Saturday, March 31, 2007
Like I doubt Emperor Xerxes would've been borne about on a palanquin that must've needed a giant forklift to hold up (below). But it sure looked impressive on the big screen.
I tell you what, the premiere showing the movie tonight flooded Misawa Air Base's single-screen theater, named the Richard Bong Theater (sorry I don't have the story behind him at the tip of my tongue). So, hitting the "Bong" means something completely different here in Japan. And let me tell you, folks turned out in force for this movie. You see normally, you can walk right up five minutes before the show starts, and walk right in, its never lacking for seats. About 400 or so people can sit, and the most I've ever seen at a movie prior to The 300, was a not-quite-half-full premiere showing of Casino Royale. This one had folks lined down the stairs and stretched out down the front side of the parking lot.
Its the only time going to the theaters has felt even remotely like going to the movies back home. OK, so that's a stretch, it was f'ing COLD last night and I had on my big Eagles Sideline Parka (the new Reebok kind that my folks got me), I don't think I've had to wear more than a windbreaker when going to the big multiplex in downtown Honolulu (god, I miss Ward Center).
But back to the movie. The actions sequences are too many to describe here, but they are uniformly tremendous. I don't know if actors against a CG-backdrop will completely catch on (The movie was done completely on green screen) and I'm sure the artificial look may have turned some viewers off, but I was fine with it. Again, I enjoyed the same type of CG effects in Sin City. I think its adds a unique feel to the adaptations. And it helps to be a Frank Miller fan. I've loved his stuff ever since I bought the original Hard Boiled series back when I went to Pitt.
Friday, March 30, 2007
Thursday, March 29, 2007
When asked about the play calling next season: "I'll probably let Marty call 'em this year. I thought he did a nice job last year. I have a lot of trust in Marty. I felt real good about it. It freed me up to see a little bit more of what was going on."
When asked about offensive balance next season: Reid said he hopes to continue with the same kind of run-pass balance the Eagles showed at the end of the season after Garcia replaced McNabb. "It will probably be very similar; yeah, it'll probably be very similar to how we finished the season," he said.
If you love the Birds, then you this has got to be music to your ears. Probably the single greatest gripe about the offense going into (and continuing through the beginning of) last season was the Eagles insistence on airing it out. Not in select situation, but the entire time. All game, every game, runs were token offerings, called on merely to keep opposing teams honest. The results were sometimes electrifying (when it works, boy does it work!), sometimes satisfying (after the O bailed us out of a few games), and sometimes stupefying (during those times when not having any semblance of a meaningful running game - late in the 4th qtr with a lead, or in critical 3rd and short situations - often meant the difference between a win and coin-toss nail-biter that could go either way).
Well, there is also cause for hope and Kool-Aid drinking. The reason: the turn around that Brian Westbrook (and Garcia) helped stir with a truly balanced attack. You see part of the reason for the Eagles failures (when Donovan got injured the Eagles were 5-4 despite him performing at a very high level) was their total reliance on the pass. After McNabb went down, the Eagles turned their season around with the more traditional run/pass attack. THAT, I think opened Andy's eyes a bit.
Check out these comments about Westbrook's previously questionable durability: "It was a big step for him," the Eagles coach said. "You get through the season relatively healthy, you put together a good year and you go in with a little more confidence that you can do that the next year. You don't have people questioning you quite as much. I think it always was in the back of his mind coming into the year. Now he's kind of put that to rest and he knows he can do it, and everybody else knows he can do it."
Those comments hold a LOT of promise for Eagles fans who know a balanced offense can not only light it up on the field, it can help out our Defense but giving them adequate rest. Having a worn-out defense playing 35-40 minutes a game early in the season, really depleted the tanks. A more rested defense maybe helps pull out one of the losses (maybe, just musing here) and thus avoid a road trip game in January.
Man, this has been a fairly productive off-season for the Birds, no?
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
I will be taking more photos of the local landscape et al over the coming weeks. To be honest the majority of the 80-odd pics we have so far are of the "boys." I don't think we've ever taken out the camera without taking pics of Zaar and/or DJ.
So without further ado:these are photos of the view out the "back"
And here are couple of the boys (told ya)
enjoying a bit of Sun....and getting a real treat, getting to lick the tupperware we used for the meat on "Taco night":
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
How did I accomplish this feat? Why, by using the time-tested wash-the-car method. I tell you what folks, I should have skipped the hassle, and not even bothered to dry the car two days ago.....I mean I might as well have donned a buckskin loincloth, feathered headdress and chanted out a rain-dance while beating on a drum out in the alley (now that woulda been a sight for my Japanese neighbors).
Cause pow, I got that afternoon of clear weather, Murphy called up the storm clouds overnight and it rained for a good two days (not straight, like the rainy season, but off and on most the day). So not only has Murphy established a Tokyo office, he's instilled a Japanese work ethic in his evil little leprechauns of mischief.
How do I know this? You see, I work from home. There are days when I don't go out, the car doesn't leave it sheltered spot. But if I stay inside too long, I get a little batty, so I will find somewhere to go (usually the base). Such was the case yesterday. So, I weathered the first day of rain (which scored by hitting the wife's station wagon - which I had also washed), but in a stunning display of Japanese-like efficiency, Mr. Murphy kept his boys on the job until it was complete, scoring a hit on the ole Toyota when I traveled into base to work out (when I left it was clear, by the time I made it to base, it was already drizzling - DAMMIT - they're good)
Monday, March 26, 2007
The Eagles have kept on chugging this off-season. They struck again and shored up another key deficiency on the team, trading DT Darwin Walker and a conditional 7th round pick to the Buffalo Bills for LB Takeo Spikes and QB Kelly Holcomb.
Well, that alleviates the surplus of DTs on the team. Looks like Walker's superior numbers (he can really kick ass when he wants to) made him more attractive as trade-bait than the slightly larger plugger Rayburn.
What does this do for the Eagles LB Depth? Spikes instantly moves to the top of the chart at Strongside LB, and makes Dhani Jones' days in an Eagles uniform numbered. Count on it. No way they keep Jones with other younger, cheaper prospects like Gocong and Daniels ready to battle for back-up slots and playing time. I wouldn't be surprised to see him go in a draft day move, but he might had around until camp if there are no takers (and I would be surprised if there were, to be honest).
2005 Spikes had an Achilles tear....out of the year. 2006 was the comeback year, and while he was on the field, its the same as any other year-long injury, the next year is always a little tough (hmm, something to keep in mind as Donovan and Jevon come back from knee injuries).
He's 30, true, but 30 is not a complete death knell for players. Yes, Trotter is 30 as well, but he's shown clear signs of wearing down after injuries earlier in his career - not sure the same can be said for Spikes....He's been a very good LB in this league, and remember, he only signed for 2 more years....Any SB pro-ration he had left gets applied to the Bills' cap, and the Eagles become responsible for the base salary and any as-yet-unpaid incentives...(probably none, except for some ProBowl incentives). Since most base salaries are not guaranteed, if he doesn't perform, he gets cut next year w/little impact.
And what about the other player the Eagles acquired, QB Kelly Holcomb. The first question that came to mind was: why? PFT and others have speculated that its because the Eagles aren't sold on A.J. Feeley. While I can see how those thoughts would come to mind, I disagree with that analysis. We know what A.J. can do. Our offense and A.J. go together like peanut butter and jelly. He might've sucked in Miami, but the guy can sit all year, and they come in and perform in the Eagles system like he's been playing for months. Its uncanny, but I have no trepidation about A.J. holding down the fort for the Birds if Donovan needs to delay his start to the 2007 season by a few weeks or a month (now, half the season or more....that's a little dicey)....
So why Holcomb? Well, for one he's not an expensive option. Holcomb is inked through 2008, at $1.485 million and $1.535 million. Still that is more than you'd normally pay for #3 emergency QB (o.k. not that much more, but more). My impression of his inclusions points to two probably outcomes:
1) the Eagles are paying heed to an adage they ignored at their peril for years before 2006, you can never too many QBs. So, Holcomb becomes an #3 with starting experience, JUST IN CASE. Worst case scenario insurance. OR,
2) the Eagles realize that every draft, and then every July/Aug period seem to be filled with teams seeking back-up QB depth. Since the Birds already have one they're comfortable with, having another QB with starting experience on the roster opens up a variety of possible moves. Perhaps the Eagles feel they can deal Holcomb in the future (given his cap #, he's very affordable) for something greater than what they gave up (a conditional 7th round draft choice in 2008). *** Remember the Eagles secured the Seahawks' 2008 7th round choice in the Josh Parry trade last year - so its not like they're losing a pick. ***
Last but not least - Thank You Darwin Walker. You were a good player, and even if you frustrated a lot of us by flashing some incredible potential but never quite delivering it on a consistent basis, you still gave us some great work over the years.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
I dunno how many of you out there speak pidgin, but its sorta
the official language of 'da islands'
HAWAIIAN DRIVERS LICENSE APPLICATION
Please try fo complete dis as bes as you can.
You get 30 days for pau.
Las name: _________________________________________
[If your las name no fit, continue on da other
side da page.]
[ ] Junior
[ ] Junior Boy
[ ] J.B. (short for Jr. Boy)
[ ] Honey Girl
[ ] Tita
[ ] Sista
[ ] Bradda
[ ] Sista-Girl
What year you wen grad: ____ (if unsure, try guess)
Sex: [ ]M [ ]F [ ]Mahu [ ]None
Slippa size: ____ Left ____ Right
[ ] Small kine
[ ] Mejum
[ ] Small kine big
[ ] Momona
[ ] Blind as one bat
[ ] Bad, but not dat bad
[ ] She go!
[ ] Black and Blue
[ ] Construction worka
[ ] Sanitation Engineea
[ ] Surfa
[ ] Lei greeta
[ ] Waitress
[ ] Strippa
[ ] Un-employed
[ ] Bishop Estate Trustee
Spouse's Name: ______________________________
2nd Spouse's Name: __________________________
3rd Spouse's Name: __________________________
Lover's Name: _______________________________
2nd Lover's Name: ___________________________
[ ] Hawaiian
[ ] Popolo
[ ] Japanee
[ ] Filipino
[ ] Haole
[ ] Portagee if yes; explain why:
[ ] Pake if yes; explain why:
[ ] All da above
Numba of children living in household: ______
Numba of children living in your
household das not yours: _____
Numba of children thats buming off
you das over 23 years old: _______
Mother's Name: ___________(Relation__________)
Father's Name: ___________(Relation__________)
Edumacation: 1 2 3 4 (Circle highest grade completed)
If you obtained one higha yea school what was your maja?
[ ] 5th grade
[ ] 6th grade
Cawheelas you own and where dey stay:________________
___ Total number of cawheelas you own
___ Numba of cawheelas that still crank ova
___ Numba of cawheelas wit rust
___ Numba of cawheelas no mo rust
___ Numba of cawheelas on cement blocks
___ Numba of cawheelas stay held together with duct tape.
Age you started fo drive ______
(If over 10 slow learner?) [ ]Yes [ ]No
Do you have a surf rack? [ ] Yes [ ] No;
If no, try explain:
Color of teeth:
[ ] Yellow
[ ] Brownish-Yellow
[ ] Brown
[ ] Black
[ ] N/A
How far is your home from a paved road?
[ ] 1 miles
[ ] 2 miles
[ ] don't know
Distance between you and da beach? ______
Do you live on beach front property
but don' own a house or da land?
___ Yes Try explain:
How many times have you gotten away with
a DUI this year because you was
related to da policeman? ____
How much pakalolo do you smoke a day?
[ ] 1 joint [ ] 2 joints
[ ] would smoke but cost more den gold.
How much beer do you drink a day?
[ ] 6 pack [ ] 12 pack [ ] 18 pack [ ] case
How do you know that you had too much to drink?
[ ] You fall out da car when da policeman opens da ca door.
[ ] Da keg is empty.
[ ] You Haole but your eyes look like de from one Japanese.
[ ] Last time you went bathroom da toilet wen ovahflo.
[ ] All of the above.
You tired walk and carry your surfboard
all da way back and forth every day?
You like get one wallet so you can put
da driver license inside for impress your friends?
___ Yes ___ No ___ Always
You promise fo drive straight and smile to all
da ada drivers and no fool around and make
funny kine in da car?
___ Yes ___ No ___ Why
Saturday, March 24, 2007
The background is simple. 10th grade Chemistry. And an 11th grader, Steve Clymer tells about this awesome book, with these wicked bad-ass battle scenes, and he describes this awesome underground/cellar battle between thieves and warriors and the undead....BAM....me and my friends are out buying copies of the Magician.Well lo' and behold, the tale is incredible. Its way too much to describe here. But I was hooked.
I am a little bit behind the times, but I just found out that the Books I loved growing up are getting the full on graphic novel treatment!
You can pre-order it from Amazon (or whichever retailer you prefer, here in Japan, I've got ONE choice - online - and I've used Amazon without a hiccup since its inception, so its a bit of brand loyalty for ya)
Evidently there is 4-part issues in comic form, but a 168-page hardbound edition is heading to the shelves.
Check out some of this art by Brett Booth and here too
I thought this might Martin Longbow, but turns out to be Meecham, the assist to the mage Kulgan who becomes the tutor of the primary character: Pug (top picture)
Above: the cover art for the 3rd of the aforementioned comic adaptations. Crydee.com lists 4 of them. So I think its an introductory piece that leads into the hardcore version.
Friday, March 23, 2007
The two should be punished appropriately for their crimes. If that means some jail time, so be it. If they have good enough lawyers to plea bargain for half-way houses, rehab/treatment facilities, and the like, then I think a thousand hours of community service might shake the right tree (that's about six months of 40hr work weeks....) - and no, helping the team doesn't constitute community service.
Well anyway, the Eagles were mentioned as interested in trading for the Denver Broncos middle linebacker Al Wilson, which would be really cool, except of course, I don't see many needs on the Denver team that the Eagles have excess with. Perhaps some D-Line guys, but if reports are true, Denver may be floating this trade idea because they need to trim some salary after an expensive spending binge in free agency. That means cheaper guys, and that means draft picks, which the Eagles hoard this time of year.
Then Wilson was all but gone to the Giants, but I just read that he failed his physical with the vaGiants, so it looks like that won't happen. The Giants got bit again when the Texans matched their offer to restricted free agent FB Vonta Leach, so I guess Reuben Droughens won't have a new running mate. The Cowboys did bolster their secondary by signing Ken Hamlin, formerly of the Seahawks. Not earth-shattering, but its a solid move, playing a rookie opposite Roy Williams was a disaster for the Cowpokes last season as Pat Watkins got lit up time and again. Funny thing is, this year he'd probably be a lot better. He's tall, rangy, and he's not slow, just inexperienced. Still Hamlin only signed for one-year, so this gives the 2nd-yr guy some space to breathe.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
So then I found the ad:
Actually it pretty cool. The creator gave the hammer-thrower an iPod which I thought was a nice touch.
Its also funny to see folks CYA even though they didn't do anything wrong. Like the company: "Pursuant to company policy regarding outside political work or commentary on behalf of our clients or otherwise, Mr. de Vellis has been terminated from Blue State Digital effective immediately." and the Obama camp: Obama told CNN's "Larry King Live" on Monday the video was something they didn't "have the technical capacity to create." I think Barack handled it about as well as could be expected and the self-deprecating humor won him some cool points.
Ironically, the creator wasn't a Clinton-hating Neo-con, but a democrat, Phillip de Vellis, skeptical of Hillary's message and sincerity. I am SHOCKED that anyone would question the integrity of a politican surnamed Clinton- Truly SHOCKED! Well at least this should blow over quickly enough, no vast right-wing conspiracy to blame, just the new state of "politics as usual." Each side will formally keep their hands clean; comforted in the knowledge than either special interest groups or individuals with no official affiliation or association with the campaign will be more than happy to pick up the mud-slinging slack.
Ought to be an interesting run-up to the primaries next year.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
The acquisition isn't going to make Eagles fans ga-ga. I mean, Reagor is a 285-lb pass-rushing disruptor-type; not the giant 300-lb+ run-stuffer that a lot of us would love to have and feel, quite correctly I might add, this team needs. That said, here is why the signing makes some sense: Reagor fits the Eagles system. Now I don't like a system that seems allergic to big DT the way Defensive Coordinator Jim Johnson's system seems to be, but Reagor would've been a solid contributor to the Colts SB run last year if he hadn't gotten injured.
We can debate the pro/cons of DT weights all day long, it doesn't change the fact that the Birds are going to scheme with an "undertackle" (a "lighter" guy like Mike Patterson or Reagor) and a somewhat larger DT who's primary function I would like to believe is to consume blocks at the point of attack. (I use the quotes, because the Eagles don't have a true big-body at DT, Brodrick Bunkley and Sam Rayburn are the largest - listed at 300 & 303 respectively).
Here is what the signing does in an instant: It makes some folks expendable. With them under contract, look for the Eagles to make some draft day moves and I think we may just see a name like Rayburn or Walker fly the nest to another team in return for a Day 2 pick.
This is how the DT situation shakes out after the signing:
Patterson and Bunkley still have to thought of as being our starters, we NEED them to be. Reagor, Rayburn, Darwin Walker and LaJuan Ramsey round out the DT currently on the team.
6 names. for 5 positions. Even a Cowboys fan can do that math...
I can see it breaking out like this with Patterson, Bunkley, Reagor and Ramsey being our top 4 with both Walker and Rayburn's names being bandied about as trade-bait. Not that I think Ramsey is all-that, but I think the way the other two have peaked or plateaued Ramsey got the better upside...(who knows maybe that makes HIM more likely to get traded). AR likes him his linemen though, and even though the Eagles "only" invested a 6th round pick in Ramsey, I think he showed enough promise last year (before a late season fade) to warrant somewhat higher expectations this year.
Could both Walker AND Rayburn go with the final spot getting filled in by someone else? I guess its possible, but I'm not sure JJ would want to trust 3 or his 4 primary DT slots to two second-year guys and Reagor....I think the competition Raegor's addition brings to the bunch is a good thing. Ramsey cannot sit on his hands, neither can Walker or Rayburn, all those dudes better bring it, cause if the Eagles don't move on of them on draft day, then you can bank on a move later on.
Good for him. I've got little patience and less time for folks like Rush who are so far to one side (in his case the right) that they see zero validity in others arguments. If I have to get up early (say 5am) I get "treated" his show on AFN satellite news coverage. ugh. Not something I want to wake up to, let me tell you. I'll say this he was "better" than Al Franken, but no less slanted (just in the opposite direction).
Anyways, its just nice to see a Republican not wedded to the far right. I think we need more like him, like Rudi and McCain....the less polarization the better in my book.
Monday, March 19, 2007
Now for a little Philly sports, cause I know you can't get enough.
Bill Conlin wants Phillies phans to curb their enthusiasm a bit. Sage advice from Philly's resident oracle of baseball knowledge.
And the 76ers just lost by 50. I kid you not FIFTY POINTS! I love the headline "Chairman Yao Rules the Sixers". For shame fellas. For a team that has done much to blow its chance at a high lottery pick and a shot at Greg Oden or Kevin Durrant this must've been a helluva wake-up call. Sorry boyos. You just can't cut it in real competition.
As for the Flyers...could their season get anymore miserable? They gave GM Paul Holmgren two more years, but I don't know. That franchise has lost its way somehow....I don't follow hockey much anymore cause I figured out I could live without the NHL when they shitcanned the season a couple of years ago. So now, no, I don't really care.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Here a funny thing on the syndicated Money Talk radio program this morning (yeah, its odd to set the alarm on a Sunday morning, but we wanted to go the the kick-ass brunch the E-Club has every Sunday). Anyway, the talk is about credit card companies gouging the shit out of their customers...and the Senate is leading an inquiry into this (finally). So we get this blurb of legalese that the banks smother their customers with in those official "explanations" and for the life of me I still cannot figure out how daily interest is computed.
So I though, why not just design some pictograms (picture worth a thousand words and all that shit). I figured the daily computation of interest could just be a stick figure bent over. For an explanation of late fees, there could be a baseball bat hit it stick figure in his stick knees....and so on.
In other news:
Beware the Baggers - two good sammaritans blast a would-be purse-snatcher
I don't care if this woman is bi-polar or not, she should be put in a cage and drowned in the nearest pool. Stupid bitch.
Carol Burnett suing Family Guy? Looks that way.
28 DUI/DWIs?? How the fuck is this asshole not in jail yet?
About the only thing John McCain did by using the term "tar baby" was date himself. I haven't heard that one in a LONG time.
In stark contrast to the animal-hating bipolar bitch, this Air Force vet went the extra mile to save his pooch. Way to go dude.
And finally, in a sad note of passing. A Cowboys icon, Crazy Ray, passed away. I might hate the 'Boys, but its fans like this guy that make the game fun.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
While its a plus for continuity, it doesn't address the fundamental flaw in our backfield by not having a true hammer to bust up the gut on 3rd and 1. Moreover, with McNabb rehabbing, I expect all-too-rare QB sneak to be practically eliminated from the Eagles repertoire this year; making a large reliable ball-carrier a little bit more than a nicety and more on the necessity side.
I do hope the signing does not preclude the Birds from taking a guy like Brian Leonard from Rutgers or another BOUS (back of unusual size) [kudos to whoever identified the proper movie reference].
Besides a potential draft pick, I really do not anticipate any further work being done to address the offense - it basically returns intact, with the sole difference being Curtis instead of Stallworth.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
6 years/30 mill (which a couple of escalators that could make it worth $32 mill) - $9.5 of which is guaranteed money.
Not bad. According Profootballtalk.com the salary breaks out thusly: Curtis gets a $7 million in bonus money: $2 million signing bonus and a $5 million roster bonus. The remainder of the guaranteed money comes from a fully-guaranteed base salary of $1 million in 2007 and $1.5 million in guaranteed base salary in 2008. His total 2008 base salary is $2 million, and he's due to receive a $1.5 million roster bonus in March of next year.
Right now I have no clue how this affects the Eagles Cap, but I doubt they'd make a signing would require them to get all shifty with the cap and have to cut players to have any further flexibility (they might go ahead and convert someone else's deal to Create some space)....
My thoughts on this deal
- Do I like the signing? I'm O.K. with it. Personally, I would've spent the same money to keep Donte' but I think the Birds adequately addressed the hole left by his departure. Curtis is NOT a bad player.
- Now that the Eagles have addressed WR, there is no chance they'll draft one
- The signing paves the way for the Eagles to do the following in the draft: Round 1 (#26) - take the best defensive player available (LB, DB) Round 2 - take the best Big Back to compliment Westbrook (Rutgers' Leonard anyone?), Round 3 - address the position you didn't in Round 1 (DB or LB, perhaps even DL)
- This deal shows me the Eagles weren't "afraid" to make a deal, or "cheap" as many of accused them of being. But I don't Super-agent Drew Rosenhaus would've accepted a similar deal for Stallworth. Of course, I also think that based on the substance program stuff, the Eagles probably would've wanted stricter language written in the contract and more protection. Finally Tom Heckert on Sirius' NFL Talk show discussed how the Eagles weren't interested in matching or making a Patriots-type offer that all but guarantees Stallworth will be an unrestricted free agent next year as well (unless they decide to break the bank for him and pay all those bonuses).
- Barring injury (crossed fingers) Curtis and Reggie Brown will be the Starting WRs for the Eagles on Opening Day.
The Rest of the WR corps breaks out like this in my mind:
First WR off the Bench in the 3-WR set: Hank Baskett
Second WR off the Bench for 4-WR sets: Jason Avant
#5 WR/KR: Jeremy Bloom or Bethel Johnson - open competition
Odd-man out right now: Greg Lewis and whichever undrafted camp cuts from last year (Like JJ Outlaw and Gasperson, etc) that held out some hope to make the team.
Is the deal a good one? Well the Eagles willing to spend tells me that they could've kept Donte'. That said, the Eagles paid what the market currently demands for a player like Curtis (just two years ago that price mightve been in the 5yr/low20s range, just goes to show you what a difference a year or two makes).
Curtis' numbers dipped last year after a strong '05 campaign. The reasons are plain: 1) Isaac Bruce was not injured very much in '06 like he was in '05, so Curtis clearly was the #3 behind Bruce and all-world Torry Holt for the Rams last year; 2) New coach Scott Linehan RAN the ball A LOT more last year, which meant fewer 3-WR sets and fewer chances for Curtis.
What will be able to do with the Eagles? Time will tell. The Eagles don't spend money frivolously, but I have to hope this signing works out better than the Darren Howard signing....(who by the way, could be gone after the '07 season with little cap damage if he underachieves again).
However I started to formulate some alternatives the Eagles might consider to bolster the team. Lets face it, the Eagles let Donte' Stallworth walk away, and apparently are not all that interested in getting into a bidding war for the services of the clear #2/3 wideout like Kevin Curtis - despite his speed.
Perhaps the Eagles might go for a player like Dwayne Bowe of LSU. He's big and fast, 6'2", 218 with the ubiquitous "40 time" ranging from 4.4 to 4.5 seconds. The funny part: as I caught a relatively rare glimpse of NFL Network on TV tonight, the commentator wasn't all that impressed with his speed...is 4.4-4.5 not fast enough anymore...for a guy that size!! You're kidding me right?
Ok, so I still believe that the Eagles have some more pressing needs on defense. BUT if they plug a couple of holes (say a Big back and a DB), I wouldn't be upset at all if they landed a prospect like Bowe with the #26 pick...
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
The facts are simple, we can do and say just about whatever we damn well please, but we CANNOT do it in uniform or claim to be representing the military when we do it (common sense stuff, you cannot attend a political rally or a social protest in uniform - that kinda stuff, because the military NEEDS to keep its feet out of the political spectrum).
But OOPSIE, here we have the CJCS looking like he needs to learn a lesson the Armed Forces spends a ton of time trying to instill in the lowliest private - keep your personal feelings just that, and shut yer trap in uniform and do your job....mixing the military up in politics is a recipe for turmoil.
I have no problem serving alongside a homosexual person. Hell I don't want to know what goes in my co-workers bedrooms. So long as the person in question comports themselves professionally and does their job, I could care less if they're a bone-smuggler or a carpetmuncher.
I am not a proponent of "gay rights", I mean, I'm not going to be a gay right activist or vote to support a solely rainbow-oriented agenda. I'm more of live and let live kinda person. That said...
This DOES kinda rub me wrong: an LA fertility clinic dedicating a program to support gay men who want to have kids....Something about that makes my uncomfortable. You know, look you can't have kids naturally, just deal with it...I see it as different from helping infertile women or women with trouble getting pregnant. Maybe its not, but what I can say? I'm not perfect, it doesn't sit well with me.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
For those keeping score at home:
Key Losses: WR Stallworth, QB Garcia, DBs Hood & Lewis
Key Retentions: DBs Mikell and James, DE Thomas, QB Feeley (extension past '08)
New Additions: WR Bethel Johnson
Still in play: RBs Buckhalter and Mahe (though its safe to assume he's a goner), LB Barber
However because the Eagles have let 4 players walk, and only signed 1 in return, a lot of fans are getting antsy, no one wants to take a step back, and the notoriously complex schemes the Eagles prefer seem to make it awfully hard for many players to come in as rookies and contribute immediately. (but that's an analysis I've already delved into and won't repeat here).
Here's how Spuds sees it.
I have to say its surprisingly refreshing to see some frank appraisals of key Eagles performances and discussion of their needs. They do need to replace the legit downfield threat Stallworth's presence provided. A complimentary back to Westbrook (someone with size and power) is a necessity as well. Better play from the D-Line and a play-making LB would be nice too.
Here is what I would do:
Sign two FAs to plug in the offensive holes:
say Corey Dillon for the Big back...this gives us a good veteran presence/toughness and a not-so shabby limited term insurance policy in case Westbrook misses a game or two
sign Kevin Curtis to replace the deep threat. He's got the speed, we all know that.
Then draft defense
Alternate scenario to address some defensive concerns via FA, and perhaps go take a couple of offensive guys on the first day of the draft.
- sign Kawika Mitchell, the Chiefs UFA. He's an every down LB and those are pretty rare (and other than OG, non-existent on the Eagles roster). I would go with Mitchell, personally, because the only other feasible LB who might fit our system is Cato June, and he probably expects a sizable payday
- perhaps bring in a guy like Titans UFA DT Robaire Smith to shore up the middle of the line with a vet (this would precipitate the departure of say perhaps a Rayburn or a Darwin Walker)
Then choose the best player available at #26 (be they WR, RB or DB) and address the other two positions with the #2 and #3 picks
Well there you have it. A plan...will it come to fruition? Stay tuned
Monday, March 12, 2007
Now we still have Reggie, and Hank Baskett flashed some potential, and I know the team liked second-year guy Jason Avant as a slot-receiver as well, but we don't have a deep-threat on the roster like we had with Stallworth. Reggie proved he could get down the field last year, and he really stepped up when Donte' went down, but Brown is less of blow-by-ya guy and more of guy that does it with guile and route-running.
I do not know what the Eagles plan is, and while I remain confident they do have one, decisions like this one are puzzling.
Now I know they brought Kevin Curtis in for a look, and that they almost always make an offer to folks who visit. And IF they sign Curtis, it will go a long, long way towards assuage the trepidation I feel about losing a valuable player like Donte'. Just don't try and tell me that the Birds will rely on Bethel Johnson to be a viable threat. Not buying...
Saturday, March 10, 2007
I have to say that Fox's participation would have guaranteed a wide, cross-over audience. But the story isn't that, its about the Democrats caving to the far-left sliver of their party (something they so often accuse (correctly sometimes) the Republicans of doing with the far-right).
Now there is an excuse: Fox Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes made the following joke Thursday night speech to a group of radio and television news directors. "It's true that Barack Obama is on the move," Ailes said, "I don't know if it's true President Bush called [Pakistan President Pervez] Musharraf and said, 'Why can't we catch this guy?'" Now the CNN story inserted the followed in the middle of that quote: 'deliberately confusing the Illinois senator's name with that of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.' (emphasis is mine)
FOR SHAME, Roger...why would you use such a lame joke...
oh C'mon people. If anything Ailes just bashed the shit of President Bush, and did so by parodying a joke that's been ALL-OVER late night TV....OH MY GOD, STOP THE PRESSES. But that's not what got the Dems' panties in a bunch, it was that the devil-spawn FOX CEO dared to sully the name of the golden boy Barack.
Can you say 'Holy fucking overblown' Batman? The Las Vegas Review-Journal gave this stinging rebuke of the Democratic cowardice over this issue: "...the socialist, Web-addicted wing of the Democratic Party was apoplectic. The prospect of having to watch Fox News to see their own candidates would have been torture in itself. So they set the blogosphere aflame with efforts to kill the broadcast arrangement, or at least have all the candidates pull out of the event."
My take: this psuedo-"moral outrage" is a joke. No political party cares about that stuff, and NO politican seeking the highest office in the land should turn from a chance to be seen voters. This just confirms that a little sliver of the Democratic Party feels like IT should control everything. I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican, and this is part of the reason. The holier-than-thou shit from both sides sickens me.
Watch FOX News, I dare you. I watch every major Network and Cable New channel on one station thanks to the Armed Forces Network. I've seen MSNBC go off the radical left deep-end with coverage so biased I can only shake my head. Network NBC and CBS are slightly better, ABC under Charles Gibson is doing very well trying to cut it down the middle as is CNN. PBS (NewsHour with Jim Lehrer) is impeachable. As for FOX - it depends on the show. Certain shows most assuredly lean right-of-center, but most shows are quite careful to have folks on-the-air showcasing the opposite of the argument, and to be fair, AFN does not have enough time to broadcast them all (we get O'Reilly, Shep Smith, Special Report, Hannity and Colmes, and we did get Cavuto for a while). It has some broad panel shows that has a wide variety of left, center and right commentators/contributors. My personal favorite is Special Report with Brit Hume.
There is a LOT of talk going on in the Nest lately. Names like Corey Dillon (RB), Kevin Curtis (WR), Mike Doss (S) and Ryan Fowler (who? LB) are being bandied about as potential Free Agent acquisitions.
But then again you already know that, cause my Rants page is not exactly stop #1 on the Eagles information train. Nor should it be. It is one of the best for analysis on the Eagles moves if you ask me.
IF some of the players the Eagles are rumored as pursuing wind up signing with the Birds, in the next week or so we could have:
- our WR corps set (either with Curtis or Stallworth, dunno which way this goes, but apparently Andy Reid came in front his family sabbatical to give the pitch to Curtis and called him personally to ask him to make Philly a stop on his FA tour. That counts for A LOT in my opinion. if you asked me right now - Curtis has the inside track).
- a big complimentary back to WB (so Dillon is interest in the Birds, if the price is right, it may happen)
- a new safety (Mike Doss, again, its reported that Big Red himself called Doss to ask him to consider the Eagles. In Bird-land, when the man with all the feathers flaps, things get done)
- potential LB (this RFA Ryan Fowler or perhaps a vet like Donnie Edwards or Ike Reese).
Personally, I would be happy if any TWO of the above occurred...
If so, the outlook for the Eagles Draft Day strategy would change some.
LB - not guaranteed, but I definitely think that if no FA help is signed that the Eagles would look to shore up the LB position with a first day pick. We need another play-maker besides OG.
DE - oddly enough, a late round pick here -- perhaps to see if they can strike some "Cole Gold" again--makes sense. Obviously McDougle is a waste of time, and I just can't see him surviving training camp to make the roster (again). A young DE also could provide the Birds some future flexibility--after the 2007 season-- say to cut a player like Darren Howard (if he has another disappointing year) or even Kearse (should he be unable to recover from his injury).
S/CB - Will James is here for another year and if Doss comes in a DB on Day 1 might NOT be the most obvious choice. However, a DB could make sense, it would let the coaches groom a young guy (in anticipation of James leaving) w/o having to rely on him to play a ton. IF Doss signs then we'll have our 4 safeties for the next couple of years, so a CB would be the way to go. If NOT then a safety would be at least an equal if not greater need for the DBs.
DT - We got two last year, lets see if they can play. Unless by some weird chance a really good one falls into our lap, I just don't see it.
Now for the Offense:
OL - please no more O-Linemen. I know O-Lineman are like crack to AR but could we just have ONE year without drafting a OL? First, we got mega-depth there by scoring with two undrafted guys last year (Pat McCoy and Nick Cole) add in #2 pick Winston Justice and #4 pick Max Jean-Gilles, plus third year man Scott Young....and we've got an entire second offensive line that could probably start for some of the weaker teams in the NFL. Unless something drastic happens I think our 10 OL are set...even if they want to stoke competition, the Front Office has done such a good job digging up undrafted OL gems, why waste a pick?
QB - you know if the right guy comes along, why not spend that second day OL pick on a QB instead. You never know when you might need one.
WR - I think FA will settle this position, and that the Eagles will not expend a pick on a WR unless something unexpected happens.
RB - Depends on FA, but I think the odds of us getting a veteran bruise like Dillon are iffy, at best. Much simpler to use a first day pick to pick up fresh-legged basher like Rugters' Leonard or Penn State's Hunt.
TE - interesting possibilities here. LJ Smith is in the final year of his contract and mediocre dudes like Daniel Graham and Visanthe Shiancoe scoring mega-contracts....You cannot have a roster full of mega-contracts....I think a new TE is a definite possibility in the draft.
K/P - um NO...Akers is here to stay, and I'm pulling for Rocca to knock the ball out da Linc (so to speak)
Friday, March 09, 2007
Ok, so a I hear ya, so folks are yawning. BUT. The did host their first two free agent visits as well. the first being a heretofore unheard of guy, restricted free agent Ryan Fowler, a 6-3, 250-pound LB from - of all places - DALLAS. The second and more notable visit: former Rams burner, WR Kevin Curtis. He apparently had nothing but praise for the Eagles. (well what else would you expect the guy to say to or about a team from whom he is seeking millions of dollars).
So here is my take:
- Bethel Johnson is a training camp insurance policy. Is he good enough to be 4 or 5 WR - YES. But his real value will be in the return game. He provides a nice security blanket should last year fifth-round pick Jeremy Bloom be unable to complete his comeback to football. Moreover, if someone gets hurts, he's an experienced guy who can step in to help.
- Will James is a decent re-signing. He gets a one-year "show me" deal, and from his bravado (“I’m a starter and that’s the goal,” James said. “Obviously, I’m not going to the Pro Bowl as a nickel back. That lets you know my intentions.") I'd say that bodes well for the Eagles CB depth. Heck, he was a starter, and played decent, if sparingly for the Eagles as a reserve last year. He'll get more action this year because Rod Hood is as good as gone. This move gives the Eagles a one-year reprieve. Either James plays well and says goodbye in FA or he proves he doesn't have it. Either way, the Birds can look to find a tall CB in the draft without necessarily having the pressure to put in them critical 3-wide situations right away.
- Ryan Fowler - Rarely do players visit the Birds without getting offers...since he was an undrafted FA, the Eagles would not have to surrender a draft pick to sign him, but Dallas does retain the right to match any offer.
- Kevin Curtis - will the Birds bring in the Stormin' Mormon? I'd say Curtis, right now, it looks like the Birds are trying to tell Drew Rosenhaus that they're not going to get taken to the cleaners for Stallworth. My preference remains Donte', but his loss would be assuaged greatly if the Eagles brought in Curtis....
Thursday, March 08, 2007
So the Donte' Stallworth watch trudges on. He's visited N.E., Tennessee, and is headed to Miami, with a decision due by Saturday. I still think the Eagles are in the running. They'll know which teams made offers, and Rosenhaus will give the Birds a chance to make a competitive offer. Whether they will or not.....I sure hope they do....McNabb to Stallworth would be a magic combo for a while...
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
A few nincompoops will say the Eagles front office is cheap, or scared to spend the "big dollars" necessary to "win it all." Well folks, the reality is that winning it all takes a unique degree of bounces (luck), freedom from injury (more luck), talent (inherent in almost every roster, though to varying degrees), and key play-making/play-makers stepping up at the opportune times (a little thing called execution helps, but a team can never have enough play-makers). Its is something that happens to only 1 team each year. Heck only a few team each year have a sufficient enough degree of those circumstances occur so that they can contend.
Take the Eagles playoff game vs the Saints. I freely admit that the Saints proved themselves to be the better team that day. But the outcome of the game was still in doubt well into the 4th quarter and was impacted by a wide variety of otherwise small things (the injuries to OG Shawn Andrews and LB Shawn Barber, a key and uncharacteristic drop by Westbrook, etc). This is what stood between the Birds and a trip to Chicago. Conversely, if it wasn't for Lito Sheppard's two game-saving INTs, the Eagles might not have even MADE the playoffs.
So please don't tell me that the front-office isn't committed to winning. How quickly we forget what a REAL money-grubbing front office feels like. Anyone still wish good ole Norm Braman was around running free agents out of town ?
Look, I agree, I would like the Eagles to make a couple of moves to shore up some loose spots on the roster (DB, LB, maybe WR) and cut out some dead weight (McDougle, Jones). I will also be sorely disappointed if they do nothing but let people walk and don't make any more moves to improve the team. That said, I doubt that will happen. The Eagles are waiting for a little bit of pricing sanity, and I think with the limited amount of money they have left, they are waiting for the chips to fall out on Donte' Stallworth before they go trying to sign a veteran "big back" or a bring in a LB to compete for a spot.
Honestly of all the LBs on the market, on the Colts' Cato June fits the Eagles mold (I wish that wasn't true but it is) and he's looking a good payday at a position the Birds don't value that highly (again, I think that is something worth faulting them on).
Sunday, March 04, 2007
I'll focus on the potential impact to the Eagles and Donte' Stallworth in a second, but here some quick hits:
- The Texans signed RB Ahman Green to a 4-year, $23 Million contract....$5+mill/year for a player on the downside (injuries or no, the 30-year-old Green peaked a few years ago) seems like a bit of a reach. I know he was healthy for most of last year, but he's been a workhorse for a while now, and 30 is that warning line for running backs, who take SO much punishment...Rotoworld suggests that the deal is likely structured to allow the Texans a relatively easy out after two years, and if that's the case (and it likely is, given the relatively modest amount of guaranteed money) it not a terrible signing. One final note, I will present the same caution about this signing that I offered last year about Edgerrin James going to Arizona. Running backs need good O-lines, and the Texans are awful in that department. I know Kubiak brought along the Denver "zone blocking" scheme (nice euphemism for dirty cut blocking), but lets be honest....Houston couldn't keep David Carr upright, but we're supposed to think these guys are turn into run-blocking machines?
Make that A quick hit (singular) cause I want to talk about Stallworth, and that hit wasn't so quick anyway...
But what about the market for the Eagles biggest free agent: Donte Stallworth?
Well folks, there are two schools of thought on this one: no news is good news (i.e. no team seems in a big rush to sign a guy who missed 1/4 of last season with hamstring problems to a big fat contract) and the no news is bad news (the foolish who confuse the Eagles relative silence as a sign of complacency).
But here is what the market is saying about FA WR, and the signs that do not bode well for the potential that the Birds will be able to keep Donte' without breaking the bank:
- Drew Bennett signed a 6yr/30 mill contract with the Rams
- 49ers agreed to a two-year, $4.3 million deal with WR Ashley Lelie. The deal includes a $2 million signing bonus. Not a horrible deal, but Lelie has underachieved his whole career.
- The kicker is this deal: The Patriots plan to sign Miami restricted free-agent wide receiver Wes Welker to a seven-year offers sheet worth $38.5 million. I think this one is the one the Drew Rosenhaus is going to reference regarding Stallworth (the reason is simple: its the BIGGEST DEAL)
This deal is just confusing:
- Jaguars agreed to terms with WR Dennis Northcutt on a five-year contract worth roughly $3.4 million-per-year. He'll get $4.5 million to sign. WHAT the FUCK???!!! Northcutt is next to useless and he gets a hefty pay-day from the Jags??? I have to agree with John Clayton from ESPN when he writes: "It's curious that the Jaguars would spend $4.8 million a year on tackle Tony Pathos when they have two starting tackles under long-term contracts. It is equally baffling that they would spend $3.4 million a year on Dennis Northcutt when they have three receivers who have underachieved the past couple of years. Competition is one thing. Dead cap money from releases are another."
The only good thing: Each of these teams that was looking for add a WR has now done so, the list of potential suitors is getting smaller...Terry Glenn re-upped with Dallas, and with FA WR Kevin Curtis expected to go to either Minnesota or Detroit (to rejoin Mike Martz), I don't know how many destinations for Donte' remain....
Philly.com just published a report that Donte Stallworth is enrolled in the NFL's substance abuse program. It is mandatory that such information be made available to teams if the player is a free agent, but there was no source on who leaked it to the public (the fines are stiff). Regardless, its means that Donte'--whether he entered voluntarily or failed a drug test (we can say with a degree of surety that it wasn't because of a run-in with the law or else that woulda been all over) --has one strike against him. Another violation would cost him 4 games, and a third is a year suspension.
This will undoubtedly cloud the market for his services, as any teams thinking about signing Stallworth has now been given cause for pause, including the Eagles. I wouldn't go so far as to say this precludes his return to Philly, but any contract the Eagles are likely to offer will almost assuredly contain voidable language to protect the team.
SO here a few of the things I think are odd today...
Ran across this YouTube blurb that reveals Ann Coulter basically calling a Democratic candidate for President John Edwards a fag. Its a nicely worded barb, but the thing is...I didn't see any humor in her when she said it, and that's what bothers me. Of course, if there enough of a stir she'll do the rounds and perform a dismissive mea culpa; and probably without pausing to draw another breath tell us all to get over it. Look, I don't give a crap about this stuff for the most part, but its the sort of mean-spirited polarizing commentary that has really disaffected many voters. You want to claim its a joke making a parody of the overly-sensitive nature of our society (thanks to liberal pussies no doubt) by throwing a reference to the black guy from Grey's Anatomy who had to go to "rehab" for calling a co-worker a "faggot" that is fine, but watch the clip...I don't see any dark humor behind her eyes, like I might with an actual comedienne.
Oh well, how about this story about a U.S. expert on Russia Intelligence getting shot in his driveway just days after appearing on Dateline NBC and claiming the Russian government has a underground campaign to silence critics of Vladimir Putin. Ummm, guess its not so underground anymore....
Talk about a Japanese two-step, I haven't a politician dance like a cat on a hot tin roof this well since William J.
On Thursday, Japan's PM Shinzo Abe said "The fact is, there is no evidence to prove there was coercion." He was referring to the Japan's abuse of hundreds of thousands of women during World War II, when the Imperial Army furnished what were known as "comfort women" for its troops abroad.
Today his special advisor was jumping through his ass to control the damage. "Though there are many definitions of coercion, Prime Minister Abe has said ... that he will stand by the Kono statement,'' said Hiroshige Seko, special adviser in charge of Abe's public relations, referring to a 1993 statement issued by then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono apologizing to the victims of sex slavery. The Kono statement also acknowledged many women were forced into prostitution and that the military government was involved in some cases.
Saturday, March 03, 2007
Now some may not see the silliness of this outrageous sum. But factor in this boneheaded statement by the idiot Mayor (Ray Naggin) who they re-elected: The city "looked at everything and just kind of piled it on." Great...nothing like the head of the city letting all the U.S. taxpayers know the N.O. essentially wants to take us to the cleaners, "just for the hell of it." And make no mistake, it won't be the ACoE that pays, it'll be us....
I have some sympathy for the plight of those affected by that awful storm, but it does not extend to frivolous lawsuits...
Friday, March 02, 2007
Andy Reid tipped his hat weeks ago, when he said he didn't want to lose a guy like Juqua...Keeping the high-revving DE obviously was the Birds #1 priority heading into free agency.
They why wasn't he signed earlier, like Quintin Mikell, he was with the Birds afterall. Well, there was an odd stipulation in Juqua's contract that stated he could NOT resign with the Eagles until the formal beginning of free agency. I think his agent probably wanted it that way, to ensure that his client would formally become a free agent. A bit of gamesmanship that probably helped a little bit.
There are two types of franchise players. Clubs retain exclusive negotiating rights to an "exclusive" franchise player by committing to a minimum offer of the average of the top five salaries at the player's position as of the end of the restricted free agent signing period on April 20, or a 20 percent increase over his 2006 salary, or the average of the top five salaries at his position as of the end of last season -- whichever of the three is greater. Other clubs cannot negotiate with exclusive franchise players. Dwight Freeney is the only player in this category.
The second type of franchise player is offered a minimum of the average of the top five salaries at his position in the 2006 season, or a 20 percent salary increase, whichever is greater. This type of franchise player may negotiate with other clubs. His original club may match the offer and retain the player, or receive two first-round draft choices as compensation if the original club elects not to match. LB Lance Briggs, K Josh Brown, DT Cory Redding, DE Charles Grant, CB Asante Samuel and DE Justin Smith are non-exclusive franchised players.
I'll keep an eye on the action and report back my impressions, its already been a few hours but nothing has been announced, which is a little surprising, usually there are some deals right at the stroke of midnight....