2008/12/29

Pittsburgh Panthers All-Time NFL Roster


On the day before the Panthers take on Oregon State in the Sun Bowl, we decided to come up with the Pitt Panthers all-time football roster, as I believe that it is one of the best. This roster is simply based on a players professional performance in the NFL, so their college play does not factor in. It is basically like coming up with a pro-bowl NFL team, but each player represents the college that they went to. And after some research, I believe that Pitt has one of the best teams of any college. Here is the roster--

OFFENSE
QB - Dan Marino
RB - Tony Dorsett
RB - Curtis Martin
WR - Larry Fitzgerald
WR - Antonio Bryant
TE - Mike Ditka
OL - Mark May
OL - Bill Fralic
OL - Jimbo Covert
OL - Russ Grimm
OL - Ruben Brown


DEFENSE
DE - Chris Doleman
DT - Tony Siragusa
DT -Sean Gilbert
DE - Hugh Green
LB - Joe Schmidt
LB - Rickey Jackson
LB - Marty Schottenheimer
CB - Darrelle Revis
CB - Shawntae Spencer
S - Hank Poteat
S - Anthony Dorsett

Head Coach - Pop Warner

Key reserves: Craig "Ironhead" Heyward, Jeff Christy, Mark Stepnoski, Jeff Otah, Gerald Hayes


If you break down the roster, there are some strengths and weaknesses. The offense looks to be one of the best of any college, with hall of famers at the QB, RB, and TE position. Dan Marino is arguable the best pro quarterback ever, definitely top five. At running back, you feature two of the six rushers in terms of rushing yards all-time. No other team would have that solid a combo at quarterback and running back. The offense also features the first NFL tight end hall of famer in Mike Ditka, and also features all five starting pro-bowl offensive lineman. If there is a weakness on the offense, it is at wide receivers, but the two starting wide receivers are both currently 1000 yard receivers this football season, with Larry Fitzgerald going over 1400 for the 3rd time in his career, and Antonio Bryant going over 1200 this season, his 2nd 1000 yard season of his career.

The weakness of the Pitt team appears to be the defense. The front 7 is pretty good, especially at defensive end and linebacker. This Pitt team features two of the top ten players in the NFL in all-time sacks, in Chris Doleman, and Rickey Jackson, and also features a hall of famer in linebacker Joe Schmidt. We all know how important it is in today's NFL to get pressure on the quarterback, and this Pitt all-time team would be able to do that. The weakness on the Pitt defense comes in the secondary. Darrelle Revis is one of the best young cornerbacks in the game, but at the other cornerback, and safety positions, this team shows some weakness.

All in all, I think if you were to make an NFL pro-bowl team based on where the players went to college, Pitt would be one of the best. The Pitt offense may be the best offense there is, and Pitt would easily destroy notable rivals Penn State or West Virginia. In fact, I welcome anyone from another school to make a similar list, and we can see which team is better.

Yes We Can


After the incredible turn of events on Sunday, I think it’s worthwhile to hit the pause button on Reid debates for a few days and just let the improbable outcome sink in. It’s likely that a similar pattern of dominoes falling in just the right way in a single December afternoon won’t happen again for decades, so we should take this rare opportunity to just enjoy it. One could justifiably point fingers at Reid for putting the team’s entire season in the unreliable hands of the Raiders, but in light of the Bird’s complete domination and utter humiliation of Romo & Company, let’s leave that for another day. For now, let’s just revel once again in playoff football Philly style! And, oh yeah, one more thing: How ‘Bout Them Cowboys….!

2008/12/28

Eagles Clinch Playoff Berth


The Eagles clinched a playoff berth on the final day of the regular season by beating the Cowboys, and receiving help from a couple other teams. In what is easily one of the strangest seasons I can remember as a fan, the Eagles who finished the season 9-6-1, embarrassed the Cowboys 44-6. The Eagles game was only part of the story, as the Eagles needed the Raiders to beat the Buccaneers, and the Texans to beat the Bears, both of which happened.

To recap a wacky Sunday--

Raiders 31 Buccaneers 24 1:00 p.m.
Texans 31 Bears 24 1:00 p.m.

Those results made the Eagles game at 4:00 p.m. a "win and you're in" scenario for the Eagles and Cowboys, and the Eagles took full advantage. The Eagles kicked the Cowboys ass the entire game. The first quarter ended with the score 3-3, and then the Eagles just poured it on. The Eagles had a great game plan, and were well-balanced on offense ending with 21 passes from McNabb, and 34 rushes. The 34 rushes went for 139 yards, and clearly allowed the Eagles to control the game, and keep McNabb out of difficult situations in the passing game. Correll Buckhalter, who looked like he couldn't be tackled by the Cowboys defenders, ended up as the Eagles leading rusher and receiver. Brent Celek, also played well and scored a receiving touchdown. McNabb, Westbrook, and Jackson were solid on offense also.

On defense, the Eagles forced 5 turnovers, had 4 sacks, 1 interception, and scored 2 touchdowns. Brian Dawkins, who I will be naming my first born after, was amazing. Dawkins looked fired up from the beginning coming out of the tunnel, and didn't disappoint during the game. He was all over the field, and forced two fumbles, both of which were returned for touchdowns. Chris Clemons also stood out on defense, with two sacks, a forced fumble, and a long fumble return for a touchdown. The Eagles were able to shut down the Cowboys running game for the most part, and forced the Cowboys into passing situations, and thus were able to bring a lot of pressure, which Tony Romo clearly couldn't handle. Romo, T.O., and the rest of the Cowgirls looked like they couldn't wait for the game to be over.

It all resulted in a 44-6 victory over the hated Cowboys, clinching a spot for the Eagles in the playoffs, all while eliminating the Cowboys from playoff contention. It was a great day for Eagles fans, one we haven't had in a while. Rooting the Raiders on to an improbably victory over the Bucs, and needing the Texans or Giants to win, and having the Texans come through. The early games were only an appetizer as to what was to come in the Eagles game.

So we move onto the playoffs, playing very good football. Maybe more importantly, Andy Reid is actually calling running plays lately, excluding the Redskins game. The Eagles will go to Minnesota to play the Vikings next Sunday at 4:15 p.m. The Vikings are the #1 defense in the NFL against the run, and also feature the NFL's leading running back in Adrian Peterson, so the Eagles will have their hands full. We will have full playoff coverage as the week goes on.

2008/12/26

Eagles Need Win... And Help


The Eagles will play their 16th game of the season this Sunday, and the playoffs are on the line for both the Eagles, and their hated opponent, the Cowboys. Unfortunately for the Eagles, they not only need to win this game, they need help from some other teams. Here is what needs to happen to see the Eagles playing football in January--
  1. The Eagles need to beat the Cowboys
  2. The Raiders need to beat the Buccaneers
  3. The Giants need to beat the Vikings OR the Texans need to beat the Bears

Seems unlikely, but hey, that's why they play the games. To win the game at hand, the Eagles will need a team effort from the offense, defense, and ohh yeah, the play calling. If the play calling is poor, the Eagles really do not have a chance to win this game. However, if Andy Reid actually calls a normal pass-run ratio, the Eagles will have a good chance to win this game. The Eagles defense has been great all season, however, the Cowboys were one of the few teams to put up a lot of points on this defense. If the Eagles can stop the run like they have been able to do lately, they should be able to get pressure on Romo, and hopefully force some turnovers.

On offense, as usual, Brian Westbrook will need to have a huge game, and he is the only consistent play maker. If McNabb throws 50 passes this game, they Eagles have no chance to win. Not only is that bad play calling, the Eagles do not have the personnel at wide receivers to get it done consistently in the passing game.

It is a shame for all us Eagles fans that the Eagles season has come down to this - a must-win game, and needing help.

2008/12/23

Reid's Only Friend?


You know you’re in trouble when your only supporter is Howard Eskin. We’re sure that Howard will spend the week re-educating the legion of nitwits like ourselves who believe that a 26% to 74% run to pass play ratio is a recipe for disaster, especially in windy conditions. But Andy and Howard always know better because…well, just because! The real question is whether Banner and Lurie still believe they know better too. The answer may well determine whether the Eagles will ever get a peek at playoff football for the next decade.

2008/12/22

Just a Yard Short


Honestly, what can really be said after a loss like that that hasn’t already been said? We try to find the words. Although the Eagles only came up a yard short of tying the game at the end, there was a lot wrong with the way this game played out from the Eagles standpoint.

We should win if our running back plays well. We should win if our defense can shut down the opposing QB. We should win if our QB plays well. These are statements that are made from fans of all teams from all over every football Sunday. Unfortunately, with this Eagles team, we have to go into every game wondering if the play calling by Andy Reid will even allow us to win the game. We have an asterisk next to every statement like that above that we make. We should win….. if the play calling is good. Unfortunately for us, the play calling was not good, and has not been good all season.

The Eagles called 14 running plays, which doesn’t include the runs by McNabb. Two of those runs were on the final drive of the first half, in which they just ran twice, and let the time run out; so those don’t really count. 46 passes. It’s insulting to us die-hard Philadelphia Eagles fans to have the play calling not even give us a chance to win the game. As fans, we complain a lot about the Eagles’ shortcomings, as we should. But when you throw the ball 50 times a game, the receivers are going to drop a lot of balls, McNabb is going to throw some bad passes…. that’s what happens when you throw the ball so much. When you run, you get to control the game. You control the line of scrimmage, you control the clock, and thus control the pace of the game. Apparently, Andy Reid doesn’t realize that any of this is important to the game. He still feels as if throwing the ball every play will result in 50 points a game. This has not proven to be the case, in fact, it is quite the opposite. The Eagles have the most success when running the football. This Eagles team is 7-0 this season when they run the football more than their opponent. They are 1-6-1 when they have fewer carries than their opponent. Another frustrating thing is that in the game, the Eagles were never down by more than one possession, yet if you look at the play calling, you would have thought that the Eagles were down by 20 and trying desperately to get back into the game. The game at hand did not dictate so many passes to be called.

I’d like to continue the Andy Reid bashing by mentioning a post-game comment in which Andy Reid stated that the defense “started slowly.” That’s funny, since it was 0-0 after the 1st quarter, 3-0 at halftime. That is starting slowly? The only Redskins touchdown drive came on an 18-yard drive after a turnover in the 3rd quarter. The defense was the only reason we were even in that game until the end. In fact, the defense has been stellar all season long for the most part, especially as of late.

As for the game itself, it was not pretty. The Eagles were without their incredible wide receivers, Kevin Curtis and Hank Baskett. Two players who would barely be missed on any other team, were greatly missed for the Eagles on Sunday. Reggie Brown was forced into the lineup, and Greg Lewis had his role increased. The only problem with that is they both suck. L.J. Smith, the Samuel Dalembert of the Eagles, continues to dissappoint on the field, missing key blocks in big situations, and dropping a couple passes. DeSean Jackson, while still an impressive rookie, dropped a few passes including a long pass on the final drive which fell right through his hands.

Many negatives, mostly on offense and the coaching, and not a lot of positives coming out of the game resulted in a crushing loss for the Eagles, who may have ruined their playoff chances. The Eagles now need the Bucs to lose to the Raiders no matter what, also need the Bears to lose one of their last two games, or the Vikings to lose their final game. Ohh yeah, they also need to beat the Cowboys the final game of the season. I guess if the Eagles don’t get in, it would be nice to beat the Cowgirls the final day of the season.

2008/12/20

Pitt Beats Duke on Buzzer Beater

One year ago today, we witnessed one of the best college basketball games of the 2007-2008 season. Here is a recap of what happened--


2008/12/19

Eagles Need Victory to Stay Alive


The Eagles will travel to DC to play their division rival Washington Redskins on Sunday. One again, as it has been for the past few weeks, the Eagles need to win, and need some help from around the league. Either the Falcons or Bucs need to lose a game for the Eagles to jump in front of them. The Cowboys also need to lose, but the Eagles can handle that themselves the final weekend of the season.

The Eagles cannot afford to look past this game, as the Redskins are a good team, and proved that already when they came up to Lincoln Financial Field earlier in the season and beat the Eagles. The Redskins controlled the game by running the ball all over the Eagles, especially in the 2nd half. The Eagles defense will need to do a better job stopping the run this game, which they have been able to do most of the season. The Redskins offense has not been good as of late, but if the Redskins are able to run the ball effectively, it will open up a lot of things for them, and make for a long day for the Eagles on defense.

On offense, the Eagles need to continue doing exactly what they have been doing in the past three weeks. It starts with the play calling. Andy Reid got away from the run a little bit in the Browns game, which didn't matter, since the Browns are so bad. The Eagles need to run the ball in this game to maximize their offense, and use both Westbrook and Buckhalter in the rushing attack. If the Eagles can do this, it should not put too much pressure on Donovan McNabb, and he can make the passes he needs to make.

Bottom line, the Eagles should win this game, which is why they are favored on the road to a team they already lost to earlier in the season. However, this game could be easily overlooked, and that would be a mistake. Any divisional game is tough, especially a game on the road. The Eagles and Redskins face off Sunday at 4:00.

2008/12/18

2008 College Football Playoff

.... And then there were two. We are down to the final two teams in our college football playoff, and it is a great game with the #1 and #2 seeds, Oklahoma and Florida, respectively.


Mr. Green: Oklahoma
Roget: Florida
Willard: Florida
Dr. G: Oklahoma
Jack Flack: Oklahoma

WINNER: OKLAHOMA (3-2)

Oklahoma takes the national Championship in a very close game. Congratulations to the Oklahoma Sooners, the 2008 National Champions.

So what does this all mean? Did the BCS get it right, since we ended up with Oklahoma and Florida in the championship through a playoff? The answer is a resounding No. In fact, the question "Did the BCS get it right?" is a stupid question to be begin with, because the BCS cannot get it right, the BCS is not right to begin with. The BCS means a computer chooses two teams to play for the National Championship. Whether the two teams selected are the best two teams in the nation is meaningless. What about Texas? Alabama? USC? Boise State? Utah? There are other teams still with just one loss. Oklahoma lost to Texas, Florida lost at home to Ole Miss. The point is there are arguments for and against all of the top teams, which is why we need a playoff system in college football. Division I-AA, and all Divisions below that have a playoff system.

College basketball will always be better than college football, because of college basketball's playoff system, March Madness. Did anybody ask whether Memphis and Kansas deserved to play for the National Championship last season? Did anybody ask whether March Madness got it right? No, because March Madness is a great playoff system, which always features classic, memorable games, upsets, buzzer beaters, and memories. A playoff system in football would probably create the same result.

To close our 2008 college football playoff, here is the final bracket, and how the tournament played out.


2008/12/17

2008 College Football Playoff

The final two teams are set, and there really have been no major upsets in this college football tournament. The top two teams square off in the Orange Bowl. The matchup is as follows--
#1 Oklahoma vs. #2 Florida - Orange Bowl, Miami, FL.

This is the same game as the real live National Championship game this season, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out. It may be a face off of the two best quarterbacks in the nation with Tim Tebow and Sam Bradford.

Here is the updated bracket--


Stay tuned, as we will vote on who will be crowned the National Champion.

2008 College Football Playoff

The final four teams are set, and we are ready to go with the games. Two good matchups square off with Oklahoma playing Alabama, and Florida going against USC. The winners of the games will play each other in the National Championship game in the Orange Bowl.



Mr. Green: Oklahoma
Roget: Oklahoma
Willard: Alabama
Dr. G: Oklahoma
Jack Flack: Oklahoma

WINNER: OKLAHOMA (4-1)





Mr. Green: USC
Roget: USC
Willard: Florida
Dr. G: Florida
Jack Flack: Florida

WINNER: FLORIDA (3-2)

The top two seeds are able to survive, including a close matchup of Florida and USC. This means that the #1 and #2 teams in the nation will match up to play in the National Championship. The Big 12 champ Oklahoma vs. the SEC champ Florida. An updated bracket will soon follow showing the showdown for the National Championship.

2008/12/16

RE: Fans are Back to Drinking the Kool-Aid


To Whomever finds pleasure in ripping Philly fans,

I, for one, and sick and tired of being bashed and deemed a "fair-weather fan" when, in reality, you could not find a more passionate yet knowledgeable group of fans than you can find here in Philly. Fair-weather? Nonsense! The only "problem" with Philly fans is that we have a unique blend of obnoxiousness and smarts. It isn't supposed to be like that; fans are supposed to be obnoxiously dumb or smart but classy. Yes, the Philly fans ripped the Birds for all of the awful performances they have had so far this year. But it was well deserved. We weren't just booing for the sake of booing a losing team. We know football, and we see the potential of our team. To see that potential unfulfilled because a coach can't control a family let alone a football team is heartbreaking. All we want is to see the best effort put forth on the field. When you are playing for a Philadelphia team, we will cheer when you dive out of bounds to try to save an errant pass, or when you hit a ground ball to second base with nobody out to move a runner to third. However, we will also let you have it when you call a bootleg toss to an incumbent Tight End on 4th and 1. Nobody is drinking any cool-aid. Nobody all of the sudden supports Andy Reid or thinks that McNabb has a few more years left in him. If anything, a lot of the city is a little bit weary that this late season success is going to give the organization an excuse to hold on to this has been quarterback and ass of a coach when we know that neither of them is the long term answer.

Philly fans are not fair-weathered. We do demand 100% effort every time, and when that effort is put forth, we will support you like none other. Just ask the Phillies. But when a "playoff-caliber" team ties one of the biggest jokes in the NFL, yes we are going to get frustrated. And when we beat the defending Super Bowl champs on the road, then we are going to be happy. That's not being a fair-weather fan, that's being human. What did you want us to say after the bad games "Yeah, we know that Andy Reid blew this game for the team and for the city, but we still love you Eagles!" That couldn't be expected of any fan of any team. I am proud to be a Philly fan. You can say what you want about the boos and the cursing and the attitude, but the biggest keys to being a fan are passion and knowledge, and Philly is filled with fans who possess tons of both.

- Hollywood

Fans are back to drinking the Kool-Aid



The Eagles won on Monday night, and now all of you fair-weather fans are back to drinking the proverbial Kool-Aid. Do not get me wrong, I obviously like the Eagles winning, but give me a break; how much of a hypocrite, fair-weather fan can you be? Everyone reading this including us was calling for Andy Reid's head on a silver platter. Most of you would have traded McNabb for a bag of peanuts. And now what? They win a few games and all is forgotten. Now it comes down to a game against the TO-ified Cowgirls for a wild card spot. Awesome - congratulations front-running, bandwagon jumping fans who are blinded by a playoff birth, now we can have two first round picks in the twenties and have both McNabb and Reid for another year of mediocrity, a 75-25 pass/run ratio and maybe a possibility of a playoff birth. This same thing happened when McNabb went down and Garcia came in. We made a run to the playoff, because Reid decided to play call like a normal, intelligent coach. If this same organization is back here in tact next season, the first game next year we will be back to all of this nonsense again. I am a McNabb fan; the Eagles management has short-changed him with playmakers every year of his career except for the TO year. If the Eagles do make the playoffs, all of you fair-weather fans will bring up the Giants of last year, and how any team can win. This is true, but realistically, c'mon, we will be luc ky to get out of the Wild Card round. The one positive I see with this playoff run is that McNabb's value is higher than it will be for the rest of his career. I admit it will be tough next year when Childress, McNabb, and Peterson make it to the NFC championship; but then McNabb will choke and we will smile. I know Reid will not be gone next year, but I am calling all of you chumps out, that you have no right to complain next year. Hope the kool-aid tastes good.

2008/12/15

Monday Night Football Comes to Philly


The Eagles will play tonight on Monday Night Football against the lowly Browns. I guess in this season, we can't take any opponent for granted, but the Eagles need to win this game to stay alive in the wild-card hunt.

In yesterday's action, the Giants and Buccaneers didn't do the Eagles any favors, as both the Falcons and Cowboys won their respective games. Both teams, along with the Buccaneers remain in front of the Eagles in the wild card race. What does this mean? The Eagles still have to win out (Browns, Redskins, Cowboys), and have the Falcons or Bucs lose one of their last two games.

It starts tonight against the Cleveland Browns led by QB Ken Dorsey. Unfortunately for Ken Dorsey, he isn't in college anymore, and he will be facing a very good, aggressive defense tonight. The Browns defense isn't all that special either, although they have held some good opponents to low point totals lately. McNabb and Westbrook will have to play well for the Eagles to win. As long as the play calling is good, the Eagles should be able to control and win this game. On defense, the Browns do have a good bruising running back in Jamal Lewis. The Browns do like to pound the ball up the middle, but the Eagles have done a very good job against the run thus far this season.

Let's hope we can keep pace with a win tonight. Are you ready for some football?

2008/12/13

2008 College Football Playoff

Well, the 2nd round games were played, and there was only one upset, in terms of how the teams were seeded. The final four teams are now set, and will match up at a randomly chosen site. The final four matchups are as follows--

#1 Oklahoma vs. #4 Alabama in Houston, TX.
#2 Florida vs. #5 USC in San Diego, CA.

These are some great games that we all would love to see played out on the field. It will be interesting to see who wins the matchup between Florida and USC, with the great offense of Tim Tebow and Florida going up against the fast, hard-hitting USC defense.

Here is the updated bracket--



Stay tuned, as we will vote on the last two games next week, to determine what two teams will play in the National Championship.

2008/12/12

Flyers Win... Hartnell The Man


the man

The Flyers beat the Carolina Hurricanes last night 6-5 in a shootout. The Flyers were down 4-1 going into the 3rd period, and stormed back with 4 goals in the 3rd period alone to tie the game, and then win in a shootout, which they rarely do.

The Flyers win moved them into a 2nd place tie with the Penguins. The Flyers have a game in hand on the Penguins, and a few games in hand on the 1st place Rangers. The Flyers have been playing real well lately, and winning close games. All of that is great, but we wanted to recognize Scott Hartnell for his performance not only against the Hurricanes, but really all season.


Scott Hartnell, who didn’t need a great game to already prove he was the man, had a hat trick, and got into a fight against the Hurricanes. Hartnell scored a 5-on-5 goal, and had a short-handed goal and power-play goal, both in the 3rd period to help with the Flyers comeback. He also got into a fight, and as you can see from the photos, pummeled Carolina tough guy Casey Borer.

A hat trick, and a fight. All in a night’s work for Scotty Hartnell.


This is what happens when you fight Hartnell

2008 College Football Playoff

We are now down to the final eight teams of our college football playoff. Some intruiging matchups highlight these 2nd round games, let's see how they play out.



Mr. Green: Oklahoma
Roget: Oklahoma
Willard: Oklahoma
Dr. G: Oklahoma
Jack Flack: Oklahoma

WINNER: OKLAHOMA (5-0)




Mr. Green: TCU
Roget: Alabama
Willard: Alabama
Dr. G: Alabama
Jack Flack: TCU

WINNER: ALABAMA (3-2)





Mr. Green: Florida
Roget: Florida
Willard: Florida
Dr. G: Florida
Jack Flack: Florida

WINNER: FLORIDA (5-0)




Dr. G: USC
Roget: Texas
Willard: USC
Dr. G: Texas
Jack Flack: USC

WINNER: USC (3-2)

The top two seeds continue to take care of business, with both Oklahoma and Florida winning handily. Boise State didn't have the magic this time to beat a great offensive Oklahoma team. We saw two great matchups, and the "cindarella" of this college football playoff, TCU, was finally beaten, but almost upset Alabama. Another close game saw USC top Texas.

The final four is set. There were three Big 12 teams in the final eight, and only one advanced to the final four. There are two SEC teams left, and a Pac-10 team. An updated bracket will soon follow, showing the final four teams, the matchups, and the location of the games to be played.

2008/12/11

2008 College Football Playoff

....And then there were eight. The first round has been completed. We saw a couple upsets (Boise State, TCU), but for the most part, the higher seeds took care of business, leaving some very intriguing 2nd round games. The four games will take place at the four respective major bowls chosen randomly. The matchups are as follows--

#1 Oklahoma vs. #9 Boise State in Miami, FL (Orange Bowl)
#11 TCU vs. #4 Alabama in Pasadena, CA (Rose Bowl)
#2 Florida vs. #7 Texas Tech in New Orleans, LA (Sugar Bowl)
#5 USC vs. #3 Texas in Glendale, AZ (Fiesta Bowl)


Imagine if we actually got these see these matchups play out on the field and not on the computer. Oklahoma and Boise State square off in a rematch of the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, which was probably the greates BCS bowl game ever played. The underdog, Boise State, scored on a hook-and-ladder on the final play of the game, and then scored on a 2-point conversion in which they ran the "statue of liberty" play to win the game. So that game is no given for Oklahoma on a neutral site. The 2nd round also features an unbelievable matchup of USC against Texas in the Fiesta Bowl.


Here is the updated bracket--



We will be voting on the winners of the 2nd round games shortly, so check back to see what teams make it to the Final Four.

Return of the Stache?

Recommended reading from the Huffington Post--

It's wonderful that George Clooney has grown a mustache for an upcoming role, and is getting press for it. Ditto for Jude Law, Matt Damon, and Brad Pitt, all of whom have sported some sweet 'stache for films they're currently shooting.

The fad isn't limited to A-list movie stars. When Weezer released their new Red CD last spring, frontman Rivers Cuomo replaced his youthful face with an unflinching furry triangle under his nose on the album cover. He's not alone. Growing mustaches as of late have become more of a funny attention-getter than a real fashion statement.

In the case of Mr. Jolie, it was notable for various "news" services to report that in the midst of dodging paparazzi, Pitt has expressed interest in bringing the mustache back in full force (he's grown one for his highly touted "Inglorious Basterds" role). In all sincerity to Pitt and the others who have recently untrimmed their trim, the mustache doesn't need a comeback. It never left.

To continue reading Mr. Chattman's, go here.

2008/12/10

2008 College Football Playoff

The first round ends with the right side of the bracket. The four winners of these games will round out the final eight teams of the 2008 college football playoff.



Mr. Green: Florida
Roget: Florida
Willard: Florida
Dr. G: Florida
Jack Flack: Florida

WINNER: FLORIDA (5-0)




Mr. Green: Ohio State
Roget: Texas Tech
Willard: Texas Tech
Dr. G: Texas Tech
Jack Flack: Texas Tech

WINNER: TEXAS TECH (4-1)





Mr. Green: USC
Roget: USC
Willard: USC
Dr. G: USC
Jack Flack: USC

WINNER: USC (5-0)





Mr. Green: Texas
Roget: Texas
Willard: Texas
Dr. G: Texas
Jack Flack: Texas

WINNER: TEXAS (5-0)


The remainder of the first round sees four easy wins, all by the home teams, including three sweeps. Florida, Texas, Texas Tech, and USC all advance to the final eight teams easily.

Stay tuned as we continue our college football playoff to determine the real #1 team in college football. An updated bracket with the final eight teams will follow soon, there are some great matchups.

Machine's Healthy Living Tip of the Week

Let's talk about 3500, the magic number. The number, that when consumed in calories, equates to one pound added to our bodies. It seems like a large number and, in truth, it is. Three thousand five hundred calories is a lot. It seems near impossible that we could shovel in that many extra calories in the course of a week, no less a day. Yet, it does happen, and it happens, much too frequently.

Think about the number of us who are carrying around a little extra padding, or maybe, a lot of extra padding...Think about how many of us cannot fit into the clothes we wore only a year ago. Think about how often we suffer from indigestion and gastric distress, our stomachs overwrought with the onslaught of fat and sugar laden foods, all with insanely high caloric values.

Still, though, we act surprised and stunned when told we must cut back on what we are eating. We think it impossible that we could be ingesting enough to pack on the pounds and pounds of fat that currently reside on our portly frames.

How can it be that we, who skip breakfast, and eat only handfuls of this and that throughout the day, are eating 3500 plus calories? It must be a mistake. Perhaps our thyroids are underactive, or we just have that unlucky "fat gene." Maybe it is just age...whatever it is, it cannot be that we are simply gluttonous, slothly creatures. It cannot be our careless, lazy attitudes about proper nutrition and physical activity. Bottom line, we cannot be to blame for our unpleasantly plump selves...

Reality check...we are wholly responsible for the bodies we inhabit. We know our own bodies better than anyone and we know what we need to do in order to live a vital and healthful life. The fact is, we choose not to be responsible and we choose not to take good care, because it is easier to behave ignorantly. We choose the instant gratification and the cheap satisfaction that gorging on cheese drenched fries and stuffed crust pizza brings. We use food to comfort our sad selves, reward our happy selves and to calm our angry selves...we use food for so many reasons other than its actual purpose, which is to nourish.

We can enjoy what we eat, but we cannot look to food to solve our problems or to bury them...we must learn to look for contentment in other areas. We need to be more aware of what we put in our mouths and how we feel physically and emotionally as we are eating, and once we are done eating. If we take a closer look at how we are feeling, we might not eat as haphazardly. We might take more care in making our decisions to eat that second piece of cake or throw back those handfuls of candy and such.

We are so adverse to taking care of ourselves much of the time, because we feel it is too much work. We convince ourselves that we are somehow missing out on a good time by behaving. However, if we do elect to take the necessary care we will come to recognize that feeling good physically is so much better than the taste of any grease sodden fried delight or sugar packed sweet.

So, we need to remember, that each time we eat, we take in a number of calories, and for every 3500 calories we consume, we risk piling on more weight. We need to be more mindful of not only the quantity we are eating, but the quality of what we are eating. We can eat so many servings of fruits and veggies and come nowhere near that dangerous number of calories. But when we skip meals and eat the couple of chips here and the leftover piece of pie there; then the appetizers at the bar in place of dinner, we risk approaching the 3500 mark much quicker. We need to learn to eat foods that are nutrient rich not calorie rich.

And as always, we need to get moving!!!!

2008 College Football Playoff

Below are the results of the left side of the bracket, the first set of first round games.

Mr. Green: Oklahoma
Roget: Oklahoma
Willard: Oklahoma
Dr. G: Oklahoma
Jack Flack: Oklahoma

WINNER: OKLAHOMA (5-0)




Mr. Green: Boise State
Roget: Penn State
Willard: Boise State
Dr. G: Boise State
Jack Flack: Penn State

WINNER: BOISE STATE (3-2)




Mr. Green: Utah
Roget: TCU
Willard: TCU
Dr. G: Utah
Jack Flack: TCU

WINNER: TCU (3-2)



Mr. Green: Oklahoma State
Roget: Alabama
Willard: Alabama
Dr. G: Alabama
Jack Flack: Oklahoma State

WINNER: ALABAMA (3-2)

The left side of the first round sees #1 overall seed Oklahoma win easily, and three other close contests. Boise State goes into Happy Valley and knocks off the Big Ten champions. Alabama almost gets upset by Oklahoma State, and TCU takes the first real upset with a close victory over Utah.

The first round will conclude tomorrow, with the right side of the bracket.

2008/12/09

2008 College Football Playoff

We all know that the BCS is a joke. In fact, I will take it a step further, and call Division I college football a joke, as they are the only league, including other divisions of college football, who do not have a playoff. Who plays in each bowl game, including the National Championship game is determined more by a computer than a teams’ play on the field, leaving numerous teams with legitimate beefs as to why they do not get a shot at the National Championship game. Everyone loves college basketball and March Madness. Every team has a shot at the championship, there are so many great games, and there are always the cindarella stories that we all love. A college football playoff is feasible, with every team playing 12 regular season games, and then a 16-team playoff throughout December and into early January. This could be easily solved in college football. So we took the time to do our own college football playoff.

The rules are simple. The six major conference champions (Penn State, USC, Oklahoma, Florida, Cincinnati, and Virginia Tech) all were given at-large bids. We then took the top 16 teams according to the final BCS standings, which all of the above teams were already included in except for Virginia Tech. Because Virginia Tech was not in the top 16, the #16 team, BYU, was bumped for Virginia Tech. The 16 teams were then seeded, and a bracket was created.

The first round games are to be played at the higher seeded teams’ home field. The 2nd round games would be played at the respective major bowls (Orange, Sugar, Rose, Fiesta), and the semi-final games would be played at two random neutral sites, which we chose as Houston, and San Diego, being two warm-weather major cities with major football stadiums. The National Championship game would be played as it will be this season in Miami. And guess what? It's not that hard to do, so let's hope that college football soon finds a way to get a playoff done, because who wouldn't want to see some of these matchups.

Stay tuned, as we will be projecting the winner over the course of the next week.

2008/12/07

Eagles Keep Playoff Hopes Alive


The Eagles beat the Giants on Sunday, 20-14, to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. The Eagles now sit at 7-5-1, and still need some help if they want to make it into the playoffs.

There is a simple way to explain why the Eagles were able to beat the Giants. It's amazing what happens when you run the ball effectively. The Eagles ended the game with 41 runs and only 30 passes. Westbrook carried the ball 33 times for 131 yards and had a rushing and a receiving touchdown. It was good play calling for the 2nd straight week. The Giants could never mount a comeback in the 2nd half, mostly because their defense could not get off the field. The Eagles gave the Giants a taste of their own medicine, by running it right at the Giants over and over again. The Eagles ended up with 144 yards on the ground, and held the Giants potent rushing attack to 88 yards. It was comical to see one of the games biggest assholes, Antonio Pierce getting abused up and down the field by Westbrook. The only way to slow down Westbrook would have been if Pierce would have layed down on Westbrook after he tackled him. Ohhh wait, he tried that one time, and get flagged for it. McNabb played effectively, mostly because the play calling was good, and did not turn the ball over, while keeping the Eagles offense on the field.

On defense, the Eagles once again played a very good game. The first game the Eagles played the Giants was one of the few poor games this Eagles defense has had, and they made up for it today. The Eagles were able to stop the Giants rushing attack, and make Eli Manning beat that. Unfortunately, Eli Manning is still not very good without a good rushing attack, and especially without Plaxico Burress. If you can shut down the Giants rushing attack, you have a decent chance of beating them, and that's exactly what Jim Johnson did. Even though the Eagles defense did not register a sack, or create a turnover, they did a great job of getting off the field when the Giants would have 3rd and 4th and short.

Aside from a couple special teams blunders, the Eagles clearly outplayed the Giants in the Meadowlands. The Eagles definitely looked like the team we all expected them to look like all season long, and need to continue this momentum through the last three games of the regular season, and hopefully secure a playoff berth, because in the playoffs... anything can happen.

2008/12/05

Eagles Visit Meadowlands in Must-Win


The Eagles travel to New Jersey to play the New York Giants in a must-win game this Sunday at 1:00.

The Eagles, coming off an impressive victory on Thanksgiving night against the Cardinals, look to continue the momentum from that game into this Sunday's showdown. In Week 10, he Giants beat the Eagles 36-31 in Philadelphia, running the ball all over the Eagles defense. The Eagles front 7 will be very important this game, as it is no secret that the Giants want to run the ball. Few teams, in fact close to none have been able to stop the Giants rushing attack this season. If the Eagles are able to stop the Giants rushing attack, Eli Manning is not good enough to beat them himself. Manning can put up numbers, but lives off of the rushing attack that the Giants possess.

On offense, Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook both had great games on Thanksgiving. McNabb threw for 4 TD's, and Westbrook totaled 4 TD's. They Eagles play calling was also on point, as they mixed the run and pass well, and used an effective rushing attack to set up the pass. Westbrook has had success in the past against the Giants, so there is no reason the Eagles shouldn't try to establish the run early again, which in turn will hopefully open things up in the passing game for McNabb.

The Eagles need this game to keep their season alive, so should come out fired up. Even though the Giants came into Philly and beat us already this season, the Eagles know the Giants well, and won't be intimidated by the Giants record. This should be a must-see game on Sunday.

2008/11/28

Eagles Carve Up the Cardinals


The Eagles provided everyone watching in the Philadelphia area a Happy Thanksgiving by handing the Arizona Cardinals a lopsided 48-20 loss. I hate to say this is a case of the fans knowing what to do better than the coaches, but what did the Eagles do to win this game... established the running game. Imagine that.

The Eagles received the opening kickoff and marched right down the field to score a touchdown capped off by a McNabb to Westbrook shovel pass. The Eagles fan the ball 7 times on the opening drive, including runs by McNabb, Eckel, and Jackson, to only 4 passes. By running the ball, the Eagles controlled the clock, controlled the line of scrimmage, and when they did pass, it gave McNabb the time to complete short passes to move down the field. Also, the Eagles found a way to convert short yardage situations with running. That came in the form of Kyle Eckel, who was activated for the first time this season as an Eagle. The Eagles ran the ball for 185 yards on 40 carries. Westbrook went over 100, and had 4 total TD's. Kyle Eckel, Lorenzo Booker, and even McNabb also contributed to the rushing attack, all having over 20 yards rushing. McNabb ended the day with 260 yards passing, 4 TD's, and 0 INT's.

On defense, the Eagles once again played very well. They did well controlling the line of scrimmage, holding the Cardinals to 25 rushing yards. By shutting down the run, the Eagles made the Cardinals one-dimensional, and were able to intercept Kurt Warner three times in the game. Even though Larry Fitzgerald scored 2 touchdowns, the Eagles did an excellent job overall on the Cardinals wide receivers. Boldin was short-arming passes all night, and fumbled twice. Brian Dawkins played a great game at safety, with multiple hard hits, and an interception. The interception by Dawkins was his 34th overall as an Eagle, tying him for the all-time lead in interceptions for this team with Eric Allen and Bill Bradley. Dawkins will most likely get another one to become the all-time leader, and he definitely deserves it.

The story of the game was not McNabb playing well. Any intelligent Philadelphia fan knows McNabb is capable of putting up the types of numbers he put up in this game. It wasn't surprising to see McNabb play well, the surprise was the play calling. Andy Reid or Marty Morningweg or whoever called the plays did a great job of mixing the run and pass effectively. The Eagles held the for 40 minutes this game. That's exactly what you need to do against an offense as good as the Cardinals. McNabb can still win games and put up big numbers, it is the coaches job to put him into the position to do so, and that wasn't happening in previous weeks. Hopefully the Eagles can build off of this big win, as they travel to the Meadowlands next weekend to play the hated Giants.

2008/11/26

Eagles Battle to Save Jobs on Thanksgiving


The Eagles celebrate this Thanksgiving holiday by welcoming the Arizona Cardinals to town. What most Eagles fan chalked up as an easy win before the start of the season will now be a tough game to pull out, even in the friendly confines of Lincoln Financial Field.

The Eagles bring their amazing 5-5-1 record into this game against the Cardinals, who appear to have the NFC West locked up, despite their loss last weekend. The Eagles have seen more turmoil this past week than all other times of the Andy Reid-era combined. Donovan McNabb is the starter for this game, fresh off his benching last weekend against the Ravens. Everyone is calling for Andy Reid’s or Donovan McNabb’s respective head on a platter for dinner this Thanksgiving, and here at Kotite’s Corner, we have done our fair share of Andy Reid bashing.

The Eagles appear to have multiple problems on offense coming into this game. The offense is not going against a very good defense, so hopefully they can get back on track. This has to start with Donovan McNabb, who must get off to a good start this game. Part of any quarterback playing well involves having a rushing attack that is actually a threat to run the ball. This means that Westbrook, or whoever is in the game at running back must get the ball early to set the tempo. This should take some pressure off of McNabb and the play calling, as the Eagles can go to play action if they can run the ball early. Unfortunately, the receivers still have to get off the line, and catch the ball. The Eagles currently lead the league in dropped passes, and it seems like we lead the league in that category every year. Hopefully the offense can get on track early, and drive down the field to get some points on the opening drive, which should relieve some of the pressure on them.

The Eagles defense faces a very tough challenge from this Cardinals team, which is one of the best offensive teams in football. Cardinals QB, Kurt Warner, is have a resurgent season, and is an MVP candidate. It helps that he has maybe the two best receivers in the game in Anquan Boldin and former Pittsburgh Panther, Larry Fitzgerald. How good would one of them look in an Eagles uniform. They also have a very good 3rd wide receiver in Steve Breaston, and run the ball effectively on the goal line with rookie Tim Hightower. All of this creates a lot of problems for the Eagles defense. We believe the Eagles should match Asante Samuel on Larry Fitzgerald, and the more physical cornerback Sheldon Brown on the more physical receiver, Anquan Boldin. Once again, the Eagles will need to rely on a heavy pass rush to disrupt Kurt Warner. If Warner is given time, he will pick the Eagles secondary apart.

The Eagles will try to give Philadelphia fans everywhere a Happy Thanksgiving, and save their own jobs by getting a win and getting their record back over .500.

Machine's Healthy Living Tip of the Week


Being it is a holiday week, we will keep this short.

Make sure to get in a little activity over this notoriously indulgent holiday. Whether going out for a jog, running the local Turkey Trot 5k or visiting the health club; be certain to get moving and break a sweat. It will ensure that all of our Turkey Day feasting does not further pad our bellies or line our hips.

It does not take much time to burn a few hundred calories, an hour or so should do the trick. To set the best of examples, this "machine" will be up early Thanksgiving morning to train for an hour and a half. Then over the holiday weekend, a trail race is to be run. The Dirty Bird 15k will be sure to take care of any Thanksgiving leftovers that try to find a home on this fine body.

There is nothing like a race through the woods, up and down long, treacherous hills, across icy creeks, over downed trees and jagged, unforgiving rocks to keep the pounds from affixing themselves. There will be no love handles or back fat adorning this "machine"...no way, no how!

So, let's go forth and ward off that jiggling flesh, those double and triple chins, those saddlebags and man-boobs... let's attempt to rid ourselves of those 29,000 calories we will undoubtedly consume this holiday weekend...let's come back to work on Monday a bit stronger, perhaps even leaner! Well, that may be a stretch, even for Machine, but let's at least keep the fat cells from multiplying!

Happy Sweating!

2008/11/25

Reid Unraveling

Regardless of one’s opinions about Reid and McNabb, there is no pleasure in witnessing a full scale, public meltdown of the coach, his “franchise” QB, and the franchise itself. The unraveling of this team is a direct reflection of the unraveling of Reid, a process that started at least 3 years ago with the TO fiasco, and which has now acquired the furious speed of an avalanche. How else to explain inserting an untested, stone cold rookie QB into a must win 10-7 game against one of the premiere defenses in the league? How else to account for ducking the responsibility of directly informing the veteran QB that he’s being benched for the first time in his career? How else to explain ordering the rookie to throw into tight coverage in a constricted area of the field on 2nd and inches? These are the acts of a desperate man, frantically looking for cover as the avalanche thunders down. It is sad to watch, but sadder still that Reid chose to ignore the disaster as it was developing over the last few years, and we will now all pay the price for his arrogant blindness.

Flyers Win 5th Straight

Kotite's Corner was live at the Wachovia Center to watch our Flyers beat the Dallas Stars to pick up their 5th straight victory overall, and continue to gain momentum after a slow start to the season.

Just three minutes into the game, Scottie Upshall gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead after some great forechecking by the Upshall, Lupul, Metropolit line that was playing together all night. Upshall and Metropolit forced a turnover as the puck was played from behind the net, which Lupul intercepted. Lupul immediately played a pass to Upshall on the opposite side of the net, and Upshall gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead. Dallas would respond, and scored a goal halfway through the 1st period to make it 1-1. Knuble scored a goal for the Flyers late in the first period, his first of two on the night to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead after the 1st period. The Flyers dominated the first period, and looked good with their forechecking, and getting the puck through the neutral zone.

As good as the Flyers looked in the 1st period, they came out flat in the 2nd. Three goals were scored in the 2nd, two by the Stars as they tied the game at 3 after the 2nd period, with the Stars dominating the play. The 3rd period was fairly evenly played, the Flyers had to kill off two back-to-back penalties halfway through the period. With about six minutes left, Mike Richards make a great play in the neutral zone, and brought the puck into the offensive zone. He skated in, was patient, waited for Knuble to break to the net, and then played a perfect pass, which Knuble put into the back of the net. The Flyers killed off a 6 on 4 power play in the final minute to preserve the 4-3 victory.

Overall, the offense continues to score, and play well in the offensive zone, forechecking and cycling the puck. Jeff Carter, Mike Knuble, and Glen Metropolit most notably did a great job offensively against the Stars. On defense, the Flyers are still very up-and-down. They will look good for a period, block a lot of shots, and keep the opposing teams chances down. Then they will look lost for a period, and struggle to get the puck out of their own zone, while leaving Biron with no chance to save a lot of the goals that are scored against him. In goal, Martin Biron played well, and the goaltending is getting better as the season is going on.

The Flyers still are in the very tough Atlantic Division, but are gaining ground on the Rangers and Penguins in the division. They need to keep up the momentum they have going, and continue to play well.

2008/11/24

It's Not You, It's Me

The Eagles lost to Ravens 36-7 on Sunday, to move their record to 5-5-1. There was a lot that went wrong in this game, which featured a quarterback change, more horrendous play calling, and a 108-yard interception return for a touchdown. We aren’t going to re-hash the Eagles crappy display of football from Sunday against the Ravens, because what’s the point; we all watched it, we all are depressed. Instead, we are going to focus on one thing in particular and call out head coach Andy Reid for being a gutless chump.

After a dismal first half, McNabb was off to another bad start, which has become common place with this Eagles team this season. At some point during half-time, Reid decided that Kevin Kolb would start the 2nd half as the Eagles QB. The terrible thing about this was Reid was not man enough to break the news to McNabb. Instead, Reid delegated the responsibility of doing his dirty work to Pat Shurmur, Eagles QB coach.

Andy Reid drafted McNabb back in 1999, and since then, the two have been almost inseparable. Reid has always defended McNabb when McNabb played poorly, and McNabb always defended Reid when Reid’s coaching was poor. Being the starting quarterback of a team for 10 years warrants the respect of the head coach to come tell McNabb when he is going to bench him, especially when Reid has been McNabb’s head coach throughout his entire tenure here.

The benching of McNabb is Reid’s way of deflecting the blame away from himself, and throwing McNabb under the bus. There is no way in the game against the Ravens that Kevin Kolb coming into the 2nd half gives the Eagles a better chance to win that game. First off, it’s unfair to Kolb to come into a hostile environment, against a very good, aggressive defense and expect him to be successful. The move was only done for Reid to try to show that what has been going on with this team lately is not his fault, it’s McNabb’s. Reid still refuses to admit any wrongdoing on his part.

This is desperate, last minute effort to save his job. But is his job really in jeopardy? McNabb is probably gone after this season even before yesterday's game, and this benching only solidifies that. Now Reid has a do-over with Lurie to see how far he can take a Kolb-lead Eagles. Yet on top of all that, it wouldn’t have been so bad had Reid just taken 30 seconds to explain to McNabb that he was benched, and they could discuss it later after the game. That didn’t happen, because Reid is a coward. He should now go to McNabb and tell him, "It’s not you, it’s me.”

2008/11/22

Eagles Visit Baltimore in Must-Win Game


The Philadelphia Eagles, fresh off their tie to the lowly Bengals travel to Baltimore to take on the surprising Ravens. This will be the Eagles 2nd straight game against an AFC North opponent, both on the road.

The Eagles look to rebound after their subpar effort against the Bengals, and get back on the winning track. The Eagles offense was awful to say the least last game, and was only able to put up 13 points in 5 quarters against a bad Bengals defense. One of the reasons was McNabb's horrible play. McNabb will be facing a much tougher defense against the Ravens, so he will need to get back to his old self quickly if the Eagles want to have a chance to win this game. Another reason the Eagles were so poor against the Bengals was their playcalling. The Eagles refusal to run the ball, and also the fact that their playcalling does not appear to follow any type of order at all, did not help. They will need to establish some type of run game, even if the Ravens do have a great run defense. This will not be an easy task, as the Ravens are one of the best teams stopping the run, and Brian Westbrook is still not 100%. If the Eagles cannot run the ball, they will rely heavily on their receivers to get open, and for McNabb to hit them.

The Eagles defense on the other hand is coming off a great game against the Bengals, and really is the only reason that the Eagles didn't lost that game. The Eagles usually thrive going against a rookie QB, and they will be doing that in this game against Joe Flacco, who has played well this season. If the Eagles can stop the run, which they should be able to do, that will force Flacco to beat them with his arm, and will also allow the Eagles to blitz Flacco. Two games ago against the Giants, the Eagles could not stop the run. This meant that when the Giants would pass or go to play action, the Eagles couldn't bring as much pressure as they would have liked. However, against the Bengals, who couldn't run the ball on our defense, the defense blitzed all day, and ended the game with 8 sacks. Look for Flacco to be pressured all day if the Eagles are able to stop the Ravens rushing attack.

It's no secret the Eagles need to win this game to stay even remotely in the playoff hunt. They will need to win almost all of their games from here on out, and it must start in Baltimore on Sunday.

2008/11/21

Friday Football Picks


Kotite’s Corner Picks – Overall Record: (8-10-1)

College Picks – Overall Record: (4-6)

MICHIGAN (+20.5) at Ohio State: Ohio State will win this game, but if Michigan wants to save any face on this season, they will not get blown at against rival Ohio State. Take Michigan.

PITTSBURGH (+5) at Cincinnati: Pitt will not only cover, they will win, which will set up a Backyard Brawl next Friday for the Big East championship and BCS berth.

Pro Picks – Overall Record: (4-5-1)

PANTHERS (+1) at Falcons: We traded our first round pick last year to Carolina for their first rounder this year. We are cursed and the Panthers keep winning, so we will have the 26th overall pick. Panthers getting 1 is easy, because they will win this game outright.

GIANTS (-3) at Cardinals: It pains me to say it, but right now the Giants are the best team in the NFL, and only giving 3 points to Arizona makes this pick easy. I expect the game to be high scoring, but the Giants should win by 6+.

Guest Picks – Overall Record: (6-6)

Jack Flack’s Picks – Overall Record: (3-3)

CINCINNATI (-5) vs. Pittsburgh: The Big East Title and a possible spot in the BCS is on the line and that means one thing: Dave Wannstedt and company will fold like origami. The Bearcats have played well of late, so don't fret about laying the points.

CLEMSON (-2.5) at Virginia: Both teams are searching for that all important sixth win for bowl eligibility, but Clemson has played better without Tommy Bowden and Virginia is beginning to fall apart. It'll be close, but the Tigers cover on the road.

Willard’s Picks – Overall Record: (3-3)

PATRIOTS (+1) at Dolphins: If there is one thing that Bill Belichick does best, that would be preparing. He has an extra few days and he will figure out the wildcat offense that killed them in their earlier meeting.

CHARGERS (-2.5) vs. Colts: Chargers are 3-0 in the last 3 meetings against the Colts. Manning has 6 TDs and 10 INTs in those meetings. The Chargers 3-4 defense always gives Manning fits.

2008/11/20

Machine's Healthy Living Tip of the Week


Next week we officially usher in the holiday season with our celebration of Thanksgiving on Thursday. It is fair to say that many of us will be sitting down to the traditional Thanksgiving Day meal of turkey, stuffing, and all the dressings and sides that seem to represent this holiday. It is also fair to say that many of us will eat far too much; we will eat way past the point of being sated. Some of us will eat until we are uncomfortably full, even sick. We will shovel in those candied yams and that cornbread stuffing. Heap mounds of mashed potatoes swimming in gravy on our plates. We will sit at that table and just keep bringing fork to mouth, as though we are never going to be fed again. And then, even though our pants are digging into our soft, rippled, protruding bellies, we will wonder just how many slices of pumpkin and apple pie we can manage to consume before we really do pop a button or bust a seam.

Why do we do this? Why do we gorge ourselves year after year on this day and then continue to roll with this gluttonous behavior all season long? Why do we choose to treat our bodies so poorly?

There is nothing wrong with enjoying the foods of the holiday season, so long as it is done in moderation. In truth, if we did apply a little restraint when pulling chair to table, we might actually enjoy ourselves more. Eating should be an enjoyable experience, but our level of enjoyment should not be based upon how much we can cram down our throats. We need to remember that more is not always better, nor is it the only way to celebrate the season. We can still delight in having those Thanksgiving leftovers or that Christmas cookie, but we can also delight in going to bed at night without having to glug that Pepto-Bismol or chew those Tums. We can be thrilled to look sleek in our holiday finest as we arrive to our holiday parties and gatherings. We can be proud that we made getting to the gym a priority, even during this busy time, rather than watching our waistlines grow as we imbibe in another glass of eggnog.

So, just a little reminder, when sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner next Thursday...Let's remember to take the time to really relish what we are eating. The more time we take to savor the experience, the more likely it is that we will appreciate not only the meal, but the holiday itself. And chances are, we will set the tone for a less indulgent, yet more gratifying, holiday season overall.

Lost Season 5 Poster



2008/11/18

Fire Reid? We Have the Answer


The time has officially come when the Philadelphia Eagles need a coaching change. This is not going to be a “bash Andy Reid” article, as this has become all too popular right now, and extremely easy. Everywhere you look on the Internet, you can find people cursing, and insulting Andy Reid….. we are guilty of a little bit of that also.

Andy Reid is one of, if not the best coach in Philadelphia Eagles history. We have only ever been to two Super Bowls in franchise history, and Reid took us to one, and also guided us to four straight NFC championship games. Reid came into town after the failures of Rich Kotite (our namesake), and Ray Rhodes, and immediately turned the team around. His first six seasons here, there was a clear strategy in what Reid was trying to accomplish. The Eagles consistency got better each year under Reid, culminating in a trip to the Super Bowl, and a close loss to the New England Patriots.

Unfortunately, that Super Bowl loss was the pinnacle on Andy Reid’s career with the Eagles. Since then, it has been downhill. The Eagles have only gotten to the playoffs once in three seasons since, and currently sit at 5-4-1, and not looking like they are going to make the playoffs this season, much less make a serious push for the Super Bowl. That is unacceptable in this town, and with our Philadelphia Eagles.

All good things must come to an end. Sometimes change is good. Throw whatever cliche you want out there; Andy Reid clearly has been a successful coach with the Eagles, but his time is now up. Some say it’s easy to call for Reid to be fired, but where is the solution? We have the solution.

The solution is in the form of Steve Spagnuolo, New York Giants defensive coordinator. Spagnuolo is a product of the Jim Johnson defensive system, serving as a coach under Johnson from 1999-2006. Since he left Philly, his Giants defense has been dominant and was the anchor of the Giants team that swept through the playoff and a Super Bowl victory. The Giants defense, under Spagnuolo put up an unbelievable defensive effort against a better version of the Patriots team that beat the Eagles in the Super Bowl in 2005. The Patriots had entered the Super Bowl with the Giants with their offense being called unstoppable. Spagnuolo's defense not only won a Super Bowl for Giants, they also lost two starting all-pro defensive ends for this season, and he still has the Giants as one of the best defensive teams in football. The Giants also are among the lead leaders in sacks.



Steve Spagnuolo is the perfect fit, as the defense would remain the same hard hitting, attack the quarterback defense that we love here in Philadelphia. The next coach of the Eagles should be a defensive minded coach, and Spagnuolo fits the bill. Spagnuolo is already one of the hottest names in terms of future head coaches in the NFL, and the Eagles should not let the opportunity to get him slip away. He already knows the Eagles organization, and would be comfortable coming into this city and this team, as he already has been here. The defense will be similar to the one that Jim Johnson runs, it just seems that by watching the Giants, it may be a little more modern. If Spagnuolo were to be hired, an experienced offensive coordinator would be needed. An experienced offensive mind at offensive coordinator is a perfect fit here, as it will continue to do many of the great things that the Reid era set up, but will solve the issue of the stalemate we seem to be in since the season we got to the Super Bowl.

With Reid gone, the next question is, does Heckert leave also? We believe as do many that Heckert seems to be a puppet to Reid. Everyone knows Reid controls most player personnel decisions. There is also a belief that Heckert is hindered by Reid, and if given actual control of the team, he can succeed. Although we may regret the decision of Heckert and Jim Johnson leaving the organization, it is the price that must be paid to get Spagnuolo in here, and a new system in place.

If Reid is kept for next season, it is likely that Kevin Kolb will be the starter at QB. If Reid remains, he will get the leeway of seeing Kolb through his first few years, even if he, and the team struggle. All while this is going on, Spagnuolo will likely be hired as a head coach with another team, and have a lot of success. We do not want to let that opportunity pass.

2008/11/17

Fool's Gold

Delusions die hard. They are either comforting (delusions of grandeur), or at least provide the safety of knowing who’s out to get you (delusions of persecution). In both cases, they place you at the center of the universe, blameless for bad decisions and irrational actions. It is probably fitting that the fantasy of the Gold Standard came crashing to earth in Cincinnati, a city justly famous for its pro football futility. As Philly fans, we have long known it was Fool’s Gold, tantalizing but falsely overvalued. Now the world knows it too, or at least the world outside NovaCare. Inside it’s a different story. In NovaCare Land, the Eagles are just a pitch & catch away from glory. In NovaCare Land, “…there’s no waver in our confidence…we’ve done a lot of great things this year and will continue to do great things.” In NovaCare Land, OT periods can go on forever. Yes, delusions die hard, and when they do things usually go downhill quickly – as quickly as the price of Fool’s Gold.

2008/11/16

Eagles Tie Bengals


The Eagles tied the Bengals 13-13 on Sunday. Unfortunately, there is no typo in that sentence. Exactly 11 years from the day the Eagles tied the Ravens 10-10, the Eagles came out and played horribly, and left Cincinnati with a tie. It's outrageous, embarrassing, and frustrating.

The Eagles continued to show the same problems that they have shown all season long. That begins with Andy Reid having no clue what he is doing, as it was difficult to tell if the Eagles had any type of game plan at all. The play calling was again horrendous, and was all over the place. The Eagles never looked like they had any type of consistent game plan. They could pick their plays out of a hat, and it probably wouldn't look any different.... in fact, it might improve the play calling.

Besides the poor play calling, Donovan McNabb played terribly. He clearly didn't have his best stuff all day long, and ended up tying a career high with 3 interceptions thrown, all while throwing a career high 58 passes. There wasn't much different in the play between McNabb, a 10 year veteran, and Fitzpatrick, who was making his 9th career start. Since McNabb was struggling, it makes no sense why the Eagles didn't try to run the ball, in a cold, windy atmosphere in Cincinnati. The Eagles called 17 running plays (this doesn't include a run by McNabb), on 18 offensive possessions. Really? 17 runs in 18 possessions against a Bengals defense which struggles to stop the run.

The defense was a bright spot, and kept the Eagles in the game as the Eagles offense was constantly turning it over, or Rocca was shanking punts. The Bengals, who actually ran the ball despite little success, couldn't do much on offense against the Eagles defense, who swarmed all over the ball wherever it went. The Eagles defense recorded 8 sacks, and held the Bengals to 56 rushing yards on 30 carries.

The Eagles as a team just have so many problems right now, it's hard not to look toward the future. The problems start with Andy Reid, who is too arrogant and stupid to admit when something isn't working. He can't call plays, and gets outcoached all the time. Because Donovan McNabb played poorly, the Eagles have little chance to win any game in which McNabb plays poorly, because Brian Westbrook does not get the ball enough to have an impact. The opposing defense can key on stopping Westbrook, because the Eagles have no one else on offense to even pay attention to. Against the Bengals, the receivers couldn't get open at all, and when they did, McNabb couldn't make the throw to them.

What does all of this mean? A tie against the previously 1-8 Bengals, which leaves the Eagles at 5-4-1 on the season, and their playoff chances getting slimmer and slimmer every day.

2008/11/14

Friday Football Picks


Kotite’s Corner Picks – Overall Record: (5-9-1)

College Picks – Overall Record: (2-6)

Notre Dame (-4) at Navy: This may not be our parents' Notre Dame team, or even our older brothers, but they have lost 2 in a row, and this is not the same Navy team that beat Notre Dame last year. Notre Dame wins handily at Navy.

Oregon State (-3.5) vs. California: Cal has problems at the QB spot, and on defense. Oregon State will run the ball a lot, control the clock, and control the game. Take the Beavers.

Pro Picks – Overall Record: (3-4-1)

Packers (-3.5) vs. Bears: This is a must-win for the Packers after the loss last week to the Vikings. They can’t lose a must-win home game to a division rival. Pack take this one at home.

Jaguars (+3) vs. Titans: This is the week the mighty Titans will fall. The Jaguars will shut down Kerry Collins, and do enough on offense to win outright. Take the Jaguars at home with 3 points.

Guest Picks – Overall Record: (5-5)

Willard’s Picks – Overall Record: (2-2)

Cardinals (-3) at Seahawks: Even though the Cardinals don’t play well on the road, the Seahawks are decimated in injuries this year. Warner will get 3 TD’s by half.

Panthers (-14) vs. Lions: The Lions lost by 24 at home against the 4-5 Jags. It’s the Panthers turn to openly laugh at how bad the Lions are.