Sunday, October 26, 2008
THE PHILLIES ARE ONE WIN AWAY FROM BEING WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS!
wow....what a way to end an incredible sports weekend for Philly fans...
Above: Whoddathunkit?? Phils pitcher Joe Blanton has more home runs, hell, more hits, than the Rays #3 and #4 (Carlos Pena and Eva Longoria respectively) hitters combined. Hee hee...
First the Flyers get off their season-opening schnied by waxing the Devils in a home-and-home on Friday and Saturday night...then as the Flyers are polishing off the Devils for the second time in 24 hours, the Phillies are just starting their assault against the Tampa Bay Rays....going long into the Saturday evening and early Sunday (Game 3 ended at 01:47) and securing a 5-4 win.
Then the Eagles come off their bye and handle a very game Falcons team 27-14...and as Ashley Fox, an almost unheard phenomena struck the Linc: Phillies chants at an Eagles game!!!
Brett Myers said this of the pre-game warm-up: "I went out to throw a bullpen today," said pitcher Brett Myers, a man who has dreamed of this night for seven seasons. "And I heard one of the greatest things I've heard in a long time. "It's 4:15 in the afternoon. The Eagles are playing across the street. There's 2 minutes left. And I'm hearing Phillies chants. And that's weird, man. I'm used to hearing Eagles chants all these years. So to hear that, it gave me chills. It told me, 'These people are ready to go.' "
Then the Phils step-up in the hot glare of prime time and lay a whuppin' on the Rays 10-2....fed by Ryan Howard's two towering home runs (a three-run and a two-run shot), the first of which ripped open a close 2-1 game in the 4th inning and gave starter Joe Blanton a nice cushy 5-1 edge. He quickly gave up a solo shot to the Rays in the top of the 5th, but then right in the bottom of the inning he got it right back, and "Joltin' Joe k.o.'d a 93mph heater from Ray's pitcher, I can't remember who...what I can remember is that a hefty pitcher in Phillies pinstrips jacked a non-doubter in the 5th inning of Game 4 of the World fucking Series!!
As Sam Donnellon writes: Blanton did his usual thing last night: Six innings, two runs allowed on four hits. He worked quickly. He threw strikes, he struck out seven and walked two. He created a pace that finally loosened the grips on the Phillies' bats, or at least created the unfamiliar sights of consecutive hits, and a home run to leftfield off the bat of Ryan Howard.He also hit a home run, the first by a pitcher in a World Series in 34 years. And when he walked off, it wasn't yawns."My job is not to go out there and hit home runs," Blanton said. "My job is to go out there and throw the ball well and give my team a chance to win. And when you hear that applause coming off the mound after pitching, you kind of get that sense you did your job."
This is a guy most everyone groaned about when GM Pat Gillick picked him up at the trade deadline in July. Hell, it barely registered on my radar...I don't pay much attention to baseball. The season is too long for me to get emotionally invested like I do with the Eagles....I just figured the Phils had a chance to go get a real top-of-the-rotation stopper and decided to go for the cheaper alternative...I was wrong...the Phillies went for a competitor. Blanton competes when goes out to the mound, and the Phils responded, and going 12-4 (counting post-season) in games he's started since coming here from the A's.
Well all he did was win the biggest game in the past 15 years for the Phillies...hopefully it will soon be remember as only the 2nd biggest game in the past 15 years, as Cole Hamels goes to the mound tonight to try and close out the series...
I mean, Philly hasn't been this close, in...in...well fuck...I can't even tell you when...The Eagles SuperBowl run was awesome, but it was a single game, and the Eagles squandered early chances to score TDs in the first quarter, and we Iggles fans got that all-too-familiar creeping feeling of dread deep in our gut that we'd pay for it (and we did).
So it is not without some trepidation that we await the start of Game 5...it is scripted just as we'd want it...Staff ace Cole Hamels is our best pitcher, and we can close out the World Series at HOME! How perfect would that be....but first things first...we need to pitch, hit, run, and catch better than the Rays for 9 more innings. Now is NOT the time for celebration....I know we can't help but anticipate it....leading 3-1 in the World Series is certainly better than the alternative (we could be using our rosaries to pray for an improbably 3-game comeback by the Phillies instead of anticipating a trip down Broad Street.)
Come on fellas, bring it home...and if you do, you might just hear me cheering all the way from Japan!
Quick thoughts about the Eagles-Falcons tilt:
- OMG did the referees bone that muffed-punt call with 2:22 left...Replay would've overturned the call, but new Atl coach learned a valuable lesson - SAVE on of your timeouts...he really had no reason to call the 3rd time defensively...he could've just let the clock tick to the 2:00 warning and still had plenty of time and a timeout. Instead he burned it to save :22...and wound up losing the game because of it.
- OK, how does Westbrook torch the Falcons for 167 yards rushing and 2 TDs, yet we can't score from the 2, or gain 2 yards to salt the game away and get that critical first down (just prior to the Eagles punt that the ref's blew the call on
- BTW, I am not in a generous mood. I am not giving the call back. I'll take a win any which way.
- Matt Ryan is the real deal. Most rookie QBs are befuddled by Jim Johnson's defense, but Ryan was pretty collected. Did he make mistakes? Sure...but he was not lost out there, and he battled through the tough times. Atlanta is a door-mat no longer.
Did you see?
- The whiplash/concussion hit Lawyer Milloy laid on LJ Smith? Mr. Milloy should expect to be writing a decent size check to the NFL later this week.
- Part time FB/Part time DT Dan Klecko trying to block in the first half. He tried to help Jon Runyan with a chip block, and basically chipped the Atl DE away from Runyan and allowed the guy to dive to the inside and sack McNabb...oopsie....
- Lito giveth and Lito taketh away - Lito was both Goat and Hero on the same drive...first he committed a pass interference that set up the Falcons for a potential score...then he comes up with a huge pick on ATL QB Matt Ryan who fluttered a jump ball.
- Then Lito made three straight plays to try and prevent the Falcons from scoring late in the 4th qtr...I believe the Falcons eventually converted the 4th down Lito's play forced, and then scored, but it wasn't his fault. Lito played his ass off in the second half.
- The absolutely HORRENDOUS roughing the passer call against DE Trent Cole in the first quarter. Cole busted inside, didn't really leave his feet, and planted his face in Ryan's chest just a Ryan let go of the ball and took him to the ground....TWEET, out comes the yellow flag...no helmet-to-helmet...none of the that shit, just a solid, football tackle...You know if defenders cannot even do that to the QB, they might as well just redshirt the QB and put two flags on their hips....
The Phillies had just taken a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning off back-to-back jacks by Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. And the ageless Jamie Moyer comes to the mound in the top of the 7th and the first batter bunts down the first base line...Moyer flies towards it, dives and scoops the ball with his glove directly to Ryan Howard at first who snatches it bare-handed about a quarter-step before the running touches first....and the umpire calls his SAFE!!! Citizens Bank Ballpark about exploded in rage....Then the next batter doubles, and the Rays have 2nd and 3rd no outs....Two groundouts score the runners and instead of going into the 8th with a 3-run cushion like they should've, its a one-run ball game. The Rays manufactured another run in the 8th, and suddenly, there is no Brad Lidge coming in to hammer down the save in the 9th, rather its J.C. Romero looking to make sure the Phils don't have to score to tie the ball game in the bottom half of the inning.
Well he did his job
And the 9th inning went something like this: Rays reliever J.P. Howell hit Bruntlett with a pitch to start the inning. Enter Grant Balfour , who threw a wild pitch that caromed off the backstop to catcher Dioner Navarro , whose throw trying to get Bruntlett skipped into center field. With Bruntlett on third, the Rays issued two intentional walks and brought in right fielder Ben Zobrist for a five-man infield.''It looked like they were about to blitz,'' quipped Howard. Ruiz followed with a 22-bounce dribbler down the line and third baseman Evan Longoria charged. He dived for the ball, and rushed an underhanded flip home that sailed over Navarro's head. The single was just the Phils' second hit in 33 chances with runners in scoring position this Series. The Phillies rushed from the dugout to congratulate Bruntlett at the plate and Ruiz at first base.
And chaos ensued across the Greater Philadelphia Metropolitan Area. I mean this is the first World Series win in Philly in 15 years. And it gives the Phils a 2-1 lead in the series...a series Phillies fans hope never returns to Tampa Bay. If we can take care of business tomorrow, er, later today, then hoo-boy, we could have Cole Hamels coming into start game 5 with a chance to clinch the World Series in Philly!!!??? OMG...that would be awesome...
But before we get ahead of ourselves, there's some business to take care of. Game 4. And does Sunday ever have the potential to be a great day for Philly fans.
The Eagles take on the Atlanta Falcons at home at 1pm EST
The Phils place next door a few hours after the conclusion of the game at 8:22EST
South Philly is going to be rockin' ALL DAY LONG! I wish I was there. But I'll take a couple of Ws tomorrow that for sure. Bring it home fellas!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you is likely to be painful.
2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.
3. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being.
4. Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment, but I have only you.
5. Talk to me. Even if I don't understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me.
6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.
7. Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I could hurt you, and yet, I choose not to bite you.
8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I'm not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak.
9. Please take care of me when I grow old. You too, will grow old.
10. On the ultimate difficult journey, go with me please. Never say you can't bear to watch. Don't make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there, because I love you so.
~Be thankful for your pets. Enjoy and take good care of them.
Life would be a much duller, less joyful experience without the critters.
~Now please pass this on to other pet owners. We do not have to wait for Heaven, to be
surrounded by hope, love, and joyfulness. It is here on earth and has four legs!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Rudy Ray is probably the grandfather of rap, but I grew to love his blaxploitation flicks, like Avenging Disco Father:
My friends and I would go grab some "forties" of Olde English 800 or Colt .45 and get down with the King of Action and hilarity....
Nothing and I mean nothing beats watches Dolemite tumble out of a rich white guys bedroom window (After bangin' his wife) and go tumbling down a steep hill, only to get to the bottom and have Rudy Ray "check out dis good shit" and rewind the film back to the top so you can watch it again in slo-mo. Its little touches like that which made Dolemite II: The Human Tornado (pronounced Ter-nada) such a classic as a "one man disaster."
Ah, "one man disaster" - never has a movie poster been more appropriate to the content of its film.
Friday, October 17, 2008
I fully admit...the baseball season is way too long for me to invest myself emotionally in the Phillies. And I've derided them for years about not being interested in truly putting a winning product out on the field...but it was really great to tune in Comcast the other night on my Slingbox and see the city going nuts after the Phillies clinched the NLCS 5-1 against the Dodgers.
I mean the sense that this team has a real chance just pervades a Philadelphia sports fan senses right now. We can't think of anything else right. This is the perfect week for the Eagles BYE....well maybe not perfect....next weekend, when the Phillies are actually playing the game would be better, but...with no football to take our collective minds off the upcoming Series...the city is just going to be bubbling with baseball phever.
This team has a lot in common with the 1993 squad. Plenty of power, clutch hitting, and ability to comeback from any deficit...and you know what...our pitching is probably better than that team. How long has it been since our bullpen has been this rock solid? I dunno...1980, maybe?
Now I am not going to get too excited, but with the Philadelphia Soul winning the Arena football crown earlier this year, maybe they broke the ice for the big boys to breakthrough.
- I agree with some the Philly writers and Comcast analyst Brian Baldinger that the Eagles even thinking about trading for Kansas City TE Tony Gonzalez is a bad sign. I mean, didn't we put the franchise tag on L.J. Smith? Where the fuck has this guy been? I remember reading an article defending his play, saying the Eagles were keeping him into block and not throwing his way that often. Hmmm, I wonder why that is? Perhaps because any throw to LJ has about a 50/50 chance of clattering to the ground...Still, if you're going to inquire and admit the position needs help, you might as well go through with it and bust a move to get the guy in here.
- Good thing for the Flyers the Phillies are doing so well. I don't think Philly fans are even aware that the NHL season has started, let alone the fact that the Flyers are winless in their first four games. Hey fellas, your grace period has two, three weeks, tops!! That third week is only going to be there if the city is still embraced in the euphoria resulting from a World Series win...If not, look for a very harsh eye be cast upon you if you're still bumbling around in mid-November.
- I am not all that concerned that the Cowboys traded for Lions WR Roy Williams, a player we coveted in the off season. Why? Because there is a thing as having too many #1 guys on a team. A team with Owens needs stable, #2 type wideouts...guys who are comfortable not being "da man." That is exactly what Roy Williams was in Detroit. And guess what, he's getting paid like it in Dallas now as well...more than MEO in fact...hee hee...I can't wait to see how THAT plays out over the rest of the season and into February....but the simple fact is...the Cowboys couldn't satisfy Owens greed for the football when they were he was the #1 target in the pass pattern 20+ times a game, with maybe 15-18 chances going his way...They already have the best TE in football in Jason Witten taking away some of MEO's chances...now they have a big-time, big-dollar second WR, and you don't pay a guy $9mill/year to not throw him the ball....I mean how many times are the Cowboys going to throw the ball per game? 50? Maybe...they might have to in order to keep the ball going to all their pass-catchers.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
You know, as the 49ers held onto the ball for like 12+ minutes in the 3rd quarter, (sandwiching a rather ineffectual, 1 first-down then punt Eagles drive), I got to thinking: The Defense can't always depend on the offense to hold onto the ball for it -- sometimes the D needs to make a play and help themselves out. And to be blunt: the Eagles D for through the first three quarters of this game (and all four quarters of the Redskins game) pretty much was a suckiful replay of the 2007 defense (no turnovers, no big plays, no momentum changers, no sacks, no nothing).
That all changed in the 4th quarter. The Eagles finally got a couple of hits on the young QB J.T. O'Sullivan; and lo' and behold: he started playing a lot worse. Gee, I wonder why? Dirty up the QB's jersey a little, put some heat on him and suddenly the opponents' passing game is a little less crisp. Well anyway, a couple of sacks really got the D pumping, and the Eagles wound up recording 3 sacks and getting three turnovers, the first two of which the Eagles could only use to pad their 1pt- 27-26 lead to 33-26....the final interception, by DE Juqua Parker no less, was a Pick-6. Guess the D got tired of seeing the O not convert and figured they'd do it themselves.
Well thank you very much Gang Green, for finally showing up and helping secure the win.
Some other thoughts about Week 6:
- I can't believe how in-the-bag the referees seemed for the Dallas Cowturds today...I saw the Cardinals get absolutely boned by the refs on an early-whistle (which negating a Romo fumble deep in Dallas territory) and on some gay-ass Tuck-rule bullshit, which negated another Romo fumble (This one was recovered by the Cards in the end zone, so instead of of 14-0 lead, the Cowboys actually went onto score and made it a 7-7 game. God I wanted to PUKE)
- The Football Gods must've been watching and angered at the referees, because they finally gave the Cowboys their comeuppance in the form of a blocked punt in OT that gave the Cards a 30-24 OT Win
- How ironic, two weeks ago versus the Eagles, its a Bears goal-line stand that secures a victory. Sunday, an Atlanta stand against the Bears keeps 7 points off the board in a game the Falcons won by having a 1-play :06 scoring drive (The Bears had scored the go-ahead TD with :11 left, squib kicked, then let the Falcons secure a 25-play pass along the sidelines in just :05....a literally-last-second-FG from 49 yards out sinks the Bears...oh how rich
- Goddamn! The Patriots suck dick with Tom Brady...the Chargers stomped their ass into the ground
- What's wrong with Seattle? They are getting toasted week-in, week-out....
- Hey Redskins' fans: how does it feel to have your team not show up at home? A week after watching the Eagles blow a game to Washington because they just didn't seem to care enough to actually play for half the game, he St. Louis Rams return the favor to Washington. Hee hee. Good. That helped reel in the Redskins....just like the Cards upending the Cowboys
Sunday, October 05, 2008
For the most part - I was right. Playing as the Sith named Starkiller can be profoundly satisfying. But for every ultra-cool "it will never get old 'force-gripping' Jawas and flinging them through the air moment, there is an equally frustrating wonky-camera, stealthy fungi warrior stabbing you in the back because said camera doesn't track so well and flat-out GAY insta-death as your Sith/Jedi-hunter plunges into some bottomless ravine.
So developers, I have a question: who the fuck play-tested this game? Do you have any idea how frustrating it is be fighting stormtroopers on some catwalk above some bottomless abyss only to watch your hero/anti-hero Sith bad-ass walk himself off the fucking ledge because you pressed the X button (to attack the fucking goddamn stormtrooper standing right in front of you, and so he doesn't whale away at with his blaster rifle) and watch this moron Sith do some fuck-ass attack flourish that carries him over the edge and to his insta-doom???
I mean seriously?? Come the fuck on already. He's Darth FUCKING Vader's padawan, who can double-flip 30 feet in the air and jet around like he is equipped with rocket-shoes, but he can't grab onto a fucking ledge or something to keep himself from falling to his death?
This is a simple fix LucasArts: Just don't let people walk off ledges that lead to to instant death!!! I'm not saying put up some invisible wall so you can even jump off...by all means if you want to see Starkiller flutter about in mid-air for a brief second before dying, go right ahead and press the A button, jump on out. But goddamn...It totally fucking ruins a player's sense of controlling this force-pumping, wookie/stormtrooper stomping bad-ass when you go to attack an enemy by pushing X and then wind up watching what I am sure the developers intended as a sweet finishing flourish that results in Starkiller's momentum carrying him off to a quick, falling death and an annoyingly long respawn.
I mean this morning I went from feeling like I had this ultra-bass with maxed out Force Push and Force Lightning just running around roastin' fools to feeling like I was in charge of Robbie the Down Syndrome Jedi....
IT REALLY TAKES AWAY from this game. I swear, if I had kids, they'd think Jesus' middle name was Butt-fuckin', because certain levels just have these tortuous areas where wonky camera angles and Robbie Banana-peel Shoes Starkiller combine to send waves of frustration pulsating around me. Getting back to my question about play-testing: don't you think maybe should let some normal people play-test this game every once in a while??? I mean, I in my thirties now, I don't have all day to perfect some platforming technique, I wanna control my dude, and now have to worry about what friggin' angle I'm attacking the enemy from because it might accidentally cause my own demise. These instances are not that common in the game, but when they do occur, whoa-nelly, it make one wonder about the decision-making process that applied a Vader "cannot walk off the edge of the cliff and kill himself" safety net during the Kashyyyk prologue, but then go, yeah, Starkiller? ah fuck him, if he starts an attack too close to the edge that's tough shit for him...Because a Sith warrior couldn't possibly have even self-awareness to not blunder off the side of a catwalk, could he/she? Nope, I guess not. I mean would it have been so difficult to code out a little "teeter" or a Starkiller will automatically grab the edge if he walks/does a finishing move off the edge. I mean seriously, how hard is that?
Bottom Line: The game is still pretty bad-ass, but it not as bad-ass as it SHOULD be, and you've left some stupid, correctable mistakes mar what is otherwise an extremely entertaining product.
The Eagles started awesome, taking a 14-0 lead and looked like they might blow the foreskins out of the Linc....then inexplicably, the Birds absolutely snoozed through the next 2 1/2 quarters of the game. There was no sense of urgency, no zip, precious little energy except on certain defensive plays...but that energy was never carried over into a series of defensive stops. They'd get a decent play, but then let the Redskins convert a first down and be right back where they started. On offense they went from crisp to limp...folks dropping passes, next to no blocking for the run attempts. I don't have any answers.
I just can't take this shit....
Needless to say: they lost 23-17...jbfmfin'hc...and they deserve it...no boo-hoos...they didn't make enough plays to win...hell, they barely made enough plays to compete.
What I do know: the Eagles better get their fucking heads out of their asses and beat the 49ers next week so they can enter the BYE week with a salvageable 3-3 record. I just wonder it is that the Eagles seem to annually put themselves in this sorta position?