Category Archives: Football

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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John Clayton Takes Some Things Too Literally

I am not an overwhelming NFL guy.  I like football, though I enjoy college football more (no sort of elitist reasoning, or anything to do with the players/money/etc, I just like having several hundred teams in the mix).  That said, I have grown up in Philadelphia, where people start buying tickets for training camp in February.  My passing fandom for the Iggles resembles the passion of most fans from, well, just about anywhere else.  On a whim, I signed up for Eagles season tickets about 3 years ago.  I expect to have my seats in about 50 years (I believe the wait is now up to 70 or 80 years).  Philly is crazy for its Eagles.  I’m just interested in them. 

I don’t post often about football here because, well, it’s blogged about elsewhere better than I ever could.  Also, I really don’t care about the NFL too much during the offseason.  But training camps are just about to start up, and naturally, ESPN’s John Clayton and SI’s Peter King and all the other so-called experts are out on the beat to tell us what our favorite teams are going to have to do win the Superbowl.

Regarding my Eagles, Clayton writes:

Philadelphia Eagles — After being down for one year in 2005 because of a Donovan McNabb injury and the Terrell Owens turmoil, the Eagles are back atop the NFC East. The key to camp is watching McNabb. He’s the key to their season. Supposedly, he enters camp with his knee at about 85 percent. Considering the severity of the knee injury, that’s not bad. Carson Palmer was probably about 80 percent last year and he had a good season. Andy Reid should allow the running game to develop during camp knowing McNabb won’t have all of his mobility.

Okay, now, aside from the obvious nature of Clayton’s “observation” (if the QB is healthy and good, then the Eagles will do better than if he’s not), the evidence he uses to judge Donovan’s health is ludicrous.  McNabb estimated the other day that he was at about 85%.  These athlete estimates of their health are insane anyway.  At least, as much as I love Don, I don’t know how much I trust his math.  He’s got a lot of reasons to estimate high right there. 

A year ago, Carson Palmer, coming back from knee injury, estimated he was at 80%.  Carson Palmer, whose math I would trust far less than Donovan’s, came back to have a good year for the Bengals. 

John Clayton, a total nerd is taking these two estimates at face value, taking them literally, and figuring that McNabb is in good shape, because Carson Palmer was fine.  I could be overreacting, but I am now forced to look incredulously at all the words spoken and written by Mr Clayton, who is a crazy person.

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Maintainin’ Your Rep

There’s a long standing tradition in American national sports broadcasts involving a Philadelphia sports team. The network broadcasting the game is obligated to hire either (1) a self-righteous commentator like Joe Buck to bash the Philadelphia sports fans at every opportunity, bringing up the Snowballs For Santa incident if it’s a football game, and it’s baseball spinoff, Batteries for J.D. Drew during the summertime. This, incidentally, is damn annoying for those of us who live in Philadelphia and watch sports.

The other option for networks is to hire ex-players who used to play against the Eagles/Phillies/etc, such as Michael Irvin, and for these players to recall with horror their playing days and what the treatment from the fans could be like. This is equally annoying, but mainly because we have to guess that Michael Irvin is saying all-sorts of mean, nasty things, because, well, we don’t know what he’s actually saying.

Regardless, it has always been Mr. Thursday’s position that Philadelphia fans are no worse than Boston or New York. They’re passionate, they show up for every game, and they demand a lot from their players. Since the national broadcast teams have to bring up throwing snowballs at a drunk, disheveled Santa Claus in 1968, it seems as though some Philly fans have become a little restless that their reputation keeps citing a nearly 40-year old event.

So, last weekend, with the New York Giants we so inferior toward in town, some fans took it upon themselves to import snow to the stadium parking lot in a big truck and chuck snowballs at visiting Giants fans. In case anyone was unaware, it was about 65 degrees at kickoff for Sunday’s game.

We got this story from Run Up the Score, and have no idea if it’s true, but, if so, it’s amazing. We’re amazed. This is amazing.

If anyone can confirm this story, or provide some visual accompaniment (pictures, video, whatever), send us a line at MrThursday128 [at] gmail [.] com.

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In news that is only related because it, too, would fit under this title, President George W. Bush is going to give a speech tonight about the “revised” plan for Iraq. The plan isn’t going to be much of a surprise, as it will apparently call for a “surge” of more troops into Iraq to do whatever it is that more troops would do. The various American newspapers have already written numerous articles and columns about the plan that hasn’t been revealed in the speech that hasn’t been spoken. It’ll air on all the major networks tonight at 9PM, EST. We’ll be tuning in to find out what we already know.

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Steve Serby Is An Asshat

Mr. Thursday is not one for anonymous interweb tirades, but we’re working on 3 hours sleep and this just has a way of angering us enough to write about here.

Steve Serby is a sports columnist for the New York Post. He, to our knowledge, mostly writes about football, but we admit that we only presume this because the only other instance in which we’re familiar with him was that in 1981, Serby got jacked by Richard Todd, a QB for the New (Jersey) York Jets, after Serby wrote that Matt Robinson should start in his place. Todd didn’t care for that, and let Serby know by tossing him into a locker.

Anyway, fast-forward 25 uneventful years, and Steve Serby is writing an article called “Philled With Emotion“, about the upcoming Philadelphia Eagles – New York Giants playoff game, mostly regarding the eminent hostility between the teams and their fanbases.

Serby, like every other sportswriter in America, blames the Philly fans for the hostility in his article. Her summarizes thusly:

The venom is fueled by a fan base that has no Super Bowl champion to call its own. The proud people of Philadelphia can boast of “Rocky,” of Smokin’ Joe Frazier, of their cheesesteaks, but let’s not kid ourselves: They are afflicted with the same inferiority complex every other city in the country has with New York, and that isn’t provincial poppycock. It’s probably magnified by the proximity. Every rabid Giants fan is Steve Mara and every Eagles fan is the guy who taunted him in the workplace and paid for it.

We’d like to respond specifically to the portion of that quote we’ve bolded.

Steve Serby, you’re a fucking twat. You’re right. We, the people of Philadelphia, hate New York. But the reason isn’t some kind of little brother inferiority complex. It’s because of people like you, Steve Serby, with your pompous, “Well, of course New York City is better than everywhere else”, we-are-the-center-of-the-universe attitude.

Where is the connection, exactly, between Philadelphia’s hatred of New York City (and we assume you mean the city, and not the state, even though you neglected to put “City” into your article) and your supposed inferiority complex? Do we envy Dallas, too? Or the entire state of New Jersey? What aboue Boston? We must have a big inferiority complex for Atlanta. Now, it’s true that we don’t hate Boston, Atlanta or New Jersey as much as we hate you, but during football season our hatred of your overblown, concrete, rat-infested, shit-stain of a city doesn’t compare to our disdain for Dallas.

While it’s possible that some people in some cities feel an inferiority complex in regards to New York City, it’s not true of the overwhelming majority of the population in Philly, or any other city on Earth. Boston can’t stand you either, and it’s for the same reasons–you’re a bunch of arrogant blowhards. Washington despises you, and if you’re going to try to tell us that the capital of the United States has New York City-envy then, well, we just don’t know what to say. Your arrogance has overrun our ability to argue, if that’s what you believe. It, clearly, cannot be penetrated or reasoned with.

So, do we envy New York City? Do we relish those first few moments when we step out of Penn Station by Madison Square Garden, out onto the sidewalk, and choke on your disgusting, polluted air? Do we Philadelphians wish and hope that we, too, can pay $15 for a burger for T.G.I. Friday’s? Or that we can live in a Manhattan or Brooklyn slum with rent higher that a two-bedroom in Rittenhouse Square? That we can pay $8 for a grilled cheese? Where the best thing happening for New Year’s is a bunch of idiots standing in the middle of an interesection staring upward for 4 hours waiting for a bunch of lightbulbs to sink?

Give us a break.

Steve Serby, you and your goddamned city can go fuck each other.

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Identity Crisis: The NFL and Nation-States

Juliet Capulet once famously asked, “what’s in a name?”  She remarked, precociously (she was, after all, only 14 at the time), that the value of a thing is not found in its name, but in the thing itself.  The fact that she is saying this to justify a crush on her family’s mortal enemy is immaterial.  Imagine any 14 year-old girl.  The first adjective Mr. Thursday is prepared to assign to the image we’ve conjured is “hysterical”.  Now, if a girl who, if alive today, would not have been born until 1992, has enough maturity and intelligence that a name only has meaning in pretentious literature, we wonder why football players, and more importantly, government officials cannot realize the same.

This little quandary stems from two recent events: first, Will James played his second game as a Philadelphia Eagle on Sunday.  Will James is a cornerback, who is known for being very good, albeit injury prone, but he formerly played for the New York Giants under the name Will Peterson.  Second, Bangalore, a city of 7 million people–and the city to which you are connected when you call Dell’s service numbers–no longer exists.  The powers that be have changed the name.  Ladies and gentlemen, we give you “Bengalooru”, the City of Cooked Beans. 

At the Curious Mechanism, we were stunned to learn that anyone, anywhere-outside-of-Texas, would intentionally rename their city after the Musical Fruit.  Upon some quick research, we’ve come upon an explanation.  Bengalooru is short for Benda Kaluru, which means city of cooked beans.  The name is based on a myth that a starving king was fed beans by an old woman on the site of what would become Bangalore/Bengalooru.  It’s a mildly interesting story, but we can’t help but wondering: what’s the point?

Bangalore is one of the most well known cities in the world.  Probably  the most well known in India, and behind Tokyo and Beijing for its recognition throughout Asia.  It’s a massive city and, by Indian standards, a prosperous one.  It is the “global village” that pundits write about.  Bangalore is a place to meet people from anywhere throughout the world.  Bangalore has become Bengalooru as part of a desultory effort by Indian authorities to de-Anglicize their country, since Bangalore was the British name for the place.  India has been doing a lot of this lately–Bombay has become Mumbai, Calcutta is Kolkata and so on.  In a ridiculous maneuver, they’ve given Kamptee its “aboriginal” name, Kampthi, despite history showing that the place was named for Camp T, a trading post owned by Britain’s own East India Company.  India isn’t trying to recapture a lost or Anglicized history, they’re merely trying to whitewash over the obvious influence of the Western world.  Mumbai is still the giant city Bombay was, with all the same history, and problems.  Same for Bengalooru. 

 So, we wonder about Mr. Will James, and others.  Tra Thomas, also of the Eagles, decided during the offseason that he only wanted to be known as William, which has given him the nickname on Philadelphia sports pages as William “Don’t Call Me Tra” Thomas.  Both cite the same sort of reason: they’ve made personal changes, and as part of the New Person that they are, they’re taking on an appropriately new name.  This strikes Mr. Thursday as a similar sort of white-washing.  We don’t know the Williams’ James or Thomas, but outside of injury problems for James and holding penalties for Thomas, we don’t know what they’re trying to escape from, and we don’t see what they’ve changed to.

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Not All Bad

Boosters, largely, have a bad reputation in the United States. The perception–one which may or may not be accurate–is that boosters have turned college sports into Big Money Business, and the purity of sport has been lost in a tide of money, gifts, and new equipment. Apparently, not quite all boosters, however, are just turning their cash over to schools in hopes of winning.

Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale told the University of North Texas to rename their practice facility after fired football coach Darrell Dickey. Dickey was fired last week after having a heart attack on October 12th. If U of NT fails to rename the stadium, McIngvale redirects the money to the One O’Clock Lab Band, the music school at the university.

McIngvale believes, and Mr. Thursday is inclined to agree, that it’s wrong and, well, asinine thing to fire a coach three weeks after having a heart attack. While its true that Dickey doesn’t have a winning record at North Texas, it doesn’t seem as though they’ve had one in a while, anyway. And even if the coach did deserve firing, its disgraceful to kick someone who’s already on the ground. Let the guy finish out his contract after recovering from the heart attack, already.

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