Here’s my weekly look at everything I haven’t already ranted about in sports world. I’m thinking it needs a better name, so give it a read and let me know what you think. And tell me what I missed.
Here’s my Rapid Fire Week-in-Review:
· It took into his 14th year as head coach of the Eagles, but we finally got some raw emotion from Andy Reid on Monday night. He was caught on camera getting into his starting defensive line after they were pushed around by the Patriots’ reserves. Cullen Jenkins had the stones to jump up in the coach’s face, and “Big Red” didn’t give an inch. Kudos to the coach, who started barking at defensive line coach, Jim Washburn, when he tried to break it up. The old Reid would have had Jenkins pushing a blocking sled on Tuesday. He should have made Jenkins walk home from Foxboro then cut him from the roster.
· Shortly after the Reid-Jenkins confrontation, DeMeco Ryans did a sideline interview on the ESPN telecast of the game, and said his new head coach got “a little too rowdy for preseason.” Are you kidding me? This moron hasn’t even played a real down yet for the Eagles and he’s two seasons removed from his best year. I know he was a celebrated free agent signing, but if Reid really wanted to grab this team’s attention, not to mention this city again, he should send Ryans packing too. Ryans needs to shut up. He later tried to say he was “Just joking,” according to Tim McManus. I repeat, DeMeco should shut up.
· Conspicuous by his absence in all this? Defensive coordinator Juan Castillo. It’s pretty clear this guy has no “juice” with his players and possibly the other coaches. It’s really a joke he’s still around.
· NFL Network’s Heath Evans, a former fullback for the Patriots, put the uselessness of national analysts on display this week. In an interview with 97.5 The Fanatic on Monday, he said of the Eagles, “[T]his team, bottom line, . . . they hold onto the ball on offense . . . their defense could be atrocious . . . and they’re still gonna be one of the best teams in the league.” Really? Doubt it. He added that keeping Mike Vick healthy was a key, later adding he didn’t think teams could go to a Super Bowl without great quarterback play. Did he watch the Eagles last season? Ok, Vick had a nice stretch in 2010 but then fell back into old habits. Maybe Evans did watch, because even later he questioned whether the guys on offense were NFL caliber considering how ridiculous some of the turnovers were last season. Confused? It gets better. He was asked what came to mind when he thought about the Eagles’ defense, and said, “A bad rap.” He then called them “atrocious in the ‘red zone,’” added that they needed to do “quite a bit better” with turnovers, and scoffed at “negative talk” about Juan Castillo while lauding the talent on the defensive side of the ball. To sum up, he was a step above saying random words. Maybe.
· In case anybody had a doubt, DeSean Jackson told ESPN that he didn’t exactly give his best effort last season during a contract squabble. Duh. He said, “I let it get to me, even though I tried not to let it,” he said. “I was trying to protect myself from getting hurt – now I’m just giving it all.” Apparently surprised by the ensuing criticism, he tweeted on Tuesday, “The Media love twisting my damn words up .. An they always wondering why I don’t wanna talk 2 they ass .. That [sh--] is un – professional.” Stay classy, DeSean. And maybe get a clue. I could live with the guy playing it safe. But he can’t admit to it, and he sure as hell can’t blame the media after he does.
· I don’t know if Melky Cabrera is a moron or incredibly original. Various reports say he or an associate of his agent bought an existing website then doctored it to make it look like the site sold the supplement Cabrera took that resulted in a failed drug test for steroids and an MLB suspension. Somehow, it was supposed to make it look like the Giants outfielder, who is coincidentally having a career year, made an honest mistake. Ok, I’m leaning toward moron. Even if the scheme worked, I don’t get how it would have helped the guy.
· In case you thought Kobe Bryant’s ego had stopped growing, ESPN reported that the Lakers’ forward “put on a dazzling show in China in dropping 68 points in 15 minutes at a charity exhibition game.” First of all, “dazzling?” If this is even true, who the hell was he playing against? And they had to be basically giving him the ball or he was repeatedly stealing it from people who obviously weren’t any type of professional players. (In fact that’s exactly what happened – here’s video.) But don’t tell Kobe. The story quotes a Facebook post – not a quote answering a question – from Bryant reading, “I wanted to play it cool but what the heck, the place was packed with fans who’d sang an early happy birthday to me and really wanted to watch me go to work.” Gosh, Kobe, you’re the best. Loser.
· Roger Clemens in scheduled to pitch Saturday for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League. Let it go, Roger. Just let it go.
· The Little League World Series feels like it’s been on all month. From what I found online, it only started on the 16th and runs through this Sunday, but I could’ve sworn there were games on early last week. Perhaps they were preliminary games? (Or I’m just getting old.) Regardless, it’s insane. We wonder why kids, let alone professional athletes, are completely obnoxious. These kids are 11 to 13 years old, and they’ve been on my television as much as, if not more than, the Phillies for the last two weeks. They’re on almost as long as the Olympics. I don’t even get all these families essentially moving to Pennsylvania for all that time. One kid went home to see his dying grandfather, came back to play, and the announcers were hyping up the story. Their games are being analyzed by guys like Orel Hershiser. ESPN can spare me all the “back to school” references. And, by the way, these kids are huge. Whatever happened to the little kids with chin straps on their helmets?
· The NFL is reportedly “requiring any fan who gets ejected from a stadium to take a four-hour online course before they are permitted to come back into the facility again.” That should go well. In fact, fans get to pay for the privilege. According to the article, “Costs vary by team. The Detroit Lions and the Atlanta Falcons charge the least at $50, while the New England Patriots charge a league-high $100.” Anyone want to bet the Eagles are at the high end? One more note that’s a little scary. The ESPN report revealed that “monitoring will vary by team but could at some point involve facial recognition technology.” Oh, yeah, I’m real comfortable with Jeff Lurie having that capability.
· I might be late to this party, but I got a couple interesting tidbits from the Phillies this week. I was at the walk-off win a week ago Sunday, and we noticed the bell didn’t ring for the win. It turns out the bell had been hit by lightning. They told me they had located a technician, and I heard it ringing on the Monday telecast of the game. I also learned I was following the wrong account for the team on Twitter. For others who were out of the know, @philaphillies is the team’s front office account, and @phillies is an MLB.com. I don’t get why there’s two, but I switched to the local account.