Green BAY 16 , Eagles 13
Hello again campers and welcome back to another season of The Morning After . I'm proud once again to welcome new apostles to the flock and if my old-timers, those who have been with me from day one, will allow, I will explain what exactly The Morning After is and how it came about.
About 6-7 years ago, the morning after following an Eagles game I decided to collect my off-the-wall thoughts and self-admittedly peculiar observations, write them down and send them off to my family & friends via email. And because of my rampant ADD, said thoughts & observations were penned in a quick, short prose. I made no qualms about my writing style and told everyone then as I tell everyone now, if you're looking for a “traditional” blow-by-blow account of each Birds game, go to the newspaper or watch SportsCenter or Comcast Sports Net. If you want to read a passionate Eagles fan's slant on the kinds of things the newspapers, et al often don't delve into, then the TMA is for you.
Since that inauspicious debut, the TMA has grown and has established a truly cult following, with Eagles fans from all around the country being counted as loyal followers. And for the past few years the TMA has been found exclusively on insidetheeagles.com, recently voted as the best Eagles fans site in a poll conducted by no less than sportsillustrated.com.
So for my new members of the flock, welcome. Sit back and enjoy (hopefully) a tongue-in-cheek, offbeat, entertaining & extremely passionate view of each Eagles game.
As per the norm, I start with the…
Pre Game High Jinx…
I wanted to make sure so I looked it up and yes, Lindsay Nelson is still dead but did his widow have a garage sale or something because the sport coat worn by Daryl “Moose” Johnston clearly came from Lindsay's closet. For those of you who don't know, Lindsay Nelson was a long-time NFL broadcaster known for many things including wearing these simply garish sport coats. To quote Al Czervik: “Ooh, looks good on you, though,”
So there was Tony “Goose” Siragusa, who by the way looks like he lost some weight, discussing how long it took him to return to 100% from his own ACL injury back in his playing days. In his case, he said it took 18 months as he wondered aloud how long it would take Donovan McNabb to return to 100%. It was at this precise moment when the phrase “you're comparing apples to oranges” or more accurately “you're comparing apples to small island nations.” In other words, I don't think comparing how long it took a three-hundred and bazillion pound defensive lineman to recover fully from this injury to a starting NFL QB is not a real, true comparison. No offense Moose but you were carrying just slightly more baggage on your frame than #5 is.
I've always had an usual interest or fascination in commercials. Even before I started working in advertising, it always intrigued me as to the inner workings of a given spot. Yesterday we saw a spot for Playstation 3 (is that what number we're up to?) At the end of the spot, the Voice Over tag read “rated T for teen.” Now what proceeded this tag was the scene of a heroine who essentially was beheading anything that got in her way with this bizarre looking machete-type instrument. And this, I wonder aloud, is rated T for teen? But don't worry, I am not going anywhere near the issue of whether video game violence plays a role in real life. Not enough time. But you get the point.
Once again I ask: Why do networks feel the need to bombard us with completely meaningless stats? Example #1 came when this hidden gem was flashed onscreen while new Eagles Punter Sav Rocca prepared to kick his first-ever NFL regular-season punt: “Sav Rocca scored 736 goals in Australian Rules Football.” Yeah and I hit 22 homeruns in Wiffleball one year. Translation: Neither stat means a goddamn thing! Example #2 came in the Phils game when, with Aaron Rowand at the plate, we were treated to this completely inane tidbit: “Aaron Rowand is hitting .238 against right-handed pitchers since May 6 th .” To this I say, ‘why would someone even go to the trouble of getting this stat?' And ‘what was he hitting against right-handed pitching since May 5 th ?' C'mon people, you don't need to constantly tell us you know more than we do by continually force feeding us these ridiculous and completely useless stats.
So Long Cylons…
Anyone who remembers the original 70s version of the show Battlestar Galactica will recognize the Cylon looking robot that greets all FOX viewers as they return to the game from commercial. Doesn't FOX have money to invest in a new graphic for chrissakes? Somebody get me Richard Hatch's phone number, stat.
Captain Obvious, reporting for duty…
I'll tell you, nothing gets past that Kenny Albert. The FOX play-by-play man was right on top of things when Packers CB Al Harris suffered an injury to his elbow. Grimacing in obvious pain, he was taken to the sideline and ultimately to the locker room for what was presumably an x-ray to gauge the severity of his injury. As Al was shown being carted to the locker room, Kenny dropped this brilliant bit on insight on us: “Al Harris is being taken to the locker room for what we assume is for medical reasons.” Really Kenny? Medical reasons you say? Thank God you were there to explain that because my guess would have been to get a hotdog or to take a dump. Thank you Kenny, thank you.
These M & M's don't melt…
Gotta give props to my longtime Eagles cohort Mark Q and to my brother Michael. First, to Mark who has been on the Jason Avant bandwagon longer than anyone. Mark has, from day one, seen the potential in Jason and has openly expressed it and yesterday we saw just a glimpse of that potential. Now if he could learn to control his inner Hong Kong Phooey, he'll be fine.
And props to my brother Michael, who has also from day one, made reference to the sheer arrogance and pomposity of Andy Reid and all those above him. Yesterday that arrogance was on full display in the form of the Eagles not-so-Special Teams (more on this below). Michael has long been a believer in the arrogance starts from the top, i.e. Jeffrey Lurie, and trickles down to the entire organization. Did you hear how confident the Eagles sounded to Moose Johnston when he spoke to them on Saturday? There's a fine line between confidence and arrogance. One last thing on my brother, he said something to me last night that made me cringe and should make all Eagles fans cringe and that is, how pathetic is it when we long for the days of Reno Mahe?
Perhaps the word “Special” is a bit of a misnomer…
Well this is no newsflash for sure as clearly the one and only place to lay blame on this loss is at the feet of the Special Teams and I for one grant Special Teams Coach Ryan Segrest full and complete dispensation. I mean the guy has so much going on with American Idol and the Emmys and… what, oh that's Ryan Seacrest . Sorry about that. But I do not blame him one iota. He is merely a player at this poker table and the dealer is Andy Reid. And if the Eagles Special Teams were a poker hand, Ryan would be holding nothing, nada, zilch, not even a pair of deuces.
And it all goes back to that sheer arrogance and pomposity my brother Michael constantly brings up. How else can you explain cutting a guy in Jeremy Bloom, whom you kept around ALL season last year to rehab only to cut him this year and hand the punt return job over to a player in Greg Lewis who, as far as I know, has never returned punts in his life? Ok, perhaps he did it in college. I'll tell you how: arrogance.
‘We can put anyone back there, hell I could put you back there and in our system, you'll do fine. Greg Lewis is a wide receiver so he MUST be able to catch and return punts, right?'
The term deer-in-the-headlights doesn't even begin to describe the look on Greg Lewis' face. Don't forget, he almost fumbled another one away as he, for whatever reason, decided to field a punt that had already hit and bounced his way. But you know, Greg Lewis alone does not take the hit for the muff that led to the Packers only TD. Clearly, based on the free shot the Packers player had on him, the blocking was simply atrocious.
Then we had JR Reed, who if you believe what you hear, somehow mistook the punt he fumbled for a kickoff and thus thought he had to field it. You see, for those of you who are new to this game I like to call professional football, on a kickoff the ball is a “live” ball meaning the returner HAS to field the ball else the other team can recover it ala an onsides kick. But on a punt, you see, the returner has the option of fielding or not fielding the punt, kind of like a “play” or “pass” option on the old game show Password. Remember Allen Ludden? “Soupy Sales… play or pass?”
Another not so-breaking newsflash: I think this Eagles coaching regime does not place enough value on Special Teams. I don't think they ever will, even in the face of such a debacle.
No, in pecking order it goes Offense & Defense, then the caterer, then the guy who follows Andy Reid around all game holding his cable from his headset, then the caterer again, then the guy who runs Parking Lot D at The Linc and then the Special Teams.
Good Humor Man…
Can't you just see driving down a road with bells ringing an ice cream truck with the name Johnny Jolly written on the side of it? The Packers DE knocked down 3, count em 3, of Donovan McNabb's passes. And speaking of ice cream I thought the Eagles ran a very vanilla offense. Boy I'll tell ya, I know funny and that was NOT good humor, man.
They Could've Gone Anywhere…
You know I don't think it's right that Temple has to play a professional football team. And why did the Bills have to play Saturday AND Sunday? What? What was that? The Buffalo that Temple lost to was NOT the Bills? It was the University of Buffalo? Oh, I just figured since the Owls lost 42-7 that they MUST'VE played a professional team. Hmmm, not looking so “golden” on Broad St. is it?
As I wrote on my blog, http://insidetheeagles.blogspot.com/ , I had the Eagles at 3-1 after 4 losing to either the Packers or Giants. I did not have a good feeling coming in to this game. Of course I had no way of predicting the Eagles losing in this fashion but I did know the Packers had a pretty good defense.
Next week the Skins come to town, the first-place Skins that is. Obviously as the week plays out we will see what, if any, changes Andy Reid makes to the Special Teams.
This is a game the Eagles should win. Of course many of you said the same thing about this week, too.
Til next time.
© Copyright 2006. Jules Pilla
Not affiliated with the Philadelphiqa
Eagles or the NFL.