Monday, September 8, 2008

Two Out of Three Ain't Bad

You know it's a good posting, when the title quotes a song by Meat Loaf. Not that I plan to do it again anytime soon.

Yesterday was a red-letter day in the world of Philly sports, though I confess I don't know exactly what that term means. The Phils played a day-night doubleheader against the hated Mets, while the Iggles opened up their season at home against the St. Louis Rams.

Let's talk football first.

Those of you who know me know that I'm the eternal optimist, a terrible homer. But before yesterday, even I had the Birds going 10-6 and taking an NFC wild-card spot. I was stunned to hear that Sports Illustrated and some other writers had the Eagles in the Super Bowl, and one or two even had them winning it. But I was more stunned when I checked the score in the 4th quarter yesterday (hey, some of us have to work on Sundays) to see 38-3. Now, the disclaimer is necessary that the Rams are just not very good. But 38-3 over anyone is impressive, no matter how you slice it.

I got to watch the game this morning, and what struck me were the things I hadn't seen in a very long time:

1) Donovan McNabb. Connecting passes short and deep, angry when he missed them, not laughing to himself for over- and underthrowing balls. I don't know about you guys, but I got really sick of that trying-to-play-it-cool laugh. 361 yards? Finally, finally, Donovan is back.
2) Receivers catching balls. An amazing concept. I was worried when I found out that #1 (Kevin Curtis) and #2 (Reggie Brown) were out for this game. My fears, apparently, were unfounded. Some of you were partying with me the weekend of the NFL Draft (for my bachelor party, not for the draft) and remember my reaction when we drafted DeSean Jackson. I don't know anything about college football, but I saw this guy play at Cal, and I wanted him. Big big fan.

3) Pressure on the quarterback. Now that defensive coordinator Jim Johnson has Asante Samuel along with Sheldon Brown and Lito Sheppard at cornerback, he can be even more creative with his blitzes, cause the secondary is that much stronger, that much less likely to give up the big play. Not to mention there were about 4 or 5 should-be interceptions. Those'll start coming soon. If you took a risk like me and drafted the Eagles defense for your fantasy team, you're looking good right now. (Too bad the rest of my team is not so much....)

4) What was that thing we used to have back in the day? Oh yeah! SPECIAL TEAMS. Jackson was great, with over 90 yards in returns, and was one tackler away from going all the way on one of them. At the very least, he did something known in the business as "holding onto the God-forsaken football," something guys didn't really like to do last year. And on the other side of the ball, when was the last time our guys downed the ball inside the 5? When was the last time it happened twice in a game?? Quentin Demps, wherever you came from, thank you.

Bottom line is I think next Monday night's game is going to be fantastic, which I wasn't saying a couple of weeks ago. So, go Birds. Let's shock the world.

Quickly to the Phils. You gotta love Mike Schmidt writing an e-mail to the Phils saying, among other things, that the Mets "remember last year" and "they know you're better than they are." All the more so for the fact that who knew Schmidt still cared about the Phils or the city of Philadelphia? (You can read the letter here.)

Two of three from the Mets was big, though a sweep obviously would have been huge. But they're just 2 games out, with 19 games to play. Also, if you haven't yet heard, Billy Wagner is done for the year. So here's hoping that bullpen blows up all over the place. And that we can keep winning.

Wouldn't that be nice?

Other Musings: Asinine Commercial of the Week goes to Wendy's. The guy doesn't want any of his date's salad because, he says smugly, "I'm a meat-atarian," explaining, "I only eat meat." Yet, the guy is eating a sandwich that has bread and cheese on it. So, basically, guy, you're an idiot. Note to Wendy's: Bad idea, poor execution. Note to self: Resist the urge to go get a yummy bacon cheeseburger....I hate you, Wendy's! I'm gonna go look for the beer with the best drinkability.

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