"The Morning After "
By Steve Olenski
Sept 26th , 2005

Game 3 - Oakland vs Eagles

Good morning my loyal subjects.

Let's get right to it as I have to be done quickly as I want to watch every second of the TV movie about Martha Stewart and her time in jail.

Man, I am TIVO'ing this puppy for sure.

Pre Game High Jinx

Following the one millionth discussion/interview regarding TO and Donovan, Mr. Quinlan commented, quite accurately I might add — that he's never really liked me but come game day we put all differences aside and we ain't even getting paid for it.

So if we can do it…certainly TO and Donovan can.

No kicky, No money?

Some thoughts re: Mr. Ache'ers.

•  Do you think he gets paid per kick? I mean the poor guy was limping around on one leg for chrissakes. Isn't there anyone else who could kick besides a backup LB and TE? Hold that thought.

•  One has to question Big Red's decision to let Akers kickoff the 2 nd time after an Offsides Penalty by Matt Ware on his 1 st kick. And how about Juqua Thomas (who?), the Birds DL who committed yet another Offsides Penalty on the very next play? Do you think he'll get a Christmas card from Akers after that bone headed play? I mean the guy can barely stand as it is, let alone kick, you just watch one of your teammates commit the same knuckle headed play on the play right before and you STILL go Offsides??!!

MQ Question of the Week

Staying on the David Akers topic, MQ queries:

“Why can't Eagles Punter Dirk Johnson kick extra points and handle the kickoffs? I mean, the guy is a kicker is he not? Isn't it all kicking, the using of a foot to project the pig-skinned sphere, when you get right down to it?

So why can't Dirk do kicking in addition to punting?”

I don't know, Mark.

Do you?

Sound Bytes

Playing in the NFC and as such having the majority of games on FOX, we aren't privileged to hear the witty banter and whimsical dialogue that Dick Enberg and Dan Dierdorf surely provide listeners to their telecasts.

But this week was of course an exception as the game was on CBS. And of course they did not disappoint.

Following Akers' 2nd kickoff on the opening drive, Double D wondered aloud if ‘Eagles Special Teams Coach John Harbaugh was apoplectic after the Eagles 2nd Offsides penalty in as many plays.'

Now, I don't know about you all, but I for one wish Danny would stop making such perspicacious comments. I for one was completely flummoxed.

Later in the telecast, Daniel described a (Raiders QB) Kerry Collins pass as “a perfect moonbeam.”

Gotta help me out on this one Danny, meet me halfway, something, cause I have no freakin idea what you meant.


To be honest with you I don't even recall the pass as I was more flummoxed by his choice of words.


At one point, his partner, Mr. Enberg, got confused and thought it was 1956 all over again. Following a penalty on the Raiders Charles Woodson for Illegal Contact on TO, Dicky opined “teenage dancers don't get that close.”

He happens to be right you know.

I think I heard Mr. Cunningham admonish Richie once for dancing too close to Lori Beth at a sock hop at Arnold's.

The Lito Shuffle

Did anyone else notice how many times the Birds were playing a Zone Defense? Did anyone also notice how many times Mr. Shepherd was beaten by Randy Moss yet due to the ineptitude of Kerry Collins was saved from being toast? Did anyone notice that Mr. Shepherd couldn't tackle me?

And before you start hammering me with the ‘yeah, but he made the Pro Bowl last year' comments, remember that the only reason and I mean the ONLY reason he made the Pro Bowl last year was due the number of interceptions he had. Period.

Not to beat a dead horse but he will be beaten and will cost the Birds a game. Book it.

Mr. Smith goes to…Hawaii?…not so fast

I know, I know.

Last week I wrote that LJ Smith had himself a game that displayed his true talents and that he could be headed to Hawaii as a Pro Bowl'er if he kept it up.

Well after this week, he better call Rosenbluth as he may have to make his own travel arrangements if he plans on going to Hawaii in February.

Stats wise (5 catches/50 yards) he had an okay game but a major flaw in his game reared its head again yesterday when he put the ball on grass with the Eagles driving toward another touchdown.

The Eagles were ahead 20-10 when LJ gave it away at the Raiders 5-yard line. There was a little more than eleven minutes to play in the 4th Quarter at the time and one has to think that if the Birds punch it in there, the Raiders are done.

Strange Calls

Facing a 4th and 6 in the 3rd Quarter, the Eagles were forced to punt. No big deal, right?

Well the subsequent explanation and verbal gestures given by Referee Larry Nemmers was, um…strange shall we say?

If you recall the play, he initially pointed in the Eagles direction so we all thought the penalty was on the Eagles and a collective sigh was felt throughout the Delaware Valley. He then pointed in the Raiders direction so we all collectively cheered up thinking it was on them. He then pointed again in the Eagles direction and we all collectively sighed, again.

After learning which way was right and which was left, he turned his microphone on to attempt to explain the call.

Went something like this:

“The Raiders had 2 or 3 receivers, um…too many men on the field on the um…offense, no defense…”

‘The Raiders had 2 or 3 receivers um…what?' What were they doing Larry? Loitering? Lollygagging?


Seems like old times…


Man, did it seem like old times at different points of the game?

3 rd and 10 and the Eagles throw a 7-yard pass?

No pass rush.

No rush offense.

McNabb making poor decisions and ill-advised throws which are picked off.

About the only thing missing was Al Harris taking a stupid penalty and costing the Eagles the game.

Go fly a kite…

How cheesy and pathetic and downright embarrassing were those promos featuring Ben Franklin? Do you think they spent what, all of 5 minutes on these?

And that wasn't the real Ben Franklin you know.

Just in case you were curious.

Back to the Driveway…

Remember last week I wrote of a game my brother Greg and I used to play in our back driveway in which we would pretend to be the current NFL kickers making field goals through imaginary uprights?

Watching Mike Bartrum kickoff reminded me that we also used to play touch football in the driveway. In lieu of a tee, we would find a crack in the cement and place the ball in that to act as the “holder.”

We would raise our right hand and extend our right index finger to signify God knows what but it seemed cool and we saw them do it on TV.

But watching Bartrum I thought of myself or Greg or whomever, running gaily up to the ball with visions of a high end over end kick going about 50 yards and instead kicking the top of the ball and have it bound aimlessly about 15 yards.

I can almost hear Bartrum yelling like we used to as we approached the ball to kick it:


Thanks for the reminder…

In the 2nd Half, the Raiders committed an Encroachment Penalty and it reminded me I am over due for my yearly prostrate exam.

You wanna talk encroachment.

I only wish I could decline this penalty.

The Bottom Line

The Eagles beat a very aggressive (Defensively) Raiders team.

They won despite the Raiders average starting field position being something like their own 40 due to the aforementioned Mr. Bartrum's kickoffs.

They won despite not having a 100% Donovan McNabb.

They won despite committing 9 penalties, often at just the wrong time(s).

They did what great teams do. They won a game they probably should have lost. They found a way and a W is a W.

Until next time…

Time's Yours. Food's mine.


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© Copyright 2005. Jules Pilla

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