Monday, November 19

Here comes a big one

I have to admit...even though I had on the game yesterday, I don't think I paid attention to more than three or four plays. Talk about boring.

This coming weekend should be a little different. It's not often that I would look forward to a guaranteed ass-whooping, but I think I am. I am eager to see the Eagles get embarrassed. Eager to see McNabb laugh it up after the sure-to-come misfires on offense. I'm definitely eager to hear the mundane comments in Andy's post-game press conference. Honestly, I'd love to see our defense put up a fight, but they're going to be on the field too much.

Yes, I can't wait for the Eagles to throw in an epically awful performance. And when the Patriots have one of those "go for it on 4th and 3, up 57 points in the 4th quarter" moments, I will not be bitching. This is football after all. A sport for men, even if the Birds might look like boys afterwards.

Wednesday, October 31

Wha happen?


After a week of cool down, an Eagles victory, and the realization that this year's NFL season is unpredictably weird, I almost feel like taking back some of the things I said last week.

Obviously that's not going to happen. Honestly though, what teams in the NFL are good anymore? The Chiefs are leading the AFC West. The mediocre Cowboys lead the NFC East. There are divisions that are unmentionable altogether. I can only list three or four teams that are definitely good.

All things considered, however, the Eagles might not be as bad as I previously thought.

Scratch that. They are horrible. The other teams they play might be worse than I expected, which makes the Eagles look good. This season might truly be a toss-up. McNabb actually looked a little better on Sunday, against a Viking defense that isn't horrible. Interesting games abound on the remaining schedule, and hopefully #5 continues to get back in some sort of a stride. If you were to make any sort of prognostication on NFC playoffs right now, I'd say you either work for ESPN and get paid to make stupid comments, or you just don't get it. I'm so confused.

Wednesday, October 24

Is this the end of an era?

Remember in preseason when everyone was predicting at least nine wins for the Eagles, and most put it over ten?

Man, that just seems crazy now. Clearly this team has major issues, both now, and in the future. It's tough to say whether or not they can recover in the short term, under this management, but I for one am fairly hopeful for the next decade or so. Beyond that, it's clearly ridiculous to postulate.

But, another hypothetical question must be asked. If they don't pull this season out (which seems highly unlikely at this point), is the good-Reid era over, and soon to be replaced by the bad-Reid era? Will he be fired?

I don't think Lurie has shown that he's the type to fire Andy Reid. I think he should...I think most sensible people do. And honestly, while this team isn't quite at "blow up" level, I think some serious re-thinking needs to be done, offensively and defensively. Clearly a new coach would bring that, and a fresh perspective all around. No disrespect to Reid, because when he was good, he was really good. But the Eagles' play has become beyond stale, and has shown no signs of recovery.

Monday, October 15

In case you haven't noticed...

Ok, so I know this is more of a diary entry than a blog post, as I might be the only remaining hockey fan in the country, but here it is.

Remember last season's horrible performance? Those days might be finished. Sure, they've only played 4 games, but they look pretty good. If you remember, last year I couldn't quite figure out why the Flyers were so bad. I could see some of it, but the fact that they were truly dominated in every way perplexed me.

This season is clearly different, even if they don't keep up this pace. This team is mean. They've fought, they've taken dirty penalties, and all the while, they've managed to score enough goals to win games. Not surprisingly, the Rangers, whom everyone thought would walk away with the division, are experiencing some early season jitters, and look like just another New York team: miserably failing at buying a championship.

The Flyers, on the other hand, look sprightly to say the least, all while harnessing what appears to be the same type of intensity that gave this team so much success years ago. I'm not gonna get ahead of myself and say that they're definitely a lot better than last year's team, because they've only played four games. But I will say that I think this season just might be enjoyable.

Thursday, October 11

Too many questions

The Phillies made the playoffs, and immediately blew it. It was a turbulent season; our "ace" got hurt and it might have helped us, we moved our other "ace" to the bullpen and it might have helped us. Our two best offensive players missed a ton of games. And they battled, and battled, and battled. And somehow snuck into the playoffs.

I have to say it was pretty crazy. I went to game one, and although it was disappointing, it was a once in a life time experience.

But now that it's been a week, and the excitement/despair has worn off, does this take the Phillies off the hook? Do they get a pass for a year or two, at which point we can begin complaining again? Are they on the same list as the early 2000's Eagles who flirted with destiny, but never reached it?

I'm so torn on this season. I can't decide if I have any confidence in the team for next season, or if this was truly just a fluke. I obviously enjoyed the season. But what comes next?

Monday, October 1

Did that seriously just happen?

Give me a call when reality sets back in.
Greenbleeder over and out.

Wednesday, August 29

Ah yes, here it is. The dreaded end of the season. The Phils predictably fall apart, pull it back together, fall apart again, and eventually leave you wondering what in the hell just happened and why didn't I see this coming. Or, how did I see this coming. Inevitability bites you like a 3 pound mosquito, and until football gets under way, that thing itches like a somabitch.

They just took two miracle games from the Mets, with two to go. Still four back from them, and three back in the Wild Card. At this point last season, if my memory serves me correctly, the Phillies were in first for the Wild Card.

I'm not sure what I'm trying to say here. All I know is we've certainly seen this before. I hadn't watched a game in weeks before the Mets series (they always draw me back in just because I loathe the Mets so much), but we all know a series victory here is going to spark the city back onto the bandwagon, and I don't know if I can deal with that crap again. Bah

Monday, July 16

10,000 Chances to Connect

125 years is a long, long time. Long enough that after losing 9,999 games, no crime could be charged for breaking the five-figure mark. But in the midst of this milestone of historical ineptitude, the Phillies brass managed yet another in a series of predictable transgressions. For one night, we gave them permission to lose. And all we wanted in return was a time to celebrate, to embrace our franchise in the only way that no other pro sports team can be loved. And yet again, they missed out on a chance to connect with their fans.

I didn't need to see Von Hayes toss 10,000 baseballs into the stands, or see (as jokingly rumored) 10,000 black balloons ascend from center field. All I hoped for was recognition. And in refusing to acknowledge the passing of this mark, management yet again let us know that we are not the focus (sadly, neither is pitching).

It is understandable to shy away from anything which would glorify losing, but they'll never get another opportunity to turn a loss into a party. You will never again see a home crowd on their feet, cheering during the bottom half of the 9th inning, down 10-2 with 2 outs.

As the game closed, and Chase refused to make the last out, a glance at the scoreboard revealed that there was no one left in the lineup that I'd want to end this game. For once, I wished Charlie hadn't taken out Burrell and Barajas.

Friday, July 13

Long, Long Time Ago

Nine times. The Phillies have made the playoffs nine times, appearing in one world series. In 125 years. If you told this dude that we'd wouldn't win a championship for another century he would have shit his knickers. We've never won the wild card (get ready for that streak to continue). This is not just bad, it's monumentally bad. It's even worse when placed in historical perspective. The Celtics won eight championships in nine years, as did John Wooden's UCLA squad. Two MLB teams have more world series wins than we have world series appearances. Two MLB teams have made the playoffs more than nine times since the last time the Phils played into November.

These aren't numbers that stand out on the page, they're numbers that jump off the stat sheet and slap the hoagie out of your mouth. This organization is a disgrace. They have been presented with opportunity after opportunity and have consistently Pat Burrelled every attempt. And what's worse- I like our current team. We've got a bad manager and a worse boss, but our young players are worth getting behind and can't be held accountable for management woes (except for Barajas, who is being held fully accountable until further notice). I'll never forgive them for not putting the new stadium downtown. But all of this won't change one thing- I'll be at the game tonight. I'll put on my Marlon Byrd jersey, get on the orange line, and head south to meet the inevitable. The only question left is- will we boo if they win?

Friday, July 6

Week 7: The Grossman Clinic

Sunday, October 21st 4:15 vs. Bears

Donovan's current team vs. his future team. This game could mean a lot more in the career of Kevin Kolb than we realize. If Five takes down the monsters of the midway, climbs into the NFC driver's seat, and doesn't look back until he's holding a trophy in Miami, he may buy himself a couple more years with the club. But if he pulls a Sexy Rexy and airmails four interceptions to Mike Brown and Nathan Vashar, he might just buy himself a one way ticket back to O'Hare.


There's just no way we're losing this one with Super Bowl MVP Rex Grossman under center for the Bears. Playing football with Rex is like playing chess with a free turn every five moves. The dude is a menace. I don't care if he is practing lefthanded. Chalk this one up for the Birds, 27-10

Tuesday, July 3

I have a brief question

When does football season start?

You know I love hockey, and the Flyers signing Briere this weekend was huge. But they were outcashed by the Rangers, so it might be for nothing. Not to mention the horrific season that I loyally sat through last year.

The Phillies? Who even wants to think about that crap?

Which brings me back to my original question. When does football start again? Don't expect to hear from me again for a while, I'll be hiding in my cave playing Madden.

Friday, June 22

Week 6: Enter the Mangenius

Sunday, October 14th @ Jets

There have been more than a few circumstances in the last five years where a innocuous AFC east trip has turned into a 64-3 blowout, and to anyone who is worried that we have another one coming here, have a coke and a smile. The Birds will be coming off a bye, while the Jets look to recover from a brutal road trip to their own stadium. While this has all the makings of a 31-27 grind with Donovan tossing out 4 touchdowns in his (hopefully) season premier, it's a win any way you draw it up. The Eagles don't lose off of a bye. They don't lose to inferior teams (gulp), and they don't lose to AFC teams that you'd think they could steamroll because their 3-6 even though if they played in the NFC West they'd be a perennial super bowl threat. Yikes.

I also don't care if Mangini is a fat young genius. Lest you forget, there was a time when Andy Reid was fat and young as well. Let that be a lesson on what the aging process can do for you. But once Eric breaks out the Belichick hobo sweats, it may be time to start getting worried. Let me stand as an example for everyone that the less you care about your clothing, the more you care about everything else. Especially football.

Prediction: Win, Cover, and 1 Chad Pennington career ending injury that is downgraded to day-to-day in two weeks.

Friday, June 15

Thank god that's over

This guy is about as impressed as anyone was with Mike Brown and the Cavs' performance over that excruciatingly long four game series with the Spurs. So begin the doldrums of summer, which this year feature an above .500 ball club! As bad as these NBA finals were (don't forget that the actual finals were played a month ago and were marred by the clutch play of Robert Horry), we've got a lot of basketball to get ready for, as this offseason promises to bring in the largest batch of new Sixers that we've seen in about a decade. And if the thought of four mid to low first round picks doesn't get your blood burning, we'll throw in non-stop Eagles coverage as well.

As for the finals, cheers to the Spurs and jeers to a Cleveland squad that thankfully had something to leave on the floor back in Detroit but were nothing more than well uniformed fish in a barrel against anyone the West could throw at them.

Wednesday, June 6

The Best: Running Back

The greatest running back we'll probably ever see absolutely blew my mind when he came to play in Philly back in fall of 2005. The Eagles won that game, 20-17, on a blocked field goal taken back for a touchdown. During the fourth quarter there was a fire alarm in the stadium and all fans were asked to leave, as if burning to death in the Linc would be a worse fate than exiting a game early. Neither of those occurrences were half as amazing as what LaDainian Tomlinson did on that afternoon. His line for the game: 17 carries for 7 yards, and 0 touchdowns, breaking his streak of 18 consecutive games with a trip to the endzone. Tomlinson is a player so special that when you when someone is able to bottle him up, even for a day, he has still managed to upstage the game itself. He also stole Lawrence Taylor's nickname and is still alive.

Tuesday, June 5

The Best: Defensive Player

Lights Out. Shawne Merriman takes this one quicker than a left tackle can call for help. Or pizza. This dude is scarier than finding out your girlfriend is 17. He missed four games last year for a steroid violation and still led the league in sacks (and steroid violations). The dude can't be stopped, controlled, or reigned in. Keep your Kerry Collins statues away from the field.

Friday, June 1

The Best: Player You Never Heard Of

In the spirit of ESPN's five "unknown" players with a combined three pro bowl appearances (and a first round pick in as well), I'm gonna range out to an unknown position and snatch up Chargers fullback Lorenzo Neal. Lorenzo has been the quiet force ahead of LaDanian Tomlinson's destruction of the NFL record books, and has been happy (or had his tongue removed in the summer of 03) to keep quiet about his lack of accolades which include little more than three trips to the pro bowl. Playing at one of the league's most unglamorous positions, Neal has spent the last four years hiding in front of Tomlinson, for whom the league already has assigned a new wing in Canton.

Here's a brief job description for an NFL Fullback:

The ideal candidate should be between 5-11 and 6-2, weighing between 230-260 pounds. Candidate should have no interest whatsoever in touching the football, but be willing to do so, and when said blue moon rises, to carry it into a pile of 19 bodies with the goal of moving forward 5 or 6 feet. On all other occasions, the player will be asked to run as hard as possible into the first man he sees in the hopes that this man does not tackle the man behind him, who is paid, on average, four times the salary of the man without the ball. If the candidate is successful in defeating the first man he sees, he should quickly seek a second, ad infinitum.

Compensation: Non-competitive
Benefits: You can still go to a restaurant without being attacked by third-graders

Slow Train Rides On

Sunday, September 30th 8:15 at Giants

It's been a long, long time since the Giants took the field without Tiki Barber. Unless this Sunday night battle turns into the Plaxico Burress show, I really don't see what we have to worry about here. Again, I'm looking to give the flip-flops award to Donovan as he takes another night off and gears up for the bye week. Not that we don't need you, 5, but really...

Looking back, I can't recall the last time I felt remotely threatened by the Giants. But every year, you hear rumbles about how ready they are to make their move. Is this all a function of our proximity? This can't be how Giants fans feel about us, right? Regardless, this one's another slice, as we ride the train to 4-0.

Thursday, May 31

The Best: Wide Receiver

This one comes with a major caveat: I absolutely think that Steve Smith is the best receiver in the land. But after taking the group pick yesterday, I'll stray from the gospel. Marvin Harrison was out from the jump because of his Linda Blair-esque playoff stats. Chad's been spectacular against mediocre opponents and only has one playoff game his ledger. I have a quiet respect for Torry Holt, but something about that whole Rams dome/alien qb/hall of fame teammates makes him seem a little suspect. Keep walking walking walking down the line, to my pick, Hines Ward.

Hines runs away in the grit competition, and packs in enough speed a big-game pedigree to steal the cake. His 8 touchdowns in 10 games compare favorably with Smith (8 tds in 7), and place Marvin's 2 TDs in 14 playoff appearances (both came in 03 against Denver- one year before they picked up Champ Bailey!) firmly in Freddie Mitchell territory. He also has a Korean mother and despises everyone from Iowa.

Weak Three

2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

That's a recipe for cake. Here's a suitable variation:

Sunday, September 23rd 1:00 vs. Lions

Wednesday, May 30

The Best: Big Fat Athletic Men

As previously stated, you build a football team from the inside out. This tried and true method of football creationism has been espoused by brilliant minds throughout the NFL. It has been assaulted by bad coaches, with bad results, throughout history. Richard Seymour is a clear choice for the defensive side. The offensive side is a little different. Building a franchise requires youth, injury-resistance, and leadership. Talent is a must. Size is essential.

So where do you go? Clear talent is abundant. Walter Jones, Steve Hutchinson, Alan Faneca. But age rules out Jones and Faneca. Hutchinson is 29, and clearly a dominant player, but let's go younger than that.

Let's go to Shawn Andrews. Sure, he broke his leg early in his career and missed a season. That's not being injury prone, that's just bad luck. And who on the Eagles has been more dominant, outside of veteran Brian Dawkins. He's shown versatility, moving from tackle to guard. He's shown dedication, by having stopped eating so many delicious cheeseburgers and roast pork sandwiches. But most importantly, he's clearly the most dominant lineman on the Eagles, and probably in the division given the decline in Strahan's abilities.

Suit him up.

The Best: Coach

I said I'd make a strong effort to avoid using already chosen players and staff, but when it comes to picking the league's best coach, there's just no way I'm going against Belichick. He is as dominant a force in pro sports as I have seen, and that includes the ranks of Jordan, Woods, and the kid on Nickelodeon GUTS that ran 20 meters across the top of a pool in under 4 seconds. Belichick is so serious that he divorced his wife so he could spend more time in the office. He's so successful that he can wear hobo clothes without snickering. Halberstam even wrote a book about him. I wish he was my coach, so I too could learn the joys of playing through multiple concussions in late August.

Tuesday, May 29

Week 2

Monday, September 17th 8:30 vs. Redskins

Unless Jason Cambpell comes out this year as the next incarnation of Mark Rypien, the Skins are gonna struggle to pick up 6 wins. This will not be one of them. Again, I'm looking for McNabb in the luxury box with AJ, Kevin Kolb, or anyone else behind center. If there's any way to get beat by Washington, it's in the air, where they now boast a fearsome safety combo that's bound to lead the league in suspensions. And facemasks. And bad dances. Birds move to 2-0.

The Best: Quarterback

Ask this question a year ago, and you would have had four votes for Tom Brady. Twelve months later, and look how far we've fallen. In our talking heads world, this is how quickly public opinion (even among professionals) has fallen. Peyton Manning and the Colts had a wonderful run on their way to a Super Bowl victory, but he is simply not on the level of Tom Brady, who has put together three Super Bowl runs without the help of one receiver on his way to the hall-of-fame and another who is making yearly trips to Hawaii in January. He also dates the foxiest chicks and wearsfar more heart-attack inducing Yankee hats. He carries a man-purse and no one ever calls him gay. Tom Brady is the quarterback to judge all others against. Once when he rain out of whiskey he removed his own liver, squeezed out the liquids into a glass and threw it down with no chaser. Check back after two more rings for a more meaningful discussion.

The Best: Player I'd Start a Franchise With

As preparation for my job with ESPN 17 in the year 2046, I'm following along with ESPN's "The Best" series, playing out on the worldwide leader through June 8th. I'm making a concerted effort to name a fifth player, shying away from those already chosen, unless they throw out 'coach I'd most like to see run the ball,' in which case I'd have no problem throwing some more votes on for King Andy.

As for the player I'd start a franchise with, I'll take Richard Seymour in an amphetamine heartbeat. There is no more dominant, disruptive force on either side of the line. Seymour controls the crux of the game, taking with him a minimum of two o-lineman. He's also relatively young, heading towards his 28th birthday, and appears to be nearing his peak talent. Seymour, not Brady, was the singular talent that snatched victory from us in the 04 Super Bowl (although you could make a strong case for McNabb here). Of all the garbage that Andy Reid has fed the media through the years, the one thing I've become convinced of more than any other is that you must build your teams from the inside-out. And with my second choice, I select, from the Mishawaka School District, WR Freddie Mitchell.

Friday, May 25

'I don't know what car wash you worked at before'

But I'll bet whoever owned it would have had the sense to avoid needing to pinch hit with Adam Eaton with two on and two out in the top of the 10th. Just what was your plan for the 11th, Charlie? Miserably, a good bit of Manuel's ineptitude got lost in the shuffle with a wasted bases-loaded spot in the final inning, but he's gonna have a tough time avoiding criticism as he continues to lead a talented team into mediocrity.

Having missed the first half of the game, I was left to assume that we had lost couple players in the 4th inning 50-man shouting match, and was thrilled-to-death upon learning that the only player out of the game was Abraham Nunez, after being punched in the back of the head by Miguel Olivo's throw to second. Charlie's poor grasp of the double-switch is inexcusable, but running out of bench players by the start of 10th is criminal. Where's Jim Leyland when you need him? Grinding all day in Detroit. 10 to 10.

Wednesday, May 23

That's a W

A costly, ugly W. If up four in the ninth isn't enough to secure a win (with your closer in for a non-save opportunity- or so we though), then it's tough to say what is. In the end, we did manage to eek a victory out of a total CF, even if it did come with the loss of Brett Myers for an unknown amount of time (not to worry- Tom Gordon and Ryan Madson are back!). But what can't be left out of the conversation regarding this game was that we took home a win in a situation where we're almost always left with a long night of cursing into the pillow. We won our first extra-inning game of the year, on the road, against a team that has given us more trouble over the last decade than Bobbi Brown gave Whitney Houston (vice versa). Also lost in the shuffle were the three insurance runs we tacked on in the 9th, a timely blue moon to say the least.

While the final verdict of this outing will lie in Brett Myers' health, it's worth noting the positives in a game that bounced us back to .500 for the third straight time. At some cost, the Phils scraped out a win tonight. Sometimes these things even come twice in a row- they call that a winning streak.

Thursday, May 17

Well, that was interesting

The Phillies took 3 of 4 from what was formerly the best team in the National League? It certainly shocked me. I got a Ryan Howard MVP Bobblehead (awesome), saw Cole Hamels pitch some shutout innings, and still got the chance to question some of the ridiculous moves they made.

But is this a sign of things to come? They dipped back under .500 today, but clearly have been playing well over the last couple weeks. There are still obvious issues with the bullpen, and the hitting has been spotty from a large section of the line up.

They're still 6.5 games back from the Mets, who show no signs of slowing down. Essentially, the point is this. The baseball season is long, and teams go through long streaks, good and bad. Sure, get excited that the team is playing better than they started, but better than absolutely atrocious doesn't exactly impress me.

Tuesday, May 8

Wait, how long is this gonna go on for?

So now that Flash is pretty much on the way out, and Brett Myers is on the way in, the Phillies are presented with a new confounding question.

Why can't Mr. Myers pitch more than just the 9th inning? Are there established rules for how many outs your closer can get? Mariano Rivera used to get the ball in the 8th from time to time. Sure Brett Myers is no Rivera, but he's been a starter for his whole career....we all know he can pitch more than one inning. Sure, if your pitcher is going to come up in the 8th, you can't do this. But there have been multiple instances where this was not the case, yet there was no Myers in the 8th.

How many games will our middle relievers have to blow before this happens?

Thursday, May 3

"Tom" Gordon

Looks like he's gonna have to drop the 'Flash' title after leaving the team for a doctor's visit. Tom has been less than stellar so far this year, with opponents batting a robust .308 with him on the mound. Hopefully the medical staff will be able to remove the chicken bones stuck in his throat and get him back out there in time to add to Barry Bonds' (who my mom called 'Bondy Ronds' this weekend) assault on the all-time steroids home run record.

Wednesday, May 2

Men's Tennis is Half Empty

While women's tennis is still filling the seats with natural sleights (see: Anna Kournikova, Maria Sharapova, etc.), the men's tour is resorting to far more intricate and grossly unnatural measures.

Roger Federer fell today to apparent half-court specialist Rafael Nadal in one of the most meager, yet expensive tennis ploys in recent history. The court, which reportedly took 19 days and just over $1.6 million to construct, was built with the intention of eliminating the surface advantage which has dictated the outcome of the rivals' previous 6 non-hard court matches (they've split those 2-2).

While the clay/grass combo is an interesting concept, the result was not quite peanut butter and jelly, and leaves me and my buddy James as the reigning kings of gimmick tennis after my 6-2 victory last summer in which I used a 2x4 against his Pro Staff 6.2.

First And Long

Today we're breaking ground on our way too early road to Miami season, or as I'll be referring to it from here on out: another super loss to the Patriots. I truly don't understand how the league is expecting to compete with that team with anything short of catastrophic injures to Brady, Seymour, and Belichick. Double yikes. Nevertheless, we'll be playing in 16-20 games next year, and I'll be happy to guide yall through them.

Week 1: 1PM at Packers
I really, really, really hope that Donovan sits this one out. Knee injuries scare me more than getting stuck with a male masseuse, and we're going nowhere in January without Five. These first few will be the perfect chance to showcase AJ Feeley so we can squeeze another pick out of the Dolphins. Plus there's the nostalgia factor every time Al Harris steps on the field. Thanks to the guys at for saving me a Favre joke, I think we're all getting the point where a simple chart can give us all the smiles we need. I'm calling this one a shootout (Birds only) victory: 41-13.

Tuesday, May 1

Even Better Than Cole Trickle... and Just as Handsome

Happy Cole Hamels Day! In a city becoming more and more devoid of uplifting sports stories by the hour (see: NFL Draft, Sixers Season, etc.), at least we have one constant to look forward to, other than Donovan's parents coming to his side after someone hurts his pheelings.

Hamels' starts have officially become a must-see event, and in honor of this occasion, I'll be watching Days of Thunder on repeat until tonight's 7:35 first toss. Normally, a day game would help me out here, but in Cole's case, that might not be best scenario.

Monday, April 30

Quick Snip

Adios, Dr. Jones. Eagles today released less-than-worshiped linebacker Dhani Jones today after promoting eventual Hall of Famer Chris Gocong. While Gocong spent last season on the IR, he was far ahead of Dhani in important statistical categories such as tackles missed (0) and bowties worn (0). Gocong, whose name is far easier to pronounce than it is to type, will start aside Trotter and Takeo Spikes in a linebacker core that will certainly benefit from a little addition by subtraction. This move should also allow Dhani more time to garner accolades from People Magazine to place alongside his 2005 '50 hottest bachelors' award.

Sunday, April 22

Ah yes, sweet victory

Hey, they won a series. Not only that, but their first back-to-back victories of the season. Howard hit his second home run. Rowand, Utley, and Helms all hit well.

But come on, it's just the Reds. The positive to be taken from this: maybe the Phils can hang in there all season by beating weaker teams like the Reds. We all remember last year how they would beat a AL powerhouse, and then get swept by a team like the Brewers or the Pirates. Clearly the season is too young to say anything definitive, but if you're looking for hope, maybe this is the place for it. And hey, Freddy Garcia? Looked pretty good if you ask me.

Thursday, April 19

I Was Actually Convinced!

It was a scene of amazing glory. Two titans facing each other down in a mid-April battle for Division supremacy. Yet nine innings weren't enough to decide this furious battle. No, this game would require 13 innings! But in the end, the good guys lost, and the bad guys won.

So there were a couple lies in there. It wasn't a battle for Division supremacy, it was a battle for last place. And I wouldn't call the Phils the good guys either, although I don't think the Nats are any more deserving of that title. But this game was remarkable.

I actually thought the Phillies were going to win! I mean, I want them to win every game, and I root for them, but I very rarely believe that they will win a game. For some reason, this one was different. After they pushed it into extra innings, they had a ton of momentum, but both teams kept stranding runners (no surprise there). I honestly thought that every time they were at bat, they were going to win the game. This sentiment truly surprised me. Yet, the Phillies are now behind every team in Major League Baseball. The ROYALS have more wins than the Phillies. But I really thought they were gonna win.

Tuesday, April 17

Great Day for Rain

Never in Phillies history has there been a more timely rain out. Sixty years to the day that uber-legend Jackie Robinson was honored in every Major League Baseball stadium, the Phillies sat idle, and their #42 jerseys never saw the light of day. While it came at the cost of keeping Ryan Howard, the game's greatest (non-Dominican) black player off the field, it was pure justice against the most hate-ridden organization pro baseball has ever harbored.

Most of the atrocities committed by the Phillies have been washed away from the public psyche since the day Jackie stepped on the field, but no passage of time should allow our organization to forget from the shameful actions of our mid-century ballclub. Not only were the Phillies the last team to play a black athlete when the signed John Kennedy in 1957, they were the undisputed heavyweight champions in the fight to keep Jackie off the diamond and to make every moment he spent on it a 9-inning ordeal.

To their credit, management has taken steps to atone for the team's past, but this is a circumstance when it is important to remember just how atrocious the club's actions were, rather than trying to trot out the p.r. bullpen to patch things up. No one would accuse the modern-day Phillies of running a racist organization, but everyone would be wise to remember just how deep a hole this club was in.

So it was fitting that on Sunday, while the rest of the league donned commemorative jerseys honoring the late hero, the Phillies were left with nothing but their bats in their hands and the horrors of their past.

Wednesday, April 11

16 and Oh Yeah

I'd rather watch Merril Hoge break down our season for three hours than watch the Phils take another beating tonight. Here are my (heavily) biased season predictions for the Birds this year, with game by game details to follow after the draft. Personally, I think the toughest part of the season will be our round robin against Quintana and O'Brien. Those creeps know how to roll.

Sunday, September 9th 1:00 at Packers- W (1-0)
Monday, September 17th 8:30 vs. Redskins- W (2-0)
Sunday, September 23rd 1:00 vs. Lions- W (3-0)
Sunday, September 30th 8:15 at Giants- W (4-0)
Sunday, October 14th 1:00 at Jets- W (5-0)
Sunday, October 21st 4:15 vs. Chicago- W (6-0)
Sunday, October 28th 1:00 at Minnesota- W (7-0)
Sunday, November 4th 8:15 vs. Dallas- W (8-0)
Sunday, November 11th 1:00 at Redskins- W (9-0)
Sunday, November 18th vs. Miami- W (10-0)
Sunday, November 25th at Pats- L (10-1)
Sunday, December 2nd vs. Seattle- W (11-1)
Sunday, December 9th vs. Giants- W (12-1)
Sunday, December 16th at Dallas- W (13-1)
Sunday, December 23rd at Saints- W (14-1)
Sunday, December 30th Buffalo- L (14-2)

Now for Armando's picks. Mine are slightly less homerish, but almost equally unrealistic. Obviously the Phillies sentiments are echoed.

at Packers- W (1-0)
Redskins- W (2-0)
Lions- W (3-0)
at Giants- L (3-1)
at Jets- W (4-1)
Chicago- L (4-2)
at Minnesota- W (5-2)
Dallas- W (6-2)
at Redskins- W (7-2)
Miami- W (8-2)
at Pats- L (8-3)
Seattle- W (9-3)
Giants- W (10-3)
at Dallas- L (10-4)
at Saints- W (11-4)
Buffalo- L (11-5)

Hal has 14-2 and I've got 11-5.

06 Recap (Homer Alert!)

Before getting into this year's stone cold predictions (poorly researched gut feelings), let's take a look at last year's forecasting performance, also known as 'the lost season,' and 'the year i died for your eagles sins.' (Keep in mind all fanning was done remotely from West Africa)

Sunday, Sept 10th 1PM @ Texans- W (1-0) (Hal 1-0, Eagles 1-0)
Off to a rolling start. At this point I was legitimately excited to be listening to Merrill Reese on internet radio.

Sunday, Sept 17th 1PM vs Giants- W (2-0) (Hal 1-1, Eagles 1-1)

Ugh. Uuuuugh. God, was this brutal. Excitement beginning to wane.

Sunday, Sept 24th 4:15PM @ 49ers- W (3-0) (Hal 2-1, Eagles 2-1)
Picking this game was like betting on the sun to rise.

Monday, Oct 2nd 8:30PM vs Packers- W (4-0) (Hal 3-1, Eagles 3-1)
In a programming miracle I actually got to watch this game live. At 3Am. This led to me fainting during a funeral the next day. The lesson: a 'W' is a 'W.' (And eat breakfast if you're going to sleep 2 hours and stand in the 140% humidity for two hours)

Sunday, Oct 8th 4:15PM vs Cowboys- W (5-0) (Hal 4-1, Eagles 4-1)
Another internet radio classic, this time with a rabid Cowboys fan. My clearcut favorite Cowboys backer after the dude who drove me down five one-way streets in the Manhattan snow to pay back a $50 bet on the game. Needless to say, it goes downhill for the birds and my predictions from here.

Sunday, Oct 15th 1PM @ Saints- W (6-0) (Hal 4-2, Eagles 4-2)
When you're listening to a football game and you can still tell that your strong safety is fifteen yards out of position, you've got problems. The Michael Lewis slide begins.

Sunday, Oct 22th 1PM @ Bucs- L (6-1) (Hal 4-3, Eagles 4-3)
I was 400% certain I was going to get killed on the way home from this game. Vivid recollections of Merrill Reese screaming 'It's not over yet!' after Westbrook's TD with fifty seconds left. Thanks.

Sunday, Oct 29th 1PM vs Jags- W (7-1) (Hal 4-4, Eagles 4-4)
How do you say McNabulous in Spanish?

Sunday, Nov 5th BYE

Sunday, Nov 12th 1PM vs Redskins- W (8-1) (Hal 5-4, Eagles 5-4)
Notice the similarity between my record and the Birds'? The don't call us homers for nothing.

Sunday, Nov 19th 1PM vs Titans- W (9-1) (Hal 5-5, Eagles 5-5)
Finding out that Donnie blew his ACL wasn't even the worst part of my day. November was a tough month.

Sunday, Nov 26th 1PM @ Colts- L (9-2) (Hal 6-5, Eagles 5-6)
So nice to play these games on the road. The last time we played the colts there were five plays when there wasn't enough room on the tv screen for Marvin Harrison and our d backs.

Monday, Dec 4th 8:30PM vs Carolina- W (10-2) (Hal 7-5, Eagles 6-6)
The Garcia era officially gets moving. Friends try to convince me that this is a good thing. Friends are unsuccessful.

Sunday, Dec 10th 1PM @ Redskins- L (10-3) (Hal 7-6, Eagles 7-6)
I remember picking this game and feeling like I needed to stick some losses in here or things would get dull. Yikes.

Sunday, Dec 17th 1PM @ Giants- W (11-3) (Hal 8-6, Eagles 8-6)
By now I had long abandoned Merrill's boom and was relying on itunes 10-minute highlight packages. I probably watched this one 15,000 times.

Monday, Dec 25th 5PM @ Cowboys- L (11-4) (Hal 8-7), Eagles 9-6)
Repeat story from the Redskins game. I recall the analysts had us going about 0-400 during this stretch without Donnie.

Sunday, Dec 31th 1PM vs Falcons- W (12-4) (Hal 9-7, Eagles 9-7)
New Years day began with a cake win and my Dad waking up with 'was there a bar fight last night?'

Saturday, April 7

Life Goes On

Should we be surprised? Are we ever surprised?

Wait, there was one surprising thing about that first series. Pat the Bat actually hit the ball pretty well! But before you can give us the “praise him now, but in two months you’ll be back on the hate wagon” speech, don’t forget that we still can’t stand him. We all know three games do not a good player make.

Honestly though, even though I was quietly hopeful for a good Phillies season, and one is certainly still possible, we should have seen this lousy start coming. The Braves, minus last season, are still the Braves. The Phillies are still the Phillies. We still watch the games (for another month or two), we still read the box score in the paper, and we still wear Phillies hats and jerseys all summer.

Ah, but yes! Sweet salvation! The first victory. Will the winning streak start here? How long will it last? Or will they lose all manner of awful games in the next month? This month of April has been the thorn in Philadelphia’s baseball side for the past two years. Is this one any different?

Keep this in mind, though. While we all get caught up in the excitement of a winning streak, and the despair of a losing streak, the Phillies are still the Phillies. Until proven otherwise. Oh yeah, they just lost to the Marlins.

Sunday, April 1

Oh Phillies

The season draws closer and closer every day. Apparently the Phillies paid the Red Sox $50,000 a game for them to come down for these final spring training games, and boy were they exciting. The Greenbleeder went down to the game yesterday, to see Matsuzaka, to enjoy our sweet stadium, and to generally enjoy ourselves.

Can't really say I watched more than 20 total minutes of the game, to be quite honest. But we did get to participate in our favorite pastime, booin Pat Burrell. Added bonus: booing Manny Ramirez, even though I love him. Booing Burrell, though, is one of life's greatest mysteries. I remember one game that Hal and I were at, we sat about five rows back from him in left field. Obviously we gave him work all game, but one inning he managed to hit a homerun. So when he came back to the outfield, everyone cheered him. It didn't take him long to fall out of favor again though, and we were back to booing him soon. The mystery is here though. We all know Burrell isn't the brightest dude, and he seems to have a temper. But how is it that this dude is able to withstand all that brutal treatment for 70-75 games a year? It really kind of intrigues me. Also it intrigues me as to how he manages to get paid so many millions for so little.

Also of note was the laziness of Ramirez's play. Anything even remotely considered center field was completely out of the question. Barry Bonds, eat your heart out.

Wednesday, March 28

Another day at the Open

So I'm watching the Sony Ericsson Open here, specifically to see Roger Federer. He's actually lost recently, which is weird enough to see. And he's already down in the first set. Has the mighty Federer lost his touch? I doubt it.

Really this isn't at all remarkable. What is remarkable though, is the fact that they just went to the crowd with a reporter, and TO was there watching. Obviously they start interviewing him, and he talks about the impressive agility and footwork of the two players. He says he talks to Andy Roddick every once in a while, and that he's pulling for him.

Then he says he might take up tennis, and if he does, that you'll probably see him on the tour soon. Obviously this is hilarious. But it brought to mind an awesome hypothetical.

Federer vs TO. If you assume that TO eventually will learn to play tennis at a better than novice level, how many TOs playing simultaneously to beat Federer? Two TOs versus one Federer? Three? One??

Tuesday, March 27

Pasta pasta

If a picture is worth a thousand words, this video is worth at least fifteen kopecks. Depending on what rate you get. Enjoy Dikembe at his finest.

MNF Trades Up

Apparently Joe Theisman is out the door on Monday Night Football. To replace him....Philadelphia Eagles great Ron Jaworski!

At first, I wasn't too excited about this. Obviously getting Theisman out of there is fantastic. While Kornheiser was one of the best things that has happened to MNF lately, Theisman made me want to shoot my TV with a nailgun. However, if you see Jaws on ESPN, he always sounds so stilted, and never knows when to pause and when not to pause when reading the teleprompter.

But he won't be reading a teleprompter on MNF. Jaws' analysis is great, and he clearly knows the game very well. Theisman on the other hand seems like he never played the game, even though we all saw his leg get mangled on national television.

Basically, this is just one more reason we at the Bleeder cannot wait for football. Already.

Monday, March 26

Almost over...

Honestly, after Kansas lost on Saturday, I found myself not wanting to watch any more basketball. I was sick of it.

But after about a minute, I got over that. So I watched the rest of the games, and they were all very exciting and great and everything. But that's to be expected.

I'm more excited for this Final Four than I have been in a while, even though my team was handily ejected. A rematch from last year's final? Unbelievable. Two of the best big men in the country in the semifinals? Unbelievable.

Tuesday, March 20

Winners win, right?

I don't care about the combine. I don't care about measurables, interviews, or stats. The only thing that I use to evaluate prospects (I'm talking about when pro teams call me up and ask for my advice, calls which I only take when I'm not on the phone with other people calling me with job offers) is how they perform on the court. If you want to judge a college basketball player, what could be a better assessment than the NCAA tournament?

Right now I'm talking about two specific players, Ohio State guard Ron Lewis, and Eric Maynor of VCU. And I'm talking about two writers (both excellent), Chad Ford* and Bill Simmons. Sr. Ford contends that Maynor's stock hasn't risen dramatically, even though we saw him single-handedly take Duke out of the tournament (ditto for Lewis, who went Vince Young all over Xavier). Simmons falls in love with winners, because, no matter what the Phillies PR machine will have you believe, losing is detrimental to a team's success.

*If you follow sports and don't have access to espn insider, please fill me in on your secret. Seriously, I'd love to know.

Big Problem

Thanks for throwing out the first pitch, dude. Although the 2007 MLB season won't officially kick off until I've watched 'Major League,' it's worth getting out behind the pack and seeing what's in store for the boys in pinstripes (not the one's with 26 world championships).

Through the hundreds of thousands of words that have been printed and uttered over the past few months, we've come up with the idea that the Phillies biggest problem is that they have too many quality starters. This itself is a problem which needs to be cleaned up a little.

1. We do not have too many quality starters
We have two guys who belong in the top half of a 5 man rotation (Myers and Garcia-only because he's going AL to NL). We have one young stud (Hamels) who could start in either the MLB or Triple-A all star game. Then we have a crafty veteran, (Moyers) who would be perfect if we were filming a B movie, but since we're actually trying to win baseball games, he poses a bit of a problem. Adam Eaton and Jon Lieber round out the group as they fight for the title of 'best in the bullpen.'

2. If we did have too many starters, this would be a good thing
But we don't, so this one kills me. Reporters and talk show hosts talk about this team like they're the 1927 Yankees. As if having too many quality starters would be a detriment. This is like Warren Buffet complaining that he has too much money or Wilt wailing over his "too many girlfriends." Pitching wins baseball games. More pitching wins more baseball games.

3. We do not have enough in the bullpen
Now we can get started. This is a problem, but, if you'll refer to points 1 and 2, you'll see that we just have a problem of wording. It's not that we have too many starters and not enough bullpen; we actually have a lack of quality starters and too many relievers who have charaded their way into the rotation. So call it what it is, and the problem is solved.

We never had a pitching problem. The only problem the Phillies have had this offseason is a labeling problem. There are 17 pitchers on the current roster. Five of them, at some point, need to make starts. The rest don't. If we can find five men in that pile to do the job, great. If not, then we have a problem.

Monday, March 19

What's it gonna be, boys?

Right around this time every year, I find myself pondering the wonders of baseball. Will the boring, hot summer have me sitting inside on my couch watching the Phillies in the air conditioning, or will I wind up doing something useful with my time? Clearly a healthy balance can bet met, but we will see for sure in a couple months.

Last year we made a ban on Phillies posts after about two months of the season. We all know why.

So what makes this season any different? I'll admit, I never get excited about the Phillies before the season starts. But this season we've got Utley, Garcia, Hamels, Rollins, and best of all Howard. The rest of the NL East is weak, and the Phils have just as good a chance of winning as anyone, if not better.

But we've all learned this lesson before. Throw it all in there, and get your heart broken by July. I know better, and I refuse to do so. I'm still rooting for them, and I'll watch as many games as I can. But you won't catch me massaging anyone's nuts until they make the playoffs.

That's More Like It

Sorry to hear that lottery hopes aren't linked to margin of victory (or defeat), but the Sixers look to be back on track with a 50 point loss to the Yao Ming and his traveling all-stars. While the Sixers will need to break out some major struggles (an injury to a certain point guard would be nice) to catch up with soaring Grizz and Celtics who were recently fined 30,000 kopecks for excessive contact with Durant's family.

But you can't help but be slightly bothered by Durant's recent exit from the tourney, where he was expected to dominate all comers in his final act as an unpaid athlete. In this case the numbers do lie, as Durant threw up 27 and 11 in the first 30 and 9 in the second while looking generally pedestrian throughout. You can continue that he looks like the prototypical nba all-star already, his game replete with sagged shoulders and late defensive switches, but those just aren't the type of points that get the scouts drooling. More than anything else, he just didn't look ready. So here's to hoping that the Sixers aren't either, because there's nothing we need less than three first round picks in a draft without Durant and Oden.

Saturday, March 17

The first round is over

Well, you've probably already heard the vast amounts of analysis, prophecies, and predictions for this damn tournament. And honestly, even though I root heavily for a few teams, I mostly just enjoy watching any of this.

However, up until this year I never really realized just how tough it is for a weak team like Penn to beat a tougher team, like Texas A&M. Now, there was never any doubt in my mind that A&M would win the game, and handily. I didn't realize that they literally had no chance of winning.

Now, there's a difference here between Penn, and a team like Niagra. Niagra has dudes who are athletic, but not quite athletic enough to play for a better school. Penn has dudes who are smart, but would never have a shot at playing anywhere but in the Ivy League. So when you match a 6'9" 200 pound guy against a 7' 275 pound guy, the bigger one is gonna win about 90 times out of 100. Repeat this for 40 minutes, and you have the result.

Basically the point here is this. It's always a "miracle," or "hugest upset ever" when games like this happen. I contend that it is NEVER strictly the result of phenomenal play from the underdog team, and that it almost has to be the result of atrocious play for the favorite. College basketball is unique in this, I believe. In almost every major sport, there is always a chance for victory on either side. And I'm not talking about a simple underdog vs favorite here, I mean a team that is clearly and completely dominated in every possible way.

I really don't have a point here. I was trying to put into words the sheer ridiculousness of a matchup such as Penn and A&M. I honestly think that there is less than a 5% chance of the underdog ever winning in situations like these, and when they do, it is for reasons other than their own performance. That said, my other squad, rock chalk jayhawk, is going to win it all, and I couldn't be happier.

Tuesday, March 6

Hey Armando, It's Your Boy

I don't have any strong baseball rivalries, mainly because the teams that I would consider rivals I instead consider terrible and not worth my time (M.E.T.S. METS METS METS). But Armando hates the Braves, because Armando hates Chipper Jones. Well now, I kind of love Chipper Jones. Turns out he's eschewing the tried and true workout routine for the Hal Morra 1999 'if you can't eat em, join em' plan. Sadly, he credits John Kruk, another quiet reminder that I am not, and have never been a famous professional athlete turned talking head. I would lend my advice to Chipper and say that the sky's the limit approach to dieting isn't' the best mechanism for scoring chicks, but he's got cash and is probably married, besides. So, best of luck, and can I recommend the old Charles Barkley steak-a-day routine? (I had to settle for a taco-a-day due to financial restrictions).

Stallworth Correction

I found out this morning that all information about the league's substance abuse policy is shared with all the teams, but is was airtight within the league. So, this should not lower Donte's market value unless a) Teams were not gathering all possible information available to them from the league on players that they intend to spend millions of dollars on AND b) they were instead, getting this information from various newspaper sources throughout the country. So, back to the old Na Brown, James Thrash contingent we go.

Monday, March 5

King in the Castle

I just threw up in my mouth., in conjunction with a team of (poorly) trained salamanders, has anointed Sixers GM Billy King as the third best GM in all of professional sports. He was edged out by fellow whiz Kevin McHale, who has been running the Timberwolves franchise into the ground for the last two seasons. Forbes' crack team apparently employed methods ranging from dart-throwing to picking from a hat in an effort to come up with the best proof yet that sometimes, the numbers do lie. Not mentioned were the contracts Billy King gave to Dikembe Mutombo ($68 million), Kenny Thomas ($40 million), Brian Skinner ($25 million), nor the fabulous two nickels and a penny for a fifty-dollar bill trade to get Iverson out of town. Highlighted were his shrewd spending techniques (89% of the league average), and team wins vs. his predecessors, John Lucas (wow), and Pat Croce (who drafted Iverson, and was around to suck up the rebuilding losses before King stepped in). Please keep this information away from Ed Snider. Please.

More Signs Your Team is in Trouble

When you open the paper to read that your star receiver is in the league's substance abuse program, and this strikes you as good news, perhaps your problems run deeper than you had thought. Donte Stallworth now finds himself as a double-risk receiver (mind and body), unable to cash in on a free agency period in which a guard (Kris Dielman) declined a contract at seven million a year. This, of course comes to the delight of Eagles fans who sat heartbroken at the thought of losing Donte and his 38 catches. What's worse for Donte (better for fans) is that this revelation couldn't have come at a more inopportune time, as the league is making "character" its hot topic in an offseason following 17% of the Cincinnati Bengals being fitted for bracelets (high-water mark was Chris Henry puking out of the passenger side of a car while a teammate was being interrogated by an officer on the driver's side).

Trouble, is, with all the character issues Andy Reid is dealing with at home this offseason (best wishes to the Reid family), the organization may not be looking to add more baggage inside the locker room, even if that baggage comes cut-rate. If nothing else, all this excitement should be enough to distract people from the team's tireless efforts to improve their linebacking corps. Don't forget, we traded Mark Simoneau for this guy.

Thursday, March 1


Lay down. Lay flat on your chest with your hands exposed. And listen. You need to stop winning these games. You need to stop winning anything. If I were you I'd be out throwing celebrity games. I'd lose in 1-1 to my six-year old just as to not get accustomed to the idea of winning. Next year, you can win all you want. You can win two, three, four times a day. But not this year. This year there is a young man in Texas, who, while you were out beating the best team in the league, took down the fifth-ranked team in the nation in double-OT. And if that's not enough, there's another young man in Ohio who is beating up the country left-handed. But if you want to hop around, playing defense, not moving on screens, hitting open jumpers, and playing good team basketball, just to line yourselves up for Brandan Wright, or Joakim Noah, or Yi Jianlian, I'm not gonna stand for it. And neither is the rest of this town. You've got a big game tonight against basement rival Memphis. This is a must-lose game. It cannot be stressed enough. This will be a tough game to lose. We'll need bad passes, twenty-four second violations, errant fouls, we'll need to really pull out all the stops to blow this one. But it has to be done. You are hopeless. Thank god Shavlik's still out robbing Miller trucks, that guy doesn't know how to turn it off. But the rest of you, you should know better.

Something's gotta turn around, because I'm getting really sick of all this winning.

Gotta Have It: Vet Turf

This column is generally a stand-in joke, but this week I'm as serious as an old lady staring down a restaurant bill. I love the piece of rubble, too. Make sure I don't confuse it with my piece of the Berlin wall, although you could go around the city and probably find 10,000 vet stories for every one yarn on the old German divider.

But how much turf did this guy get? Half an endzone? What kind of connnections do you need to score this kind of green? I might prefer a ten minute phone call with this dude to his actual product. Also dig the lengths he goes to point out that this is definitley not the new nex-turf, it is in fact the green monster that legends like Fred Barnett and Wilbert Montgomery made their bread on. If you're still sore about missing my last 24 birthdays, feel free to mail this one my way.

Wednesday, February 28

Wait a second, have the Flyers actually acquired a real starting goalie?

I'm so confused.

Is the Bobby Clarke two goalie era really over for this town? I really can't be certain until I see it for myself, but this seems unreal.

Martin Biron would probably start on this team under normal circumstances. At this point, it's up for grabs. Next season, if he resigns in the offseason, he is most likely the best choice to start. With a career goals against average of 2.53 and a save percentage of 90.9, he has to be the choice. Way better than Nittymaki's 3.08 and 89.7, and better than Esche's 2.75 and 89.9.

The Flyers didn't trade much to get him, just a second round pick. In the NHL that can be valuable, or completely worthless. It's just as much of a crapshoot as any other league.

The question is this: now that Bobby Clarke is gone, will the team finally be able to settle on a single goalie? One more deserving than either of our other goalies? Biron has the potential to be a very good goaltender, and if the team is able to gel with the good draft picks they should get in the offseason, and any free agent acquisitions, the team might actually have a good chance of rebounding next season.

Monday, February 26

Who Loves You, Five?

Andy Reid. More than his mother, more than his father, more than the kid in south-side Chicago that Donnie gave three dollars to buy himself and his buddies a couple bags of funyuns. Andy loves him so much that he'll go so far as to shortchange the organization by not even offering an Eagles-brand lowball initial contract to Jeff Garcia, just to avoid the possibility of disturbing a hair on the chin of our franchise quarterback (not to be mistaken for our franchise player, Brian Westbrook).

Overview of moves made by Eagles management this offseason:
1. Re-sign a quarterback who has ONE win in his entire collegiate and professional career versus a team with a win percentage above 500 (don't worry, he knows the system).
2. Discard a quarterback who went 5-2, including the playoffs, including a stretch of three straight divisional games on the road that no one had us winning with or without Donovan.
3. (Ostensibly) discard the only potential number one receiver on the team.

The big questions heading into the 2007 season has to be: which does Andy love more, his quarterback or his system? Which system does he love more, the 70/30 pass scheme that has taken his quarterback out of 3 of the last 4 seasons, or the 60/40 run game that got him into the playoffs with a quarterback that the Lions, Browns, and Niners didn't want?

The only shot this team has is to play real football. There are plenty of coaches around the league who love to spread the field and throw 60% of their plays out of shotgun (see Bill Belichick), but they know that come playoff time, you have to put the ball on the ground, run the clock, and let your defense mash something together. Give Five the run support that Garcia had and he will thrive. Maybe he'll even put enough points on the board to support our defense while their AARP cards are still out at the printer's.

Friday, February 23

I know I've been silent

Yeah I'm the only one who likes hockey here. I know, you don't have to rub it in.

So why the silence? God knows we've endured much worse performances in the past. But there's just something about this Flyers team that makes it all the more painful. In fact, I really haven't even been watching. I watch every third or fourth game, whereas normally I don't miss any. The real reason is that I can't figure out why they're so bad. I can figure out why the defense sucks....we have no good veteran defenseman. I can tell why our goaltending is mediocre...we have mediocre goalies. But the offense boggles my mind. The entire season, when I do watch, I've devoted way too much brain power and time to trying to think of a reason WHY they can't ever score more than a goal or two. Forsberg being out didn't help, but that wasn't the reason. Firing Hitchcock really didn't help, but once again, not the main reason. Who knows really.

Once again we're left in an awkward situation. Tons of young "talent," with very little consistent veteran leadership and effort. After we got knocked out by Buffalo in the playoffs last season, I remember the common sentiment being "Well next season we'll be great, now that all these kids have a season under their belt blah blah blah blah blah." So who's saying that now? Not me. Not that I'm a pessimist, because really I'm not. But you have to do some serious mental gymnastics to convince me that without major changes this team is better than average next year.

Wednesday, February 21

The Great No-Talent NBA Debate

As is usually the case for our discussions, Hal, myself, and another friend were discussing the NBA over some beers the other day. We were watching the Lakers, so of course we discussed how the Mamba is unstoppable. They were playing the Cavs, so of course we discussed how Bron really needs to quit it with the nail biting nonsense.

However, the most interesting question was this. If you were to play in the NBA for one game, what statistic could you most easily acquire? And I don't mean a turnover.

Let's discuss the relative merits of all of them.

1) Point -- fat chance I could ever score in the NBA. Even if fouled, I most certainly guarantee that I would miss both free throws because I'm a no-talent loser.

2) Block -- Even if we were playing in a reverse gravity gym, with 8 foot ceilings, and I was still in normal gravity, I couldn't block anyone. I'm not strong enough.

So that leaves us with the last three: rebounds, steals, and assists. A tough decision, as there is potential in each of these. For instance, a rebound can come off the rim in a weird enough way that it could fall into my hands, no matter where on the court I am. Similarly, if AI knocked the ball loose from an unsuspecting opponent, and I caught it, the steal counts for me. I could pass the ball to almost anyone in the NBA, and they could score, giving me an assist. So which of these three viable options is the most viable?

First, I'm going to rule out the rebound, simply because at any moment, virtually anyone in the NBA could box me out, or just take the ball from my hands.

For basically the same reason, I'm going to rule out the steal. In any sort of scrum scenario, anyone would be able to rip the ball out of my hands.

Now we come to the assist. Given the right scenario, I believe that I could successfully move the ball from under my own basket after an opposing point, across half court, and pass to someone who could take a shot, or drive to the net, and score. Giving me an assist, and putting my name in the NBA record books.

Wednesday, January 10

Oh boy oh boy

We all know the Saints are good. Honestly, I, and I think most people, were pulling for them all season to do well. And yes, they played the Eagles during the regular season and won.

But let's stop for a second here. First off, they did play in the mediocre at best NFC South, right? The Panthers? The Falcons? The BUCS? Alright now.

Secondly, although they beat the Eagles earlier in the season, did everyone forget how it went down? If i'm not mistaken, the Birds came back from a 17 point deficit to take the lead, only to blow it on a last second field goal.

So I'm not advocating that ESPN and the like favor the Eagles in this game or anything, but come on. Give them a little credit.

Tuesday, January 9

Stressful, indeed.

While I was quite optimistic about Sunday's contest against the Giants, the questions for myself related not to who was going to win, but to whether or not I was going to go to the game.

I've only been to two Eagles games, both against the stinking Redskins. One in Landover, MD a few years ago, where I was able to scalp a ticket for less than face value (stick that in your pipes and smoke it you fairweather Skins fans). The other game was on New Years last year with Hal in Philly, and we lost. However, we were the last two Eagles fans in the Linc, as all the Skins fans stayed late to celebrate with the players who had just clinched a playoff spot. Hal and myself booed them all vociferously.

So, before this weekend's game, I had a few options for a ticket. The only realistic one had me paying $300 for a decent endzone seat. On the surface, 300 bucks is a lot of money for a football game. However, it is the Eagles. It is the playoffs. And it's the Giants. (Other possible considerations include: A) Tom Coughlin spontaneously combusting on the sideline. B) Tiki Barber's last game ever. C) Jeff Garcia coming out of the closet, thereby allowing me to rub the fact that the Giants got beat by a gay QB in the face of Giants fans everywhere.)

However, in my experience, while sitting real close to the field at a football game is exciting, you typically can't see a damn thing. Clearly, you get a much better feel for the game watching it on TV or from a higher, more affordable seat. Also, I just got back from 3 previous weeks of vacation, one in Virginia, one on a road trip, and one in Las Vegas. Money was not flowing like wine, water, or what have you.

Point is, I didn't go. I watched the game at the bar where I work, and it was obviously completely awesome. You all saw it. The Eagles beat the crap out of them all game, and then made it just interesting enough at the end for us to call it an incredible game. Perhaps the best moment came in the picture that I posted above.

So, the question is this: how do you quantify the value of a sporting event like this? I clearly couldn't afford the game, but if I had spent the money and gone, I wouldn't be in debt for the rest of my life either. I'm totally perplexed, wishing I had gone, and wishing that I could just get the damn season tickets already that I've been on the waiting list for for years.