Tag Archives: The Human Being Formerly Known as Chad Johnson

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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Chad Ocho Cinco in midnight green? Here we go again…

Goodness gracious, I’ve just realized something rather vital – I haven’t addressed the latest “Chad Johnson to the Eagles” rumors. I should have jumped all over this breaking news from the hearsay spin-cycle. Silly me.

Truth be told, I would totally be down for a little Chad Ocho Cinco in my life. Which is his legal name, by the way. I’m going to go self-retro here and bring back something I wrote way back in August about the ridiculous concept of Chad Johnson legally changing his name.

Chad Johnson is nuts. Oh wait, I’m sorry, I meant to say Chad Ocho Cinco. Yup, he legally changed his name. The worst part is, I don’t even think it’s the correct translation of 85. That would be ochenta y cinco. I refuse to call him this – from now on, he will be referred to on this site as The Human Being Formerly Known as Chad Johnson, THBFKCJ for short. (Editor’s note: I only wanted to see you underneath the purple rain). Be forewarned, as I may be about to blow this way out of proportion, but I think this is reflective of sports these days, in that its seems as though we are straying so far away from the game itself. I know, I know, at the end of the day, it’s a business, and THBFKCJ is just marketing himself. And I recognize the inherent irony in addressing THBFKCJ’s decision to change his name – I’m playing into his marketing ploy to keep himself in the spotlight. Whatever. When you are willing to change your name to the improper Spanish translation of your football number in order to market yourself, something sad has just occurred. If he ever gets traded, will he change his first name to the team he was traded to? Would you root for Eagles Ocho Cinco? Will people start changing their names to advertise products? (Editor’s note: Hi, I’m Zim Crack Cream, and I have a drinking problem. Hi, Zim.) I know how the old saying goes – what’s in a name? Well, apparently not dignity. Okay, enough ranting, I have to go get a “Love Classified” tattooed on my forehead so I can pick up chicks at bars. (Editor’s note: How is he going to fit “Enjoys long walks on the beach, candlelit dinners and weeping profusely during ‘The Notebook’” on his forehead?)

Ah, what a cynical Pundit I was back in August. Continue reading

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McNabb is certainly playing his hand…But will he be playing here much longer?

And here I thought the bankruptcy of the Philadelphia Newspapers LLC was going to be the news we all flocked to.

But never fear, for Donovan McNabb is here! At least for now, that is.

I have to say – this latest tidbit, about Donovan only restructuring his deal if the Eagles bring in more playmakers, is interesting on a number of fronts. First, what was reported.

Although McNabb wants to remain in Philadelphia, if the Eagles aren’t successful in significantly upgrading an offense that needs help at wide receiver, running back and offensive tackle (veterans Jon Runyan and Tra Thomas are free agents beginning Friday), not only may McNabb drop his request for a new contract, he may consider going as far as to ask the Eagles to trade him.

Ah, and the plot thickens. Continue reading

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I’m getting a little ferklempt: Eagles lose options, Sixers stay put. Talk amongst yourselves.

Rhode Island – neither a road, nor an island. Discuss.

Yesterday, the NFL took a personnel day. And if you’re an Eagles fan, it was a disappointing one. The Panthers made their move, and it wasn’t pretty for our Birds – by resigning Gross, and franchising Peppers, they took away two very interesting options.

Ah, what might have been...

Ah, what might have been...

Alas, that was not all. Continue reading

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So Brett Favre is retiring, is he? Right…here are a few more things that might actually “happen”

So Mr. Favre is retiring…again. Right. I’ll believe it when the Jets (Editor’s note: Or Vikings and Bears, for that matter) take their first snap without him next season. It’s probably time that Brett “The Gritman” Favre took his leave – his last few years in the league have been clouded by too much controversy and conflict. It kind of hampered the whole “boyish exuberance” thing he had going for him out on the field.

brett-favre-mouth-open12

And that’s why we all loved him, wasn’t it?

So, in honor of Favre’s “retirement,” I’ve come up with some other news of the ol’ double-quote variety. We’ll call it the “Broken News.” In other words, here are some headlines that you would probably be wary of, and likely doubt almost instantly, were you to read them in the paper or on your computer. To the back page!

Pac-Man Jones claims he’s cleaned up act, changed lifestyle

O.J. Simpson swears he’s innocent

Of anything. It doesn’t matter what – you wouldn’t believe him. He could say he was black, and you wouldn’t believe him. Nope,  you would just shake your head at him in disappointed disbelief, the same way your grandparents did when they knew you were lying.

Accused Ballplayer X denies knowing substances were banned, insists everyone was doing it.

Eagles Front Office, Andy Reid says team is “close” Continue reading

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You say Houshmandzadeh, I say Houshmandnada – The Pundit isn’t so sure he’s the right fit

We’ve already discussed the possibility of Julius Peppers or Jordan Gross being added to the mix next season. Now I want to talk about another guy, one I think will probably be the popular choice among Eagles’ fans: T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

houshmandzadeh

And I’m just gonna come out and say it – I don’t really think he would make this team that much better. Continue reading

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The Pundit’s game notes from one of the worst Eagles games ever

From the Editor: The Pundit is so enraged right now by the effort displayed by the Eagles offense in their 13-13 tie, he only submitted his unedited notes from the game and said, “Here – you deal with this.” Thanks, Pundit. Here are his slightly edited notes, just in case you felt like reliving the train wreck that was this game.

Another three and out to start the game – McNabb throws high to Westbrook on a short swing route than overthrows an open Curtis in the middle of the field which would have given the Eagles a first down.

I just saw Joselio Hanson in the game – but not Lito Sheppard. Why?

Two straight three and outs. Spectacular start.

Engagement ring commercials are so sad – they always make it seem like the woman is super excited about getting the ring, not about getting married -“sure, he’s a questionable guy to settle down with, but look at this rock – I had to say yes!”

Good job by the Eagles defense of knocking the Bengals out of field goal range after they had the ball around the thirty – a sack by Trent Cole and then Joselio Hanson on a delayed blitz

McNabb gets sacked trying to scramble, fumbles the ball, and Frostee Rucker picks it up, takes it to the 1 yard line. If I was a drug dealer, my alias would be Frostee – ‘cuz I’m the snow man, bitches! I makes it rain ‘cuz I makes it snow, ya dig? (Editor’s note: Oh dear God…)

Good job by the Eagles defense of bailing out McNabb and holding the Bengals to a field goal after they started with the ball on the 1 yard line.

The Eagles had three yards of offense in the first quarter – I repeat, three fucking yards of offense in the first quarter.

Nice screen play to Buckhalter, 44 yarder. I heart Correll Buckhalter. (Editor’s note: Feeling a little fruity there, Pundit?)

Wow. L.J. Smith is actually involved in the offense early on in the game.

David Akers hits a field goal longer than 40 yards! A 42 yarder! Whooo!

Thank God for Trent Cole – already two sacks in this game.

Antonio Chatman gets JACKED UP on a wideout screen and fumbles, which is recovered by Darren Howard. Way to earn that paycheck, buddy.

Eagles complete a pass with 2:25 left on the clock in the first half, and allow it to run into the 2 minute warning. Granted, they have the ball on the 50 yard line, but is this good clock management? Should they have tried to get another play off before the 2 minute warning?

McNabb throws a pick right to Bengals linebacker Brandon Johnson. He was trying to loft one on a seam route to L.J. Smith – an absolutely awful, awful pass that cost the Eagles at least a field goal, and may set the Bengals up for one of their own

Bengals get a touchdown out of McNabb’s interception – specccccctacular. Fitzpatrick does a nice job adjusting to and beating the blitz, hits T.J. Whateverhislastnameis on a post route, who was being covered by Joselio Hanson. Was Lito on the field?

After Shayne Graham puts the kickoff out of bounds, Donovan throws a nice pass to DeSean Jackson to get the Eagles in field goal range – then a McNabb pass bounces off of Kevin Curtis’ shoulder and into the hands of the Bengals. Looked as though Donovan’s throw caught Curtis off guard, which seems to be a timing thing.

Thus concludes perhaps the worst, most pathetic half of football I have ever watched the Eagles play – I am disgusted right now. (Editor’s note: You don’t say).

We begin where we left off – Demps bobbles the kickoff, Eagles to start their first drive on the 11.

And the Eagles go three and out to start the half – I would be having a better time getting a root canal then I am having watching this game.

Talking about Fitzpatrick and his Harvard education, Goose says “Hey, Harvard – they teach a lot of stuff there.” Thanks for that Ivy League insight, Goose.

Shayne Graham field goal, 13-3 lead for the Bengals. I repeat: 13-3 lead for the 1-8 Bengals. Unbelievable.

Good job by McNabb scrambling, nice pass to Hank Baskett, who does a great job running with the ball after the catch. Another big play for Hank, who seems to be good for 1 or 2 of them a game. Big 57 yards, maybe that will wake up this offense.

Touchdown pass to L.J. smith, Eagles do a nice job answering the field goal with a touchdown of their own, and maybe, just maybe we’re back in this game.

Eagles defense has played well, granted against the Bengals. They three and out the Bengals offense once again.

Another terrible interception by McNabb, trying for the seam to L.J. again, who was being blanketed. A really awful throw by McNabb.

Bengals go for it on 4 and 16 at the Eagles 33 – they obviously didn’t want to go for the field goal there, but why not punt it?

McNabb almost throws another interception! What the fuck is wrong with him today? (Editor’s note: Must not have had his Chunky Soup).

Chris Clemons gets a sack – I forgot he was on the Eagles.

Curtis is wide open, drops a perfect pass. Goose says it best: “That was just really bad placement – right in the hands”

Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod – the Eagles converted a fourth and short on a McNabb quarterback sneak! I am so happy right now!

Akers ties it at 13. Oh man, we are set up for a super exciting finish – actually, I just think I’ll be super excited when this game ends. (Editor’s note: Amen to that, brotha).

The Bengals get a delay of game call on a fake punt. Ahahahahahahahahahaha, to be a Bengals fan must be so painful on a daily basis.

Eagles punt the ball with 2 minutes left, then three and out the Bengals, breaking up two passes, only 16 seconds came off of the clock. If it weren’t for a stellar defensive effort today, and the fact that we’re playing the Bengals, the Eagles would have gotten crushed today based upon their offensive effort. (Editor’s note: I don’t know if it was intended, but there is definitely a double entendre on the word “offensive” today).

Eagles proceed to waste only 22 seconds, go three and out, hooray. Though, on the third and ten, Westbrook got basically tackled before the ball got to him by, of all fucking people, Dhani Jones – aggggghhhhhhhh!

Chris Clemons makes another play, decking the running back during a screen pass – when did we pick him up? Oh, we signed him to a huge deal in the offseason? Riiiiiiigggghhhhht. (Editor’s note: In all seriousness, though, Clemons did play a nice game for the Eagles today).

Eagles get their 7th sack of the game, and the Bengals go 3 and out once again – thank you for your efforts, defense. If the Eagles win, you get all the credit.

Oh man, I am so excited right now – this unbelievably exciting game is going to overtime! I could watch football of this caliber for days and days and days at a time. Now if you’ll excuse me, I am going to go find some rope and a high ceiling.

Why did “Nugget Alert” just pop up on the bottom-left of my television screen? Is Goose getting baked on the sidelines? Mmmmmmm…baked goose.

The Bengals, inexplicably, try to run the ball on a third and six play. Bad audible by Fitzpatrick. Thank God we are playing the Bengals today.

Suddenly, the Eagles can’t stop getting penalties. Unreal. We’ve cost ourselves, during the second offensive drive of the overtime, 20 yards, without counting the 15 yard play that was negated by Kevin Curtis’ offensive pass interference. Ugly, ugly football being played today by this offense.

Sav Rocca’s punts have been absolutely atrocious today. I am just so angry and ornery right now – this game has not been good for my blood pressure. (Editor’s note: If you don’t have anything nice to say…)

Asante Samuel makes another solid play, breaking up a pass to The Human Being Formerly Known as Chad Johnson, setting up a huge 3rd and 11 for the Bengals.

Huuuuuge sack by Darren Howard, the Birds’ 8th of the game, and they will get the ball back with a chance to FINALLY win this damn game.

And the Eagles fucking blow it and go fucking three and out – again! I am so infuriated right now – I’m hate typing right now. It’s the only positive way I can release all of my rage. If I were to see a bald eagle flying around right now, I’d shoot it out of the sky. That’s how pissed I am at this Eagles team, specifically their offense right now.

I am so sick and tired of the unnecessary roughing the passer penalties that are littering every NFL game. They called one on Sheldon Brown on a perfectly legitimate hit, which put the Bengals in field goal range – unacceptable. This roughing the passer business needs to be seriously discussed in the offseason.

And Shayne Graham misses what would have been a game winning, 47 yard field goal attempt. Does anybody want to win this game?

And thus ends a 13-13 tie. Honestly, this was one of, if not the worst football game I have ever watched. Anything positive I had previously posted about the eagles making the postseason pretty much just went out the window. Playoff teams don’t play 13-13 games against 1-8 football teams. BOOOOOOOO!!!

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The Pundit finally writes about the Sixers…no, wait, he’s just more interested in the Eagles, like everyone else

So, I was planning on writing a  tongue-in-cheek post about how the Sixers aren’t playing really well because no one cares about them yet, and won’t until the Eagles are done for the year. I was going to joke about how they were like a little kid who gets in trouble when Mom and Dad aren’t around, but behave well once they are. I was going to reference the slow start last year, and it was going to be a fine and dandy post.

But I’d rather just write about the Eagles.

Chad Johnson: An Eagle in 2009?

I mean, it sounds like he’d be down. An excerpt from the Philly Inquirer today:

But you can’t put it past McNabb, or for that matter Johnson, for trying to lay some groundwork for 2009. Johnson is under contract with the Bengals through 2011, and while they weren’t willing to trade Johnson this past off-season, one never knows what will happen after this season.

“I’ve always been a fan of [McNabb], and especially Philly,” Johnson said. “The fans in Philly are the real deal, and that would be a real joy to give them a treat.”

So are you back to saying you want to get traded, Chad?

“Oh, yeah. OK. Next question,” Johnson said.

Could I get into seeing The Human Being Formerly Known as Chad Johnson playing for the Eagles? Um, yeah, I suppose I could get used to the idea. But let’s be honest: the Eagles will go out and pick up a guy like Bobby Engram and be way, way too over hyped about the pick-up. Lorenzo Booker, anyone? Let’s be honest: we’ve all become totally jaded toward any personnel moves the Eagles make. Which is the perfect segue for the next boldfaced topic:

Is Andy Reid nearing his end?

Some people seem to think he should be. Like every radio host in Philadelphia not named Howard Eskin. And apparently, Jason Whitlock, who ranked Andy Reid as the worst coach in football this year. Wow.

Twice this season Reid has taken the game out of the hands of Donovan McNabb and tried to win at crunch time with his running game. Here’s a coach who loves to throw on damn near every down except when the game is on the line. I also blame Reid for the Eagles failing to trade a second-round draft pick for Tony Gonzalez. Other than the one season with Terrell Owens, McNabb has made a living throwing the ball to the James Thrashes of the world. It’s ridiculous. I’m convinced the Eagles don’t want to win it all.

Now, I haven’t exactly been pleased with Andy Reid and many of his decisions this year, and I wouldn’t have given up a number two for Tony Gonzalez (Editor’s note: I guess The Pundit doesn’t think his shit stinks or something). But the worst coach in the NFL? I think that is sheer mularky. I mean, what about the amazing job Rod Marinelli has done in Detroit? Or Wade Phillips in Dallas, who has a whole lot more talent to work with than Reid does. Go ahead, make the Romo argument – they are still playing like a team of uncontested egos that lack a strong, central leader to guide their ship. Listen, I don’t think Andy should be the GM, but I’m not ready to give up on him yet as a coach. Are his two-minute drills atrocious? Yeah, they are. Should they be running the ball more? Hmmm, funny I should ask:

Are the Eagles starting to get tired of their one-dimensional offense?

Well, at least one prominent Eagle, Brian Westbrook, thinks they should be running the ball more consistently.

Westbrook said the Eagles don’t always show enough commitment to running plays when things are going poorly.

“We don’t always have it, no,” he said. “At some points in some games, we have it. At some points in other games, we don’t. I think there are situations at times when we probably should have more commitment to the run.”

– and –

“If you don’t get those carries, then you don’t really establish a rhythm,” Westbrook said. “It’s tough to do it with a couple carries here, a couple carries there.”

Listen: I guarantee you, Westbrook isn’t the only Eagle feeling this way. He’s just one of the guys, like McNabb, that is allowed to say these things. To me, this does not reflect well on the perception the players have of their head coach. They aren’t buying into his scheme, and to be frank, they shouldn’t be – it has been flawed. So, if the perception of the head coach from the fans, the national media, the local media, and the players isn’t positive, um, how secure is Mr. Reid? James Beale over at The Sports Complex makes a valid point:

Jeffrey Lurie is a man concerned about his image and the image of his team.  With fans clamoring for Reid’s head – and prominent national columnists joining the fight – barring an appearance in the NFC championship game, Reid won’t make it to next season.

I think Reid is safe if this team makes the playoffs, but if they fail to do that, he could be in trouble. Do I think Jeffrey Lurie will be loyal to the man that led the Eagles to 4 NFC Championship games? Yeah, probably. Do I think he’ll let the guy who drafted Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook, Trent Cole, Lito Sheppard, Sheldon Brown, Shawn Andrews and DeSean Jackson remain as the team’s GM? Probably, though I really think Andy should just focus on coaching. I was waiting to see how long things would get back to normal after the Phillies won the World Series; I should have known a loss to the Giants would get us back into the swing of things.

Hey, at least if the ‘Iggles blow it, we’ve always got the Sixers and Flyers, right?

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From the Nosebleeds – Why we all should have known Oregon State would beat USC

From the Nosebleeds is a new feature to The Pattison Pundit. Essentially, anytime one of the Pundit’s buddies, or anyone else decides that they have something they need to get off of their chest about the sports world, this will be their forum. I’ll edit the post and add my own take, but the floor is yours. Feel free to email me anytime with your rants, raves, concerns, critiques and/or analysis. Today we have Jacobs, who saw the Oregon State win against USC coming, and thinks you should have, too. Jacobs, the floor is yours.

So I talked to you earlier this evening about watching the USC game, right?  Your answer, as I expected, was “Oh yeah, that’ll be a good game…or not. Are you kidding me, man?  They’re going to kill Oregon State!  Didn’t you see what Penn State did to them?”

A typical answer, and honestly, most college football enthusiasts wouldn’t have disagreed.  Not me. I just knew. (Editor’s note: Alright Miss Cleo, just relax). I knew that Oregon State had good players.  Not just playmakers that have been drafted in the past, like Chad Johnson and T.J. HoushmaMillyVanilly, but playmakers right now.  Playmakers like junior quarterback Lyle Moevao, who somehow, after getting wrecked by Penn State, has averaged almost 275 passing yards per game, throwing 8 touchdowns. Though, to be fair, he has thrown four picks.  And this is the same single caller who beat USC two years ago. (Editor’s note: Actually, that was Matt Moore. Moevao’s lifetime stats for 2007-08: 174 – 304, 57% completion percentage, 10 touchdowns, 10 interceptions. A playmaker? Haven’t really seen him enough to give an accurate assessment, but judge for yourself).

Wait, did I mention they have playmakers now? (Editor’s note: Yes, I believe you suggested it).  Like receiver Sammy Stroughter, who overcame severe depression and mental problems, quitting football for over a year (even though he was considered to be a possible All-American candidate) to come back and play his last eligible year at Oregon State to show people he can still rip it up. And you can’t forget about freshman Jacquizz Rodgers, who rushed 37 times for 186 yards and 2 TDs (all 5’5”, 176 lbs. of him). (Editor’s note: Raise your hand if you live outside of Corvallis and had ever heard of the guy). By the way folks, say what you want about the PAC-10, but they have (and know how to produce) kick-ass running backs. (Editor’s note: They have turned out some killer backs. But enough about O.J. Simpson…)

I most definitely won’t forget how Penn State blew Oregon State out of the water, but this is the mother of all rebounds! (Editor’s note: I think that broad Patty I was with last night might disagree).  Against #1 USC, who is supposed to be ready for everything and penciled into the BCS National Championship game after their crushing defeat of Ohio State. Whatever. Oregon State proved that they can still play with the big-timers. But wait! (Editor’s note: Oooh, is there a surprise?) They have beat USC three out of the last five times they’ve played them.

Hmmmmmm…..interesting.  As I said before, Oregon State is a pesky team for USC, kind of like Minnesota has been for Penn State for the past decade. (Editor’s note: Since 2000, Penn State is 2-3 against Minnesota).  They play hard against USC and still have good players and excellent athletes. Did I mention they have playmakers? (Editor’s note: YES!!!)  Regardless, Oregon State executed poorly against and planned poorly for PSU. (Editor’s note: And they traveled across the country and played them in Happy Valley, an environment I’m not sure they were quite used to). However, I think they learned a few things from that severe ass-whooping and moved on to bigger and better things. In other words, they put that loss in the rearview mirror and realized they had bigger fish to fry…but only if they could handle it. (Editor’s note: Two clichés are better than one, people – can you handle that?). In this case, it was #1 ranked Southern Cal.

I applaud the performance, even though the Oregon State coaches backed off and got extremely conservative in the 2nd half.  In fact, the only connection this game had with the Penn State game was that the Oregon State coaches must have taken pointers from Jay Paterno and Galen Hall about being huge pussies at the end of an important game. (Editor’s note: Somebody’s feeling a bit saucy, eh?)

Surely, the conservative and trusted coaching mentality would have been to run the clock out, but you could see that USC adjusted and started gaining momentum in the 2nd half.  Instead of continuing the balanced offensive attack that gouged the USC defense in the 1st half, Oregon State turned almost exclusively to the ground game in the 2nd half.  This was unacceptable to my semi-educated football mind – KEEP PRESSURING THEM! (Editor’s note: Hey, he said it).

I rooted for Oregon State not only because I am sick of USC dominance/&^@% kissing/*$@# sucking (Editor’s note: Wow, even I’m blushing), but because I want to see how many eraser shavings can be accumulated from weekly AP voters’ ballets. Plus, this defeat will only help Penn State to move into the AP top 10 – a place where they belong if they can execute against Illinois in the same way that they executed against an Oregon State team that beat the overwhelmingly favored and top-ranked USC Trojans.

-Jacobs

PS: The most important topic I chose NOT to discuss begs the following question: Honestly, can you be THAT surprised by the outcome of this game after what last year taught (and showed) you?

The Pundit responds: Ok, where to begin. First of all, I have never been a believer that the past performances of one college program against another should help to dictate future ones, unless one program is traditionally powerful while the other is, well, Temple. The Oregon State team that beat the USC team two years ago is not the same team, with the same players, as it is now, and neither is this USC team. That was then, and this is now. Secondly, after watching Oregon State get absolutely dismantled by Penn State, you can’t tell me that anyone with any sort of football brain at all would think that this team wasn’t completely overmatched, on paper, against USC. A USC team that, even if you weren’t penciling them into the BCS title game yet (which I wasn’t, because they seem to have one meltdown a year), seemed pretty dominant after last week. Ohio State may not have had Beanie Wells, but I’m not sure that he could have saved them. Third – Oregon State did not have nationally recognized playmakers, at least before this game. They may have had great players who played out of their minds, but you can’t tell me that Jacquizz Rodgers was on your radar. He may turn out to be the truth, but I sure as hell had never heard of him until last night. Four – if Penn State beats Illinois, that itself should be enough to push them into the top ten. Illinois is a quality opponent, and Penn State has absolutely embarrassed everyone they’ve played so far. And finally, shouldn’t I have expected this upset after the giddy mayhem that was last year’s college football season? Well, truthfully, no, because the entire idea behind an upset is that you aren’t expecting it. If enough people thought that Oregon State could beat USC last night, then it wouldn’t have really be an upset, right? I mean, who in their right mind would have thought that Stanford would have beaten USC last year? You may keep the possibility of an upset in your mind, but that doesn’t mean you actually think it will happen – which, of course, is what makes it so fun and exhilarating when it does.

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The Week in Review

No Show of the Week

The last time I saw Pat Burrell, he was on the back of a milk carton. Here’s what he has done for us this week: 4-32 (.125 BA) with one walk, 1 RBI and 8 K’s. Not exactly the type of production you want from the guy batting third in your lineup. The team’s production has seemed to improve since Manuel started batting Utley second, but Burrell’s production has dipped. Two lineups I would consider (Editor’s note: Just in case, you know, Charlie Manuel is reading this): Rollins Utley Burrell Howard Werth Victorino Feliz Coste/Ruiz or Rollins Werth Utley Howard Burrell Victorino Feliz Coste/Ruiz. Victorino doesn’t quite have the pop I like to see protecting Howard.

Stud of the Week

This was apparently redemption week for two prominent Phillies: Brett Myers and Jimmy Rollins. Myers, in two starts, looked like this: 14 innings pitched, 20 hits, 3 walks, but only 3 runs with 16 K’s. Myers is letting guys get on base, but he’s leaving them there. Seems like he’s maintaining his focus, instead of psyching himself out when he gives up a few hits. It hasn’t been pretty, but the Phillies have won his last two starts. As for Mr. Rollins, his week looked like this: 13-30 (.433 BA), 4 walks, 3 runs, 3 doubles, 1 triple, 1 HR, 6 steals. That’s a ridiculously good week, and if Jimmy has a big September, as he’s been apt to do, the Phillies may find themselves playing in October again (Editor’s note: THERE’S ONLY ONE OCTOBER! Well, at least every year. Happens the same time each year, actually. Right after September. Check it out, its true, get a calender or something, its there. Seriously. THERE’S ONLY ONE OCTOBER!)

The All-Encompassing Thought of the Week

This isn’t a Philly thought, but I haven’t addressed it yet, so here goes: Chad Johnson is nuts. Oh wait, I’m sorry, I meant to say Chad Ocho Cinco. Yup, he legally changed his name. The worst part is, I don’t even think its the correct translation of 85. That would be ochenta y cinco. I refuse to call him this – from now on, he will be referred to on this site as The Human Being Formerly Known as Chad Johnson, THBFKCJ for short. (Editor’s note: I only wanted to see you underneath the purple rain). Be forewarned, as I may be about to blow this way out of proportion, but I think this is reflective of sports these days, in that its seems as though we are straying so far away from the game itself. I know, I know, at the end of the day, it’s a business, and THBFKCJ is just marketing himself. And I recognize the inherent irony in addressing THBFKCJ’s decision to change his name. I’m playing into his marketing ploy to keep himself in the spotlight. Whatever. When you are willing to change your name to the improper Spanish translation of your football number in order to market yourself, something sad has just occurred. If he ever gets traded, will he change his first name to the team he was traded to? Would you root for Eagles Ocho Cinco? Will people start changing their names to advertise products? (Editor’s note: Hi, I’m Zim Crack Cream, and I have a drinking problem. Hi, Zim.) I know how the old saying goes – what’s in a name? Apparently, not dignity. Okay, enough ranting, I have to go get a “Love Classified” tattooed on my forehead so I can pick up chicks at bars. (Editor’s note: How is he going to fit “Enjoys long walks on the beach, candlelit dinners and weeping profusely during ‘The Notebook'” on his forehead?)

My Painfully Specific Thought of the Week

It just seems as though the Phillies can’t get everybody working well at the same time. They’re kind of like that problem car you had, where you would get the brakes fixed, then the steering alignment would go wacky. (Editor’s note: Plus, the AC didn’t work and the head unit got jacked, so you had to drive with the windows down and sing without the radio to stay entertained but you’d forget to shut up at red lights and stop signs and everybody in the vicinity of your car thought you were insane…obviously, I’m speaking of a theoretical situation). For a while, the bullpen was this team’s saving grace. Though they performed admirably against the Mets in the crazy comeback game, pitching 10 friggin’ innings, they blew leads the next two nights (the Aramis Ramirez grand slam was just disheartening). The starting pitching has really picked up, as Myers has found his game again and Blanton has been a steady contributor, and the lineup is producing once more. So, what’s it going to be, bullpen? Are the ol’ arms just a bit sore after being overworked? Or is it your turn to let the team down? (Editor’s note: Lucy, hold the Xanax, but maybe just give the Pundit a hug – yeah, he’s going half-empty on us right now).

Moment of the Week

Easily the Phillies Tuesday night/Wednesday morning defeat of the Mets. I mean, a 7 run comeback against the Mets is cool enough as it is, but this game was absolutely crazy. 10 innings of scoreless relief by the bullpen. Carlos Ruiz manning the hot corner. Jimmy Rollins going 5-7 with a homer, 3 RBI’s and 3 steals. Chris Coste going 4-4 after entering the game in the 8th. Clay Condrey getting a rally-starting, broken-bat double in the fifth. Pinch hit appearances by Cole Hamels and Brett Myers, who was specifically instructed not to swing with the bases loaded and nobody out in the bottom of the 13th. Eric Bruntlett’s game-tying double in the bottom of the ninth. Coste’s game-winner in the 13th. The Mets walking two consecutive batters after Shane Victorino’s triple in the 13th, knowing the pitcher’s spot was coming up and the Phillies were out of position players. I know that they lost three games in a row after this one, but if they make the postseason again this year, I think this will be the game fans look back on as one of the definitive games of the year. It was awesome, one of the craziest games I have ever watched.

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