Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Eagles Off-Season So Far

The new just came out that the Eagles signed former Seahawks FB Leonard Weaver to a 1-year "show me" contract. It appears the Eagles finally addressed a roster spot that has sorely lacking and woefully unproductive for the Eagles Offense...they've lacked a real blocking FB since Jon Ritchie, and the guys that have assumed the role, has mostly sucked...(That said, I thought Kyle Eckel did a good job in the second half of last year, and I was more than willing to give the guy a crack at the full-time gig after a full off-season of preparation).

So the Birds have added an OL (Andrews - brother of Shawn), a couple of safeties (take assume the roster spot vacated by Brian Dawkins and Sean Considine.... notice I didn't say replace...Dawk's departure leaves a void no FA can fill), and now a FB.

The thing is - nearly every Eagles player who has become a free agent this year has left the team. The lone exception was Joselio Hanson, but he signed a long-term deal before the FA period started. Everyone else who has tested the waters has flown the nest. And the Eagles has essential made NO attempt to keep any of them. It is quite understandable in the case of Sean Considine and LJ Smith...they've been ready to walk the Green Mile out the door for a couple of years now. And I think the Birds have decided an injection of youth is necessary at the OT position. They did not pursue long-time stalwart LT Tra Thomas at all. The possibility of resigning bookend RT Jon Runyan remains, though it seems quite remote given his ongoing recovery from microfracture knee surgery. If I was a betting man - Runyan will not be back. If the Eagles are willing to let Dawkins go, then you can tell they simply are not going to place much emphasis on locker-room leadership, etc.

And I think that is the thing that burns most of us fans. Letting Dawkins even GET to FREE AGENCY, when the team is literally awash in cap room. Would it really have hurt the bottom line that much to give the guy a decent offer prior to the FA period and preventing his departure from ever even having a chance of occurring? Would it really have been so bad to give the fans that one exception -- that ONE STINKING example of how there is more than just a straight bottom-line to this business that is the NFL, but which has grown to become part of the psyche of all Philly fans? I mean, for Chrissakes, even the Phillies went out this off-season and kept the team together....

Of course I will want the Birds to win, but I want them to win with DAWK, not without him. And the Broncos?? Fuck, the Broncos aren't going anywhere. B-Dawk is going to squander away the last few years of his playing career being part of some "building process" in Denver, instead of trying to get over the hump with the Eagles. That sucks...

Monday, March 09, 2009

To Kill an American

Not sure if this a true, I haven't verified it on, but you know what, whether it really was written by a Australian Dentist or not: IT IS TRUE

Written by an Australian Dentist:

To Kill an American
You probably missed this in the rush of news, but there was actually a report that someone in Pakistan had published in a newspaper, an offer of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any American.

So an Australian dentist wrote an editorial the following day to let everyone know what an American is . So they would know when they found one. (Good one, mate!!!!)

'An American is English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish , Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be Canadian, Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or Pakistani or Afghan.

An American may also be a Comanche, Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot, Navaho, Apache, Seminole or one of the many other tribes known as native Americans.

An American is Christian , or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim. In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them chooses.

An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God.

An American lives in the most prosperous land in the history of the world.
The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence , which recognizes the God given right of each person to the pursuit of happiness.

An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need, never asking a thing in return.

When Afghanistan was over-run by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country!

As of the morning of September 11, Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan. The national symbol of America , The Statue of Liberty , welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest tossed. These in fact are the people who built America. Some of them were working in the Twin Towers the morning of September 11 , 2001 earning a better life for their families. It's been told that the World Trade Center victims were from at least 30 different countries, cultures, and first languages, including those that aided and abetted the terrorists.

So you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General Tojo , and Stalin , and Mao Tse-Tung, and other blood-thirsty tyrants in the world. But, in doing so you would just be killing yourself . Because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

B-Dawk has flown the coop to Denver

My all-time favorite Eagles player is no longer an Eagle.

It hasn't quite sunk in yet. I'm a bit mad, a bit out-raged, and more than a little bit saddened.

Brian Dawkins WAS the Eagles. He was the epitome of what a football player should be and how they should conduct themselves both on AND off the field.

It would be a lot easier to take if Dawk was retiring, but the idea that he's still going to keep playing, just elsewhere, is a bitter, bitter pill to swallow.

Do I begrudge the Eagles for letting him go? Yep, sure do. Do I hate the fact that money ruled the day and the business-side of the NFL reared its often ugly head? Yep, sure do. Do I think the Eagles are going to regret letting him go? Yep, sure do. Will I still keep rooting for the Birds? Yep, sure will.

Look I recognize that Dawk was more of situational player at this point in his career. I do. Its not like this D is losing a player in his prime, when Brian Dawkins was the predecessor to today's greats like Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu. Fuck, Dawkins, under JJ's guidance, re-invented what it meant to be a safety in the NFL. Does that mean the Eagles D won't be able to recover? No, it sure doesn't. The primary thing the Eagles must find with his departure is leadership and passion. There are few leaders with Dawkins charisma and presence in the NFL. That's why he's worth the money. Not the stats. Still, as uncomfortable as I was in 2007 and early 2008 watching Dawkins play, but just not quite be the same "B-Dawk", I was ecstatic to see his resurgence and gutsy play for the most of 2008. As a few of the writers said, its primarily because JJ decided to modify Dawkins role, and use him closer to the line, more of a Rodney Harrison run-support guy. Brian could still make some plays in the D-backfield, but even a staunch supporter like me knows, deep down, as much as I hate to admit it. He is no longer a sideline to sideline guided missile. He's an adequate pass defender these days, not the roving play-making machine that we all grew to love.

All that said. Given the Eagles cap room. I'd have paid him. and I think that is far and away the majority sentiment for Philly fans. Its one thing if you don't have the space and have to make tough choices and let folks get away. Its another to be sitting on big pile of room, and not commit the $$$ to keep perhaps the greatest defensive player to ever don an Eagles uniform, and if he's not, then Reggie White is, and Brian Dawkins is #2.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sony's Piece of Shit

I almost pissed myself laughing at this

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Local Detroit Super Bowl Coverage Blasts Millen

Peep this:
Think the local NBC station in Detroit is still miffed as Matt Millen gross mishandling of the Lions organization during his "worst GM ever" tenure there?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sapp Criticizing McNabb is like....

perhaps the most classic case of the "pot calling the kettle black" can be found in Warren Sapp criticizing McNabb for not being in good enough shape.

Sapp, shut your trap and stop embarrassing your own fat ass

Monday, January 26, 2009

Husband Store

Husband Store

A store that sells new husbands has opened in New York City , where a woman may go to choose a husband. Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates:

You may visit this store ONLY ONCE! There are six floors and the value of the products increase as the shopper ascends the flights. The shopper may choose any item from a particular floor, or may choose to go up to the next floor, but you cannot go back down except to exit the building!

So, a woman goes to the Husband Store to find a husband. On the first floor the sign on the door reads:

Floor 1 - These men Have Jobs
She is intrigued, but continues to the second floor, where the sign reads:

Floor 2 - These men Have Jobs and Love Kids.
'That's nice,' she thinks, 'but I want more.'
So she continues upward. The third floor sign reads:

Floor 3 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, and are Extremely Good Looking.
'Wow,' she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going.
She goes to the fourth floor and the sign reads:

Floor 4 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Good Looking and Help With Housework.
'Oh, mercy me!' she exclaims, 'I can hardly stand it!'
Still, she goes to the fifth floor and the sign reads:

Floor 5 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Gorgeous, Help with Housework, and Have a Strong Romantic Streak.
She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the sixth floor, where the sign reads:

Floor 6 - You are visitor 31,456,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to please. Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store.

To avoid gender bias charges, the store's owner opened a New Wives store just across the street.

The first floor has wives that love sex.
T he second floor has wives that love sex and have money and like beer .
The third, fourth, fifth and sixth floors have never been visited.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Wrapping up a Season as the Eagles Drop the NFC Championship

First off, I'd like to thank the Eagles for giving us fans a few extra weeks of football when we all thought the season would over shortly after Christmas. If was a fun couple of weeks of playoff football, and way more uplifting than say another season of failure in Dallas, bitter disappointment in NY or god-forbid record-for-the-ages amount of futility in Detroit.

That said, the Eagles 2008 season can be summed up in two words: missed opportunities.

From the personnel miscues before the season ever started: NOT bringing in a big back, keeping the worthless LJ Smith around at TE (and paying him a megabucks 1year franchise amount - oh boy!), not finding a Fullback, and not having a decent blocking TE on the roster...hmmm, see a theme there? The Eagles biggest problems were in the running game this year, and an off-season that saw the Birds to next to nothing (or worse, consider the 4th rd pick for Lorenzo Booker deal with Miami) to address it came back to haunt them.

For every right move: bringing in Asante Samuel to shore up the defensive backfield, the picks of Quintin Demps and Desean Jackson who made instant contributions as rookies, a rarity in Andy Reid era, the Eagles had one of the debilitating counter-moves mentioned above. So instead of moves that put the Eagles over the top for the season, we fans got treated to a roller coaster ride of efficiency and futility.

That is was the Eagles Defense -- rock solid all season and truly exceptional down the stretch and into the post-season -- who gave up the NFC Championship last Sunday after Donovan McNabb engineered one of the greatest comebacks in NFC Championship game history is a story-line that has been (and will be) largely submerged by the McNabb-Reid era failure in 4 of the 5 NFC Championship games.

Does the Eagles offense need more weapons? Probably. Addressing the running game would go a long way to helping McNabb, and I do by the way believe he will be back in an Eagles uniform next year. I hope Andy Reid promotes someone within the organization to help with his front office duties, in order to let him concentrate more on the coaching aspect of things.

Offseason predictions:
Free agent wise: Dawkins in back, no question, as well as at least one of the Eagles veteran tackles. The Birds would be wise to get some youth at the position, and I think that as always the Birds will look to the draft for that. If Shawn Andrews returns from a season lost to depression and back pain, then the Birds will have options at Guard - Slot Herremans out to a OT spot, have MJG return from a broken ankle and may assume the other guard spot (or at least have a stiff competition with Nick Cole who filled in pretty well behind him).

Might the Eagles go for FA wide receiver? Perhaps...I am not sure who will be coming free this year, but that other Bengals WR (not Ocho Cinco, TJ who's-your-momma) could be available. Would the Cardinals part with a disgruntled Anquan Boldin? (who will be even more disgruntled if the Cards don't reward him with a new contract after he busted his ass to return to the team from essentially, a broken face) I don't know, and I don't want to guess. I don't see a huge free agent splash like last year. The Eagles FO likely sees a need to tweak the roster rather than overhaul the roster. So long as the tweaks mean more contributions from the both 1/3 and less instances of supposed contributors like Reggie Brown, Greg Lewis and/or Lorenzo Booker being deactivated...then I am ok with it.

Is Kyle Eckel the answer at FB? He could be, if the Eagles actually committed to getting a FB onto the field. I hope the Eagles concentrate of getting some actual contribution from the position next year.

As for the defense. It is a much easier scenario. The D-Line should remain strong. Expect the Birds to add another DL in the draft, but the 8-man rotation worked pretty well. FA addition Chris Clemons went from bust to bustin-ass in the second half of the season and should (keyword there) pick right up next year. Expect more from him as he enters his second year in the defense. (I guarantee there will be an article during training camp that mentions how much the D has slowed down for Clemons in his 2nd year under Jim Johnson).

At LB I can see the Eagles keep searching for depth. I mean, Gocong, Bradley and Jordan pretty much entrenched themselves as a solid 3-some of backstoppers. Omar Gaither (OG) provides decent depth in case of injury, but who else was on the roster at LB??? The guys who were seemed to be primarily ST guys and never really saw the field at LB. I guess that's a good thing though, mean few injuries and generally good play from the starters.

The DB present some interesting scenarios. Joselio Hanson went from afterthought to pretty goddamn solid nickel CB this year. The Birds should be able to keep him around. Lito is gone. Dunno how or when, but he needs a change of scenery, plain and simple. Its best for all parties involved if he's gone by the draft. The two "Q's" (Demps and Mikell) performed pretty well on the back-line. I wouldn't be surprised to see Sean Considine depart or get beat out for a position in training camp....he's could hang around for ST purposes and as injury insurance however. He is probably on the last year of his rookie contract, which means he's still relatively cheap. (I do not believe he was ever offered an extension). One question: remember that injured CB the Birds drafted last year Jake Iwannagohome (or whatever the fuck his name was, I'm too lazy to look in my own archive). Guys would've been a highly touted CB out of OU if not for the injury that cost him last year if I am not mistaken. I'm pretty sure yet another developmental CB or S is in the draft equation as well.

Oh, and in case you forgot...there is no question about Dawk. One of the greatest Eagles to ever put on the uniform deserves to come back. His leadership is irreplacable. Expect to see the missile numbered "20" flying around the Linc again next year.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Eagles Beat Giants - Now its Onto Arizona!

I can't quite believe I'm writing this, but the Birds are back in the NFC Championship Game.

I tell you what, in late November, I was talking with my dad after the Eagles coughed up a couple of crappers in-a-row....that miserable (yet oh-so necessary it turns out) tie with Cincinnati and the debacle against the Ravens, and I had to agree with him when he said, "Ant, this just isn't a team capable of winning a championship." It was definitely a dark moment from this year. McNabb looked horrible and the offense simply seemed incapable of mounting anything resembling a consistent, professional offense.

I've watched all the highlights, multiple times, read a bunch of stories about the game, hell, I even Tivo'd the AFN re-broadcast of the game.

There were plenty of talk about the defense on its back-to-back 4th down stands and the gutsy performance from McNabb and the offense. But in all the coverage there is one thing I haven't seen: someone remark on a key play as the 2nd quarter wound down: DT/DE Darren Howard's huge hustle play stopping Derrick Ward short of a first down on a 3rd and 5 with less than 2:00 left. It is the sort of "unsung hero" play that often goes overlooked.

So why did it stick out to me? First off, because the Giants were down 7-5 at the time, but driving for an end-of-the-half score. It was 3rd and 5, and Eli Manning hits Ward on a little swing pass. It looks like a sure first down conversion, but Howard leaps and hauls him down from behind two yards short of the first.

Why does this matter? First off, it stifled the Giants drive and compelled Tom Coughlin to go for the FG and try to take a 8-7 lead into halftime. It also allowed the Eagles to get the ball back with about 1:30, which turned out to be plenty of time for McNabb to guide the Birds down the field with the two-minute offense and set up a David Akers FG as time expired, giving the Birds a 10-8 lead at the half.

Without Howard's tackle, the Giants would probably have run the rest of the time off the 2nd qtr clock, and taken a lead into the half. More importantly, the drive McNabb engineered to end the half wouldn't have happened, at it is that drive which Donovan credited as giving the Eagles the momentum and confidence they had in the 3rd and the 4th quarters. So without that tackle, the Eagles have no confidence building drive and no lead heading into the second half, and who knows where the game heads after that.

That is why I consider Darren Howard's stop my unsung key of the game.

Monday, January 05, 2009

U.S. Navy Directive 16134 (Inappropriate T-Shirts)

Priceless, and copied from a joke email sent by the parents:

U.S. Navy Directive 16134 (Inappropriate T-Shirts)

The following directive was issued by the commanding officer of all naval installations in the Middle East. (It was obviously directed at the Marines.)

To: All Commands
Subject: Inappropriate T-Shirts
Ref: ComMidEast For Inst 16134//24K

All commanders promulgate upon receipt. The following T-shirts are no longer to be worn on or off base by any military or civilian personnel serving in the Middle East :

1. 'Eat Pork or Die' [both English and Arabic versions]
2. 'Shrine Busters' [Various. Show burning minarets or bomb/artillery shells impacting Islamic shrines. Some with unit logos.]
3. 'Napalm, Sticks Like Crazy' [Both English and Arabic versions]
4. 'Goat - it isn't just for breakfast anymore.' [Both English and Arabic versions]
5. 'The road to Paradise begins with me.' [Mostly Arabic versions, but some in English. Some show sniper scope cross-hairs. ]
6. 'Guns don't kill people. I kill people.' [Both Arabic and English versions]
7. 'Pork. The other white meat.' [Arabic version]
8. 'Infidel' [English, Arabic and other coalition force languages.]

The above T-shirts are to be removed from Post Exchanges upon receipt of this directive.

In addition, the following signs are to be removed upon receipt of this message:

1. 'Islamic Religious Services Will Be Held at the Firing Range at 0800 Daily.'
2. 'Do we really need 'smart bombs' to drop on these dumb bastards'

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Eagles Beat Vikes - Now its onto the Meadowlands

If you're a Philly fan, you gotta love the grit the Eagles showed today in Minnesota. They stymied the best back in the league, Adrian Peterson (sorry B-West, he's earned the moniker, just like you did last year), for 19 of his 20 rushes. AP gained 83 yards on 20 carries, with a nearly half coming on a big 40 yard TD run in the 2nd quarter. So that respectable 4.1 yards per carry average for the game looks good, but take that run away and its 19 rushes for 43 yards...a little more than 2 per...not so hot, and it very much favors the Eagles.

Video highlights are available here

Merrill's Reese's call on Westbrook's 71-yard screen pass TD still gives me chills and get me fired up, hours after the game.

I cannot help it.

Other things I noticed in the game:
Asante Samuel coming through and earning that big paycheck. How many high-priced free agents have just sorta fluttered around, weighed down by the big wallet??? A.S. may have dropped a few INTs earlier in the season, but he's coming up pretty big down the stretch, and his Pick-6 of Minn. QB Tarvaris Jackson in the 2nd quarter proved to the game-winning points, and it was a huge boost for the Eagles, because prior to that huge turnover the Eagles had had to settle for FGs on all their drives....and putting up "3's" in the playoffs usually ends as the losing formula. That play got us a big 7 points and meant the Eagles took a lead into the half (they led 16-14 instead of trailing 14-9)....
Sheldon Brown DROPPING another gift INT in the second half. My man can lay the lumber from the CB position, but this season, he can't hold onto the ball...He must be trying too hard.
Brian Dawkins flying around the field annihilating fools in the first quarter. Talk about setting a tone. A few hits like that on B. Jacobs and the ball is definitely going to be flopping around on the turf a few times next week.
The D-Line, but in particular, Trent Cole, who was all over the place. I don't recall any sacks by Cole, but I paid attention to the D-Line today, and they refused to get pushed around by the Viking's O-line. They set a good edge against the Vikes running attack, and they were a lot of plays blown up in the backfield.

DeSean Jackson - the Eagles resident Mighty-Mite WR/KR really contributed to the win today. After a few heart-breaking drops against Washington a couple of weeks ago, DJ worked that lil speedster mojo for two awesome punt returns (setting up a FG, and what SHOULD and WOULD have been another scoring attempt except for the McNabb fumble)
speaking of Five - I think the folks that were calling for head might just be changing their tune. Besides the fact that the owner of the team just told the Boston Globe that he's going to be sticking around, there will still be people who would like to see McNabb traded in the off-season. And I fully admit, his play in mid-season sucked balls, and he needed to see the bench. His response since the benching has been phenomenal, and he's been a more mature leader ever since. Does he still have some fun? Sure. But I see less dicking around and little more "we got a job to do" from both him and the team.
Correll Buckhalter, the Eagles #2 RB put the Eagles in position for a FG early with a nice 27-yard run in the first quarter, and then promptly "disappeared" as the Birds did not dial up his # much at all after that. Why you ask, apparently he was taking the FB reps in place of a dinged by Dan Klecko and that just dictated him not seeing the ball much. They cannot forget about Buck next week though.
And of course, Brian Westbrook, who broke the game open with a huge 71-yard TD reception in the 4th quarter. Pretty much stuffed all game long, I really have to credit the Eagles for continuing to feed B-West the ball and get him the touches, because we all know what he can do, and some games its just a matter of time.

Speaking of coaching patience, I was afraid, really afraid Andy Reid & Co. were going to abandon the run and just go into pass-pass-pass mode once it became apparent that the running game just wasn't going to be very successful earlier today. But to his credit he didn't. Did the Eagles pass more than run. Sure did. But the Birds O kept dialing up runs, even late in the game and I think it kept the Viking's defense honest. I think that made a real difference. Next week should be different, as the Giants don't have the same Run D that Minnesota boasts...though they are pretty damn good, and we'll need to stay committed and get better results, to win next week.

But for now, Philly fans can dream of what might be for another week. And after things looked so bleak just a few weeks ago, that's really not such a bad thing.