What Would Buddy Do?
Feeling down about the Birds? Get some unicorns!
Posted on February 5th, 2009 at 4:48 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

Bummed about another NFC Championship loss?

Unsure about the quarterback?

Fearful that it’ll never work out for Andy Reid?

Looks like what we all need is a stupid internet trick:

Cornify

Click away and make some happy in the Internets! (Be sure to treat yourself to multiple clicks.)

Special Guest Post: If God & Jesus get the credit, how does Satan escape the blame?
Posted on February 3rd, 2009 at 9:23 am by Cheesesteak Hoagie

A buddy of BountyBowl posted this to his Facebook profile on Super Bowl Sunday, and well, I thought it was too good not to ask him for reprinting rights.  We’ll protect the official names of the innocent, but he’s appeared in the comments here on BountyBowl as “Thorles” a couple times, and has occasionally had the misfortune of watching Eagles games with me.  Though he’s a Boston guy (and a tasteful Boston fan at that!), he spent the last two years living in a house full of Birds fans whilst in grad school.  That is, he knows the drill.

Enjoy!

If God & Jesus get the credit, how does Satan escape the blame?

Jesus has never been involved in a missed kick. He has never thrown an interception, fumbled the ball, jumped offsides or dropped a crucial pass. In baseball, he has hit many homers and won titles but has been a strike-out victim not a single time!

One can only assume that the Dark Lord bested Jesus in those particular instances where a player failed rather than succeeded. How refreshing would it be to hear the Prince of Darkness cited in a post-game interview as contributing to a player’s poor showing or a team’s demise? “Yeah, Satan really had it in for me today. On that first pick, the Deceiver of Men gave help to the cornerback as he raced all 78 yards to the end zone. I thought Jesus would come through for us in the 4th quarter but obviously the Devil and his agents were working against us.”

Is Satan pissed that he’s not getting credit? All his hard work to meddle with the fervent if misguided pleadings of the faithful and he gets no press? No mention in a post game interview? Satan is no doubt proud of his deceit and trickery and surely wants acknowledgment of its formidable potency. And what of those athletes who seem to have sold their souls in exchange for otherwordly or an inexplicable run of good luck? As a Pats’ fan I really want to hear Tom Brady explain his deal with the devil. I think he reneged on his end of the bargain and was rewarded with a season-ending knee injury. Though he still has Gisele on his arm…maybe that was the trade-off.

On the “Scripture written in the eye black” angle, how about spicing up the verses? John 3:16 (”For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life”) and Philippians 4:13 (”I can do all things through him who strengthens me”) are swell and all, but how about some Old Testament Fire and Brimstone shit? Real wrath of God type stuff? “Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven; and he overthrew those cities, and all the Plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.” (Genesis 19:24, 25). Or going New Testament with anything from Revelations, tales of plagues and serpents and dragons running amok, and seas and rivers turning to fire? How about an approach with more carnal relevance: recent history suggests that many college and professional athletes enjoy the company of women but seem to disdain the limitations of birth control measures: “David took mores wives in Jerusalem, and David became the father of more sons and daughters.” (1 Chronicles 14:3). Most TV announcers, being less than biblical scholars and generally utter morons, would be falling over each other to heap praise on a player for his “devout religions beliefs”, unaware that the scripture in question promotes violence, promiscuity, discrimination or the embrace of mythological creatures.

I’ll concede the requested involvement of a higher authority in praying for safety and health, or the recovery from injury of a downed player. If he doesn’t make it, or ends up paralyzed, can we once again fault the idol-strewn path to the Lake of Fire?

Implicit in the praising of God for on-field success is that God somehow has a vested interest in the outcome of the game (is Jesus making prop bets on Super Bowl XLIII? Parlays? Does JC have a gambling problem?) and is somehow judging certain players more worthy of receiving His help than others. If He helps you throw a touchdown, does that mean your defensive opponents are a motley collection of idolaters, sodomites and followers of false prophets?

Do not the Father, Son and Holy Ghost have more pressing matters clamoring for attention? I suppose we can assume that there is no better multi-tasker than a divine being who can concurrently note the need for a 52 yard FG while saving orphaned children from money grubbing sweatshop owners.

I don’t know. I’m not religious. It just seems offensive to parade one’s faith as some sort of on-field gimmick, a gadget play, a form of “trickeration” (in the parlance of our times). Seems like a “money-changers in the temple” sort of thing. Though I find humor in imagining an omniscient, multi-tasking supreme being reading another prayer or thanks that has made its way into his/her/its Inbox (certainly God uses the Internet), shaking his/her/its head and mumbling about “effing meatheads think I give a damn about some crappy football game.”

Or maybe God never sees these prayers or hears these displays of gratitude? I’d venture that God benefits from celestial junk mail-filtering and spam-detecting technology that terrestrial IT departments can only fantasize about. God is vaguely aware of his name being used or summoned for decidedly earthly matters but has smartly delegated the handling of the prayer deluge to his tech-savvy staff of angels. That’s the analogy. Sports prayers : God :: spam : the rest of us. Praying for a converted 4th and 1 receives about as much attention from a deity as junk mail beckonings for discount Cialis do from we mere mortals.

Yup. Rather than praying for assistance with the outcome of a sporting event, we should all pray for permission to use God’s IT professionals. It will save us from the modern incarnation of Satan’s evil ways: spam.

In a few hours I’ll be watching the Super Bowl, rolling my eyes at on-field salutations to the sky, and smirking at post-game vocal offerings to God. Provided I have not slipped into the delirium of a food coma by that point…or been banished to hell for writing this note. At which point I will cite Beelzebub for my note-writing success.

Enjoyable and not very aggravating travel note of the week
Posted on January 13th, 2009 at 11:02 am by Cheesesteak Hoagie

Forgive me as I borrow liberally from BountyBowl fave Peter King (Quintin Mikell, still misspelled), but I’m going to treat myself to a couple Eagles-related travel notes from Sunday evening:

1.  I enjoyed a couple post-game celebration cocktails with some friends before I headed to the airport Sunday night (much deserved), and also shed a few layers of cold-weather Eagles gear (equally deserved).  So by the time I got to security at EWR, I didn’t have the Trent Cole shirt on, but still had the “Winning is for the Birds” t-shirt rolling, and may have been looking a bit haggard after a day spent outside in the cold.

So I walk up to the metal detector in the remnants of my Eagles gear and step through.  No alarm is triggered, per lo usual, and I show the TSA guard my boarding pass.  SHOCKINGLY, I was selected for a random search that evening!  The guy wearing the Eagles gear at Newark Liberty International airport!  You don’t say!  Note that I fly A TON (~100K miles last year), with 95 percent of those flights through EWR, and I have never been selected for a random search like that.  Never.  Whatever, though.  I took my patdown with a smile.

2.  Mercifully, I had an upgrade for the flight (which was shockingly empty — this is not a positive economic indicator).  I made the prudent decision to stop celebrating for the remainder of the evening.  So the flight attendant comes over and asks me what I’d like to drink.  “Water.”  And then another.  And another.  And another.  I think I got at least seven (7) glasses down.  Finally it’s last call on the flight, we’re about to land, and she asks me if I’d like another drink:

“One more water, please.”

“Really?”

“Yes, please.”

At which point the flight attendant may have crossed a line by observing, “But you haven’t gone to the bathroom once!”  (Seriously, it was weird that she was keeping score, no?)

My reply: “Yeah, well, I’m really dehydrated.”

Go Birds.

Attaguy, A.J.
Posted on January 9th, 2009 at 1:45 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

ajmitts.jpg

Congrats to A.J. Feeley and Heather Mitts, allegedly engaged over the holidays.

Here’s to you crazy kids raising a new generation of athletically gifted and smiling children.

Note that I found this among the more tasteful Heather-and-A.J. photos “available.”

(Also, we agree that A.J. should be Dunavin’s backup on Sunday.)

One final humiliation
Posted on November 18th, 2008 at 11:37 am by Cheesesteak Hoagie

So I’m moping around yesterday like I normally do following an Eagles loss. Moping typically involves some sort of faux-healthy purge (half-assed trip to the gym, non-terrible lunch), so I meander to the deli up the street from the office to get a cup of soup.

Keep in mind that I hate eating soup for lunch. Hate it. This is because I contend that it shouldn’t really count as lunch — it’s liquid, and a man of my carriage merits solid food in the middle of the day. But again, we’re purging, and soup was all I deserved.

Anyhoo, the deli in question has a Soup Guy. As in, Mr. High-Energy-Personality-Plus who loves his job and relishes the opportunity to make a few moments of chit-chat with each customer as he ladles out portions. I mean, he’s nice enough, and he obviously means well, but there’s something about him that drives me insane. Don’t worry, friends and coworkers have assured me that I’m the one with the problem here — it just isn’t rational to dislike someone for being friendly/ polite / happy with his job (unless you’re some sort of psychopath). I get it. I’m the jerk. Yup.

It’s also worth noting Mr. High-Energy-Personality-Plus is also a big NY sports fans (Mets, Giants) who typically uses the most recent professional sports result as fodder for his idle (but apparently mandatory) chit-chat with the patrons.

So I roll in there mid-afternoon and belly up to the soup station. Thus commenceth the chit-chat:

“How can I help you!” [Insanely chipper and friendly tone.]

“Can I get the tomato basil with chicken?” [Dull monotone, no eye contact.]

“Sure you can! Small or large!” [Big smile.]

“Small.” [Barely making eye contact.]

“You sure?” [More smile.]

“I’m sure.” [Eye contact made, withering look.]

“How you doing today?” [As he’s ladling.]

“Yeah I’m all right. All good. How about you?” [Figured I should at least pretend to act like a human being.]

“Oh can’t complain, my shift’s almost over and the Giants looked great yesterday!” [Still ladling, smiling.]

[Beat.]

“OH YEAH??? THE GIANTS??? HOW BOUTS I COME BACK THERE AND F*CKING WATERBOARD YOU IN THE SPLIT PEA WITH HAM!!!!!”

[Actually, I just said, “Yes they did, they looked great — thanks,” and moved on to the register.]

Welcome to my sports feelings.

Off-Topic: Live from CBP, Let’s Go Phightins
Posted on October 10th, 2008 at 12:18 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

flyers-eagles-phillies-stadia-154.JPG

Did I actually head down to the Illadelph for an unprecedented third sporting event in as many weeks (and three different sports no less!)? Yes. Yes I did. And it was…glorious.

The atmosphere at CBP last night was, how do you say, “the exact opposite of the pervasive malaise that attended the Birds game on Sunday.” Whoa. Very cleansing — I had forgotten that you could actually have fun at these game things! All it takes it a little effort from the hometown team.

flyers-eagles-phillies-stadia-135.JPG

Three quick observations about the game:

1. The three-run home run offense is very popular. You gotta love that the Phils are defiantly anti-Sabermetrics. Walks? Putting the ball in play? Getting on base? Totally overrated. Just swing as hard as you can and the runs will come (especially in our wiffle-ball park). Cheers to the other number 5 for his continued redemption story in the playoffs. Maybe it’s just because he wants to get paid, but Burrell seems determined, and that’s a very good thing.

2. No Eagles jerseys last night. The message from the gear was unanimous — I just didn’t see any Eagles merch. At all. Just a million different variations on red with blue (and let us note that the Phils do an excellent job moving merch in that place).

3. The food remains the best ballpark food on Planet Earth. Who can challenge this statement? Who? Tell me where they have better ballpark food anywhere on the planet. I’ll go there and let you know. And I’m pretty sure they won’t be able to offer me a cheesesteak AND a roast pork sandwich (with the broccoli rabe).

flyers-eagles-phillies-stadia-123.JPG

Go Phightins.

(Actual Eagles content forthcoming later today.)

Off-Topic (sort of): BountyBowl attends “other” football match
Posted on September 20th, 2008 at 9:29 am by Cheesesteak Hoagie

And we’re back.  After a week and change in Merry Old Ingerland (Did I miss anything?  Something about a global economic meltdown?), I’m back in the United States of Freedom and ready to sign.

Fulham v Bolton, Sept 13 2008

I’ve got plenty of Eagles-related nonsense ready to spew forth, but I thought I’d start the weekend with an off-topic post in re: my trip last Saturday to see the other football over in London.  In another blog life, I’m actually pretty into the whole soccer thing as well, and was pretty psyched to score a ticket to see Fulham host Bolton Wanderers in a Premiership match at Craven Cottage.

My takeaways (with a compare-and-contrast American football slant, of course):

In terms of hooliganism, Fulham - Bolton isn’t exactly Among The Thugs.  You can still find football matches in the UK with a bit more of an angry bent to them, but Fulham - Bolton isn’t one of them.  Neither team has a particularly psychotic fan base, there’s no rivalry between them, Fulham’s in a relatively nice neighborhood, and it was like family day or something (they were painting kids’ faces outside the ground).  So no fears about getting knifed for having the wrong scarf.  It was more like a Houston Texans - St. Louis Rams game.  Only a lot smaller.

Speaking of smaller grounds.  There are some gigantic stadia in England (Old Trafford, the new Emirates stadium, Anfield, City of Manchester Stadium), but for the most part, these are not the cathedrals to which your average NFL fan has become accustomed (see here for a list by capacity).  Craven Cottage is listed as pretty small (22,000 and change) and it felt that way.  I mean, it was nice and intimate and all that, and in a lovely spot on the Thames, but it’s not the Linc.  It does give you some perspective on just how crazy it is to have these ridiculous NFL stadia (most built in the past 15 years) that are really only used 10-15 times a year.  Also, in that context, it’s offensive that we don’t yet have another World Cup on the books for the US and A.

3.50 GBP for a pint...no limit to the number you can buy at once

Yes, I’d like eight pints of Carlsberg, please.  So they stop selling beer ten minutes before kickoff, resume five minutes before halftime, and then cut off again for good at the end of halftime.  Beer is extremely reasonably priced (3.50 GBP) and, wait for it, there’s no limit to the number you can get at once.  The dude in front of me at halftime ordered eight (8).  No joke.

No Americans got in the game.  Fulham had five Americans on the roster last season, but a regime change in management trimmed that number to one for this season, Clint Dempsey.  Unfortunately, Dempsey didn’t get in the game, which I’ll chalk up to having played at midweek for the United States.

McBride Shirt!

Now let us get back to the proper football, as they say.

Go Birds.