What Would Buddy Do?
Monday Eagles Hangover: saved by Gossip Girl, 90210, MLS Cup
Posted on November 24th, 2008 at 11:47 am by Cheesesteak Hoagie


So I had set the DVR to record the Eagles game yesterday. My plan was that I would watch it Sunday night after I got off the plane. Sure, I’d know the result (I’m not one of those people that can avoid an Eagles result), but I tend to enjoy watching the games anyway. That was the plan.

Mercifully, fate intervened, and I was spared the indignity of viewing what was essentially a snuff film starring Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb.

(Apparently what happened was that I had set two recordings before I split for the weekend, the Birds game and MLS Cup. Note that I do enjoy soccer, and support the NY/ NJ Vodka Red Bulls. So no excuses/ regrets there. The issue was that there wasn’t enough room to support both recordings on the DVR, due to the presence of, wait for it, a season’s worth of saved-and-do-not-delete episodes of Gossip Girl and 90210. I kid you not. So the DVR probably recorded the Birds game, then immediately recorded the soccer game over it.)

Seriously, this is for the best. I would have sat there working myself into an unholy lather and still been upset this morning. As it was, I watched Shaun of the Dead and went to bed early.

As such, my only observations can be from the meta-narrative; some quickies ahead of the much-anticipated Andy Reid presser at noon:

Not telling Dunavin directly is “Tie-gate” Lite: I loooooove that the dumping-via-text-message has become a story. It makes it so much easier to rally the masses against Andy Reid. The blathermonkeys are doing excellent work with this — no one is standing up for Big Red on this. Bee-yoo-tee-full. No one can defend that…except, of course, McNabb himself, who was willing to spin it as an unfortunate consequence of a short half-time period. NERD!

The part of the game that I absolutely can’t believe. They really dressed two running backs? And six wideouts? When one of their running backs is admittedly hobbled? Seriously? And we don’t imagine a Buck-gets-dinged-up scenario? Can we even be surprised by crap like this at this point? It must be that we morons in the stands don’t understand the subtleties of football — we think you might want to have things like punt returners and fullbacks on the roster. No no! We can convert players to new positions! We’re geniuses! Bill Belichick does it, why can’t we?

The other benchings. It’s really really hard to not acknowledge the contract situations of the other players who were benched yesterday. L.J. Smith hasn’t performed this season, sure, and there have been rumblings about Omar Gaither’s allergies to heavy contact, but that Lito Sheppard is starting to sound a lot less crazy, isn’t he? When he talked about getting blackballed if you refuse an extension (which Gaither apparently has done)?

Time to update my comparisons. I’ve been prattling along about how the 2008 Eagles were really just the 8-8 2007 Eagles (but with a better punt returner). Until two weeks ago, I’d felt pretty good about that. But that’s no longer applicable. The 2008 Eagles are actually the 2005 Eagles (but with a better punt returner). Let’s see…locker room dysfunction, a banged up Westbrook, a humiliated Donovan McNabb, rumblings that the locker room is divided/ pissed at management, yup, this is the 6-10 2005 team. Sweet!

Didn’t want to do it; felt I owed it to them. Call me a giant jerk, but when do we start the Brian Westbrook - Shaun Alexander comparisons. You know, have a huge season at running back in your late 20s, sign a big contract, get hurt, never be right again? We can’t pass judgment until camp next summer, but, well, this would be pretty terrible.

Instant pre-analysis of the noon announcement. If it’s Kolb, we are officially done with the season. If it’s McNabb, well, at least his swan song will be at home. (I assume the Birds lose Thursday and Andy takes the extra time ahead of the Giants game to prep Kolb.)

Smile, everyone!

Two months later, Bracegate finally over
Posted on September 27th, 2007 at 7:43 am by Cheesesteak Hoagie

a braceless yellow DunavinAnd who said that the Bracegate line of questioning from this summer was just blathermonkey rubbish?

(Besides me, of course.)

Days after obliterating the Detroit Lions’ secondary and throwing (literally) a perfect game in a 56-21 win, Donovan McNabb admitted that yes, he had shed his pesky knee brace, and yes, he did feel better without it:

(Read the rest of this story.)

This reporter suggested ‘Bracegate’ but was howled down at the press club
Posted on July 30th, 2007 at 9:43 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

McNabb refuses to name day day or hour that he will stop wearing braceIn case you were keeping track, a few more stories about Donovan McNabb’s knee brace, and details that highlight the subtle differences in the way that McNabb and Andy Reid addressed this extremely controversial topic.

Who knows where it all may lead!

Braced for return [NJ.com]
McNabb, Reid view brace differently [Philly Daily News]

On Day 2 of camp, McNabb subplot already boring
Posted on July 29th, 2007 at 11:33 am by Cheesesteak Hoagie

Say hi, DunavinApproximately two weeks before the first preseason game and six weeks before the start of the regular season, I’m already bored with the coverage of Donovan McNabb in the Philly press.

Yes, he’s coming back from a big knee injury, his third injury in five years. Yes, the Eagles drafted Kevin Kolb. Yes, Donovan turned 30 last November.

Got it.

In their all-encompassing efforts to invent imaginary controversies, the local blathermonkeys subjected McNabb to extensive questioning in re: whether he plans to wear a knee brace all season (yawn), whether the brace was a security blanket like Andy Reid said (double-yawn), and if he thought this was a make-or-break year because of the arrival of Kevin Kolb. The overriding agenda in all of those questions is getting 5 to say something that indicates (a) his knee isn’t well, (b) he and Andy Reid aren’t getting along, and (c) it might be time for Donovan to leave Philly.

Again, it’s Day 2 of camp. There are plenty of interesting stories in camp (like a bunch of new starters on the defensive line, whether Kevin Curtis can play, the possible emergence of Jeremy Bloom, how Spikes fits in, and whether Trotter can keep his starting job), but all these guys want to do is hassle 5 (about a freakin knee brace!).

Ugh. At a certain level, I can’t believe that McNabb doesn’t just stand up in protest and chuck a bottle of Gatorade at these clowns. He’s a more patient man than I.

(All that said, I firmly believe that the knee is an issue, that McNabb is not on the same page with Andy Reid, and that this is definitely a make-or-break year for Donovan. But that’s all fine — all of those things add up to Donovan playing his little heart out and trying to win. It’s all about properly aligned incentives.)

McNabb to start camp with brace on right knee [Philly.com]
McNabb says knee brace may stay on all season [Philly.com]