What Would Buddy Do?
Ummmmmmm, so this is awesome
Posted on December 28th, 2008 at 5:42 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

Birds up 24 at halftime?

I’m…at a loss. This is phenomenal.

Game On
Posted on December 28th, 2008 at 4:11 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

Bring it.

Thank you, Michael Bush. Thank you, Al Davis. Thank you, Jeff Garcia.

Combinations and Permutations
Posted on December 28th, 2008 at 1:23 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

So I think karma and the Oakland Raiders owe us one, especially w/r/t the Bucs.

That is, I still consider that 2002 Super Bowl the one that got away from the Birds.  Whomever showed up to play the Raiders and their batsh*t crazy/ AWOL center and overmatched coach was going to win.  It was lined up for the Eagles, and they screwed it up.  For that injustice, I demand that karma amend its previous decision and hook us up with a giganto upset in Tampa today.  I demand!

The problem is 13.5 points (the spread in the Tampa game).  The other games of interest (Bears - Texas, Vikings - G-Men) seem a bit more reasonable and potentially up for grabs.  But 13.5 is a lot.  A lot a lot.  Vegas does not seem to hold much hope for the Birds.  Nor does the scheduling of these affairs do us any favors.

Still, it’s the NFL.  Goofy stuff happens, especially at the end of the season.  People get nervous and soil themselves.  Not just our favorite team.

Fingers crossed, let’s go Raiders.

Also, since I didn’t mention it earlier, the Cowboys can s*ck it.

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.

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

andyravens.jpg

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!

Birds confirm existence of less organized teams than themselves in win over Niners
Posted on October 12th, 2008 at 8:33 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

Whew!  Close one.  I was admittedly nervous until the spread-busting return from Juqua Parker nee Thomas.  Note well that a play prior to that I had remarked to my buddy that it struck me as odd that a defensive end was dropped so deep in coverage at the snap; it wasn’t like they were showing a four-man front and then he dropped into coverage.  Nope, he was playing linebacker (in the post-game coverage I’m sure there will be much discussion of the “Joker” linebacker position).

We’ve actually got a full house coming for the Phightins here at BountyBowl HQ, so expect post-game reactions to trickle through slowly.  Still, my quick hitters after the game:

David Akers makes it through the bye week.  Did he actually make the challenged one?  We’ll never know.  Leads one to wonder why there isn’t a more definitive camera angle for that sort of thing, but hey, we’re more than happy that Nolan wasted a challenge on it.  If he had missed it…and the block…and well…you can kind of guess what the big storyline would have been in a loss.

Game balls to the deserving vets.  Correll Buckhalter and Juqua Parker nee Thomas, take a bow.  You guys both played great games — heart-and-soul-of-the-team-type games.  And it’s nice to see it from the guys who aren’t on the cover of the media guide or on the tickets. I thought Buck’s stamina was especially impressive; he really seemed to keep running with energy deep in the game.  And Parker, well, we wrote the following two weeks ago, and it feels even more true today, “Also, at what point can we admit that Juqua Parker is playing really well and isn’t some sort of undersized liability?”  Juqua Parker, you’ve earned yourself a place in my official taxonomy: enjoy your tag.  Quintin Mikell is an honorable mention here.

Heroics in the secondary.  Speaking of, the Birds were a couple diving deflections away from some scary things late in that game.  Kudos to Sheldon Brown and Mikell for making some huge plays.  Also Dawk stepped up and got stronger later in the game (who needed to make up for some sloppy tackling earlier in the game).

Lito’s hurt?  Dude.  I mean.  They’re going to give you grief for that.  It’s not fair, but they will.

Andy Reid isn’t actually crazy.  That is, he seems to have agreed with the assembled masses and majority of the blathertariat (yours truly included) that DeSean Jackson is the best guy they have on offense with Westbrook out.  Jackson seemed to have gotten a lot of different looks and touches, and the kid played well.  I get more excited about him every week.

Takeo Spikes, you’re a cruel, cruel man.  Dude, you catch JUST ONE ball that hits you in the chest last year and the Birds might have made the playoffs (the Seattle game was the most offensive).  And now you gotta be picking off Dunavin in the red zone?  Seriously?

That’s it for now.  More later, let’s go Phightins.

Meaningless vengeance still counts as vengeance
Posted on December 23rd, 2007 at 7:44 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

attaguy Kevin Curtis
A lot of people are going to try to call today’s win over the Saints a meaningless victory. While it may have been meaningless in re: the Eagles’ 2007 season (specifically regarding the postseason continuation thereof), it definitely meant a lot to the Saints.

And the Birds whupped ‘em.

In so doing, the Eagles came close to ending the season of the team who ended their season last year. I know it doesn’t get the Birds any closer to the Super Bowl this year, but it sure makes me feel good about (a) the team generally and certain embattled stars and/ or coaches and (b) serving a 12-inch Hoagie of Revenge (double meat, extra mayo) to smug-ass Sean Payton (oh, swoon, he’s such a GENIUS!) and the Saints.

You’re telling me that’s meaningless? I think not!

Quick hits from the game:
(Read the rest of this story.)

And now it’s all done
Posted on December 17th, 2007 at 9:57 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

dave-grohl.jpgAnd to think the Eagles’ slim playoff hopes rested on the slumped shoulders of Dave-Grohl lookalike Kyle Orton (tip of the cap to the O-Man for that one). 

Sigh.

I’ll keep my fingers crossed for 7-9, since I assume that they’ll completely mail it in against a still-alive Saints team this weekend.  Look out, Buffalo!

Here’s to the 36 Chambers of Brian Westbrook making the Pro Bowl tomorrow. He’ll deserve it.

No no, it could be much worse
Posted on December 13th, 2007 at 11:43 am by Cheesesteak Hoagie

the worst thing you can do is fight dogs seriously the worst terrible awfulWelcome to a couple days of looking on the bright side!

That is, after a few days of reflection in re: the deep spiritual ennui brought on by the (a) poor performance of the 2007 Eagles and (b) my limited enthusiasm for improvement and/ or change for the 2008 season, I’ve decided it isn’t actually that bad. The Eagles aren’t very good, but they’re not terrible. There are some positives out there. Seriously. It’s not as bad as it could be.

Item #1: at least the Eagles aren’t the Falcons.

Remember that the Falcons were the team that the Birds defeated in the 2004 NFC Championship Game, and looked like they might be a rival for the Eagles for years to come. They had the up-and-coming franchise QB, the sharp young coach, some exciting playmakers on defense, and an owner who was committed to building a legit franchise.

Yikes. Can’t say that really worked out for them, huh?
(Read the rest of this story.)

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.)



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