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Friday, August 11, 2006

Notes on the Eagles

Admit it — you watched more of the Eagles than the Phillies on Sunday night. Every year the NFL somehow pulls off putting meaningless football on primetime television and getting people to watch. We’re all so starved for football by this time of year, we make a point to tune in to see mostly guys play that we pray will have no real impact on the season.

The Birds have already played two of five of these meaningless games. So far, having watched most of the first half of each game, here’s what I’ve picked up:

· Jeffrey Lurie was called the “long-time owner” of the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night. I was surprised to realize he’s already been here a decade. This may be a cheap shot, because the team’s obviously better, but . . . it occurs to me that Lurie has as many Super Bowl rings as Norman Braman. Zero.
· David Akers kicked a 50+ yard field-goal Sunday. He’s back.
· Hank Baskett is starting at wide receiver. I’m a bit nervous.
· The Eagles are showing signs that they may actually run the ball. The only thing that scares me about that is Andy Reid’s trend of showing very little in the preseason.
· Thursday night it was mentioned that Donovan McNabb led the league in pass attempts last season. The man missed seven games! See why I’m scared?
· After a great catch by Baskett, the Eagles couldn’t punch it in from inside the 5-yard line with the starters on Thursday. I’m just mentioning it, and, yes, Brian Westbrook was out.
· On the positive side, the above mentioned drive took 14 plays. Long drives were a rarity last season.
· Are the Eagles really averaging 10,000 fans at practice?

Week in Review:
· It’s almost mid-August and the Phillies are in the hunt for the Wild Card. I’m waiting for the pundits that buried the team to own up to being wrong.

· If Billy King is under a mandate to cut payroll because the team is for sale, or he is finally determined to create some cap flexibility, ok. If he thinks he’s done anything significant for next year, he’s nuts. I don’t understand the ins and outs of the cap, but two things have gone unexplained. Johnny Salmons reversed his stance on going to Toronto in a sign-and-trade deal as a restricted free agent. How do the Sixers then end up with nothing when he signs with Phoenix? There has to be a misstep by King in there somewhere, right? Otherwise, why wouldn’t every restricted free agent do that?

Besides that, King let a trade exception expire that he acquired for Marc Jackson because, he claims, there was no one worth using it on. Really? Ok, Billy, but your team missed the playoffs last year.

· Has Floyd Landis shut-up yet?

· Am I really the only guy that can’t stand WIP’s midday duo? Steve Martarano cut-off three debates within 3 minutes this week by giving his opinion as if he was the authority on sports and moving on. (This is a guy that was cast aside like an empty beer can when Mike Missanelli was available, and came back once Missanelli was booted.) He was going on about how impossible it is to compare individual talents in the NFL because it is such a team game. He wouldn’t even concede that Jerry Rice would’ve been great regardless of where he played.

Then there was Anthony Gargano last week scoffing at the idea that the Phillies are in a Wild Card race. I’m hardly in my car these days, and, while this may be a word or two off, heard him bluster, “Can we stop saying the Phillies are in a Wild Card race?” Uh, . . . no.

Where the hell’s Missanelli? I don’t care how much of a jerk he reportedly is to work with. He’s better than these morons.

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