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Joel Embiid Moonwalks, Wears Sneakers, will not Smile

Today was the 76ers’ media day, and while it was mostly some light stuff — no breaking news or important information or leaked internal Hinkie files came out of it — we got to see Joel Embiid (and many of our other new Sixers) interact with their teammates and the media for the first time. Embiid, for his part, is sticking to being the goofball he’s shown himself to be on Twitter. After walking around in a boot, he switched to sneakers, and showed that he can at least move around a little:

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He even used the Sixers’ iPad-on-a-stick Instagram station, where he called himself “Rihanna’s spirit animal.” I’m probably more excited about this Sixers season than a lot of you guys — and it might even be more of an excitement about the general intangible “future” — so for now I’m happy to see the team be entertaining off the court, because they might not be close to that on the court.

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Your Monday Afternoon Roundup

As always, there’s some other stuff from the weekend that we didn’t get to and you might not have seen.

Let’s hit it!

 

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NRG Energy. Anyone else love their commercial with the old-timey football players who come out to play the Eagles?

 

The roundup:

There is something that has gone mostly unaddressed here, and that’s the conclusion of the Phillies’ season. This is the first season since I believe I was four years old – which was in 1987 – that I didn’t go to a Phillies game. In fact, it’s probably the only season since I was four that I didn’t go to at least four Phillies games. And it’s probably one of only a handful of seasons where I didn’t go to at least 10 Phillies games. Why? No particular reason. Call it a boycott of sorts. But it wasn’t necessarily a conscious decision. My dad and I didn’t renew our season tickets for the first time since, I think, 1991. So that was a start. I had tickets for a game in June, but couldn’t go because our dog got sick. If you’re thinking that my not going is a fair-weather fan thing, you’re wrong. I went to countless games in the 90s and early 2000s where the Phillies were awful. Maybe it’s because I prefer weeknight games and, living in Horsham now, the hour and a half drive at 6 p.m. on a weeknight blows. Maybe it’s because I got married and went on a honeymoon and had all of that going on. But I think it’s mostly because I had no interest in spending $40 for a pair of tickets, $8 on gas, $15 to park, $30 on food and beer, and $5 on a 50-50 raffle, to watch what amounted to an exhibition game. I’m not cheap, either. But $100 – even as a business expense! – to go watch a completely useless product just feels like a waste in 2014. There are so many other ways to be entertained, not the least of which is watching in HD. But I’ll happily drop $200-$300 to go to an Eagles or Flyers game. I just had no interest in doing so with the Phillies. It’s sort of like a bad dream, one where you wake up in a panic because you completely missed out on something. That’s how I feel about the Phillies. But you know what? I really don’t even care. Seems most of you don’t, either:

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But, we probably should’ve known. Me, on March 31: “So, are we feeling 70… 72 wins?”They surpassed expectations and won 73.

That said, the people who did go did an excellent job of mocking Craig Kimbrel this weekend:

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via SB Nation

The Phillies fired scouting director Marti Wolever. Unfortunately, that may prove to be their only useful move.

Not a good look from Geno Smith.

Jerry Jones face.

Honestly, that could be an iPhone 6 Plus with how big that thing is:

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 1.29.42 PMScreen Shot 2014-09-29 at 1.29.48 PM

Bad NFL lip reading.

MCW with the most frightening SYE I’ve ever heard (sample size: 2):

The Cavs traded Keith Bogans to the Sixers, because we can alleviate all your cap woes!

The Redskins sold expired beer.

Did LeSean McCoy hit a bicyclist on Friday night? Someone sent these screenshots to Barstool on Saturday:

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That car sure looks a lot like Shady’s birthday Rolls:

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Anyone see anything?

 

Podcast

Oh, do we have something planned. You got that right.

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Don Tollefson Pleads Guilty to Fraud

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Don Tollefson, who had been accused of defrauding about 200 people of hundreds of thousands of dollars (and bummed us out beyond comprehension), has pleaded guilty to charges of fruad.

Tollie reportedly told the judge that he has struggled with “45 years of alcholism and drug addiction and multiple mental-health issues.” Sentencing has been deferred for 60 days, but The Inquirer reports that jail-time is expected.

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Redskins Fans Reportedly Threatened to “Cut” a Native American During Daily Show Taping Because of Honor and Tradition I Guess

Last week, the Daily Show aired a controversial segment on the debate surrounding the Washington Redskins’ team name. The bit wasn’t controversial because of the racial slur angle, but because some pro-’Skins supporters said they felt “in danger” and “ambushed” by anti-’Skins Native Americans who were brought in as part of the bit. One of the pro-’Skins people even tried to file a police report, but was told that nothing even resembling a crime had occurred. On the other hand …

Part of the piece we didn’t get to see on TV because it was “so intense,” claims one of the Native Americans who were part of the bit, would have shown the Natives having cigar smoke blown in their face, being told to “go the fuck home,” and maybe even threatened. Migizi Pensoneau, one of the Natives and a member of the Native American comedy troupe the 1491s, wrote in the Missoula News:

There were points during that hour-long experience where I actually was afraid for my life. I have never been so blatantly threatened, mocked or jeered. It was so intense, so full of vitriol that none of the footage ended up being used in the segment. I’m a big dude—6’1”, and a lotta meat on the bones. But a blonde little wisp of a girl completely freaked me out as I waited in line for the bathroom. “Is that shirt supposed to be funny?” she asked motioning to my satirical “Caucasians” T-shirt. And then she said, “I’ll fucking cut you.” Actually, she didn’t scare me so much as the wannabe linebackers standing behind her who looked like they wanted to make good on her threat.

Sure, the Daily Show rounded up some of the more over-the-top and ridiculous ‘Skins supporters for their bit, but while the argument can be made that the rude, ridiculous, and insane who support the name in a hateful way are small in number, they seem to be very loud and want to give Dan Snyder a run for his money.

h/t Gawker

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Bird Droppings: An Accident in Levi’s

Here, take it before one of us gets murdered, Photo credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Here, take it before one of us gets murdered, Photo credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

I’m somehow not losing my mind over the loss. If you looked at the schedule before the season and charted the double-U’s and els (and I hate it when people do that), anyone in their right mind would’ve been quite happy with 3-1, including a win in Indy. The Eagles were supposed to lose yesterday. Perhaps it played out differently than we expected, but that game was a long shot. I’ll take 3-1, all day, erryday. But, there are a few problems, which we’ll discuss. To all the shit!

 

Chip said the offensive line got “whooped up front,” and are “not very good … right now.”

Matt Lombardo: “In modern NFL history, teams that have three returns for a touchdown, which the Eagles did Sunday have a record of 71-1-1. That trend, though, didn’t hold true for the Eagles.”

Reuben Frank is worried about the running game:

Running game ineffective means play action isn’t effective. Here’s a guy who had 17 rushing touchdowns two years ago and led the NFL in rushing last year, and with the game on the line at the 1-yard line, he doesn’t get the ball. Meanwhile, Kelly refuses to give Sproles or Chris Polk any work to change things up. Sproles has three carries the last two games, Polk doesn’t have any. I love Shady and I love what he brings to this team, but Kelly has to acknowledge that it’s not working right now and try to get the ground attack going with someone else.

Jeremy Maclin: “It was an embarrassing display by the offense. I don’t know what else to say. We have to make plays. We have to protect. We have to catch the ball. We have to throw the ball. We have to run the football. We didn’t do any of that today.”

Jimmy Kempski still saw enough to hand out some awards, including the Butterfingers Award to Riley Cooper and the MIA Award to Brent Celek.

Jeff McLane doesn’t think the loss rests on Foles’ shoulders, but he certainly didn’t look great either:

Foles completed less than 50 percent of his passes (21 of 43) and tossed two interceptions. It looked like he was hit by Smith as he threw to Maclin deep on the first pick. The ball came up well short. The second interception ended the game and was a desperation heave. Foles took countless hits, five according to the official score sheet, but I’d gander there were about ten total … He targeted Jeremy Maclin 16 times but they hooked up for only five completions for 68 yards. They’re still lacking chemistry … if Riley Cooper pulls in a perfect pass from his quarterback in the back of the end zone, the Eagles win and Foles’ day doesn’t look as bad.

 

Passing it twice to win the game

If it were me, playing Madden, which is admittedly the worst test you can apply to any situation, I would’ve run it twice. I know the running game was a mess all day, but so, too, was the passing game. You still have arguably the best running back in football, and he would’ve had two chances to get less than two yards. I can understand passing the ball, and liked the play call on fourth down, but I think you have to run it there. All McCoy has to do is slip one tackle and basically fall forward. If you told any Eagle before the game that the offense would only have to score one touchdown to win, and they’d have two plays with the ball inside the two to do it, everyone would’ve said give it to McCoy. I think Chip overthought that.

 

Nick Foles

There are a few things to consider before jumping all over Foles and his quasi struggles:

He’s playing behind Jason Peters, Todd Herremans and a bunch of guys who’ll be bagging groceries in a few weeks.

Therefore, there’s no running game to balance the passing game.

He doesn’t have DeSean Jaccson, perhaps the league’s biggest deep threat. There was a ball Foles overthrew to Riley Cooper down the middle yesterday. My dad, with whom I agreed, said: “If that were DeSean, he’d be backing into the end zone, taunting the defender right now.” Last year, that throw would’ve gone to DeSean, and it would’ve been a touchdown:

YOU ARE SLOW

YOU ARE SLOW

There are times where Foles doesn’t look quite right. He threw another deep ball – an interception – here…

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… off his back foot. Now, maybe that’s because he was about to be killed for the second week in a row (his poor family). But the pass looked dangerous before it ever left his hand. He didn’t do that sort of thing last year. How much of that is because of the line and lack of LeSean McCoy’s existence? We don’t know yet.

 

LeSean McCoy

WHERE HATH YOU GONE?

His absence has become a trend. I don’t think it’s wholly his fault, though. His looks as bouncy as ever. Maybe he’s lost a little bit of his top speed, because last year he gets close to a first down on this play (short gain yesterday)…

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… but again, instead of playing behind guys who are going on the offensive, McCoy has men blocking for him who are just doing their best to limit the fatalities to Foles, who, at this point, is basically Kenny from South Park. What was a strength last year for the Eagles – run blocking – is now not even a weakness… it doesn’t exist. The run blocking blows. Let’s compare this McCoy run to the right yesterday…

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… to this run to the left from the Eagles’ first drive of the season last year (arguably the most impressive running drive under Kelly):

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There are a whole bunch of variables, and this is anecdotal evidence at best, but in the first screenshot, from yesterday, McCoy already has two defenders bearing down on him and no running lanes. In the second screenshot, from last year, McCoy has a hole wide enough to drive his birthday Rolls through. You can guess which one was a 10-yard gain.

 

EXSPROLSION™

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Oh my God, it’s everywhere! All over the place! There’s a mess on the field. Clean it up, clean it up! Ewwwww, it’s in my hair! It’s everywhere! It’s everywhere!

 

Bac to the Mac

You, sir: sex.

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via Deadspin

 

 

David Molk

This guy stinks. But worse was his post-game interview with Derrick Gunn, host of GUNN-ON-ONE, where he waxed poetic about his first NFL start. This is great! This is great! No, Molk, it’s not great. You’re not great. You lost and OH MY GOD THEY KILLED NICKY! YOU BASTARD!

Michael Barkann, rightfully, took aim at Molk’s golly-gee-aw-shucks-I’m-on-the-rooster mentality:

Stop getting Nicky killed, David, then it’ll be great.

 

Riley Cooper

He’s in the process of sending long love letters to DeSean, admitting that he’s not the same without tha pott in his life. As I mentioned before, he’s too slow to be the lone deep threat. He also can’t get separation from his man and should’ve hauled in this would-be game-winner:

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Riley’s been the Eagles’ biggest disappointment this year. Taken a huge step back… because he misses DeSean.

 

The defensive line

They were great yesterday. Not much else you can say. They got pressure on Kaep all day, made him woefully uncomfortable in the pocket, and gave the Eagles a chance to win. Can’t say enough about them. They dominated the line, more so than even the 49ers dominated the Eagles’ offensive line.

 

Bradley Fletcher

You show me a play where you noticed Bradley Fletcher and it wasn’t in a negative way, and I’ll show you a liar.

 

Special teams

This has become a strength for the Eagles. Are kidding me? Polk, Sproles, the pressure on the punters, Parkey. Unreal. I enjoy watching them play. Anything can happen. ANYTHING. They’re going to win a game with a big play this year.

 

Kaep

Is never going to win the big game. He’s McNabb-esque. He’s got the legs (that first down run late in the game hurt), he can make the incredible throw (a few times dropping a ball in there where it had no business being), but man, even before his play clock boners he was letting it run down to :01 and hurrying to get the snap off. WHAT ARE YOU DOING, MAN? There are no variables in time. It is a constant. How is this even a thing? I was waiting for Troy Aikman to rip his headset off and leave the booth with a shiv destined for Kaep’s neck if he blew another timeout.

 

Troy Aikman

I enjoy him. He’s the best Sunday analyst.

51 Comments

The Fire Alarm at the Eagles’ Hotel in San Francisco Curiously Went off at 2 a.m. This Morning

Per Adam Schefter, the fire alarm at the Eagles’ team hotel went off at around 2 a.m. this morning (PST time), much to the chagrin of, well, the Eagles, who have a game to play today:

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I suppose it’s possible it randomly went off. Possible, but doubtful. Someone probably pulled it, because San Fran fans are just the worst. It’s bad enough that the Eagles have to deal with a three-hour time difference, but now they also have to deal with an early morning wake-up call that amalgamates their jet lag into some kind of fraction I can’t even measure. WHERE’S DANNY WATKINS WHEN YOU NEED HIM?

Chip Kelly’s sleep monitors must be all sorts of confused this morning.

H/T to (@banditmax)

 

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The Eagles Sent Devon Still’s Daughter a Gift Basket in the Hospital

Thanks to Chip Kelly and the Eagles for sending these surprise gifts and flowers to my daughter

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Camden native and former Penn State Nittany Lion Devon Still has been in the news a lot lately. In the past few months of terrible press for the NFL, Still’s story has been one of the only uplifting ones: Unable to fully focus on football because his 4-year-old daughter was diagnosed with cancer, the Cincinnati Bengals kept Still on their practice squad roster so he could pay for his daughter’s medical expenses.

Still’s daughter had surgery earlier today, and his pre-surgery pep talk to his daughter has already spread around the internet. It’s a story that has been both heartbreaking and heartwarming, and while it is a fairly minor gesture in light of everything else, the Eagles sent Still a gift basket for his daughter at the hospital. It’s one thing for the Eagles to be a good football team filled with (seemingly) good dudes, but having the organization put in the extra effort to be good people is always nice to see. Especially when some other teams can’t seem to do anything right.

After his daughter’s surgery, Still shared “After a 5hr 50min surgery the surgeon was able to remove ALL of her tumor and all of her lymph nodes and her right adrenal gland where it all started from…best news I’ve received in a long time” on Instagram, so it’s good to know that she’ll hopefully be able to enjoy that gift basket for a long time to come.

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Here’s NBC Nightly News Anchor Brian Williams Singing the Temple Fight Song, Sort of

NBC news anchor Brian Williams was the recipient of the Lew Klein Excellence in Media Award at Temple today (Marcus Hayes must’ve finished a close second). Anyway, Temple and 20-20 Visual Media put together this Fallon-esque mashup, which Temple fans will enjoy. And since everyone tells me I don’t post enough about Temple, here you go.

Carry on.

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