Tag Archives: Andy reid

The Eagles Love To Torture Me

I hate the Eagles.

I remember when the New York Giants lost to the Philadelphia Eagles 10-7 years ago on a Brian Westbrook punt return for a touchdown. I remember looking the television at Champps in Columbia, Maryland a if someone had just jumped up and roundhouse kicked me in the testicles and I was in so much pain that I couldn’t move, speak or anything. I remember walking to work afterwards in the most demoralized state that I had ever been in.

It was worse than the 39-38 loss in the playoffs to San Francisco where we blew a 24 point lead the previous year because this was a divisional rival and that loss began a slow painful death to our year. It was the end of the Kerry Collins era when he got injured and was then jettisoned out of town, it was the end of Jim Fassel as we lost the next eight games to finish 4-12 and it was the beginning of my absolute hatred towards the Eagles.

Yeah I know that they’re a divisional rival and the New York and Philly are supposed to hate each other, but I always had mutual respect for Philadelphia. This goes back to my old adage of how parents shape your sports life, well my mom at a point in my lifetime loved Randall Cunningham and how he darted through defenses in those pls green, grey and white uniforms just thrashing people and leaving linebackers wondering what happened. So I started liking the Eagles a little because of Randall and his unorthodox style of play (side note: another reason why fatherless homes suck, you get confused in your sports allegiances. Had I had my dad around he would’ve slapped some sense into me and told me that he would disown me if I like the Eagles in any way. You know like how I will if my kid ever wears an Islanders, Michigan or Red Sox jersey).

If it really is deja vu, then the Giants season will take the same turn it did in 03 after Westbrook's return.

Besides I hated everyone else in the division that had to be hated. The Cowboys and Redskins were like chopped liver to me and I want Troy Aikman and Darrell Green to die more than Reggie White or Keith Byars. My thinking was that since I hated those two I might as well like the Eagles because they have to play them like the Giants did, so I made my mom and i happy.

Then, well the Eagles got better than the Giants and I got older and began to learn regional rivalries. You can’t like the Eagles, their off-limits like every other team in your division. You have to hate them it’s only natural. I mean the Packers fans can’t like the Lions because it’s not a rivalry but it’s an interdivisional matchup. How crappy would you feel if the Lions made the playoffs thanks to a win over the Packers and they missed out on the playoffs? Exactly.

(the sad part about this is that living in Maryland totally jaded this rule to so many people. Starting about 2007 there were so many people claiming that they liked the Orioles and the Red Sox that I want to drown myself in the harbor. People gave me the same answer over and over “I like the Red Sox a lot but I’m still an o’s fan… Um no you’re not. 1. You couldn’t name one Neil Diamond song, 2. You have no Boston ties except maybe in seafood and 3. You never, ever, say that a team in your own division means just as much to you as the team you grew up with. Thats like if my buddy Scully said to me that he liked the Nats now but not if they play his Phillies… I would hit him with a skillet.)

So as Donovan McNabb and gang green rolled to 4 NFC title games and a Super Bowl I had to deal with the fumble brothers Kerry and Tiki, the beginning of the Eli era and Will Allen an Will Peterson who I still loathe to this day.

Then came my moment of glory, 2008 and the Giants Super Bowl win. Scully and my other Eagles buddy Andrew always try to discredit that win by saying Eli’s a bum the Giants got lucky and other phrases I’ve heard day in and out in my life, but all I did was point to my shirt and say that Donovan couldn’t do it in 4 and Eli did it in 1. I had all the material I needed. There wasn’t a thing that any Eagles fan could say to me about the Giants. I dont care about the 2008 playoffs loss. The fact that we got swept last year or anything. The Eagles got nothing on us… Until yesterday.

That 38-31 loss was the most heartbreaking loss of my life. Yes I understand the Yankees lost a 3-0 lead in 2004 an the Rangers blew a 3-1 lead against the Caps two years ago but like the 2003 Eagles loss those were slow painful deaths. This was at the alter about to get married having the band playing for ten minutes while waiting for your bride to come out, which she obviously won’t, bad.

We had the division wrapped up, a first round bye and legitimate Super Bowl shot all wrapped up and we threw it in the fire. I’ve never seen a football team collapse the way that we did and of all places it had to happen to me while I was in Boston on a personal holiday. It was almost the ballbuster of the trip, thank god Elizabeth was sitting next to me so I couldn’t go into full meltdown mode and she would think i was a nut.

Here’s all you need to know; the Giants absolutely dominated 52 minutes and 30 seconds of this game. We kept Mike Vick in check, stopped any big DeSean Jackson plays and threw all over the Eagles defense. It was 31-10 after Eli threw his 4th TD of the game and it was over, I told Liz it was over I even sent Scully and Andrew messages mocking that stupid E-A-G-L-E-S chant. I was thinking about the Packers next week and how we get the number two seed in the NFC… then this ridiculousness happened.

At 7:38 in the fourth quarter Vick hot tight end for a 70 yard touchdown because Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell stayed aggressive with a 21 point lead and Kenny Phillips tried to make a big play and failed miserably. 31-17 G-men. No problem.

Then the Eagles recover an onside kick, understandable… EXCEPT OUR SPECIAL TEAMS COACH DIDN’T HAVE THE HANDS UNIT OUT JUST IN CASE A TEAM DOWN BY 14 POINTS MIGHT WANT TO TRY AN ONSIDE KICK THIS LATE IN THE GAME!!!!!

(side note: my buddy Tara always says Scully and I should have our own ESPN show, I disagree because of games like these. Can you imagine me doing a show after this game? I’d get fined or fired because I would rip everyone in a series of f bombs.)

You think I was ticked, try talking to him.

What happens Vick makes a great play on third down because, again, Fewell takes another risk an fails. Three plays later Vick runs it in to cut the lead to 31-24.

At this point I’m not even paying attention to anything Liz is sitting there probably thinking I’m going blow a gasket. He told me her dad gets like that during Browns games so she probably was having a flashback. Poor girl.

Giants get the ball back and I’m praying we get first downs. We get one which leads to this new great moment in the play calling history of Kevin Gilbride: run on first down, pass play on second down which gets us an offside call, run, pass play, sack… ok WHY THROW THE BALL WHEN YOU RUN THE BALL AND KILL CLOCK AND MAKE THE EAGLES USE TIMEOUTS?!?!?! The pass plays cost us clock and a penalty. If we run the ball we kill the clock, game over done. Instead the Eagles get the ball with 3 minutes left.

After forcing another third down Vick runs 30 yards for a first down because Aaron Ross over plays him instead of containing him (at one point I wanted an Aaron Ross jersey, I’m glad I never got it). The two minute warning hits and Liz goes to call her mom, she’s seen this picture before apparently. One minute left Vick to Maclin, touchdown, tied game… Shoot me.

So instead of it being tied with seconds left, which should’ve happened if Gilbride had common sense, there’s a minute left, the Giants are so discombobulated we get nothing an get sacked with 14 seconds left.

Now the ridiculous part… Let me tell you how scared I am when Matt Dodge punts the ball, Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween scared. He’s terrible, I’ve watched him punt this year, league’s worst punter hands down… And he’s kicking to DeSean Jackson… Tom Coughlin tells him do what even Helen Keller knows to do in this situation with a guy like Jackson back there, kick the ball out of bounds. Easy right? He’s a punter, it’s his job, what does he do… Kicks the damn ball directly to Jackson… I’m not making this up.

As he returns the ball up the sidelines I immediately thought of the Westbrook return and how it killed our season in 2003. I knew our season was done, we won’t make the playoffs with two road games left, we won’t recover from this. The damn Eagles did it to me again. They ruined a promising season where the Giants should be going to the playoffs as a two seed and home field advantage. Instead we won’t make the playoffs it’s done.

38-31 Eagles win. When Liz came back she tried to console which led to me going into the bathroom and cursing Matt Dodge and his mother to hell. Of course this happens in Boston and I’m sure Scully, Andrew and every pats fan got a kick out of it.

The Eagles are now more hated in my house than the Cowboys or Redskins ever will be. They’re secondary to the Eagles who continue to torment me. Westbrook, McNabb, and now Jackson. If my mom or anyone influences my kid to like the Eagles I’m jumping off of a cliff.

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McNabb: A Play

I guess Shanahan is MacBeth to McNabb's Banquo, look close and you can see the kinfe.

And now I present to you a piece of a new play I’m writing. A tale about talent, time and torture, the story of a man that is strong in will and leadership but is done in by his graceful persona and meekness. Ladies an gentlemen I give you MCNABB:

Act 1, scene 1:
(the three witches. Loria, Reid and Owens sit calmly outside of The Linc in Philadelphia. Their eyes fixed on their television screens eyeing the moves of McNabb and his associate Shanahan. Owens laughs at the misfortunes of the man he once considered his friend while Reid and Loria ponder McNabb’s misfortune)

Witches: double double toil and trouble, Fedex burns and Dan Snyder bubbles. Wicked man Shanahan turns all the wheels while Donovan paces with wounds yet to heal.

Owens: soft man McNabb winner of zero, without my aid he wouldve never been a hero. Look at Philly thrives in his departure, his is just a novice while Vick is the archer.

Reid: oh dear brother I stood by at war, when words pierced us together an we fell on our swords. I benched thee in the same fashion of the present. Though Rex Grossman in my eyes would never have left my bench kid.

Loria: I gave unto thee riches never seen before Snyder made player contracts obscene. I traded thee to a familiar circumstance with no weapons, no receivers and nary a chance.

Witches: we see you again and again you are down, but now at 34 are you down for the count. New contract at hand but the future is dim. Dear friend we fear your time is at end.

Scene 2:
(Donovan sits next to Albert Haynesworth contemplating what to do next after another debilitating setback that has lessened his influence as an excellent quarterback and now brings him more doubters.)

Albert: cardiovascular endurance huh? I would love to hear his excuse for me.

Shanahan believes Rex runs the offense better, or is he hiding the truth?

Donovan: wouldn’t we all.

A: you have to speak out against these demons with huge egos. How can a man that was fired after it was clear that he couldn’t lead a team without a superstar quarterback tell us that Rex Grossman is a better fit for out team? Did he not see how terrible he was in Chicago?

D: indeed it is troubling. But I have been here before with Owens, and Limbaugh. With follies overtime rules, which are dumb to begin with, and the lack of a ring. This is nothing new to me. Nor will it get old.

A: time and time again Donovan you have handled these failures of judgement of character with grace and humility. You are one of the best men in the league and yet you are constantly disgraced. It’s not your fault we have no receivers, no run game or no direction. The shanahan’s are merely deflecting blame to save their name.

D: indeed but who cares we’ll be rid of them next year with I in Minnesota and you with Giants.

A: hopefully. I would say I shouldn’t have left Tennessee but you see that mess.

D: indeed.

Scene 3:
(Dan Snyder throws money in every direction in ignorance. He’s currently wondering about the price of possible free agents Jon Kitna, Brian Westbrook and even aging defensive end Kyle Vandenbosch… there is no dialogue just imagine the stupidity and the possible amount of money that Snyder is about to waste on aging players… Again.)

Scene 4:
(the shanahan’s Kyle and Mike comb over their evil plots of self-absorbency of their egos and their plots of showing their power)

Mike: we’ve finally rid ourselves of Donovan McNabb.

Kyle: an excellent play dad of putting every blame on the aging moor when in reality injuries have decimated us, we’re on our fifth different running back and my play calling had been atrocious.

M: yes. Deflecting blame is what I do best. Yes this is partly my personnel and I did want McNabb here, but I can’t take blame for this mess. These players will understand that I am in charge if I have to cut or bench everyone. This is my team and my rules. I care not that I gave McNabb nothing to work with or that he has a bad offensive lone that could block a soccer ball. You play by my ridiculous rules and if you cant comply with my ridiculousness then sit down.

K: thank you father for sparing me in this process. I have pathetic in my practice especially in that Giants game two weeks ago were I looked like a moron. You saved me from all harm dad.

(Our act ends with McNabb riding the bench looking as stoic as ever, waiting patiently for his time in Washington to be done. A shadow emerges in the form of Zigi Wilf and a message reads “come to minnesota” and McNabb heeds the warning and plans his escape north.

Shanahan watches as Grossman fumbles and trips over himself and the Redskins begin the descend deeper into mediocrity while Dan Snyder talks about adding the Panthers Steve Smith to his team for 100 million dollars, again past his prime. Shanahan can no longer place blame, but he can’t take it either so he steps down a year later as does his son.

Haynesworth moves to New York for a million dollars and explodes for thirteen sacks and another huge deal as the Giants become the most dominate team in the league. How the next act will play out is anyone’s guess. One thing is for sure, this has been one big comedy of errors.)


Shanahan’s Trick Trumps The Redskins Treat

Shanahan's comments about Donovan McNabb are beyond ridiculous.

I’ve heard of a lot of crazy things from NFL coaches in my lifetime. I’ve heard Lovie Smith continually say that Rex Grossman was his quarterback for months, even though Rex couldn’t hold on to his jock strap without losing it. I’ve heard Andy Reid call his quarterback situation a blessing when it really is a huge curse. I’ve heard Ken Whisenhunt say that Derek Anderson is the perfect man for his offense ( somewhere Matt Leinart is still laughing at that one)…

But there is nothing dumber than what I heard from Redskins coach Mike Shanahan when discussing why he benched Donovan McNabb with less than two minutes and the Redskins down only 6 points yesterday at Detroit in favor of the aforementioned Grossman. Shanahan claimed that Grossman had a better grasp of the two minute offense and gave the Redskins a better chance to win than McNabb… Um, what?

You mean the same quarterback that was cold coming off of the bench that hasn’t played a live snap in two years? You mean the same quarterback who lost his job in Chicago to Brian Griese? You mean he gave the Skins a better chance to win over the six time pro bowler who lead the Eagles to four straight NFC title games and a Super Bowl and that you paid a hefty price for to acquire from Philadelphia? Really Mike… REALLY??!!

Now let me ask Mike Shanahan a question, do any of us from spectators to Skins fans look that stupid? Apparently so in his eyes. Because after Grossman fumbled away the game to Ndamukong Suh and the Lions finished off the Skins 37-25, there was Shanahan feeding the football world his trash. Unfortunately for McNabb he’s seen this episode before.

This is the second time that McNabb has been pulled from a game due to ” performance” in his career and for the second time it leaves you scratching your head as to why.

In Philadelphia he was pulled by Reid for Kevin Kolb at Halftime of a game versus Baltimore where the Eagles were only down by 3 points. Reid’s reasoning was that he felt the offense needed a spark and he pit Kolb in to do so… against the best defense of the decade. The Eagles then got blown out.

However that was different than this benching in the sense that McNabb and Reid had a history, Shanahan has no history with McNabb at all. What he did was undermine his quarterback and basically his entire team.

What kind of message do you send to your team when you bench your starting quarterback late in a game where you need one score to tie and you’re in the thick of a divisional race? Call me crazy but not a good one.

Unfortunately McNabb is used to this.

For once in his career I just Donovan to go off on someone like they properly deserve. It seems as though every year McNabb is in the center of some type o controversy and always takes the high road like a true professional. Just once I want him to rear back an let some venom fly onto the individuals who continuously put him in a bad situation. Instead he calmly addresses the situation after it’s over an moves on. He’s a better man than I would’ve been.

The worst part of the whole situation is that the Redskins now have a bye week to let this whole story stew before the Eagles come to Fedex Field on the 15th. That means two weeks of stories, analysis, questions and no answers.

Shanahan says McNabb will stay his starter, but for how long? What about that contract extension McNabb sought after? Why would he want to stay after this incident? Also you have to wonder about the ever present Haynesworth situation. Maybe his behavior towered Shanahan wasn’t his fault after all. Maybe Shanahan brought that tension on by himself just like the McNabb situation.

Just what the Redskins and their fans needed, more uncertainty about their team. They tried to create an identity for themselves with the acquisition of Donovan McNabb and now at 4-4, an improvement over season, they still seem to be stuck in the same position as last year.

In the NFC 4-4 is good enough to stay on the playoff hunt. However, you have to wonder with Mike Shanahan’s decision making how much longer they’ll be there. If any of his decisions are as bad as the McNabb benching then not very long.