Replacement Refocalypse

September 25, 2012

Could you imagine if the Eagles were the team being completely screwed over by the replacement refs?! What would have happened if that was the Eagles losing on a last second controversial call – that was CLEARLY and interception – instead of the Packers?

Obviously, Mayfair, Manayunk, Center City, and large parts of South, West and surrounding areas of Philadelphia would be in complete rubble and ash this morning. People would be wandering the streets in torn and tattered, blood-stained clothes, rambling incoherently about Wayne Elliot(*).

(*)You know, as opposed to all the homeless wandering the streets in torn and tattered, blood-stained clothes, rambling incoherently…

It’s a good thing this happened to a lethargic, overweight, easygoing area like Wisconsin. They can suppress their anger with BBQ and cheese curds… We’d be out for blood. And rightfully so.

This replacement ref issue is about as ridiculous and short-sighted as Jeffrey Lurie’s continued infatuation with Andy Reid. The NFL PRINTS billions and billions of dollars, why let something like $20-50 million affect the integrity of the game and season?

We encourage you to read Grantland’s Bill Barnwell gives a spectacular take on what we’re calling “Replacement Refocalypse,” which culminated in last night’s clusterfuck of an ending in Seattle.

Fire The Replacements. Fire The Dictator Commissioner. And, as always, Fire The Walrus.

NOT-SO BREAKING NEWS: Eagles Do Nothing And Like It

January 30, 2012

In case you haven’t heard yet today(*), Don Juan Castillo is officially back in the saddle as Eagles Defensive Coordinator. Let’s just let that sink in for a minute, shall we…

(*)Or have yet to come to the sobering realization.

Done yet? No? Need another moment?

Good? Ok, let’s move on.

Basically The Walrus, The Devil and The Billionaire just said to all of us “We’re good. We like what we saw in 2011. Let’s give it another go in 2012.”

If the Billionaire slapping us in the face once this offseason wasn’t enough, well, time to take it on the other cheek. So much for all of his “disappointed, embarrassed, disgraced” bullshit bravado. Way to really be committed to change there, Mr. Oscars-Are-More-Important-Than-Lombardis. What a pompous asshole.

The team’s big solution to fixing Juan’s insanely pathetic, maddeningly awful Defense? Bring in Miami’s recently jettisoned interim Head Coach Todd Bowles to coach the Secondary. Seriously. That’s the big Machiavellian coaching move that’s going to change it all!

So, if you’re keeping track — and we know we are — that’s zero semblance of an actual plan, and 100% complacency. Good job fellas! Way to make up for the lost season of 2011!

To add insult to injury, the front office has the testicular fortitude to claim that they see Bowles as a soon-to-be NFL Head Coach(**)… Well guess what Eagles ass brass? Make him your freaking Head Coach then! Stop dicking around and wasting our time with that fat useless Walrus you have, who needs more time to catch his breath than come up with gameplans. If Bowles is so highly sought after, at least give him the job of running the Defense, not playing understudy to an underqualified, overwhelmed Offensive Line Coach.

(**)He did interview for various Head Coaching vacancies in the last few weeks.

The state of this team is unbearable anymore. They already declared that the 2012 season is a lost cause… because guess what? They will NOT win a Super Bowl with Juan Castillo as their Defensive Coordinator. Or Andy Walrus Reid as their Head Choke-artist Coach. Reuben Frank knows it. Jaws knows it. We know it. Shit, the entire football-following world knows it.

According to Frank, they didn’t even attempt to go after Steve Spagnuolo, an planned on keeping Juan all along. That’s just awesome.

Your biggest rival is 60 minutes away from winning ANOTHER Super Bowl… and this is the move you make to counter attack?! It’s inexplicable. It’s embarrassing.

It’s typical Eagles football.

We’ll be back tomorrow after The Walrus finally pulls his head out of his ass to speak to the media. Unless of course its to wax poetic about the Sixers(***) again… In which case, you may see us on the news, being led out of the NovaCare Complex.

(***)A Philadelphia sports team that’s actually, you know, enjoyable to watch…

Just let the cops know that our motives were just.

Bitterness, Anger, Hopelessness… Just Another Eagleless Super Bowl

January 23, 2012

Well, our worst nightmare — short of a Super Bowl impossibly including both the Giants and the Cowboys — has come to fruition: Another Giants-Patriots Championship Game. And you said this season couldn’t have gotten any worse…

While we were praying for a Harbouwl, we will now be praying for a stadium collapse the apocalypse to occur on February 5(*). Best of luck, world!

(*) Someone get Harold Camping on the phone!

This sucks. The Jersey Giants are on the cusp of winning another Lombardi… Meanwhile, that bloated Walrus washed up on the Ocean City shore is just coming back from vacation, hiding out from the wrath of the fans.

Oh, maybe you didn’t hear… Steve Spagnuolo is the Saints’ new Defensive Coordinator. Yep, Juan is indeed not done. But hey, at least the Eagles 2012 championship hopes already are!

Why haven’t we mentioned this yet? Pure anger. Plus we wanted to see if The Walrus poked his tusks out of his ass to mention it to the media. Of course he didn’t, but rightfully so… There was never an indication from within the organization that they were looking to make a change at Defensive Coordinator, it was simply all speculation(**).

(**)Andy and Spags have the same agent. If you buy that there wasn’t any talk at all, we have some 2011 Eagles playoff tickets to see you.

Why were we angry though? Well, while Head Coaches like the Saints’ Sean Payton and the Falcons’ Mike Smith wasted no time in upgrading their coaching staff, a mere day after getting bounced from the playoffs, The Walrus had his head buried in the sands of the Caribbean. Hope you enjoyed your vacation, Red! Thanks for bringing us back the exact same underachieving staff as last year!

Not only that, he returns to find his arch rivals in the Super Bowl… You’d think that would be a slap in the face to Andy, but he can’t feel a thing through those jowls.

So, here we are Eagles fans. Forced to sit through another Super Bowl without a team wearing Kelly Midnight Green. Another Super Bowl with our rival Jerseyites one win away from another bullet of ammunition against us. Another Super Bowl for the real “Gold Standard” of the NFL.

Another Super Bowl with anger in our hearts and hopelessness on our minds.

Here’s to the Mayan calendar ending early!

And Now For Something Completely Different: A “Giant” Reminder That Defense Truly Matters

January 17, 2012

First things first… We hate the Giants. REALLY hate them. If it wasn’t for the Cowgirls, all of our football scorn would be directed at the NFC’s New York New Jersey team. Watching them win, on the road, against the best team in football, in such convincing fashion, flat-out sucked.

It sucked as an Eagles’ die-hard. It sucked as an Eli-hater. But what it didn’t suck as… a strong believer that Defense wins in January. In fact, it was a huge reminder — and a prime example — that a dominating Defense is more important than a dominating Offense.

So buckle your seat belts, for we’re about to do the unthinkable: we’re going to praise the Jersey Giants…

Overall, the Giants’ Defense did not rank particularly high during the 2011 season — 25th in points, 27th in yards — but their obvious strength is the front four. Jason Pierre-Paul(*) has transformed from a raw talent to an outright stud of a Defensive End. It’s sad to admit it, but he is carrying on a strong recent tradition of dominate Giants’ DEs — from Michael Strahan to Osi Umenyiora to Justin Tuck — and is now a legitimate star, anchoring a solid line. The Giants barely blitzed Aaron Rodgers. They simply rushed four down-linemen and dropped everyone else into coverage, taking away the Packers’ strength, their passing game.

(*)And yes, it must be pointed out that Andy Reid traded up to the 13th pick to take undersized (to say the least) Brandon Graham, who has 3 career sacks in 16 games, allowing the rival Giants to take JPP at 15th overall. JPP has 21 sacks in 33 games (including playoffs). To be fair though, we were screaming for the Eagles to take Safety Earl Thomas, who went to Seattle at 14th overall and is also a stud (7 INTs, 127 tackles in 32 games). Ugh.

Sure, Green Bay was horribly out of sync on Offense — either attributed to the layoff (resting starters in Week 17 and the bye) or the emotional toll due to the death of Offensive Coordinator Joe Philbin’s son during the week leading up to the game — but this was an Offense that threw the ball even more than Andy Reid-led Offenses. The Packers had a simply putrid run game all season (ranked 27th overall), with Rodgers being their superior runner throughout the Divisional Round game. Not too mention the fact that the Pack’s O-Line got hit bad with the injury bug late in the year. Add all of those factors up and you can see why the Giants were able to get four sacks, while hitting Rodgers on five other plays, and pressuring the most accurate passer in the league to throw his seventh INT of the year.

But it wasn’t just a dominating front four. As’s Bill Barnwell points out in his weekly “The Fabulous and The Flops” column, Giants’ Linebacker Michael Boley played an integral role:

As the only Giants linebacker with much in the way of speed, Boley often spends his time as the coverage guy by default. With a total of three sacks during his three seasons with the Giants, you would have been forgiven if you didn’t expect to see him making big plays in the backfield on Sunday. Instead, Boley delivered the game of his life. He sacked Aaron Rodgers twice, picking up a third-down sack that forced a punt and set up the Hail Mary drive, and then adding to it with a sack on fourth-and-5 early in the fourth quarter. With the Packers inside Giants territory while down by just seven, they might even have been favorites to win the game at that moment. Instead, after Boley’s sack, they didn’t touch the ball again with a chance to tie the game on one play. Boley also broke up a pass and had three tackles for loss.

Huh… so Linebacker ARE important?! Who knew?!

But credit also needs to go to Giants’ Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell. The interim Head Coach of the Bills in 2009, Fewell will surly be considered for a Head Coaching gig this offseason — EARTH TO THE EAGLES!!! — and his unit’s performance against the #1 Offense in the NFL should be at the top of his resume. Taking a page right out of former-Giants’ DC (and our personal favorite for the next Eagles’ DC) Steve Spagnuolo’s Super Bowl 42 playbook, the Giants’ gameplan in last week’s game was pressure, pressure, pressure. Get to Rodgers, disrupt his rhythm, knock him down. It’s how the Giants beat the Patriots in 2007 and it’s how they beat the Packers here(**).

(**)And in no way are we discrediting the fact that Rodgers’ receivers betrayed him with bad drops all game. We will, however, discredit Eli Manning’s lucky hail mary at the end of the first half. Eli pulled a horseshoe out of Hakeem Nicks’ ass.

So, as always, Defense wins in the playoffs. We got push back on Twitter over the weekend, with some claiming that the Packers won last year’s Super Bowl with a dominate Offense. Let it be known that the 2010 Packers had the 2nd overall ranked Defense in the NFL… and the 10th ranked Offense.

Which brings us to an interesting question… Is Tom Coughlin a better Head Coach than The Walrus?

Before 2007, we would have said no way. Then the guy whose team seemingly quits on him annually, won a Super Bowl. Even then, we couldn’t put Red Face over Big Red. But let’s look at their numbers:

Removing his years with the Jaguars, in eight years with the Giants, Coughlin has a Regular Season record of 74-54, for a winning percentage of .578. In thirteen seasons, Reid is 126-81-1, for a winning percentage of .608. Red Face Coughlin is now 6-3 in the playoffs, with four of those wins coming on the road — two of which had a ridiculously high degree of difficulty at Lambeau Field against superior teams — and one being a Super Bowl win. Big Red Reid is 10-9 in the playoffs, with four of those losses coming in the NFC Championship Game (three of which his team was favored to win).

Coughlin’s teams have failed to make the playoffs more frequently than Reid’s and have been one-and-done three times — with two of those ousters coming at the hands of Reid and our Eagles. The Walrus’ teams seem to always find a way to the second season, but haven’t won there since 2008. Coughlin’s teams have a tendency to underachieve and/or stop listening to their coach. Andy’s teams don’t quit (minus this season’s game in Seattle) but can’t win the big game or play up to their abilities. Both coaches have had Defensive Coordinators carry them (Jim Johnson with Reid, Spags/Fewell with Coughlin). So, it’s really a wash.

But Red Face has what the Walrus doesn’t: the Super Bowl trump card.

We hate to admit it, but Tom Coughlin is a better coach than Andy Reid. Seriously, how does The Walrus still have a job?

We will now go lay down on I-95.

Recommended Reading: Bill Barnwell Post-Mortems The 2011 Eagles

December 2, 2011

If you’re not ready, ESPN and Bill Simmons’(*) premiere sports and pop culture journalism site, you’re doing yourself a disservice. It is home to really phenomenal writing and reporting, analysis and humor.

(*)No matter how you may feel about Simmons… or ESPN.

More important, as it pertains to Fire The Walrus, is Grantland’s NFL writer Bill Barnwell – one of the absolute best football writers/analysts on the interwebs. We cannot recommend his writing more, as his (almost) daily pieces have become required reading for us. He is truly doing unbelievable things with football writing and, when it comes to in-depth statistical analysis, there might not be a better scribe out there. Read him and read him often (particularly his Monday breakdown of the previous week’s action and his Tuesday feature, The Fabulous and The Flops).

Our recommendation of Barnwell goes doubly today, as he post-mortems the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles season with spectacular detail in his article, “A Requiem for The Dream Team From Philly.” He pinpoints the Eagles failures with tremendous accuracy and delves into the reasons why certain aspects of the team failed – the O-Line, the D-Line, the LBs, the Safeties, etc. – with such precision that you would think he spends each day with the team.

Well he doesn’t. And his perspective as an outside, non-objective observer is fantastic. Not to take away anything from local greats like Les Bowen, Reuben Frank, Bob Brookover, Sheil Kapadia, etc., but maybe spending so much time with a team can blind people to certain things.

Though we don’t agree with everything Barnwell says – you’ll note that we wholeheartedly disagree with his fifth point – his take on our team is a must read for all Eagles fans. Will it make you any less mad? Definitely not. But it lends even more credence to why The Walrus must be set to sea.

Barnwell is a great young football mind… and even though we’re remise to ever compare anyone to Ray Didinger – much like the Shady-Barry comparison – he seems poised to eventually become a football encyclopedia in the mold of R. Diddy.

Start reading Barnwell now… thank us later.

Desean Jackson: A Depreciation

December 2, 2011

Before the 2011 NFL season got underway – hell even before the 2011 NFL lockout got underway – we were screaming for the Eagles to pay Desean Jackson. He deserved more than the $600,000 he was schedule to make this season.

Now though, Desean’s not worth $6,000…

Has there ever been a player in a contract year – in any sport – that performed at a level so detrimental to his next contract? What Desean has accomplished in the last three weeks is simply unthinkable! Week after week, Jackson is not only costing himself money, but the support of a fan base that once absolutely adored him and, most importantly, any potential suitors that were thinking about giving him real money.

Seriously, who wants a guy that does insanely stupid things like: draw unthinkable taunting penalties, spike a ball before entering the end zone, alligator-arm touchdown passes, stop running routes, be an asshole to the media(*)? Does Desean have one redeemable quality, outside of his speed? We certainly can’t find one.

(*)This is his latest schmucky move. Here’s video of Desean’s “talking” to the media following the debacle in Seattle.

Let’s not be mistaken… Desean will get paid by someone. Handsomely, even. But man, will they be in for a rude awakening when they realize all they’re paying for is a guy who can run past everyone else.

He’s not a good possession receiver. He’s not a good route runner. Hell, he’s not even a good teammate or person.

Desean will be paid premium dollars to be a team’s top Receiver, yet he’s only suited to be a deep threat and the best aspect of his game is returning punts (he’s ranked 8th among active players for yards per return and second for touchdowns). Does that equate to Andre Johnson/Calvin Johnson money? Hell no.

The most amazing thing about Desean’s 2011 season is that he accomplished something no one ever thought would be possible… setting the franchise record for wearing out his welcome in Philadelphia, surpassing the infamous Terrell Owens. Desean went to Deshit faster than TO went from messiah to driveway sit-ups. Simply incredible!

We hope Desean was paying attention to Vince Young last night – though we know he wasn’t, considering cameras showed him staring off into space while Young was trying to talk to him on the sideline… As bad as he was, VY was at trying to perform well to secure a contract for next season. He failed miserably, but at least we saw his emotions and frustration as kneeled on the sideline following his fourth quarter pick-six. He was downtrodden and upset with his performance and knew he had hurt his chances of ever starting again in the NFL. No matter what you think of the guy, you can’t take away the fact that he didn’t quit – which can’t be said for any other Eagle – and that will be our lasting image of him.

Our lasting image of Desean? Not the greatest punt return in team historybut a selfish, childish, immature punk.

Take the money and run, Desean. Because that’s all you’re capable of doing.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Find Out What It Means to Teams

August 1, 2011

Have you come back down to Earth yet? Us either!

What the Eagles did over the past weekend was nothing short of amazing. Rodger-Cromartie. Babin. Young. Jenkins. And of course, the “pièce de résistance,” Asomugha. Oh, and don’t forget, they threw in WR Johnnie Lee Higgins and TE Donald Lee for good measure too(*).

(*)Though I don’t foresee Lee catching on with this team, save for an injury… Brent Celek and Clay Harbor are the two TEs, and if the Eagles decide to carry a third, Lee will have to battle Cornelius Ingram for the spot.

The Eagles “won” free agency in the eyes of many, particularly football analysts such as ESPN’s John Clayton and Grantland’s Bill Barnwell. And many, especially the Eagles own, recently-acquired players, are calling the team a “Dream Team” or “The Miami Heat of the NFL.”  

Quick tangent: Normally, we would scoff at such talk, and beg players like Young and Babin to keep their mouths quiet and prove it on the field… But hell, we’ve been screaming for shit-talking football players since the days of Hugh Douglas! This is precisely what this Eagles team has been sorely lacking for so many years now: Balls. Big, trash-talking, bravado-spewing balls. Seth Joyner-sized balls.

This team used to have a tradition of mean and dirty, brutally physical, DOGS… the Bednarik’s, the Bergey’s, the Joyner’s, the Runyan’s. It’s finally a return to that line of thinking. Vick(**) and Desean were the start. Now Babin, Young and Jenkins fit the mold. The Eagles were in desperate need of over-confident swagger and boisterous smacktalkers. Now they have them.

(**)Seriously, no pun intended.

Even The Devil, Joe Banner himself, got in on the fun: When Howie was asked if they still had flexibility to sign more players, Banner interjected with a “Hell yeah!” Are we watching a Twilight Zone episode?!

So as we try to comprehend just what exactly is going on over there at the NovaCare Complex – Phillies jealousy? Collective heat stroke? Pod people? Commonsense added to the water supply? – let’s look at the real reason why so many NFL veterans are calling their agents : the mystique of Michael Vick.

Two years ago today, the majority of Eagles fans were shocked and flabbergasted when Vick landed on the Eagles. One year ago today, the majority of Eagles fans were questioning why Vick still held a valuable roster spot(***). Today, the majority of Eagles fans would be talking about Hunter Pence and Hunter Pence alone, as opposed to the Eagles’ embarrassment of riches known as their free agent haul, if Vick wasn’t in Midnight Green.

(***)Yes, that was us driving the bandwagon…

Why is that, you ask? Because guys simply want to have the opportunity to play with someone as special as Michael Vick. Do yourself a favor and read Chris Ryan’s piece on today, Flocking to the Eagles, and former-Inquirer/current-ESPNer Ashley Fox’s piece from yesterday. Usually you read stories like that about NBA superstars or the Patriots… but an Eagle?!

If the Eagles attacked free agency during the Donny Drama years with the same sense of urgency that they’ve used during this one, maybe they would already own a Lombardi. But maybe Vick holds the key that Five never could: Respect from his peers.