Tag Archives: Philadelphia Eagles

Glory Hallelujah! The Philadelphia Eagles ARE Contenders!

(Full analysis of the additions to the Eagles are upcoming, but they are so active right now, it would be silly to make one now.)

First, stop with the Miami Heat comparisons. If they were EL HEAT Tom Brady, Adrian Peterson, and Andre Johnson would’ve set up their contracts so they could’ve been free agents and taken their talents to South Philadelphia.  I also don’t like the whole “Dream Team” nickname because the Philadelphia Eagles still have holes they need to fill and problems they need to address (more on that in a bit). And as far as Rob Ryan’s comments on the Eagles, it’s just another reason for me to hate the Cowboys.  (Seriously, I hate them.  They’re like Yankees fans.  They live in Scranton, Pennsylvania and don’t like sports until they see how many championships the Cowboys won. Then they’re the biggest die-hard fans ever, but will never visit Cowboy Stadium.  Stop, you’re an embarrassment to your region and a front-running-fraudulent-counterfeit-fake-pseudo-false fan.) The only reason Ryan even got attention for that is his cooler and better coach brother Rex.  Did you know who Rob Ryan was until Rex stepped on the scene? Probably not. Let Cullen Jenkins’ tweet sum up everything about Rob Ryan. Thank you for letting me vent.

It’s been 60 years since the Eagles last championship and seven years since their last trip to the Super Bowl. You know the Super Bowl where Number 5 was caught throwing up in the huddle during the last minute drive against the New England Patriots.  The final score ended up being 24-21 and the Eagles didn’t sniff the Super Bowl for four years until they lost to the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Championship game in 2008. Philadelphia has had to endure the yelling and pundit hatred towards the city because of their lack of love for McNabb and their demeanor overall.  Notice no matter how well the Eagles do in free agency, no one says anything nice about the city.  You’ll never hear Darryl “Moose” Johnston say how “Great of a city Philadelphia is to play in.”  Since that 2008 season, it’s been two first round knockouts, one to the Dallas Cowboys and the other to Green Bay Packers, a quarterback change that resurrected Michael Vick’s career, and a full revolution on the offensive and defensive side.  It’s the first year since the 2004 season that the Eagles are serious contenders for the Super Bowl. And in a weaker NFC, who can stop them?

If someone was to ask me five years ago that the Philadelphia Eagles were going to be major players in a free agency year and actually committed to their plan of going “all-in” I would’ve said you’re crazy.  Eagles owner, Jeffrey Lurie, who has overpaid free agents (Jason Peters), is notoriously cheap on players who are on the wrong side of 30.  However this year, their three biggest pick-ups (Cullen Jenkins, Jason Babin, and Nnamdi Asomugha) are all over 30.  Those three signings fixed the defensive line and officially blocked off whatever side of the field Asomugha plays.  (Within in the next week I’ll have a post on why Asomugha is BETTER than Darrelle Revis.) They traded their best asset in Kevin Kolb for a second round pick and Dominique Rogers-Cromartie, a younger and more physical coverage cornerback, a change from Asante Samuel who jumps routes, but gets beat by the double move a lot.  The reason for abandoning one of the best coverage corners in the NFL; to help out the defensive line.  The longer receivers are covered, the easier it makes it on the defensive line to break through and get to the quarterback. It’s going to be tough to matchup with the Eagles this year. However, it’s not all good.  Casey Matthews, a fourth-round pick out of Oregon, is their starting middle linebacker, but he’s not ready yet and the Eagles could use a safety.  But as active as the Eagles are in free agency, I have to wait to analyze how they’ll match up against other teams.

The Eagles offense is going to put up points. They put up a franchise record 27.4 points per game last year and only have improved their offense. They drafted an offensive guard in Danny Watkins and are on their way to fixing the problems that had them knocked out last year.  They have taken steps to improve their defense and on paper it looks like they have done a great job.  But there are still more holes to fill so Eagles fans don’t jump ahead yet. Just enjoy the ride for now. More to come later

 

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Happy Father’s Day: Benny the “Mush”

For Father’s Day I bought my dad two books: Sniper One and Seal Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper.  To call him a history and military buff would be an understatement.  It’s more of an obsession.  He can look at a weapon on TV and diagnose: who invented it, what its advantages are (for example, the M4 is used in Iraq because it’s small, allowing for better maneuverability in urban environments), how it’s loaded, and when it was first used. He watches two stations, the Military Channel and the USA Network so he can watch reruns of his favorite show N.C.I.S.  (His favorite character is Ziva because she’s from the Israeli Mossad.).  He’ll sit on the couch for hours calling out every weapon and tactic the military uses and how “they have a plane that on radar comes up as a seagull!” However, if I was to ask him, “Dad, who do you think the Eagles should pick up in free agency this year?” He’d answer, “Who?” For that, he has earned his title of “Benny the Mush.” Why; because the Sports Gods are vengeful.

Big Ben is 6’3” and 325 pounds of intimidating muscle.  He is covered in tattoos from head-to-toe but not in a way that makes it look overdone, it’s strange but it flows well (don’t tell my mother I said that) and it makes him unique and distinguishable from everyone else. His voice, as deep as James Earl Jones and as raspy as Louie Armstrong, can’t be described as talking but as barking.  He was a truck driver for 30 years and now works for the township where we live and he’ll let you know every chance he gets. “Chazz, I’ve been working for 37 years straight. No layoffs.” It’s commendable and rare, especially with the job market and fluctuations in the economy.  If I was 12 and I wrote this I’d say he’s the man who eats nails for breakfast with no milk and watches John Wayne movies because no is as manly as  “THE DUKE!” Hearing this description you would expect to hear stories of us sharing Sundays taking turns screaming at Andy Reid or buying ticket packages to go see the “Four Aces” take on the world, but that won’t happen because Big Ben doesn’t watch sports.

It’s a strange dynamic, especially since most of what my dad’s interests are didn’t rub off on me as much as it did on him.   I really only watch sports and movies (this week I’m dedicating a post to “Why Johnny Depp is Overrated.” Trust me, my argument’s too solid.).  Except for my friend Bean, none of my other friends understand what it’s like.  My friend Bobby has watched every Eagles game with his dad and if he’s at the game, calls every time they score a touchdown. It’s cheesy, but that’s what sports do.  Although it is basically a stereotype that all fathers and sons have to share sports experiences, it does have an aroma that can’t fulfilled by going to the movies or taking a trip to the beach.  But does it bother me? No, not at all because I watch enough for the both of us.  What bothers me is that I haven’t figured out a way of getting rid of his title as the “Mush.”

The balance of sports is delicate.  If it is broken, abused, or misused in any way then the Gods come with a vengeance that makes what Liam Neeson did in “Taken” look like nothing more than just a guy politely asking some people if he could have his daughter back. Big Ben is a textbook “Mush.” What specifically is a that? It has been applied to betting and sports but in short, a “Mush” is someone who ruins everything they are associated with.  For example, if a “Mush” attends a Phillies game, you might as well leave after the sixth inning because they are not going to win.  Any chance of a positive outcome for a situation you are striving for instantly becomes mush.  For a real life example, the Philadelphia Flyers finished last in the NHL in points in 2007. How? Big Ben took me to the Thrashers-Flyers game right before they went on that 10 game losing streak. It solidified his standing as a “Mush.”

What are the criteria for becoming a “Mush?”

  1. The most recent games you have watched have been overwhelmingly losses. Losing streaks happen, but absolute anarchy means there are higher spirits at work.
  2. A falsified interest in something.  If you didn’t watch the NBA Finals, don’t tell your coworkers, “I don’t understand why Erik Spoelstra won’t adjust his game plan.” The Sports Gods are intelligent; they take that as an insult.
  3. Denial. No one wants to be known as the “Mush” just like Johnny Depp doesn’t want to be known as “overrated.” But it’s the first step in recovery.  Accepting it allows the “Mush” to open up to the mercy of the Sports Gods (or in Johnny Depp’s case, accepting that he plays the same role in every movie.).

 Everyone has a “Mush” in their group and there isn’t anything less enjoyable than knowing your team has no chance.  It’s like hearing the ending of a movie you wanted to see badly.  Yeah you’ll like it, but what could’ve been a personal top 10 movie becomes as impactful as “Balls of Fury.” (For me, I’m talking “Black Swan” and “The Sixth Sense.”)  There are only a few ways to appease the Sports Gods and save your city and franchises from the curse of the “Mush.” The most effective way is sacrificing them by completely isolating them in any sports situation.  The Gods will not punish those who don’t watch.  Although it’s not recommended but tricking the Gods works also (but there is no data that it works in the long run).  The team the “Mush” roots for will lose so you this example as a guide. Remember, they are in denial so they think their rooting helps the team.

Mush: Who’s playing?

Fan: The Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants

Mush: Go Eagles!

Fan: *slyly* No! I bet on the Giants!

Mush: Oh, GO GIANTS!

Mission accomplished.

It is a lifelong fight, there are more “Benny the Mushes” than we let on.  It’s a crusade that sports fans will have to deal with forever.  There are ways to circumvent the “Mush” but one thing is for certain, it’s an undesirable title.  I am forever fighting an uphill battle because Big Ben has ACCEPTED his title so I forever have to trick the Sports Gods and sacrifice my standing with them in the afterlife.  If the Philadelphia Eagles win a Super Bowl during my lifetime, it was worth it. (Quick note, if you can’t think of a “Mush” in your group then uhm, you’re it.)

Happy Father’s Day, Dad, thank you for everything.

Blunt Sports Trauma – The Introduction

As with everyone who starts one of these, I say this one has a chance to be big.  I’m from Southern New Jersey (South Jersey from here on out) about six miles outside of Philadelphia.  Yeah, the same Philadelphia where we throw snowballs at Santa (because I haven’t heard that 1000 times already) and where we hit minors who run on the field with tasers. It’s also the same city who has sold out 136 straight Phillies games and finished 3rd in NFL attendance.

Now this web log (I don’t like blog) is going to involve a wide spectrum and how it relates to Philly.  Think of it in terms of what Bill Simmons does, national stories with a Boston bias. That’s what I’m going for.  A focus on sports and how it affects fans from a certain part of the country. So why not the unanimous worst city in sports? Expect stories that range from the Divison race in the AL East to the Philadelphia Eagles hiring an Offensive line coach as their defensive coordinator.

by the way,

I’m Chazz Scogna