From Redskins nose tackle Chris Baker posted this pic on his Instagram yesterday. And was surprisingly chill about it, writing: “Our bus got egged on the way to the game only in Philly lol #gameday.” (I wrote ‘an Eagles fan’ but for all we know a gang of Birds diehards whipped out a dozen and started pelting.)
Sunday was a good day for the only two purely college-to-pro coaches in the NFL. Both Tampa Bay’s Greg Schiano and the Eagles’ Chip Kelly notched wins, and though it remains unlikely the Bucs’ boss will survive the season, Kelly continues to grow in his role with the Home Team. No one can predict whether he will ever win a Super Bowl, but Kelly has shown the ability to grow into the job and has the Birds in a great position, even if that spot is first place in the NFC Island of Misfit Toys Division.
It’s impossible to give Kelly all A’s on his report card, since his decision Sunday to go into the four corners early in the final quarter allowed Washington to sneak back into the game. He has yet to grasp the nuances of clock management, something that was never much of a concern while he was at Oregon and blowing out most opponents.
One would imagine Kelly will develop a better touch in that regard as he spends more time in the NFL and has to protect leads in close games. When it comes to the more important stuff, however, he has improved considerably since the beginning of the season.
At least for this Sunday, and twice a year from now until Dan Snyder becomes a marginally better person and changes his team’s name, the Eagles will have a more racially sensitive fan base than their opponent. Nothing could make this more clear than the news that Oneida Indian Nation is taking out an anti-Redskins ad on WIP before the game.
Good things tend to happen when DeSean Jackson scores a touchdown. When the speedy wideout finds the end zone, as he did Sunday in Green Bay, the Eagles’ record is 24-5. There’s no denying the impact he can have on the game. Unfortunately, catching passes isn’t all Jackson likes to do. He showboats. He disappears when things aren’t going his way. And he talks.
After the team’s win over the Packers, Jackson spoke to reporters about the upcoming matchup with the Washington Redskins in Philadelphia, where the Eagles are winless in 10 games — a franchise record for futility. “We gotta get it going,” Jackson said. “Hopefully, we can … win in front of our home fans. But [we’ve] gotta be supported by everybody. Can’t be coming into the game, first quarter, getting boos and all that type of stuff already. You just got to work with us throughout the game.”
Even if Michael Vick has a bionic hamstring transplanted into his cranky leg before next weekend, it’s time for Chip Kelly to stop equivocating and name Nick Foles the team’s starting quarterback.
Further, even though the second-year passer isn’t perfect for the coach’s scheme, Kelly should give serious thought to making Foles the man heading into 2014, the better to use the draft to address other issues on the team. Foles has proven capable of running an NFL offense during his season and a half in the league, and just because he looks like a giraffe on ice skates when he takes off from the pocket doesn’t mean the Eagles should jettison someone who has thrown 16 touchdown passes and no interceptions this season.
Behold Eminem’s new song “Legacy,” off The Marshall Mathers L.P. 2. Behold it because he not only name-checks B-Dawk, but a whole lot of other random Eagles stuff too.
The NFL Network’s documentary series A Football Life is must-watch viewing for any fan of the sport. If you’ve seen the excellent episode on Jerome Brown and Reggie White, you know what I’m talking about. (And if you haven’t, check your local listings and stock up on Kleenex.) That tradition continues tonight at 9 p.m. with a look at Randall Cunningham, who was arguably this city’s first superstar athlete—Sports Illustrated cover boy, flashy, infinitely quotable, and a mind for marketing long before every pro saw himself as a brand. Whether you’re a die-hard Eagles nut or a casual fan, here’s why you’ll want to spend an hour with #12.
Throughout his largely forgettable seven-year career with Baltimore and the Eagles, Adrian Burk threw 28 more interceptions than TD passes. In 1951, his first year with the Birds, the Mexia, Texas (hometown of former Philadelphia head coach Ray Rhodes), product led the league with 23 picks, in just 12 games.
But on Oct. 17, 1954, Burk had it all cooking. He blasted Washington for seven TD passes in a 49-21 victory, the signature moment of a Pro Bowl season in which he tossed an NFL-leading 23 scoring strikes. His lucky seven tied the league mark that had been set 11 years earlier by Bears legend Sid Luckman.
Fifty-nine years later, Nick Foles joined Burk atop the NFL single-game list with seven TD throws against the Raiders.
So this was the best sports weekend of 2013 in Philadelphia, right? That declaration is kind of easy to make because it’s been such a crappy, crappy sports year—we’ve seen turnover in the head-coaching position for every major pro team, and nobody went to the playoffs this year. Aside from Chip Kelley’s opening-weekend win with the Eagles, it’s difficult to think of any other weekend that has produced this much fun for the city’s sports fans in awhile.
Do Philly sports fans deserve their lousy reputation? That’s the heart of an upcoming feature story, as one lifelong hometown fan tries to set the record straight once and for all.
But we want to hear from you. Based of years of cheering at the Spectrum, booing at the Vet, tailgates, parades and crushing disappointments—what’s your opinion on the state of fandom in Philadelphia?
After the jump, take our poll. Results will be published in the January issue.
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