The Day After: Thank Buddy It’s Only August

August 19, 2011

Well that happened.

Last night’s (thankfully) exhibition game with the cross-state “rivals” was a minor disaster. But is The Walrus even to blame?

The players simply couldn’t execute what appeared to be a semblance of a gameplan, and they are clearly at fault for that dismal performance. Sure, Andy can be blamed for not getting his guys ready, but yesterday’s Mike-Vick-Media-Shitstorm of a distraction(*) is, in all likelihood, the explanation for why the team was flat and lifeless.

(*)And in all honesty, who really cares. The whole “Eagles weren’t Vick’s first choice” story is such a non-story it’s ridiculous.

But now this group of still-trying-to-gel players knows what it’s like to deal with a “major” distraction on a gameday. Hopefully the team can at least take something away from THAT experience, because there sure wasn’t much else to take away from last night.

Let’s look at some of the reasons for the Eagles stinking worse than the underside of The Walrus’ mustache:

Vick Distracted
Do you think that GQ article and subsequent media circus were to blame for Michael Vick’s sloppy, Donny Drama-esque performance? Overthrows, underthrows, bad timing, poor decisions. Last night was a rare step-back for Vick, who probably can’t look much worse than that.

How much of a role did Time of Possession play into Vick’s performance? The Steelers basically controlled the ball for almost 25 minutes of the first half and the Eagles Offense didn’t have any opportunity to find a rhythm.

Juan Castillo’s Inexperience
The first-year Defensive Coordinator got a nice assist on the Steelers’ first touchdown, bringing DRC and Nate Allen in on the blitz, which left Asante Samuel alone on the outside with Antonio Brown and no Safety help. Big rookie mistake, Juan. Asante is like a little kid, you can’t let him wonder off on his own. He needs to be on the Buddy System – not the one associated with our beloved Ryan, but the one that children use on field trips.

Our plea to Juan: handcuffAsanteand Coleman/Jarrett. Asomugha’s got his side covered and Nate Allen can roam free, but the other side must be doubled-up.

Speaking of Nate Allen…
Oof! Even for a second-year kid coming off of a gruesome injury, his performance last night can only be categorized as ugly. On the aforementioned failed blitz/Steelers touchdown, Allen had an opportunity to take a running shot at Roethlisraper, but instead bit badly on a pump fake and jumped in the air repeatedly, trying to knock down the pass.

With the Steelers’ inexperienced Offensive Tackles, the prevailing thought going into the game was that the Eagles would pressure the O-Line with their down linemen. Instead, Castillo chose to show some blitz packages, including ones involving multiple DBs, and the Steelers backfield did a tremendous job of picking up Defensemen.

Also having a bad game: Casey Matthews
Is it too early to start worrying about Matthews versus the run? The Steelers Offense held the ball for nearly all but six minutes of the first half, mostly thanks to Fullback David Johnson, who blew Matthews up on a routine basis. Johnson was able to move right through the line of scrimmage and attack Matthews where he stood, allowing Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman to run clear up the middle.

Whether it’s his inexperience or the fact that he’s just a better coverage LB, we may be seeing why Matthews’ lineage wasn’t enough to keep him from falling to the fourth round of last April’s draft.

Thankfully though, the Eagles came away practically unscathed health-wise(***). That’s really all you can ask for from a preseason game.

(***)The Steelers certainly can’t say the same.

And although it gives us great pain to speak kindly about him, if there’s one thing Andy Reid is good at doing, it’s getting his guys back on track after a dismal outing. We fully expect The Walrus to “get into their ass” about that game. And rightfully so.

Thank Buddy it’s only August.

Walrus Droppings: Dog Days of Lehigh

August 10, 2011

Talk of the Town
The Billionaire’s Yearly Ego-Stroke
Jeffrey Lurie graced the world with his presence at Training Camp last week to give his yearly boldface lie state of the team address to the media. Good news: His words didn’t spark a million message board posts/sports talk-caller rants! Bad news: We tend to agree with most of what he says.

Vick’s Donovan Impression
Michael Vick sat down with Mike Missanelli and 9.75 The Fanatic to discuss, among other things, his contract status and Rob Ryan’s comments(*). Is it just us, or has Michael Vick perfected Donovan McNabb’s “appear congenial and humorous while actually toeing the company line and saying nothing” interview response?

(*)Quick note on Rob Ryan: Who cares what he said… He’s a Ryan. He’s got a big mouth. That’s what they do (and that’s why we love them).

Speaking of Number Five…

Donny Drama Does What Donny Drama Does Best:
Be Dramatic

Dear Donovan McNabb:

At one point in your career, we empathized with you. We were sympathetic when you were attacked by Rush Limbaugh, and (mostly) stood by your side during the whole T.O. debacle. We even blamed your receivers when Ricky Manning, Jr. raped you during the 2003 NFC Championship Game. But now that you’re gone, and the midnight green-colored glasses no longer apply, we realize, you’re the common drama denominator.

You are now twice-removed from the Eagles and yet, you can’t seem to take them out of your mouth. This is what you said last week to’s Clark Judge (via

“I was there for 11 years, and the biggest thing we brought in was T.O. Now they’re getting the so-called ‘Dream Team.’ It’s amazing, but I look back on my career and what they’re doing now . . . that’s great; that’s excellent. But you’re seeing another side. You’re seeing Andy [Reid] taking that chance. It’s not just taking that chance on one guy. They’re taking a chance on a bunch of guys. And they’re spending money. That’s amazing.”

Sure, who can blame you for being irked that the Eagles never fully went “all in” during your tenure here – even though the 2002 and 2004 teams were more than good enough to win it all(**) – but you’re a Minnesota Viking now and should only be concerned with the Minnesota Vikings.

(**)But, let’s not forget… both of those playoff runs ended with a McNabb interception.

For all of your efforts to be “the company guy” and the consummate professional who always says the right things, you sure are the king of making not-so-subtle, yet veiled comments about your former team. And ever since you left for Washington, you’ve done nothing but show your true colors: jealous, envious and melodramatic.

It wasn’t that we never loved you Donovan, you just needed something to cry about. If you feel the need to carry around that big ugly chip on shoulder from draft day – more than 12 years ago now! – and think that the Eagles did you wrong for all those years, well, so be it. You give off the aura of a lover scorned… but you sound more like an ungrateful, spiteful spinster.

Have fun in Minnesota, Donny Drama! We can’t wait until Chris Ponder rightfully takes your job.

With loathing,
Eagles Fans

The Desean Debate
Grantland’s Bill Barnwell – whose football analysis we’ve really come to enjoy – breaks down Desean Jackson’s efficiency catching the ball (spoiler alert: it’s subpar). Barnwell makes a pretty good statistical case for why the Eagles shouldn’t invest huge dollars in Jackson – primarily focusing on his catch rate and his percentage of dropped balls – but Desean’s importance to the Eagles offense goes far beyond numbers.

Without Jackson on the field, the Bird’s offense isn’t nearly as dynamic. Desean’s ability to stretch the field – even with the occasional drop – is what makes the Eagles offense go. Even as a decoy, if Desean is on the field, the defense must account for him and a receiving corps of (a hopefully healthy) Maclin, Avant and Cooper doesn’t exactly strike fear into the hearts of Defensive Coordinators.

In all of our years of watching football, very few Wide Receivers have stood out for getting behind defenders the way that Desean Jackson does. His speed and double move are second-to-none and his game is more Iverson than Rice. He might not be technically sound and he might be undersized, but he is a warrior and will do whatever it takes to get into the end zone.

And THAT’S why he deserves to be paid.

Rookies Galore!
It appears that the Birds are VERY high on some of their youngest talent. Reuben Frank had glowing words for first-round pick, Danny Watkins (“All-rookie team in 2011. Pro Bowl by 2013.”), and third-round Cornerback, Cutis Marsh (“Kind of like a young Bobby Taylor. Tall, rangy, athletic and very smart.”). Frank goes on to praise Jaiquwan Jarrett, who could be a big hitter, but is hurt by the lack of mini-camp/training camp time. Center Jason Kelce is another rook to keep an eye on, as he is pushing Jamaal Jackson for the starting spot.

Frank on new Eagles Kicker, Alex Henery: “Huge leg. Can kick the thing a mile. They don’t always seem to go straight. Keep a close eye on the rookie kicker Thursday night. Andy Reid would love to give him a nice challenging 47-yarder. See where he’s at. The kid scares me a bit.”

And finally, Casey Matthews appears to possess that legendary “Matthews-family Football Gene” and, as of now, is not Fredo Matthews! Currently locked-in as the starting Middle Linebacker – at least for now – Matthews could finally be that missing piece in the middle the Eagles have sorely lacked since Jeremiah Trotter left (the first time).

Ray Diddy Whets the Lombardi Appetite
As if you’re not already jacked up enough for the season to start(***), Ray Diddy gets the juices flowing by comparing the 2011 Eagles with the 1994 San Francisco 49ers.

(***)And if you’re not, why the hell are you reading this?

It’s super early to start putting this team up there with past Super Bowl winners… but boy, are the similarities striking – right down to signing a game-changing Cornerback in free agency and the rookie kicker. Bizarre, and hope-inspiring, stuff.

Oh and one more thing before we get out of here… THERE’S AN EAGLES FOOTBALL GAME TOMORROW!!! Sure it’s preseason, but its football!

Rejoice Fire The Walrus Nation!

NOT-SO BREAKING NEWS: We’re Still Here… And So is Kolb (For Now)

March 31, 2011

Aaaaaaaaaaand we’re back!

Yes, I know, it looked as if we dropped off the face of Andy Reid’s belt buckle, but fear not faithful Fire The Walrus Nation (all two of you)… we are alive and well(*).

(*)Full disclosure: the recent hiatus can be blamed in part to a busy work schedule (yes, real work), a lapse in anything Eagles-related actually happening and a closet basketball obsession. Oh, not to mention this whole messy lockout business.

But lockout be damned, the anti-Andy Reid movement must continue onward.

And speaking of moving on…. Let’s talk about Kevin Kolb for a moment.

There were more than a few rumblings last week that the Eagles have already had discussions with teams – primarily those that preside in the UFL NFC West – about Kolb’s availability (as if that was in question), even going so far as to suggest that Andy Reid has a deal in place for a first round pick.

That sound you heard was Kevin Kolb’s trade value crashing through the NovaCare Complex floor.

Didn’t the Eagles learn anything from last year’s Quarterback Trade Quagmire? Every team in the league knew the birds wanted to trade Vick last offseason, which subsequently killed any value he had. They demanded a second-round pick and no one was willing to give them a third, leaving the team stuck with Vick – though fortunately so. Well what happens if they can’t get more than a second rounder for Kolb (which seemed to be the general consensus a few months ago)?

Apparently things have changed, as reported earlier today that the Eagles won’t have a problem getting a first round pick – the problem is the money Kolb is looking for… something on par with Matt Schaub’s contract. And let’s not forget what the Falcons got for Schaub (coincidentally, Vick’s backup at the time): they flipped first round picks with the Texans and received two second round picks.

Most likely due to this year’s lackluster Quarterback draft class, I guess teams are desperate enough for a QB that a first round pick isn’t a deal breaker. And why not take a flier on a guy that could be the next Aaron Rogers.

As it stands now though, with no new CBA, Kolb cannot be moved… leaving the Eagles with two options:

  • Trade Kolb for a 2012 draft pick
  • Keep Kolb as a back-up

If the team does trade him for a pick next year, Mike Kafka becomes the default backup to Mike Vick… unless the Eagles sign a veteran back-up. And who could they get, you might ask? Well 97.5 The Fanatic’s Mike Missanelli floated the possibility of bringing back one Donovon McNabb… as a back-up… to Michael Vick.

I’d say the chances of that happening are as good as me becoming a Cowboys fan. Besides, with the news today of (yet another) Chad Pennington season-ending surgery, some team will be dumb enough willing to bring McNabb in for a look.

If the team keeps Kolb as Vick’s back-up, it will play out in one of two ways:

  • He stays for the year then walks away in Free Agency leaving the Eagles with nothing to show from first four rounds of the 2007 draft.
  • He stays for the year, the Eagles let Vick walk next offseason, and Kolb is (once again) named the teams’ starter.

Would Kolb be willing to wait another year for his shot at starting in midnight green? Would Eagles fans put up with another coronation of Kolb as starter?

The bottom line is that the Eagles HAVE to trade Kolb now, even if the result is a future draft pick. It’s amazing… the team gave away a first round pick to get him, now they need to get one back to reverse the damage. Kevin Kolb – the gift that keeps on giving!

Just another reason to Fire The Walrus.

It’s good to be back!

Whisker Wednesday Poll

March 2, 2011

Whisker Wednesday continues with the Whisker Wednesday Poll: Who is your “Jerk-Off of the Week” (Non-Walrus Edition)?

The Philadelphia Eagles Front Office brass had a banner week (no pun intended) – from winning awards they have no business winning, to getting snubbed by the real winners of said award, to comparing the Eagles mediocre playoff success to the Steelers actual playoff success – the team’s executives certainly have a knack for getting under Eagles fans’ skin.

On top of that, their longest tenured player, David Akers, is unhappy and refuses to sign his Transition Tag (boo-hoo!), even though he’s a Kicker who can no longer make field goals past 30-yards.

Not a very happy-go-lucky time in Eagles Nation… Which begs the question: Who has been the biggest jerk-off the past week?

Personally, I have to go with The Killer of Kelly Green. We don’t hear from her often, but when we do, we all wish she would just shut the hell up.

Nobody cares that she was offended for not being thanked for simply writing a check. In fact, WE’RE offended that she would even say such a thing… considering the Lurie’s Oscar is a slap in the face to Eagles fans everywhere.

Rosenfield is a close second though… Charlie Sheen keeps us all “winning!”

Have a better candidate for “Jerk-Off of the Week?” Leave it in the comments.

Coming Soon… Oscar Snub Sundays!

Whisker Wednesday

March 2, 2011

And on Whisker Wednesday, MikeVick said: “Of course I’ll sign for one-year, $16 million!” On to the Whiskers…

The Devil Backtracks, Sticks Other Hoof in Mouth
Last Thursday – as part of his annual media tour – Eagles’ Executive Spin Man Team President Joe Banner The Devil made an appearance on 97.5 The Fanatic’s Mike Missanelli show to offer his views on the current state of the team, Andy Reid’s future and to clear up his Eagles-better-than-Steelers faux pas.

It’s certainly worth a listen – though I’ll warn you, the contents of this interview may cause irritation and screaming – particularly for Banner’s take on how the team has “drastically changed” in the past two offseasons.  We’ll get to that in a second.

First, let’s give The Devil credit for wiggling his way out of his Eagles-Steelers statement(*), as only The Devil could. The blame can’t be laid on him, but the constantly-undermining local media, who purposefully isolate Banner’s sound bites to make him come off like a complete arrogant jerk. Sure. It has nothing to do with the fact that he thinks he’s smarter than the entire Eagles fan base or knows that no matter what he says, the seats will be filled. It’s always somebody else’s fault, not his… maybe that’s where Donovon got it from? 

(*)As you may recall… Banner tried to assert that the six-time Super Bowl champion Steelers, who have appeared in three of the last six Super Bowls and won two of them, really aren’t any more successful than the Eagles on balance, because they haven’t made the playoffs nine of the last 11 years, or been to five conference championship games in the last decade, the way the Eagles have.

Banner is basically saying that nothing he says can be taken at face value, because the media has manipulated it to make him look bad. He reinforces this by making the same statement before every answer he gives Missanelli: “I know this will clip will get isolated and taken out of context, but…”

Could he be more neurotic?! And he has the nerve to tell us he doesn’t care what we think of him?! Clearly we’re taking that out of context too, right Joe?

But I digress… as that isn’t the most infuriating statement Banner makes in the interview. Not by a long shot.

The conversation naturally traveled to another “publicly misconstrued” comment The Devil once famously made, following the Eagles loss to the Cardinals in the 2008 NFC Championship game: “The definition of ‘Insanity’ is doing the same thing over.” Again, Banner tried to claim that what he actually said was something entirely different(**), but then went on to say the team had made drastic changes since that. Mikey Miss grilled him on those changes, and Banner went on to describe the decisions made to change every facet of the team, aside from the Head Coach.

(**)Bullshit! That’s just another instance of The Devil thinking Eagles fans are gullible.

This is where The Devil’s true colors come out, as he claims that each and every move – from player personnel to position coaches – was a meticulously thought-out, calculated decision. So the Eagles planned on Jim Johnson developing Melanoma, taking a leave-of-absence and dying suddenly? The front office planned on getting stuck with Vick, after vigorously shopping him for the entire 2009 offseason? And that would mean that The Devil, The Walrus and Howie calculated Kevin Kolb getting hurt in the first game of the 2010 season and Vick turning into the weapon he became, right?

Guess what, Joe? Eagles fans aren’t stupid. In fact, we’re intelligent enough to know a rat when we see one. You sir, are a rat. We’ll keep feeding you money – and maybe that does make us dumb – but we will never give you respect. Nor will we ever believe a word you say… whether the media is taking those words out of context or not.

An Quick Update on Lurie’s Oscar-Before-Vince Transgression
Philadelphia Daily News’ Dan Gross, aka @PhillyGossip, had this piece in today’s column, about the Lurie’s snub at the Oscars:

“Charles Ferguson shouldn’t count on Christina and Jeff Lurie to fund his next documentary.

The director of Inside Job, which won best documentary at Sunday’s Oscars, failed to thank the couple, who were executive producers of the film about corporate malfeasance and the 2008 Wall Street collapse, in his on-stage acceptance speech.

After thanking 12 other people, he did thank the couple backstage on’s ‘Thank You Cam,’ but only after being prompted by producer Audrey Marrs.

Christina Lurie ‘felt like she was slapped in the face,’ wrote Metro‘s Laura Goldman yesterday, quoting a friend of Lurie’s.”

Sorry Christina, but you’re not the only one who felt like they were slapped in the face… just ask any Eagles fan how it feels to see Lurie bring home an Oscar before a Vince Lombardi trophy.

And One More Note on Lurie’s Award…
Many film critics and movie nerds are bashing Inside Job for winning the Academy Award period – regardless of the films’ Executive Producers – claiming it isn’t finished… and rightfully so.

How do you make a movie documenting an international financial crisis, when that same international financial crisis is still ongoing? Much like the events and crisis that the film depicts, Inside Job is essentially a movie with no ending.

But that’s another post, for another blog.

NOT-SO BREAKING NEWS: Lurie’s a Winner, Hell Doesn’t Freeze Over

February 28, 2011

Well it finally happened. Something Jeffrey Lurie was fiscally-involved in won a trophy… and I, for one, welcome the incoming apocalypse.

That sound you heard last night – immediately following the announcement that Inside Job, Lurie’s film, won the Best Documentary Feature award – was the Delaware Valley collectively rolling its eyes.

Seriously though, how much can we truly bitch and moan about this? Realistically, it doesn’t affect Eagles Nation one iota. This is simply another branch of Lurie’s billion-dollar fortune; another avenue for him to spend money in a braggadocios way.

It is, however, frustrating for Eagles fans. And rightfully so. We are starving for our owner to hoist a trophy named Vince, not Oscar(*). To have him win an award in an industry other than football is a complete slap in the face. Shouldn’t all of his attention and focus be on winning a Super Bowl, not an Academy Award?

(*)Thankfully Lurie did not appear on the Oscar telecast – especially with trophy in hand – as I’d be out shopping for a new TV right now.

Of course, he didn’t direct, write or star in the film. He was simply a money guy(**). But isn’t that the exact same role he plays with the Birds? Isn’t he the “Executive Producer” (if you will) of a team that hasn’t produced anything but box office numbers and increased revenue?

(**)Inside Job was produced by Lurie’s documentary film company, Screen Pass Pictures.

It’s nice that he has other interests and investments outside of the NFL, but Eagles fans made Jeffrey Lurie the billionaire that he is today… it’d be nice to get a return on our investment too. Instead, we remain the punching bag for all NFL franchises who have won a Super Bowl.

Lurie isn’t even the first owner in the Division to receive an Oscar. According to Forbes, New York Giants’ owner Steve Tisch was a producer on the 1994 Best Picture winner, Forrest Gump. The difference here, of course, is that at the time, Tisch had no connection to the NFL. He didn’t join the Giants until 2005.

Tisch does own the distinction of being the only person ever to have won an Oscar and a Super Bowl ring… a list that Lurie desperately needs to add his name to.

It took Lurie 11 films over 17 years to reach the pinnacle of the movie world. For some reason he expects the same strategy to apply to the NFL. Until then, we can all eagerly await the sequel to his award-winning film:

Inside Job Too: The story of Lurie’s money-first/championships-never crimes against Eagles fans.

Whisker Wednesday… With a Poll? (Twofer!)

February 23, 2011

It’s a late and short Whisker Wednesday, but it’s a Whisker Wednesday indeed!

CBS Sports’ Senior Writer Clark Judge wrote a President’s Day piece on Monday(*) – happy belated! – honoring our nation’s leaders by forging a Mount Rushmore out of the top four NFL Head Coaches of the past decade. His Fab Four: Bill Belichick, Tony Dungy, Mike Holmgren and, our beloved coach, The Walrus.

(*)Thanks @SymbiotDesign.

I totally disagree with one of his choices, but (surprise)… it’s Mike Holmgren. If you’ve been keeping up, of course I recognize and respect Andy as the greatest Eagles coach and one of the top coaches in the league over the last ten years. That’s nothing new. So I agree that Reid belongs on Judge’s Decade-long monument.

But Holmgren?! What has he done in the last ten years besides keep Seattle competitive in an awful Division and spawn more Head Coaches? The Browns may be turning the corner, but I think Judge is as stuck in the 90’s as Portland.

Wouldn’t Bill Cowher – or more appropriately a Cowher/Mike Tomlin hybrid(**) – be a better representation of the past decade. Cowher has also seen many former assistants become Head Coaches.

(**)Tomlin with Cowher’s chin? Black Cowher?

Holmgren belongs with the likes of Bill Parcells, Marv Levy and Jimmie Johnson (ugh)… in the 90’s.

As for Reid’s inclusion, Judge had this to say:

After the Eagles lost to Green Bay in the playoffs, I got a call from a Philadelphia-area radio station, with talk-show hosts there wondering if it was time to get rid of Andy Reid. I suggested it was time they get a clue. Andy Reid is one of the most successful and least appreciated coaches in the NFL. Philadelphia doesn’t know how good it has it with the guy, but it might if it remembered that in the two years before he landed the Eagles were 9-22-1.

Yes, the two years before Reid were pathetic – thanks Richie K for the great Drafts and Ray Rhodes for your uninspiring coaching style! – but nobody forgets them. He continues with Reid’s impressive resume and lauds him for his courage to make bold decisions with personnel moves. Oh and he calls Eagles fans spoiled.

Judge takes the typical “National Media” stance on Reid – the one that makes passive-aggressive Eagles fans apathetic towards the team’s repeated pratfalls – telling Eagles fans that we’re spoiled and should worship the ground The Walrus sunbathes on. Again, we can all agree that Andy Reid is a good coach. He has been the best (and the worst) thing to happen to this organization since the early-90’s. And he could, for all we know, win a Super Bowl someday.

What the National-perspective doesn’t see is the game of history-repeated we follow day-in and day-out year round. Every year it’s the same thing with Reid. The clock management, the challenges, the play-calling, the Linebackers, the running game, the one missing piece that could put them over the top… Coming so close but never close enough. It never ends.

Pundits see the wins, the playoff appearances and Championship games. We see the past… and no rings.

The Walrus has one more season to prove that he belongs to be chiseled out of stone.

But wait, there’s more…

Take the Whisker Wednesday Poll: Who belongs on the past decade’s NFL Head Coach Mount Rushmore?

Have a better combination? Leave ’em in the comments.

Coming soon… Sunbathing Sundays!

Reason #74 to Fire The Walrus

February 22, 2011

The Andy Reid School of Clock Management

Andy Reid manages the game clock like a monkey manages its feces… improperly, inappropriately timed, and just way too hands-on.

To say his clock management skills are abysmal is the understatement of his regime – it’s literally his biggest flaw as a Head Coach. And this is universally known.

After twelve seasons at the helm, you would think he would do something about it? Hand the duties off to one of his many assistants. Hire someone specifically to handle the clock. Outsource it to India… as Mike Lombardi famously suggested(*).

(*)The New York Times ran a piece on the poor state of clock management overall in the NFL, with this gem:

Michael Lombardi, a longtime NFL executive who managed the personnel departments in Oakland and Cleveland, and who now works as an NFL Network analyst, has little patience for such coaching mistakes. In weekly online analysis, he often rails on coaches for giving away games with bad judgment. He wrote this season that Philadelphia Coach Andy Reid was “my all-time worst game manager.”

“Andy Reid should outsource it to India,” Lombardi said in a telephone interview this week.

No. Not Andy Reid(**). Nor The Devil or The Billionaire, who early on decided to give The Walrus full autonomy and haven’t questioned any decision he’s made since. At what point do they need to intervene?

(**)Of course, we covered his abject stubbornness and inability to ever admit a mistake, here.

He’s already reached the pinnacle of game clock mishaps, with his infamous Super Bowl XXXIX timefuck against the Patriots. ESPN’s John Clayton, in his Eagles Super Bowl postmortem, Eagles had some explaining to do after game, details the coach’s blunders… with some inspiring Andy quotes, no less:

Down by 10 points with 5:40 left in regulation, McNabb and the Eagles didn’t go into a no-huddle offense. The Eagles ate up too much clock on that 13-play, 79-yard touchdown drive.

“I don’t know what happened,” Eagles tight end L.J. Smith said.

The Eagles were unable to explain their clock management at the end of the game.

“Well, we were trying to hurry up,” Eagles coach Andy Reid said. “It was the way things worked out.”

The beleaguered Eagles coach took even more criticism at the end of the first half. The Eagles, with the scored tied 7-7, had the ball at their 19-yard line with 1:10 left. Donovan McNabb completed a 10-yard pass to Todd Pinkston, but Reid didn’t call a timeout. The clocked went from 43 seconds to 17. McNabb hit Pinkston for a 15-yard completion, and Reid called his first timeout of the half.

Suddenly, the Eagles were at their 41-yard line when maybe they could have gotten in range for a David Akers field goal. Instead, they ended up having two unused timeouts and had to answer questions from the media.

“I don’t remember that at all, to be honest with you,” Reid said of the halftime question.

Yet he remains the Head Coach.

Sure, that was five years ago, but it’s not like it’s gotten any better. In Week one of the 2010 season, Reid spoiled a potential comeback against the eventual champion-Packers, with a typical mishandling of his timeouts. In his post-game recap, Rich Hoffman wrote(***):

(***)In the article, Hoffman discusses John T. Reed’s book “Football Clock Management.” A future Eagles Fan Book Club inclusion, indeed!

The time-management issue du jour concerned Reid’s use of his timeouts on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. Lost in all of the Kevin Kolb/Michael Vick business, and all of the concussion business, was the decision by Reid, trailing by seven points in the fourth quarter, to call his three second-half timeouts with 5:25, 5:17 and 5:11 left to play.

It was jarring to some, who asked, essentially, why so soon? It was reasonable enough to others, who figured that there wasn’t a whole big bunch of difference between getting the ball back with 4:13 left and no timeouts (as Reid did) or getting it back with 2:23 left and three timeouts (which is what likely would have happened had Reid waited).

Again, this was Reid’s 12th season as a Head Coach. That’s more than a decade of similar timeout screwjobs. But it’s never been solely about his timeout (mis-)usage, as simply getting plays called in a timely fashion is incomprehensible to Reid. Week four of this past season against the Redskins perfectly summed up Andy’s ineptitude – but did give us the now classic Walrus-ism “I goofed” – highlighted in The Daily News’ Eaglterian blog:

Reid said he “goofed” on the play at the end of the first half that led to the Eagles taking a delay of game penalty.

He said the team had a play called for inches and that when they got to the play it was more like a yard.

“That’s my fault,” Reid said. “I’m trying to explain the thought process on it and that’s where I’m going to end it. We had the play called for inches and inches weren’t inches when that thing were started … The position of the ball wasn’t where we thought. From where it was originally was and where it ended up being were two different spots. That’s my responsibility. I’m not here to complain about the officials. I’m not here to complain about anybody else. I goofed.”

Replays showed Kevin Kolb walking on the field with the play clock at 11 seconds remaining.

“I wasn’t surprised that the clock was moving,” Reid said. “I was surprised with how quick it was moving with when it was started with the spot.”

(The aforementioned) Mike Lombardi wrote a phenomenal piece at the National Football Post, naming Andy Reid the NFL’s worst game manager, following a particularly ugly loss at home to the Raiders in 2009. Read it, and you’ll agree(****)… piss-poor clock management is yet another reason to Fire The Walrus.

(****)Even if Lombardi doesn’t, though that was 2009.

NOT-SO BREAKING NEWS: The Devil Speaks, Puts Hoof In Mouth

February 17, 2011

Wow! Just… WOW!

Joe Banner The Devil continued his annual visit from the depths of Hell and boy, did he not disappoint… even taking calls from fans (though I’m sure screened) on 610 WIP with that weasel Burger King host of theirs(*). His rhetoric was the same as usual and, in typical Banner-fashion, he unleashed a sound bite that does nothing but insult the intelligence of Eagles fans.

(*)Full Disclosure: I LOATHE that rat-fink, phony, closet-Cowgirls fan Eskin. Even his beard couldn’t sway me…

Via Les Bowen’s recap of the interview on (I’ll spare you having to listen to that infuriating piece of radio):

In perhaps his toughest rhetorical challenge, Banner tried to assert that the six-time Super Bowl champion Steelers, who have appeared in three of the last six Super Bowls and won two of them, really aren’t any more successful than the Eagles on balance, because they haven’t made the playoffs nine of the last 11 years, or been to five conference championship games in the last decade, the way the Eagles have.

What the fuck?!!?!

I still haven’t been able to peel my jaw off of the floor after reading that…. Read it again. Doesn’t it infuriate you? Doesn’t a statement like that give you the impression that Joe Banner The Devil thinks Eagles fans are morons? Guess what Joey, we weren’t born yesterday.

If anything, that statement proves a point I’ve been trying to make since Banner ascended from his role as “Cap Specialist” to a position of real power in the organization: This guy doesn’t know one thing about football. Not one.

The Billionaire was a casual football fan who happened to have enough money(**) to buy a football team and – rather than hire a real “football guy” – put his best friend, Banner, into a position to be making actual personnel decisions. It was one thing to negotiate contracts and manage the cap, but to actually be making football decisions? And even worse, The Devil spawned off his little Beelzebub-sidekick, Howie, who has even less experience, yet somehow more power than Banner did when he first started. This isn’t a Front Office… it’s an Alpha Epsilon Pi clubhouse.

(**)Though I’m saying that in the loosest of terms.

How can any reasonably intelligent person with at least some knowledge of football say that? It’s literally insane. Right?

Well, as I mentioned yesterday in Whisker Wednesday, you must read between the lines with The Devil, and between those lines (as usual with Banner) is money.

Via Forbes’ annual NFL Team Evaluations (as of August 2010): The Eagles are worth $1.119 Billion (7th overall). The Steelers are worth $996 Million (17th overall). The Eagles total revenue for the 2009 season was $260 Million (5th overall). The Steelers total revenue for the 2009 season was $243 Million (14th overall). The Eagles Operating Income (the money The Billionaire pocketed) for the 2009 season was $34.7 Million (13th). The Steelers Operating Income for the 2009 season was $17.9 Million (24th overall).

So, yes, by The Devil’s logic the Eagles are more successful than the Steelers. But, in the real world, where you and I – the people who live and die with every snap, who bleed Eagles green, who PAY MONEY (and sometimes more than they should) to support the team they love as much as family – live and have to take crap from other teams fans for the comments our inconsiderate team president made on a shitty sports talk radio show, Super Bowl wins matter. Not money. Just rings. And we still have none.

We just have The Gold Standard… 2.0!

And Now For Something Completely Different… A Momentary Departure from The Walrus

February 17, 2011

Protesting – whether non-violent or otherwise – seems to be all the rage these days. From Cairo to Bahrain, Iraq and Iran, Libya – even in Wisconsin and Ohio – the people are sticking it the man.

Of course, these protests are based on civil and liberal rights, political and religious freedoms, and – in the case of U.S. teachers – a better collective bargaining agreement. But we’re about to see something very similar in the NFL… just, you know, without the violence and tragedy(*).

(*)Though Panther’s owner Jerry Richardson seems game.

The looming labor war/lockout/work stoppage/whatever you want to call it, is getting nasty. There are owners taking shots at star players (see the aforementioned Richardson), talks breaking because the owners didn’t like the Union’s initial proposal, the Union threatening to decertify, the owners calling their bluffs… all the while, the man at the center of it all, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, seems pleased to simply fan the flames, rather help than put out the fire.

Sure, he released an op-ed this week urging both sides to come together and reach an agreement – or, at least, a starting point in the negotiations. But how much of that was truly sincere and how much was a public relations ploy? I’m not saying that Union President DeMaurice Smith is any better – he’s not – but at least he’s being consistent in his mud-slinging politicking. Goodell simply talks out of both sides of his mouth.

His stance on player safety and concussions was marginalized by the push for an 18-game schedule. The player conduct policy – and its precedents for punishment – was turned on its head with his Brett Favre-sexual harassment ruling. He claims he desperately wants a labor deal in place, but everything the league does seems to throw water on that. He is entirely untrustworthy and the past 12 months have made him look like nothing more than a snake oil salesman. I am convinced that Goodell is setting himself up to one day have a gig in politics. Like many high-profile attorneys, a role like commissioner is a major steppingstone into the political world. He even posses the ideal characteristics and attributes to make him the perfect, sleazy politician.

When Goodell took over the role of commissioner, he clearly wanted to put his own stamp on the league and take the NFL to new heights. He has, in terms of television ratings and net revenue. Hell the league and Union are arguing over how to split more than $9 billion. But the NFL’s most important priority should be the fans, and that is just not a part of Goodell’s MO. The impending lockout is ludicrous. The league is printing money, hand over fist and Goodell’s (nor Smith’s) stubbornness should not be a factor in the equation. He is there to represent the owners and bridge the gap between management and players. Why does it always seem like he is driving a stake between the two?

Meanwhile, Jerry Jones builds a billion dollar palace monstrosity – better known as Jerry World – simply for the gratification of hosting a Super Bowl and being the envy of all other owners. Sure, fans feel like they’re sitting in the comfort of their own living rooms, watching the game being played in front of them on the world’s largest TV, but the whole thing reeks of overindulgence, ego and greed. Then of course there’s the whole temporary seating snafu during the Super Bowl, which left Jones with egg all over his face(**) and the league with a black eye. Guess what Jerry… much like your face, your stadium turned out to be a superficial disaster.

(**)As opposed to the usual botox and surgical bandages.

The safety of the fans, spectators and executives that filled those Super Bowl seats didn’t matter to Jones – much like the fans don’t matter to the league now. Jerry Jones’ only concern was the number 103,220 – one more than the current (and still standing) Super Bowl attendance record. That insignificant and meaningless number could only be used to brag to the other 31 NFL owners – presumably while they sit around a gold and diamond-plated conference table, dining on Lobster and extinct Dodo Bird eggs, smoking cigars rolled by Castro himself – and is completely meaningless to fans. And so is the labor battle.

The NFL – as it stands today – is no longer concerned with annual traditions like the Scouting Combine, the Draft, Free Agency or Minicamps… It’s all about legalities, decertification and litigiousness. Lockouts, work stoppages and bitter disputes held in a court of law, not on a playing field. And who’s the big loser in all of this? Me and you. The fans. The customers. The gamblers, the gamers and the fantasy players. The loyal devotees of the greatest sport known to man (sorry Baseball fans).

Sure, the owners or the players may lose out on a few bucks here or there… but what about the average fan making $50,000 a year who shells out a minimum of $1,200 on tickets alone (before you throw in parking, concessions, etc.) – two of which are meaningless pre-season games (at full price)? Where’s our relief? Why does the division of our hard-earned cash and ad-generated television revenue need to be fought over publicly like two fats kids fighting over the last Nestle Crunch bar?

Guess what NFL… you owe us, not the other way around. Figure out how to split the pie (which doesn’t stop growing, by the way) and get on with the 2011 offseason. The longer this drags on, the closer we get to missing actual games, the worse off the fans are.

All across the globe, a blueprint for “justice” is being laid out. The people are speaking and, in time, the powers that be will eventually listen. Even Mubarak. Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith better start listening(***).

(***)Please note that that was tongue-in-cheek and in no way am I encouraging an NFL fan uprising. I’m just saying… it’s becoming an interesting trend.