InsideTheEagles.com

"The Morning After "
By Steve Olenski
Sep 11th, 2006

Time's yours. Food's mine

Steve

Game 1 - Eagles vs Houston

Hi campers!

First and foremost, welcome back to another Eagles season and The Morning After . Just as the case was last year, we have a lot of new TMA'ers who have joined the fun.

I am personally very grateful for all the support you continually give to the TMA and insidetheeagles.com. We are supposed to find out this week if insidetheeagles.com will become part of the sportsillustrated.com official Eagles page! Stay tuned for more details in the coming days.

But Jules (the brains behind ITE) and I are very appreciative of your support.

Okay, enough of that mushy crap…

The Eagles last game was New Year's Eve 2005, a 31-20 loss to the Redskins. With the win, the Skins clinched the last remaining NFC Playoff spot and it sent the Eagles pitifully packing to a playoff-less offseason for the first time in many years.

Quite a bit has transpired since then…

Yes, a little stroll down memory lane is coming next.

You don't like it?

Tough.

Let's see…

•  Nick & Jessica got divorced while Nick and Jen got engaged. (inside joke)

•  The Vice-President accidentally shot his friend while hunting who reportedly was in between the Veep and the quail he and his friend were hunting at the time. Yeah, kind of a grown up version of monkey-in-the-middle I guess.

•  Floyd Landis, of Lancaster, PA, won the Tour de France, then was stripped of the crown after an "A sample" test and subsequent “B sample” test both came back positive with an unusually high ratio of the hormone testosterone to epitestosterone. Okay, raise your hand if you even knew what epitestosterone was before all this. Yeah, that's what I thought.

•  Frontman Rob Aston announced that the Transplants had disbanded shortly after their fall tour cancelled. This one was rough on me as I have the complete anthology of the Transplants on iTunes, vinyl, CD and 8 Track. In actuality I found this on Wikipedia.com under major events in 2006. I must've not read the paper the day this earth-shattering announcement was made.

•  Mel Gibson was arrested for DUI and in the process of being arrested, uttered anti Semitic remarks and somewhere Marge Schott was smiling.

•  Tom & Katie and Brad & Angelina had babies and still for some incredible reason, I don't give a damn.

•  And some guy named Owens went to some team that has a star on its helmet.

Okay, enough of the past, let's get to the present shall we, or more recent past as in yesterday's game.

77 Sunset Strip…

Well quite the ominous start to the 2006 season was it not? The Texans took the opening kickoff and marched 77 yards on 10 plays culminating in a 25 yard TD pass to Eric Moulds. On the drive, the not-exactly-high-powered Texans Offense, converted two 3 rd Downs and a 4 th Down on their way to paydirt.

Was anyone just the slightest bit nervous?

Neither was I.

It's all uphill from here…

After the Texans impressive first drive, they amassed a grand total of 203 yards on their remaining EIGHT drives, including a staggering 91 total yards in the entire 2 nd Half.

This is a very young team, clearly, but they have some decent talent including QB David Carr, who I think can be an above-average QB provided he has the right supporting cast, which includes having an offensive line that is, well…not so offensive.

One does have to wonder though about some of their decisions, most notably of course not taking Reggie Bush instead opting for DE Mario Williams.

It's gonna be a long year in Houston and yes, I can guarantee you that somewhere, some place, the following headline will appear:

“Houston, we have a problem”

One last thing, why in the world would they, or anyone quite frankly, ever ask a tight end to block Jevon Kearse one on one?

Finger Hut…

Okay riddle me this Batman…

Why, when the referee is signaling 1 st , 2 nd or 3 rd Down, does he hold up 1, 2 and 3 fingers respectively yet when it's 4 th Down, he holds up a closed fist and NOT four fingers?

Is it akin to a baseball umpire, when the count runs full, striking two closed fists together instead of holding up 3 fingers on one hand and two on the other?

Does anyone know the answer to this?

The first one with the correct answer will win a copy of the Transplants CD: Live at the Acropolis with Special Guest Yanni.

Tattoo you…

Did we really need to see Mario Williams' tattoos? Did you catch this? Fox actually had a split screen still shot of each of his arms and the tattoos that adorn each appendage.

I guess, however, it's a good thing Mario didn't have any other body parts tattooed.

By the way, Mr. Williams finished with exactly 2 more tackles than I did yesterday, not that anyone's counting.

The Lido Shuffle…

Before I get to yesterday, I must first explain this portion of the TMA to our new readers.

The Lido Shuffle is a regular feature of the TMA.

Why?

Because yours truly is no fan of one Lito Sheppard, not by a long shot. I am on record as saying that #26 is an average NFL Cornerback at best, is overrated and is often out of position and but for a lack of quality QB play week in, week out, would be beaten consistently for big plays.

Now there is a loyal TMA reader, one Thomas Karr of…hell, where you living these days, Tommy? I lost track.

Anyway, TK is a staunch supporter of Lito's and is always at the ready to defend him against the likes of me.

But yesterday I felt cheated, jilted, scorned even.

With Lito going out early due to an ankle injury, I was left to watch the pathetic stylings of Roderick Hood. Okay maybe “pathetic” is a little too strong but Rod seems to suffer from the same malady as a former Eagles CB, Bobby Taylor: Tackle Avoidus Maximus.

Sometimes less is more…

This mantra is completely lost on Fox analyst Brian Baldinger.

Jeezus, can he shut up for a few seconds and let the actions on the field speak for themselves?

Some of B Squared's highlights from yesterday:

•  Speaking about newly acquired Eagles WR Donte Stallworth, BB told the viewers the Eagles “signed” Stallworth a few weeks ago. Oops, Donte was traded to the Eagles for Frenchy, ALK Mark Simoneau and a draft pick. Signed. Traded. Same thing, right Bri?

•  Commenting on Eagles OL Jon Runyan at one point, Brian told us that Jon almost didn't come back this year to the Birds as they went hard after LeCharles Bentley. Huh? The last time I looked, Runyan played Tackle and Bentley played Center. So explain to me exactly what one has to do with the other?

•  And lastly, at one point he referred to Eagles Tight End LJ Smith as “LJ Schmith”, not to be confused of course with Phillies Hall of Famer, “Mike” Schmith.

Feeling all Foxed in…

Okay, once again the Einsteins at Fox have developed another cutesy, shmootsey gimmick.

This one involved the Down and Distance indicator, kind of an important thing to know during the course of a given game.

Well instead of showing the D &D onscreen all the time, as most humans would do, they decided it would be really neato to show the D &D on the freaking field! The problem is there Rupert, the players are on the field too, meaning you couldn't always see the D &D because some fat bastard lineman was in the freaking way!!!

Some more Foxy rumblings…

•  The show “House.” Holy crap, if there's one hospital I NEVER want to go to is the one Dr. House (is that even his name?) works at. There ain't no hang nails or little boo boos being treated here, sir. No, unless you got some serious convulsions and/or can spin your head completely around, don't even bother going, you ain't getting in.

•  And I love the promo for the new episode: “House faces his strangest case ever” and we see some poor soul writhing in pain with some godforsaken illness. Pardon me, but isn't EVERY episode like this? Or do I need to actually watch an episode to see the sudden nuances that differentiate each show?

•  And between House and all the damn cartoons Fox runs, I think the better caveat for potential watchers, instead of “Viewer Discretion Advised”, is “Viewer Intelligence Optional”.

Samsung and Deliliah…

So what was up with that commercial for Samsung? Did you see this?

The spot was for a large screen TV. In the spot, a man is so transfixed on his new TV, that he completely ignores his young child as she tangles herself in some sort of tape or something and a rodent (raccoon) makes its way inside the house.

Yeah baby, I got the tagline…

“Buy a Samsung TV and neglect your child…all at the same time!”

The Bottom Line…

A win is a win is a win. Good teams are supposed to beat bad teams and the Eagles took care of business.

Some very good things to take from this game:

•  Donte Stallworth showed he can be a true #1 receiver.

•  Reggie Brown continued his progress.

•  Brian Westbrook displayed his unique combination of skills and the Eagles taking full advantage of them.

•  Correll Buckhalter ran perhaps as well as he has ever run: with power and speed. Very encouraging.

•  The D Line got a consistent pass rush while also stopping the run.

•  The O Line did a good job in both protection and run-blocking.

•  Donovan McNabb looked like last year was an aberration.

•  David Akers looked fully healthy.

Now of course all of this optimism must be tempered by the fact that the Eagles beat a pretty bad team.

Next up are the New York football Giants and that will of course be a much tougher test and one that very well could help predict where this team will be at the end of the season.

Until next time.

Time's yours. Food's mine.

Steve

 

 

 

 

 

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