2014 Eagles Team Photo Placed In Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Eagles are off this week, but the entire team gathered Monday at the team’s practice facility to take a team photo. That day, Chip Kelly says his team ran a photo session that was more up-tempo than their offense.

“We set a record: four minutes and forty seconds,” Kelly said. “We got everybody — the entire team, every position group, the coaches and the training staff done in four minutes and forty seconds,” said Kelly. “Oh, it was tempo. And I would challenge anybody [to match that].”

Kelly later added: “We had to coach the photographers a little bit because… one of the guys thought he was Ansel Adams. We said ‘Let’s get this thing taken and let’s go,’ you know what I mean? It’s not like it’s going to be hanging in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.”

Oh, but it is.

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Missanelli: The Real Story Behind the Victor Cruz Tweet

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We all have things we want to do when the job is over and after this week, I have decided that I’m going to create a chain of rehabilitation centers for Twitter addicts.

In 2014, you can get hooked on Twitter more easily than crack. Crack at least requires money that you have to get from somewhere. Twitter is free and can be used by anyone — from the boardroom executive to the 14-year-old boy postulating from his mother’s basement. Twitter can be informational and enlightening. And it can also be very dangerous — a phenomenon that gives everyone the power to publish any thought, without endorsement or accountability.  It’s where Average Joe can be judge, jury and hangman on any particular subject.  And it’s a power we plunge deeply into our veins like the worst addict in a dark and seedy alley.

When it’s all said and done, I’m going to do my part with these rehab centers. I know a lot about this topic because I have been both a Twitter player and a victim.

In the third quarter of Sunday night’s Eagles-Giants game, right after the Giants’ Victor Cruz dropped a touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone, I tweeted: “Hey Giants fans, Victor Cruz is over. Dance to that.” It was s spur-of-the moment tweet, which all of us in sports talk radio do from time to time. It was intended both to pander to the Eagle fan base for which I do my daily show, and to take a shot at the Giants, who occasionally infiltrate our area with their own brand of braggadocio. And on the surface, it seemed like a heartless thing to write, especially when Cruz subsequently collapsed with a ripped-up leg.

What got lost in the shuffle is that I never saw the player get hurt.

Many people, especially angry Giants fans, have asked how that is possible. Well, here is the story, letter by letter:

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NBC Butchered Philadelphia’s Geography for Sunday Night Football

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The Eagles’ 27-0 demolition of the New York Giants Sunday night wasn’t just the Eagles’ first blowout victory of the season. It was a blowout victory on national television. Football fans across the country were forced to see the Eagles’ impressive win, even if they hate the Birds! (Right, as if NFL fans would have turned off a game of football. Eh, maybe when it got later into the game.)

NBC’s studio set for the game was appropriately Philadelphia-themed. The only problem: NBC completely butchered Philadelphia’s geography. Yes, the backdrop is supposed to be a stylized version of Philadelphia. It’s still hilarious. Let’s count the ways:

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NHL Hiring Guy on Flyers Payroll to Decide Player Punishment

The NHL is hiring former Philadelphia Flyer Chris Pronger for a job in its Player Safety Department, ESPN reports. Pronger will be one of those who decide the appropriate punishment for illegal hits.

But there’s an issue: Pronger is still being paid by the Flyers. Pronger last played in 2011, his career cut shot from concussion-like symptoms. He’s not ever going to play again, but he’s still under contract.

Pronger’s contract, which he signed in 2007, pays him until 2017. So each year he’s quietly shuffled onto long-term injured reserve at the start of the season. It’s beneficial for both the Flyers and for Pronger. If he were to officially retire, Pronger wouldn’t be entitled to collect his salary. Also, per NHL rules the Flyers would be stuck with a cap hit of several million in “dead” money; by putting him on long-term IR, he doesn’t count against the salary cap.

And people are upset about his new role in the NHL.

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Has the League Figured Out Chip Kelly, Nick Foles?

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The candidacies of Chip Kelly and Nick Foles for Man of the Year in Philadelphia took a bigger hit this week than the SRC.

Indeed, grades are being placed on Kelly and Foles — and this after the Eagles won a game last Sunday over the St. Louis Rams. The win made the Birds 4-1 on the season, and gives them a chance to build a huge line of credit with a win over the New York Giants on Sunday that would take them into their seasonal bye having won five of their first six games of the NFL season,

So here’s what the people are now suggesting: The rest of the league has quickly caught on to and conquered Kelly’s innovative ways, while Foles is no better than an average quarterback who’s playing scared and unconfident. (Somewhere, Buzz Bissinger, the journo-provocateur whose spring Philly Mag profile of Foles suggested such, is grinning and spitting out canary feathers).

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Philadelphia to Bissinger: Buzz Off

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Philadelphians have responded to Buzz Bissinger’s request for an apology with a definitive “Shut the Fuc* up” you “narcissistic moron.” Those quotes came from a couple of the kinder comments and tweets directed at Bissinger following his desperate and needy appearance on WIP radio.

Before I share more responses to Buzz, a little background:

After Nick Foles was leveled by a cheap shot from 325-pound Washington Redskins nose tackle Chris Baker, a vicious hit that would have knocked a lesser man out of the game, the Eagles quarterback got up and led his team to victory in one of the gutsiest NFL performances of the year. The next day I wrote that Buzz Bissinger owed Nick Foles an apology. Bissinger wrote a cover story on Foles for Philadelphia magazine where he called the quarterback “soft” and “chicken shit.”

Bissinger waited until Foles had a less than stellar performance to respond and then called in to the Angelo Cataldi radio show to say it was Philadelphia who owed him an apology for giving him such a hard time about the article. And then Bissinger doubled-down on the Foles hate, again calling him “chicken” and claiming he doesn’t have what it takes to win in the NFL.

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2014-15 Flyers Preview: Different, but Still Kind of the Same

Sep 30, 2014: Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux (28) celebrates with goalie Ray Emery (29) after defeating the New York Rangers, 4-2, at Wells Fargo Center.

Sep 30, 2014: Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux (28) celebrates with goalie Ray Emery (29) after defeating the New York Rangers, 4-2, at Wells Fargo Center.

There is a bonus to being a fan of the Philadelphia Flyers. Like all Philadelphia sports teams, they equip you with the tools to deal with crushing disappointment. But it goes beyond that: Almost 40 years since the team last won a Stanley Cup, the Philadelphia Flyers are still considered pretty tough.

And this goes beyond the general stereotypes of hockey player toughness. The original “Broad Street Bullies” moniker has stuck with the team in the four decades since the Flyers won a pair of Stanley Cups in their seventh and eighth seasons. And why not? The Flyers are still known as a team that values brawn as much as brain, that hits hard and doesn’t make apologies for it. Even articles defending them for not being dirty note their high number of penalty minutes.

And this is, well, kind of cool. Kind of stupid, too: One could make a convincing argument the Flyers have relied too much on brawn since their last Stanley Cup, which has kept the team from winning another. But, if you’re not going to win a championship, at least you can have this.

The Sixers are a joke. The Eagles haven’t won since 1960. The Phillies — despite being named part of baseball’s new power triumvirate just a few years ago — are the laughingstock of the league. The Flyers? Well, at least they’re tough.

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Time Is Running Out for Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr.

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The 2014 baseball season in Philadelphia passed without a whimper.

The last game was a Sunday matinee where Cole Hamels pitched another gem … and lost. And the Phillies resigned themselves to the fact that they had finished in last place with a dreadful 73-89 record that doesn’t figure to improve that much in 2015.

Do you remember when Citizens Bank Park used to be a cool place to be? The Phillies had the biggest attendance drop of any team in major league baseball this year — about 600,000 fewer people came to the ballpark than in 2013.

Now I will never be the owner of a major league baseball team. But if I could be, and I was one of the major parties that owned the Phillies, I would not be happy with this kind apocalypse. And I would be kicking some ass.

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Would You Let Your Son Play Football?

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So: Are you going to let your son play football?

I’m not. And if you’re like growing numbers of parents, you won’t either: Pop Warner participation rates dropped almost 10 percent between 2010 and 2012. Why? Because we love our sons, and we are worried that the rough, tumble, and hard knocks of a football game might turn their brains into soup.

There’s a name for the soup: CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy. It’s a brain-wasting disease notable for producing depression, sharp personality changes, and erratic, even violent behavior among those who suffer from it — and those who suffer from it seem to be disproportionately people who hit and get hit for a living: Football players. I’ve written about it before, noting that it seemed connected to the suicides of Penn lineman Owen Thomas and former Eagles standout Andre Waters, and asking whether it might’ve had anything to do with the murder charges against former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez.

It’s worth revisiting now because of three reports that emerged in recent weeks: Read more »

The 16 Best Phillies GIFs of 2014

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These are the saddest of possible words:
“Rollins to Utley to Howard”
Trio of Phillies, all in their thirties,
Rollins and Utley and Howard.
An NL East dynasty turned into rubble
If they’re all back next year, problems may double
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
“Rollins and Utley and Howard”

With apologies to Franklin Pierce Adams

The Philadelphia Phillies finished up their season yesterday the same way they finished the last three: Out of the playoffs. The Phils finished with a 73-89 record for the second consecutive year. In yesterday’s finale, Cole Hamels pitched well and took the loss — an event that happened far too often for a pitcher that posted a 2.46 ERA in 30 starts but finished with just a 9-9 record.

With the Phillies out of the playoffs, I thought I’d share some of my favorite animated GIFs I made of Phillies games this season.

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