Tips ? Suggestions? Praise? Death Threats?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

You Go Legs!

Tim Legler, a La Salle University alumni,former NBA star and ESPN analyst, is now engaged to a Eagles cheerleader. Per a story from the Daily News.

Christina Fuller, 28, is one hot cheerleader. Legler apparently pulled out all the stops when they went to a La Salle game on their first date.

Are you kidding me? A La Salle game? I know their are alums, but come on! If thats what it takes to score a cheerleader, then I'm taking my next date to a Iona vs St. Bonaventure barn burner.

Doesn't picture remind you of that hot girl who for some reason ended up going to prom with her friends older brother?

At least Legler is having better luck than fellow ESPN personality Scott Van Pelt. Just listen to the desperate rambling voicemail.

SNL Gives Vick the Business

Weekend Update team provides some insight into the Michael Vick watergate incident at the Miami Airport

Monday, January 29, 2007

Stop ManBearPig!

My thoughts on what I've been doing since the Eagles lost. And yes I have a lot of time on my hand.....

  • Movies
  • Pan's Labyrinth - Do yourself a favor and go out and see this film! It's truly amazing and unlike anything I've ever seen. Don't be put off by the content or the subtitles.
  • Flags of Our Fathers - Beautifully told story of the men who raised the flag at Iwo Jima during WWII. Director Clint Eastwood also directed a film about the same battle from the Japanese point of view, Letters from Iwo Jima. Flags is a little hard to follow in the beginning because of its non-linear story, but the last half hour clears up any loose ends. Adam Beach is great and the battles on the beach are very exciting.
  • Children of Men - Epic vision of the future with amazing cinematography. Should have received a best picture nomination.
  • The Last King of Scotland - Amazing performance by Forest Whitaker as the brutal Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. The film is told through the point of view of his personal physician. I knew nothing about Idi and left the theatre terrified of him
  • TV
  • 24 - The first four hours of two nights was awesome. However, last week's episode after the nuke went off was weak. Add in the weird revaltion that blue tooth headset guy is Jack's brother, and this show might be on the verge of jumping the shark. I hate to admit it....
  • Heroes - Really excited that this show is back, but its on the same time as 24. There's so many interesting characters and the creator claims on of the main characters dies by the end of the season. I hope it's the bitchy Mohinder Suresh.
  • The Office - this show keeps getting better. I love the secret love affair between Dwight and Angela.
  • Extras - Sometimes I laugh, sometimes I don't. I feel weird watching this show with other people, but this current season has been consistently funny.
  • The Shins - Wincing the Night Away - Really good mellow record. There was a lot of pressure and hype surrounding their unexpected success, but I think this record serves them well.
  • Nas - Hip Hop is Dead - Nas comes out with another great album from top to bottom. He plays into this this inferiority complex and you can hear it.
  • Annuals - Be He Me - I read about this young band from North Carolina in Rolling Stone, and I believe the hype. Their songs are filled with numerous layers, instruments, and vocal effects. This album demands your attention but its worth it.
  • Ghostface Killah- More Fish - Follow up to "Fishscale". Not amazing but definitely a solid album considering this is mostly B-Sides.
  • BOOKS/Websites
  • Buzz Bissinger " 3 Nights in August" - Just started this book by the author of "Friday Night Lights". This book focuses on St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa and a three game series with the Cubs in 2003. So far its a good read and I feel like I'm living inside La Russa's head ( that might not be a good thing).
  • Brooklyn Vegan - Excellent indie music blog with tons of updates
  • Curbed - Extensive NYC real estate blog.

This Blows........

It's been quite some time since anyone posted on here but I'm starting to get some motivation. Obviously the Eagles loss to the Saints was a heart breaker and there's no need to ponder on that game anymore. The first week after that loss was like going through the seven stages of grief. Now I'm trying to just fill the void and look forward to next season.

Which brings me to the worst part of the sport seasons; NOW! Baseball is still a couple months away from spring training. And, maybe for some people watching the Columbus Blue Jackets play the Atlanta Thrashers is a treat, but I don't get into the NHL until the finals. I do generally keep up the Flyers but they have completely shit the bed. The NBA season is almost half over but with the playoffs a few months away, I don't feel the need to watch. However, I cannot discount how much fun it is to watch the Phoenix Suns run teams off the court. They could be on a 35 game winning streak if it weren't for two last second game winning shots. I even watched a Knicks game so I could see Steve Nash at his best. The league is so lob sided to the West that the East looks like the NBADL.

Currently the most exciting sport for me is college basketball. This is when teams are deep within their conference schedules and make a big push for the tourney. I've been following Villanova, and they have a good squad. UNC looks great, and of course Duke seems to have a steady stream of annoying white guys. Pay attention to Nevada and Oregon.

And finally, R.I.P. Barbaro!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I Hate You Joe Banner!

This is why Joe Banner should craw down a hole

C-Ya C-Webb

Goodbye Chris Webber. The 76ers completed a buyout of Webber's remaining contract. It's kind of shame things didn't work out with Webber, but he is clearly a shadow of the dynamic player he once was. I remember receiving a call from brother informing me about the Webber trade. I was ecstatic and thought AI finally had a solid teammate. Unfortunately, he has been plagued with injuries and another Billy King trade fails. Thankfully, the 76ers bit the bullet and are continuing to clean house. He is a smart player with great hands and if he can find a team that doesn't require him to move, he will contribute. At least this means more playing time Stephen Hunter!

(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Jim Johnson vs. Malcolm in the Middle

One of my biggest worries this weekend is the matchup between New Orleans Saints headcoach Sean Payton and Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson.
Jim Johnson has a ton of experience coaching against Sean Payton, but not much success. Payton has always found an effective remedy to Jim Johnson's blitz schemes. His playcalling against the Eagles is always geared to putting themselves in good position on 2nd and 3rd downs. He will pound the ball with Deuce McCallister and set up Drew Brees(Who Penn State beat 4 times in 4 years BTW) with quick 3 step drops. The Eagles corners will have to jump their routes, but not get burnt doing so. The Eagles defensive linemen need to keep their arms up to knock down passes. In addition, Sheldon Brown might actually have to win when Brees throws a jump ball downfield to Colston.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Old But Funny

Check out this Budweiser "Real Men of Genius" Philly Fan edition.

It's been around for some time but its still good.

A Win is a Win

The Eagles extended their win streak to six and continue to defy expectations. The game came down to a David Akers field goal. Our defense kept us in the game early after the Giants had great field position in the first quarter. The Giants also are a weak team and I think this win exposed them even more. Brian Westbrook is a stud and won the game. His 49 yard touchdown run was beautiful. The way he follows his blocks and maintains his balance is masterful. However, Westbrook and Garcia were protected excellently by our great offensive line. Our wide receivers deserve credit for laying some great blocks down field. Additionally, Reggie Brown came into his own and looked like a veteran.

Plexico Burress got his catches and Tiki got his yards, but the Eagles always seemed to have control of the game. Barber was happy to get off the field and start using big words on TV. The key to the game was when the Eagles received the ball with five minutes left and went on a long clock burning drive. It wasn't pretty but maybe this tough win will setup a another great game verse the Saints?

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Brown Back in Town

What has been speculated for weeks has come to fruition for the 76ers. Larry Brown has been rehired as the Executive VP.

I have mixed feelings about this move. Brown is a coach for life and I don't really trust him making important decisions that could affect the team in the future. However, Billy King is completely clueless when it comes to running a team. I'll take the lesser of two evils; Brown. Also, after being dragged through the mud with the NY Knicks, Brown might be motivated to regain his reputation.

The 76ers desperately need a new direction and by trading AI I think they are at least starting to rebuild. If tossing this season means we can get Greg Odom, then I'm all for it. Any NBA team with a legit big man has a shot.

What's Poppin Fresh Kids?

Random funny music video from the guys at The Lonely Island.

Great parody of those incredibly catchy yet obscenely sexual rap songs.

Note: Dirty Language

Friday, January 5, 2007

Scouts, Inc Analysis

ESPN Insider is cool. At one point in my life, I had free access to it thanks to my brother, who was the only willing person I know in my life that would pay $4 a month for it. Well eventually a bunch of people found out his password in addition to me and we no longer have access. But, I found another website that posted Scouts, Inc. analysis for this weekends playoff game between the Eagles and Giants.

This game will be interesting to see how Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson adjusts to new Giants play caller Kevin Gilbride. Gilbride has more time this week to prepare his game plan for the Eagles by utilizing new formations and personnel groupings he feels will give his offense an edge. He will not rewrite the Giants' play books in one week, but he will add his own mark to it.

We saw last week against the Redskins a small sampling of the exotic formations from Gilbride, when he put two quarterbacks in the game at the same time and used a two-halfback personnel grouping. Johnson is going to have to make good game-day adjustments to counter what Gilbride is going to throw at him, because Johnson has no film or tendencies to base his game plan on.

• The Eagles' defense will need to insert a safety into run support this week, as Gilbride is going to give them a heavy dose of Tiki Barber and Brandon Jacobs.

Look for Gilbride to use both halfbacks at the same time, with Barber flexed out as a receiver in the slot along with tight end Jeremy Shockey (if healthy), giving the Giants a four-wide receiver look.

This will spread the Eagles out to allow Jacobs room to run against a soft run front. Look for Johnson to counter by zone dogging to get a more favorable number count in the box, but he has to be cautious of the threat of the Giants to throw deep off four vertical routes.

• The Eagles, with Marty Mornhingweg calling the plays, have become more balanced and it has been this balance that has caused problems for defensive coordinators. Look for Mornhingweg to utilize more two-back personnel groups on mix downs, giving him the ability to provide a lead blocker for Westbrook. It also allows him to run play action passes that can give him good protection in case the Giants blitz.

The Eagles have used two halfbacks in the game at the same time, with Correll Buckhalter staying in the backfield and Westbrook flexed out like a receiver. With Buckhalter's injury, that duty would fall to Reno Mahe or Ryan Moats, and this package could be put on the shelf this game if Eagles head coach Andy Reid and Mornhingweg feel that the replacements cannot get the job done. Mornhingweg also will mix in some three- wide receiver formations to take advantage of the Giants' depleted secondary.

• First down has been good to the Eagles' offense, as it has averaged 4.9 yards per carry, which ranks in the top five in the NFL. But it is in the passing game that the Eagles lead the league, averaging an impressive 9.8 yards per pass play. If you combine the two, the Eagles have the most explosive offense on first down, averaging 7.4 yards per play, two yards more then the NFL average.

It will be important for the Giants' defense to stop the Eagles on first down to get them in longer yardage situations. The Giants' defense is allowing 5.3 yards per play, which ranks 15th in the league. Their run defense has been the key, as they are only allowing 3.8 yards a carry, compared to 6.6 yards a pass play.

• Even though the Eagles' defense appears to have stopped the run the last few weeks, not giving up a 100-yard rusher to the Cowboys or Giants, this team is still weak against the run because it is allowing over four yards a carry.

They Giants have gained four yards or more 115 times this year on first down, while averaging over five yards a carry. Look for Gilbride to run the ball on first down and mix in some play action or gadget type passes to throw the ball deep.

• Third down is going to be critical as neither defense is truly great at forcing teams to punt, with the Eagles having a slight edge over the Giants. The key for the Eagles is to limit the Giants' gains on first and second down, getting them in longer yardage (seven plus yards) third downs where they have done an excellent job of forcing teams to punt (31 percent efficiency rating).

If the Giants' offense can get into the 3-6 yard range, the Eagles' defensive efficiency rating jumps to 50.1 percent. The Giants' offense is converting on 37.9 percent of its third downs. Look for the Eagles' defense to pressure Manning on third down, as he is completing just 40.9 percent of his passes. The other playoff teams average 57 percent.

• The Giants defense better hope it holds the Eagles offense out of the red zone, as it is allowing over 65 percent of the drives to end in touchdowns, last in the NFL. Look for the Giants to blitz more in the red zone this week, as they are allowing only 36 percent of the passes to be complete, with six going for touchdowns. They are making the quarterback get rid of the ball quickly and not very accurately when they bring pressure.

The Eagles will counter by moving Garcia out of the pocket on sprintout type plays, giving him an option to run or pass the ball.

Special Teams
This game could come down to field position and Giants punter Jeff Feagles has done an excellent job all season of directional punting, pinning opposing returners to the sideline. Feagles has only 42 percent of his punts returned on him, which is best among directional punters in the league, with 21 punts going out of bounds.

The Giants have had problems with the kickoff return team this year because they have not found a reliable returner in Chad Morton or Derrick Ward (both are on IR). They are averaging just 20 yards a return, which is near the bottom of the league with an average drive start of the 25-yard line, forcing them to go the long field. The average length of a Giants' scoring drive is just 53 yards.

In a game that could come down to a field goal, the Eagles resigned kicker David Akers' favorite holder Koy Detmer in the hope that they have no more problems with the holds on field goals going into the playoffs.

Akers is making 78.6 percent of his field goals and is 9 of 13 between the 30-50 yard range, but has not attempted a kick outside of 50 yards. Punter Dirk Johnson has a net punt average of 34.9 yards, with a poor hang time of 4.18 seconds that does not allow his coverage to get off its blocks and get down field to cover the punt.

• New York WR Plaxico Burress vs. Philadelphia CB Sheldon Brown
• New York LOT Bob Whitfield or David Diehl vs. Philadelphia DE Trent Cole
• Philadelphia RG Shawn Andrews vs. New York DT Fred Robbins
• Philadelphia RT Jon Runyan vs. New York DE Osi Umenyiora
• Philadelphia DC Jim Johnson vs. New York OC Kevin Gilbride

Scouts' Edge
This will be a hard-hitting, physical game between two teams that have no love for each other. The Giants just barely made it into the playoffs with an 8-8 record and will look to upset the Eagles at home, something that they have done before. The key for them is to stick with the run and keep the game out of Manning's hands, while their defense needs to make some plays against the Eagles' offense.

Jeff Garcia has been playing extremely well the last few weeks and will have to be smart with the football, taking advantage of the Giants' secondary with his core of receivers. The Eagles will mount enough of a run defense to slow down Barber, giving them the victory on Sunday.

Prediction: Eagles 24, Giants 20

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Let's Not Jump the Gun....

I still stand by my prediction of an Eagles win this Sunday vs the Giants. However, I am becoming increasingly wary of all this 'Cinderella' status. The only game during our winning streak that we were favorites for was the Washington game. Now we are favorites, at home, and playing our hated rivals. To make matters worse, Jeff Garcia graces the cover of this week's SI and Donovan McNabb's mom blogged about how bittersweet this run has been.

On this mornings ESPN 'Cold Pizza', some of the ESPN pawns predicted the Eagles to go to the Super Bowl. The last thing this team needs is to be praised for making the playoffs in the weak NFC. Maybe its my fatalist Philly mentality, but I've been crushed too many times when the Eagles were overwhelming favorites in the playoffs.

However I am getting a kick out of all the trash talking going on between the teams in the NY Post. Read Read Read

The Eagles will win on Sunday however I hope Cinderella doesn't wake up before midnight.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Eagles vs Giants

After watching the onslaught of college bowl games, I am finally able to fully concentrate on the Eagles/Giants playoff match up this weekend. The Eagles have turned around their season and head into the playoffs winners of five in a row. The Giants enter the playoffs loosing six of their last eight.

On defense the Eagles need to stop Tiki Barber. That's really it. Jeremy Shockey has been a non factor and is injured. Plexico is a threat but is only as good as his QB. Brian Dawkins has been playing amazing and I predict another forced turnover.

On offense, the Eagles will continue to run a more balanced attack. If the Eagles continue to go on long drives, and get an early lead, the Giants will be forced to throw. Eli Manning is clearly very shaky and the Giants team is undisciplined. The Eagles fans will be rowdy and force some false starts.

My only concern is that the Giants might be playing for Coach Coughlin's job. Also, Tiki Barber's never ending retirement campaign may put some fire in the Giants. However with the Eagles at home and on a hot streak, I predict at 27-17 win.

Besides, would you root for a team with these players? Is that Semen on Eli's lips?

Long Live Boise State

I love College Football. I love it for many reasons. I love the atmosphere that surrounds a big matchup. I love the tradition, the stadiums, the comorrodity among fans. I also love when the underdog pulls off a tremendous upset that noone forsees. When a team like Boise State beats Oklahoma b/c of a hook and ladder play and a statue of liberty play, then it's exciting. I don't even have the balls to run a hook and ladder play when i'm playing Football on a playground, let alone with 7 seconds left in the Fiesta Bowl.

Penn State was able to pull of a slight upset over #17 Tennessee. It's good to have some momentum going into next season. They play Notre Dame, Ohio State and Wisconsin at home next season. They have a favorable schedule and are returning a good amount of talent.

The Eagles play the Giants on Sunday at 4:15. It's a bit unsettling to play your division rival at home as favorites against a team that is capable of playing at a much higher level than they are right now.