What Would Buddy Do?
Cut Day: Mostly I’m pulling for McDougle
Posted on August 30th, 2008 at 12:05 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie


I’ll be offline for the afternoon, but let me drop a final shout-out to Jerome McDougle: here’s hoping you make the team. I dunno, I guess I was just a sucker for this story all through camp.


Matt Mosley stays on Philly’s good side (barely)
Posted on August 30th, 2008 at 12:00 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

I’ve been following Matt Mosley’s NFC East blog at ESPN with some trepidation.  Whilst I certainly have appreciated a handy roundup of NFC-East-focused news stories, I of course have been routinely offended by the lack of relative attention/ respect paid to the Eagles in said blog.  And it isn’t just because Mosley is a Dallas guy; he ran a mailbag column the other day that contained one sentence on the Birds and didn’t even mention Philly as a contender for Anquan Boldin (he focused his Boldin talk on the Cowboys).  Ew.

Still, his decision to rank the Illadelph faithful fourth (4th) amongst NFL fans (and tops in the NFC East) shows that he is at least capable of comporting himself like a gentleman if need be. He notes that the season-ticket waiting list is 70,000 people strong (on which I’m apparently number 898, if an e-mail from the Birds is to be believed!) and that we do an excellent job with loyalty and tailgating.  The excerpt:

No other team dictates a city’s mood like the Eagles. It’s a loyal group of fans, but don’t confuse it with blind loyalty. When the Eagles play poorly, they face the wrath of the fans. That rattles some guys, but players such as Jeremiah Trotter and Brian Dawkins have thrived on that tough love. Fans of opposing teams should tread lightly in the Linc.

Mosley also includes some generic quotes about Philly fans, which has only solidified my belief that I’m completely bored/ tired of reading hypotheses regarding why we like the Eagles so durn much; to be honest, I’m a bit bored with the “Philly fans are CRAZY” trope amongst the national blatherati:

“You could drop a Martian into Philly the day after a game, and within three minutes, he’d know if the Eagles had won or lost,” said Glen Macnow, a sports radio talk show host for the wildly popular WIP and co-author of “The Great Philadelphia Fan Book.” “When they win, you’ll meet the friendliest cab drivers, CPAs and newspaper sellers. Whey they lose, it’s like a five-day hangover.”

Unlike places such as Dallas and Miami, Philadelphia isn’t home to a lot of transplants. People aren’t trying to leave, and potential newcomers aren’t arriving any time soon. It sort of creates this bunker mentality that seems to fuel passion for local teams — but mainly the Eagles.

No transplants?  Bunker mentality?  Sure.  Your bullshit is just as valid as my bullshit on this topic.  But we appreciate the theorizing!  Maybe next week we can make the mailbag.

DeSean Jackson at least as good as Corey Simon
Posted on August 29th, 2008 at 1:13 am by Cheesesteak Hoagie

Didn’t see the game tonight (was on the road in my former home out in the Pacific Northwest), though I followed the first couple quarters on the web.  So I pretty much have no idea what happened out there, save for the following:

(1) DeSean Jackson didn’t play.  So he’s that good, huh?  Doesn’t need to show in the last preseason game?  Andy Reid admitted as much, saying in his post-game presser that the last Eagles rookie he sat in the fourth game was Corey Simon.  Huh.  Might we even go so far as to suggest that DeSean needs to be fitted for his very own protective bubble-wrap cocoon? 

(2) Jerome McDougle played the whole game.  Huh.  Guess they wanted to get a good long look.  I’m definitely pulling for him to make the team, my rationale being that “the dude got shot.” 

(3) Victor Abiamiri threw an incompletion?  Wha?  This is a typo, right?  Double-you Tee Eff, nfl dot com?


Lewis, Baskett looking to brush up on flattery, obsequiousness?
Posted on August 27th, 2008 at 12:32 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

Uh oh. 

First it was Lorenzo Booker who was going to be complimentary to Brian Westbrook (and really, who among us shouldn’t be complimentary to Brian Westbrook — he was the best back in the NFL last year!).  Now it appears that both Greg Lewis and Hank Baskett have picked up some manners from Booker and will be sharing kind words of praise with the rest of the receiving corps:

Brown’s uncertainty leaves the Eagles short in experience at wide receiver. With Kevin Curtis already out indefinitely after sports-hernia surgery, the Birds are down their top two from last season. Greg Lewis and Hank Baskett are decent complimentary options, but neither has ever been a No. 1. Head coach Andy Reid said he has some maneuverability.

It’s one thing when an error shows up in marketing copy on PE.com, it’s quite another when it shows up in the dailies.  Errors happen, sure, and we all know the fishwrapper biz is in the midst of implosion (that pesky Craigslist!), but this is almost correction-worthy. 

I say almost because, well, it’s in the sports section, and, um, no one really cares but nerds like me. 

In case you had been hoodwinked into thinking I knew something about football
Posted on August 26th, 2008 at 7:17 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

Time for yours truly to eat some crow.  I believe my header was “Klecko moved to DT; deemed more polite than ‘just cutting him.’”

Congrats on making the team, Mr. Klecko.   

I guess he enjoyed the cheesesteaks and ambient level of hostility more that I would have thought!

(I hope my editor isn’t too pissed at me.)

Posted on August 26th, 2008 at 7:10 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

no no no no

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  The national press (or at least Dr. Z) likes the Birds!  Nothing to see here, national cadre of blathermonkeys!  Look, over there, the COWBOYS!  They’re on HBO!  Also, to the right, the Giants!  They play in The Capital Of The Known Universe and are supported by a gutless and poorly mannered fanbase!  Pay attention to them!   

(I don’t care if this is only a regional cover — this does not bode well.  We care not for your adulation and praise, national blathertariat.  Kindly leave us be.)

Enough with the whinging about the press conferences
Posted on August 26th, 2008 at 1:55 am by Cheesesteak Hoagie

time is yours

Note to blathermonkeys: your readership doesn’t care if Andy Reid’s press conferences are boring.  Those who do care watch them on the Birds’ site (yours truly staring awkwardly at ground).  Everyone else has better things to do, and expects you to report on what Andy Reid says. 

And while usually we have to endure asides within other pieces complaining about Andy Reid’s often dry media sessions, today we got an entire feature (in the otherwise excellent philly.com Eagles preview section) detailing their specific dullness. 

Why, as fans, do we care if Andy Reid is tight-lipped in his league-mandated media encounters?  Oh right!  We don’t.  (In fact, it can be argued that being tight-lipped is a strategy that leads to more wins — why hand extra information to next week’s opponent?)  So why does the local media keep writing about it?

Because, like the rest of us, they like to complain about their job.  That is, Andy Reid’s dull press conferences make it a lot harder for them to come up with stories for the following day’s edition.  If Andy Reid were up there dropping some Buddy Ryan personality on everyone, the stories would be easy: relay the coach’s bon mots in extensive block quotes, add approving descriptions of his charming anecdotes, tell us who’s hurt, done and done. 

Instead, with vanilla commentary from Big Red, they have to add the bon mots their own selves, and that’s, like, totally a hassle.  So they passive-aggressively whinge about it and write about how dull Andy Reid is.

Which is fine.  I b*tch about my job too.  I just don’t pretend that the b*tching should count as work.           

Preseason injuries are silly (with just a tiny bit of haterade and imaginary religion)
Posted on August 25th, 2008 at 3:41 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

Osi on the cartNothing is more beat than pre-season injuries, especially to star players. We don’t like to see the more popular entertainers felled in training matches. And as much as we’d like to secretly gloat about Osi Umenyiora’s season-ending knee injury, we don’t like to see good players go down for the year (minor injuries that cause them to miss the Eagles game, well that’s a different story…).

Still, and we’re knowingly dodging bolts of lightning here, can we at least point out that it was Umenyiora who knocked Browns QB Derek Anderson out of the Cleveland-G-Men preseason match the Monday prior? Concussed him, to be more precise. In a preseason game. Sure, it was a clean hit, but he drove him into the turf — as a viewer, I wasn’t shocked when Anderson didn’t get up. And if I was, say, a Browns supporter, I’d've been mighty cheesed off at that hit.

We might also note a corollary here with the inexplicably unfined Dawkins helmet-to-helmet shot on Moosh the week before; Dawk left the following game with an ankle injury.

That karma is a pesky nemesis.

Local columnist insists on insulting customers, alienating readers
Posted on August 24th, 2008 at 7:06 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

I’m still trying to figure out what possessed Bob Ford of the Inquirer to unburden himself in re: the state of the Birds’ road supporters on Friday, besides an penchant for masochism and a desire to speak ill of his customers.  In case you missed it, I’ll give you the 27-word version: Eagles fans like to travel to road games, but they’re ugly and loutish and act like jerks because they’re such sore losers and follow a crappy team.  Some highlights:

It would be nice to report that the Eagles legions who pack the airplanes, haunt the hotel bars, and roam the streets are goodwill ambassadors from our fair city, the kind of representatives who leave behind a warm regard for Philadelphia once they have departed. Unfortunately, that would not be entirely accurate.

The great majority of traveling fans are grown men. If one were to generalize about them, it would seem they like to wear uniform jerseys that celebrate other men - not that there’s anything wrong with that - like to consume alcohol to excess, and are not slaves to their fitness regimens. The contingent often travels like a portable frat party from something less than the brightest house on campus.

It would also seem that Eagles fans revel in their reputations. As followers of a franchise that has not had a championship since Eisenhower’s final month in office, that’s understandable. What else might separate them from the devotees of any other NFL team? It certainly isn’t the trophies lined up in Jeff Lurie’s office, where there is plenty of shelf space.

Right, so Bob, last time I checked, the drunken louts you identify above also happen to be the same sort of people who, I dunno, read the freakin sports page.  Was this all a bit of irony that eluded me?  Who exactly do you think is reading your column, IN THE SPORTS SECTION AKA BRAD-AND-ANGELINA-FOR-THE-MALE-18-TO-64 SET? 

You don’t cover affairs of state here, you write about a TV show/ live entertainment event.  Reasonable adults skip the sports page and pay attention to the actual news.  If you want to insult the center of you customer base, that’s cool, but who exactly do you expect to read your column to pick up the slack?

As someone who will gleefully wear my Eagles jersey (as if wearing the jersey is somehow worse than wearing other logoed gear — if you’re dressing up for Halloween, you can put on a a set of novelty fangs or you can get five of your friends to dress up like the guys from Beerfest and wander from party to party with a giant glass boot, just depends on how you like to roll I s’pose) to a couple opposing stadiums this fall (and stay tuned for info about a larger Seattle field trip), I don’t get it.  Does he not want me to read his column?  Should he expect that I enjoy this sort of thing?  I’m a bit insulted/ confused here. 

Or at least I was, until I remembered that Bob was the guy who thought they should have been playing Kolb when the Birds were 2-4 last year.  Yes.  He’s a professional sportswriter. 

Birds’ Rookies Repruhzent in Training Match versus Ultimate Villains
Posted on August 23rd, 2008 at 2:38 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

see ya john lynch

Maybe I need to book more flights for Sundays in the fall. 

Whilst I’ve only seen the highlights on ESPN and the Birds’ site, and can’t entirely comment on what transpired last night, I certainly have seen enough to SHAVE MY HEAD, CALL MYSELF SPUDS AND AFFIX MY RUMP TO THE QUINTIN DEMPS AND DESEAN JACKSON BANDWAGON.

Care to join me? 

We hate overreacting to preseason games, but I’m going to argue that the two returns are actually legitimate cause for enthusiasm.  We can’t say that we’ve drafted the next Devin Hester, but we can say that we now seem to have two (2) dudes capable of NFL return touchdowns.  Preseason or not, long returns in the NFL are long returns in the NFL, and the only dude on the Birds who’s had that super power over the past couple years (and really, close to the last decade) is the guy whose protective bubble-wrap coccoon (and the better judgment of the coaching staff) disqualified him from the role.

The thing I liked about both returns was how simple they were; half a cut from both guys, and then zoom — up the field we go.  And they were both fast: rather than getting run down at the end of their runs, both dudes were pulling away Usain Bolt-style.  The Demps one even had the intergenerational angle of young safety Demps blazing away from old safety John Lynch (how did that poor bastard end up on the kickoff team?) — pictured above, thank you Eagles site.

(I wanted to use this photo, but BGN wisely beat me to the punch.)

Let us also note that both youngsters were appropriately cocky afterwars, with Jackson claiming that he was miffed that Demps returned one before he did (thus providing him with extra motivation…) and Demps noting that Stephen Gostkowski — whose tackle attempt Demps disregarded en route to the end zone — might need to hit the weight room (note that Gostkowski is actually listed at 6′1″ 210, so he’s not a Gramatica). 


Also, it wouldn’t be BountyBowl if we didn’t comment on Prince Jeffrey’s wardrobe — looking much better this time around with the open collar versus the Fake-Steve-Jobs mock turtle.  Nice work, Mr. Lurie.

looking good


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