Dickensian character,” before wondering how that would translate to running the world, Rocky is all Philly, and the type of working-class guy the Democrats would love to give a primetime spot to this week.
Sly might not be the best pick to speak at the DNC, but given the recent Russia conversations going on in American politics, we could all use a little love from the Italian Stallion right now.
Now, hear me out. Schilli—
Okay, never mind.