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Some poor SKC soul grabs Gooch by the neck, lives to tell about it

Some poor SKC soul grabs Gooch by the neck, lives to tell about it

If you’re coming up with a list of which Union player you definitely shouldn’t grab by the neck under any circumstance, you’d start with Oguchi Onyewu, take a coffee break, come back to the list, write down Gooch’s name again, and then figure out the rest.

The 35-year-old center back is massive, once got into a fight with one of the world’s best players, had an iconic staredown vs. Mexico, and is currently sporting a fairly large chip on his shoulder.

And yet …


The moment in question happened after Benny Feilhaber blew up at a seemingly good penalty call that allowed the Union to bury a penalty kick and escape Kansas City with a 1-1 draw in a game in which they were outplayed last night.

Why Sporting Kansas City’s Elie Sanchez got mad enough to then grab Onyewu by the neck in the ensuing scrum is unclear. What’s even more unclear is how Gooch managed not to erupt, other than the simple explanation that the Union’s 6-foot-4 ripped behemoth barely felt it.


Either way, Sanchez may be looking at a suspension. And the Union are leaving Kansas City feeling really good about clawing out a tough road point against one of the best teams in the West leading up to the Gold Cup break.

And while the Union can mostly thank goalkeeper John McCarthy — who really is the perfect backup goalkeeper for Philly — for coming through with some big saves while filling in Andre Blake (who’s currently with Jamaica at the Gold Cup), Onyewu’s leadership and poise was another big reason for the result.

The two-time World Cup veteran has already swatted away plenty of critics who figured he was washed up. Now, he may just be one of the Union’s top players — so best not get him too mad.

NFL Referees Association: Pete Morelli criticisms are clickbait

NFL Referees Association: Pete Morelli criticisms are clickbait

The NFL Referees Association responded to criticisms of Pete Morelli and his officiating crew, and in doing so, suggested Eagles fans and impartial members of the media have no idea what they are talking about.

Morelli has come under fire over the seemingly lopsided officiating during the Eagles' 28-23 victory over the Carolina Panthers in Week 6. The Eagles were penalized 10 times for 126 yards in the contest, while the Panthers drew only one flag for one yard, despite the appearance of committing many of the same infractions.

Since that game, a change.org petition moving to ban Morelli from working Eagles games in the future is approaching its goal of 75,000 signatures. Research also shows Morelli's crew has been calling penalties against the Eagles in disproportionate numbers for awhile now. In the last four games with Morelli, the Eagles were flagged 40 times for 396 yards, compared to just eight penalties for 74 yards against opponents.

Almost everybody seemed to be in agreement that the officiating was at the very least poor in the Eagles-Panthers game, if not biased. Everybody, that is, except NFLRA executive director Scott Green, who released a statement on Thursday.

Via ProFootballTalk:

“Claims like these demonstrate a fundamental lack of knowledge about NFL officiating,” Green said. “NFL officials are graded on every call made in every game. Missing a single one can hurt his or her ranking and may be the difference between working in the postseason or not. These recent attempts to sensationalize statistics and create clickbait headlines lack important context. Without the proper perspective, the information being pushed is completely misguided. The passion of NFL fans and teams are a big part of what makes the game so great. However, it’s no excuse for the irresponsible and baseless claims we’ve seen lately. NFL officials are committed to upholding the integrity of the game and do so every week.”

Lack of knowledge. Completely misguided. Irresponsible and baseless. You would expect the NFLRA to come to the defense of Morelli -- it's literally their job -- but insulting the consumers' intelligence along the way probably isn't the best way to go about it.

Is there anything sinister about Morelli's and his crew's officiating? Maybe not, but it doesn't take somebody who's gone through the NFL's (presumably) rigorous Officiating Development Program to watch two nearly identical plays called differently for two different teams within three hours of each other. Innocent mistakes or not, that's what appeared to happen on multiple occasions throughout the Eagles-Panthers game.

Instead of releasing overly defensive statements, perhaps the NFLRA should show video evidence why the calls against the Eagles were correct, and the eerily similar non-calls that went in the Panthers' favor were not. Because this responding to criticism with more criticism isn't changing any minds.

A surprising Eagle keeps getting drug tested

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Jake Elliott Instagram

A surprising Eagle keeps getting drug tested

Jake Elliott has been a revelation for the Philadelphia Eagles after Caleb Sturgis went down with an injury early in the season.

But has he been too good ...

The rook has made 12 of his 14 attempts for the Birds this season.

If you're looking for a good laugh today, go check out this reddit thread that starts with a photo from Elliott's Instagram story in which he points out he got flagged for his third drug test in two weeks!

The comment section is as good as a Jake Elliott 61 yarder.

"Well, he does bleed green...," abenyishay says..

"Is kickers doping really a thing?" ChaosFinalForm wonders, as do we.

What do you think? Just the way the random drug draw fell the last few weeks, or does the NFL think Jake Elliott is into something?