Gabe Kapler: Fans Should Expect “A Shitload of Wins”

BWanksCB - January 18, 2018

Here’s Gabe Kapler answering a question about what fans can expect this season at last night’s College Winter Summit held by the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park:

“You can expect the highest level of intensity in both practice and in a game. You can expect an incredible amount of effort and energy. You can expect a team that rallies around each other and fights for one another. And I think, finally, you can expect a team that is extraordinarily prepared. I think all of those things in aggregate will also lead to a shitload of wins.”

A “shitload” of wins? Sign. Me. Up.

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Police Warn Businesses on Frankford and Cottman to Prepare for an Absolute Shitshow

BWanksCB - January 17, 2018

It’s just before 10 p.m. on Sunday night. Brandon Graham drills Case Keenum from behind, knocking loose the football. Chris Long is there to dive on it as he seals a dramatic 20-13 win. The play simultaneously propels the Eagles into Super Bowl LII and thousands of drunken assholes clad in German Shepperd masks and various shades of green into the intersection of Frankford and Cottman Avenues. By night’s end, the joyous throng will be so blitzed and so immersed in the underdog narrative that many will ultimately come to believe they are the protagonist of an Animorphs novel in which they have transformed into actual dogs.

It’s going to get weird, and it’s going to be glorious. Captain Anthony Luca, a Commanding Officer of the 15th Police District, knows this—and that’s why he wrote a letter earlier this week to local businesses as a heads-up.

Here it is, via the Mayfair Civic Association Facebook page: Continue Reading

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Report: Eagles Fan Arrested After Allegedly Punching a Police Horse During Falcons Game

BWanksCB - January 16, 2018

I was scrolling through my Twitter feed earlier tonight when I came across this unusual tweet from FOX 29’s Dave Schratwieser:

Initially, I thought to myself, “This is probably much ado about nothing. I mean, what? An Eagles fan punched a horse!? In the face? Come on!” But when I saw two more subsequent tweets teasing the story for Monday night’s 10 O’Clock News, I figured I better tune in and check it out. And, uh, wouldn’t you know, according to police, that is exactly what happened. I don’t know why I’m surprised, but I am.

The report:

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Let The Home Dogs Eat

BWanksCB - January 15, 2018

Big win on Saturday night. BIG WIN. The Eagles are on the door step of the Super Bowl and have a legitimate chance to reach it on the strength of a lights-out defense and a competent not awful offense. But you know what makes it sweeter? It allows the team and its fans to lift a collective middle finger to everybody who either shit-talked or counted out the Eagles for the past month. The immediate rush of a gritty goal line stand, the relief and jubilation of this team’s first home playoff win in 11 years, and the immense satisfaction of getting to say “fuck you” after it—there’s nothing better.

Leading up to the game, we saw a lot of this: Continue Reading

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#Lookatchu: A Look At The Best (?) Eagles-Falcons Fan Videos

BWanksCB - January 13, 2018

The Eagles are two wins away from reaching the Super Bowl. They enter today’s game as an unprecedented top-seed underdog with a chance to silence everybody doubting them AND win a home playoff game for the first time in 4,025 days. Personally, that’s enough for me. I’m EAGER for this game. Kick it off and let’s fucking go. Eagles by double-digits. But not everybody is with me—-some aren’t yet at full tilt and some just don’t quite believe. No, it seems the mere prospect of 13-3 team with the opportunity to reach the brink of the Super Bowl isn’t enough for some–they need something more. Something that inspires, motivates and educates. Something that moves the soul like only a YouTube fan vlogger can. Now personally, I’m all the way up for this game, but if you’re not, I consider myself a man of the people and I want to help out. I’m sure there’s some A+ content out there on YouTube to get you, like, so HYPE, so…six to midnight. Let’s go!

It’s official. Game. Set. Match. Our friend IamCarlo is back with a new damn video and brings the hottest of takes in this electric preview recorded in what looks to be his spare bedroom. This isn’t the video of a random guy trying to talk himself into kinda sorta liking the Eagles this week that I wanted, it is the one I needed. Continue Reading

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Gridiron Heights Sticks The Landing on Making Fun of Our Current Predicament

BWanksCB - January 10, 2018

I wanted it to be easy, but I know, you know, we all know that if the Eagles are to ever win the Super Bowl, they aren’t going to do it as a wire to wire machine that steamrolls the competition on the way to a championship. That’s just not how it goes here. You know it will have to involve a crippling injury, fear, misery, Paxil and gratuitous amounts of alcohol. The Eagles are meant to do it as an underdog because, you know, #Rocky.

I wrote the above after several beers the night we learned Carson Wentz was likely done for the season with a torn ACL in attempt to find a silver lining in the harsh reality that the football gods were once again collectively unzipping their pants, crossing streams and showering into our mouths. Of course, I didn’t realize Nick Foles would be this bad, nor did I realize the NFC’s top-seed would be an actual Vegas underdog in its opening playoff game because it, quite literally, never happens.

This is an interesting game because the Falcons were made 2½-point favorites late Saturday night to beat the Eagles, who had the best record in the NFC and are playing at home. Since the NFL went to a 12-team playoff format in 1990, no No. 1 seed has been an underdog in its first playoff game.

In fact, the majority of talk leading up to Saturday’s showdown isn’t centered around the matchup itself, it’s about disrespect and the underdog role. National media, local media, fans, players, coaches–it’s all underdog all the time. Hell, there’s even a Bleacher Report cartoon relating Nick Foles to, you guessed it, ROCKY! I’m sure some people somehow will feel slighted by this–nobody likes when their favorite team gets picked on–but it got a laugh from me. I particularly enjoy the cutaway to Alshon Jeffery asking, “What the fuck are we going to do?”

It’s funny (sad?) because it’s probably true. Have a look:

Kyle: Worth noting the guys who make this are from Philly and Eagles fans, and so they get it.

Maikel Franco’s Time In Philadelphia Is Almost Up

BWanksCB - January 8, 2018

There’s a cold reality that many athletes in this city have learned the hard way over the years–once a player develops a negative reputation, it’s virtually impossible to shake it. And that, in short, is why Maikel Franco is fucked. Probably.

If you were paying close enough attention, and I can’t blame you if you weren’t, you may remember Franco’s better days that came during the infant stages of his Major League career. He emerged in earnest in May of 2015 after a brief call-up the previous September. Franco, playing on a brutal 63-win team, represented the biggest, if not only reason for optimism that the Phillies would one day again be relevant, or at least stop playing shitty and boring baseball. In 335 plate appearances, Franco swatted 14 homers and 22 doubles on his way to posting an impressive .280 average and .840 OPS. Now, here we are two years later, with expectations unfulfilled and the Phillies and Franco seemingly headed in opposite directions. Coming off a miserable year in which posted a disturbing .230/.281/.409 slash line, the optimism and hype once surrounding Franco has been replaced with varying degrees of disappointment and disgust.

His inability to adapt to the frequently utilized game plan of opposing pitchers working him with off-speed stuff low, away, and often out of the strike zone, has earned him the reputation of an impatient and undisciplined hitter–one who either lacks the intelligence to understand how he’s being attacked, or, worse, the concern. Is either characterization fair for a 25-year-old who’s logged a relatively small sample of just over 1,600 plate appearances? That’s debatable, but what I can definitively tell you is that for a player whose future is in limbo that this isn’t going to help:

Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco was suspended for three games by his Dominican Winter League team, the Cibao Giants, “for violating the organization’s discipline code.” Translation: Franco was photographed partying at 6AM this morning at a club when, at 4PM today his team was scheduled to play a game in the Dominican Winter League playoffs.

Here’s a SnapChat photo showing Franco, and three of three other teammates who were also suspended, getting it in at the break of dawn just hours before a Dominican Winter League playoff game.

To expect athletes to forfeit their social lives is both unfair and ridiculous. Athletes possess youth, fame and fortune–to waste any would be crazy. Step into their shoes for a second.

Everyone knows me, most of them love me, and I’m rich as fuck. I think I’ll stay in tonight.

Not happening. Contrary to popular belief, athletes don’t exist merely to hit baseballs, catch passes, or drain three-pointers, and they should party and bullshit just like everybody else does. But in this particular instance, well, I actually get the concern. In the club at 6 a.m. before a Dominican Winter League playoff game? It’s not the World Series, but it’s his hometown team and people down there take that shit seriously. The players apologized and the suspension was lifted after a Sunday rainout, so they won’t actually miss a game. It’s still not a great look for a guy entering a make-or-break year and it’s most certainly something Phillies fans will hold against Franco if he should continue to struggle.

Cutting ties with Franco now would be foolish, mainly because the Phillies have no reason not to play him at third base going into this season, but it’s become increasingly unlikely he’s here beyond it. There’s just simply not another legitimate option in the organization right now, unless they elect to hold onto César Hernandez and slide him to third when Scott Kingery arrives, but such a move would decrease the value of his bat. Moreover, the team isn’t going to compete and he still possesses enough raw talent that they can afford to collectively cross their fingers and hope he recaptures the form that made him such an intriguing piece only a few years ago, however unlikely that may seem. Still, given Franco’s declining production and failure to quell mounting concerns about his innate desire to succeed, it’s more likely that we will get more of what we’ve seen over the past two seasons. The writing is on the wall and his time in Philly may soon be up.

Let’s Celebrate The Patriots’ Demise

BWanksCB - January 5, 2018

Whenever I get jealous over the absurd amount of success had by Patriots since the turn of the century, I remind myself of one very simple thing—what goes up must come down. It’s just that for 16 years, the Patriots haven’t come down. Yeah, there was a 10-year Super Bowl drought mixed in there, but that stretch still featured several deep postseason runs and was bookended on both sides by multiple championships.

Their success is mesmerizing, nauseating and almost impossible to comprehend. Think about it. The Eagles currently employ Doug Pederson because they’re attempting to recreate the success of the Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb era—one that feels like it happened 25 years ago. Meanwhile, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick had MORE success in that same era and they are STILL doing it. And all the while, small people, like myself, who deep down question whether they’ll ever get to experience even a fraction of that type of fun, have been left holding our garden-variety dicks as we feebly mutter, “Man, fuck those guys.”

I’ll admit when I read last night that an absolute bomb of a piece on the Patriots was dropping this morning, my initial thought was, “Awesome! What the fuck did they do now?” While there are no new accusations of the Patriots doing Patriots things, the story does finally give hope to those, like myself, who for years have said, “If not us, please anybody but them.” Yes, perhaps the end is near, writes ESPN’s Seth Wickersham in a fascinating piece that details a three-way power struggle between Brady, Belichick and Robert Kraft. It’s also a story filled with ego, dysfunction and hurt feelings that are threatening to crumble the Patriots’ castle:

…according to interviews with more than a dozen New England staffers, executives, players and league sources with knowledge of the team’s inner workings, the three most powerful people in the franchise — Belichick, Brady and owner Robert Kraft — have had serious disagreements. They differ on Brady’s trainer, body coach and business partner Alex Guerrero; over the team’s long-term plans at quarterback; over Belichick’s bracing coaching style; and most of all, over who will be the last man standing. Those interviewed describe a palpable sense in the building that this might be the last year together for this group.

God, I fucking hope so. Spygate, Deflategate, the dry condescending Belichick press conferences and the subsequent cutaway, chuckle and quip by whatever anchor and analyst are sitting there.

“That’s Bill being Bill.”

Please. No more.

To me, the most notable thing about the piece is that Belichick actually emerges as the sympathetic player of this mess. That speaks volumes to just how insufferable that organization has become.

As for the rest of the article, there had been previous reports about the budding tension between Guerrero and the organization, and I guess I’m not too surprised that Belichick’s act has worn thin on Brady, but I found the revelations about Kraft mandating a trade of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and Belichick’s subsequent bitterness, particularly interesting:

Belichick believed that Garoppolo would excel under Shanahan, and when he and Shanahan connected on the phone, Belichick offered the quarterback for a second-rounder. It was a steal, leaving Patriots staffers stunned and confused.

It’s a story that will certainly dominate the headlines throughout NFL Wild Card Weekend and into next week as the Patriots get set to play in the Divisional Round. As for what it means on the field, this could be it! This could finally be the thing that ends the Patriots’ dominance once and for all! Or…they’re going to rally around it, feed off the doubters and glee of jealous assholes like myself and win the Super Bowl. Again. One or the other, but yeah, probably that.