Tag Archives: Jon Runyan

Specccccccctacular – Sheldon Brown wants out

As seen on ESPN (and directed to check there by the comments section at IgglesBlog), Sheldon Brown wanted to renegotiate his contract. The Eagles said no. Now,  Sheldon wants a trade.

Damnit.

You know, I was still enjoying the buzz from yesterday. I was feeling good about Jason Peters coming to town, and the prospect of the Eagles drafting a guy like Knowshon Moreno. And now this has to go and happen. Friggin’ awesome. Continue reading

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Anybody else think Julius Peppers would look good in green?

If you haven’t been following the Julius Peppers situation, this article gives the full recount. In brief, Peppers wants out of Carolina, and part of his reasoning was that he wants to move from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3. Or, in the very least, to a different system.

Right. That’s the reason. Because despite the fact that he’s the ideal model of a 4-3 defensive end, the real reason he wants to leave Carolina is to play the 3-4.

Bull. He wants out. Like all of their assistant coaches. Continue reading

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A game for the Birds – The Pundit projects an Eagles win in his NFC Championship Preview

While pondering how the Eagles vs. Cardinals game will go down, I hit a few bumps on the objective road I attempt to navigate. (Editor’s note: Oh, right, Objective Road…that intersects with Corny Cliche Lane, right?) Number one: I really want the Eagles to win. Number two: I really can’t imagine the Cardinals making the Super Bowl. I mean, I can’t fathom it. It’s this odd combination of their regular season, and the, ahem, shoddy past of the organization.

Try as I might, I just can’t foresee the Eagles losing. Which is probably not a good thing.

By the way, has this felt like the longest friggin’ week ever to anyone else? The Giants game seems like a lifetime ago. I think it’s because all I can really think about right now is football, and much of the city seems to have the same mindset. To any aspiring criminals out there – I suggest planning heists for Sunday, say between three and seven. Should go down without a hitch.

But don’t wear red. ‘Cuz on Sunday, that’ll get ya beat. The preview after the jump.

Don't even think about it, buddy.

Don't be tryin' to steal anything around here wearing those colors, buddy - Philly ain't havin' none of it this week.

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The Anticlimactic end? The Pundit dishes on Birds vs. Cowboys

(Editors’s note: The Pundit wrote much of this while listening to “Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in my Hand” by the Primitive Radio Gods. Over and over again, really. If you’re interested in the full interactive experience, he recommends you listen while you read this post. It adds a melancholy curiosity – and its an awesome friggin’ song).

What, oh what, will Sunday mean? Will it somehow, majestically, become a game with playoff implications for the Eagles?

Or will it simply be the end of the season?

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The Pundit is just living the life…of Reilly

So, during my nightly stroll about the Interweb, I came upon what seemed to be an interesting article from Rick Reilly: Which franchise rules your city? I know the answer. I was both intrigued by the idea of the article, and mildly taken by the raw confidence displayed by Mr. Reilly (Editor’s note: Yeah, that second part kind of weirded me out). Should you not be a Reilly fan, I’ll save you the trouble of reading the entire article and post his section on Philadelphia below.

PHILADELPHIA Used to be Eagles, now it’s Phillies. This is partly because of the Phils’ young stars and partly because the Iggles owner has handed it to them. Jeffrey Lurie is a Boston guy who’s made $800 million so far on his Eagles purchase but not many friends. You always get the feeling that his jet bound for his beloved Beantown is double-parked.

Okay, where to begin? First of all, this is absurd. This is very much an Eagles town. Think for just a second about the game and the environment on Sunday: how many people do you know who didn’t watch the game? People who I know aren’t into sports at all watch the Eagles. I can have a conversation with just about any guy on the street about players on the Birds, but change that to the Phillies, and the conversation probably ends. That, and think about how many of those ridiculously tacky pink Eagles jerseys you see on a Sunday.  It’s a strange phenomenon, especially because the Phillies really deserve our attention right now – they’re in the midst of a playoff push! Yet, the attention has shifted in Philly to the Eagles. On Monday over at The Sports Complex, James Beale was pondering why exactly this was the case, and seems to be every year.

But let’s get back to E$PN O’Reilly. He makes two points here supporting his claim: The Phillies have a lot of young stars, and Jeffrey Lurie is a Boston guy who’s made a bunch of money off of the Eagles but doesn’t really love us. Hmmmm. Let’s take a look at these more closely.

Oh, how we love our young stars. Nevermind that Ryan Howard was getting booed earlier in the year. Or the Frontrunning Rollins debacle. Yes, this team has some great young starts, namely Chase Utley, Howard and Cole Hamels. Burrell isn’t young, Rollins had one starstruck year, and though I love Shane Victorino, he alone isn’t selling any tickets. Hell, the best player this year for the team has been Brad Lidge, who has salvaged his career here after almost going batty at the expense of Albert Pujols’ bat. There are no guarantees that Howard and Hamels will even remain with the team in the future. Don’t get me wrong – I love these guys. But if I was going to claim that the Phillies were the franchise that ruled Philadelphia, I’d go a different route.

How about the tragic nature of the Phillies that keeps fans coming back year after year? Their almost innate ability to get soooo close to the playoffs or World Series and somehow lose it in the end. The fact that, despite being the franchise in professional sports with the most losses ever, we still come back to them, from one painful season to the next. The Phillies, and the culture of being a Phillies fan, has seemed to be passed down from generation to generation in a different way than the other teams. And not in some hokey, “lovable losers” bullshit excuse for fandom. We don’t glean some strange and backward sense of pride from the fact that the Phillies always break our hearts. It pisses us off. Sure, we take pride in being loyal, but we wish the experience was a whole lot less excruciating. This is a baseball town, and we do love our Phillies. Just not quite as much as we love our Eagles.

Is Jeffrey Lurie really the devil? Um, no. Do I care that he’s a Boston guy at heart? Not really. If that’s where he came from, I should hope he would retain some friggin’ loyalty – I respect that. As for him not making many friends, um…Why do I care? (Editor’s note: Ohmigosh, did you hear that Rick Reilly is calling Jeffrey Lurie unpopular? Scaaaaandulous!) Fact is, the man has paid for a winner more seasons since he took over in 1994 than not. We’ve seen players like Brian Dawkins, Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook, Jeremiah Trotter, Hugh Douglas, Duce Staley, and Jon Runyan come into town during his years. He put Andy Reid in charge, who has been the most successful coach in Eagles history. He pushed for the Link. All things considered, he’s been a pretty good owner. He just needs to get the big one, and his place in Philadelphia lure will be secure. (Editor’s note: My god, did he just avoid the potential play on words between lure and Lurie? Ladies and gentlemen, maybe The Pundit is finally growing up.)

No, there is a different reason why Philly is an Eagles’ town. Part of it is that football has become America’s game, and none of the other sports can really come close to making that claim. Football as a game is very similar to Philadelphia fans: it is passionate, intense, emotional, rough, gritty and demanding. Football is almost meant to be watched while drinking and getting rowdy. Not that Phillies games haven’t become frat parties of their own, because they certainly have. But that only seems to happen when the Phillies are doing well; an Eagles game is always a guaranteed tailgating fest, and a place to be very afraid if you’re wearing the wrong jersey. People can get together and watch the games on Sundays, the Birds becoming a part of every fans weekly routine; the Phillies play almost every night, and the season is long and takes a different level of engagement. Plus, football is naturally a more exciting game – it will always have an advantage over baseball in the “casual fan” demographic. Finally (and this one is my sleeper but a heavy hitter), the Eagles have better rivalries, and Philly fans loooooove hating other teams. What one rivalry do the Phillies have that consistently mirrors the intensity and hatred that the Redskins, Giants and Cowboys all regularly evoke? Perhaps the Mets in the past couple of years, but not traditionally.

I appreciate what you are trying to do Mr. Reilly, and I can’t hate on you for it. It’s an interesting conversation piece, and in that regard, well played. That being said, it would be a better article if you were actually correct. I’m sure other cities will make their arguments as well. Stick to the whole “human side of sports” bit, it suits you better.

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Waking with the Pundit

Quick note, then on to the links. Be sure to check out the post below this one; what was intended to be a Penn State football preview became The Official 2008 Rally Post. Wait, what? Well, I started writing the post in the 4th inning, when the Phillies scored their first run in a game they trailed the Mets 7-0. I continued to write the post all the way through the 13th inning until they won. I didn’t even watch the damn game – I listened to it and swiveled around to see the TV when something happened, but I didn’t watch. Thus, much akin to the rally hat, I have dubbed the article a “Rally Post.” In times of peril, when one of our teams is in need of a comeback, you can always open up the Rally Post and start reading. (Editor’s note: Is there no end to the follies of fandom? The answer to that, of course, is no, but who cares? Sports rule!)

Required Reading

Uh yeah, what a friggin’ awesome game it was last night for the Phils. This Phillies team reminded me, and apparently a lot of other people, of the team last year, the team that led the league in comeback wins. That was a team you could never count out of a game, a team with fight and heart, something until last night had been lacking a bit. From a baseball purist perspective, it had a bit of everything: timely hitting, strange strategical moves (The Mets walking two batters in the 13th after a Shane victorino triple to pitch to Brett Myers, because the Phillies had run out of bench players), strange substitutions, and, of course, beating the Mets. There were heroes everywhere: Jimmy Rollins went 5-7 with 3 RBI’s, 3 steals, and a run. Call me whatever you want, Jimmy (Editor’s note: I love it when you call me Big Pundit). Eric Bruntlett tied the game in the bottom of the ninth with a double after Jayson Werth singled, also with two outs. Jamie Moyer had one of his worst outings of the year, but the bullpen picked him up, not giving up a run after the 4th. It was truly a game for the ages, and, oh yeah, the Phillies are back in first. Can the Mets rebound, as they’ve seemingly done all year? The Pundit hopes the answer to that is a resounding no, because after last night, the stakes just got a bit higher.

Oh, right, other stuff happened yesterday to. Like good news for Eagles fans (Editor’s note: And Jon Runyan): Michael Strahan ain’t coming back.

The tale of two receivers…your daily Eagles fix focuses on DeSean Jackson and Reggie Brown.

Honestly, I’m still so juiced about last night’s game, I don’t really care about what else is going on in sports. Tune in tonight, I think it will be another dandy (Editor’s note: Hopefully Johan Santana will abide).

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