Thursday, September 17, 2009

You'll Always Remember Your First Time, Part 5

They say you never forget your first time. And with October right around the corner, the vivid memories of my first time witnessing a professional Philadelphia franchise win a championship are ripe in my head. Even with football underway, I find myself wandering back to that glorious month of October. It's something I want to relive again and again. In fact, that's exactly what I'm going to do, republishing my feelings during the wild ride to becoming 2008 World Fucking Champions. View part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here and part 4 here.

Today is part 5, originally published Oct. 6, 2008:

Andre Ware is an Idiot, Pat Burrell Shuts Me Up and Andy Reid Still Sucks

This was a weekend of epic proportions on all accounts. There was drinking. There was partying. There was frustration. And most importantly, there was overwhelming joy. And those three things came in no particular order throughout the course of the last three days.

The weekend was jump-started with an off-night for us Philadelphia faithful on Friday, a day to celebrate a 2-0 series lead in the NLDS, drink away the night and prepare for the imminent sweep of Milwaukee on Saturday. And for Penn State alums like myself, it was a chance to take in the No. 6 Nittany Lions' first test on the road in the Big 10.

Just by Friday night alone, I should have known I was in for a roller-coaster weekend. After a long day of work, I relaxed for a little before heading out to West Philadelphia to take in Dock Street Beer at 50th and Baltimore. My friend works there, so I headed over with another friend and started drinking down some of their brews. Let me tell you, that was some strong shit, and I got a little buzzed. So buzzed in fact, that I was talked into going to South Street to a bar called Miami Cafe to meet up with a couple of women.

If you've never been there, let me save you the trouble: Don't go. Ever. That place sucks. Big time. First off, upon entrance, my friend and I were told they normally don't allow hooded sweatshirts, which both of us were wearing. I immediately wanted to leave, and that feeling was validated even more when I noticed that we, along with the ladies we were meeting, were the only white people in the entire place. It was 90 percent latinos, and the music reflected that. It sucked. I couldn't wait to leave.

Luckily we did, headed back to an apartment and yada … yada … yada it was Saturday. I somehow managed to make it back to my house somewhere around 5 a.m., laid down my head and was rudely awaken at 10:30 by my jerkface sister calling me to ask about something in my old car. What. A. Bitch. My head was pounding and I was tired as fuck, but I couldn't get back to sleep. Fuck.

I putzed around for a while, recovered from my hangover, and got ready for Penn State's noon kickoff. I almost wish I hadn't. While Penn State won 20-6 in fairly convincing fashion—though certainly not overwhelmingly convincing—it was by far their sloppiest game of the year. They played pretty horribly, although not as horrible as Purdue's kicker, who made David Akers look not so bad.

Chris Summers missed two field goals and a freakin extra point. He blows. Kind of like Penn State's footing blew big time on Saturday. On numerous occasions, the Nittany Lions slipped to the turf trying to make cuts. Everyone from Daryll Clark to Stephfon Green to Evan Royster to Derrick Williams fell victim to the turf falling out beneath them. Someone on the Penn State sidelines should have been getting those long cleats ready. They did not.

The highlights of the game can be seen here:

Honestly, there was nothing else good from the entire game besides the highlights above. Evan Royster and the offensive line showed they are really, really good. The rest of the team kind of sucked but still won.

Oh, and Andre Ware dropped this little nugget. In the fourth quarter, Ware, a former Heisman Trophy winner at Houston and colossal NFL bust for the Detroit Lions, actually said, and I quote: "Josh Hull may be as good as anyone Penn State has had in the middle," referring to Josh Hull being as good as any middle linebacker Penn State has had. Andre Ware is a fucking idiot. Like, borderline retard.

Those are the dumbest words I have ever heard come out of an announcers mouth. Penn State, just as recently as the last few years, has had Dan Connor and Paul Posluszny—two All-Americans and NFL players—as middle linebackers. Meanwhile Josh Hull sucks. Horribly. He is the worst freakin middle linebacker Penn State has had since Gino Capone.

I mean, just a week before, Hull was being scolded on national television for taking terrible routes to the ball, missing tackles and flat-out sucking. He's terrible. And I hate him. But Ware's incredible stupidity didn't stop there. He actually said immediately after that that "Josh Hull and Mark Rubin are faster than people think." No. No they aren't. They are slower. Much slower. Neither one can even cover a slow, blocking tight end, let alone a receiver or running back. They are slow, awful football players, and Andre Ware is a moron. No wonder he sucked in the pros.

Christ almighty I hate stupidity. But it was cool. Penn State won, and the Phils were coming on in a few hours. I took a little nap and got ready for Jamie Moyer to give Dave Bush a lesson in pitching. Instead, Moyer presented fellow District One alum Bush with a lesson on exactly how not to pitch. He struggled mightily in the first inning and as a result couldn't even get past the 4th inning.

Clay Condrey was asked to pitch in a playoff game, which is never a good thing, and Scott Eyre was asked to overextend himself thanks to Moyer leaving early. It did not turn out well. But it wasn't really the pitching's fault. The Phillies only yielded 4 runs. However, Bush and company baffled the Phillies hitters, who didn't do shit on Saturday, meaning the Phils and Eagles were both set to play at 1 on Sunday. Gay.

With a bunch of buddies over to watch the game, it was time to drink away the pain of that loss. And also time to decide what to do. One of my roommates had an extra ticket to the Eagles, and I had to decide whether to spend $100, go the Birds game and listen to the Phils while at the game, or stay home, watch the picture in picture on our giant TV to take in both games and save some $ in the process.

Well, I drank myself into a stupor at North Bowl and decided against going to the Eagles. What a decision that turned out to be.

Yesterday was the ultimate day of conflicted feelings. My roommate and I decided to watch the Phillies on the bigger screen with the Birds on the smaller screen and audio going of the Eagles game. Those TBS announcers suck. So we're watching and things start out great. Minutes after the first pitch, Jimmy Rollins crushed a leadoff home run to right off Jeff Suppan to give the Phils an early lead.

Meanwhile, the Eagles were marching right down the field on the opening drive, and Brian Westbrook capped it off with a touchdown. Good to have you back, Brian. Things were going great, and they got even better when DeSean Jackson picked up his first of what is sure to be many punt returns for a touchdown.

And the day just kept getting better. With the Phils already up 1-0, they had a golden chance to do some damage in the third. Shane Victorino, back in the 2 spot, got a one-out double. Then Howard was walked after Chase Utley grounded out to second, putting Shane on third. With runners on first on third and two outs, the Phils really needed Pat Burrell to come through and get a big hit to put the game out of reach. I highly doubted this could happen. I have been killing Burrell left and right for completely shitting the bed in August and September, and doing the same in the first three games of the series.

But Pat completely shut me up, crushing a three-run bomb to left to give the Phils a 4-0 lead. I couldn't believe my eyes, and I started freaking out. It was glorious. And Werth put some icing on the cake with a solo shot to follow to make it 5-0. Very nice.

On the other screen, the Eagles offense stalled when Brian Westbrook was forced to the sidelines and locker room momentarily with some sort of chest trouble. It did not look good, but the Eagles had a chance to go up 17-0 on a 50-yard attempt by David Akers. Of course, Akers missed. You know why? He sucks. Big time. In fact, I venture to say that right now, David Akers is the worst kicker in the NFL. Sure, he's perfect under 40 yards. Guess what? Every kicker in the NFL should be/is near perfect under 40 yards. Any kicker in college (except Purdue's) is virtually automatic under 40 yards. In the NFL, you need a kicker who can make kicks from 45 to 55 yards. David Akers can no longer do this. At all.

I know he's been a great kicker in the past, but David Akers just cannot get the job done anymore. He should be cut. Immediately. His missed field goal completely changed the dynamic of that game, and the Redskins took advantage.

The rest of the game, Washington completely outplayed the Eagles, and Andy Reid was once again outcoached, this time by a first-year skipper who had never even called plays before this season. Again, on a third and inches, Andy refused to called a quarterback sneak. And his reasoning couldn't have possibly been that he was afraid Donovan would get hurt, because if it was, he wouldn't have had his quarterback block a fucking defensive end on an end around for DeSean Jackson earlier in the game.

Andy threw the challenge flag on a play that wasn't even close to getting overturned this week, yet kept it in his pocket on three occasions last week when it could have changed the game. Say what you want about Andy Reid reviving this organization. He absolutely did. But the man just keeps getting outcoahced Sunday after Sunday. He cannot get the job done on game day, and Sunday was just another example. He refused to use his biggest playmaker this season (Jackson) in the passing game, often keeping him off the field on offense during the day.

It's time for Andy to go. How much longer do you need than 10 years to figure out he is the worst gameday coach in the NFL?

The Eagles are in trouble. Simply put, they aren't as good as we thought they were or as good as they think they are. Through 5 weeks, they are the worst team in the division yet again, and if they finish last again, which seems likely, Andy has to go. But he won't, because Lurie and Banner as assholes. Just like Reid.

So, in response to their blind loyalty, I'm officially putting out a hit on Andy Reid. Any reader of this site that takes out the fat man will be given 50 percent of my pay checks for the remainder of 2008. No questions asked. That is all.

Anyway, while the Eagles were infuriating me to no end like they always do, I was able to take solace in what I was seeing from the Phils. With an early lead, Joe Blanton looked confidant and comfortable, and the man was flat-out dealing. Blanton was mowing through the Brewers, putting forth an effort that rivaled Cole's in game 1 and Brett's in game 2. He went 6 innings, struck out 7, gave up just five hits and one run. It was a virtuoso performance by the fat man.

And with Blanton dealing, Burrell mashing and the bullpen in order, the Phils cruised to a 6-2 victory with Burrell providing another home run in the 8th. It was fantastic for us. Not so much for Brewers fans.

So after a roller-coaster of a weekend, we found out Penn State is still good even when they're bad, the Eagles suck (especially David Akers and Andy Reid) and the Phils are on to the NLCS, where they host the Dodgers on Thursday and Friday.

Oh yeah, and Andre Ware is a fucking moron.

BallHype: hype it up!

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