Author Archive

Eagles Look to Bring Back McNabb

October 10, 2011
 

While there is no truth to this, Andy Reid would welcome the return of Philadelphia’s prodigal son.  For many years, Donovan deservedly, or so it appeared to many of us, took the blame for many of the Eagles offense’s insufficiencies.  I am not a McNabb apologist or even a McNabb fan. However, it has become extremely evident that the root cause of all of the offensive insufficiencies over the past 13 years can be traced back to one man. 

It’s so predictable to the national media that Philadelphians would be calling for Reid’s head today.  It seems “we” are the problem, which is extremely funny how all “we” do is support this team no matter how arrogant they are towards us.  What they fail to see is the decline in this team, regardless of what Reid’s career record is.  Per the great Jerry Glanville, the NFL stands for “Not For Long.”  13 years is far too long. 

Anyway,  I digress – the clock is now officially ticking on Andy Reid’s tenure here.  While it is widely known that in-game management – 2 minute offense, clock management, and halftime adjustments – has never been his strong point, his teams have always played hard and smart (for the most part).  Unfortunately, that is not the case this season.  In fact, the defense without Jim Johnson’s leadership has gotten worse every year.  In the past, Johnson’s defense was so good that it overcame many of the offense’s, and Reid’s, shortcomings.  This is his first 4 game losing streak since his first season in 1999.  It looks like we have come full circle.  There are many differences between this team and that one, particularly expectations .  Nobody blinked when they lost 4 in a row in 1999. This year’s version wasn’t supposed to even have 4 losses for the season, let alone in the first 5 games.  While we can all agree that it’s time for Andy to step aside, unless this run of futility continues the rest of the year, i’m not confident a change will be made.

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Collapse of an Empire

October 7, 2011

The happiest guys in Philadelphia tonight. Be careful what you wish for boys.

Have you truly enjoyed the ride since 2007?

After a loss like tonight, you have 2 options – get rip-roaring drunk or reflect on what happened (the 3rd option is you do both – which is my vote).  We can all admit this to each other now, fellow Philadelphians – we weren’t too confident about tonight’s game.  The momentum had swung in Game 2, when the Cardinals came back from 4 down to humanize Cliff Lee (who, by the way, will most likely not take any of the blame for this series loss but should share in some of it) to the Philadelphia faithful. God love Cole Hamels, who did everything in his power to keep runs off the board in Game 3.  Can i take a minute to say that Cole doesn’t get enough love in this town.  Not only is he the only starter on this team with a ring, he was the fucking MVP of the only World Series the Phillies have won in the last 30+ years.  While he’s not your typical Philadelphia athlete, I’m okay that he is a big game pitcher who is completely underrated in his own town.  Roy Oswalt did everything to earn his $14 million dollar salary except hold up a 2-0 lead by letting up 5 earned runs in Game 4, which brings us to tonight. 

Roy Halladay was Awesome, plain and simple.  No way should he take a loss in a season ending game with the way he pitched tonight.  There’s a lot of blame to toss around, much of it well deserved. In the biggest game of the season, the lineup was a no show.  Why? 

The Phillies have gotten fat. Not as in overweight, but they’ve gotten content. Having won their division 5 years in a row, they appear to have lost that hunger. Every other team in the playoffs now has a stupid handshake, pose, dance, etc that is unique to them. I know its stupid but its a spark that i just don’t see on this team.  What the experience of the postseason has done to the Phillies has been to minimize their sense of urgency. They seem to believe that  they can win every game, which is a good thing. however, in the past few years they seem to run out of innings to win games.  the team has become arrogant.  Arrogance as we know can manifest itself in many ways.  The Phillies’ arrogance, unlike the Eagles, is something that can happen with true success. 

They have built a wonderful pitching staff, but that will only take you to 102 wins  and a 1st round playoff exit.  The core position players (Rollins, Utley, Howard) have all seemed to age simultaneously and not in a positive way.  They no longer are the players that we remember them being, even as recently as 2 years ago.  I don’t say this to be critical because i have enjoyed the ride.  It’s been wonderful and its reawoken Philadelphia as a baseball town.  However, this team as its currently constructed will not win a World Series.  the window has officially closed. Ruben is a smart enough baseball man to realize this as well and i have no doubt he will do everything in his power to try to fix this.  I am not envious of the position Ruben is in because it’s not just one fix that will put this team over the hump.

 

Canada’s Angels

February 26, 2010

  Move over, Rae Dawn Chong and Cory Haim.  Please take a step back Howie Mandel and Rick Moranis.  Canada’s femme fatales have stolen the spotlight of these 2010 Olympic games.  While curling was the talk of the games, particularly the skip of the Canadian Women’s Curling team, Cheryl Bernard (“the Curlgar”), it has been another Canadian team that has since stolen the spotlight.  

Is that a Coors Light in her hand? I guess Canada has annexed Colorado.

The ladies on ice from Canada won a gold medal besting the best America could offer.  As i was sipping Lambrusco with Jason Priestly last night in Vancouver, you could see Canadian pride in his eyes.  Yes, folks, Canadians really love their women’s hockey.  Many Canadians, like Alan Thicke, were so embarrassed that the “other” Canadian hockey team lost to the Americans, that they have thrown their loyalty behind the New “Canada’s team.”  To repay the Canadian faithful who have come to cheer them more than socialized medicine and the Royal Mounted Police, the Canadians Women’s Hockey Team blew the doors off of the IOC establishment last night.  Members of the team smoked cigars, drank beer, and poured champagne in each other mouths.  This is starting to sound like a late-night USA flick, starring another of Canada’s daughters, Shannon Tweed.  It was a joy to watch as its not often you see sweaty women in full hockey gear, minus the helmet, smoking cigars and pouring champagne all over each other.  I speak for the men in Canada, and in this case the world, when i say: ” I salute thee, daughters of Canada.”

The Rumor Mill, It’s a Churning

July 9, 2009
Halladay for Kendrick, Park, Taguchi, and Bruntlett??

Halladay for Kendrick, Park, Taguchi, and Bruntlett??

Step right up and get your hopes squashed! Get ready folks to get your hopes sky high through July 31st, as the MLB trade deadline quickly approaches.  You can certainly bet that your own Philadelphia Phillies will be leading the pack for potential trade scuttlebut for the next 22 days.  Heck, it’s already started with Roy Halladay, whose name sounds like he’s from a 1950s Western.   At best, the chances of Roy Halladay being on the mound for the Phillies is remote at best.  I am not a believer in the odds that have been put out there by Buster Olney of ESPN.  I, for one, am not going to get my too excited at this point.  There are so many reasons why this trade won’t happen, so here goes:

1)Roy Halladay would have to waive his no-trade clause AND most likely get an extension from the Phillies on his contract which ends after next year.  It has been rumored that at 32 years old, he is looking for a 4-5 year extension in the $1oo million range.  The Phillies don’t believe in deals longer than 3 years for pitchers, and it’s turned out to be a smart business practice.

2) The Phillies have a couple of really good prospects in the minors, but their minor leagues system would surely be depleted if the trade occurred.  As we’ve recently with the injuries to Ibanez and no real right-handed bat off the bench, the Phils have no position players waiting in the wings in the immediate future.  How else can you explain Eric Bruntlett still being part of the team.   Where have you gone  Tad Iguchi? Doug Glanville? Wes Chamberlain?  In addition, although they have a few top prospects, there is no depth down on the farm. 

3) The Phillies don’t have anyone on their current major league roster they would or could trade.  The prime example here is J.A. Happ.  I would not include Happ in the trade.  He’s been the Phillies best pitcher since they put him back in the rotation.   Many people in and around the organization look at him as the 2nd coming of Kyle Kendrick.  I think that’s harsh.  Kendrick couldn’t strike me out if we were playing whiffle ball on a windy day at Wildwood Crest.  Happ isn’t dominant, but he’s smart, changes speeds well, has a deceptive delivery, and can strike Major League hitters out.  This is why Toronto would want him involved in the trade, but exactly why i wouldn’t trade him. 

4) With all that being said, other teams just have deeper farm systems and can offer better packages. For example, Boston can headline any offer with Clay Bucholz, who is like 50-1 in the minors this year and, oh by the way, has already thrown a no-hitter for the Red Sox.  Another example is Angels, who can offer Jared Weaver.  Both of these guys are currently better than Happ.  On top of that, i don’t want to trade Happ.

So, to any fairweather Phillies fans out there, and there are an awful lot of you after the World Series win, please stop with your ridiculous trade packages for Halladay.  The next time I see a comment posted on Philly.com that says, “Hey, how about Kendrick, Donald, Baco, Bruntlett, and Milt Thompson for Halladay,”  I am not going to yell or scream.  I do solemnly pledge, that from today through July 31st, I will not read or listen to MLB trade rumors.  I will leave you with this:

If the Phillies could get Halladay for Dominic Brown, Joe Savery, Lou Marsen, John Mayberry, Jr, and Kyle Kendrick, than Rueben, you have my permission (I beg of you) to bring in Mr Halladay.  Maybe Toronto could throw in a right-handed bat off the bench too for that price tag.

2009 NBA Draft: What Were They Thinking?

June 28, 2009
The "Kandi" Man can?

The "Kandi" Man can?

 

How does potential smell?

How does potential smell?

 

 

 

 

The NBA Draft has officially spiralled out of control.  While it’s true that after a certain point in each draft it is a crapshoot.  However, some GM’s turn it into a self-fulfilled prophecy with guys like Rodrigue Beaubois and Christian Eyenga being taken in the first round.  With many teams selling their picks or just picking any Euro trash player they can when they can’t sell their picks, the NBA Draft is officially pathetic.  How bad has it gotten?  There will be more serviceable NBA players from the first 10 picks in the 2nd round, than from picks 10-20 in the 1st round.   I just want to send a big “thank you” to all of the AAU coaches out there who have single handedly destroyed the NBA in the past 10 years. 

Here is a list of GM’s in the NBA who really make you scratch you’re head and ask “What Were They Thinking?”:

1) Chris Wallace – Memphis: After the Pau Gasol debacle, how does this guy still have a job?  They have some above average young talent, but if i were a Grizz fan i sure would want a better player at #2 than the Tanzanian Dalembert.  Really, what is Thabeet’s upside?  He plays 20 minutes a game, gets a couple of blocks, a rebound or two (he’s a terrible rebounder), and scores 6-8 points per game on Alley-oops and putbacks.  Sound enticing, Memphis?  I bet a twin towers scenario of Thabeet and the other Gasol gets your motors running though.  It seems like Memphis may be a little too late to the “Hack a Shaq” party.  You may have the worst GM in the NBA, but the following guys are gunning for  Chris Wallace.

2) David Kahn- T’Wolves:  Although he comes from a good pedigree and he did finally oust Kevin McHale, he is stockpiling point guards like the Detroit Lions have stockpiled wide receivers in the past.  We all know how that has worked out, right?  It’s always a good idea to take an 18-year old kid from Spain who has no intention of ever even coming to Minnesota (as seen by him skipping his introductory press conference) and, oh by the way, has 2 years left on his European contract.  Can they ask for a “takeback” on their trade with the Wizards and get Foye and Miller back? They officially have no shooters on their roster now.  The Minnesota Timberwolves are like a Doublemint commercial.  First, they would show Jefferson and Love, who both play the same position and then they could pan to Rubio and Flynn riding a tandem bike.  It would be perfect. 

3) Bryan Colangelo – Toronto:  Oh, where to start here.  He is still hanging his hat on hitting the jackpot with signing Steve Nash in free agency and getting a career year out of Boris Diaw after trading away Joe Johnson in Phoenix.  If you have a franchise player who is all but packed his bags after this year, i would certainly want to do more than to draft a 19-year old who was just okay last year at USC.  He’s got potential, right?  And i thought they would go for another European this year. 

4) Ed Stefanski- Sixers: It’s too easy to pick on your hometown GM when ESPN reports two days prior to the draft, you are shopping last year’s big signing who still happens to have $65 million left on his balky contract.  And, you thought it was tough to find a taker for Dalembert?  The Sixers are still without a point guard who can step in and play this year and they still have nothing resembling an NBA 2-guard.  By the way, i am tired of hearing that the Sixers draft well.  Outside of Iguodala who fell in their laps thanks to the ineptitude of Toronto’s previous regime (not you, Bryan Colangelo), who have they really drafted that is a good NBA player.  Thaddeus Young?  He was exposed in the playoffs.  Kyle Korver?  He’s a good guy with a nice shot but not athletic enough to cover anybody or create his own shot.  Lou Williams?  I despise him because he is so inconsistent, which is another hallmark of today’s NBA.  Willie Green?  Ugh.  Jason Smith?  Please.  Case closed.

5) Danny Ferry – Cleveland:  So you’ve just put all your chips in, you’ve traded for Shaq, and with your first round pick, you take……….Christian Eyenga from the Congo.  No, Danny who are you really taking?  Well, i’m sure Dejuan Blair would have just been a terrible fit.  Who needs a great rebounder, who provides a huge physical presence in the post?  Oh, that’ right, the Cleveland Cavaliers do.  Sorry Cleveland, when Lebron leaves you can just look at your GM and point the finger.

Ladies and gentlemen, the NBA in 2009 is “Inconsistently but Potentially Fantastic.”

Draft Fever: The Millionth Mock Draft

April 25, 2009

After many weeks of research, studying tape, reviewing wing span and shuttle run times, capped off by a trip to the combine in Indy, I bring you my 3rd annual, definitive mock draft.  I fucking love the draft, plain and simple. However, I am almost constantly disappointed by our beloved Eagles. I wish i could tell you it’s going to be different this year, but i am sure it won’t be.

If you’re asking yourself, who doesn’t get excited about trading out of the first round…………..me. It’s fucking agonizing.  Anyway, here you go:

If Stafford sucks, he could always go into Strongest Man competitions

If Stafford sucks, he could always go into Strongest Man competitions

1. Detroit Lions- Matthew Stafford, QB- Georgia

2. St Louis Rams- Jason Smith, LT – Baylor

3. KC Chiefs – Aaron Curry, LB – Wake Forest

4. Seattle Seahawks – Eugene Monroe, LT – Virginia

5. Cleveland Browns (adios Braylon Edwards) – Michael Crabtree, WR – Texas Tech

6. Cincinnati Bengals – BJ Raji, DT – Boston College

7. Oakland Raiders – Jeremy Maclin, WR – Missouri

8. Jacksonville Jaguars (I’m guessing they will trade out) – Mark “Dirty” Sanchez, QB – USC

9. Green Bay Packers – Brian Orapko, DE/OLB – Texas (this guy is fucking ridiculously huge, like Latimer in “The Program”)

10. SF 49ers – Aaron Maybin, DE/OLB – Another JoePa NFL bust

11. Buffalo Bills – Andre Smith, LT – Alabama

12. Denver Broncos – Tyson Jackson, DE – LSU

13. Washington Redskins – Michael Oher, LT – Ole Miss

14. New Orleans Saints – Chris Wells, RB – one of Tressel’s thugs

15. Houston Texans (I still forget they are an NFL team) – Brian Cushing, LB – USC

16. San Diego Charges – Knowshon Moreno, RB – he should be the eagles pick but they will have to move up.

17. NY Jets – Ray “the Samoan Ray Lewis” Maleuga, MLB

18. Denver Broncos – Malcolm Jenkins – The Overrated Ohio State University

19. Tampa Bay Buccaners – Josh Freeman, QB – Kansas State (will be one of the biggest busts in this draft)

20. Detroit Lions – Eben Britton, LT – Arizona

21. Eagles – Donald Brown, RB – UConn (not making me too excited)

22. Minnesota Vikings – Darius Hayward-Bay, WR – maryland (a huge bust; anyone remember Troy Williamson. this guy had 42 catches last year for the season)

23. NE Patriots – Clay Matthews, Jr, LB – USC

24. Atlanta Falcons – Robert Ayers, DE – Tennessee

25. Miami Dolphins – Everette Brown, DE/OLB – FSU

26. Baltimore Ravens – Kenny Britt, WR – Rutgers

27. Colts – Perria Jerry, DT, Ole Miss

28. Buffalo Bills – Brandon Pettigrew, TE – Oklahoma State (would like to see him in midnight green next year)

29. NY Giants – Hakeem Nicks, WR – UNC

30. Tennessee Titans – Darius Butler, CB – UConn

31. Arizona Cardinals – Ziggy Hood, DT – Missouri

32. Steelers – Alex Mack, C – Cal

Eagles Draft Fever

March 14, 2009

reid-butt

Like many Eagles fans, I too get caught up in all of the pre-draft hoopla.  I enjoy looking at mock drafts on the internet, always hoping for some pearl of knowledge or inside scoop that i didn’t know before.  But ladies and gentlemen, when looking at past Eagles draft day strategy two questions come to mind.  Why do we get excited and why will this year be any different?

The Eagles front office has left me damaged this offseason so far like most other diehard fans yet we continue to get excited for offseason aquisitions and player movement.  Reid and company’s draft day track record has been deplorable.  Yes, they will always hold onto the fact that they chose McNabb over Ricky Williams, and the 2002 draft where they drafted Westbrook, Lito, Sheldon, and the dubious Michael Lewis.  Hell, they’ll even pull the 5th-round coup of Trent Cole in 2004 into discussion.  While even i can’t argue those successes, they pale in comparison with the overwhelming majority of decisions that have been made.  I think Reid and Company’s draft history can be best summed up by trading away their first round pick the last two years and the infamous 2004 draft:

Rd 1- Mike Patterson, Rd 2- Reggie Brown and Matt McCoy, Rd 3- Ryan Moats, Rd 4- Sean Considine

So, given the less than stellar history of Reid and Company’s draft day reputation, what will they do this year? I believe they will trade both of their first round picks to move up in the draft to pick a Left Tackle.  You will hear alot of speculation going forward that Jason Peters, LT for the Bills, may be a player on the Birds radar.  Well, he wants to be the highest paid LT in football, and even though he may actually be one of the best LT in football, i am nearly certain the Eagles wouldn’t trade away a high pick and have to give him big money in a new contract.  That is just not the Eagles way.  In addition, since they currently don’t have a starting-caliber LT on the roster, i expect they will have no leverage in trading up and ultimately get taken for more than they needed to out of their own self-created desparation.  As a result, we will all be disappointed in the first round of the draft and come out with only a LT.

It will be the same scenario for the second round.  Since they have no depth at RB behind Westbrook, most teams will know exactly what they are looking for.  While they have interest in Donald Brown, RB from UConn, i could see another team that covets him trading up to the spot ahead of the Birds to get him.  It will force the braintrust of Reid and Banner to go to plan B, which to me is probably what happens to them on most  draft days.  As we all know, Plan B is a scary proposition and the Eagles love to screw up 2nd round picks.  With the exception of Lito, Sheldon, and DeSean Jackson, can you name me one 2nd round pick that has made any sort of an impact on the Eagles in the last 10 years?  I can’t either, so don’t worry.  By the way, 3 impact players out of 12 second round picks isn’t the “gold standard.”  Anyway, Reid and Company will be forced to scramble with their second round pick.  They need a strong draft this year, but i’m just not confident based on their track record that this occur.  They would be better off trading some picks away for established veterans, like Peters and Boldin.  However, they cherish their draft picks, especially 2nd through 7th rounders, because their salaries are cheaper than established veterans. 

Even though this off season has started out so poorly, i am willing to wait until after the draft to grade it and to make up my mind about whether to continue with my season tickets.  The Eagles have plenty of money under the salary cap to spend and need to make a big move to win back some of the court of public opinion.  If they don’t, this could potentially be a abysmal year at the Linc and in the homes of all Eagles fans.  I am left with one large looming question:  What am i going to do on Sundays during football season this year?

Two lucky 76ers get early invites to All-Star Weekend

December 2, 2008

iggy31

sammyd2

Phoenix in February.  For two lucky 76ers, that is exactly what is in store.  In a surprising announcement, Ed Stefanski announced today that the NBA front-office has extended invitations to both Andre Iguodala and Samuel Dalembert for All-Star Weekend even though the season is only less than a quarter through.  When reached for comment, Tim Frank, spokesman for the NBA, said “We have seen enough thus far to make this decision.  Anyway, who cares? Nobody is paying attention to the NBA until the summer of 2010 anyway.  We’re just trying to shake it up. ” Andre Iguodala has been asked to compete in the 3-point shooting contest, while Samuel Dalembert will take part in the skills competition.

So You’re Telling Me There’s a Chance

November 25, 2008
The Eagles playoff chances are more like 1 in a million

The Eagles playoff chances are more like 1 in a million

The Eagles are preparing for their final push for the playoffs.   Although the Eagles under Reid and McNabb have been the Symbol of Mediocrity with a 29-29-1 record since their 2004 Super Bowl season and haven’t won more than 3 games in a row since 2004, that playoff feeling is in the air at the NovaCare Complex.  Sitting pretty at 5-5-1, only 2.5 games out of the NFC wildcard with 5 games left, 3 of which are against NFC East foes that the Eagles already lost to this year, Eagles fans everywhere are gearing up for the run.   In most oblivious fashion, Joe Banner stated “It will be a sellout,” referring to this week’s game versus the Arizona Cardinals.   Technically Mr Banner is correct, however, ticket brokers throughout the Delaware Valley haven’t seen Eagles ticket sales like this in years.  According to many on-line ticket brockerages, Eagles tickets are currently selling for about 50% of their face value for Thanksgiving Night.  The Eagles organization has requested that all fans in attendance wear black for an “Eagles Blackout.”  However, if the Eagles organization doesn’t come to its senses soon, they may soon start to see the other kind of blackout.

Joe Banner says “How Hard Can It Be To Get This Offense Going?”

November 25, 2008
LJ demonstrates his blocking technique

LJ demonstrates his blocking technique

In yet another cost saving move by the Eagles front office, the self proclaimed “gold standard”, Joe Banner, will take over as the offensive coordinator this week.  Marty Mornigwheg will coach the special teams.  In an interesting twist,  Rory Segrist , the Eagles’ Special Teams coach, was asked to take an unpaid leave given the current financial crisis that the Eagles’ are enduring this year.  It should be noted that the Eagles are only 10 million under the cap this year versus 16 million last year. Given how the organization operates, John Harbaugh, Segrist’s former boss, was asked by Eagles brass to notify Segrist that he would be on an unpaid leave this week.

Banner sees this as an opportunity to get out of the luxury box and to mingle with the common folk.  Unfortunately, just as Mornigwheg before him, Coach Reid will maintain his play-calling duties leaving Banner, like many other Eagles, unsure of what his role will be.  Banner applauded Andy Reid for his skill in talent evaluation by stating, “we have signed and started more undrafted free agents than any team in the NFL during Coach Reid’s tenure.”  In fact, Coach Reid appears to have more luck with undrafted free agents than in the first or second round of the draft.  As a result, the Eagles are said to be seriously considering trading all of their draft picks in this year’s draft for future picks.  It’s sort of like what the Saints did to get Ricky Williams, only the complete opposite.  When asked about this, Tom Heckert so eloquently stated, “Why would we change our strategy.  First round picks are expensive and we feel that we can get first round talent in the second round at a second round salary.”  Banner and Heckert then shared a hi-five.