This Is Great is probably the most popular unofficial Giants website out there.  Daily updates on the front page, but the biggest attraction is the endless chatter in their forums.

From a thread titled “Article on Eagles’ DEs on the Bubble” –

McDougle would be a steal … especially since he would be more familiar with our defense coming from JJ defense
I would think we’d be a VERY attractive spot for him if we’re interested.

What a difference a few months makes, huh?

Cowboys Lose Starting Guard

Yes.  More stories like this.

Propped up by two crutches, Kyle Kosier couldn’t believe he’ll miss four to six weeks with a hairline fracture in his right foot.

The team’s offensive line is the latest group to have its depth tested this August. The cornerbacks, receivers and linebackers have all gone under the microscope, and nobody’s panicked yet. That was the case again Monday.

Whereas with our other rivals I at least have a hint of sympathy for injuries, I hold no such emotions for the Cowboys.

And if you read Pro Football Prospectus, you know that over the last several years the ‘Boys have been the healthiest team in the entire NFL by a rather large margin.  It’s time to regress to the mean, people.  Keep these stories coming.

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

Intensity.  If there’s one word that best describes the experience of playing this title, it’s that one.  In the seven hours of MGS4 I’ve logged so far, the only time I haven’t been on the edge of my couch, leaning forward (backpain be damned) is when I get up to fetch another Brooklyn Lager.

Metal Gear Solid 4

For those familiar with Metal Gear games, you know that being Solid Snake means relying on stealth.  It means being deep behind enemy lines and sneaking everywhere you go.  It means using your weapons as a last resort, and it forces the gamer to be as patient as you’ll ever have to be playing a video game — sometimes waiting for more than a minute or two for an enemy patrol to clear out.

This time around, Solid Snake is recruited to foil the plot of his archenemy, Liquid Snake, to lead an worldwide insurrection using private military contractors.  Think Blackwater personnel fighting wars all over the globe, but with advanced nanotechnology meaning commanders know and controlling everything about every soldier in the battlefield at all times — and with less ties to Dick Cheney.

The story has been sufficient to keep me interested, but it’s a little too sci-fi at times.  The nanotechnology system in the battlefield system is really cool, but I’ve always cringed a little bit at some of the special characters in these games like the “Beauty and the Beast” corps this time around.  With these characters Konami veers a little too close to cartoon.

Moving along — for all the sneaking around, the folks at Konami still know how to have a bit of fun.  Early in the game Snake acquires the barrel, an item he is able to stuff himself inside of and sneak around, which is kind of amusing in and of itself.  But go ahead and tip the barrel on its side and roll around for a while.  Poor Snake will emerge for the barrel barfing his brains out.

I’m on to Act3 now.  I must say to this point I’m enjoying MSG4 tremendously, though I wouldn’t call it the “perfect” game like many of the mainstream reviews have said.  The game looks beautiful on my 46″ 1080p LCD.  The controls are smooth once you get the hang of the game and understand what you’re supposed to be doing.  The learning curve is a bit steep, and I think Konami could have done a better job with training programs.

One last thing, I’ve read that you can complete this game without killing a single PMC soldier.  Unless you’re playing on the kiddy level, that feat is something I would consider nothing short of miraculous.  Aside from the difficulty in constantly sneaking around, rushing behind an enemy’s back at three feet away — the willpower one has to possess to keep from using all the cool weaponry would be astronomical.  If you’re attempting this, good luck.

Eagles v Patriots

All I’ve seen to this point is the highlights (replay on NFL Network at 1 pm), but a few thoughts:

I realize they put a lot of points on the board, but don’t overlook the fact that the first-teamers still struggled in the red zone.  That TD pass to Avant was not how that play was drawn up — McNabb had time to stand back there until Avant broke off his route and found some space.

Gotta be thrilled about what Demps and Jackson did on special teams tonight.   Hell, I’m practically beaming.  Rory Segrest must have a hop in his step today.  It’s the “I’m not getting fired before the season starts!” hop.


Say what you want about the preseason, but things aren’t much different in the O-line/D-line battles here than they are for the real things — and Trent Cole absolutely dominated whichever Patriots tackle he was matched up with.

On the first play of the second quarter, a Westbrook rush from the I, you can see Tony Hunt fly through the line and up the field.  He had no one to block and was trying to lead Westbrook (who didn’t follow him even though he should have) — but you gotta figure at least a little part of Hunt was imagining himself with the ball as he was absolutely burning through the D.

Gene Upshaw Has Died

Troy Vincent… your new NFLPA Director?

Several media outlets are now reporting that Gene Upshaw has died from cancer. Vincent has long been rumored as a favorite to take Upshaw’s place, though no one imagined under these circumstances. The dynamics of the new collective bargaining sessions just got thrown upside down.

Common sense seemed to clash with many of Upshaw’s more recent positions on issues like rookie pay and the treatment of retired players.  Here’s hoping whoever takes over doesn’t necessarily adopt his views due to some perceived need to honor his legacy.

Reviews Comings

I’ve been focusing an awful lot lately on the Eagles and haven’t been paying much attention to the “dork” side of things promised around here.  But that’s going to change in the coming days.

I purchased Madden ’09 and Metal Gear Solid 4 for the PS3 last weekend, and I’ll have a whole bunch to share on both of those titles — including a look at whether or not the good folks at EA have satisfied anything on our Madden ’09 Wishlist.

So thanks for hanging around, and look for a whole lot more variety around here in the very near future.

Son of a Bitch

Kevin Curtis is out for a long time. The injury occured during the Panthers game. Can someone convince me that this isn’t Andy Reid’s fault for leaving the starters in to play in that slop?


Dammit, I thought we dodged a bullet.

Looking Up For Mays

Joe MaysInqy staff writer John Gonzalez has a nice piece out today on Eagles rookie Joe Mays, who has really impressed in camp and made an impact in the two pre-season games. He’s getting plenty of compliments from teammates:

“He’s making plays,” said Gaither, one of the Eagles’ starting linebackers. “You see him in on a lot of plays out there, so I think his progression is going well. He certainly makes it hard for offenses when you have a guy like that who’s strong and who can run and who can hit.”

Mays is currently listed as the backup middle linebacker, though that probably isn’t how it would play out if something happened to Stewart Bradley (Gaither to the middle, Jordan to Gaither’s spot). Nonetheless, Mays looks like a shoe-in to make this team at this point. He be counted on to make plays in special teams, something the Eagles desperately need.

And if the guy brings the kind of energy and passion to the special teams unit that we’ve seen from him this summer he’ll become a favorite in this town.

More Thoughts on Eagles v. Panthers

A few more random points:

Scott Young was better than expected, especially in pass protection. On two occasions he peeled off a double-team block (helping Jackson or Herremans) to pick up a blitzing linebacker. That is his job, and he did it well. Not much going on in the running game with him, though.

Along with everyone else, I was a little on-edge while the starters were playing in the crappy conditions. Andy would be in a bit of a pickle today if anyone had gotten seriously hurt.

Desean Jackson… consider me on the bandwagon.

Is there anything about this team you would feel more comfortable betting on than “Rory Segrest will be fired by the 2009 season”?

I’m going to try and review the footage of Studebaker, Mays, and Justin Roland tonight to continue our look at who might really have a chance to make an impact on this team, if anyone.

The Quintin Mikell Game

Tonight I have been completely convinced of Quintin Mikell as a starting NFL safety. He was that good.

He was everywhere in the first half. On Carolina’s initial second drive he sprinted over in zone, reading Jake Delhomme, and took away the quarterback’s first option at the top of the field (Asante had deep coverage). Delhomme was forced to turn and make a wild throw that was ultimately incomplete (thanks to Q, Parker had enough time to get pressure on Delhomme).

He was everywhere in run support, and I never saw him miss a tackle. A total force at the line of scrimmage.

That DeAngelo Williams twenty-three yarder? The defensive play call had Q blitzing the quarterback, and by the time Williams was getting through the line, Q was well past him in the backfield.  It would never have happened otherwise.

This guy can be really, really good.

Thoughts on some other guys coming a bit later…