Steve Olenski
Sept 7 th 2008

2008 Game 1... Eagles 38 Rams 3

Welcome back guys and dolls to another season of The Morning After . Once again, we welcome a new crop of loyal TMA readers to the fold. I will refrain from retelling the story of the history of the TMA but I will say this: It's truly a labor of love for yours truly and my therapist tells me it's very cathartic, so I got that going for me, which is nice. I will also tell the newbies that if you're looking for a traditional recap of an Eagles game, the Inquirer or Daily News may be your speed. But if you like tongue-in-cheek humor, odd observations and a few facts mixed in, then the TMA is right up your alley.

Last thing before we jump into the deep end… in case you have not seen them yet, the results of the pool re: the 2008 Eagles season can be found on my BLOG at .

And in case anyone is curious as to what MY thoughts were… I have the Eagles going 9-7/10-6 with a break along the way. They will be an NFC Wild Card team and from there… it's anyone's guess. But we'll address the playoffs should the Birds make it that far.

The Mac Man On the DL…

Have to start off the TMA with my wish for a speedy recovery for Jody McDonald, my man over at 950ESPN. Jody's on the mend after some heart-related issues, which come to think of it is a good way to explain the Rams play yesterday. They surely don't have a lot of talent but they also clearly don't seem to have a lot of heart, either. Mac Man: Can't wait for you to back on the air where you belong.

Samsung & Delilah…

Another year of Eagles football and another year of sitting directly to the port side of the greatest financial mind since James Cash (JC) Penney, Mark William Quinlan. But, this year will be different, as while the Eagles were getting ready for their season, MQ was getting ready for ours . He went out and purchased a 46-inch Samsung High-Def TV and all I can say is: Lord do the cheerleaders look incredible in High-Def! Oops, is my wife reading this? I meant to say I love how I can really study all the action ON the field, yeah, yeah, that's the ticket.

First & 2008…

First offensive play of the 2008 Eagles season? Incomplete pass to DeSean Jackson. Ugh… Ah, but these are the Rams after all and sure enough, just five plays later, the Eagles scored their first TD and the Rams began plans for the in-flight movie on the way home.

Do They Need A New Vision Plan? …

I know it was just the first game of the season but if the officiating we saw yesterday is any indication of how things will be this year, it's going to be a loooong year.

Among many glaring miscues I saw:

  • DeSean Jackson was downright mugged attempting to haul in his first NFL TD in the First Half
  • The phantom interference call on S Quinton Mikell
  • The initial rule of a catch on a pass thrown to LJ Smith which was clearly not a catch; the catch signal was made by the official standing three feet away at the time… yikes.

Off the Field Miscues…

The Fox crew was in mid-season form with head scratching comments.

  • Moose Johnston referring to Rams DL Chris Long as a second-round pick. Oops, so close yet… Chris Long was in fact the second player drafted overall… in the FIRST ROUND.
  • Both Moose and Goose (Tony Siragusa) saying the Eagles were flying under the radar in the off-season, being overlooked by the national publications. Um… I think the folks at Sports Illustrated would take umbrage with both of you boys not considering them a national publication. SI, in case you missed it, picked the Eagles to win the NFC and go back to the Super Bowl.
  • On at least two occasions Moose used the word “anyways.” Now if we can get him to say “yous” he'll really sound like a Philly guy.
  • In the pre-game show on Fox, the panel of “experts” were making their weekly picks and it came time for them to make their “upset special” selection and Terry Bradshaw, ever the risk-taker, picked the Forty-Niners to beat those rough-and-tough Cardinals as his upset pick of the week. Wow, slow down Terry. You're way out there with that pick… you sir, are a maaaad man.

The Shuffle…

Long time readers of the TMA will know this headline refers to Eagles CB Lito Sheppard and pays homage to the Boz Scaggs's classic, The Lido Shuffle. And long time readers will know I do not hold The Shuffle in very high regard, having gone on record more than once in saying that Lito Sheppard is a very overrated player and has lived on his inflated interception totals for years.

Well we all know The Shuffle is none to happy, having hired Drew Rosenhaus as his agent. And by the way, why does Drew say his name “Lee-Toe?”

Anyway, The Shuffle made a few appearances and he did not disappoint…me, that is. On one play he had an unabated path to Rams statue, er, QB Marc Bulger but instead of laying the smack-eth down on him (Lito: Did you see the hit Sheldon Brown put on the Rams' Steven Jackson?), he whiffed, allowing the sleek and speedy Bulger to sidestep him.

Like me and a diet soda, Lito wants no part of physical contact. Good thing he's a professional football player. Lito, don't go away angry… just go away.

They're In Dire Gates…

How desperate has Microsoft become in trying to stem the tide and slow down the Mac juggernaut? Sales of PCs have been going down steadily with the clever and very effective TV campaign run by Apple a major reason why.

Well in an attempt to prove the PC is still cool and hip, Microsoft summoned Jerry Seinfeld to star in a series of TV ads with the first one currently running. I saw it at least 3 times during the game yesterday.

And I don't know about you, but if this were a Seinfeld episode and Bill Gates was making a guest appearance, then yes, I would say it was funny, cute, whatever.

But as a form advertising to get me to buy Microsoft and PCs? No, sorry, not buying it. At least not yet. Perhaps this will all make sense the more ads we see? Perhaps not.

Now if they had Uncle Leo in the spot… well, that's something different altogether.

“Bill Gates…. HELLO!”

I Call Shotgun…

Did you see this? Rams injured wide receiver Drew Bennett was being carted to the locker room and there he was sitting in the shotgun seat of the cart while someone presumably from the Rams training staff, sat in the back, legs stretched out, resting comfortably, catching some rays on the way back to the tunnel.

I realize the injury to Bennett may have been his groin and thus legs outstretched is not a good idea, but…

By the Numbers…

  • Eagles average gain per offensive play: 7.4 yards
  • Rams average gain per offensive play: 3.7 yards
  • Third Down Efficiency
    • Eagles 8/14 - 57%
    • Rams 0/11 - 0%
  • First Half Touches for Brian Westbrook: 10. Was it me or were there times that #36 did not seem like he was even on the field in the First Half? Final score could have, should have been even more lopsided if BWest gets the ball a little more in the First Half.
  • # of Rams' Penalties: 9
  • # of Rams Penalties that were False Starts: 6

Prognosis Negative…

That's exactly what the Patriots and their fans are saying if the injury to Mr. Bündchen causes him to miss significant playing time. And please don't give me Matt Cassel. He's a backup NFL QB at best.

Rapid Fire…

  • The Eagles' young LBs, as a whole, looked very good; athletic, attack-oriented
  • Just how bad are the Rams? Ok, that's a rhetorical query. I think we all know the answer to that one.
  • You know the game is one-sided and a blowout when the producers start focusing the fowl on the field. What was up with all the shots of the pigeons? Cheerleaders. Hello! Oops, I did it again. Sorry Smit.
  • Did anyone else catch the guy on the Eagles sideline stretching? He looked like one of the guys who carries the wires up and down the sidelines for the coaches or perhaps he's the Gatorade squirter. Whatever he is, he's not a player. But there he was, all stretching his arms out like he's trying work out the kinks after a hard day's work of running and squirting. Newbies: This is precisely the kind of insight you will only get at the TMA.
  • Finally… A very nice win over a very bad team. Let's enjoy it, then file it. Cause next week all those points won't me a damn thing.

Ok, that's it… for now.

As always (say it with everyone…)

Time's yours. Food's mine.

Steve O



© Copyright 2006. Jules Pilla

Not affiliated with the Philadelphiqa Eagles or the NFL.