What Would Buddy Do?
Tuesday Eagles Hangover: Well, that was mellow
Posted on December 16th, 2008 at 11:30 am by Cheesesteak Hoagie

SEXYTIME

The first sign that this was going to be a low-stress affair in South Philly was the complete absence of traffic at the Lincoln Tunnel at 5:45 on a weekday.  We actually thought something was wrong (a bomb?  the tunnel was closed?).  Nope.  Nothing wrong, and nothing but a smooth ride all the way down the turnpike.  Said smooth ride continued in the stadium, as the Birds cruised in a game that was completely lacking in any sort of anxiety and/ or drama.  About the most stressful moment of the whole affair was the part where we walked up the wrong stairs to get to our seats and had to watch the Curtis TD from behind a Miller Lite cart.

Other talking points and observations:

Dunavin was sharp sharp sharp.  It didn’t hurt that the Browns didn’t really manage to pressure him all that well, but he seemed to really enjoy playing against the Browns’ zone.  That was definitely a you-only-get-to-see-this-in-the-stadium sort of thing, but McNabb and the Eagles receivers were extremely methodical about gaining 10-15 yards in front of the Browns’ safeties and deep cover guys.  Of course, McNabb was also pretty sharp against the man defense that he saw (the extremely tight ball to Avant on the intermediate crossing route comes to mind).  Yeah, pretty solid stuff from the QB.

Slightly less solid stuff from Dorsey.  God bless that Ken Dorsey, but this looked really hard for him.  What balls he did complete were essentially bailouts from a very talented (and sure-handed, at least tonight) Braylon Edwards.  Both picks were pretty bad (balls thrown directly to Eagles), and Hanson should have had a third (which was slightly less bad).  We shouldn’t make fun, because this sort of thing can/ has happened to the Birds as well.  Somewhere, Mike McMahon was reliving 42-0 at home on Monday night in 2005.

Why were people booing Stallworth?  Lots of boos for Donte Stallworth.  What did Stallworth do to offend us?  I didn’t get that.  Hank Fraley was at least the guy who snitched on Dunavin puking in the Super Bowl (until the video tape also snitched on Dunavin puking in the Super Bowl).  As I remember it, Stallworth was a solid part of the 2006 team, which I believe we should all remember fondly.  Then the Eagles said thanks-but-no-thanks and he signed with another team.  Um, that’s chill.  I don’t get it.

Shaking head, staring at ground.  Big double-you-tee-eff in re: Asante Samuel “pulling a D-Jack.”  Who do you think has the least patience for that sort of thing in the Eagles’ locker room (after Andy Reid)?  I have to assume it’s Runyan, right?  As in, he goes over and picks up Samuel by the scruff of his neck and reminds him to “Never f*cking do that again”?  The only cool part of that play was that my buddy got a GREAT photo of it in realtime — we’ll post it as soon as he sends them out.  Very very solid work, and the folks sitting near us appreciated our own instant replay.

Speaking of DJack.  I know it worked in the Redskins game, and we all appreciate his boyish confidence out there.  But dude, enough with the “It’s just like college and I’m fast enough to loop around the back side of the punt coverage” sh*t.  Forward, young fella.  Forward.

Just in case you thought the Eagles were perfect and weren’t the same team from a month ago.  Can I roofie myself for the last two minutes of the first half of Eagles games from now on?  Is anyone keeping stats on this?  The Birds’ penchant for sniffing out and then embracing the most unlikely of calamities as the first half ends is uncanny.  And when you layer on the comical clock management and general level of disorganization, well, it’s just not very impressive.  The was covered thoroughly (and appropriately) in this morning’s papers.  A f*cking illegal formation penalty coming from a timeout?  Dude.

Speaking of the timeout.  The stadium announcer actually preemptively called timeout over the PA before Andy Reid got it in (and the Birds lost a few seconds as a result).  This prompted a discussion of having the “clock coach” just sit next to the PA guy and call Andy’s timeouts for him.  Just completely take it out of Reid’s hands and have the voice of God boom out the timeouts over the loudspeaker.  That way Andy can be pleasantly surprised by the appropriate use of the timeouts.

Three cheers.  To Jason Avant, for catching pretty much everything thrown his way, including some high-degree-of-difficulty snags.  To Trent Cole, for another dominant game on the left side of the line (I say this expecting him to get snubbed for the Pro Bowl).  And to B-Dawk, for breaking the team record for games played.  That’s just extremely classy.

Appropriate booing.  I mean, sure, it’s a small sample size, but, um, does Kevin Kolb look like the guy?  Maybe Dunavin has paid him off to throw picks in mop-up duty?  Dunavin’s owed like $9 million next season — you think it isn’t worth $20K to him to get Kolb to look terrible out there?  Or is Kolb just not very good?  One of those.   I’ve got a lengthy follow-up post coming on this topic.

The Birds defense (and the NFC East) warms my heart.  I really like what we’ve got going on in the NFC East right now in re: teams playing some nasty defense.  All four teams in the top 13 on Football Outsiders coming into this week, with Dallas the lowest-ranked team (the Cowboys D looked completely scary against the Giants last week).  Very old skool, very classy.

Go Birds.

Monday Eagles Hangover: not with a bang, with a draw
Posted on November 17th, 2008 at 11:24 am by Cheesesteak Hoagie

colesack.JPG

Right. So this one isn’t sitting any better the morning after, is it. It isn’t just the quirky ignominy of the draw (there will be no talk of “ties” here at BountyBowl; this was a draw), it’s also the part where the game was completely brutal to watch and lasted almost five freakin’ hours. I meant it yesterday when I said that this was the worst Eagles TV show in years. Just horrible.

Anyhoo, what we’re still stewing about:

Dunavin doesn’t know what a tie is. Obviously, too much will be made of this, but it’s pretty odd that he didn’t know the rules. I mean, I don’t know all the rules either (eligible receivers? that crap with Eli and the line of scrimmage last week?), but I knew there were draws. Huh. Maybe it’s the nomenclature that tripped him up — all this talk of “ties” is confusing. He should show up for his Wednesday presser and insist that he was just confused because he didn’t know the reporters were talking about a draw — which he was OF COURSE aware of.

Let’s start pointing fingers. About midway through the third quarter, my brother and I had the “it’s going to take 20 points to win this game” conversation. He was admittedly more convinced that the Eagles defense would continue to hold than I was, but I guess I was more optimistic about the offense. Turns out he was a lot more right than I was. The offense was horrible yesterday, and the blame for the loss is squarely on them. Now let us all look forward to kickoff week for the the-playbook-is-stale meme.

More finger pointing. McNabb is going to take a ton of heat this week, for good reason. Bring it on. But it sure looks like other guys are struggling a ton too. I hate to blaspheme in re: the Eagles erstwhile best player, but Westbrook is not the player he was in 2007. And he may never be that guy again.

Even more finger pointing. So if it gets to “that point” where we’re talking about making changes to get guys experience and whatnot (and oh are we close), can we take a peek at what the Eagles offensive line of the future is going to look like? As in, with new tackles? Might as well get the nasty bits out of the way this season, right?

And just to make sure we don’t give the offense any credit at all. Don’t forget that the TD play was a screwup. McNabb and Westbrook were arguing about where Westbrook should stand up until the snap — they were lucky they didn’t earn a penalty for that. They were also pretty lucky that the improvised crap of a play they ran worked.

Pre-game predictions #1. I asked for a big game from the home-town kid, and he delivered. Trent Cole represented in a big way out there. Woe be unto that poor kid who was trying to block him in the first half (though of course it’s a shame he got hurt).

Pre-game predictions #2. I had begged that the Eagles “screw up” in a “new and innovative way.” A 13-13 draw definitely counts as a new and innovative way to screw up. Congrats, guys!

Pre-game predictions #3. Did I say Dunavin would throw it three dozen times? I meant to say 58 (!!!!!).

If we’re going to make excuses. I thought TJ Houshmandzadeh played a phenomenal game yesterday. Returning punts too? Yikes. He really wanted to win. Also, the Benglas were coming off the bye. (Also the Eagles are mediocre.)

Thank you Shayne Graham. Um, we complain about the tie now, but were it not for the Bengals crapulence, it would have been a loss. Anyhoo.

Hate to keep saying this, but it’s just last year’s 8-8 team, but with a better punt returner.

Oh wait, make that 7-8-1.

Birds - Bengals Preview: do they still do the GNR thing in Cincy?
Posted on November 16th, 2008 at 12:08 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

The Bengals used to rock the “Welcome to the Jungle” thing back in the early 90s, right?  Back in the immediate post-Ickey years? Always though that was cool at the stadium, and oddly topical, especially as we approach the long-awaited release of Chinese Democracy.

Oh right.  The football game.  Against the Bengals.  With the Eagles.

This is essentially a minimal-upside/ all-downside game for the Eagles.  They win, and we all agree they were supposed to win; they lose, and we commence with the Donovan McNabb obituaries (it seems folks have been warming those up already).

(Seriously, if they lose, the fans are allowed to be outraged.  If the Eagles can’t get it done against the Ivy Leaguer, Cedric Benson and Dhani Jones, well, then we were all lied to by the team in July and August.)

The more likely result is that they’ll win comfortably, suck us all back in, and start to convince us (yet again) that this isn’t just last year’s 8-8 team (but with a better punt returner).

Quick list of things I’d like to see/ not see:

A taste of power football.  Wouldn’t it be lovely if the Eagles were able to pull off a mostly-run/ power football/ mix-in-Buck-and-BWest sort of drive against the Bengals?  The Bengals defense isn’t particularly strong (#23 in DVOA, 26th against the pass, 16th against the rush) — wouldn’t it build confidence in our guys if they saw they could actually push someone around at the line of scrimmage?

A long kickoff return.  Yes yes, Demps has been close for a while.  Great for him.  We’d like it if he actually busted open a huge one.  Maybe even a touchdown.  It has been a while.

Start McNabb in your fantasy leagues.  Don’t think Big Red missed the stat above about the Cincy pass defense.  Dunavin will throw it three dozen times today, won’t he.

If the Eagles are going to screw up, please do so in a new and innovative way?  No sloppy two-minute drills, no stuffed at the line, no dumb challenges.  Try something new, like 12 men on the field or an ill-timed LJ Smith fumble.

Trent Cole, earn that jersey purchase today.  Hometown game for ya, big fella.  I’m wearing your shirt this week.  Make it happen out there.

I think the Eagles delay the apocalypse another week or two and roll the Bengals.  I’m watching out in the H-O-B.  Prediction = Eagles 31, Bengals 13.

Blown call denies Eagles opportunity to crush fans’ souls in win over Falcons
Posted on October 26th, 2008 at 5:21 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

colehit.JPG

Bank error in our favor this afternoon, as a pretty hideous call on a seemingly muffed punt snuffed out any chance for a final Falcons comeback attempt. Certainly we can’t assume that the Falcons would have driven those 60 yards for the go-ahead score, especially with a rookie quarterback and no timeouts, but, well, as Eagles fans, we’re given to a certain glass-half-full worldview at the end of games. So it was lovely of the referees to hook us up on that.

Other thoughts and takeaways from the Eagles’ glorious victory this afternoon.

The Best Player On The Team. Welcome back, Brian Westbrook! That Eagles offense sure looks a lot more confident when the best player on the team is on the field. Westbrook looked limber and quick and didn’t seem to be feeling the effects of his recent rib injury. A buck-sixty-seven will do very well, thank you very much.

The long-awaited quarterback sneak. After weeks of braying from the blathertariat (yours truly included), we finally saw a Donovan McNabb quarterback keeper at the goal line. Which then touched off a Donovan McNabb touchdown celebration/ silly dance, which, quite frankly, we hadn’t seen in a while. The good folks at PE.com were kind enough to post the following ridiculous photos. We start with some Thriller…

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…followed by dog-at-the-hydrant…

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…and finished with a groin-loosening flourish.

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David Akers quiets the haters. It wasn’t the most challenging afternoon for David Akers, but whatever. He made all of his tries, and spared us all the awkwardness of discussing his job security for at least another week.

“Best of the Eagles Playbook” on display this afternoon. As if the split-back set on the goal line leading to a shovel pass wasn’t enough, the Eagles managed to call the fake-dive-and-pitch-outside to Westbrook on third-and-short late in the fourth quarter. That particular call was especially galling, since the result was exactly what our table at the bar expected. That is, prior to the play we specifically discussed how the Eagles would call this exact play as well as the precise manner in which it would fail. We mention this not to beat our chests, but as a stern warning: if idiot fans can call the play, I’m assuming that opposing defensive coordinators can as well.

The redemption of Lito! Good for that number-twenty-six fellow…what’s his name again? The backup cornerback who took that bad PI call but then made the big pick in the end zone? If he keeps trying super hard in practice, maybe he’ll play a little bit more!

Speaking of DBs. We loved the pick from Samuel, but the first Roddy White TD seemed to be as much Asante’s fault as anyone’s — especially since it looked like he was trying to jump the route and go for another interception. Oops. Don’t know if they discussed that on the telecast — we didn’t have audio at the bar.

Another rough day for the officials. In addition to the horrific blown call on the muffed punt, there were a couple other head-scratchers from the zebras, most notably the personal foul on Trent Cole for what was a perfectly textbook hit on Matt Ryan. There was no helmet-to-helmet contact, he hit him as he was throwing…I didn’t really get it.

The CamelCased One shows his age (yet again). So we can understand how DeSean Jackson has convinced himself that he’s still in college and that he can just run faster than everyone else, even if it means running backwards on punt returns. It worked against the Skins, why not try it again? Ugh. Forward, DeSean. Forward. Though it’s worth noting that we’re still excited enough about Jackson that we’re willing to write off yet another brain fart as a “harmless part of his maturation.” Enjoy it whilst it lasts, young fella!

Can Philly go 4-0 for the weekend (the Flyboys won yesterday as well)? We sure hope so. Go Phightins.

Eagles - Niners Preview: what horrors await?
Posted on October 12th, 2008 at 12:07 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

So that makes two weeks in a row of abject horror and frustration for Eagles’ fans.  The last two games, both tough losses, haven’t exactly been delightful samples of NFL entertainment.  We’ve watched our favorite team make crucial mistakes and get pushed around by decent-but-not-great opponents.  We rationalized the loss in week 2 to the Cowboys because we talked ourselves into the Cowboys being sooooo good.  We’re now out of excuses on that front.  The Birds are now in a position where they have to convince us that they are slightly better than mediocre.  And even that is unlikely to be settled this week.

Whatever anxiety you might feel as an Eagles’ fan today, don’t for a second think there’s a scenario where you feel significantly better at 8 pm this evening.  That is, even if the Eagles do emphatically win on the road, what do we know?  That the Eagles can triumph against another middle-of-the-road team?  Super.  Then we have two weeks to think about being 3-3 in the toughest division in the NFL.  And if they lose, well, time to dust off the Donovan McNabb and Andy Reid eulogies.

This is all a long way of saying that very little will be awesome this afternoon or for the next two weeks, and there’s the possibility that things could be really really awful for Eagles fans.  It’s the Kobiyashi Maru.

Everyone got that?  Sound sweet?  Negadelphia eanough for you?  Okay, on to things that’ll make me shout at the TV this afternoon:

What I imagine the Niners will be up to.  On offense?  How about Frank Gore off tackle left.  Followed by Frank Gore off tackle right.  Followed by Frank Gore off tackle left.  Lather rinse repeat.  The Eagles got downright pushed around last week, especially to the outside in the running game.  I imagine that the Niners will try to challenge the Eagles in a similar way.  And man do I hope that the Birds are up to stopping them.

What I hope the Eagles will be up to.  Throw it to number 10.  Run it with number 10.  Get him deep.  Run wide-receiver screens.  I’m shocked that a rookie is far and away the Birds’ most threatening player at this point, but he is.  And he’s got a bit of a homecoming thing happening here (played college ball across the bay) — let him show the locals that he’s a baller.  Sure, he might do something stupid, but that’s the rookie tax, and given the dearth of actual playmakers who made the trip, I think we’re all willing to pay it.

25?  Have a seat next to 37.  Fingers crossed that the Klecko-to-fullback move actually means Hunt-to-tailback which actually means Booker-to-bench.  Booker isn’t a lost cause quite yet, but it’s too early to expect much from him.  We’ll all feel better (especially 5) if he doesn’t see too many snaps.

Will Curtis play?  I would assume Curtis’ participation will be similar to Reggie Brown’s first week back — he’ll be out there, might see a ball or two, but we can’t expect fireworks.  Now’s definitely the moment to snag him in your imaginary football leagues though.

Does LJ read PFT?  So the Birds are interested in Tony Gonzalez?  How you feeling about that contract extension, LJ?

The defense is officially on the hook this week.  Shame on us all for focusing on the offense this week.  The Birds need their defense to play well if they’re going to win against the Niners.  We should assume a mediocre showing from the offense — they’re missing a bunch of starters.  The defense?  Nope.  They look pretty healthy.  This team needs help, and the defense was humiliated by the Redskins last week.   Sooo, Trent Cole, Asante Samuel, and other defensive players whose jerseys get sold?  Time to participate in the culture of accountability!

Obligatory David Akers non-excuse.  Dude, we do NOT want to hear about how windy it is out in San Francisco.  Seriously.  I’m mentioning this in advance.

A humble request.  Can the kickoff return team make a play?  Being in the stadium last week I finally got to see what the return team was up to, and it wasn’t very impressive.  Blocking was beat, and Demps seemed content to barrel into the back of the pile.  It’d be nice to start a drive beyond the 25-yard line.

And the score?  I’m a sucker.  A total sucker.  I actually believe that the Eagles can tough this out.  I think they’ll need some sort of Donovan McNabb scramble on a big play in the fourth quarter to seal it, but I think they get it done (ever so barely): Eagles 26, 49ers 22.

Go Birds.

And here I thought we might make it to October without a craptastic loss
Posted on September 29th, 2008 at 12:17 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

about to break off the pattern

On a weekend that the Phils clinched their second straight NL East championship, we didn’t really think that we’d be twice blessed with an Eagles victory on the road, did we? Without Brian Westbrook?

Despite the text messges I received upon landing in the Pacific Northwest last night (”Don’t even bother watching the game”), I plowed through the tape of the game, and the Birds weren’t terrible. The defense, in fact, was excellent in the second half. McNabb was fine — not great, but certainly on his game. But you pile up a couple injuries and stumble on a couple important plays and voila! You lose to the Bears!

(I hate to admit it, but I was a little Nancy Negative ahead of this game, and it looks like my anxieties weren’t completely unfounded.  SIGH.)

The thing is, most NFL games are close, and you have to expect to lose a couple close games each year. Last year’s team probably lost about 1.5 more close games than the league average (Packers, Bears, Seahawks and second Giants game come to mind); previous years’ teams lost fewer of the close ones. We’d like to believe that the Eagles are so formidable that they won’t even be in very many close games, but that’s just not true. They blew a close one last night; let’s hope that the next couple break their way.

My observations upon viewing last night/ this morning on my PC screen via Slingbox:

The Birds need some sort of Team-minus-36 plan.  This will be the most obvious and pedestrian thing I write all week, but man, it sure does look different without the 36 Chambers of Brian Westbrook out there.  Andy Reid needs to start working on the binder of plays for when they don’t have the best back in football on the field.  Cause it doesn’t seem like he tends to have very many good ideas.  Also, they miss Westbrook in a ton of ways – not just running the ball and scaring people with his placement in the formation, but the blitz pickups and blocking as well.  Buck whiffed a bit last night on those.  We won’t talk about Booker, other than to say….

…Booker isn’t there yet.  Seems like a decent situational/ once-in-a-while substitute, but this guy is not serviceable as a first-down back in the NFL.  And suddenly we’re a bit thin at that position.  The portions of the second half when Buck was out were horrfying.  Horrifying. 

We’ve found the weakest link.  Another solid game from the young linebackers.  Gocong even got into it a bit more this week (good for him on the sack), though I think Gocong might be sticking out on film as the “one you can beat if you want to” — that first touchdown was on him, and looked pretty similar to the Marion Barber TD catch from two weeks ago. 

Question I’d like someone to answer.  I’m wagering against the Eagles in prime time games until further notice.  I’m desperate to be disproven on this, but they’ve just been awful in night games for too long now.  Is there some sort of Kerry Collins-on-the-sauce-with-the-Giants thing at play here?  (My theory on Kerry Collins on Sunday night games with the Giants was that since it was a night game he’d clear himself to have a few extra drinks on Saturday — since the game wasn’t until later and he wouldn’t have to get up early — and this would inevitably snowball and leave him in terrible shape for the whole day Sunday.  Yeah, you’ll see me in hell for that one.)

And suddenly DeSean Jackson is our best offensive player?  I mean, that was it, right?  No B-West and suddenly Jackson is the number-one option?  Is that really the deal at this point?  Nice to see Reggie Brown catch some balls last night, though.  He looks like he’s getting back up to speed, and he’s had some great games against the Skins in the past – they’ll need that Sunday.

Marvels on the defensive line.  Someone who actually knows something about football needs to explain to me how a little dude (all characterizations relative, of course) like Dan Klecko keeps getting to the quarterback (and why Broderick Bunkley can’t).  I could not have been more wrong about Dan Klecko all summer.  And he keeps making plays.  Remarkable.  Also, at what point can we admit that Juqua Parker is playing really well and isn’t some sort of undersized liability? 

I agree with Les.  Should have used Dunavin down on the goal line.  He’s the most gifted guy on the field.  Let him win it for you.

Don’t discount the other injuries.  The running game missed Westbrook, obviously, but it also missed The Big Kid and L.J. Smith (editor’s note: we’re about 3 mm away from affixing “much maligned” to the front of L.J.’s name in the Word Press templates).  Probably wouldn’t have hated having those guys out there for the goal-line offense.  Ultimately, the offense probably looked crappy because it was missing four ostensible starters — and that was before Buck got dinged up.

Yeah, this one sooked.  The B-West injury watch vigil will continue all week ahead of a tough division game against a confident Redskins team.  Yikes!  On the upside, I bought myself some tickets to that one and will get to see it firsthand.  

Onwards.               

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. 

Trent Cole prefers wild and fair chase conditions
Posted on September 21st, 2008 at 12:37 am by Cheesesteak Hoagie

did we need to shoot at the pregnant one

I guess I had heard it mentioned that Eagles defensive end Trent Cole was into hunting, but I had no idea how into hunting he was until I checked out the web site of his hunting and hunting video production company, Cole Outdoor Productions (via Philly.com and the 700Level).

Whilst I’m not entirely sure what Cole Outdoor Productions actually does (do they just make the videos, or do they take you out and shoot video of other people’s hunting exploits?), I have to say I learned a lot in my brief time on his web site:

1. So these are the gun owners who actually want to hunt.  I’m pretty anti-gun/ pro-gun control, but, um, I guess these are the folks who aren’t kidding when they claim they want firearms for sport hunting purposes.  Though it looks like they mostly use bows and arrows.  I don’t know if that’s more or less scary.

2. They try to play fair.  In case you were getting squeamish, you’ll need to wait until at least the next few paragraphs.  Cole Outdoor Productions stresses that they only hunt their “game under wild and fair chase conditions.”  Right.  No word yet if that includes getting chipped by the tight end, though fair doesn’t seem to include bows and arrows for the deer.

3.  In case you wanted to send Trent Cole an e-mail, his address is listed on the front page of the site, under “Cameras for sale.”  Selling cameras, Trent?  Huh?  Can’t be any margins there.

4.  Dude, they shot at the pregnant one?  Video from the site presented below, with minimal commentary, though I must note that I was actually surprised that they shoot at the pregnant ones.  Also, if you’re into seeing Bambi take an arrow in the chest, this isn’t the video for you.

Sartorial concerns
Posted on September 6th, 2008 at 10:32 am by Cheesesteak Hoagie

Trent Cole shirt

It wouldn’t be football season if I didn’t treat myself to a fresh batch of Eagles-themed Officially Licensed Products.  Since I dialed it down a bit last season (t-shirt, hat), I thought a new jersey might be in the mix for the ‘08 season.  I hadn’t added a new jersey to the collection since November 2006, and that one was a gift.

(A most excellent gift, I might add, and ultimately virtually impossible to top in terms of groomsmen gifts.  Throwback jerseys?  I mean.  Genius.)

The last shirt I bought for myself was a Michael Lewis jersey in 2005.  YIKES.  Kind of got that one wrong.  And to be honest, I didn’t even expect that I’d buy one this year (sort of — I like to tell myself that I wasn’t going to buy one); thought I’d look for some sort of hoodie (this one was tempting, don’t get me wrong).

But then I was sitting in this all-day meeting last week (there’ve been a lot of all-day meetings of late), and my mind started to wander a bit.  So fired up the eBay.  Was just going to buy some shoes, to be honest, but then I thought I’d plug “eagles jersey” into the search bar.  Just to check.  And…what’s that?  A reasonably undervalued Trent Cole shirt in my size?  Sure, it’s the third-jersey color, but I didn’t have a black one yet.  And Trent Cole is surely deserving of increased jersey sales!  He’s the best defensive player on the team, relatively young, on a second contract; this certainly counts as a prudent investment.

(I was thinking about a DeSean Jackson shirt as well, but it’s too early.  Mostly the number 10 is a cool-ass number; there should be plenty of time for that conversation later if things go well for the kid.)

A few bids later (including some delivered via text-message over a thoroughly useful eBay SMS interface), the shirt was mine.  Fingers crossed that it arrives in today’s mail; want to make sure I’m properly geared up for tomorrow.

Facci Sognare!
Posted on December 16th, 2007 at 1:49 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

dallas fans eat catsI really wish I was a little more excited about the game this afternoon. The Birds’ season is pretty much through, and I’m mostly concerned that the team has already quit — meaning that I’m going to watch them capitulate to the Cowboys this afternoon with little to no resistance.

That would not be sweet.

All I can think of as kickoff approaches is the opening lines from the very fabulous A Season With Verona by Tim Parks:

FACCI SOGNARE says the banner. Make us dream! Please!”

And really, that’s what I’m asking for this afternoon. I know there are no playoffs (much less a Super Bowl) in the Birds’ immediate future. I’m rational. That’s all done.

I just want something to get excited about. Something to convince me that these guys are worth rooting for and that next year might be better than this one. (Read the rest of this story.)



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