What Would Buddy Do?
And, in conclusion, the end (at least around here)
Posted on March 1st, 2009 at 8:55 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

Well, like I always said, if the Eagles let Brian Dawkins go, I’m quitting the blog.

(I never actually said this.  Timing couldn’t have been worse, though.)

So this was the big news to which I alluded earlier this month: BountyBowl will be schlepping its schtick over to IgglesBlog.  After a fun couple years (really, 20 months), BountyBowl is over.

The decision to shutter BountyBowl had been in the works for a while — I’d say I knew by November that the site would be retiring after the season.   To be honest, I didn’t think I’d be writing past the end of December, but I got lucky (depending on your perspective) when the Eagles snuck into the playoffs and made a go of it.  As much as I was disappointed when the Eagles lost the NFC Championship, I was selfishly thrilled that I got to end the blog with a memorable January for the Birds (and not a second straight year out of the playoffs).

I’m going to miss doing BountyBowl.  It’s been a treat for me to translate my (admittedly extreme/ exaggerated) interest in the Eagles into something semi-creative.  The rationale for all this has always been that if I’m going to talk about the Eagles all the time anyway, I may as well capture all that extra energy and do something productive with it.  So I fired up the web site and voila, soon I was harnessing the power of the InterWebs to unleash my boorishness on a grand scale!

As much as I’ve enjoyed doing BountyBowl, by this past fall, the challenges of maintaining the site and keeping up a daily rhythm of posting were just getting a bit heavy.  While I thought I had something moderately original to say about the Eagles and their place in the imagination of the Philadelphia fans, it turns out that I didn’t have that much to say, certainly not nearly enough to justify daily updates, and definitely not enough to sustain more than two seasons of coverage.  In the end, I guess there’s only so many times that one can make jokes about Donovan McNabb’s press conferences.

(By the way, for all the jokes that I make at the expense of the local blathertariat, after trying to manufacture daily content on BountyBowl during the season, I have tons of admiration for the local beat writers.  The demand for new Eagles content in Philly is pretty significant, and the team isn’t always cooperative with the press corps, and yet these folks need to churn out fresh content every morning.  I won’t say I take it all back, but, well, I’ll say that I at least very much respect the work they do.)

I’m psyched to join the team at IgglesBlog, and by “team” I mean “Derek.”  If you’ve been here before, you know that I’ve long been a fan of Derek and all the good work he does at IgglesBlog.  What’s exciting about IgglesBlog isn’t just the content that Derek is generating, but also all the great stuff that comes out of the comments.  It’s a great community of Eagles fans, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.  It’s going to be fun.  I expect I won’t be writing as frequently, but plan to at least stay in the general mix, as well as bring some of my gear — the del.icio.us feeds, some other stuff — to IgglesBlog.  We’ll figure all that out over the next couple months.

For those folks who bothered to stop by to read or leave a comment, thank you.  I remain flattered and humbled that you took the time to visit and give us a looksie.

It’s been a pleasure, and I hope you come and join us at IgglesBlog.

IgglesBlog to Acquire BountyBowl
Posted on February 27th, 2009 at 6:00 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

Combined offering to create leading independent voice of Eagles-themed commentary, homecooked stats, snarky jokes about Philly media

PHILADELPHIA, Penna. — February 27, 2009 — IgglesBlog today announced it will acquire BountyBowl for $2.43 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at $2.43.

“The Eagles blogging business is evolving at an incredible pace, moving increasingly toward highly specialized and niche offerings, and readers are looking for hard-core football analysis as well as cheap jokes at the expense of beleaguered local sportswriters,” said Derek, chief executive officer of IgglesBlog. “We recognize today’s announcement comes at a difficult time for the media industry as a whole, but we see tremendous synergies through this acquisition, mainly resulting from the fact that we used to have just me writing the stories. Now we’ll have someone else doing it sometimes too. That’ll be nice. I guess.”

The acquisition enables IgglesBlog to strengthen relationships with the seven readers of BountyBowl who don’t also read IgglesBlog. These incremental seven readers — mostly friends and family of BountyBowl — are essential to the future growth and development of IgglesBlog, especially as IgglesBlog seeks to target advertising to the coveted related-to-BountyBowl demographic. The acquisition also provides IgglesBlog with a broader and richer base of content, including both Eagles-related articles and photos of food.

Founded in 2007, BountyBowl is the leading provider of Donovan McNabb misspellings and snarky potshots at local Philly sports beat writers. BountyBowl has never quite gotten over the Eagles teams of BountyBowl CEO Gabe’s youth, which, despite the fact that they never actually won anything, did a great job of injuring the opposition.  Said CEO also likes justifying his aberrant behavior during Eagles games by referring frequently to his “sports feelings,” which he considers to be valid emotions and which he believes legitimizes “shouting at the television.”

“BountyBowl’s mission has been to leverage the power of the Internet to call otherwise honest and hardworking journalists names and make snide remarks about Andy Reid’s wardrobe,” said Gabe. “IgglesBlog has been a pioneer in independent Eagles journalism, offering data-driven analysis as well as passionate support of the team, and we look forward to combining forces and bringing the value of our combined assets to bear for the benefit of Eagles fans, or at least the hard cases that are as addicted to this nonsense as we are.”

“Combining the talented people and resources of these two companies will make IggleBlog at least 8 percent more interesting, mostly on days that I have other sh*t to do,” said Derek. “Despite the fact that I’ve never actually met Gabe or spoken to him on the phone, we believe that joining the capabilities of these two organizations is an important step toward our goal of becoming an industry-leading source of Eagles commentary. Plus, I totally have a kid now and there are going to be days where I can’t get away with churning out 2,500 words on how Chris Gocong is doing in pass coverage.”

The deal is expected to be completed in the “next couple days,” pending regulatory and shareholder approvals. The acquisition is not expected to have a significant impact on the financial guidance previously issued by the Company.
BountyBowl, which has approximately 1 employee, will continue to operate from its New York headquarters as part of IgglesBlog’s New York operations.

About BountyBowl

BountyBowl was this blog that this dude made because he really really liked the Eagles and probably always secretly wanted to be a sportswriter. You may have stopped by once or twice on Derek’s generous recommendation, but we wouldn’t be shocked if you never bothered. BountyBowl’s address is www.bountybowl.com.

About IgglesBlog

IgglesBlog is the leading independent source of Eagles commentary on the Internet, and was named one of the top nerdy football blogs by Football Outsiders, which is itself a nerdy football blog. It’s pretty solid.

Happy Thanksgiving from BountyBowl
Posted on November 27th, 2008 at 1:42 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

Hope everyone is sated and peaceful ahead of this evening’s game.

Game preview forthcoming later in the afternoon, but for now we should all be thankful we don’t support the Detroit Lions!

Best wishes to you and yours.

BountyBowl on the road: your Pacific Northwest travel guide (Part 1)
Posted on October 28th, 2008 at 4:57 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

End of Days in Seattle 038

Many moons ago (actually, about seven months ago), yours truly was a proud resident of the Pacific Northwest. I was marooned in the NFL hinterlands, in a strange place where I typically had to be at a bar by 9:30 am if I wanted to get a seat for Birds games on Sundays. In a lot of ways, being so far away from Philly was what got me motivated to start doing BountyBowl, but hey, that’s for another time when we’re sharing lengthy stories about our needs and/ or feelings.

The important thing right now is preparing my fellow Eagles fans for a potential trip to Seattle. Given Birds’ fans’ propensity for field trips, I can only assume that more than a few of you will be in the 2-0-6 this weekend. Thanks to some good people on the ground in Seattle, I can look forward to seeing you there! Or at least hearing your rowdy exploits from afar!

See below for a quick guide to making the most of your upcoming trip to C@L; feel free to ping me with any questions you may have at hoagie at bountybowl.com — I’m more than happy to spread the good word about the Pacific Northwest!

Bring a coat. Misery season is just kicking off in Seattle. And by misery season I mean the “nine and a half months when it’s 50 degrees and raining.” Yes yes, you’ve heard the jokes about the weather in Seattle. Unfortunately, most of them are true. The upside of it all is that it never actually gets that cold and it doesn’t actually rain that hard — it just kind of mists and drizzles ALL THE TIME. For this the locals recommend “performance fleece” — now available in black, drab blue, AND drab green! For those of us accustomed to the change of seasons that we have in the Northeast, certain months — like May, when it’s still 50 degrees and raining — can be a bit disconcerting. That said, the period from July 15 through the end of September is off the charts.

Don’t bring an umbrella. Nothing makes you look like a newb in the Northwest like an umbrella. Ironically, for a place where it rains all the time, no one uses an umbrella. It actually isn’t worth it. I’d recommend a hat or a hood. Or both.

How to make friends, or at least exchange semi-friendly grunts with the locals. So perhaps due to the nine-and-a-half months of darkness, the locals can be a bit chilly w/r/t strangers. They tend to be pretty mellow, though, and if you pick your spots, you can make friends fast. A quick smattering of topics that tend to go over well: (a) “Clay Bennett is a mendacious hick” — will work especially well with young men in town; (b) “They really need to do something about that 520 bridge” — will work well with corporate types; (c) “I hate paying taxes, but support a broad array of foofy left-wing causes and think that anything corporate or related to improving vital infrastructure that’s sure to fail in the next earthquake is BAD” — what with it being election time and all.

The coffee thing, also real. Yup, we all know that Starbucks is from Seattle. And we’ve heard that they like their espresso in the Northwest. You might assume that this was just marketing blather and didn’t reflect the lifestyle of the average Seattle resident. Nope. The coffee thing is legit. They sell espresso at gas stations. And it’s good. I’m sure some of you will bristle at the throught of ordering “fancy” coffee; if you just want a plain ole cup of coffee, tell them you want a “drip.”

Left-coast cheesesteaks. If you’re one of those people that craves hometown comfort food on even the briefest of trips, you’re actually in luck: Tat’s Delicatessen does a respectable job with the cheesesteaks, and they’re in Pioneer Square, a short walk from Qwest Field.

Top Pot 7

All that said, you should eat local. Things you should make sure you eat while in town include: (a) salmon, either on the fancy side or the fast-food side; (b) local doughnut chain Top Pot (now supplying Starbucks nationwide, and above); and (c) Dick’s burgers — low-end but delightfully awesome (below, and soon to be in my belly).

Dick's Burger

So how’s the tailgate scene? This is actually a trick question as there actually isn’t much of a tailgate scene at the stadium (due to some annoying stadium rules). But, Qwest field is conveniently located across the street from a number of bustling bars and restaurants in the Pioneer Square area. Essentially, the bars are packed for the early games ahead of the Nerdbird kickoff. You shouldn’t struggle to find a place to have breakfast and a Bloody Mary or four.

Wait, what’s a Nerdbird? Why, it’s my ceremonial name for the Seattle football franchise! See here for details!

Hawks Nest

The basics of Qwest field. While not as fancy along the concourses as the Linc, Qwest Field is a proud NFL stadium. What you need to know…: (a) It’s loud. Like really really loud. You’ll be shocked how loud, actually. Loud. (b) They don’t serve Coke or Pepsi — you can only get locally made Jones Soda products, available in silly Nerdbird-themed colors! (c) They do this really cool thing with the Hawk’s eye on the scoreboard (below).

The Cool Seahawk Eye Thing on the Scoreboard

You’re not wrong, Walter. I’m going to try to say this as politely as possible. I know that we folks from the Illadelph like to roll into opposing towns and beat our chests a bit, accompanied by standard refrains that summarize how we “own” this or that town and “ruled” the stadium. I hear that. And I want everyone to have a good time. The thing you need to understand about the folks in the Northwest is that they’re not a feisty bunch. They’re good fans, mind you, and they’ll make a ton of noise in the stadium, but they’re just not, how do I say this, angry. They don’t really take it as personally as we do. Pending the result of the baseball thing, I’d hope that we aren’t angry either. But do not mistake the calm on their faces for peace in their hearts — folks up in the Northwest will be more than happy to pull some nasty sh*t, they’ll just do it in a sneaky way. But so long as we’re all polite, there shouldn’t be problems. We have no long-standing beef with this franchise — no reason we can’t all have a good time.

All that said, we all know WEST COAST IS SOFT AND THE NERDBIRDS ARE GOING DOWN (!!!!!).

(Again, feel free to hit me up with questions if you’re making the trip. I’d invite you to hang out, but, well, you know.)

Inconvenient work travel schedule foiled by Slingbox
Posted on September 28th, 2008 at 7:16 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

So I’ll be in an aluminum tube in the sky during tonight’s game.  Again.  I imagine some planning and a Jetblue flight might have solved this problem for me, but my frequent flyer loyalties (and the spoils thereof) have me on Continental this evening. 

Typically I’d be SOL in a scenario like this, but I bought a Slingbox last weekend and it looks like I’ll be able to watch the game whence I land over the Interwebs.  So I won’t be live per se, but I’ll at least get to see the game tonight.

(In case you’re wondering, I’ll definitely check the score before I watch the game.  You can’t expect me to pretend that it isn’t over.  I mean, come on.) 

Farewell Spectrum, Go Phightins
Posted on September 28th, 2008 at 11:05 am by Cheesesteak Hoagie

farewell-to-the-spectrum-010.JPG

Heckuva day for the Illadelph yesterday.

I had the distinct pleasure of attending the Flyers-Hurricanes game yesterday at the soon-to-be-kaput Spectrum. This would have been the final Flyers game played at the Spectrum had they not sold it out in 35 minutes and decided to add a Flyers - Phantoms scrimmage to the queue as well. So yesterday’s game was actually only the final NHL game to be played at the Spectrum.  Good times, indeed.

I’d forgotten what non-shopping mall arenas were like; even Key Arena was an order of magnitude fancier than the Spectrum.  Still, it was quite a treat to visit one final time and see some old-time hockey (on the day Reg Dunlap passed away, no less!  He knew Eddie Shore!).  Other items of note: the holistic awesomeness of the Spectrum font; the absence of the video replay screen was positively crippling — however did we watch games with instant replay at the arena?

I also had the pleasure of drinking my first-ever beer at the Spectrum (seen below); I was definitely underage when the Flyers and Sixers played there.

farewell-to-the-spectrum-019.JPG

In other news, GO PHILS. Let’s see if we can’t hang around for a series or two more this time around.

Lots of goodness in Philly. Let’s embrace the good karma and get a W tonight as well.

Respek!

BountyBowl Goes Facebook (!)
Posted on September 20th, 2008 at 1:21 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

In a move that was long overdue, I’ve started a BountyBowl group on the Facebook.  If you’re into that sort of thing, stop by and say hi, though I’m not really sure what it’ll do (in that I already have a web site, it’s called BountyBowl, and you’re reading it right now).  Maybe it’ll be like the Facebook messaging system, where (as a buddy is fond of saying) I get an e-mail in my actual inbox telling me to check the fake e-mail in my other inbox — pretty sweet, I know.  Which, in turn, is almost as sweet as the Wall, where I get an e-mail in my actual inbox telling me to check the e-mail on my Facebook page that everyone else can read as well.  Apparently the kids just can’t get enough of inconveniences like that; who knew?

I love the future!

(It says here that the Facebook is on computers these days.)

Link to BountyBowl Facebook group here.  Note that I’m handing out inflated titles to anyone who joins (I didn’t realize that I got to make “officers” on there).

Off-Topic (sort of): BountyBowl attends “other” football match
Posted on September 20th, 2008 at 9:29 am by Cheesesteak Hoagie

And we’re back.  After a week and change in Merry Old Ingerland (Did I miss anything?  Something about a global economic meltdown?), I’m back in the United States of Freedom and ready to sign.

Fulham v Bolton, Sept 13 2008

I’ve got plenty of Eagles-related nonsense ready to spew forth, but I thought I’d start the weekend with an off-topic post in re: my trip last Saturday to see the other football over in London.  In another blog life, I’m actually pretty into the whole soccer thing as well, and was pretty psyched to score a ticket to see Fulham host Bolton Wanderers in a Premiership match at Craven Cottage.

My takeaways (with a compare-and-contrast American football slant, of course):

In terms of hooliganism, Fulham - Bolton isn’t exactly Among The Thugs.  You can still find football matches in the UK with a bit more of an angry bent to them, but Fulham - Bolton isn’t one of them.  Neither team has a particularly psychotic fan base, there’s no rivalry between them, Fulham’s in a relatively nice neighborhood, and it was like family day or something (they were painting kids’ faces outside the ground).  So no fears about getting knifed for having the wrong scarf.  It was more like a Houston Texans - St. Louis Rams game.  Only a lot smaller.

Speaking of smaller grounds.  There are some gigantic stadia in England (Old Trafford, the new Emirates stadium, Anfield, City of Manchester Stadium), but for the most part, these are not the cathedrals to which your average NFL fan has become accustomed (see here for a list by capacity).  Craven Cottage is listed as pretty small (22,000 and change) and it felt that way.  I mean, it was nice and intimate and all that, and in a lovely spot on the Thames, but it’s not the Linc.  It does give you some perspective on just how crazy it is to have these ridiculous NFL stadia (most built in the past 15 years) that are really only used 10-15 times a year.  Also, in that context, it’s offensive that we don’t yet have another World Cup on the books for the US and A.

3.50 GBP for a pint...no limit to the number you can buy at once

Yes, I’d like eight pints of Carlsberg, please.  So they stop selling beer ten minutes before kickoff, resume five minutes before halftime, and then cut off again for good at the end of halftime.  Beer is extremely reasonably priced (3.50 GBP) and, wait for it, there’s no limit to the number you can get at once.  The dude in front of me at halftime ordered eight (8).  No joke.

No Americans got in the game.  Fulham had five Americans on the roster last season, but a regime change in management trimmed that number to one for this season, Clint Dempsey.  Unfortunately, Dempsey didn’t get in the game, which I’ll chalk up to having played at midweek for the United States.

McBride Shirt!

Now let us get back to the proper football, as they say.

Go Birds.

Good to know that the Assyrians were rooting for the Eagles
Posted on September 15th, 2008 at 7:43 am by Cheesesteak Hoagie

the-bevilacquas-go-to-london-055.JPG

Big announcement: BountyBowl is live on location this week. A trip to Dallas for the game? Well, not exactly. The day job has me in Merry Old Ingerland for the week, which is a lot like Dallas, only the accents aren’t as silly and the teeth are more attentively cared for.

It’s been a lovely trip so far, and has included a stop at the British Museum, where I learned that the Assyrians used carvings of scary Eagle gods to frighten off their enemies. Also, they have a Rosetta Stone. You have to hand to the Brits for bringing so many cool old antiquities back to London where they belong!

If there’s a downside to a week in the UK, it’s that Monday Night Football is actually Tuesday Morning Football. That is, kickoff is 1:30 in the a.m. In the interest of not being completely terrible at my job the following day, it looks like I’ll be watching on slight tape delay Tuesday morning rather than staying up all night for the game. Luckily the good folks at Yahoo have a deal where they stream the games online outside of North America.

Note that this is the second time in a year I’ll be watching MNF from London; had the same deal last year for the Redskins game. Funny that.

2008 Philadelphia Eagles Schedule in iCalendar
Posted on September 6th, 2008 at 11:11 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

Free Download (!).

September 7 update: fixed an error on the Thanksgiving game, should be working now.  Thanks to Joe Z for the heads up. 



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