Philly now is Carson City

OK, it’s finally official.

The Los Angeles Rams took Jared Goff with the No. 1 pick, which enabled the Philadelphia Eagles to pluck their love child Carson Wentz with the No. 2 pick Thursday night in the NFL draft.

With apologies to the late Prince, the Birds now hope to party like it’s 1999.

Just like Donovan McNabb was Andy Reid’s first draft pick as Eagles head coach in 1999, Wentz is the first pick of Doug Pederson, who started ahead of McNabb at the start of 1999 and later coached for Reid in both Philly and Kansas City.

The second pick is the highest any Football Championship Subdivision — formerly Division I-AA — quarterback or player has ever gone.

Yep, it’s a quantum leap from North Dakota State to the NFL and Eagles fans pray that Wentz, a marvelous piece of physical and mental machinery, is up to the task.

For now, everybody is laying praise on him like Kleenex. But things can change dramatically and abruptly if Wentz sticks his head in a lion’s mouth and gets it bitten off.

The Eagles swapped a posse of premium picks to land Wentz so they had better be right that he will be a franchise quarterback.

If not, the Birds are down to their last cigarette and the ash line is fast approaching the filter.

Eagles go off the deep end, deep enough for even Goliath to go skinny dipping there

OK, the Eagles shipped a boatload of premium picks to the Browns to move up to the No. 2 pick in the draft.

If you don’t think the Birds aren’t going to pluck a quarterback, you likely need to be briefed on how to put on your underwear.

Howie Roseman sure as hell rolled the dice on this blockbuster.

Funny thing, he hardly looks like a poker player. No swagger.

I sometimes doubt his football decisions because he looks about as athletic as a tablespoon.

But that’s superficial me.

There is a lot of mineral product from which to mine interesting takes from a transaction such as this.

I will just say this: The Eagles had damn better be right.

Of course, nobody really knows if Jared Goff or Carson Wentz will be a franchise quarterback. And the Birds don’t even know — publically at least — if they are getting Wentz or Goff.

The Birds will get the Rams’ leftover pizza. L.A. supposedly likes Goff and the Eagles like Wentz.

If the Birds are wrong on this epic gamble, they likely will be having impassioned chats with their deity as they peer into the gargantuan void of despair.

If they are correct, they got themselves a stud quarterback.

Right now all they have guaranteed themselves is a chance.

If the Eagles draft Ezekiel Elliott, yours truly will have a ball blogging about a fellow Zeke

The NFL Draft is coming up later this month and Eagles fans are crossing their fingers, toes and eyes hoping that restored GM Howie Roseman will give some linear thought to who he plucks with the No. 8 pick in the first round.

Assuming, of course, Roseman’s intuition goes places where reason is barred and doesn’t mortgage the franchise’s future in a bold gambit of trading up to land either Jared Goff or Carson Wentz, depending on which one the Rams grab with the first pick.

NFL front office types play poker this time of year when discussing the draft so be a bit cautious about Roseman raving about multidimensional Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott Monday.

Suffice it to say I am a bit partial to a guy whose nickname is Zeke. Only great men are honored to sport such a moniker.

While conventional wisdom these days proclaims you don’t draft a running back in the first round in a league that is one passing fancy, Elliott has the potential to enter folklore as a three-down running back.

“It’s hard to find three-down backs, so when you get a chance to look at someone like that, it changes the discussion,” Roseman said. “They’re certainly on your board.”

The Eagles have traded away the NFL’s leading rusher from 2013 and 2014 the last two offseasons.

They shipped 2013 rushing leader LeSean McCoy to the Bills after the 2014 season and unloaded 2014 rushing leader DeMarco Murray to the Titans last month after just one season in Philly.

Otherwise they wouldn’t be in dire need of a running back. But we shall leave that in the dustbin of history.

Warriors, Kobe and Rams rattle some tectonic plates

Talk about a delicious sports smorgasbord!

Let us begin with the simultaneous NBA theatrics on the Left Coast Wednesday night.

The Golden State Warriors fried the Memphis Grizzlies 125-104 to set a new league record for wins in a season, their 73-9 record putting them one win ahead of the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls.

As their per usual, the Warriors just let the bullets fly and never seemed to run out of ammunition or accuracy while exhibiting an almost preternatural comfort in execution.

Then there was the ballyhooed farewell of Kobe Bryant, whose Los Angeles Lakers career began just around the time that Henry Ford was fine-tuning the Model T.

In his prime the Black Mamba had searingly quick reflexes, was a marvel in the open court, and flashed a mosaic of movement at warp speed.

His ballet of nimble moves gave the distinct impression he could cut at full speed even on a thimble. The ultimate slasher, his sirloin strip of a body knifed through defenders with the explosion of a powder keg.

Those physical attributes have gotten lost in the fog of time.

In his farewell game, Kobe astonishingly demonstrated that the inconveniences of aging flesh are no match for the soaring octaves of renewed spirit. At least for one magical evening for the ages and the sages.

He didn’t walk away. He flew away on the wings of legend.

He shot. He shot some more. He kept shooting. Shots from the courtside seats, from underneath the basket, on wild drives, off crazy dribbles, back to the basket, feet in the air, hands in his face, shooting forever.

Sixty points. Fifty shots. Twenty-three points in the fourth quarter to lead the Lakers back from a 14-point deficit in the final 10 minutes to beat the Utah Jazz 101-96.

Now that is one freaking exit scene!

Then came news this morning that the Tennessee Titans have traded the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft to the Los Angeles Rams in a blockbuster trade.

Tennessee will send the top selection along with its fourth- (No. 113) and sixth-round (No. 177) picks this year to the Rams in exchange for Los Angeles’ first-round pick (No. 15), two second-round selections (Nos. 43 and 45) and a third-round pick (No. 76) in 2016. The Titans also will get the Rams’ first- and third-round picks in 2017.

With the trade, the Rams now have the ability to draft the quarterback of their choice, likely either Carson Wentz or Jared Goff, and make a tsunami splash as they settle into Los Angeles after leaving St. Louis this year.

The Rams, who gambled and lost on Nick Foles at quarterback last year, needed to make an intergalactic statement.

The galvanic presence of a young Messiah at QB hopefully will have his newbie disciples scoffing up season tickets and merchandise.

Oops! Trump kids must have gotten lost in the fog of time

I don’t know about you, but I find it rather amusing that Ivanka and Eric Trump are not registered to vote as Republicans in their home state of New York and will be unable to vote for their old man in New York’s Republican presidential primary on April 19.

I guess they expect The Donald to simply stride out and crown himself president.

No word yet on whether they will get cut of his will.

Villanova basks in one incredible shining moment

This is why the world of sports can be pure magic, the stuff of fables, a mystic pursuit of intoxicating passion in which people, who otherwise would be aloof to one another, are swept away in the larger torrent of fandom.

How could you not be a fan of Villanova after the plucky Wildcats scaled the Everest of their sport Monday night?

National championship on the line. Clock running down toward zeros. A mammoth crowd shoehorned into NRG Stadium in Houston. Millions watching on television.

Ryan Arcidiacono, whose last name has been a challenge for sportscasters to wrap their tongues around for four years, had the ball in his hands.

Arch is the epitome of a team player, the unselfish soldier who even embraces latrine duty.

Instead of fulfilling his boyhood fantasy of draining the winning shot in a moment of such magnitude, he passed the ball to Kris Jenkins.

Jenkins buried a deep three-pointer at the buzzer to give Villanova a corpuscle-popping, synapse-snapping, cortex-bobbing, throat-in-mouth gulping, cardiac-arrest-inducing 77-74 win over vaunted North Carolina and the school’s second NCAA Tournament championship in 31 years.

It was the perfect punctuation to a classic game chock full of ebbs and flows.

Hollywood could not have written a script with such delicious drama.

Villanova levels Oklahoma like a tornado


It was a shining moment that lasted 40 minutes of textbook basketball.

Villanova oozed perfection offensively and defensively from every pore Saturday night with a record-setting 95-51 win over Oklahoma at NRG Stadium in Houston to reach Monday night’s NCAA Tournament championship game against North Carolina.

It was the utter abduction of the Sooners and their star Buddy Hield. The Wildcats incinerated them with an absolute grease fire.

Nova continues to lay down its Superman cover in this tournament. The Wildcats right now are honed to maximum sharpness.

The Wildcats’ 44-point margin of victory is a Final Four record by eight points, and their 95 points are the most in a national semifinal since Maryland beat Kansas 97-88 in 2002.

The 44-point margin of victory marks a 67-point reversal from Oklahoma’s 78-55 win over the Wildcats in Hawaii in early December.

Villanova’s furious defense held a team averaging 81 points per game to its fewest in more than three years.

And the Wildcats shot an otherworldly 71 percent from the field, second-best in Final Four history behind only the 1985 Villanova team that made 79 percent of its shots in the championship game victory over Georgetown.

Granted, North Carolina is literally a tall order. So Villanova’s Saturday night buoyancy must be unflagging to ensure that the envisioned magical moment does indeed dawn Monday night.