What Would Buddy Do?
These aren’t the droids we’re looking for (the lowest-key $57 million the Birds have ever spent)
Posted on September 6th, 2008 at 3:29 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

pay no attention to number 22

So we’re less than 24 hours from kickoff of Week One. Whew. Long offseason. Many words written, many friends bored by my long-winded monologues in re: the Birds. Yet as we approach the end of the offseason and the start of the actual season, the guy who was the most important part of the Eagles’ offseason — at least in terms of team resource allocation, which is a pretty honest metric — is barely a storyline.

Asante Samuel, take a bow. You sir, are a PR and marketing genius!

How else to explain the complete absence of Samuel storylines and associated Pressures heading into Week One? You’d think that $57 million would get your name in the papers a bit more, but what with the wideout drama, Donovan McNabb’s tenth anniversary in Philly, and even the drama that Samuel himself indirectly caused (Litogate), Asante Samuel is pretty low-profile.

Shouldn’t we be demanding a certain number of interceptions, if not touchdowns, from this high-priced addition?  And wasn’t Samuel supposed to be doing weekly pressers with the other expensive veterans?  How has he managed to distract us so?

Well I’m not distracted.  This dude’s getting paid a ton of cash, his presence has gotten Drew Rosenhaus some extra attention, and the Birds’ defense needs to cause some turnovers this year.  Consider me the peanut gallery of one on Samuel.  Let’s see it, Asante.  You may be under the radar with the media, but nothing escapes the all-seeing eyes of the Philly fans.  And remember, the boos are NEVER that far away.

Asante Samuel Press Conference Review
Posted on August 12th, 2008 at 10:49 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

  samuel.jpg

We got our first Asante Samuel press conference of the Eagles season today. It appears that a $57 million contract gets you a regular appointment with the blathermonkeys, along with grizzled press conference veterans like Dunavin, Dawk and Westbrook.

Given that I’m planning to watch most of these things (”It’s just a TV show”), I was pretty psyched to check out the new character. Quick hits:

So I definitely enjoyed it. Looks like a nice counterpoint to some of the other guys who do the pressers: a little younger, a little cockier, a little less cynical than the others. Didn’t sound like a dummy, but also didn’t sound like someone who was reading the local papers yet. So he’s still a little naive about the dynamic in there, but I would assume his recent liquidity event has lent him a certain confidence.

While he didn’t sound like a total Eagles robot yet, he does have some media training. He did a nice job of not saying “talking shit” in reference to the predilections of the Philadelphia supporters. That is, he politely substituted “talking mess” and then “talking crap” in response to a question of fan behavior. Asante, we appreciate your manners.

Went for the easy joke and it worked. He made a crack about Belichick not having a personality and it drew a round of guffaws from the assembled press. I would have laughed if I was there as well. Who doesn’t like laughing at the guy who got caught cheating, ran up the score in meaningless mid-season games, and then choked in the Super Bowl? That guy is a total jerkface!

He parried the first volley from the locals well. Someone cheekily asked Samuel about his absence from training camp last year (meaning his “WELL-DOCUMENTED HOLDOUT”), “Was that a hamstring last year? You said you missed all of training camp, was that also a hamstring?” “No,” replied Samuel, “it was a contract situation.” Followed by a big smirk. Solid.

Did okay with the second volley. They tried to goad him a bit by asking him about the recent article in SI that intimated that other guys on the Pats had blamed Samuel for the Tyree catch. While his answer convinced me that he definitely “could give a mess what those guys think,” he got momentarily riled, insisting that the game wasn’t about a single play. But he chilled out quickly and moved on and said all sorts of nice things about the catch.

Other items of note. Samuel has apparently played every defense you can play from high school to college to the pros, so we shouldn’t worry about him picking up the defense. Sweet! That should be fine then.

Looking forward to seeing more of Samuel up there. Go Birds.

And we’re back: BountyBowl narrowly beats Shawn Andrews in return to civilization
Posted on August 10th, 2008 at 9:48 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

asantepractice.jpg

Well hello!

Back on the scene after a lovely little vacation, a few grams heavier on my left side, but otherwise unscathed.  Great week off, but it’s pretty chill to be back. 

So what’d I miss?

When we last spoke, I hoped my absence would produce a Brian Westbrook contract, a Shawn Andrews answer, and an absence of injuries.  Pretty much 3-for-3, though it turns out that I got back slightly before Andrews.  Still, we’ll take it.  I missed the preseason game, and have only the highlights and a 48-hour news cycle to go on, but it sounds like things have been pretty appropriately mellow in and around the Birds. 

Still, I’ll need to catch up on what I’ve missed: (Read the rest of this story.)

They doth protest too much
Posted on May 5th, 2008 at 10:41 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

just hanging and stretching pretty standard really

You’ve got to hand it to the Birds for the PR efforts on the Lito thing. At the same time that the local papers are covering it from all angles like an affair of state (”I like they way they surround a story”), Eagles management are playing it straight, assuring us that Lito IS A PART OF THIS FOOTBALL TEAM.

Of course, let it never be said that the Birds are not responsive to the needs of their customers! Note well that there are no fewer than four (4) photos of Asante Samuel and Lito Sheppard together (three with just the two of them, the other with Dawkins third-wheeling it in the corner of the frame) in the Mini-Camp album on the Eagles site. Never mind that neither appears with Sheldon Brown in any of the photos, or really with any other player at all except for Dawkins. Nope. Nothing to see here, folks.

Check out the photo gallery.

Also, and I don’t mean to nitpick, but could we go a little lighter on the “Sheppard flashed (first sentence) his trademark smile (fourth paragraph)”?

Come on, guys. That’s just sloppy.

Say what we will about the Pats, their media training is solid
Posted on May 4th, 2008 at 6:01 am by Cheesesteak Hoagie

for a limited time only

On a day when even the 36 Chambers of Brian Westbrook was willing to discuss the weirdness of the Lito Sheppard situation (”It was definitely awkward for me to watch that”), you have to love the all-biznass attitude of newly minted Asante Samuel. Not one to get caught up in the intra-team drama (and it actually seems like this is real drama for the players; not just the standard blathermonkey-fabricated fare), Samuel offered the following gem to the assembled media:

“That ain’t got nothing to do with me,” Samuel said. “I just do what my coach tells me to do. It doesn’t matter what I’m used to - whatever my coach tells me to do, I’m going to do it. I was happy to be out there with my new team and show a lot of love. I like the way things are going.”

Attaguy. Company man all the way. And to think we might have expected something different from a man with a tattoo that says “Get Paid” on his arm (though Wikipedia claims that it actually says “Get Rich To This” — mostly I think we get the point)!

We would have also accepted “Asante has 57 million reasons to be happy.”

Someone call Anton Chigurh, Peter King is feeling lucky
Posted on March 3rd, 2008 at 11:42 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

see you at EWRIt’s been a while since we’ve assigned a bounty to an Enemy of Freedom (that is, someone who dares speak ill of the Birds and isn’t actually a fan of the team). But a little item in Peter King’s MMQB column reminded me of the reason I started this web site in the first place: to anonymously defame those who insult the honor of my favorite NFL team (as well as proffer the occasional empty threat).

While this isn’t the first time we’ve singled out Peter King, his column today makes it clear that we must redouble our efforts if we ever hope to thwart him for good. Specifically, he takes time off from commenting on the flatulence of his fellow airline travelers to write:

Quote of the Week II
“I just want to be able to win and get back to the Super Bowl.”

–Philadelphia cornerback Asante Samuel, who got $20 million guaranteed in a six-year, $57 million contract with the Eagles on Friday.

If that’s what was most important, then why didn’t Samuel stay with New England? Does he, or his agent, really think the Eagles have a better shot to get back to the Super Bowl than the Patriots in the next two or three years?

Well allow me to retort!
(Read the rest of this story.)

This counts as a playmaker (just not the sort we’d thought they’d be chasing)
Posted on February 29th, 2008 at 12:51 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

catch the ballI guess the checkbook is open this year!

I’ll admit that I hadn’t been buying the Asante Samuel rumors. I just assumed that Samuel would want a giant pile of cash, that corner wasn’t a position that was on fire for the Birds (unlike, say defensive end or “additional touchdown scorer”), and that Samuel wasn’t exactly what the Eagles would be looking for.

I suppose I would be very incorrect.

I assume the thinking on Samuel is that the Eagles stunk at creating turnovers last season, especially in the secondary (they were tied for last in the NFL with only 11 interceptions) and that a guy with 22 picks in 75 career games (including 10 in 2006) could change that.  This definitely counts as one of those playmakers that Dunavin was all moist about. 

(Read the rest of this story.)



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