The circle has been closed on Nick Sirianni, Peter in Maple Shade and the most infamous tennis court dust-up in South Jersey history.
Peter Perrotta is a veteran journalist. He caused quite the firestorm last week when he called into WFAN and alleged that Sirianni, the Eagles’ head coach, tried to fight him at a Haddonfield park. The issue? Perrotta was wearing a Giants cap while playing tennis.
The city of Philadelphia responded as you would expect. There was a combative cross-examination on WIP. And Perrotta called back into WFAN on Monday for his second audience with morning show hosts Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti to defend himself.
“I’m getting roasted on your sister station by (morning show host) Angelo Cataldi,” Perrotta said. “They’re saying the story is fraudulent. And the story is not fraudulent. … These Eagles nutniks are saying I’m making up the story, and I’m not.
“I’m telling the exact God’s honest truth. Why would I make something like this up?”
The updated cliff notes following days of fallout: The incident happened. But the Eagles and Sirianni said it was “grossly exaggerated” though a leak to NBC Sports Philadelphia. Sirianni was just busting chops and trying to be funny, according to the report.
Perrotta sounds inclined to believe that now, although the Bronx native argues he had no way of knowing in the moment.
“Here’s the thing everyone is missing: I didn’t know it was Nick Sirianni,” Perrotta said. “If I knew it was Nick Sirianni, I would have busted his chops back and make it light-hearted.”
“If out of the blue a stranger comes up to you and said, ‘I’ve got a problem with what you’re wearing, bro,’ what would you do? Wouldn’t you get your back up right away.”
Perrotta did reveal one piece of new information during this latest WFAN call-in, and it does damage his narrative a bit. He said his playing partner — “Jerry” — spoke to Sirianni after the incident. Sirianni told the buddy he was the Eagles’ offensive line coach, implying he was the much-older Jeff Stoutland. That adds credence to the “busting chops” claims.
Sirianni also allegedly said Giants head coach Brian Daboll sucks. The two are actually good friends. So that’s another point for the joke theory.
Perrotta said he did not realize he had encountered Sirianni until he got home and googled photos of the coach and his wife, who was also at the tennis court. With all of the data points seemingly now on the table, it is reasonable to suggest Perrotta could have ascertained Sirianni’s intent to bust chops before calling in to WFAN the first time. And, after some push back from Esiason and Giannotti, he seems to have realized the backlash and wagon-circling in Philly was inevitable.
“You’re probably right,” Perrotta said. “You make a great point. But you guys are fair and balanced and reasonable. All those guys, all they want to do is make fun of me.”
What do you expect? These people assaulted and booed Santa Claus.
James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]