Monthly Archives: August 2007

There’s No Way This Can Be True

http://100percentinjuryrate.blogspot.com/2007/08/frank-lampards-contract-demands-are.html

Apparently, Frank Lampard has some insane demands.  If it’s not true (which I have to hope is the case), it’s absolutely hilarious.  If these contract demands are true, then Frank Lampard is hysterically insane. 

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On Fandom

This post has been inspired by a line written by Dan Shanoff.  I think.  Shanoff is a man who elevated the super-short form of writing into an artform with the Daily Quickie on ESPN.com, which he has since brought to his own website, DanShanoff.com.  The heading (sub-heading?) at the top of his webpage, underneath the blog title, is BANDWAGON FANDOM?  WHEN IT’S THIS BLATANT, IT’S MORE LIKE “DANWAGON”.   This, of course, is a reference to a habit Shanoff has of seemingly randomly picking his teams–he started rooting for the various Florida Gators teams because (I believe) the school is his wife’s alma mater.  He started rooting for the Jacksonville Jaguars because… well, I don’t really know why he did that. 

The point is, Shanoff has some experience in the act of becoming a fan of a team–something that, throughout my life, I’ve had little experience in.  I was raised a fan of the Flyers, Sixers, Phillies, Eagles, Penn State football, and various Big 5 basketball programs (in order, Villanova-[gap]-Temple-[big gap]-Penn-St. Joe’s-LaSalle).  I cannot remember a time in my life when I had no rooting interest in these teams.  Sure, I’ve had single year affairs with other teams–I liked the Golden State Warriors last year in the playoffs, and I liked the Anaheim Angels in 2002.  I have, however, never rooted for any team above any of “my” teams, and with the teams I am most passionate about (Phillies, Flyers), I find it difficult to even root for other teams in the same league.  Regardless, Shanoff knows what it’s like to become a fan of a team, and for most of my life, I have not.  Despite the advantage of experience, it struck me as odd, if not plainly wrong, when Shanoff said something like “There’s hardly any difference between a ‘fan’ and a ‘diehard fan’–the difference is between ‘fan’ and ‘non-fan’.”

I would have sworn I read this in a Shanoff post in the past couple of weeks, but as I’m unable to find anything remotely resembling it on his blog, it’s possible he has removed it, or that someone else wrote it, and somehow I thought it was Shanoff.  Or I could be hallucinating.  It’s all that milk I drink, I bet. 

Regardless of who said that (even if I am making it up), I intend to dispute it (even if it means arguing with myself).  For the sake of the argument, I will almost exclusively use my own personal experience, which is not a remotely fallacious way to form an argument. 

My experience, in this case, has taken place over the past year as, for the first time in my life, I’ve become a new fan to a team–the Liverpool Football Club

I was like a lot of Americans when it came to soccer–I cared every four years, for the World Cup.  During the WC, I, like most American, rooted for the US team till they were invariably eliminated, at which point I began to root for the country of my ancestors (Ireland).  I remember really enjoying the World Cup in 2002, when it took place as I was on senior week, having just graduated high school.  There were about a dozen guys (and various visiting girls) staying in a house that was owned by our friend Dave’s grandfather.  This grandfather, whom I have never met, was in the habit of stealing cable.  Because he had the illegal black box, the house had every channel.  Because it was a crude, and often drunk lot staying in the house, various porn channels were on roughly 16 hours a day, and the remaining 8 were divided between the World Cup and that war movie with Owen Wilson.  I liked the World Cup.  I really enjoyed watching it, and as soon as it was over, I barely watched more than a highlight, until 2006, when it came ’round once more. 

A fairly important change happened in the four years between 2002 and 2006.  Namely, Andy and I became close.  I’ve known Andy since about 1997/98, but we didn’t really become The Captain and Gilligan-like friends until 2003.  I cannot explain how this occurred, but it did.  Andy was also close with another friend of ours, named Gershwin, who was a big man from South Africa, with a deep, rippling accent, and he, Gershwin, had grown up a Liverpool fan.  Gershwin’s enthusiasm for soccer and for Liverpool rubbed off on Andy.  When I watched the World Cup in 2006, and decided I wanted to watch more of the Beautiful Game, Andy’s enthusiasm rubbed off on me. 

2 years ago, I would classify myself, under Shanoff’s NonFan-Fan-DiehardFan system as a “NonFan”.  Today, I call myself a “Fan”, but I have the tremendous upside potential, I think, to someday reach Diehard.  Now, I’ve been a Phillies’ fan my entire life.  I pay attention to the Phillies, and to baseball, at the expense of my interest in other sports.  I’d like to contrast my interest in Liverpool FC and the Phillies and see if we can’t reach some conclusions on what it’s like to be a fan, versus a diehard fan. 

Point #1: On Winning

I adore Phillies wins.  They occur roughly 85 times a year, and each one improves my day.  Big wins–game winning home runs, dazzling pitching performances, and any time the Phils beat the Braves or the Mets–improve my day magnificently. 

I similarly adore LFC wins.  They play only about one-quarter as often as the Phillies, so the games mean more on an individual basis.  Additionally, they play (for an East Coast viewer) most of their games on Saturday mornings, around 10AM.  This means, I can get up, have some breakfast, and sit down with my coffee and eggs and watch a team I like whip a team I dislike almost every weekend.  This is a great way to start a Saturday. 

Point #2: On Losses

I’m still in the honeymoon phase of my Liverpool fandom.  I know who the big rivals are, generally–the other members of the Big 4 (Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal), as well as the club down the street, Everton.  I still, however, do not have a natural grasp of the vitality of each game played.  I can accept most losses, at this point, as Something That Happens, and though they’re disappointing, I get over them fairly quickly.  LFC was on the butt-end of some terrible officiating last weekend, which resulted in a draw against Chelsea.  I was disappointed by this result, but I can’t say I reached the disgust of various LFC bloggers that I’ve had the pleasure of reading.

Phillies losses? Well, shit.  I’ve seen 1,955 Phillie losses in my lifetime.  I’ll hit the personal 2,000 mark next year.  I’m personally 127 games under .500.  Tommy Lasorda, who’s generally an ass, said one of my favorite things about baseball a number of years ago (I’m paraphrasing): “No matter how good you are you’re going to lose 50 games.  And no matter how bad you are, you’re going to win 50 games.  It’s what happens in the rest of them that count”.  I’m a big believer in patience, in the long run, in large sample sizes.  I am also a trainwreck after losses.  I’m unhappy.  I do not want to go out after losses.  I want to sit at home and listen to death metal.  The Phils have been to the playoffs once since I was born, when I was 9 years old.  They have been tantalizingly close the past few years, and when one roots for such a prude of a team, one develops something of a defeatist mentality.  It’s a disaster. 

On Faith and Expectation

I have faith that every summer, the Phillies will get close to the division or wildcard lead.  They may even take it over, briefly.  Shortly thereafter, the pitching will stumble, or the bats will go silent, or the gloves will become like stone, and they’ll between 1 and 5 games short of making the playoffs.  It is likely, also, that they will win enough games that, if they played in the NL Central, they would have made the playoffs.  I expect the Phillies to lose, and their losses still haunt me.

I’m not really sure what to expect from Liverpool.  This spring was my first offseason as a fan, and I spent quite a bit of it just looking for LFC blogs and other sources of information.  They spent quite a bit of money on players I had either never heard of, or knew little about.  A lot of people who knew far more than I do were very excited.  I suppose I expect the team to contend for the league title, but as long as they finish in the top 3, I’m not sure how disappointed I’ll be.  “Modestly” sounds about right.

On Relationships

I almost always refer to the Phillies as “us” or “we”.  I know I do not literally suit up for the Phillies, but they are one of Philadelphia’s team, and in that sense, they are very much mine.  A team doesn’t exist without its fans, and I am, most assuredly, one of the Phillie faithful. 

LFC, well, if I have referred to them by “we”, it’s been awkward.  I love the team.  I love learning about the history.  I love watching them on the pitch, and I love hating their rivals.  But I am a part of the Phillies history–they have 10,000 losses, and I’ve been a part of nearly 1/5 of them.  Liverpool has 18 league titles in their history, and I’ve been a part of none of them, as a fan.  I wasn’t around when they won the Champions League in remarkable fashion in 2005 (the final penalty save,–which won the game–is what Andy, a week later, called “the greatest moment in the history of any sport”).  I have no involvement, as a fan, with any of their history, yet.  I am a fan, but I’m not yet a small part of the fabric of their vast, and rich history. 

On Championships

Liverpool played, last year, in the Champions League final.  I watched the game with Andy, and Gershwin, and Paul (who writes all the self-help posts), as well as Mrs Thursday and a bunch more of our friends.  We watched it in a packed soccer bar in Philadelphia, and had a blast watching the game and carrying on, until it became apparent that our opponent, AC Milan, was going to win.  The result was disappointing, and had LFC won, we may have stayed for the rest of the day, celebrating.  But, LFC lost, and we conceded that it was a good run, and there’s always next year, and all the other things sports fans tell themselves when their team’s season has finally concluded. 

If the Phillies ever win the World Series, it is possible I will explode.  I will almost definitely cry.  There’s a lovely book called The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho.  In the book, a boy works in a shop for a man who, all his life, has wanted to travel to Mecca on a pilgrimage.  When the boy works for the man, his business improves so much, that the merchant could go on his pilgrimage, as long as the boy stayed behind to mind the store.  The man doesn’t go, however.  He’s dreamed all his life of this pilgrimage, and if he goes, when he returns, he’ll have no dream left.  I fear the possibility that this explains my relationship with the Phillies.  My entire life, as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to watch them win a World Series.  What’s left if they actually do?  Regardless, at this point in my life, the Phils winning everything cannot be compared to anything Liverpool does. 

Conclusion

This is the difference between fan and diehard. The fan watches with a level of separation–the ability to remember that this is a sport and that sports are games, and games are fun, and that all of us in the stands should be enjoying ourselves.  Diehards don’t have this.  The diehard realizes that each loss is la fin du monde (French for “the end of the world, Quebec for “really damn good beer”).  Similarly, the fan has a lot of fun when the teams wins everything.  The diehard finds something deeper and more meaningful–a feat of great skill, luck, teamwork.  A miraculous accomplishment.  Each win means more to him than it ever could to the fan.  And that gap is far bigger, and more significant, than that between the Fan and the NonFan.

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Do They All Die? 12: STARDUST

dtat.jpgThe first seen, and most enjoyed, of Saturday night’s movie double-header, was the new Matthew Vaughn film, STARDUST, which is based on the eponymous Neil Gaiman novel.  Vaughn was heavily involved in Guy Ritchie’s LOCK, STOCK, AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS as well as SNATCH, and made his directorial debut in 2004, with the excellent LAYER CAKE. 

STARDUST has recieved a lot of appropriate comparisons to THE PRINCESS BRIDE, as fans of Rob Reiner’s masterpiece will probably enjoy this film.  The story is set in England, in the mid 19th century, in the village of Wall.  Wall is named, naturally, for the long wall that runs alongside the town, and its one opening is guarded day and night by a 97 year old man with a staff, to keep the Brits from entering the legendary, magical land on the other side.  A young man named Tristan, in order to win the hand of a girl in his town, vows to cross the wall to find a fallen star, and will bring the rock back to her for a ring. 

On his journey, he encounters evil princes and kindly pirates, witches both beautiful and hideous, and he finds true love, so to speak.  The story is, as with most fairy tales, somewhat predictable, but the movie finds its value, like with THE PRINCESS BRIDE, in the fact that the easily forseen ending is so much fun to get to.  The world on the other side of the wall, Stormhold, is a fun one to adventure in, and Tristan’s coming of age story probably couldn’t be more enjoyable. 

The primary villains are the prince Septimus (played by the fantastic Mark Strong), and the witch Lamia (played by Michelle Pfeiffer, who must be the best looking 49 year old woman on Earth).  Both chew the scenery a bit, clearly relishing their roles as greedy, evil types.  Claire Danes plays the fallen star well, with all the eternal nobility one would expect from a heavenly body.  Robert DeNiro has a large role as a captain of a flying pirate ship, and Ricky Gervais has a smaller one as a merchant, and both are wonderful and hysterically funny. 

Mrs Thursday’s father cannot abide anything even remotely fantastical.  If it doesn’t happen in reality as we know it, he will not willingly watch it.  That being the case, I really recommend STARDUST for anyone out there, except for him.  Some of the most fun to be had at the theater this summer. 

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Do They All Die? 11: SUNSHINE

dtat.jpgMy brother, Goose, and I decided to hit up the movies for a custom double feature last Saturday.  For those of you who have chosen to see two movies in the theater on a Saturday night, with about 25 minutes in between, this experience has a lot going on.  It’s disgusting, in that you’ve spent roughly 5 hours of your life drinking soda, and eating those terrible nachos, or Snow Caps, or Twizzlers, or those salted pretzels. 

The big upside, of course, is that you get to see 2 movies in one evening.  The secondary upside is this: normally, if one were to enter your standard AMC Regal theater and order their ungodly “large” soda, one would be handed roughly a gallon of high fructose corn syrup con agua, and told by the unsmiling attendant that refills are free.  To which you, a normal human, would laugh loudly, perhaps wondering aloud, “Who the shit is going to finish this much root beer and be physically able to go back for more?”   Well, when you’re at the theater from 7PM till after midnight, the answer to that question is you.  Or rather, it is me.  The answer is not, however, Goose, because Goose had to pee after the movie, and didn’t consider the fact that, once he “went” he’d be once again able to take in more soda. 

Moving on, we cover the 2nd part of the double header, SUNSHINE, which both Goose and I wish we could have watched first. 

SUNSHINE is the latest Danny Boyle film.  Boyle is the man who directed TRAINSPOTTING and 28 DAYS LATER and MILLIONS, which I have not seen, but have heard lovely things about.  The movie takes place 50 years into the future, in a world in which the sun is dying.  In order to save the Earth, scientists create a special kind of nuclear bomb that, if dropped into the sun, would, essentially, jumpstart the thing.  This bomb, a massive thing, was strapped a huge spaceship, called the Icarus.  When a spaceship gets close to the sun, the solar radiation prevents the ship from sending messages back to Earth.  Sometime after the Icarus came within that distance of the sun, the mission was believed to have been failed.  The sun, it would seem, was not reignited, and no one knows what happened to the ship, the bomb, or the crew. 

The movie begins aboard the Icarus 2, seven years after the disappearance of the Icarus 1.  The 8 crew members are aware how critical their mission is.  That the success of their mission supercedes the necessity of their survival.  Despite this, there are obvious tensions.  It’s a long and lonely way to the sun, and a slow march to a possible death is taxing on anyone.  Individually, various characters are dealing with this stress in their own ways.  The ship’s psychologist, Searle (played excellently by Cliff Curtis) spends a lot of his time on the ship’s observation deck, looking at the sun as brightly as he is physically able to do.  Mace, played by Chris Evans (who is much better here than he is in FANTASTIC FOUR), keeps up with maintenence.  Corazon, played by Michelle Yeoh, keeps the “oxygen garden”, which, as you can guess, is a room with a whole lot of ferns.  Capa and Cassie, played by Cillian Murphy and Rose Byrne, spend time together chatting, as Capa fine tunes the bomb.   

The first 2/3 of the movie deal with how the various characters deal with the contrast between their responsibilities and their fears, concerns, and lonelinesses on the mission.  The plot, however, is driven by their discovery of the original Icarus, emitting a distress beacon, slightly off course from their route.  They decide to divert their course, to check for survivors, and to find a second bomb, in case theirs should fail.  This, of course, proves to be a mistake. 

A movie like this one has a severly limited number of options with what it can do, at this point, in order to further the conflict.  Maybe the original Icarus was attacked, or the ship malfunctioned.  Maybe their was mutiny and sabotage.  Maybe their are survivors, maybe their are not.  SUNSHINE, goes the thriller route.  With the decision to head for the Icarus 1 come a number of problems, and some very serious danger. 

It’s a beautiful movie, and well acted, even if the story and script don’t have much room to roam.  Worth seeing, for science fiction fans. 

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Where You See Lions 4: Who’s Nostradamus?

The predictability of the weather in Western Province has proved an unexpected but welcome addition to my trip. I know that everyday at 4pm it will start to rain. I know that everyday at noon is will be dry and hot outside. I know every night will be cloudy (except for those rare, clear, and stunning nights without light pollution). This consistency can be charming and infuriating. I know everyday when I am trying to get a matatu home, it will be raining. But I also know to bring a raincoat in the mornings. It’s an interesting mix of both.

In contrast, the people of this country are not nearly so reliably predictable. Last week, I managed two workshops at two different locations near Kakamega. The locations were Burkura and Lugari (click on the map on the right–Kakamega, Lugari nad Burkura are circled). The workshops were concerning theater and microfinance. However, the reactions, experiences, and evaluation couldn’t have been different.

Burkura is a small town up a steep hill about 20kms outside of Kakamega town. Luckily, it’s only about 5kms from the village I am living, Shibuli. Nevertheless, it takes a good two hours to travel up the bumpy, treacherous and frequently cattle-prone road that leads to Burkura. In order to reach the Community Based Organization (CBO), which is not located in Burkura but in a smaller village called Matioli (which I’d like to point out was not related to me that first time I went to see the CBO) you must take another matatu and then a boda boda. The scenery is beautiful and on a clear day, you can see Mount Elgon from up there.

Nevertheless, what I discovered in Burkura are youth groups desperate for information and motivated to put acquired knowledge into action. They read Shakespeare with vigor, wrote plays with enthusiasm, and participated as often as possible. The Burkura CBO became a model, to me, for how Kenyan CBOs should behave. If nothing else, the fact that the people were friendly definitely helped.

However, Burkura has a merciless side to it as well. On the final day of the workshops, as I quickly tried to patch up loose ends, it started to rain. And it didn’t stop. Because the roads in Kenya are unsurprisingly dilapidated, paved roads are difficult to maneuver in the rain. A dirt road is nearly impossible. So when my bodaboda decided to stop a mile away from the matatu stop, I had to press on with the other volunteer and wait for three hours in the rain for a matatu. So it goes in Kenya. (We called a cab).

The following day, I went out to Lugari. Lugari is much farther away from Kakamega (about 30 miles), and it took five hours to get there. Unfortunately, the trip should only take three so I was late. Lugari was a disappointment on every level that Burkura was pleasure. The participants were immature, the director was only concerned with getting his hands on some muzungu money, and African Time took new levels of tardiness.

(Now, African Time deserves a moment of explanation.  Obviously, this refers to the way people observe time in Africa. If you plan a meeting for 9am, people begin to arrive at 10am. You should be able to start the meeting at 11pm. You will receive your final stragglers arriving around 1pm, when you’re trying to leave.)

Now, these two experiences should have not been too different. I had the same number of participants from the same organization with the same workshop. But this is how it goes in Kenya, Sometimes things work fabulously and sometimes they fabulously fall apart. This is not an indictment of one CBO and accolades for another, but simply an example that, here, things never work the way you think they will. People are unpredictable; fortunately, the weather is not.

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Suspicion is a Heavy Armor

Matthew Witte has written a scathing and fairly fascinating article on a topic that, frankly, I wish would die, already: the “artificial” inflation of Barry Bonds’ home run tally.  Now, any article addressing Bonds illicit stat inflation that mentions home runs and nothing but is written by  someone who either (A) doesn’t understand baseball very well or (B) is writing largely for sensationalism.  Witte, I think, is in the latter category.  Normally, I’d have no interest in this kind of article, but he takes an unusual angle to the whole issue of artificial number.  He isn’t addressing performance enhancing drugs, but rather, the effect of Barry’s elbow armor.  Now, plenty of people have given reason that Barry’s had helped him to hit home runs: he doesn’t fear the inside pitches, and so he’s able to loom over the play and hit pitches on the outside corner.  Witte acknowledges this fact, but goes further to say that the armor actually improves Barry’s swing.

The article is short, but if you’re too lazy to follow the link and read it, Witte’s argument is essentially thus:

Bonds’ armor has a heavy joint that forces Bonds to swing on the same plane with every swing, which means Bonds’ swing is repeated almost perfectly every time he tries to hit.  Furthermore, the mass of the armor keeps Bonds’ elbow close to the body, which allows him to swing the bat more rapidly than most hitters, as well as giving his swing more mass overall. 

So, basically, says Witte, the armor basically allows Barry a swing that is faster, more powerful, and more consistent, and this altered swing “contributed no fewer than 75 to 100 home runs to his already steroid-questionable total”.  Now, Witte is, apparently, a mechanics expert (which I am not), but his article is painfully short and without explanation.  Witte only writes of his conclusion, not of his actual observations, or his method of information gathering.  He claims that he has studied Bonds swing “countless times on video: and that he has “examined the gear closely through photographs” [emphasis mine].  Frankly, this puts his conclusions to be a bit suspect to me, as I, too, have examined Bonds’ swing countless times–I estimate that I’ve seen him swing the bat more than just about any non-Phillie.  I, too, have “closely” examined Bonds armor in photos, but mostly that was out of curiousity.  Witte makes several claims regarding the weight and function of a device he has never held, touched, or genuinely examined, and frankly, I can’t take them at face value.  Furthermore, he doesn’t explain how reaches the “75 to 100 home runs” added to Barry’s total because of the pad. 

I’m not really sure what the “joint” in Barry’s pad is supposed to do.  My elbow operates on a two-dimensional plane, like a hinge.  To the best of my knowledge, Barry’s does the same.  The fact that the pad’s joint cannot bend past 180 degrees seems, to me, likewise irrelevant.  My elbow also stops at “straight”.  I don’t know what more Witte expects Barry’s elbow to do. 

Oh, and finally, Bonds armor is sanctioned by Major League Baseball.  Now, while it’s entirely possible that Bonds’ armor exceeds the MLB restriction on size (10 inches), it’s conceivable that Bonds has specific permission to use his pad, granted to him by MLB.  Since Bonds’ pad is easily over 10 inches long, it’s safe to assume that Bonds has been granted special permission to use the pad, given his injury history (elbow surgery in 1999), otherwise, umpires would have thrown him out quite a few times by now. 

Now, this is all to say that, assuming that Witte’s dubious conclusions are correct: that Bonds pad allows him to hit outside pitches, to swing faster, more consistently, and to put more weight into the swing, that none of this is illegal.  While it may have aided Bonds to hit more dingers, this particular factor is no more illicit than the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium that Babe Ruth loved so much, or the launching pad where Aaron hit his homers. 

Now, Witte argues that Bonds was helped to the tune of 10-13% of his current career home run total by this pad.  As I mentioned earlier, Witte addresses nothing but Bonds home run total, and doesn’t examine the effect that these superior swings had when Barry’s contact did not send the ball over the wall.  Did Barry hit for higher batting average? Pretty much, yes.  Did he strike out less?  No, not really.  Barry walked a lot more often, but I don’t know if that’s related to his elbow pad. 

Further related to the nature of this Barry Bonds witch hunt is that Witte doesn’t examine the effects of any other elbow pads.  Craig Biggio, who is roughly one-twelfth the size of Barry, wears an elbow pad nearly as big.  Now, Biggio is pretty well known for the frequency with which he gets plunked by pitchers coming inside, but cannot a similar argument be made for Biggio’s armor?  Biggio just crawled his way to his 3,000th hit, after all, and did all his work in the steroid era.  Now, Biggio was never really a home run hitter, so he’s been largely exempt from controversy (and I am certainly not trying to accuse him of something illicit), but if a pad-less Barry only tallies 87-90% of his current home run total, is it not reasonable to suggest that Biggio’s hit total would take a similar blow?  If that’s the case, than Biggio stands with 2,629-2,720 hits, and at the rate he’s currently hitting, it would take him till (roughly) 2045 to reach the mythical 3,000 hit plateau. 

I would not be at all surprised if body armor allows players more advantages than just a fearlessness on the inside part of the plate.  But, honestly, at this point, I can’t imagine how performance is affected nearly as much as Matthew Witte seems to think.   

[Editor and Publisher via Shysterball]

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Eagles Fans > All Others

 

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I am not an overwhelming NFL fan, though I am an Eagles fan.  That is, I don’t watch too much football that doesn’t involve my hometown team.  I am, however, a big fan of Eagles fans.  In fact, Eagles fans are a big part of the reason I’m into football at all.  They consistently amaze me. 

Now, it seems to me by, ya know, reading messages boards (and the comments area of Deadspin), that the Eagles’ fanbase is reviled much the way the Yankee fanbase is reviled among baseball fans.  We are loud, arrogant, cruel, merciless, and everywhere.  Especially when the Eagles are playing well, the Eagle Fan Juggernaut cannot be stopped by factors like geography, and other teams’ fans.  Games in New York, Washington, Florida, Texas, California, and elsewhere are overrun by overweight, moustachioed loudmouths, singing our fight song and cheering E-A-G-L-E-S! 

Now, last January, Philadelphians, unsatisfied by the global warming-induced 65 degree weather, decided to import snow to throw snowballs at New York Giants fans in the parking lot before a playoff game in Philly.  It was an stunning, fantastic move for a playoff celebration. 

Now, Philly fans have long attended–in giant numbers–the Eagles training camp at Lehigh University, north of the city.  I have no idea if training camp is remotely as popular among other teams as it is with the Eagles, but regardless, there’s certainly a lot of people there, and the rest of the fans can’t help but pay attention to the reports coming out of there.  It would seem, though, that this year a few intrepid Eagles fans found themselves boldly going into foreign territory. 

Five fans, in full Eagle regalia, attended the Dallas Cowboy’s training camp recently.  Naturally, the Cowboy fans weren’t fond of this, and started up the standard, “Eagles suck” chants.  The Philly boys responded with some pro-Eagle chanting, and by getting themselves interviewed for the local news:

One of the Iggles fans explained, “We came down here to see if they learned how to kick an extra point yet.”  And the group knew their presence would be upsetting to former Eagle [Terrell] Owens – not because of bad memories, but as they said, “We’re getting all of T.O.’s camera time.” 

Just outstanding stuff there.  More reason for the rest of the NFL to hate us, and more reason for the hometown to be proud.  We don’t like you lot, anyway.  I’m looking at you, Joe Gibbs. 

[From SportsbyBrooks, via The700Level]

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