Tag Archives: @scrappled

2012 Washington Redskins vs. Philadelphia Eagles Q&A and prediction with @scrappled

The penultimate game of the 2012 Washington Redskins regular season is this Sunday in Philadelphia against the Eagles. As always, for the second meeting of the year, I bring in @scrappled to talk about his beloved Iggles. You may remember him from the 17 different blogs he’s run over the years and his many appearances on this site.

WFY: So, if the Eagles do the unthinkable and fire Reid, Philly sports radio meatheads are going to be getting in fights with each other over which one of Buddy Ryan’s sons to hire, aren’t they?

@scrappled: Possibly, but we know this ends with Rich Kotite, Jr. taking the job in mid-January.

WFY: In all seriousness, what in the name of John Spagnola happened to the “dream team” that is a few games under .500 since the 2011 season? Was Philly foolish to go all in on Michael Vick?

@scrappled: Name it, and it’s gone horribly wrong. The defense has been awful for any variety of reasons. The defensive backs can’t cover or tackle. The sacks piled up by Jason Babin and Trent Cole have completely disappeared. Andy Reid refuses to lean on LeSean McCoy’s talents. Special teams are terrible. They’re seriously not a good football team in any part of the game. The Eagles are essentially one notch above the Jaguars.

WFY: What are the Eagles strengths, where could they cause trouble for the ‘Skins?

@scrappled: Alex Henery kicks a hell of a field goal. That’s about all.

WFY: Rookie quarterbacks are awesome! I’m just going to assume that Nick Foles has been a revolutionary superstar that has motivated the team to success no one believed they had in them, right?

@scrappled: Dead ringer for Napoleon Dynamite when he has his helmet on. In all seriousness, he hasn’t been bad considering that McCoy’s been out of the lineup for the past few weeks. The offensive line has lurched toward occasional competence lately, as well. Put it this way, I’m intrigued. I don’t look at the guy and think that there’s no way he can play at this level.
WFY: If Santa Claus makes an appearance at the game, will he be booed?

@scrappled: It’s tradition, man. If Santa shows up at a pediatric cancer ward, he gets booed.

WFY: What if it turns out the man wearing the Santa suit is…Buddy Ryan?

@scrappled: He’d probably try to choke one of his elves, thinking it’s Kevin Gilbride.

WFY: What are your best/worst Eagles-Redskins memories?

@scrappled: It has to be the infamous Body Bag Game, right? Anytime Brian Mitchell is forced to play quarterback, the world wins.

WFY: I understand from a previous Q&A that the owner’s now-ex wife was a proponent of the midnight green look. Is there any talk that a return to the true Eagles look of kelly green and silver happening? Seems like the end of the Reid era would be a great time to go back.

@scrappled: Doubtful. The owner isn’t exactly the type of guy who celebrates the franchise’s history, and that old shade of green isn’t something you see much in modern uniforms as the primary color. Loving that ketchup/mustard look for the Skins, though!

WFY: Which team do you think has a brighter future, the Eagles or Redskins?

@scrappled: Oh God, the Redskins by a mile. The Eagles have so much work to do in so many areas. They have to figure out what’s up with Foles, rebuild the offensive line, and completely change the defensive philosophy after the dumpster fire of the past two years.

WFY: Now that I have aggressively trolled your Iggles (thank you transcendent rookie QB and his quality backup!) have I jinxed the Redskins or are the Eagles just so committed to quitting on Andy Reid that it doesn’t matter? Who wins on Sunday?

@scrappled: The Eagles will be spunky for a total of 15-20 minutes during the game. That’s about all. Unless the Skins just blatantly give the Eagles two or three touchdowns via turnovers or special teams, it should be a comfortable win.

WFY: P.S. How much do you miss blogging?

@scrappled: Not for one single minute, at least not for a site that gets a million page views per month. I’m better off creating a Tumblr for Harrisburg sushi joints than ever going back to the admin/mod life.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

2011 Redskins at Eagles Q&A and prediction with @scrappled

The last guest prognosticator of 2011 is @scrappled of Black Shoe Diaries, a Philly sports fan. He’s been here before. Let’s get it on!

WFY: If Michael Vick fought and executed your puppies would you favor irrevocable…Okay, that’s OLD news since Vick went to the Pro Bowl last year and signed a big contract so he’s a good person again, right? How has he done this season, a 7-8 season?

@scrappled: Okay, I suppose. The Eagles massively screwed up by not bolstering their offensive line, which leads to the evasive but undersized Vick taking too many shots. Not to mention, Vick has no idea how to slide. Bambi on ice is more graceful than a Michael Vick hook slide.

WFY: 7-8? D.C. was into falling flat after being OFFSEASON CHAMPIONS way before Philly. Is the clock running out on head coach Andy Reid? Does he still run a worse two minute drill than Penn State and its
3-tiered play calling (of the past, I guess)?

@scrappled: I’d be shocked if Reid didn’t return. For as much as we love to hate our head coaches, Reid is one of the best in the NFL when it comes to weekly preparation. Game management? Ugh. Nightmare.

WFY: Where do the Redskins/D.C. fall in terms of Eagles/Philly rivalries?

@scrappled: I’ve always viewed them as interchangeable, although I suspect thousands of Philly fans would disagree. To me, the level of hate corresponds with the success of rivals at that particular time. If the Redskins were a constant playoff presence, they’d be higher on the list.

WFY: Do you watch Eagles games with the sound turned down and the radio turned up?

@scrappled: Oh, how I wish. I don’t get the Merrill Reese radio broadcast in my house, so I’m usually stuck with whatever garbage announcing crew Fox forces upon me.

WFY: Who are the standouts for Eagles media coverage?

@scrappled: Bleeding Green Nation and Iggles Blog are both excellent, and the traditional Inquirer/Daily News guys on Philly.com have always been good. We’re lucky in the sense that our beat writers and columnists are generally of high quality. The local sports radio? Yeah, not so much. Idiots leading idiots.

WFY: Of the 4 major Philly teams, which one winning a championship would mean more to you? To the city/region?

@scrappled: Oh, it has to be the Eagles, especially with the Phillies breaking the urse a few years ago. Only with the Phillies’ recent success has baseball crept into a virtual tie with football in the region’s heart. But over the course of time? It’s a football city.

WFY: I’ve heard that an upstart, the roast pork sandwich, is challenging the cheesesteak for gastronomical supremacy in the city of brotherly love. I finally had the latter at a Tony Luke’s in Sea Isle City and enjoyed it, but not as much as the former. Which side are you on?

@scrappled: I’m with you, cheesesteaks now and forever. And you know what? I don’t even care who makes it. I try to avoid Pat’s and Geno’s as a matter of convenience, but I’m not a cheesesteak elitist.

WFY: Based on all the time I’ve been around Philly fans, I know you guys want to be told by a Washingtonian how the Eagles uniforms should look. That crushes the current kit every day of the week and twice on Sunday, doesn’t it?

@scrappled: Totally. Love the old Kelly Green. I don’t hate the newer look quite
as much as you, but it’s hard to beat that classic kit.

WFY: Since the Skins and Iggles always split and the road team usually wins how sad are you going to be when the inevitable happens?

@scrappled: Over it. Don’t care. The difference between 7-9 and 8-8 means
nothing to me with our longshot chances of a division title being dashed by the inept Jets, so let’s get the higher draft pick. Die, Eagles, Die!

WFY: On the wings of mediocrity? I-G-G-L-E-S!

I’m going with the burgundy and gold here, they always split the series. Let’s say 23-14

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Caps: Reactions to NHL relaignment from rival fans

The NHL’s decision to realign into 4 conferences with the Washington Capitals being placed into a conference with former Patrick Division rivals was welcomed enthusiastically by D.C. fans like me. Being assigned into the same conference as the New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, and Pittsburgh Penguins is something Caps fans have been waiting for since the Southeast Division was created. Simply put D.C. fans don’t get fired up for playing South Florida, Atlanta or Tampa Bay like they due New York and Philadelphia. The Carolina Hurricanes also come along from the SE.

I was able to get comments from fans of the Flyers, Penguins, Hurricanes and as of December 22, an Islanders fan. Here is what they had to say:

FLYERS

Chris Grovich, Philly sports fan and editor of Black Shoe Diaries:

I could take or leave the Hurricanes, but otherwise I think it’s a fantastic move by the NHL. As a selfish Flyers fan, it preserves most everything we want. Great to have the Caps back in the group. Washington is a mid-Atlantic/northeast city, and they belong in that kind of division for hockey. The NBA can keep doing whatever they’re doing, mostly because they’re stupid and irrelevant.

PENGUINS

Sam B., The Maryland Bureau Chief Emeritus:

My thoughts are that I am in favor of it. This new format is similar to the Patrick Division which featured the Pens, Isles, Devils, Rangers, etc. I admit that I was concerned by some of the realignment talk that had the Pens joining the southeast division. I think the Pens have a great rivalry with the Caps, but there is no spark with the hurricanes, panthers or lightning. I am especially delighted with the new playoff format. I think its good for these teams to have rivalries intact and hopefully become even stronger.

Muha, La Coupe Hauxer Pengyunz “governor”:

1. Geographically, it makes sense, and it does keep a number of traditional rivalries intact. As you stated on the blog, now it evens out the entire La Coupe Hauxer quite nicely, and should all the teams make it into the playoffs, we could sort of change up the format a bit and tie outcomes based on seeding and finish.

2. Oddly enough, this opens up the possibility for expansion in the “C” and “D” Conferences. I’m not sure how scheduling 32 teams over 82 games will work in this capacity (that might beg to expand the schedule a little further, especially since there are some instances where some teams get a week off between games). If that’s the case, if Winnipeg can get the Jets back, who’s to say that the Whalers can’t return to Hartford, and there have been rumors that the league has wanted to move the Houston Aeros up from the AHL for years. It might even get the Balsillie monkey of Bettman’s back.

3. Going back to the rivalries, that was a major concern for a lot of fans when the talk of realignment began this summer. One of the biggest rumors was the entire East was going to be shuffled into something unrecognizable, especially since it included bringing Detroit in. I mean, if you go back to the “Original Six”, yeah, they’re part of the “West”, but that was already thrown out the window after the (now) Jets came in and took the Leafs with them. It really doesn’t make sense to make moves that affect such “traditions”, plus, it’s just weird.

4. Now to the next point: NAMING. I think one of the worst things the league did was abolish the “traditional” division/conference names back in the late ’90s. It’s what set the NHL apart from every other “major” sports league for a long time due to the unique nature of hockey. That needs to be brought back. Sure, geography can be helpful, and it’s more of an American thing, but hockey is clearly NOT an American thing, at least at its roots.

HURRICANES

Adam P., Hurricanes season ticket holder and Western Pennsylvania expatriot:

I’m actually excited about having the return to the divisional playoff format under the new alignment. The Southeast Division never had any real rivalries because 1) the division was never good enough to get multiple teams into the playoffs often. Southeast teams never faced each other in the playoffs. 2) The Caps were more often than not focused on their old divisional rivals. So the opportunity for the Canes to have real division rivals is great. Unfortunately, the concern of many down here is that the team will not be able to compete with the bigger market and highly competitive teams within the new division. The hope is that this will serve as a wake up call to management in the style of player an money given to a player to be competitive and make the playoffs.

I grew up with the Patrick Division so this is almost like being a kid again. In the divisional format, you really learn to hate a team…not just hate a team but HATE a team. I think it will be good for the newer Canes fans to experience it. It’s a shame that feeling never developed within the old division.

Be sure to check out Adam’s flickr stream for lots of quality hockey photos.

ISLANDERS

Some dissent to realignment from Long Islander Devon Edwards of Onward State

I’m not old enough to remember the Islanders as anything but an Atlantic Division team, so the historical basis has zero appeal and the opportunity to be playing the Hurricanes and Capitals more isn’t particularly exciting, either. But really, the big concern is with the playoff structure. For a team that’ll be on the bubble, it’s harder to break through with the established contenders in our divisions. It’s easier to contend for an 8-seed now than it will be to fight for a 4-seed in the future. I don’t think the league or playoff structures were broken, and so I’m apprehensive about a unnecessary massive overhaul. Especially one that only serves to diminish the Islanders shot at contention in the foreseeable future.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get commentary from the Devils fan I know, so I had to go with this:

I don’t know any Rangers or Islanders fans, so no comments from them.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

2011 Penn State football beat writers, bloggers and their predictions

Penn State Beaver Stadium Press Box
This year, rather than just list the beat writers predictions like I did in past years, I figured I’d take it a step farther. I have compiled all the reporters on the Penn State Nittany Lions football beat and linked to their outlet, their blog (if applicable) and their twitter account. I have also included some bloggers who are in the press box as well. Generally speaking, I organized this list on the location of the media property in alphabetical order. Some of them, I know better than others. Oh and many/most of the predictions come from The Altoona Mirror story Most media looking at 7 or 8 wins this year. Other predictions come from Town & Gown’s Penn State Football Annual which FINALLY arrived on Wednesday.

The Morning Call (Allentown)
Mark Wogenrich @MarkWogenrich has been cover the Nittany Lions for quite a while. Bill Kline, sports editor, runs a blog called Nittany Lines which Wogenrich also contributes too.

ALTOONA MIRROR/TOWN & GOWN FOOTBALL ANNUAL PREDICTIONS: Wogenrich 8-4
MORNING CALL PREDICTION: Kline 8-4

The Altoona Mirror
A “mouth from the South” Cory Giger @cgiger has earned his critics for being abrasive. His own description: “About me: I’m a 37-year-old Arkansas native who has lived in Altoona for 11 years, and I’ve been in the newspaper business for 18 years. I’m the Mirror’s Penn State and Altoona Curve beat writer and columnist, as well as a longtime movie and pop culture columnist.”

I think Neil Rudel @NeilRudel has been on the beat since the 1970s. Some people aren’t crazy about him, but I’ve never had an issue. Rudel and Giger (and sometimes sports editor Phillip Cmor) do videos after pressers and games.

ALTOONA MIRROR PREDICTIONS: Giger 7-5, Cmor 9-3
TOWN & GOWN FOOTBALL ANNUAL: Giger 7-5 Rudel 8-4

The Patriot-News/pennlive.com (Harrisburg)
Bob Flounders @sportswriter7 enters his 10th season as the lead beat-writer and is one of the better ones, though he certainly has his critics who think he is always negative about Penn State. David Jones @djoneshoop, who leans contrarian, covers the opponent during the week and writes columns. Remember everyone, Jones, the Ohio State grad hated Jim Tressel, but not Penn State — he hates The Maryland Bureau Chief Emeritus, Sam though. Jones gets credit for calling out bad Big Ten officials Dave Witvoet and Dick Honig. Dustin Hockensmith @PN_Dustin Generally an editor, but also a Tuesday panelist on the P-N videos with Flounders. He never wrote a column in The Collegian about yearning to throw water bottles in the student section like his brother did either. There is also a @psufootball account run by pennlive.com. The three of them take turns doing videos, one after the presser on Tuesday with Flounders and Hockensmith and a post-game one with Flounders and Jones which are just yuckfests. I’m guessing they are hysterical on Friday nights at whatever Appleby’s they happen to be at before Lions road games. Flounders also does chats on Tuesdays, Jones does sometimes too.

ALTOONA MIRROR PREDICTIONS: Flounders 7-5 Jones 7-5
TOWN & GOWN FOOTBALL ANNUAL: Flounders 6-6

Flounders makes a habit of giving different predictions to different publications.

Lancaster Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
Mike Gross appears to write a few Penn State stories during the week, but AP seems to be used a lot too.

The Inky/Philly Daily News (Philadelphia)
“Joe Juliano This coming fall will be Joe’s fourth season on the paper’s Penn State beat. He previously covered the Nittany Lions for United Press International from 1976 to 1984.” Intern Jake Kaplan @JakeMKaplan contributes as well, including over at

NO KNOWN PREDICTIONS

Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh)
Ron Musselman @rmusselmaensburg is an alum, but the Post-Gazette has a tendency to frame too much of its coverage around the dormant Penn State-Pitt rivalry. The columnists tend to pile on when the Lions are going through a tough spot, but jump on the bandwagon when Penn State is good. I gave up on reading them years ago, so maybe it’s better.

ALTOONA MIRROR PREDICTION: 8-4

The Tribune-Review (Pittsburgh/Greensburg)
Student Audrey Snider @audsnyder4 files a number of the stories for this section but has protected tweets which is kind of stupid for a journalist. Columnist John Harris @jharris_trib also contributes some but is not much of a presence on twitter.

NO KNOWN PREDICTIONS

The Reading Eagle
Rich Scarsella @nittanyrich is the dean of the beat and an alumnus. He annually gets a Q&A with Joe Paterno for Town & Gown Football Annual. Blog: Penn State Update

ALTOONA MIRROR/TOWN & GOWN FOOTBALL ANNUAL PREDICTIONS: Scarsella 9-3

Centre Daily Times (State College)
Jeff Rice has been on the beat for over 5 years, but I don’t think I can find a twitter account for him. He has a blog Asides of Rice Unlike most beat writers, he also writes columns regularly. Sports editor Walt Moody also contributes to the coverage.

ALTOONA MIRROR PREDICTION: Rice 8-4 Moody 8-4

Fight On State (Scout.com)
Mark Brennan @MarkXBrennan (Hazleton native, I think) joined Fight On State when it started up as part of scout.com after many years at Blue White Illustrated. He does radio and television as well. FOS has lots of recruiting news which I don’t follow and premium content for subscribers.

ALTOONA MIRROR PREDICTION: Brennan 9-3

Blue White Illustrated (Rivals.com)
Phil Grosz‘s Blue White Illustrated @BWIonRivals affiliated itself with Rivals a while back. Lots of recruiting news which I don’t follow and premium content for subscribers. Nate Bauer natebauerbwi is the regular beat writer. The season preview issue is free and of course, recruiting-centric. Matt Herb is another one of the writers over there.

ALTOONA MIRROR PREDICTIONS: Grosz 10-2 (only 10-2?!) Herb 8-4

Lions247.com
Another premium site, though Sean Fitz @seanfitz247 did break the Rob Bolden starting game 1 story.

TOWN & GOWN FOOTBALL ANNUAL PREDICTION: 8-4

The Collegian
Joe McIntyre @JoeMcIntyre5 is the year’s lead Collegian football writer. There is also Footblog. Ryan Loy ryan_loy and Mike Still are also on the football staff.

COLLEGIAN PREDICTIONS: McIntyre 8-5 Loy 10-3 Still 8-5 — good for them in including a bowl game in their predictions.

The Times Tribune Scranton
Just a hunch, but if you want coverage of Matt McGloin, Donnie Collins @psubst will probably have the most of any newspaper.

TOWN & GOWN FOOTBALL ANNUAL PREDICTION: 7-5

Times-Leader Wilkes-Barre
If memory serves, Derek Levarse @TLdlevarse was a Collegian beat writer before moving to the Times-Leader.
TOWN & GOWN FOOTBALL ANNUAL PREDICTION: 9-3

York Daily Record
Frank Bodani @YDRPennState has been on the beat a loooong time. I probably haven’t been reading him enough. There is also a a blog where he hosts a chat on Monday nights.

TOWN & GOWN FOOTBALL ANNUAL PREDICTION: 9-3

AP
Genaro Armas @GArmasAP is the AP bureau in State College. You can find his content all over the web.

ALTOONA MIRROR PREDICTION: 9-3

Examiner.com
Kevin McGuire is the national college football writer and Penn State writer for Examiner.com and posts at a baker’s dozen of other blogs, mostly about Penn State and Philadelphia sports. He has about 26 twitter handles, but go with @PSUExaminer

PREDICTION: 8-4

Black Shoe Diaries
The “Voltron of Penn State blogs” BSD is under new management and has two accredited bloggers for the season. Ben Jones @Ben_Jones88 will be in the press box and Mike Pettigano @Mike Pettigano will be shooting photos on the field. Other BSD bloggers on twitter:

@BSDtweet
Chris Grovich @scrappled
Kevin Powers @thefolkist
AdamCollyer @AdamCollyer
Jeff Junstrom @EpicTripod
Tim Aydin @HappyHourValley
Eric Gibson @BSD_Eric
Peter Gray @RunTheDive
Kyle Martin @KMart93
Nick Blonde @1600doctorb
Galen Sawyers @TheNittanyLine

OTHER PROGNOSTICATORS

Jeff Byers TOWN & GOWN FOOTBALL ANNUAL PREDICTION: 9-3
Todd Irwin (Altoona Mirror-Record) ALTOONA MIRROR PREDICTION: 8-4
Bill Albright (ESPN Williamsport) ALTOONA MIRROR PREDICTION: 8-4
Todd Brown (QWIK Rock 105.9/106.9) ALTOONA MIRROR PREDICTION: 10-2
Scott Henry TOWN & GOWN FOOTBALL ANNUAL PREDICTION: 8-4
David Pencek TOWN & GOWN FOOTBALL ANNUAL PREDICTION: 9-3
Rob Schmidt TOWN & GOWN FOOTBALL ANNUAL PREDICTION: 8-4
Jon Christoff (The Clearfield Progress-Register) ALTOONA MIRROR PREDICTION: 8-4
Earl Whitmore (Lebanon Daily News-Record) TOWN & GOWN FOOTBALL ANNUAL PREDICTION: 9-3

My prediction:

9-4 - They only have a 10% chance against Alabama and I have to expect them to lose to Iowa until proven otherwise. I think they drop two in November during the Nebraska, Ohio State, Wisconsin stretch. They’ll win the bowl game.

PREVIOUS SEASONS: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006 – I think I skipped 2010 for some reason

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries is going to run up the score


Over the weekend, the biggest Penn State blog went through a frameshift. Black Shoe Diaries founder Mike Hubbell announced he was moving on after many years helming the blog. I wish Mike well — he brought me into Blue White Roundtable back in its heyday and offered me a chance to write for the Maple Street Press Penn State preseason football preview magazine. You may recall that I did in 2010. I understand where he’s coming from and wish him good luck moving forward.

Succeeding Mike at the helm of Black Shoe Diaries is Chris Grovich who has written for half a dozen different sites over the years. I first became aware of him over 15 years ago when he sent me an “angry” email about a Web site some friends and I made about his hometown. Since he had another “tribute” site for Hazleton, Pa. at the time and appreciated our efforts. Since then, he written for PSU Playbook, Run Up the Score!, Scrappled, BSD and Slow States. I don’t know what this means for Slow States, but I hope he and Kevin Powers keep that going. Speaking of Kevin, he’s right there with Chris on the new BSD.

In addition to the Slow Staters, the Linebacker U. bloggers, led by my new colleague, Mike Pettigano will make the move into BSD. The details about them and what they will be doing. In short, lots of stuff, not just football, but basketball, wrestling (meh), volleyball and hockey. This is a supergroup of bloggers, which Mike P. calls Blog Voltron (space version, I assume) on account of about eight different Penn State blogs being in the writers past.

I, for one, welcome Chris as new BSD overlord. I enjoyed his victory speech following the (mostly) bloodless coup d’état (or was it a putcsh)? and look forward to the junta he has put together.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Redskins vs. Eagles prediction with Chris from SlowStates.com

US Airways Philadelphia Eagles plane
Remember the Washington Redskins? They are the NFL team that plays around here. When we last saw them 15 days ago, head coach Mike Shannahan had just pulled QB Donovan McNabb from the game with 2 minutes left in Detroit because Rex Grossman was “better prepared” for the final drive of the game. That Grossman fumbled on his first play is irrelevant to the story. Wasn’t it great the everybody understood the first, second and third explanations and moved on?

Anyway, this week’s opponent is the Philadelphia Eagles and since it is a divisional foe, finding a guest prognosticator isn’t hard. This time, Penn State alumnus Chris from slowstates.com (formerly of There’s Something About Hazleton, PSU Playbook, Run Up the Score, Black Shoe Diaries, Scrappled, he will probably quite slowstates.com before Thanksgiving) is answering questions and picking the score. Born in Philadelphia, Chris is a recovering professional student. He found me because I had a Web page that made fun of his home town, called me a bad name and then pointed me to his web page that made fun of his hometown. Its been downhill ever since. We have never met in person despite several attempts and definitely won’t on Saturday at the Penn State game at FedEx Field either.

In retrospect, I should have gone the Bernard Shaw route and started off with a Kitty Dukakis question about Michael Vick and Chris’ dogs.

How did you feel about the Donovan McNabb trade when it happened? What about now half way through the season?

At the time, it seemed like something that just needed to be done. Kevin Kolb was rotting on the bench and had shown decent promise the previous season. Michael Vick was obviously improving as he spent more and more time in the Eagles’ offense? And McNabb? The fans, the city, and even the coaching staff seemed to have reached the ends of their respective psychological leashes with Donovan. Given his salary, he wasn’t really giving the team much more, if anything, than Kolb or Vick was capable of. It was time.

Now, the move looks downright brilliant, even despite the Eagles’ earlier loss to McNabb’s Redskins. McNabb pranced and preened like an idiot in the locker room after the game, apparently forgetting that he had just gone 8-for-19 for a whopping 125 yards against a mediocre Philly defense. His current passer rating of 76.0 is below Jason Campbell, Shaun Hill, Ryan Fitzpatrick…and yes, both Kevin Kolb (85.3) and Michael Vick (#1 in the NFL at 105.3). Glad he’s Shanahan’s problem now.

Andy Reid has been the Eagles coach since the Clinton administration and has appeared in only 1 Super Bowl which he lost. Let’s not even talk about NFC Championship games. Where does he fall on a scale of “coach for life” to “he needs to go”?

Eagles fans complain about Andy Reid because, well, he’s the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, and that’s just part of the deal. Does he remotely understand the officiating challenge process? No. Does he butcher time management? He sure as hell does. His press conference are unbearably boring and frustrating, but really, he’s better than 80% of the other coaches out there.

The guy’s been in Philly since 1999 and has missed the playoffs only three times in that span: 1999 (5-11), 2005 (6-10), and 2007 (8-8). His first season featured the comic stylings of Doug Pederson quarterbacking a team that went 3-13 the previous year. In 2005, Terrell Owens essentially sabotaged the team, McNabb was lost for the season in Week 10, and Mike McMahon finished the year at quarterback. In 2007, they lost five games by four points or less and finished one game out of a Wild Card spot. That’s “coach for life” stuff.

How much do you miss Buddy Ryan?

A lot, from an entertainment perspective. His teams were ruthless, but extremely frustrating once the playoffs rolled around. I’ve never quite gotten over the Fog Bowl game.

The two consecutive stops of the Cowboys on 4 and 1 in ’95, rather than the NFC Championship, is actually the high point of the last 25 years Eagles fans, isn’t it?

Stopping the Cowboys and Barry Switzer — and don’t underestimate the hateful synergy of that for an Eagles and Penn State fan — was immensely gratifying, but in the end, it was still a regular season game. The Cowboys won the Super Bowl that year, after all. Finally winning the NFC Championship was the culmination of immense, high-profile choking for the Eagles. Hard to underestimate that feeling for those of us living in Philly at the time.

Kelly green sounds like the name of a good looking young actress, while midnight green just sounds stupid. Defend the current Eagles uniforms over previous versions.

Despite being a Penn State styled traditionalist when it comes to uniform matters, I have to admit that the newer green has grown on me. I didn’t like them for a long time. The kelly greens are amazing from a nostalgic standpoint — I have a kelly green Eagles parka that I wear proudly during the central Pennsylvania winter — but they look very dated when the Eagles are in one of those throwback uniform games. The midnight green is more versatile, as evidenced by the occasional black/green/white combo the Eagles break out on occasion. Can’t do that with the kelly green.

My theory about Philly fans, especially Eagles fans, is that they hate their own team more than they hate mine.

Well, they’ve experienced a lot of disappointment with the Eagles. And the Flyers, Sixers, and (until recently) the Phillies, for that matter. No Super Bowl victories in a city as football-crazy as Philadelphia takes its toll after a while.

Who makes the best cheesesteak in Philly?

I hate the South Philly tourist trap known as Cheesesteak Vegas, where Pat’s and Gino’s reside. I’ve always liked the atmosphere in Jim’s, and Dalesandro’s does a very good job, too. It’s all in the bread — that’s the secret. The rest of the cheesesteak is composed of ingredients a step above dog food. Delicious, hangover-curing dog food.

There is a statue of a Philadelphia heavyweight champion from the movies, Rocky Balboa, but not one of the guy who actually came from Philly? Why isn’t there a Joe Frazier statue in the City of Brotherly Love?

No excuse for it at all, really. Frazier was raised in South Carolina, but fought out of Philly throughout his career. He was Rocky. He was the guy at the slaughterhouse punching beef carcasses. He was the guy running up the Art Museum steps. And if you believe Frazier’s story, Sly Stallone ripped off those iconic scenes from Frazier’s past and didn’t pay him a dime for them.

Final score prediction:

Eagles 34, Redskins 14. The Skins are a collective joke right now, and Philly’s fate will ultimately be determined by its two remaining games against the Giants, beginning at the Linc next weekend.

I think Chris is right that the Eagles will win, but I expect a much closer, more agonizing score.

Eagles 24
REDSKINS 20

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Congratulations Ombudsman, Martha, RUTS, PSUgirl, Dan the Fan, Ramblings, my dad’s cousin

Your Phillies won the World Series(The Inky)! This is their second championship and first since 1980. It is also the city of Philadelphia’s first major championship since 1983 when the 76ers did it. Now we won’t have to hear about how Philly hasn’t had a parade anymore! We also won’t see yet another title go to Tampa Bay — that estuary already has a Super Bowl and Stanley Cup this decade. Martha was right too — Phillies in 5.

I did a little research and found out that since the Ombudsman was born, the Phillies have have played in the NLCS nine times, won four pennants and now two World Series. In other words, this has been a pretty good run for the Fleas and their fans can’t complain for at least another 15 years about title droughts or anything of the kind.

Just remember though, that this year has no bearing on next and I plan to defend the half-smoke and conquer the cheesesteak in next year’s Cheesesteak/Half-Smoke Challenge.

, ,

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

RUTS clarifies Penn State football problems

A while back, someone (likely a Pitt fan) posted a list of transgressions by Penn State players since 2002. It got a lot of play out there and was being referenced as definitive, but it was not even close. Run Up the Score! has exhaustively gone through that list and made the appropriate clarifications. Things are bad enough as it is without stuff being made up.

The conclusions — there are problems, some really bad ones, some really stupid ones. Many of the problems have to do with alcohol, which in my mind are completely preventable with just the slightest bit of self-restraint. The current Centre County D.A. is overzealous as well, charging a bunch of players with felonies that wound up being misdemeanors if anything at all.

The alcohol problem is a reflection of collegiate life, but frankly I expect more out of someone who is getting a $100,000 education, membership in an exclusive club that will open many doors in their lifetime, than of the typical student. In my opinion, getting in trouble because of alcohol is kind of hard if you are even the slightest bit pragmatic.

Overall, I am not happy with revised list either, it speaks of a lack of discipline and does make me wonder about some of the athletes that are being recruited. Additionally, I see a lack of discipline off the field, which is also showing up on the field.

,

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

I-80 tolls: Pennsylvania’s chronic impending disaster

Toll war building strengthCDT
Last week the CDT had the latest on Pennsylvania’s I-80 tolls fiasco.

The latest twist is that state senator Scott Conklin announced that he wants to provide a $500 tax break for Pennsylvanians who regularly travel on the road. I wonder if that would be Constitutional.

I have to give credit to Run Up the Score! for introducing me to that great expression in the title.

, , ,

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Another Hazleton funny

Eye in the sky catches naughty image at Harman-Geist fieldThe Standard-Speaker, Hazleton, Penna.
Courtesy of Run Up the Score!, I have learned that the high school football field in my early “college town” was vandalized. Vandalism of high school football fields is not unusual except that this time it occurred when a satellite took a photograph for Google Maps (Funny, though possibly NSFW).

The field has since switched to fake turf.

Also, I did not know that Rudy Gilliani’s third/current wife, Judith Nathan, was from there.

, ,

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)