And this situation is exactly why I haven’t changed the poll on this website in a while. With the limited traffic I get, I still wanted to see what people thought about the combination of the modern professional athlete and the gun.

Everyone will be calling the troubled Burress’ an idiot. And perhaps that’s valid. But, as with most things, this isn’t as simple as it seems. Did you know that Plaxico’s teammate Steve Smith was apparently robbed at gunpoint only last week?

Professional athletes continue to be targets of crime, for obvious reasons. In my opinion the NFL and the NFLPA are going to have to do more to teach players the best ways to keep themselves safe from crime — while protecting the league from public relations nightmares and players from the themselves.

Happy Holidays!

Larry Fitzgerald is Coming to Town

Larry FitzgeraldHe was the object of our affection for much of the last off-season.  And for good reason.

At this point I wouldn’t want any receiver in the NFL before Larry Fitzgerald.  I watch virtually every Cardinals game — with two TV’s and few 4 o’clock options.  And the guy is a phenom.  He’s got everything you want from a wideout — size, speed, strength, precision, and none of the premadonna attitude.

He clears out the field for Anquan Boldin, who is able to get the ball in space and bruise people.  Fitzgerald makes impossible catches in traffic.  You can’t take him out of a game.

In short, he’s everything the Eagles need in a playmaker.

On Thursday night, try and watch him without getting angry.  You’ll probably be around your family, and no one needs an angry Eagles nut on Thanksgiving night.  Larry isn’t going anywhere anymore.  And since you fell in love with the guy last spring, and his team is going to be playing January, hey… you might as well have someone to root for.

Few Things

Kendra WilkinsonI woke up yesterday morning and just didn’t have it.  Realizing I hadn’t taken a sick day in ’08, I called in and took a mental health day.  Spent the day playing video games (Uncharted:  Drakes Fortune on PS3 and an oldie — Baldur’s Gate 2 on PC).  It was fantastic.

Fantastic, that is, right up until it was time to catch the ‘Cuse/Florida game.  Fucking winter storm, with wet snow and slush, took out my satellite reception.  Precipitation stuck to my dish.  Take that as a warning for prospective satellite customers.  That isn’t the sort of thing they put on their marketing material.

Finally — heard an interesting fact while listening to NPR yesterday.  Taken altogether, sports attendance in the US is about 140 million people per year.  Museum patronage, more than five times that much at roughly 800 million people.  Sort of interesting, didn’t expect that big of a disparity.

Andy… the Coward

The news that Andy Reid couldn’t bear to tell Donovan that his day (and career) for the Eagles was over himself was pretty shocking.  It was always assumed that he and McNabb were as close as any two people in the organization.

I guess not.  But that wasn’t the only cowardly thing Big Red did today.

The Eagles desperately needed a win today.  They were trailing the Ravens by 3 at halftime, and McNabb just had a horrible second quarter.  Reid saw his job on the line.  He panicked.  And he let the loud, McNabb-hating segment of the Philly media and fanbase make his decision.

I know what his lifetime record is.  I know how he turned this franchise around.  But now he’s lost me forever.  I don’t think he’s the right guy to guide this team through what will surely be a turbulent short-term future.

I never thought I’d say this, but maybe it really is time to totally clean house.

And so…

We enter the Dark Ages.

Kevin Kolb is not likely to be as bad in the future as he was today.  But there are much bigger problems all over this offense.  Absolutely no one at the “skill” positions with any kind of strength.  Physical advantanges?  This offense has few.  Brian Westbrook looks hurt — and worse, tentative and slow.  How many injuries can this guy endure and remain as effective as the Eagles so desperately need him to be?

There is also the uncertainty on the o-line.  Who will be around next year?  What kind of improvement can this team expect from Jean-Gilles?  Is Winston Justice a player or not?

Is LJ Smith going to be here next year?  If not, is Brent Celek any good?  Why hasn’t LJ or Reggie Brown gotten any better in their careers?  Is this a sign for the future?

Is a Kevin Curtis and Desean Jackson starting combination really going to make this offense potent?  How is this team going to score in the red zone?

The Dark Ages…

Yep, Still Crazy

Jerry Jones must have really appreciated everything about this interview.

Undermining the coach? Check.
Undermining management? Check.
Wearing the colors and mascot of division rival whom you once played for? Check.

More Hank

Kendra Wilkinson, Hank's FianceSo maybe you’ve noticed my obsession with Hank Baskett of late.  I tell myself that it’s born of a desire to constructively break down the Eagles and not simply to keep posting pictures of Kendra.  Draw your own conclusions.

What I certainly know is that I have data to back up my claims.  Hank needs to be on the field.  His updated Football Outsider’s statistics put him in the Top 20 of NFL wide receivers in DYAR, despite it being a quantitative category and Hank having only a fraction of passes thrown his way compared to others.

To put it simply — when Donovan throws the ball Hank’s way it is frequently a completion.  And when Hank gets the ball it’s almost always productive in terms of YAC, a first down, or getting a score.

And when you consider the physical limitations of the rest of our midget offense, why aren’t Reid and Mornhinwheg able to process this?

I salute Reid for being smart enough to keep Jackson on the field when we all feared Reggie Brown would get his starting role back when healthy.  Thank God for that.  But as Brown continues to struggle and Baskett continues to shine — well, this offense needs the help.

Update:  If you’re interested in the famous DVOA nugget for Hank — he’s currently has a figure at 36.3%.  Because of the small number of passes thrown his way this isn’t as valuable a statistic.  BUT, for guys with at least 30 intended throws, he’s #2 IN THE NFL (#1 is Anquan Boldin).

Well Said, Sir

“I just think that sometimes the media, outside people try and place the blame on one or two people.  I don’t think that’s fair, or in this case, correct.”
– Brian Westbrook, press conference today (11/19/2008)

Haven’t caught McNabb’s segment yet.  The crew asking questions was ravenous today.  Nothing gets these guys excited like writing “fire the bums!” stories.  Westbrook did a good job of staying calm, but there was no hiding his annoyance.

Good Opener

Johnny FlynnThe ‘Cuse guards were too much for Richmond last night.  The game became pretty simple in the second half — the perimeter defenders for the Spiders were simply incapable of containing Devendorf and Flynn.

If Devendorf wasn’t getting open for a jumper with a jab-step, then he or Flynn were taking their man off the dribble and getting a layup.  The two combined for nearly fifty points.

It’s good to see those guys working together this early in the season.  However, it’s important to realize that the Orange won’t necessarily be able to rely on them like this once Big East play starts and quality defensive teams get to work.

That’s why I was pleased to see Onauku get at least one good seal in the second half and Flynn got the ball to him for an easy dunk.

After Oakland on Friday, things will really start to get fun.  Florida, neutral site, Monday at 7:30.  ESPN.