GAME TIME 1:00
GAME TEMP Not sure – but a lot colder than it looked with the gusting winds of the day…
“Kneel, Son of Jor-El, kneel before Zod!!” – General Zod, Superman II
(Editor’s note: This introduction was written last week (yes, The Last Row was THAT sure of a win) before the Sports Guy’s intern posted something about Zod on his website, and you’ll just have to take our word on this one. Superman II is Tom of the Last Row’s second favorite movie, behind Evil Dead II, and he knows way too much about both movies.)
We here in the Last Row know how General Zod felt. All of those years caught in The Phantom Zone. All of those years stuck in a bad early 80s special effect, stuck in a world that looks like a Journey album cover. Festering with rage; rage and dismay. The Carolina Panthers sent us into a Phantom Zone, and they went into the Super Bowl to play the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
We know how Zod felt when he had the Earth on its knees; he was on top of the world. Right now, that’s how the Eagles fans (well, us two anyway) feel. Sure the Patriots are out there, sure the Seahawks are out there, but right now –we’re on top of the world.
We know what Zod must have felt when he learned that the son of the guy who sent him into the Phantom Zone was on the planet he and his henchmen had just taken over. At last, a chance for revenge. After all, they had the odds on their side, three versus one. Zod would choke the life out of Superman. That’s how we felt when the Panthers limped into the Linc. They had lost offensive linemen since they beat us last year. DeShaun Foster and Steve Smith were out. Kris Jenkins was out. The Eagles had gotten better since last January; the Eagles weren’t hurting like they were during their last meeting. The Eagles got better with Terrell Owens and Jevon Kearse, and a healthy Brian Westbrook. Like Zod, we knew that vengeance was for the taking.
Yes, we know this game means very little compared to the NFC Championship game, but this is the chance we get.
Now to mix metaphors. Nine months since that cold January day. Nine months since we were sent into our Purgatory. For the last nine months we Eagles fans have been gestating a little baby of our own. That baby’s name? Ladies and Gentlemen of America, meet our little offspring – Revenge. Say hello to our little friend.
1 O’clock games are the best, by far. You do have to get up a little earlier, by 8 AM at the latest (unless you are really going to party), but you get home in time to see the last quarter of the 4 O’clock games. You can also watch Prime Time to see all of the highlights you may have missed. Monday also is a lot less painful, that’s a big bonus.
First Five songs at the Tailgate:
· Almost Honest – Megadeth
· It’s Tricky – Run DMC
· Frantic – Metallica
· Wrapped Around Your Finger – The Police
· For Those About to Rock – AC/DC
Dolfi had his old man, over 30, flag football game that morning, so he missed the tailgate, and limped up to his seat early and in pain to nurse himself back to health with a few beers and some jerky. (Editor’s note: We will NOT be accepting the invoice Mr. Dolfi sent us for “Icy Hot, Beer, and Beef Jerky” under our current insurance plan.) The weather finally felt like Fall, perfect football weather. Drinking high quality beer and eating hot dogs and hamburgers at 10 AM may not sound like your idea of a good time…as a matter of fact, it should sound like your idea of a good time – otherwise, you’re on the wrong website. Anyway, one of these tailgates, we’ll have to try somehow cooking breakfast type foods, but for today, we had the breakfast of champions.
Paperboy was at the game this week. What this man did is something The Last Row has never seen in nine years of attending Eagles games. Paperboy was reading a newspaper DURING THE GAME! Now, after the tailgate, your faithful reporters in The Last Row have a hard enough time reading, let alone bringing a sports page into our seats at all. This guy was reading the sports section during the first quarter. We, and the people sitting around us, let this guy know we thought he made a poor decision by reading during the game. Paperboy may not have appreciated what was said, but we’re pretty sure he got the message. We have never, ever seen someone bring reading materials to a game – hopefully this is the last time.
Another strange occurrence was that one of the guys who sit to our right (in seats 2-6 of our row) brought his girlfriend to the game. You normally see quite a few women in the higher reaches of the stadium in the pre-season, but once the regular season begins, you don’t see women in the stands that often, which is not a good thing. The guy who brought the female got quite a bit of ribbing (from his friends) for each time there was a Public Display of Affection, and so did his girlfriend. The guy and his woman both were very good-natured about what was said, and we’re sure the guy will get his revenge somehow.
The feeling in the air before the game started was not one of hopefulness, or of excitement. It was akin to the feeling we all get when we watched Evil Kenevil jump school buses on a motorcycle – it was a train wreck waiting to happen. This train wreck was waiting for the Panthers and everyone inside and outside of the stadium knew it. It’s not that people were cocky or boastful – it was simply that Carolina is NOT the team it was last year, and the Eagles are more.
Carolina’s O-line was not as awful as advertised, but make no mistake, they were a far cry from the O-line that pushed the Eagles around last year. Delhomme played great against the Birds in the playoffs last year, mainly because he barely received even token pressure from the Eagles defensive front four. This was a different year though and a different front four against a less talented Carolina line – and it showed. Delhomme was harassed all day long by the Eagles. He was sacked only twice, but he was hurried all game, and took a lot of punishment in getting rid of the ball at the last second. And he was making bad decisions in the face of that pressure as evidenced by his 4 interceptions. The Last Row doesn’t know if there is a sweeter feeling than being able to smell the fear of a scrambling QB all the way in the last row of the stadium, but if there is, we want in on it.
The game was never in doubt from the first possession, and the only let-down on the entire day was that the Eagles gave up a late, meaningless TD to Carolina and gave them the 2-point conversion to boot – spoiling an otherwise perfect defensive day. It was good to see the Eagles win so dominantly and manage to put up 23 offensive points on a day where their offense was lackluster at best. The defense had some fans worried this season with the loss of two Pro Bowl cornerbacks, but watching Sheppard grab 2 INT’s (1 for a long TD run) and Hood grab another one and make several fine defensive knock-downs – people are feeling better about this defense.
In other news, Skull-guy reared his ugly head this week again, but this time he decided to leave the skull mask at home. No matter – the Last Row still recognized him and let him know that Henry the Red was the unquestioned “cheer” leader for our section, yet again.
We have to be honest now – there was a real lack of good cheers this game. The outcome of the contest was so obvious from even the first few minutes of the first quarter, that people didn’t seem to into the game. The Last Row tried to hold up the spirit, and we did our normal fantastic job of cheering, but the crowd was, by and large, subdued. Shame on us Philly fans! Have we languished so long without a championship that we are now taking 5-0 for granted? Not if the Last Row can help it… (Walls and Dolfi agree to redouble their cheering efforts next game.) Actually, the most heart felt cheer of the day was the old Last Row favorite, “Boo Cocky Shockey!!” Jeremy Shockey is a very unpopular figure in Philadelphia.
Oh, one more thing, in support of the fight against breast cancer, their were several groups around the stadium selling pink hats with the Eagle logo on it with a portion of the proceeds going toward breast cancer research. It’s a great cause, but seriously… we aren’t going to wear a pink hat. The Last Row was content to give a small donation to the cause and refuse the haberdashery.
So in this long season of which we’re only 5 weeks into, we are left with one question after watching the Eagles go to 5-0 and (in some ways) avenger their playoff loss to Carolina: “Will the Eagles get their comeuppance like General Zod did?” We hope not, but for one glorious afternoon, they tossed the Panthers around the Linc. The Eagles toyed with the Panthers, and then threw them straight into a giant neon Coke sign…
Cheers! – Whenever David Akers kicks a field goal the theme from Green Acres spills out from the loud speakers, evoking thoughts of a simpler time… a happier time… a time in which we always wished Eddie Arnold would give that b****, err… we mean wife, Exactly what she deserved – and it wasn’t a house in the country we can tell ya. In any case, it’s not a touchdown, but 3 points from one of the NFL’s best kickers is still reason enough to celebrate on most occasions, so when the strains of “Green Acres” play over the loud speakers, feel free to follow along with us in this little chant: Duh, nuh, nuh, nuh, nuh, THREE POINTS! Duh, nuh, nuh, nuh, nuh, THREE POINTS!, Duh, nuh, nuh, nuh nuh, Duh, nuh, nuh, nuh nuh, Dun, nuh, nuh, nuh, nuh, THREE POINTS! (Oh sure – it seems silly on paper, but sure as heck fits the song and we don’t think we’ve ever NOT gotten a favorable reaction to this one in the stands!)
Welcome to the City of Brotherly Love, B****!!! Award – Ricky Proehl was welcomed to the city with a bone-jarring hit by Nate Wayne. It was just a little pass over the middle, but Proehl never saw Wayne coming. (He did a great job to hold onto the ball by the way…) It was one of those hits that you actually heard up in the stands – no kidding. It was probably the hardest hit in a game chock full of big hits on both sides of the ball. And that includes a couple of punishing hits on Delhomme.
Final Thoughts from the Last Row –
· To keep with the Superman (RIP Christopher Reeve) theme that started the column, we were wondering how Superman knows how to do so many things. How does he know where to exactly hold a plane that has lost all engines? If he holds the plane in the wrong place, the plane could fly apart. How does he know how to spot weld a train track? We can buy the fact that he has super powers, but Superman knowing all of these things about Physics, mechanics, aerospace, ship building and architectural engineering? We find that hard to believe. We are guessing that a Clark Kent interview would go a lot like this…
Clark Kent: Hello, Mr. Jones, I’m Clark Kent from the Daily Planet.
Joe Jones: Call me Joe. You are here about the cost overruns on the oil tankers we designed?
CK: Ummm, yes. But I have another question first. Suppose that one of your tankers holding bays ruptured, and crude oil was gushing out of the ship…
JJ: What does this have to do with the cost overruns?
CK: Ah, I’m not done yet, Bob. Now suppose some man could shoot heat rays out of his eyes, this sounds far fetched, I know. But suppose a man who could fly and hover by the split in the tanker, and was strong enough to fold the metal back in place and hold it there…well, I guess my question is, how hot would this man need to make his heat rays to properly weld the split in the bay and in the ship?
JJ: Like Superman?
CK: I didn’t say I was Superman!! Would you please just answer the question, Bob? And then I’ll ask about the cost overrun thingy.
· Mr. Brownstone turned 85 since our last column (Mr. Brownstone is Philadelphia’s streak of not winning a professional title in Sporting Years, see our very first column about this concept https://www.fantasysharks.com/artman/publish/article_670.htm). Anyway, with the Phillies bumbling their way through another season, our fair city is hungrier than ever for a professional championship.
Some people around the city want to call it a ‘curse’ or something like that. It’s not a curse; it’s mostly inept management for most of our teams. Sometimes it’s bad luck, or being good at the wrong time, when there was a much better team out there (Sixers vs. Lakers), but mostly, it’s the management of the teams not being good enough. This year for the Eagles is the best chance we have had for a championship since the Phillies made the World Series in ’93. I hope we can finally lay Mr. Brownstone to rest.
· Family and friends. As much as we mistreat them, take them for granted, skip their weddings to install satellite dishes on our rooftops, and leave them alone in a room with an aging alcoholic robot training in vain to transcribe his thoughts into the “Sin City Betbot 6000 Presents” article (all of these are hypotheticals of course, just fill in your own boneheaded slights in place of those examples) – they still mean the world to us. If you recently ticked off one of your family or friends, tell ‘em how much they mean to you (hey – it’s ok – it’s the 21st century – men can be sensitive. Well, at least one or two days a year… assuming they don’t conflict with a home game, a road game, or a really good TV game between a couple of other teams.)
· Why doesn’t Las Vegas have a NFL team of its own? I mean – they’d be perfect for it. Lots of sports fans, lots of people paying attention to the game, and in state legalized betting on the contest. And just because a whole bunch of people bet the home team to win, there is no way that the casinos would pressure their own team to throw the game – I mean, it’s only money, right? On second thought, now we see why Las Vegas wouldn’t be a good choice. Sorry about that.
· Why does your Internet provider tell you to log into their Help Page for assistance? If my problem is that you can’t log in, that doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense to us. But then, these are the same people that seem to think that a message your friend sends you from their hotmail account is “bulk mail”, but that somehow you’re keenly interested in e-mails extolling the virtues of crushed Viagra tablets. We probably shouldn’t expect too much logic from them…
· If Any Reid ever went to one of those “All You Can Eat” chains, like Country Time Buffet, we bet he could eat long enough to span all three-meal offerings in one sitting. Breakfast, lunch AND dinner – now THAT would be convenient.
· Dallas fans…Tsk, tsk tsk. We had heard that Cowboys fans were sort of bandwagon fans, but your showing at Sunday’s game versus the Steelers was very bad. It sounded almost as bad as an away Eagles game. The Steelers fans took over your stadium. There were almost as many “Duuuccceee!” cheers as there were at last year’s Eagles/Dolphins game in Miami. There really is no excuse for your poor showing. Try to do better next time, OK?
· We saw an ad flash up during halftime on the scoreboard that really ticked us off. It was for ticket packages to “The Big Game” at the end of the year. We think it’s ridiculous that they can’t say Super Bowl. Whoops, there – now we’ve gone and done it. We’ve said Super Bowl. Damn, did it again. I bet they’ll come and drag the Last Row away to let us rot in a Dallas prison or something. Ah heck, might as well get a few more in then… Super Bowl, Super Bowl Super Bowl. One last thing – Super Bowl. Take that NFL! (Editor’s note: The views expressed above do not reflect our feelings on “The Big Game” or “The League with the Professional Pigskin Guys”.)
· Brother of The Last Row, Jim Walls, went to LaSalle University in Philadelphia. Jim, Tom and Significant Others (Theresa and Gretchen) attended the LaSalle University versus Catholic University game last Saturday. The losing team gets excommunicated (OK, not really). It was homecoming for LaSalle and they put up a great effort, beating Catholic 56-22. LaSalle is a relatively young, I-AA football program with a no-huddle, pass heavy offense. It was a lot of fun seeing a football game without all of the trappings of a NFL game. LaSalle put on a great show, and it’s so much easier to see the true competitiveness of the sport when not viewing it from TV or in a huge, every-inch-of-it-sponsored stadium such as Lincoln Financial Field, or a ‘major’ college stadium.
The Last Row’s Top Six:
Top Six Most-Hated Characters from “Eight Is Enough”
This has been bugging us for a long time. The Last Row was subjected to this show as children, and we have some lingering issues about it. This ain’t no homemade batch of wishes on the kitchen windowsill…this is a smoldering grudge from two Philadelphia sports fans.
6. Joanie – We’re not really sure why you were on the show. We could have lived with ‘Seven is Enough’…
5. Abby – In a house full of damned moody people, she was the moodiest.
4. Tommy – Not because of the character, but because Willie Aames played him. A Scott Baio wannabe (and this was before Baywatch).
3. Tom – Oh, Dick Van Patten…You test us. (Did you know that Mark Hamill played oldest son, David, in the pilot episode? He definitely traded up. I would much rather have a Dark Lord of the Sith as a father than Tom Friggin’ Bradford. Sure, Vader may choke the Midichloridians out of you for being out too late with the modified TIE Fighter; but at least he isn’t Tom Friggin’ Bradford.)
2. Mary – Not good looking, little personality, and bad, bad hair. I mean, at least the other sisters were cute (except for Joanie, who we’d classify as marginal). Oh one more thing: stop whining for 2 minutes about your medical studies you self-absorbed b****.
1. Nicholas – Come on – if you couldn’t guess this one, you weren’t paying attention. You are (almost) bound by law to hate this kid. The Last Row was too young when this show was on to really know what hate was. Nicholas, you taught us how to hate, punk. You taught us how to hate.