31 August 2007

2007 Preseason: Game 4

Eagles v. Jets, Thursday, August 30

No, I haven't actually watched the game yet. The Redskins loss to the Jaguars was broadcast locally. But I'm not even sure I'm going to bother. Weren't all the real players at Dawk's eating hot wings and watching Happy Gilmore?

No, what I'm really writing about is this statement from Les Bowen's column in today's Inquirer:
So the meaningless fourth preseason game stays with us, for now.
I feel compelled to point out that it has nothing to do with whether it's the fourth, second, tenth, or hundredth pre-season game - whichever one is LAST is always going to be meaningless. No matter how the NFL Powers That Be decide to tweak the schedule, coaches will ALWAYS hold the starters out of the last pre-season game before the regular season starts. And as a professional sportswriter, you'd think ole Les could figure that out.


So, Eagles fans, should I search for Eagles/Jets on the NFL Network and devote a few hours of what promises to be a gorgeous Labor Day weekend to watching it, or should I bag it in favor of concentrating on putting together my typically incorrect divisional picks? You make the call...

29 August 2007

2007 Preseason: Game 3

Eagles at Steelers, Sunday, August 26

Chef Spouse headed up to Philly Monday morning before God got up (because I refuse to believe in a deity who arises before the sun), so we Tivoed the second half as we were...otherwise occupied at the time it originally aired.

Anyway, I've been busy until tonight, and the second half of the game sat here waiting for me to watch it. I made myself a nice dinner, poured a glass of wine, and sat down to enjoy the second half.

Well, that was a waste. "Enjoy"? Too bad there's no emoticon for rolling your eyes.

So here's the thing: the whole reason for the pre-season is to let the other guys vie to be second and third teamers, right? I understand why the first team was playing like they were half asleep. They had thoughts of getting back to Madden 08 dancing through their heads. But what about the rest of those slackers? That's no way to graduate off the practice squad, people!

According to all the pre-game hoopla, McNabb was supposed to play for the entire first half. And yet, 5 minutes into the second quarter, out he comes. One explanation is that all is not well with his knee. However, I suspect that the answer is much simpler: AR figured that, since no one was going to catch anything he was throwing, there was no point in risking him, so...

Kolb did seem to do a little better after he calmed down. But come on! Roethlisberger had thrown about a hundred picks in the first quarter alone, and all we had to show for it was 3 points? Dude, they're trying to hand us the game, and we keep giving it back, "Oh no, you go ahead and win. We don't want to win tonight."

And that was pretty much that.

Hey, desultory game, desultory review. What can I say?

One final note: tonight marks the two year anniversary of when the levees broke in New Orleans. Know what the federal government has done in the last two years to demonstrate leadership in restoring the Gulf Coast? Fuck all. Of the many egregious failings of the current administration, their malign neglect of an entire region is among the worst. Write your Senators, write your Representative, send a letter to the editor, but do something. I love football, and I love the Eagles, but it's time to get off our asses and do something for our fellow citizens who are in need.

24 August 2007

Broadband Wireless Cards Ahoy!

After months of effort by myself and New Boss, my company finally coughed up an aircard for me. "Big deal," you say. "So you've become one of those workaholic corporate drones who's always accessible to Big Brother Company. Why should I care...other than to pity you?"

Here's why you should care: I'm now equipped to live blog the season opener from Chickie & Pete's on September 9. It's on, baby!

Now I'll just have to get hosting set up somewhere so I can take photos and post them in real time....

22 August 2007

2007 Preseason: Game 2

Eagles v. Panthers, Friday, August 17, 2007

It's pre-season, a lot of starters don't even dress out, the coaches are mostly testing the rookies and new guys, nobody's really taking it seriously other than the guys who are trying to graduate off the practice squad, yackity-smackity. But we won!

But it is pre-season, so I'm not doing a full recap. I skipped blogger training camp in favor of drinking margaritas by the pool and don't want to pull a synapse by starting too fast.

A few notes:

D-Mac looked good for the couple of series he played. More importantly, he got knocked down and bounced right back up. That brace is pretty scary looking, though. As I can attest from years of running, once you're wearing hardware like that all the time, it pretty much becomes a permanent part of your leg. I hope Big D's OK with that.

I can't believe it was Trot's last game. It really bums me out that Dawk sat. Those two seem to have a really tight friendship. It's a shame they didn't get to play together one last time.

LITO! So good to see you back! Think you can pull off a INT returned for a TD per game this year? 'Cause that would be awesome. Thanks, babe. And call me about the cookies. Seriously.

Sav Rocca has one hell of a leg. And Akers seems to be OK with him holding, which is good. See ya, Dirk. Watching the two of them together is hilarious, though. Sav's at least a foot taller than our diminutive kicking superstar. They hugged after the game opening 52 yarder, and Akers barely cleared Sav's belt buckle.

Speaking of kickers, if Trot was cut so we can keep Dirk Johnson, I will be royally pissed.

Want to know what else pissed me off? The NFL Network, I guess in a bid for equity, broadcast the first half of the game with play-by-play provided by ETN commentators Ike Reese, Gus Johnson, and Dave Spadaro who talked about the teams, the players, the coaches, the plays. Yeah, maybe it was a little Eagles-centric, but they actually talked about, you know, the GAME. After the half, the commentary switched to Panthers sportscasters. Who proceeded to spend the entire third quarter interviewing some guy. Look, I know y'all were getting whupped, but sack up and call the game. Some of us are actually watching it.

Sadly, the Panthers TV commentators returned to calling the game in the fourth quarter, by which point it looked like it was being played by oversized Pop Warner teams. I kept wanting to yell: "No, your goal is the other way. THE OTHER WAY, DUDE!" It was pretty entertaining, particularly since the game didn't matter.

On to the Steelers....

21 August 2007

Farewell to the Axeman

I step away from my computer for a few hours to go to meetings with potential clients, and the Front Office decides to drop a bomb on us!

There's already been some good stuff written on the Trot situation - here, here, here, and here for instance - but I do have a few things to add.
  1. I predicted this back in January.
  2. So did Jaws.
  3. People, remember that we have the second most unsentimental Front Office in the NFL (still holding down the top spot: Bill Belichick's Patriots.)
  4. When Trot left at the end of the 2001 season, he was the goat. Now he's leaving a hero. And it's sad, but homey's best days are clearly behind him (see above, point 3).
Axeman, I'm not sure what your next move is, but I think we all wish you the very best. We'll miss you.

20 August 2007

NFL Network, Why Do You Torture Me?

Thanks to the vagaries of the NFL Network, I will not see - nor be able to recap - our trouncing of the Panthers (hey there, Mr. North Carolina!) until tomorrow. Well, it's not ENTIRELY the NFL Network's fault - Chef Spouse and I were on Wealthy Entrepreneur's boat, the All Tide Up, for the weekend and so were beyond the reach of TV on Friday night. You-Two-Calm-Down-or-I'm-Turning-Off-the-TV Dad and Cowboys Homegirl (we have to forgive her, she knows not what she does) were keeping me up to date on the score via the miracle of text messaging. But I still haven't seen Big D in action for myself. Although I hear it was good. And there was certainly much rejoicing. Particularly Chez Life-Long Eagles Fan Mom.

Actually, I'm here to write about two other things:
  1. Eagles BloggerCon2007: You will be at Chickie & Pete's Packer Avenue on September 9, bon't you? You know you want to meet Chef Spouse and Life-Long Eagles Fan Mom in person. Don't even try to deny it.
  2. Mike/Michael/Mike Vick admitted it. Huhn. I really didn't see that coming. As New Boss (aka My Savior) pointed out over lunch on a recent business trip to Chi-town, he seems arrogant enough that he'd be willing to take his chances in court. Of course, the feds did get everyone else involved to sell him down the river, so he might've realized that Pickett had a better shot than he does. But ESPN's been providing non-stop Vick reportage all afternoon, to the tune of: "Vick's going to plead guilty. In other news, the NFL and the Falcons ain't saying nothin'." How they could stretch that into 6 solid hours of talking is beyond me, but hey, there are about a million cable news networks making 24 hour a day coverage out of less. Vick has always struck me as being right on the edge of losing it - a guy with a bad attitude and poor impulse control, who's received no guidance from the team owner, the coaching staff, or his fellow players. Wouldn't he feel more comfortable in the NBA? There's a lot of hot air blowing about what's going to happen, but personally I think Vick's done in the NFL. What a waste.

16 August 2007

It's the 2007 Pre-Season, Baby!

Eagles at Ravens, Monday, August 13, 2007

Welcome to the 2007 pre-season, peeps! Sorry this is a few days delayed, but I was in Chicago on business and wasn't able to see the game until I got home last night. Being in Chicago and on a trip that involved a lot of evening "networking" (aka "shots"), I didn't even get to see much of the nationally-televised 49ers/Broncos matchup. I did however see enough to deduce that Jaws was frappin' brilliant. And not just in comparison to the clearly-took-too-many-shots-to-the-head-in-his-playing-days Joe Theismann. Thank heavens we'll actually be able to enjoy some informed, intelligent commentary this year.

Monday was Chef Spouse's birthday and NOT ONLY was he on his own because I was in Chicago, BUT that game was, um, not exactly our most brilliant work ever. Thanks a lot, guys. I suspect he'll get a lot more satisfaction out of the CIA Soup Book I got him than that mess. Yeah, I know Big Red doesn't care about the pre-season (in fact, we rarely win pre-season games under the current coaching regime), and we're just trying to get a look-see at EVERYONE in a game situation, but that was some sorry, sorry playing.

Of course, the Eagles didn't seem to be the only ones who weren't quite prepared for the start of the 2007 pre-season...

Dear Ravens commentators: David Akers did not shank his first FG attempt. It was CLEARLY diverted by one of the Ravens in a near-block. Also: OUCH! Wouldn't that really hurt your hand?

Dear refs: hee-hee-hee, yeah, Sav Rocca gets to be featured on SportsCenter's Jacked Up! segment in his very first game. However, you might want to note that it was a TOTALLY ILLEGAL helmet-to-helmet hit and should have resulted in a 15 yard personal foul penalty on Antwan Barnes, rather than penalizing Gasperson, who was just getting a little payback. Pay attention, zebras! On the up side, Sav's obviously a tough mo-fo. Big leg, too. Dear Dirk: nice knowing you. Of course, Aussie rules footy does not even include helmets, so Sav probably wasn't too fussed at losing his.

In other news, McDougle's hurt again...Moats is out for the season...I'm guessing that's the last we'll see of either of those two. Anyone have any news on LJ? Anybody heard about Lito's recovery progress? What about Westy's sore knee? Dawk's problems? I know AR's not going to be forthcoming....

And what have we learned so far? Not much, other than as usual there's a bunch of new guys whose names I'm going to have to learn.

And don't forget BloggerCon2007 - I'll be there. Will you?