Introducing the Narcissist, Carson Wentz

In the second half of the 1980s, and throughout the 1990s, Lawrence Wendell Pfohl, a 6-foot-6, 275-pound offensive lineman at Penn State, earned his keep as a professional wrestler under the byname Lex Luger, apparently an alteration of Superman's famed adversary, Lex Luthor, the slight change made to coincide with the German-made handgun of the same name (the now 62-year-old Luger's ethnic heritage is even German).

Luger started in the WCW — which an entire generation characterized as "the other wrestling" (association) — in 1985, where he was billed as "The Total Package" and became one of "The Four Horsemen" — to whom Ric Flair also belonged — until he had a falling-out with them. By 1993, Luger had moved on to the more prestigious WWF (now the WWE), who chose to market him as "The Narcissist," going so far as to have him pose in front of a full-length mirror before every match.

Decades later, the NFL has its own version of Lex Luger, except that in this case it is anything but scripted:

Carson Wentz.

On January 21, 2019, PhillyVoice contributor Joe Santoliquito — whose surname means "holy water" in Italian — wrote a devastating column after interviewing numerous Eagles players, as well as other sources, both within the Eagles organization and outside of it. Almost without exception, a picture of Wentz emerged as a player who is "selfish," "uncompromising," "egotistical," "plays favorites" (perhaps explaining why Zach Ertz has been getting so many touches), "doesn't like to be questioned," "needs to practice what he preaches," and "fails to take accountability."

As the psychologists on Law & Order — Drs. Emil Skoda and Elizabeth Olivet — have pointed out in many an episode of that award-winning show, these are all classic signs of narcissism — or, as it is officially known, Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Multiple sources also blame Wentz for offensive coordinator Mike Groh's firing following the 2019 season, accusing Wentz of "bullying" Groh. The two will now be reunited because Groh was hired on in 2020 as the wide receivers coach by the Colts, to whom Wentz was traded two weeks ago.

That should be awkward — although the fact that Wentz will now also be reunited with his old offensive coordinator, Frank Reich, now the team's head coach, figures to take the edge off any awkwardness.

Further evidence of Wentz's narcissism came out when it was revealed that Wentz and since-fired Eagles head coach Doug Pederson would not speak to one another for weeks at a time. What grown man does that — unless he has some very real emotional issues?

If the team had any idea of who they were dealing with, they never would have erected that statue of Nick Foles outside of Lincoln Financial Field, which Wentz had to be subjected to seeing every time he walked inside the building. Then came "Twittergate" in October of 2019: an Eagles player, believed to be wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, who will be cut on St. Patrick's Day, the date that the new league year will began (Happy St. Patrick's Day? Happy New Year? Not! on both counts for Mr. Jeffery), tweeted as follows:

"We need to make things (although a word somewhat stronger than "things" was actually used in the tweet) simpler. Sometimes we just need to handle what is manageable. Even [sic] Peyton Manning knew when to check it down."

Granted, Jeffery, or whoever did make the tweet, is a coward for doing it anonymously — but that's beside the point.

And finally there is Wentz's request that Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman, Jr. give up his jersey number, which is 11. Even O.J. Simpson, everyone's idea of a narcissist, didn't do this: when Simpson arrived at the Bills training camp in the summer of 1969, a fellow running back, Gary McDermott, was wearing jersey number 32. But the 6-foot-1, 211-pound McDermott — which would make him a one-dimensional "power back" in today's NFL — was cut after just one game, whereupon "The Juice" did change his number from 36 to 32.

The point is that Reich has just taken on damaged goods, physically and mentally, far more damaged than when they were last together — and that makes the Titans that much more likely to win the AFC South again in 2021, for the franchise's first back-to-back division titles since their predecessors, the Houston Oilers, won their division in the first three years of their existence (1960-62).

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