What Would Buddy Do?
Put a BOUNTY on the Kevin Kolb jersey
Posted on December 17th, 2008 at 12:08 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

And now for the Kevin Kolb post.  Or at least the post about his jersey.

Initial disclaimer: we do not know nearly enough about Kevin Kolb to evaluate his talent/ potential as a future starting quarterback for the Eagles.  A couple pick-sixes notwithstanding, we’re going to need to see a lot more from him before we can either (a) hand him the keys to the car or (b) blow him out the airlock (not to mix metaphors).  He could be fantastic, he could be a failure, we just don’t know.  We hope (obviously) that he can play.

Today I just want to talk about the misanthropic malcontents who wear a Kevin Kolb jersey to Lincoln Financial Field in 2008 (note that I saw two (2) of said jerseys Monday night).  While I’m certainly open to alternate explanations, this is how I imagine the decision to first purchase and then wear the Kevin Kolb shirt plays out in the mind of the owner:

I really, really, really hate Donovan McNabb.  A lot.  It isn’t that McNabb isn’t my favorite player, or that I admire another player (say, Brian Dawkins or Brian Westbrook) more than McNabb, it’s that I really detest number 5.  Like, a lot.  It’s his fault we lost the Super Bowl, Rush Limbaugh was right, and this team will never win anything until he’s run out of town.

As a result, I’ve decided to pick up this nifty Kevin Kolb jersey.  I mean, sure, unless I’m a member of Kolb’s immediate family or a big Conference USA football fan (unlikely), I’ve never seen Kevin Kolb play a full game of football.  No matter.  So concentrated and focused is my loathing for Donovan McNabb that I’ve chosen to sport his ostensible replacement’s jersey (custom made for about US$300 as it’s not currently available for sale the Eagles store, though you can find them other places for a little cheaper).

Someone suggested that I was cleverly getting in early on the Kolb shirt, but it doesn’t really work like that — it’s not this is a hot start-up and you get a discount for buying guys on the bench.  Nope.  I just wanted to be sure that folks knew where I stood on Donovan McNabb, and if it costs me a few bucks, so be it.

In fact, I’m so eager for folks to know where I stand on McNabb that I actually buy tickets to the games and wear my Kevin Kolb jersey as an act of passive-aggressive protest: “I hate you, Donovan, I hate you, and I want everyone in this stadium to know how much I hate you.”

Never mind that he’s the starting quarterback for my favorite team and the success of the starting quarterback tends to correlate pretty highly with the success of the team.  That’s not my concern.  My concern is letting the world know that Donovan McNabb is a big loser and that I am the sort of discerning football fan who has recognized that fact.

Go Birds (except, of course, for the full avoidance of doubt, Donovan McNabb — he can go suck a phat one).

Thus shall I declare that we PUT A BOUNTY on the Kevin Kolb jersey.

Okay, 37 readers of BountyBowl.  Someone explain this to me.  I’m willing to listen.  Why wear the Kevin Kolb jersey?  Note that I’ve left the topic of race out of the discussion to date, but don’t be afraid to go there (BountyBowl is not afraid to acknowledge the role that race plays in the Philly fans’ relationship with Donovan McNabb).

And so the endgame begins
Posted on November 12th, 2008 at 10:41 am by Cheesesteak Hoagie

Les Bowen fired off the opening salvo of What Next for Donovan McNabb (and maybe Andy Reid) in Eagletarian this morning.  It was appropriately considered and sober, and not entirely inappropriate given the loss on Sunday night.  To summarize:

If I’m Lurie or Banner right now, I’m looking at things like the miscalculation involved in the Lorenzo Booker trade, the fullback follies, and the inability of the defensive line to stop the Redskins or the Giants, despite a bunch of money and draft picks spent in that area the past several years. I would have serious questions about whether Reid is the guy to rebuild this team in 2009, the way he was in 1999.

I’m not saying anything is going to happen. Lurie owes Reid at least $10 million on a contract that runs through 2010. The Eagles could still make the playoffs, could still catch a Washington or New York napping in the rematch and succeed just enough to allow management to cling to the mistaken belief  that it has the personnel in the trenches to line up with the best. Titular GM Tom Heckert, whose rise abruptly stalled a little while back, could become a sacrificial lamb

Overall, I still favor the blame-it-on-Donovan scenario: reporters historically sympathetic to management favored by postseason not-for-attribution whispers about how, you know, film review showed the team would actually have won this game or that game if McNabb weren’t so erratic, it wasn’t really that the team or the playcalling weren’t good enough,  you see.

I don’t see any way Donovan stays, at age 32, and Andy leaves. That wouldn’t really make sense. And though I don’t blame McNabb for what has happened this year, I also don’t think he’s been good enough when it counts. He is not the QB he was four years ago, and I guess now he never will be that guy again.

Frankly, I’m impressed by the restraint from amongst the blathertariat to date regarding the future of the Eagles quarterback past the 2008 season.  Last year they opened the discussion following Week Six; this year we got all the way to Week Ten — congrats to all involved.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Donovan-is-done Week if we didn’t have a Kevin Kolb poll.  Be sure to vote!

Birds outshove Steelers, make Ed Rendell smile
Posted on September 21st, 2008 at 9:14 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

In the game that was the inverse of last Monday’s shootout against Dallas, the Eagles roughed up the Steelers in a tough-ass defensive struggle, 15-6. 

Quick-hit reactions to a very satisfying TV show:    

Jim Johnson and the defensive front, take a bow.  Six days after giving up 34 points (I won’t blame them for the special teams TD), the Birds’ defense channeled the 1991 Eagles and just humiliated the Steelers.  The ball was snapped, and the line immediately moved two yards backward on pretty much every down.  It seemed like the Steelers gave up running the ball pretty early, and stubbornly instructed Roethlisberger to try to throw the ball.  Nope.  It wasn’t just a couple plays worth of pressure, it was pressure on every single down.  Darren Howard, Juqua Parker and Trent Cole were monsters.  The body language from the Steelers’ receivers was the most telling part — you could tell they were sick of running routes and not even having the ball come out.  Jim Johnson and the defense have officially made it up to us for the Dallas game.

Speaking of making it up to us after the Dallas game.  I guess the Dawkins retirement can wait another week.  His pterodactyl Makhtar (Editor’s note: Makhtar is a slang term used to describe the act of violently smacking an object out of another’s hand; derived from Makhtar N’Diaye and his proclivity for clumsy fouls) on Big Ben was the best Eagles’ play of the season so far. 

$57 million seemed like a lot, but, well, we like interceptions.  Asante Samuel is definitely earning it after three weeks.  I’ll argue that he’s actually been a little lost in the media shuffle so far, and that he’d definitely be a big story in most other towns, but given the unique, ahem, landscape of storylines amongst the local blathertariat, he’s gotten off pretty easy.  I can’t say I’m anything but impressed by this guy. 

I don’t think I’ve ever been that excited about the punter.  Get ready for a week of “This is the week it clicked for Sav Rocca” though he’s been pretty good so far this season.  He absolutely made a difference today. 

And suddenly it’s the third quarter of a preseason game.  When Kolb checked in with Buckhalter and Booker in the backfield and Baskett and Avant split wide, well, it got pretty chill in my apartment.  It got a little warmer when McNabb checked back in, but even that was an Eagles team without its starting backfield, Pro Bowl guard and presumptive top wideout.  Yikes.

Booker is a liability in pass defense.  Booker whiffed horribly on the McNabb pick, kind of fell down in the act of not even getting a finger on the blitzer.  Not so impressive.  Westbrook and Buckhalter don’t miss like that.    

Think happy thoughts. Let’s pretend the 36 Chambers of Brian Westbrook isn’t actually hurt and will be back at practice on Wednesday.  Somewhere GCobb is working on a blog post about how Westbrook can’t stay healthy. 

Also, The NFC East still hasn’t lost a game to anyone but an NFC East team.  Though I hope the Cowboys lose in a barrage of injuries to fix that.  Obviously.

Great game.  Go Birds. 

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!

Draft Memes of Christmas Past
Posted on April 24th, 2008 at 2:28 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

Remember when we were all moist hoping the Eagles would draft a prototypical goal-line running back?  And then they did?  But we didn’t really care because we all got distracted by the Kevin Kolb pick? 

Yeah.  That was a year ago. 

Let’s fast-forward a year and imagine how we’ll reminisce this week in 2009:

Remember when we were all moist hoping the Eagles would draft a big wide receiver who could return kicks and be a threat in the red zone?  And then they did?  But we didn’t really care because we call got distracted by the [Jason Taylor trade/ Brian Westbrook holdout/ Tra Thomas surprise retirement].

Mostly we have no idea what’s going to actually happen on Saturday (especially since the Birds will likely trade some of those 11 picks) – but sometimes dreams do come true!  Even if it turns out that those dreams were kind of wrong because the Birds already had the best back in football on the roster!  

I’ve got a better idea: how bouts you shut the f*ck up about being a Cowboys fan?
Posted on December 14th, 2007 at 2:33 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

superfan number one hereKevin, Kevin, Kevin, who told you that you were supposed to be talking?

I understand if the reporters come to your locker and booby-trap some questions in an attempt to provoke some headline-worthy quotes. So far, you’ve done an excellent job of being respectful, saying the right things, and staying on the good side of the media. To be fair, we’re in the loveless twilight years of our relationship with Dunavin, and you’re the young trophy QB: a little cuter, a little trimmer, and utterly devoid of baggage. Of course we all want to buy you things and take you on weekend getaways — you’re just the fresh start we’ve been looking for.

Some quick advice: enjoy the lovefest while it lasts, and be at least 18 percent more careful with your words around the reporters.

(Read the rest of this story.)

We are now officially one (1) Rocky Bernard KillShot ™ away from the Kevin Kolb era
Posted on November 30th, 2007 at 7:26 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

sorry there alex smith
With Donovan McNabb doubtful, it looks like A.J. Feeley is the man for Sunday. Hopefully Adam Joshua has another big game in him, as the Eagles have a tough Nerdbirds team in town.

Also, let us all take a moment to reflect on the fact that quarterbacks do take shots, the Seattle defense can get to the quarterback, and we might be one big lick away from the start of the Kevin Kolb era. For the record, Seattle is not above the occasional KillShot ™. Alex Smith hasn’t been right since.

High drama indeed.

McNabb, Mikell Doubtful for Sunday [PhiladelphiaEagles.com]

And what if Kevin Kolb is Alex Smith? WHAT THEN???
Posted on November 13th, 2007 at 3:07 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

he actually wears the clown hat in his press conferencesAttended a wholly unremarkable imitation NFL football game at Qwest Field last night. The hometown Nerdbirds prevailed, but all I noticed was just how absolutely terrible the 49ers were.

I suppose you can’t expect you’re going to play well just days after the coach’s Dad (and franchise icon) passes away, but the Niners just didn’t look like they had enough to compete. I suppose Nate Clements played okay, and Frank Gore had a couple nice runs, but past that, there just wasn’t much there. I kept an eye on Michael Lewis, but he was decent at best — certainly nothing extraordinary.

The biggest takeaway for me was just how hopeless Alex Smith looked at quarterback. You know things aren’t too rosy when your coach pulls you in favor of a wide receiver on third-and-four inside your own ten. They might call it an innovative strategy in a tight situation, but it sure looked like a desperation/ no-confidence-in-the-starter move to me.

(Read the rest of this story.)

You’ll never forget your first booing
Posted on August 10th, 2007 at 2:52 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

That is just adorableMultiple news outlets reported that Eagles rookie QB Kevin Kolb enjoyed his first official chorus of boos yesterday at Lehigh (at least his first since draft day).


Don’t worry, they only boo because they care. Also, because they channel all of their frustrations into the inability of the pro football team to win the Super Bowl. Also, because 30 percent of them will hate you no matter what.

You have to wonder if the rest of the guys have a little reception prepared for him in the locker room afterwards — like when Jimmy Conway and Paulie congratulate a young Henry Hill on his first arrest (”You popped your cherry!”).

Welcome to Negadelphia, big fella!

Kevin Kolb hears the boos for 1st time [GCOBB.com]
Kolb hears it from fans after throwing first interception [Philly.com]