Archive for September, 2010

Hide Your Beagle, Vick’s an Eagle…

Posted: 09/21/2010 in Uncategorized

When the news broke just a few moments ago that Michael Vick would be the Eagles starter, my first reaction was shock. Vick has been excellent through the first two games –  no doubt about it. And for as much as I despise what he did off-the-field several years ago, I believe most people deserve second chances.  It will be interesting to see how well he progresses in the West Coast offense, an offense that he struggled with in Atlanta.

Here’s what I don’t understand. You trade your franchise QB (within the division) who took you to five NFC Championships and a Superbowl. The move was made because the Eagles believed they had another great QB in waiting in Kolb. You sign said QB to a $10 million contract, make him a starter, and he plays horribly before getting hurt in the first half and now you go back to Vick? This move makes no sense. If the edict is to win now, then we NEVER should have traded #5. If the move to deal Don was to build a young foundation, you do NOT start Vick, you stick with Kolb. This simply proves that the Eagles have no clue what they are doing or Andy Reid is losing his power. You’ll recall he didn’t want to trade #5 and they did. All he has said this week is that Kolb is his starter and today Vick was named the starter. Conspiracy?  I’m listening to Reid’s press conference now and he literally sounds like he was crying – the more I listen, the more it becomes clear that Big Red is losing his power with this team. This press conference and questions seriously make me think Reid is going to announce he’s punked everyone, which would make him a hero of mine.

Phils

You can’t help but love the way the fightin’ Phils are playing right now, unless of course you are a Braves fan. While I have been preaching patience all season, I am a bit surprised at how well they are playing. Last night’s game had a playoff atmosphere and we looked more than ready. Last night’s 3-1 game more than any in recent memory reminded me of 2008. Between Cole’s insanely good pitching, timely hits by Utley, Werth, Howard, Chooch and Ibanez and a very strong close by Brad Lidge. After blowing his fourth save in 14 chances, I openly questioned Uncle Charlie’s sanity by sticking with Lidge, but since July 31 Lidge has pitched in 20 games, has an 0.92 earned run average and converted 13 of 14 save opportunities. And if we are to get into the playoffs and make a run, a dominant Lidge is a game changer, especially with the way our team is playing now.

Here’s hoping you see the mid-October baseball, Doc Halladay. Phils magic number is 8.

By the way, Jayson Werth just hit a 3-run bomb!

Dawgs

 I’ve had enough of the Dawgs offense. Yes, they are missing the top WR in the country. Yes they are starting a freshman QB. Yes our defense isn’t doing us many favors, but there is NO EXCUSE for the horrendous play calling and the porous offensive line play. Our veteran offensive line has been getting their asses kicked, that is when they haven’t been holding. Bottom line is that we have been woefully out-coached and outplayed in our past two losses.

I also think the Dawgs fans must exercise some patience. Did you really think we’d be that good with a young team, a freshman QB, a new defensive scheme while having our best player suspended for four games? Remember how bad we were during Stafford’s first year, but we upset Auburn, upset Tech and won our bowl game. I expect us to do the same this year behind Murray (who will be a very good QB) but our line should be better and our playing less similar to that of a brain-dead monkey.

In Other News:

  • Summer just challenged my ability to notice HD on our TV and I’m proud to report she failed miserably.
  • My gym does something where they bring in food for members once in a while. Their M.O. is obvious. They bring in pizza and wings so that members will eat that shit then be guilted into signing up for personal trainers. Thanks for looking out for the great good of man, LA Fitness. It’s like having a bar set up with happy hour specials at planned parenthood.
  • Checkout the band Cahill if you like good, chilled music.
  • Ever notice that your parents are like your Obi One Kenobi, while you play the role of Jedi. For example, my Mom asked if I was planning on fasting this year for Yom Kippur (Jewish day of Atonement, where you don’t drink or eat for 24+ hours). My response, defensively, “yes, why wouldn’t I fast? I fast every year.”  Of course I’m thinking to myself, how does she ask me that? Does she really think I don’t fast? I have fasted every year since I was 18 – can I get some credit here, Mom? Parents always have that power over you.
  • Speaking of parents, isn’t it funny that your in-laws generally sound happier to hear from you then your own parents?
  • Sure sign I’m growing up – yesterday I told Summer about a story I heard on public broadcasting radio.
  • Yesterday a small plane landed on one of the interstates in Atlanta. On my way home from a work trip I wrestled with the frustrations of sitting in traffic versus the uniqueness of driving by a plane sitting on the highway. As I approached what looked like a parking lot, I quickly realized that it would have been much cooler, had I not just been in a car for four hours on the way back from North Carolina.
  • Matt Diaz has gotta have some Philly blood in him. Some idiot Phils fan ran on the field during Monday’s game and Diaz took him down, unsuspecting with a trip. It was magnificent and he deservedly so, received a standing ovation from the fans in the outfield. Here’s the clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1HxfKMl1Uw
  • While you are watching videos, watch Rufus the Bobcat attack Brutus the Buckeye right here. Pretty funny stuff, actually: http://thebiglead.com/index.php/2010/09/20/mascot-fight-ohio-universitys-mascot-attacks-brutus-the-buckeye/

Fly Eagles Fly?

Posted: 09/12/2010 in Uncategorized

Trying to get over the bitter, nasty taste in my mouth from yesterdays very disappointing UGA loss to South Carolina – I turn my thoughts and attention to other things like my beloved Philadephia Eagles and my sure to struggle fantasy teams. And isn’t that one of the great things about this time of year. Dawgs falter? I got the Eagles. Eagles falter, I have the Phils. Phils falter I have my fantasy team. All these teams falter – Summa J better hide the sharp objects.

The Kevin Kolb era officially kicks off today. After getting my fill of Kolb articles, I’m ready to get the party started. Yes, it will be odd seeing #5 lining up in maroon and gold but I like the youthful energy this team now posseses.

With a VERY questionable offensive line that has not had ANY pre-season game reps together that concerns me a TON – especially with a new QB. I actually think the O-line will end up being improved, assuming Jamal Jackson stays healthy , but it will take a couple of games to get to that point. I love the weapons around Kolb and think our time management will be better with him. What will be interesting to watch is how well he handles the blitz. If the pre-season was any indication — it could get ugly folks. Typically I try not to put much into the preseason, especially since Andy Reid runs an extremely basic offense, but things like blitz recognition, offensive line blocking and team discipline are usually easy to spot and those are three things that I have major questions around. I think Kolb can get the ball into the playmakers hands (D-Jax, Maclin, McCoy, Celek, Weaver, Avant) and I won’t be at all shocked if rookie Riley Cooper ends up being a factor sooner rather than later.

On the defensive side of the ball, I love our LB’s and I think our starting D-line looks good. I don’t think excited about any of our reserves, so here’s to hoping we can stay healthy. Our secondary will absolutely make or break this team. Ellis Hobbs who was horrendous last year, had  a very good preseason and camp and starts opposite a bulked up Asante Samuel. Our safeties will be better in that Nate Allen is already more talented than the 3-headed disaster (Jones, Harris, Demps) from last year. I like young guys Trevard Lindley and Demitri Patterson and Joselio Hanson is a solid nickel DB. I’m not sure Hobbs will be the starter for the entire season. There’s something about Lindley that I really like and I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see him starting after the bye week.

I think today’s game against Green Bay will be a shoot-out and I think we will fall short, losing 36-27. I also think Green Bay could be in the Super Bowl, so losing to them is no shame in the first game of the year.

I LOVE the opening kick-off weekend of the NFL. I’ve never had such tempered expectations as I have this season. I appreciate all that Donovan has done for the Eagles and although I might have held on to him for another year to see what he can do with these offensive weapons, I’m ready to move forward.

I hope Kolb has nerves of steel, balls made of brass and he can ignore the shit-storm sure to come his way when Donovan outplays him and the Redskins have a better record than us.  I’m not saying they will finish ahead of us, but at some point this season the Eagles fans will have sellers remorse with Donovan. There will be ups and downs, but at the end of the year, we’ll be sitting at 8-8, with a brighter future ahead. I’m also not sold on Kolb based on two games against New Orleans and KC last year, but I’m curious to see what he can do. Again, I preach patience Philly faithful. I’d suggest you keep your seatbelts low and tight around your waist in case we should hit some unexpected turbulence.

Dawgs

The best part of watching that game yesterday was the company I watched it with. Much love to Goldman (yes, I moved my blog 4 months ago), D-Slivs and Wayna J. I was excited to breakout some of our new Georgia Bulldog gameday glasses and chip/dip servingware. Sadly, the servingware preformed much better than Dawgs. Marcus Lattimore is an absolute beast. He looked like an NFL-caliber runningback, but our tackling was absolutely horrendous. It’s easy to get pumped by a pummeling of Louisiana-Laffayette, but the game against Carolina was more of a barometer for our program. Without ultra-playmaker AJ Green, our offense had no zip and our defense thought they were playing two-hand touch football. When you lose a guy like Green, you simply cannot make mistakes like Washaun Ealey made by fumbling the ball at 3. Overall,  Ealey ran hard and played well but that fumble killed us. Also not sure why we didn’t throw more to Kris Durham. Also, if anyone can tell me what Tavarres King has done to warrant a starting spot, I’d love to hear it. He caught as many passes as I did yesterday.

Phils

Guess who is in first? The fightin’ Phils. Yes we are tied with the Braves for first but what a long, crazy trip it’s been. The NL wildcard race is going to be unbelievable down the stretch, so I hope we will seize sole-possession of first place. I love the heart of this team and feel like they have as much talent as anyone in the NL. Final 20 games of the season should be amazing.

In Other News:

  • Is there a bigger dip-shit in sports than Michael Irvin (actually, yes there is, Deion Sanders). It’s amazing – I’m watching Irvin interview McNabb and trying to goat him into trashing Philly and in typical McNabb fashion he’s taken the high road. McNabb is a class act. Now he’s ripping Philly fans because he thinks Philly fans are expecting a Super Bowl this year and he’s hyping up the Cowboys. All the guys on the set are trying to talk logic into this dope.  It’s like trying to reason with tree stump.
  • Just saw my first episode of Hard Knocks — um, what was I waiting for? This show is phenomenal — already can’t wait till next season.
  • Last night Summer asked me, “So how much football will you be watching over the weekends?”  I’m not sure if she knows what she signed up for here.
  • I went to the post office last week, and its incredible to watch how slowly people move there. I know about 15-20 people looking for jobs and I’m sure every damn one of them would work in much more efficient manor than these people. This is when I see the world as unfair.
  • I can’t believe it’s been 9 years since 9/11. Outside of the obvious collection of incredibly sad, heartbreaking stories, photos and videos – I have three very personal experiences I won’t ever forget. I was at work and called my Dad (at work) and told him that a plane had hit one of the World Trade Center buildings, only to watch live on TV as the second plane hit the second WTC building. The second memory was watching the first WTC building crumble to the ground and tears just fell down my eyes. I wondered what was going on, who did this and how would we ever recover? My final memory was going to my sister’s who lived in Atlanta at the time and sitting with my then 7 month old nephew and my dog Cobi, wondering what kind of world would Jake grow up in.
  • I want to become a better cook. Kind of sad this is not a hereditary gene because both my Mom and my sister are very good cooks. Thankfully, my wife is a good cook too, although she doesn’t think so, which is odd b/c she usually has a good sense of self. Although, now that I think it about it she also tells believes she’s the best athlete in the house. Nuff said.
  • If you haven’t seen Michigan’s Denard Robinson play, you should check him out. He’s one of the most exciting players in college football bar none. This guy is fun to watch.

 

 

It’s You Athens…

Posted: 09/03/2010 in Uncategorized

Isn’t Labor Day the most bittersweet holiday of them all? Bitter, because it generally signals the end of the summer (however, the south probably has another 3-4 weeks left) but sweet because it means: 

  • Football season is upon us
  • Cooler temps for some of you who can’t deal with the heat
  • Return trips to Athens, GA – one of the greatest cities on the planet
  • Truly meaningful baseball games, where all the things you got creased about during June and July, now actually matter
  • Lamenting about my fantasy football team
  • Did I mention football is on Thrs and Sat-Monday?

I think about the fall and immediately I think of Athens, Georgia. You see, there is something so special about my first trip to Athens each year. The weather is usually warm, red and black everywhere, the sweet smell of tailgate grills and bourbon (yes, even at 10 AM), the buzz along Broad Street (yep – there’s one in Athens), the revelers throughout downtown, on North Campus, Five Points, Milledge, Lumpkin, seeing old friends who you generally see once or twice a year, the Arches, the victory bell, the obligatory, “oh that used to be Rum Runners when I was here,” the walk to the stadium, the bridge, the emaculately groomed grass and hedges in Sanford Stadium, barking at strangers, Go Dawgs, the roar of the crowd, the Larry Munson voiced historical Georgia highlights followed by the Who’s “Baba O’Reilly” themed UGA highlight video on the big screen,  the greatest mascot on the planet, watching the team come running through the giant G, and trying to find UGA to see if he can keep up, the first big play, the first big hit, my first high-five, losing my voice — seriously just thinking about it I’m ready to start jumping around. G-d, I love that school and I love that town.

I realize that not everyone feels that way about their college town, but that’s part of what makes Athens so special to me. I grew up A TON during my three football seasons there (key learning – no one ever talks about how many years they went to school, in Athens its measured by football seasons).  I will always have a fondness for a city that “took me in” when I came down there as a somewhat intimidated kid from Delaware with nappy hair, a big hoop earing, an 87′ mustang convertible and a dream.  I made some life long friends who I put into the same category of incredible friends I grew up with and went to High School with. Athens, more than anywhere I’ve ever been, served as a proving ground for me.

Athens, Georgia accepted me for who I was and somehow transformed me into who I became, without me ever realizing I was changing. Of course I’m not the same person I was when I left Athens in 1997 a few years ago, but it set me on a course. A journey. Now, as I look forward to my life with Summer, I get just as excited about going back to Athens with her.  Simply put without Athens, I don’t think I would have found her and without her I don’t think I’d ever be here. And here feels as good as anything in my life ever has, so I appreciate all of it.

I’m sure people who went to any major football school all have similar stories and I think that’s what makes college sports so different from pro sports. It’s like the school that is doing battle on the field is representing you and in a weird sort of way, it feels like a piece of you is out there with them. Of course, we have the luxury of stuffing our faces with hamburgers, chicken sandwiches and alcohol and we feel none of the physical pain, but the roller-coaster of emotions over the course of a college football season is a doozy, but I love it.

Not sure where all that came from, but I sat down, started writing and that’s what came out.

 Anyway, I do think the Dawgs will rebound from a difficult year last year. I think Todd Grantham’s 3-4 defense is going to show some serious signs of dominance, but I also think they will struggle. I’d say within 2 years we will have one of the best defenses in the country. I’m looking forward to seeing us blitz, as I don’t think that’s happened since the Erk Russell days. I really like our DB’s – a LOT. Justin Houston is a beast and I think Marcus Washington breaks out big too. Losing Bryan Evans and Prince Miller will be addition by subtraction (as will Joe Cox on offense). Our offensive line should be one of the best in the country. AJ Green is perhaps the best WR in the country. I like our TE’s, I like our RB’s, which leaves us with one giant question. The QB. It’s only the most important position on the team. I haven’t seen enough of Aaron Murray to tell you whether he’ll be the next Matt Stafford or the next Joe Cox. I don’t think anyone has. Murray was a highly-touted QB that we plucked out of Florida, but we really don’t have anything to by. I don’t expect Louisiana-Lafayette to be much of a measuring stick. I will say, if we don’t win this game by 30+ we could be in for a long season. I actually think we blow them out, but a MUCH more stern test should come next week in Columbia against the Cocks. I think when all is said and done, coach Richt will have this young Bulldog team in the top 15.

Phils

Here we are – less than 30 games left and we are still trailing the Braves, much to the chagrin of many of my Atlanta Braves friends. After a tremendous 6-1 road trip out west we return home to face the Brewers, while the Braves travel to Florida to battle the Marlins. I think we could gain some ground this weekend. It looks like Captain Chase is finally starting to come around after his 6 RBI night last night and he’s hitting .538  in his last 3 games. Good to see the Phils use the long ball again last night, but they were playing in Colorado, where the ball flies out of that stadium. Anyway, should be an exciting finish to the season and I really like how we are playing right now.  I’d rather be the hunters, than the hunted. ATL – we are coming for ya!!

Eagles

They will have to get down to 53 players by 6pm tomorrow. Curious to see some of the cuts, specifically at WR and DB. Seventh round find Kurt Coleman is in and I’m curious to see what happens to Macho Harris and the Hank Baskett-Kelley Washington battle. Baskett is married to former Playboy model Kendra and he’s tall, but that’s about all I see going for him. I hope Washington gets his spot b/c I think he’s a superior player on ST and at WR. Hopefully my UGA boy Jeff Owens makes the team so that he and Max-Jean Gilles can reminisce about Athens like I just did.

In Other News:

  • Sure sign I’m getting older – last week on two straight nights Summer and I passed up alcohol in favor of food. Kind of weird
  • Does the early bird get the worm or is patience a virtue? I believe my parents would throw any old cliche my way, just to end a conversation that they were tired of having with me.
  • Dear BP, you still suck. You won’t be able to pay back what you owe b/c you can no longer drill offshore? Seriously?
  • Second sign I could be getting older – it seems like I hear things all the time. Is this odd? Whether in my car or in the bed sleeping, I’m convinced that I always hear something making noise. Maybe we have ghosts.
  •  I’m loving this season of Entourage by the way, but do you know a lazier cast than Jeremy Piven and the boys? Seriously – the season finale is next week? Was this season 8 episodes? It’s just getting good. Vince has a drug problem, Johnny Drama is about to finally score w/E’s secretary, Turtle is a little cooler now and Ari’s character is in mid-season form. Tweeter is a great addition and E, well he’s still a tool. Awesome season, but way too short.
  • And if you haven’t heard the new Cee-Low (from the ATL) video, you must check it out and you will be humming this song to yourself for the rest of the day. WARNING: Mom, this is NOT for you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pc0mxOXbWIU
  • Why is it that some people have no volume regulator? Seriously, I was in the post office two days ago and this guy is speaking so loud, I’m pretty sure people could hear him outside — and I am not kidding. I could also hear the person screaming in the phone. I recognized they were speaking hebrew, but this jew was plenty offended.
  • Shout out to my boys playing the Pimps, Playas and Prozac fantasy football league – prepare to be dominated!