Derek pwned me a bit yesterday afternoon, and then assured me that no one would be reading anything on the bye weekend anyway. So that's pretty sweet.
I didn't expect us to actually discuss the performance-enhancing drug thing at all. I dunno. This isn't something that tends to get me too spun up; do we feel betrayed by Lenny Dykstra, or are do we treasure our memories of the '93 Phillies? And if we're talking about football, I mean, dude. Even if these guys aren't on banned substances, they're clearly stretching the boundaries of natural human development. They've chosen to play a hideously violent game, one which might bring them glory and riches, but which undoubtedly will remove some quality from their later years. They're willing to carry extra bulk and smash into other dudes. We can't see their faces out there anyway; if some of the killer robots want to use special fuel, well, I don't think it really ruins the TV show.
(Unless it's the Cowboys or Giants. Then it's f*cking cheating. But I guess I generally don't romanticize it all that much.)
Of course, it would be irresponsible to discuss performance-enhancing substances without noting that two players from the NY/ NJ Vodka-Red-Bulls were suspended on Thursday for using banned supplements. This is MLS we're talking about here! What will the children think? (Both Philly guys, by the way.) Seriously, this is bad news. Luckily, they were both fined 10 percent of their salary; as my brother noted, that's like $4,000!
(What, we don't follow MLS?)
Far be it from me to dodge a question, I'll admit that I actually forgot that "least favorite Eagle" was in play. I was hoping to debut a regular feature on this topic (no kidding, I was), so I'll give you a sneak preview: his name begins with an L, ends with an R, and in the middle there's a lot of "Orenzo Booke." The tight end is obviously a close second (if only because he seems to be a much bigger jerk than Booker; Booker's just overmatched).
On to some of your points before my final volley of questions:
I don't understand in re: Sheldon Brown. What leads you to believe he's only in it for himself? Because he avoids the media-training cliches when talking about contracts? The guy plays every single game and is by all appearances extremely irresponsible when it comes to contact. You think he's 100 percent healthy every week? Big hits don't get you contracts; gambling for picks does. I bet Sheldon Brown has a lot of respect from the rest of the team. And, frankly, I'd prefer it if you didn't continue to impugn his good name!
I'm glad your commenters gave you grief for the Nerdbirds. As loud as that stadium is, and as much as Homlgren seems to be in AR's head, the Seahawks are a train wreck right now. The Eagles had better win that game.
Please tell me that the MySpace story is true. Seriously? You really stalked Tony Hunt on MySpace? That's fantastic. Also, when are you going to get your ass on the Facebook? We have a great officer position waiting for you when you do.
You missed my rather pessimistic point on the 36 Chambers of Brian Westbrook. I don't doubt Westbrook's pride or his toughness. My bigger concern is his health. Are broken ribs going to heal quickly? Does the rest of the league know that he's banged up in the mid-section? I mean, I hope so. He's the best player the Eagles have. But I think we might be overly optimistic about the rate of his recovery. I mean, I hope not. I hope he's spending extra time in the hyperbaric chamber this week. But we have to confront the fact that he might not be whole for a while.
Dude, you totaly dodged the McNabb question! You're right to note that he hasn't had a bad stretch yet to prompt the inevitable larger conversation amongst the blathertariat, but I'm asking you now what you think. Before the season, I certainly thought it was a done deal that this would be his final season in Philly. Now I'm not so sure -- I think he has a shot to stay for a couple more seasons (if he so chooses). Where are you landing on this topic? You think he's still gone?
Also, we're both obviously complete nerds about the Football Outsiders thing -- what's your professional opinion on the Eagles being #1 in DVOA this week? Hidden indicator that the Eagles might be better than we all think, or proof that Aaron Schatz and the boys might need to reconfigure their spreadsheet? I obviously think it's the model's fault. While they do a nice job of trying to create a taxonomy that understands that not all plays are created equal, it's obvious that the model doesn't capture the value of the half-dozen plays in a game that matter a ton -- and that the Eagles seem prone to screwing up. Plays on the goal-line, big stops in the fourth quarter, sloppy stuff at the end of the first half: these seem to be themes every week. Am I imagining things here?
It's also worth noting that I blame Andy Reid for those screwups. Discuss!