What Would Buddy Do?
Haterade Squared: My least favorite Giant in my least favorite magazine
Posted on January 8th, 2009 at 7:22 am by Cheesesteak Hoagie

Are we already at Thursday of Giants week without a mention of soon-to-be-selling-out-his-buddy Antonio Pierce?  What an unfortunate dereliction of duties here at BountyBowl!  If I’m not saying unkind things about Antonio Pierce, why even both with the blog at all?

Luckily, the good folks at New York Magazine — my least favorite magazine since 1999 — and former Deadspin editor Will Leitch have done us all a solid by favoring us with a short profile on Pierce:

In the locker room, being interviewed by the media, Pierce glares at everybody, waiting for a stray word he can grab and turn back onto them. In the days after the Plaxico incident, he would stand shirtless, huge, with a look that said, “I know what you want to ask. Just go ahead and try it, motherfucker.” Pierce loves to be the center of attention, but on his own terms. He aspires for a career as a broadcaster when he retires, but he’ll never be a Tiki Barber Maker of Omelets. He’ll be more of a Cris Carter in-your-face guy, the alpha male with lapel microphone.

Got it.  So Pierce is a surly jerk?  You don’t say!  And he aspires to a career in broadcasting?  Even though he’s kind of a jerk and, um, is facing criminal charges?  Yeah, don’t know about that one.  I mean, they’ll take surly jerks on TV, but they typically prefer that they’re “talented” and not “liabilities in coverage.”

Ahhhh.  That feels better.

(For what it’s worth, I’ve hated New York Magazine ever since I first moved to New York ten years ago.  It isn’t just because it isn’t for my demographic — plenty of magazines are targeted to other audiences, and they don’t bother me.  Cosmo doesn’t piss me off.  Us Weekly doesn’t piss me off.  Lucky doesn’t piss me off.  But New York Magazine has always bothered me.

I think the reason that New York Magazine bothers me so much, I think, is the audience and values it presupposes and speaks to: vulgar consumerist wannabes who aspire to the New York of Wall Street and Sex and The City, whose only passion is status-seeking and conspicuous consumption, and whose world has very recently been turned on its head a bit.  This is the New York that the rest of America doesn’t — and shouldn’t — like.  The snobby, better-than-you part.  So sorry that’s all over!  Guess we won’t need quite so many features about bummed out I-Bankers who can’t get their kids into private school or which clubs in the Hamptons are so last summer!

Probably a little harsh, but there it is.  I’m a hater.  The restaurant listings are solid, though.)

It’s unclear if it comes with matching kid-sized sweatpants
Posted on January 6th, 2009 at 12:13 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

ONLY 30 percent off

Slow news day at the NovaCare Complex (Tuesday is the “off” day so there are no scheduled media interactions upon which I might feast), so we’re thinking we’ll lighten the mood with some extra Plaxico hating!

As noted in this morning’s Philly papers and confirmed at the source, it’s been, ahem, a tough month for sales of Plaxico Burress merchandise. Sure, there’s a global economic meltdown and all, but I imagine that sales on Plaxico Burress merch this holiday season may have suffered even in more robust/ expansionary times.  From the NY Daily News:

Sales of Plaxico Burress‘ No. 17 jersey fell from near the top of New York’s best sellers to practically nothing - even at 75% off.

Stores like Modell’s and Sports Authority shot holes in the price of official NFL Burress jerseys, marking them down from $80 to just $19.47 after the fallen star was benched for shooting himself in the leg last month.

“We marked them down because he’s not playing anymore. I don’t think I’ve sold one since the shooting,” one Sports Authority worker said.

“All of a sudden they just stopped selling,” she said. “They used to be really hot.”

Yes yes, all of a sudden.  Still, I guess they’re still more popular in Jersey than the City, as the Target where I snapped the photo above was only offering a 30-percent markdown — nowhere near the 75 percent quoted in the article.

Maybe it’s just a little bit different when you’re offering the kid-sized version.

(Note that I was seriously tempted to buy this for my Giants-fan buddy who just became a father, but actually resisted.  I think that actually would have been uncool.  Ask me if I still think so if the Eagles lose Sunday.)

At least they’re not bringing up the Santa-Claus-and-snowballs thing
Posted on December 18th, 2008 at 6:17 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

Well, I suppose we should all be flattered.

Check about the above clip (about a month old) from HBO’s The Life and Times of Tim, kicks in about the 3:20 mark.

The premise is that Tim takes his girlfriend’s dad (a big Birds fan) to Giants stadium to hang out with Tim and his buddies (Giants fans all).  While there, the girlfriend’s dad is repeatedly insulted by loathsome and uncouth Giants fans, with the phrase “Suck It, Philly” as the unifying thematic element.

Some thoughts:

1.  At the risk of encouraging the Giants fans in my life, that’s a pretty solid catchphrase, and one I expect to hear quite a bit in the coming months/ years.

2.  As was observed on the e-mail string that brought me this clip as well as the comments on YouTube, um, it sort of seems like the Philly and New York fan roles are a bit reversed in this video.  As in, you’d expect it was the Eagles fan that peed on the Giants fan’s shoes.

3.  That said (a), we’ll take it.  For once, the joke isn’t about the thuggish Philly faithful and their Santa-hating snowballs and their in-stadium jail cells.

4.  That said (b), it’s kind of like they’re calling us sissies.  We’d better find someone’s shoes to pee on!

5.  They definitely don’t serve cheesesteaks at the Meadowlands.  The food there is effing awful.

6.  Insulted as I was, I really enjoyed: “‘It’ means ‘penis’ and that’s why there’s an arrow pointing to it.”

(HT Joe Z.)

“For who? For what?”:”But Why?”::Ricky Watters:__________
Posted on December 8th, 2008 at 1:52 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

For shame, Brandon Jacobs, for shame!

Some horrifying comments that they don’t really let you live down should you dare speak them to fans from the Illadelph in this morning’s NY Post:

RB Brandon Jacobs was tripped up on a 5-yard run midway through the third quarter and limped off after tweaking his left knee. He did not return.

“Didn’t cause any more damage to it, just a little pain,” Jacobs said. “It wasn’t frightening because I knew what it was, I do it almost every game, that time I just did it real good.”

Jacobs said he could have come back into the game. “But why?” he said. “We couldn’t get anything going and we didn’t play as good as we’re supposed to play.”

Jacobs had 52 yards to give him 1,002 for the season.

[Emphasis mine.]

BUT WHY???????   Um, to win the game and clinch the division?  To end the Eagles’ season?  To honor the effort of your teammates?

(But also to potentially help out Grand Theft Porno, who didn’t realize they’d be starting someone so gutless in their imaginary football playoffs this week.  File under “The last time I allow a NY Giant to be the feature back for GTP.”  BOOOOOO!  The Grand Theft Porno fans are aghast!)

Big props to BGN for the find.

Monday Eagles Hangover: Birds no longer in last place
Posted on December 8th, 2008 at 11:51 am by Cheesesteak Hoagie

img_5686.JPG

Well this is definitely the best Eagles Monday in a good long while (since the Pittsburgh win?).  It’s one thing to get a big road win to rejuvenate the season against the Best Team In The League (who also happens to be my least favorite team).  It’s quite another to live in the losing team’s city and get to spend your morning surveying the hometown headlines (very few of which were kind to the Giants): “Philadelphia Flattens Giants”; “Giants Back Into Playoffs” (editor’s note: 11-2 is backing in???); “Big Blue Butterfingers Shoot Selves In Foot.”

Excellent.

My morning-after thoughts:

You need to pin the Terminator down, remove its CPU chip, then burn the endoskeleton with that thermite plasma stuff.  So the Giants aren’t completely inhuman.  They hardly played their best game yesterday, and while they certainly didn’t try to make any excuses afterward, well, when your second-tier wideouts drop balls and your under-investigation MLB gets torched a few times, I mean, it doesn’t take much speculatin’ to conclude that maybe this whole Plaxico thing caused more problems than safety alignments from the opposition.  They’re still a strong team, but the NFC looks a lot less decided than it did a week ago.

The failures of the soon-to-be-selling-out-his-buddy Antonio Pierce (Part 4).  We were sitting at the other end of the stadium, so we couldn’t see that the first Westbrook TD (the run) was actually (at least partially) Pierce’s fault as well.  Damn.  ‘Tis the season for giving!

The rest of the story in the NFC.  For those of you boarding the Eagles bandwagon this morning (see you there!), we have reason for optimism: pretty much all the teams that the Eagles wanted to lose were willing to accommodate us.  I mean, the Birds still need to win all their games (no small feat), but still, they’re at least in the mix until they lose.  And that’s really all we’re asking from the football TV show: a relevant December.

Other consequences of a relevant December.  We get to stop talking about where Donovan McNabb will play next year.  Plenty of time for that in January/ February.

Brian Westbrook Mancrush Watch (Part 1).  Right, so all those things I said about Brian Westbrook’s age and deteriorating health?  Let’s remember that I don’t actually know what I’m talking about.  Let’s instead focus on the fact that Brian Westbrook is the Best Player On The Eagles and really the only one capable of stepping up and owning a game against the Giants.  He did it in 2006, and now he’s done it in 2008.

Brian Westbrook Mancrush Watch (Part 2).  I might suggest you go over to nfl.com and treat yourself to the highlight of the 40-yard TD reception.  My photo of the celebration below.  Note that this effort is currently scoring well in my top-three-plays-of-the-Eagles-season list.

eagles-giants-at-the-meadowlands-027.jpg

In an alternate universe. Man, it would have been a very very different game if Hixon had caught that deep ball. Sheldon Brown got beat on the play, but the safety who was supposed to be playing deep (and who was lined up WAY deep) was young Quintin Demps. He got sucked forward on the play (hence the acres of space in the middle of the field). I know this is the case because I was telling my buddy before that snap how excited I was to see Demps getting some reps, and how I thought he was a playmaker, blah blah blah. Oops. Still a rookie.

Speaking of rookies.  Very very quiet day for the CamelCased One, even with a dinged-up Kevin Curtis and a suddenly-on-the-verge-of-waivers Reggie Brown.  By the way, I effing hated that inside end-around thingie they ran to DeSean on third down in the first quarter.  That prompted lots of “Andy Reid has to be so f*cking cute doesn’t he” chitchat from yours truly.

I dunno, I’m still in a good mood.  Andy Reid presser coming soon; I hope he’s feeling jolly.

Eagles play shockingly well in old-skool-NFC-East-style win over Giants
Posted on December 7th, 2008 at 7:44 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

Heh heh heh.

So that was pretty awesome.

Fourteen months after the worst possible experience at the Meadowlands, today’s Eagles win over the Giants will go down as one of my better (if not best) trip to the soon-to-be-decommissioned stadium. My expectations for the afternoon were certainly pretty low; certainly, I can’t complain about the quality of the entertainment. This looked like a Giants - Eagles game: low-scoring, solid defense, tough conditions, litter swirling on the field. Somewhere, Bill Parcells, Joe Gibbs and Buddy Ryan were smiling.

It would be disingenuous to suggest that I was anything but shocked by how it all went down. Was it the Eagles that ran the ball, controlled the clock, and played great defense? I expected Andy Reid to order 55 throws into the miserable swirling wind; instead, the Eagles ran between the tackles, threw high-percentage passes, and took the air out of the ball. Et tu, Giants!

For the record, I was extremely well-behaved at the stadium today. Polite throughout, no arguing, no fighting, didn’t even gloat a little bit on the way out of the stadium.

Polite ends now, football talk waits for tomorrow — tonight we gloat:

empty-seats.jpg

Don’t you just hate traffic? I found it a bit curious that all those folks who were shouting at me as I entered the stadium (actually more polite this time than usual, in all honesty — they weren’t really that bad) managed to file out well before the game was decided. The queuing for the exits began at the nine-minute mark, and by the three-minute mark (see above) it was mostly empty. Proud showing from “Big” Blue’s fans! No reason to be excited about the team this year — I can totally see why you all wanted to split early.

The failures of the soon-to-be-selling-out-his-buddy Antonio Pierce (Part 1).  What a thrill to not only enjoy an Eagles victory over my least favorite team, but to have my least favorite player on said least favorite team play poorly!  Antonio Pierce, you’re a big cheating jerk for trying to sit on the ball at the end of the first half.  Sorry about the penalty, big guy.  It’s one thing to get a penalty in the run of play, it’s another to cost your team yards (and a clock stoppage) for a silly bush-league move.  Thanks!

The failures of the soon-to-be-selling-out-his-buddy Antonio Pierce (Part 2).  How about that pass-interference call on Pierce?  Next time try to at least make it seem you’re looking for the ball before you tackle the receiver.

The failures of the soon-to-be-selling-out-his-buddy Antonio Pierce (Part 3).  This one played out in slow motion for me…Dunavin buying time, Westbrook slips out of the backfield, McNabb leads him perfectly, Westbrook has a step on Pierce and he’s running toward the corner of the field where we were sitting (about the 10-yard line), my eyes scan forward and realize there aren’t any Giants on that side of the field, I look back at Westbrook and he’s easily pulling away from Pierce.  Ballgame (!).

In case you find the score misleading.  If the Eagles’ loss to the Giants earlier this year wasn’t as close as the final score suggested, then the Eagles’ win today wasn’t as close as the score suggested.  Had the Birds not managed to turn a FG attempt in the closing seconds of the first half into a touchdown for the opposing team (FOR THE SECOND TIME THIS YEAR) and then surrendered a prevent-defense touchdown while up by 13 points, this would have looked a lot worse.  For the avoidance of doubt.

For those of you who thought you saw BountyBowl on FOX.  Yup, that was me.  Screencap below.  Try and guess which one I am!

img00077.jpg

And the Cowboys just lost too?  What a day.  Go Birds.

Eagles - Giants (Extended) Game Preview: Birds Salvation?
Posted on December 7th, 2008 at 10:06 am by Cheesesteak Hoagie

Well, it was kind of a disaster the last time I went to Giants stadium, both on the field and off.  The Eagles got clobbered, and my night may have included some unnecessary heroics.  Both the Eagles and I survived the evening, but only barely.  Thankfully, my then-fiancee was there to witness it, and she still married me.

(Winston Justice, never doubt the potential for forgiveness and redemption!  There’s hope for you yet!)

I wasn’t kidding when I dropped the Terminator jokes about the Giants this week.  That they played so well in the middle of all the nonsense last weekend was actually pretty unnerving.  Shouldn’t they have been at least a little bit distracted?  And to go on the road against a tough divisional team on Sean Taylor day, I mean, yikes.  THEY CANNOT BE REASONED WITH.  THEY DON’T FEEL PAIN.

(Speaking of Terminator, I hope everyone caught the new teaser trailer.  And that you’re enjoying The Sarah Connor Chronicles as much as I am, which is a lot.  If I have any complaint with the Terminator TV show, it’s that they’ve trivialized the act of killing a Terminator.  It used to take two full hours of feature film to kill a Terminator and entire city blocks were routinely destroyed in the process; now they kill one every other week on TV.  Anyhoo, no more killer-robot talk for now.)

If they actually show up and play well again this week, well then I think we can consider Tom Coughlin for Hank Paulson’s job.  It’s just very difficult to argue that Tom Coughlin isn’t doing the best coaching job in the NFL right now.  It’s impressive and commendable as a management exercise, and it’s not like I’m eager to say nice things about the Giants.  These guys are good.

Some talking points ahead of this afternoon’s game:

The 36 Chambers of B-West’s relative assessment of his health.  So early in the week Brian Westbrook was telling folks that this was the “best [he’d] felt” since the beginning of the year, but then he didn’t practice Thursday or Friday and was listed as questionable in the final injury report.  These two seem like contradictory conditions, unless you consider that “best [he’d] felt” means that Westbrook has been feeling “terrible” for most of the season and that the extra rest over Thanksgiving has given him the opportunity to feel “marginally better than he will for the next month of his life.”

The rest of the RBs.  No Buck, so the Birds will be one gimpy #36 ankle tweak away from Lorenzo Booker and Kyle Eckel gamely attempting to pick up Steve Spagnuolo’s blitzes.  I’m sure it’ll be fine.

Obligatory Plax impact.  Yup, Igglesblog had it right, it’s silly to pretend that the Giants won’t miss Plax.  Against some other teams, it’ll matter.  Against the Eagles, it shouldn’t, unless the Giants’ offensive line doesn’t play well.  That is, it makes sense that the Birds sell out against the run and hope their secondary can hang and Eli doesn’t have a big day in the cold and wind.  But I actually think that the Giants will still run well against a stacked Birds line.

That which I envy most about the Giants.  Having a dominant offensive line really does make a difference, doesn’t it.  Things that the Giants aren’t afraid to do include, but are not limited to, “running on third-and-1.”

That which I envy second most about the Giants.  It’s not that the Eagles are afraid to spend expensive draft picks on defensive linemen.  They just didn’t manage to pick Justin Tuck.  He’ll only be killing the Birds for the next five to six seasons.  While similarly branded, Victor Abiamiri and Trevor Laws aren’t quite the same thing (though both went higher in their respective drafts).

As dominant as the Giants’ defense is.  Huh, the Eagles actually have three more sacks than the Giants this year (the teams are 3 and 4 in the NFL rankings, respectively).  We’d all be very surprised if the Birds weren’t at least minorly successful against the Giants’ passing game.  I’m having happy flashbacks to the 2006 game at the Meadowlands that ended with Trent Cole returning a pick for a TD.  If nothing else, I expect we’ll be able to say nice things about the 2008 Eagles defense.

Do they show these ads everywhere?  The Eli Manning “Unstoppable” ones?  Please tell me I see these just because I live in New York.

Yup, I’m calling it the Meadowlands.  Doesn’t it seem like everyone’s a little slower on the Meadowlands’ turf?  Or do I just imagine too many late-season games when I think of the Meadowlands and everyone looks slower in the cold?

Guys I hope seem fast.  Wouldn’t it be lovely if young Master DeSean or Quintin Demps made a big play on special teams?  (I’m actually assuming that DeSean will be the Birds’ leading receiver tomorrow.  It’s his first time in New York — I think he appreciates the big stage.)

No one can say the Eagles aren’t getting their shot.  The season could end today at the Meadowlands.  Given that there are 3 games remaining, that would be, um, disappointing (though not entirely surprising).  Yet the Eagles probably won’t be the last team to have their season end on the road against the Giants.  Even if the Eagles explore the edges of quantum possibility and sneak into the playoffs, any significant success will involve a trip to the Meadowlands (yup, going to keep calling it that).  So today is as good a day as any to see if the Eagles are really anything more than last year’s 8-8 team (but with a better punt returner).

What I’m wearing.  20-30 mph winds at the stadium and temperatures in the 30s?  We’re going to need to layer.  Also, we’re going to hope that the Eagles don’t try to throw it 55 times.

End of the turnpike/ road.  We have to acknowledge that this is likely the last game that Donovan McNabb, Brian Dawkins, Jon Runyan, and Tra Thomas will play as Eagles at the Meadowlands.  It might be the last game that some of them play as an Eagle.  I’m happy to absorb some abuse in the stadium to see it live.

My predicted final score.  So I definitely like the Eagles to cover 7 points (if you’re interested in such things).  They got a couple extra days off, and this week’s events have to have some impact on the Giants, right?  But can the Eagles actually win?  I’m not convinced.  And I really really really wanted to be convinced.  There’s a best-case scenario where the Eagles bring everyone to the line of scrimmage and dare Eli to throw the ball against them in the wind and it somehow works.  The flip side of that scenario is that I don’t know how the Eagles are going to score in windy conditions either.  I just can’t believe that anything but the totally predictable will happen today.  That is, I can’t believe that the Eagles will stop the Giants from running and somehow manage to score a bunch of points on the Giants’ defense.  Final score: Giants 27, Eagles 21.

Off to Jersey and the ancestral homeland.  Go Birds.

The Giants are the best team in the NFL, so why am I cautiously optimistic about tomorrow?
Posted on December 6th, 2008 at 3:24 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

I have absolutely no business being confident about tomorrow’s game at the Meadowlands: the Giants are the best team in the NFL, they barely seemed to notice the off-field controversy stuff last weekend, the conditions — snow in the morning with cold and wind to follow — certainly favor a team that runs the ball and plays defense.  The line sits at 7, and that seems more than fair.

But it’s the line that makes me feel good about this game: let me postulate that this Eagles team struggles with the expectations in Philly (and in Vegas) that have them Super-Bowl-bound every summer and an underdog in only two contests so far this year (not counting this week), respectively.  The pressure is on the Giants, and while they’re playing like the Terminator right now (they cannot be reasoned with, they don’t feel pain), at least that means the pressure isn’t on the Birds.

(Nor should it be.  It’s just tough to get too tuned up about the underdog quarterback’s future (much less his family life) as a storyline when the star wide receiver and starting middle linebacker on the defending champion other team are subjects of an ongoing criminal investigation in the media capital of the known universe.)

I dunno, I sort of have the New England game from last year on the brain, if that makes sense.  Another game against an overwhelming opponent where the coaches and the players showed a little something extra.  But hey, I’m an optimist.

Okay.  End unfounded speculations.  Game preview forthcoming tomorrow morning, but in the meantime I leave you with two photos (courtesy of PE.com) of Eagles defensive players schlepping fast food to New York:

like the skinny tie on Stew

asante is happy to pick up snacks for teammates

Yum.

Things you just can’t make up
Posted on December 5th, 2008 at 9:40 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

The tickets for Sunday’s game:

plaxtix.jpg

Per.  Haps.

(HT to Marshall.  Much appreciated.)

Stop Snitching, starring my least favorite Giant
Posted on December 5th, 2008 at 10:09 am by Cheesesteak Hoagie

So will Antonio Pierce sell out his boy in exchange for immunity?  Tough, tough call.  I mean, they are teammates and all that.  And it’s obvious they hang out.  But does Antonio Pierce want to get in trouble as well?  And not just fined-by-the-NFL trouble; this might be convicted-of-a-felony trouble.

These are some pretty serious questions, and I hope they weigh extremely heavily on Pierce’s mind, every minute from now until about 4:30 pm on Sunday.

(After that, I’m not really interested.)

If nothing else, Pierce’s role in an ongoing criminal investigation has at least kept his boastful piehole mostly closed this week.  And we’ll take that.



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