Thursday, November 09, 2006

What the Hell Did I Drink Last Night?

[YAAAAAWWWWNNN] You wake, your mouthing tasting like a cat threw up in it...and then the pain comes. Waking from this Bye Week feels familiar...that familiar feeling you experienced every weekend (and for Popstar, most weekdays) in college. "Man, I'll never do that again...EVER." I've been saying that to myself for the last several years, that I won't get emotionally invested in the Birds, not again, not after last season...yes it's DRS, the syndrome that Jdubs wrote about last week after the Jags loss. When will I learn my lesson and just stop at 2 beers?

I spent most of the Bye Week questioning why I even watch anymore.
Is the game of football still enjoyable? Yes, I loved watching Peyton rip apart the Pats last weekend; Tom Brady and his Dudley Dooright chin, sulking!
Is watching the Birds enjoyable? No, not at all.
When has it been enjoyable? The only time I really loved watching the Birds play for more than a week at a time was during the '90s when it seemed that we were perpetually 5-11 and so much joy would come just from stealing a game from the Cowboys once in a while to put one of their Super Bowl runs in question, even if only for a week (or injuring one of their key players, perhaps to a neck injury?...cough cough).

These days, all I'm basically doing is just waiting for my beloved Birds to win a Super Bowl so that I can rest on those laurels for the next 25 years and enjoy my Sundays again. That's sort of what happened to me with baseball after the Phillies made it to the Series in 1980 and '83 - I stopped caring after that. I know that I'll never be quite that way with the Birds because I love the game of football a lot more than the pastoral romp known as the "sport" of baseball; but a Lombardi trophy would appease me for many, many years to come. But alas, being a Birds fan over the last few years has taken several years off of my life instead of getting me to the promised land of stress-free football...hopefully those years that Andy Reid has stolen from me will just be the diaper and drooling years at the end, so I'm not too bummed about it.

With the stress momentarily lifted during the Bye, I spent some time digging around to find out how our players were spending their undeserved week off...the results were not surprising and just made me more depressed:

*Last week, it started while watching the "Andy Reid Show". Watching him explain the Jags loss and what needed to be done to "fix it" was like watching paint dry.. I actually dozed off a little during one of his interviews that Spadaro was spoon feeding him. He had no new material to offer, not even now, in our most desperate hour. What a leader! By the way, even the hedge fund guru Jim Cramer called out Andy from his show 'Mad Money' last week: Maybe Cramer has some pull and can regulate this horrific coaching situation.

*Reading player blogs has been similarly disappointing - everyone took the week off, visiting family and drinking with their boys. Look, I know that these guys are only human and need downtime, but to me, that comes AFTER the season ends. During the season, they need to be unstoppable machines with the single-minded goal of winning this city a Super Bowl. I know, I know. That's crazy, especially considering most pro players didn't even grow up in the area where they're playing, so in the end, it's mostly about the money and getting as much time off as possible, just like the rest of us in our boring jobs. But, that's what I expect them to be doing.

*McNabb seemed to be very productive during the Bye. Last Monday, the day after the embarassing loss to the Jags, McNabb taught some local Philly children the importance of dancing. Action News was there to cover all of his moves. This Tuesday (yes, this Tuesday, during the week in which they're preparing for a critical contest with the Skins), McNabb introduced his new clothing line called 'Super Five'. From Fox Sports: "'This is very near and dear to me,' McNabb said. 'I took a lot of pride in the design, the comfort level and the look.' While models strutted down a makeshift runway inside the RBK Concept Store on South Street, McNabb described the clothes they wore with intimate detail. He seemed to know as much about materials and textures as he does cover-2 defenses." Downright scary folks. McNabb might be the only guy who deserved a week off because his play has been pretty great overall, but things like this just make me worry even more. Can't this clothing line wait until after the season? Even Mrs Grundy said "shouldn't he be focusing on his playbook and not some clothing line right now?" Indeed, he should.
On a more positive note, check out the cool montage of McNabb from

*WIP's Howard Eskin was interviewed via phone on the NFL Network a couple days ago, and talked about whether Big Red's job is on the line. Eskin said that it's on the line with the fans for sure, but not management, not by a long shot. Very true statement of this current situation. Did you know that Andy has a contract extension until 2011? That's A LOT of paid time off if he gets canned. Popstar, I think you're right, Andy has just become too comfortable in his position. All hail King Reid, Ruler for Life.

*We've all heard that Big Red is 7-0 coming off Bye Weeks, which makes for a good stat but a bad prediction for this Sunday. Ever notice "streaks" that are hyped like this one invariably come to an end every time they are harped on? Like the stat that Tampa Bay could not win when it was below 40 degrees - MY ENTIRE EXISTENCE IN 2003 DEPENDED ON THAT STAT
HOLDING UP! (Jdubs was there with me at Popstar's pad, as we pledged our very souls to that stat!)

Speaking of Tampa Bay, this is interesting: Did you know that in their entire 30 or so year history (1700+ returns), the Bucs have never returned a kickoff for a TD? I heard that stat on Sirius NFL Radio earlier today...That is simply unbelievable.

Damn, I love football...please Andy, please allow me to enjoy it again.


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