Les Bowen read something he didn’t like on the interwebs today. Again. As per the usual, angry beat writer fights modern web practices stories are best told via embeddable widget. To the Storify machine!13 Comments
Less than a year ago, before Chip Kelly even rolled out his fast-paced, high-powered style of a professional football offense, there was a report that referees would not be expected to speed up their own game to keep Kelly’s pace. The report at the time stated:
“League insiders say there are exactly zero indications NFL referees will be willing participants in the Kelly era. The NFL, they say, has a long-standing pace at which they do things between plays and the referees “aren’t going to change just to accommodate someone’s offense,” said Mike Pereira, a former NFL vice president of officiating who is now an analyst for Fox Sports …
Blandino said he has talked to every NFL team coaching staff during the off-season to emphasize that there’s no forcing the issue—the offense will not be able to snap the ball until the referees signals they’re ready.”
And now, as we begin to stare down the start of Kelly’s sophomore effort, the tune has changed. According to an NFL report, officials have been going through a more rigorous “physical assessment” than in previous years, as part of an effort to make sure they can keep up with a faster paced game.
In the NFL.com video, former Eagle and current NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent said this:
“As the game evolves, we also must make sure that (the officials) are evolving as well. You see the likes of coach Kelly and that high-tempo offense. They’re running rapid plays. The ball needs to be spotted rapidly, and we want to make sure that our officials are now also evolving to that pace of our game.”
What a difference only one year, and one extremely high scoring season (a record 11,985 points were scored, with games averaging 46.8 points, the highest average in NFL history), with eight NFL teams averaging scoring drives under three minutes, makes. It’s like the NFL just now realized scoring is good.
via Philly.com5 Comments
If you’re anything like me, you saw a teaser for the news last night that showed a mugshot and promised an “Eagles player” got arrested. You then looked at the mugshot and thought to yourself, “Are they sure he’s an Eagles player?” He is. Kinda.
Keelan Johnson, a safety who spent some time on the practice squad before making the roster for two games and making one tackle, was arrested in Arizona on Saturday after he allegedly “‘violently pushed’ an officer in the chest, causing him to strike his head against a tree.” He’s been charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. So what did the new Philadelphia Eagles, who hate doors and secrets, say about this? “We are disappointed … We are still trying to learn all of the facts.” Among those facts is probably when they can cut all ties with him. Does Friday around 4pm sound good? Although, there’s already no one paying attention to this story, so they can actually do it whenever.6 Comments
Forbes released its list of the most valuable franchises in sports today, and as expected the top three spots are claimed by soccer teams. Real Madrid takes the first spot, Barcelona takes second, and Manchester United took the number three spot. From there, it was basically your usual suspects (Yankees, Cowboys, Dodgers, Patriots, etc.) and a little further down came the Eagles:
#17 Philadelphia Eagles
Value: $1.314 billion
Owner: Jeffrey Lurie
The Eagles are wrapping up a two-year, $125 million renovation of Lincoln Financial Field in time for the 2014 season. Changes include new HD video boards and HD TVs around the stadium, as well as 1,600 new seats.
The Eagles hit the list as the 7th most valuable NFL team (after spending some time as the fifth), but the least valuable team in the NFC East (and I’m fine with being valued below teams owned by noted assholes Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder). The rest of the NFL packs the list, with only the Oakland Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars not making the cut.
Near the bottom of the list, the Phillies come one spot below the SF Giants:
#39 Philadelphia Phillies
Value: $975 million
Owner: Partnership led by David Montgomery
The Phillies signed a new, long-term local television agreement with Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia in January that will begin with the 2016 season and is worth $5 billion, more than twice the team’s current deal with the regional sports network and its over-the-air partner, Philadelphia’s NBC affiliate.
The Philles are the 6th MLB team on the list (behind the Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox, Cubs, and Giants). And even though number six isn’t bad at all, we can also feel good about the Mets’ standing: “The Raiders, New York Mets and Formula 1’s McLaren dropped out of the top 50.” That feels nice.4 Comments
It’s been about 11 months since Hugh Douglas was fired by ESPN for allegedly calling Numbers Never Lie host Michael Smith an “Uncle Tom” while drunk at the National Association of Black Journalists Convention and Career Fair in Orlando. The incident finally made it clear that the National Association of Black Journalists Convention and Career Fair is not the place to call someone an “Uncle Tom.”
Since then, Hugh has kept hush about the whole situation, but he recently spoke about it in the unlikeliest of places: The first episode the Cheap Shots podcast, hosted by former Eagles tight end Luther Broughton (caught 38 passes from 1999-2000) and co-host Micah Warren. According to the Daily News, Hugh told Broughton and Warren that he did not call Smith an “Uncle Tom,” but here’s what happened:
“So, Mike goes up on stage at the House of Blues. Now mind you, House of Blues has cameras, they have a digital feed all around the place. So, Mike was on stage, him and Jemele. And so I’m at the bottom of the stage, banging on the stage, I had just got there. So uh, Mike is on the stage, he’s doing his thing, he’s kind of looking at me, he’s giving me a funny look right. So, I try to go on stage, I did try to go on stage. Again, they told me I couldn’t come on stage. Fine. So I walk away.
So, Mike comes off the stage, and I walk up behind him and I’m like ‘Yo Mike, what’s going on?’ Mike puts his finger in my face and tells me ‘don’t you ever effing do that again.’ So, I laughed right, cause I laughed at first, I laughed. So I’m like ‘who is he talking to? I’m like, who is Mike?’ Cause you know Mike, Mike’s a little, he’s a little sensitive.
He says ‘don’t you ever effing do that again. And so I looked at him and I’m like ‘Mike what’s the matter?,’ and he walks away, so I walked behind him. And I’m like ‘dude, what’s going on?’ So he stopped and he’s talking to this young lady. So I walk up to Michael and I whisper in his ear. I said ‘Mike don’t you ever talk to me like that again, because I will beat your M F’ing A.’ Just like that.”
Hugh also claims he was not drunk, but the event was “certainly a party atmosphere.” So, there you have it. Hugh Douglas, fired for allegedly calling Michael Smith an “Uncle Tom,” instead claims he just told him he’d “beat [Smith's] motherfucking ass.” Which is also most definitely a fireable offense.
The entire podcast can be heard after the jump.11 Comments
Buzz Bissinger wrote the cover story for Philly Mag this month. It’s about Nick Foles, who didn’t want to be interviewed, at all, for the piece. So, Bissinger went to Foles’ hometown in Texas, dug up tax records and SEC filings, spoke with Foles’ friends and former teammates, and painted a picture of Foles’ humble demeanor and privileged existence. I told you this guy was hard to blog about:
The truth was, Nick Foles was something of a nerd, a guy who hung around with a small posse of mostly non-football nerds — eggheads, kids who would go on to careers in finance and private equity and engineering. A hot Saturday night was getting together at his house to play video games like Call of Duty, or hanging out at Zilker Park on the shores of Lady Bird Lake. “Dude, come on, you’re the quarterback, go out and have some fun,” high-school teammate Matt Nader pleaded with him, fruitlessly.
He was the kid you wanted dating your daughter, because he would have her home at 9:30 after you said 10. He was socially awkward, with a naive and goofy sense of humor. He dressed as if he had never seen clothes before. His hair was oddly styled in an ersatz pageboy, curling below his ears like a drainage ditch and covering his forehead in uneven wisps, thin grime on a windshield. His face was a cup of Napoleon Dynamite and a tablespoon of golly-gee-willikers and a teaspoon of Gomer Pyle. He tried at school, and even took Latin.
During his senior spring-break trip to Mexico, while most everyone else spent the afternoon recovering from drinking, he jogged, because there was nothing for him to recover from. He threw a football around with a kid from the Austin area. When Nick asked the kid to name his favorite player, he said, “Nick Foles!” But the kid didn’t recognize that he was having a catch with the actual Nick Foles. And Nick Foles was too reticent to tell him.
And, it turns out, Foles was and is rich. His father is a local restaurateur, and Foles attended a high school where the superintendent, principal and athletic director all make six figures. Westlake, it’s where Drew Brees went. Bissinger says that Foles may have come from the richest family of any player in the NFL:
His high-school teammate Matt Nader tells me that the best way to assess the rising fortunes of the Foles family was by observing the improvements made to their house over the years. The 6,708-square-foot mini-mansion, with a pool and spa, is in the winding Candylandesque hills off Westlake Drive, at the end of a cul-de-sac in an upscale housing development where even the flower petals fluttering onto the Elysian lawns look purposely placed. Currently assessed at $1.5 million, it was hardly a rancher when the Foles family bought it in the late ’90s. But over the years, the basement was finished and a new garage was put in, according to Travis County appraisal records. Then came the uncovered deck and a first-floor porch almost the entire length of the house.
I am sure Foles is just thrilled with that creepily detailed description of his family’s house. But Bissinger did an outstanding job painting a picture of Foles based on his own observations and third-person accounts. I highly recommend you read the piece when you have 15-20 minutes to spare. And yet, Bissinger, after undoubtedly hours of research (and travel) that went into the very well-written piece, concludes by taking the hackiest shot imaginable at Foles. It’s so hacky that I’m still not sure if I’m missing an obvious mocking of the naysayers. I don’t think I am. You decide:
But unless he stops being chickenshit and goes into the middle, he will never guide the Eagles to the place that only tantalizes us. We are tired, Nick. We are already dependent on you. So man up to be the man.
Sidle up to a bar on the road and order a slug of single malt, not a double shot of milk. It’s okay to address LeSean McCoy as “Shady” instead of “Sir Shady.” Don’t ever publicly say again that your favorite movie is The Lion King.
Acolytes get to heaven. Strut gets you to the Super Bowl.
What a weirdly abrupt ending to a good story.27 Comments
Athletes have birthday weekends, not birthdays, and LeSean McCoy is keeping that trend alive. After buying himself a Rolls-Royce, last night he celebrated his birthday, or the Royce, or just his general greatness, at Vision Bar with special guest Nelly. Tonight, a white party on the Battleship New Jersey, and that’ll be after a celebrity basketball game at Neumann College (has a less cool sentence ever been written?) that advertises attendance by DeSean Jaccson, Michael Vick, Victor Cruz, Dion Waiters, Bobby Valentino, Bernard Hopkins and Allen Iverson.* Me thinks that getting even 40% of those people out to Neumann College on a summer Saturday has about as much of a chance of happening as DeSean displaying a modicum of humility.
McCoy’s multiple celebrations supposedly benefit ALS through his Shades of Greatness Foundation, which, at least in 2012, donated $71k to families in need in Harrisburg. That’s in stark contrast to Jaccpot’s charity, which, according to its most recently available tax filing, has never made any charitable contribution but spent $27k advertising and promoting events that only raised $16k.
There are more pictures of McCoy’s party with Nelly. Where dey at? Where dey at? They’re after the jump. Continue reading15 Comments
Well, they aren’t 7th and 9th on the list, but if you look at the odds only, I’m pretty sure my math is at least arguably on point: Bovada LV has released their NFL MVP odds for this coming season, and the top sixteen players are listed below:
Peyton Manning 3/1
Drew Brees 11/2
Aaron Rodgers 15/2
Tom Brady 9/1
Andrew Luck 16/1
Jay Cutler 20/1
Matthew Stafford 20/1
Colin Kaepernick 25/1
Cam Newton 25/1
Russell Wilson 25/1
Robert Griffin III 25/1
LeSean McCoy 25/1
Adrian Peterson 25/1
Calvin Johnson 25/1
Matt Ryan 33/1
Nick Foles 40/1
The only players with better odds than McCoy are Manning, Brees, Rodgers, Brady, Luck, Cutler, and Stafford. Among those, I’d probably bump those last two down a bit, but hey, I’m not an oddsmaker. Shady is tied at 25/1 odds with Adrian Peterson, Calvin Johnson, and a couple of other quarterbacks. Foles’ 40/1 (and no, that’s not a measurement!) puts him on the list as the QB with the 13th best odds. He’s still “untested” and hasn’t yet shown a full season’s work, but after last year’s performance, I thought he’d at least be higher than Matt Ryan.29 Comments