What Would Buddy Do?
Eagles to face Ultimate Villains in Training Match
Posted on August 22nd, 2008 at 4:35 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

Euro Birds

Crapsauce!  Due to the vagaries of my work travel schedule, it looks like I’m going to be on an airplane for the Pats game for the second time in nine months.  Sure, the other one actually “counted” but that doesn’t mean I didn’t want to watch the one tonight.  A quick summary of what I would have liked to have seen (but will only read about):

Brian Westbrook spending as little time out of his protective bubble-wrap coccoon as possible.  Goes without saying — let’s hope the franchise doesn’t get hurt.  If he must play, might I suggest a swing pass to the sidelines?  Something where he can dance out of bounds untouched?  

Shawn Andrews leveling someone on a screen pass.  Let’s have the Big Kid bounce outside and try to concuss some of the Pats’ elderly linebackers, mmm?  That’d be lovely.

Dunavin and the deep ball.  Okay, so no Curtis.  No Reggie Brown.  I feel a lot better about that if 5 can complete a pass deeper than 20 yards to the WR-by-committee.  Let’s throw it even if it isn’t there. 

Asante Samuel doing something even more obnoxious than talking about how happy his money makes him.  We would not hate it if Samuel ended up with a pick and indulged himself in a little taunting.  I’m just sayin is all.

Not a single bobbled kick or punt.  I really don’t think this is asking too much — please catch the ball.

Joe Mays on the highlight reel.  I dunno, I just want to see the kid blowing someone up on the highlights.  Nothing that injures anyone, just something noisy would be fine.

And, of couse, photo ops.  I want to see Big Red next to Belicheat; he’s got to be like three of him.  Also, the obligatory smug owner photo.

As for the photo above, well, that just doesn’t look very tough now does it.  Extra credit to the first commenter to name both Iggles in the photo.

Shout out to Jody Mac
Posted on August 22nd, 2008 at 12:36 am by Cheesesteak Hoagie

Wow.  Jody Mac’s in for heart surgery?  Dude.  Been listening to Jody Mac since high school; hope everything works out.

Best wishes, thoughts are with you, good luck.

Sad referendum on Curtis’s status with Birds: No Burkholder post-op PC
Posted on August 21st, 2008 at 4:23 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

more groinsIn the midst of the whinging, pining and rationalizing that has attended the announcement of the Kevin Curtis groin injury, I’ve been eagerly awaiting a medical update from the Eagles on the surgery. Specifically, I wanted to know if we’d be treated to a rare Rick Burkholder presser (or at least statement) briefing us on the specifics of Curtis’s surgery. Not everyone gets the Burkholder media treatment, but certainly Curtis — an 1,100-yard receiver a year ago — is an important enough player to merit some fanfare?

Alas no. All we got was a quick piece on PE.com. I suppose there’s only so much we can say about groins at this point. If Curtis wants that kind of attention, he’ll need to keel over in training camp and get rushed to the hospital.

(Let me know if we need me to post more photos.  There’s just so much I didn’t know about groinal musculature!)

Curtis adds nookie to list of things he’s not allowed to enjoy
Posted on August 20th, 2008 at 4:12 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

anatomy lesson

Wow.  Forgive the pun, but this kind of sucks for Kevin Curtis.  (Is it a pun? Or do I have too much groin on the brain? Wait, groin on the brain?)  And the Eagles.  And all of us. 

Past the considerable football implications, we can only assume that this sort of injury means a significant no-nookie period for Curtis.  Given that his religious inclinations take most other fun stuff off the table, it sure looks like Kevin’s going to need to make his peace with a lot of long nights ordering pizza, playing Bioshock and slurping down Sierra Mist.

As an FYI, the wide receiver corps is now officially a “shambles.”  That’s a highly technical term meaning “a condition that yields eleven defenders whose eyes are exclusively glued to the numbers 3 and 6.”

Cacophony of horrified screams from the rest of the blogertariat:

Yikes. 

ATTN: Rod Graves, General Manager
Posted on August 20th, 2008 at 3:17 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

HANDSOMELY DRESSEDAugust 20, 2008

Rod Graves
General Manager
Arizona Cardinals
PO Box 888
Phoenix, AZ 85001-0888

Mr. Graves:

Hale and hearty greetings to you, good sir! I hope the crisp, clear desert air is treating you well and trust that you have had an appropriately relaxing and intellectually challenging summer. Surely a man of your character and disposition values his time away from the often discourteous wranglings of frontline capitalism; hopefully you’ve had time to peruse a few monographs or enjoy a brief hunting expedition along the northern frontier.

It has come to our attention here in Philadelphia that there exists a certain degree of disgruntlement amongst your corps of flanker and split ends. While we all understand that candid discussions of compensation are a bit gauche, we certainly appreciate that certain demotivated employees — especially if said employees represent the aforementioned flanker and split end corps — are capable of destabilizing organizational morale.   

With that in mind, we have a proposal that we believe might be beneficial for both your organization and our local professional gridiron affiliate.  Specfically, we might suggest an exchange of players in which we would offer the rights to our Pro Bowl cornerback, Mr. Lito Sheppard, for your disgruntled flanker.   

You might contend that your organization already boasts a number of players who competently play this position, including a recent selection from the NFL entry draft.  Sir, I shan’t insult your taste by assuming that you aren’t capable of discerning quality amongst NFL footballers.  And quality is what we have on offer!  

Perhaps you caught our training match last Thursday on the Fox television network?  You may have noticed that our Pro Bowler on offer scored an INTERCEPTION in that contest.  As you are well aware, the INTERCEPTION is the sine qua non of defensive backfield play — surely this augurs well for his future success.

As for the gap that the departure of your disgruntled flanker might create, well, it would be discourteous for us to ignore this need.  Thus we might also offer the services of one of our flankers in return.  Perhaps you’d be interested in Gregory Lewis?  He has caught a TOUCHDOWN PASS in both the NFL’s highly publicized Super Bowl game and in our recent training match, indicating consistent quality.  As you are well aware, the TOUCHDOWN PASS is the sine qua non of flanker play.

In closing, we know you are a man familiar with the rolling hills and charming populace of the Delaware Valley, having started your career as a scout for the erstwhile Philadelphia Stars.  We hope that your familiarity with our quiet hamlet and its kindly denizens will allow you to appropriately evaluate the prudence of this transaction.

Yours cordially,

Wideout-Obsessed Eagles Supporters d/b/a The Bounty

This is much preferred to more J-Roll commentary
Posted on August 20th, 2008 at 12:19 am by Cheesesteak Hoagie

the cuse is loose

This will shock exactly none of you, but I’m actually a lot more interested in Donovan McNabb’s thoughts on Bernie Mac than in him being dragged into yet another imaginary kerfuffle by the locals (as in the Jimmy Rollins PR mess).  Good for Eagletarian for breaking ranks amongst the blathertariat and admitting that it was kind of a silly question for McNabb (certainly the non-stop coverage of the comments on WIP yesterday was a bit of overkill; you know a story is crap when Eskin is saying it’s silly). 

Unfortunately, we have yet to get an update on the left-handed signature controversy.  I posed the question to McNabb directly, I’ll let you know if he gets back to me.

“The 4th & 26 Challenge was just one of many activities”
Posted on August 17th, 2008 at 10:10 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

4th26.JPG

I really had no idea that 4th and 26 was still being merchandised — good for the marketing department.  That was over four years ago (the 2003 team).  Solid.

(Inspired by this photo, I tried to find some 4th and 26 merch, but the best I could come up with was this.  Ew.)

Other random photos of minor note from the Eagles Carnival via PE.com:

bunkphilscaps.JPG

I like Bunkley accessorizing with the green Phils cap.  Nice touch.  Also, I can’t imagine those glasses were entirely necessary indoors.

mcnabbleft.JPG

So the caption for this one read “QB Donovan McNabb’s left hand got a workout at the Eagles Carnival” and the pen was in his left hand. So does he write with his non-throwing hand? Or just sign autographs that way?

savrocca.jpg

I had wedding photos with fewer people than this.

Coming clean with Shawn Andrews
Posted on August 17th, 2008 at 12:45 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

shawn comes clean

After watching Shawn Andrews’ soul-searching press conference yesterday and the attendant coverage thereof, I’m not ashamed to admit that I had a few moments of reflection myself.  Not just about Shawn and what he’s been dealing with, but also my role in the whole affair.  Still, if Shawn can man up and talk about his issues, then certainly I can as well. 

With apologies to the very excellent Bleeding Green Nation, I’d like to step forward and admit my role in this little drama.  Those leaks to the press and the blogs that Shawn was talking about?  The outrageous rumors coming from Shawn himself?  Yeah, that was me.  The Bounty.  And it’s time to own up to it.

I guess I first knew something wasn’t right with Shawn about a month and a half ago.  We were playing Scrabulous (as an aside, Shawn really enjoyed him some Scrabulous, and we can’t discount the impact of its removal on Shawn’s mental state) and he sent me a Scrabulous chat message indicating that he’d been spending a lot of time thinking lately.  I didn’t think much of it, but resigned to keep an extra-careful eye out on Shawn’s status updates in the coming weeks.

If only I knew how bad it would get!  Shawn was updating his Facebook status two, three times a day.  Sure, it started innocently (”Shawn is feeling tired this afternoon,” “Shawn is wondering what he wants to do with himself”), but pretty soon things started to get a little scarier (”Shawn can’t believe the things they’re saying on talk radio,” “Shawn is sorry he isn’t picking up his phone, but he really doesn’t want to talk about football or see any of you ever again”).

After leaving a few unanswered messages on his Wall, I decided that I need to be more direct.  So I tried winking at him on SuperPoke.  No response.  Then I bought him a margarita.  Nothing.  Finally, I threw a sheep at him.  Full stop.  If he didn’t have time to defenestrate or fling a thong at me in reply, I knew we had some real issues.  But no, crickets.  And he’d almost totally stopped updating his Twitter! 

After a few more unreturned SuperPokes, I was close to giving up when I caught Shawn lurking on Google Chat.  Now I knew I had him, so I reached out directly.  Was he feeling good?  Not so much.  Did the team know the story?  Not really.  Was there anything I could do to help?  And that’s when I agreed to be his uncredited voice to the media.  Seeding wild rumors didn’t seem like the most prudent or mature way to deal with some tough times, but hey, who among us would say no to a friend?  

And so it began.  The anonymous message board posts.  The awkward comments on obscure blogs.  The late-night calls to WIP.  The threatening letters to Tom Coughlin (seemed a bit off-topic, but if Shawn wanted it, I couldn’t say no?).  And finally my own “mock” Shawn Andrews post a few weeks back.  In retrospect, I may have tipped my hand a bit with that one, but we thought it would be a clever way to throw suspicious parties off the case. 

I wouldn’t say I felt good about any of this, but I’ve never been one to ignore a friend in need.  So you can imagine my relief when Shawn finally spoke to the press yesterday and shared the details of his struggles — dirty laundry and all.  And now that he’s shared his story, I think we can all move forward together.  Sure, it’ll be a little tougher without Scrabulous, I always thought Shawn was cheating anyway.   

Eagles - Panthers Slopfest Summary
Posted on August 15th, 2008 at 11:16 am by Cheesesteak Hoagie

it almost looks like jackson might be blocking

While I was certainly thrilled to see some actual live Eagles football, I guess my biggest takeaway from last night’s game was “I am totally psyched that I didn’t pay full price to attend this.”  As if the part where it wasn’t an actual game wasn’t awkward enough, the rain delay added insult to injury.  Enjoy your soaking, we’re going to keep you crowded into the concourse for the next 45 minutes, concession stands will remain open, and you’ll be able to return to your soggy seat shortly.  Don’t worry, you should be home by one. 

Anyhoo, my takeaways (big and little) from last night:  

These guys are small.  Dude!  I knew Lorenzo Booker and DeSean Jackson weren’t the largest of fellows, but they looked freakin’ tiny out there.  Get these boys on the Michael Phelps diet STAT!  Seriously, at that size we can’t pretend that they’re going to make it through the full season upright, can we?  And it isn’t the height thing, it’s the mass issue.  Dude.    

In which we all towel off in re: the capabilities of Max-Jean Gilles.  While we remain hopeful about the progression of Gilles, he played like a very inexperienced guy last night.  The huge whiff on that screen pass block was kind of comical.  It almost happened in slow motion: “Come on, big fella, you’ve got him….OOHHHHHHH!”  Also, the penalties were pretty lame.  I guess better now than later.   

Sure they played well, but the Panthers’ offense looked bad.  The defense certainly looked competent, though the Panthers did the Birds the favor of running into the middle of the line (and avoiding the edge runs which had apparently vexed the defense against the Stillers) and not including Steve Smith in the festivities.  So it’s tough to get too too excited about what we saw on defense.  Also, though I’ve always had a soft spot for Jake Delhomme, I would not feel awesome about the QB situation in Carolina if I was a Panthers fan.  Lito’s pick was especially terrible — total floater.   Maybe it was the conditions, but he did not look sharp.     

Speaking of the defense, get ready for Stew Bradley in coverage.  Tip of the cap to the Panthers for a clever play call on the almost-touchdown to Mush.  They bunched the receivers in the slot and got Bradley on Mush.  Were it not for a vicious, completely out-of-line helmet-on-helmet collision between two veteran guys, we’d be talking a lot about Bradly chasing people in the middle of the field.    

That’s gotta be a fine, right?  After the hideous highlight against the Steelers, I’m glad Dawk got his groove back a little bit.  Still, that shot in the end zone has got to earn him a charitable donation from league HQ.  Too much, Dawk, too much.  We want you to last the whole season.     

An early 2006 vibe with the catching.  We hadn’t seen drops like that in a while.  Sure, it was wet, but a lot of those balls were there.  We can forgive a couple drops from Jackson (though we’d prefer less jumping and fluttering of the feet and more focus on “catching the ball”), but Curtis?  Baskett?  The ball from Kolb that hit Baskett in the f*cking face over the middle was not sweet.  Dunavin certainly wasn’t perfect last night, but a number of those balls should have been caught. 

Who really wanted to make the team last night.  Top of the list is Tony Hunt, who ran well, made a great catch on a poorly thrown screen pass from Kolb, and actually made some plays on special teams.  Adios, Ryan Moats!  Also, I had no idea who Fake Jeremiah Trotter was, but he definitely has to have played himself into practice squad consideration.   McDougle looks like he’s definitely making the team.  This was also the first I’d seen of Joe Mays.  More please. 

Who should feel very cold and lonely this morning.  Sean Considine running with the threes!  Yikes!  Also, as noted, Ryan Moats can probably go month-to-month on his lease at this point.   

And finally, the absolute low point of the game.  So we’d heard a lot about the investment in special teams in the offseason.  The Birds acknowledged the problem and tried to address it.  And, um, well, it doesn’t seem to be working.  Booker struggled to field kickoffs (nightmares of Green Bay running through our head), the fake field goal was completely hideous, and I have officially joined the “David Akers must go before he costs the Birds a divisional game” team.  The Birds are telling us that the coverage was good?  I guess so.  But it sure didn’t seem very organized out there.  I have to imagine that this is a Defcon Four situation at the NovaCare complex this morning. 

Still, it was cool to have football back.  Onwards!

Here’s MY vision
Posted on August 14th, 2008 at 3:54 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

spuds2.jpgJust flipped through Dave Spadaro’s game preview on PE.com.  Whilst I’ll tip my cap to Spuds on the comprehensiveness of his piece (and in general, I’m a big fan of Spadaro’s, hate when the blathermonkeys give him a hard time, etc etc), he did go a little SuperFans on us in there:

Big game for Kevin Kolb, who was up and down in Pittsburgh. Here is my vision: Eagles score three times with McNabb at quarterback and then Kolb comes in with most of the starters still on the field midway through the second quarter and gets some time there and then goes into the second half already in a groove when he is playing with the backups and deep reserves.

Really, Dave?  No need to be all Nancy Negative about it.  Come on, big fella, you work for the team!  The glass very well might be half full!  Here’s MY vision:

Eagles score 3 controversial 23-point touchdowns in game’s first 90 seconds, crippling 17 of the Panthers’ 22 starters in the process.  Donovan McNabb personally hobbles Julius Peppers on a on wishbone option keeper before giving way to Kolb.  Kolb throws consecutive 80-yard touchdown passes to Kevin Curtis and DeSean Jackson before switching to free safety and breaking Jake Delhomme’s facemask on a blitz. 

(We kid because we love.  Psyched for tonight.) 

  



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