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Angelo Cataldi’s Contract Has Been Renewed by WIP

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CBS Philly and WIP announced today – but didn’t bother sending us the press release because, you know, why do that? – that it has renewed Angelo Cataldi’s contract. Al Morganti and Keith Jones have been signed to new deals as well. Molly Eichel reports that Rhea Hughes is on a different schedule.

Cataldi told Eichel that his contract has three- and five-year options, but that this will likely be his last:

“I figure that’ll probably be it for me,” Cataldi, who has been with the station since 1990, said. “I think someone else should get a chance after this one. I definitely wanted to hang around awhile longer because I just got to make it long enough for the Eagles to win a super bowl. Then I’ll see what I needed to see ,,. I’ve always had this fear the year after I left they’d win a championship. That’s the ultimate goal. I would love to see them do it and I think with Chip Kelly they can.”

I agree.

And now, RADIO WARS:

No word of the contract status of Anthony Gargano, whose deal is up at the end of the year. The prevailing theory is that he’ll re-sign, but I’ve heard that WIP has been less than willing to offer him a multi-year renewal in his current time slot, with the thought being that Josh Innes, who is sort of (Operations Manager) “Andy Bloom’s guy,” could eventually take over in the 2-6 spot. My guess is that Gargano re-signs, but for how long and with what terms… that’s probably up for debate. He could also talk to 97.5. Multiple sources say there have been conversations between the two parties with unknown levels of formality. Gargano wouldn’t come cheap for 97.5, which lately seems to prefer shedding salary as opposed increasing it. At the very least, those conversations could give Gargano some leverage with WIP.

And then of course, lurking somewhere in the distance (Atlanta, to be exact), is John Kincade, who would love to get back to Philly and work for WIP.

I feel like the Game of Thrones intro is appropriate here:

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Claude Giroux May or May Not have Wiped Snot on an Official

Is that a pick?

Is that a pick?

The Flyers lost 3-1 last night, but that’s not the story today. The story is that Claude Giroux may or may not have wiped snot on an official, because that is how well this season is going. Decide for yourself below:

In response to these allegations, Giroux — no stranger to laying hands on an authority figuretold the media: “That’s why I don’t read you guys … Do you really think I’d do that?” Which is a much more straight-forward defense than the “scratch mistaken for a pick” defense.

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There Is a Massive MMQB Feature on Danny Watkins Today

Photo: Dan Clerico, NortheastBravest.com

Photo: Dan Clerico, NortheastBravest.com

That is a headline I never thought I’d write.

MMQB’s Emily Kaplan today wrote a lengthy and fascinating piece about Danny Watkins, his failed NFL career and passion for spraying water on dancing orange and sometimes blue things. It paints a different, if not expected, picture of Watkins: that he couldn’t care less about football or money and really just wanted to fight fires, by golly. There’s something quite commendable about that, and I suggest that you read the whole piece. But, we’re interested in the Eagles bits (and self-aggrandizing) here, and there’s more than a hint of pissedoffedness from then-offensive line coach Howard Mudd:

Mudd remembers word spreading through the Eagles’ facility sometime during the second half of that nightmare 2012 season. This was Mudd’s 45th year in professional football, as a player and a coach. “Never have I heard something so ridiculous,” he says. “Not in my entire NFL career.”

Mudd thinks back to the local news footage, a mystery that, publicly, has never been solved. In August, Philadelphia sports blog Crossing Broad published photos that allegedly depict Watkins fighting a fire. The Philadelphia Fire Department looked into claims Watkins violated code; PFD Executive Chief Clifford Gilliam says the case is closed, no action will be taken against Watkins.

Mudd knows what he saw on the news… or maybe he had just heard about it so many times he convinced himself that he saw it. Now, he thinks back and sighs. “It wasn’t like it was a national emergency, like the fire department summoned anyone with experience to help,” Mudd says. “For whatever reason, he was just motivated to be there and not with us.”

I imagine that for offensive line coaches named Mudd, few things in life except, maybe, the death of a child* come between them and football. FOOTBALL! So the exchanges between Mudd and Watkins – which included Watkins calling him “Captain” – must have been delicious.

*And even then it’s like: “Ehhhh… can we hold off on the funeral until Monday?”

There’s also this:

When Watkins received an invitation to Radio City Music Hall for the draft, he was going to turn it down. He’d put on a pair of sweatpants and sit on his couch in West Kelowna, maybe have a few friends over. Plans changed when he found out he could visit with the New York Fire Department and tour Ground Zero. So he and some old firefighting pals flew east for draft day.

“I think we were more excited for the draft than he was,” says Schnitzler. “He was excited for the fire-related stuff.”

Like I said, this is all very commendable– pursuing one’s passion instead of seeking fame and fortune. The antithesis of a professional athlete. Of course, Watkins is still a guy, and he wasn’t above sending pics of his very own fire hose to a local news personality during his time with the Eagles…

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Troy Aikman Again Tells How Andy Reid Once Asked him to Quarterback the Eagles

Photo Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

In week 11 of the 2002 NFL season, Donovan McNabb went 20-for-25 for 255 yards and four touchdowns on a broken ankle in a game that will forever live in Five lore. Following that, the Eagles finished the season with Koy Detmer and A.J. Feeley under center (who went a combined 5-1) and eventually went to the NFC Championship game (with a healthy McNabb in the playoffs). But that all could have gone very differently if Troy Aikman wasn’t on vacation.

According to Aikman — retelling a story he’s told before, but making it no less insane — Andy Reid called and asked him to come out of retirement and quarterback the Eagles after McNabb went down:

“[Reid] said, ‘Hey, did you hear what happened.’ I said, ‘Yeah, we did a game break.’ He said, ‘Well I want to talk to you about coming to Philadelphia.’ I said, ‘Andy, we’re in the middle of a broadcast. It’s halftime right now.’ He said, ‘I know, I’m watching the game.’ So I said, ‘OK, I’ll call you after the game.’”

Ultimately, Aikman decided it was best to enjoy the California whether and avoid flying across the country to prepare for a game.

“I got back to Santa Barbara and this was around November or whenever it was, and I woke up and I’m thinking, ‘I can either enjoy the next couple of days in Santa Barbara, California, it’s about 65, 70 degrees, or I’m going to be on a plane flying to Philadelphia and probably going to be playing on Monday night against the 49ers,’” Aikman said.

Turning down the offer allowed many Eagles and Cowboys fans to never have to face the strange emotions that would have come with Aikman wearing Eagles green (especially in Week 13 at the Vet). So really, he saved us all, and we were fine with Koy… and then A.J.

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Chris Stigall Ruins Any Goodwill he had by Mocking Cancer Patient

WPHT’s Chris Stigall just did a nice thing so he had to go and ruin it. On his show yesterday, Stigall thought it would be clever and funny to point out that Julie Kramer, the 23-year-old cancer patient that received all of those gifts from Chase Utley on the Ellen Show might not get to cash in on the offer because Chase might not be here:

“You know Chase Utley’s not going to be around to take the cancer patient to the games. It’s a nice invite, but he won’t even be there.”

Fine. Not exactly funny or clever, but no one accused WPHT or Stigall of being either of those things. But then he cited exactly the thing you feared he would cite:

“Plus, it’s probably terminal what that woman has. You think she’s going to live through an entire season?”

Gah.

Mediaite originally reported that Stigall is a sports talk guy, but has since corrected their story to reflect that he’s just “talk radio.” Regular, old, inspiring your Uncle to get political at Christmas, talk radio. The distinction is important, because as all-over-the-board as the quality of sports talk is in Philly, no one is this big of an asshole.

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The Vinny Lecavalier Thing Is Not Going so Well

Chris Gratton Vinny Lecavalier, the $22.5 million man,  was scratched for the seventh-straight game last night. He apparently had or has a probably completely bogus tweaked lower-body injury, which leads me to ask: Your pride is located in your leg?! Anyway, he didn’t play again last night, and reader Michael checked in to describe his encounter with the EMBATTLED* forward after (during?) the game:

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I’m not sure there’s a rule about leaving early, and my guess would be that scratched players typically escape pretty quickly, but this seems to be yet another anecdotal bit about Vinny’s disenfranchisement with how things are going.

Lecavalier explained on Monday how he was just ready to go, according to Randy Miller, who has perfected the art of writing glowingly about embattled players (presumably before stabbing them in the back when they leave):

Missing this one probably will hurt a little more because the Flyers are playing Tampa Bay, Lecavalier’s club for his first 14 NHL seasons, from 1998-99 through 2012-13.

Asked how he’s handing things, Lecavalier responded, “It’s not just because it’s Tampa. I just want to play. I said pretty much everything last week. There’s nothing to say. Practice hard and be ready mentally if I get a chance to play.”

If only.

*Mainstream word Scrabble bonus for me!

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LeSean McCoy’s DeSean Impression is Pretty Spot-On

@0ne0fone lol who kno they boy better then me …. Rg3 would agree haha…. #skinsweek jackpot

A video posted by Lesean Mccoy (@25_mccoy) on

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It can be argued that the Cowboys/Colts matchup in Week 16 is even more important for Eagles fans than the Eagles/Redskins one. But for the players, their minds are 100% focused on the Redskins game, and one last chance to show-up former Eagle DeSean Jaccson. But LeSean McCoy thought: Why wait for the game?

As Redskins reporter Dianna Marie Russini told us last week, DeSean’s tenure with the Redskins this year has been classic DeSean: throwing teammates under the bus, complaining in private, complaining in public, generally being the worst. There’s especially been strain between DeSean and whomever his QB may be — mostly RG3. So when Shady decided to poke some light fun at DeSean and his reputation, it looked like it was a “no harm no foul” deal. The addition of “RG3 would agree haha” in the caption is a nice touch, but I really don’t think RG3 (or any ‘Skins fan) is laughing. It’s also a nice touch to deliberately spell “jackpot” the correct way.

As a side note: This is the kind of stuff the internet is good for. You got your analysis and your reporting and all of that stuff, but it’s also great that stuff like this — not exactly “news” per se, but a message directly from player-to-fan — can be put out there for fans and whomever else to enjoy. Or …

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Don’t look now, NFL Network News Desk, but you’re ruining it.

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Crazy Ass Penn Students Pose for Holiday Card with Racist Blow up Doll

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Maybe the most UPENN headline ever. If it’s not genitalia-flashing, or sleeping with Michael Carter-Williams, or shitting all willy-nilly, or just general partying, it’s a racist blow up doll.

Some frat guys might be in trouble after their Christmas card featured what they claim is a racist Beyonce sex doll, but was probably just any old racist sex doll. From The Daily Pennsylvanian:

Penn’s chapter of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity is currently under investigation by its international organization and campus officials for a photo circulated on social media Sunday night. All chapter operations have been suspended for the duration of the investigation.

The image was a Christmas photo of the fraternity brothers taken following their Secret Santa gift exchange. Controversy over the photo stemmed from a dark-skinned blow-up doll in the top left of the photo — seemingly one of the only objects of color in the picture, as most of the men appear to be Caucasian.

This is pretty terrible, but as Matt Mullin points out, the real crime here may be the two guys in Cowboys gear.

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