Shamus Clancy

Dak Prescott is playing up the Eagles-Cowboys rivalry by talking smack and I love it

Dak Prescott is playing up the Eagles-Cowboys rivalry by talking smack and I love it

After Carson Wentz went full 2017 on the Washington Redskins in the second half on Sunday afternoon, I was riding high. The Eagles’ offense should’ve been rightfully feeling themselves a bit. They only scored 32 or more points twice last season and have already accomplished that feat in Week 1. DeSean Jackson looked like the DeSean of my teenage years. Wentz evaded pressure in the pocket like the savior this city’s been anointing him for the last three years.

After returning home following a phenomenal day in the Jetro Lot and the top level of The Linc, I saw the Cowboys playing the Giants on television. That’s typically one of those games where if someone asks me who I want to win, I’ll reply, “Bane.” But with the Cowboys standing as the clearcut main challenger for NFC East supremacy with the Eagles, I was obviously pulling for a New York upset.

That did not happen. 

Dak Prescott looked like 2007 Tom Brady, throwing for over 400 yards and tossing four touchdowns. After connecting with Amari Cooper for a 21-yard touchdown in the second quarter of the Cowboys’ eventual 35-17 win, Dak and Amari had this interaction on the sideline:

Prescott: “Hey, was that easier than Philly?”

Cooper: “Easy money, baby.”

Prescott: “That was easier than Philly?”

Cooper: “Easy money.”

I’m pacing around my apartment. 

I hate that he said that, but the twisted, diseased Eagles fan part of me absolutely loves it. It gets me counting down the days and hours until the two teams square off in the disgusting albatross that is AT&T Stadium on Sunday Night Football (right here on NBC!) on October 20. This makes my blood boil, but my adrenaline is through the roof. I’m about to wake up at 5 a.m. tomorrow and run wind sprints down Wolf Street just thinking about this. 

Schadenfreude is the basis of being caught in a bloody, deranged sports rivalry. I want the Cowboys to lose as much as I want the Eagles to win. It’s like one of those Wildwood boardwalk t-shirts that says, “I root for two teams: the Eagles and whoever is playing the Cowboys.” When I was watching Dallas lay down the smack against the Giants, I was hoping that the Giants would just score some points late so that it would hurt the Cowboys’ Defensive DVOA and maybe drop them a couple spots on some random blog’s power rankings. It’s insane, yet I would have it no other way!

Philadelphians like to think that if they were on the Eagles, they would play for free and give 200 percent in every practice rep in the middle of training camp, which is all just nonsense and completely false. They would also take every matchup against an NFC East team as a life-or-death situation, which, to those Eagles fans watching at home and crawling on all fours on the carpet while Dallas is putting a late-game drive together, it truly feels like. I’m not expecting Fletcher Cox to be so miserable after a Cowboys loss that he neglects his friends, family and all responsibilities in life (I’m not going to name any names), but when guys on the Birds see a player of Presott’s caliber calling their team out, I know it hits them in the gut. 

I don’t want this to just be a rivalry for the fans and for the talking heads. I want it to truly mean something to the players too. I want Brandon Graham to have Dak's words in his head as he’s buckling up his shoulder pads before Sunday Night Football. I want Wentz to be thinking of all the haters and losers (of which, sadly, there are many) who think Prescott is better than him as he gets ready to carve up that Dallas defense like he did in prime time back in 2017. 

It feels like Batman and the Joker sometimes. The Joker never really wants to kill Batman. He feeds off Batman’s livelihood. The Joker loves the dance and the theatrics of it all. He’s nothing if he doesn’t have this constant object he can focus his madness upon. Unfortunately, I’m definitely the Joker in this comparison. My hatred for the Cowboys flows through my soul and I wear it on my sleeves. I love the online trolling. I take pride when some Cowboys blog blocks me on Twitter. Maybe I’ll finally get a “Dallas Sucks” tattoo this year. Who knows! 

“We’re destined to do this forever,” as Joker tells Batman upon his capture in The Dark Knight. That’s how I view Dallas. I love that Dak fuels my fire because some men just want to watch AT&T Stadium burn. 

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The ultimate Eagles tailgate guide

The ultimate Eagles tailgate guide

We’re just days away from my favorite day of the entire year: the Eagles’ home opener. Yes, I’m excited to see DeSean Jackson catch a 75-yard bomb for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage, but I’m equally pumped for the festivities going on outside Lincoln Financial Field before the game. Based off my years’ worth of experience, here are some tailgate tips and tricks to help you enjoy your football Sunday to the max. 

Tailgate spot

Whether you’re in the K Lot right outside the Linc, Jetro across the street, or the P Lot opposite of Citizens Bank Park, you’re going to have a great time regardless. I’m personally a Jetro die-hard, but, again, it doesn’t matter too much. The earlier you get there the better. Lots open about five or six hours before every game depending on the lot. You don’t have to be one of those people lined up outside at 6:30 a.m. waiting to get in there as quickly as possible, but the sooner you get there, the sooner you can set up your gear and start the beginning of a phenomenal day.

Food

Nothing like carb-loading before a day of debauchery. You could always carry the gigantic grill from your backyard through your house before loading it up in your truck like my dad. But if you have the means to get a little mini grill to just use for tailgating, that’s probably your best option.

If you’re feeling cocky, bring some variety to your tailgate. Gas up your generator and let pulled pork simmer in a slow cooker. Get a bunch of Phil’s Steaks whiz wits or Not Just Pizza chicken fingers delivered right outside your tailgate lot. Never be afraid to go all out with your spread. If you want to keep things simple with just some burgers and dogs on the grill, that’s perfectly fine as well. 

Make sure to bring some napkins and plates too. Before the 2017 NFC Championship Game (Eagles won, 38-7, people forget that), I went to Party City on Oregon Avenue to pick some up. I asked a store associate if they had anything football related and they directed me toward a bunch of officially licensed Super Bowl LII products. I had to reassure them that my dad would murder me if I showed up to the tailgate with Super Bowl stuff before the Eagles even made it there because it would be bad luck. 

Drinks

I want to preface this by stating that you should drink responsibly and never drink and drive. I’m sure some craft beer snobs will be up in arms over this, but leave your heady IPAs and other similar nonsense at home. A nice session IPA is a solid option. You’re in a parking lot, not a dinner party. Don’t turn up your nose at an ice-cold Miller Lite. If you’re that much of a nitwit who refuses to drink light beer, you can’t go wrong with Rolling Rock either. 

Maybe you want to switch things up though. I suspect there will be a huge influx of spiked seltzers this season given the Summer of White Claws that we’re currently in. I’m 100 percent down for that. If you’re adventurous and hitting liquor, again, drink responsibly and think things through. If it’s a Sunday night or Monday night game, should you be crushing vodka and clubs for six hours in the parking lot before you go in? Absolutely not. Trust me. You’ll end up asking to see the driver’s license of every Cowboys fan around you to check if they’re actually from Texas. 

Music

Your heart should already be booming out of your doggone chest, but when you need to hit that extra level before heading into the game, there’s nothing better than blasting your favorite jams on a portable speaker system and getting everyone in your tailgate group amped. Feel free to listen to whatever genre you want and don’t let anyone tell you differently. If you want to blast “Dreams and Nightmares” on repeat for five hours, get after it. If you want to listen to The Wonder Years and The Menzingers while ramming your head into the side of your car, go for it. If you want to listen to a mix of Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen while shooting the breeze about the good ol’ days with your friends, crank “Dancing in the Dark” at the highest volume possible. 

Make sure you go acapella and sing “Fly Eagles Fly” at least 15 times while waiting in line to get past the Linc’s security team too. 

Games

Don’t play Spikeball. You’re not on the beach. You’re not chilling on a Saturday afternoon outside the Sigma Chi chapter house. Spikeball is meant for people who wear visors backward, not people who wear a hoodie and shorts in 54-degree weather. You can’t beat classics like cornhole, washers or KanJam. I’m pretty terrible at throwing a frisbee, which I blame on growing up in South Philly, but I’m a big cornhole guy. Just don’t be like my dad and take it too seriously because then I feel like the kid whose dad is forcing him to throw 100 pitches in the backyard every other day to prepare him for The Little League World Series. 

Company

If you’re with your family or friends getting ready to watch the Birds hang a crooked number up on an NFC East rival, that’s all that matters. We all we got. We all we need.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

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The worst Eagles-themed fantasy football names you can pick this season

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NBCSP

The worst Eagles-themed fantasy football names you can pick this season

No one in real life conversation actually cares about anything going on with your fantasy team, but having a dope team name can be just as much of a source of pride as grabbing Christian McCaffrey with the first overall pick in your draft. If you’re an Eagles fan, you’re probably inclined to show off your midnight green pride by having a team name that’s some sort of pun related to the Eagles.

While picking your team name is all in good fun, you do not want to have a really dumb, annoying name that other people will be forced to see weekly for the next fourth months. As I know very well from personal experience, there’s nothing worse than an unfunny person who thinks they’re funny. With that in mind, here are some of the most embarrassing paths you could pursue, as well as a couple names I’m partial to this fantasy season:

The worst of the worst

Harambe

If your name references both the Eagles and Harambe, the Cincinnati Zoo gorilla who was murdered in 2016, all these years later, please delete the ESPN (or Yahoo) Fantasy app off your phone.

King of the Grugier-Hill

Are you still obsessed with an animated sitcom that premiered over 20 years ago? If you have an unhealthy love for propane like Hank Hill, you may be inclined to choose this as your name. I’m super high on Kamu Grugier-Hill even with his Grade 3 MCL keeping him out until November, but I used this name for my work pick ‘em league last year and was ashamed of it by Week 3. 

Long Cox

Chris Long may be gone, but the “Long Cox” type of puns will still live on with the Eagles as long as Lane Johnson, Jason Peters and Fletcher Cox are on the team. General rule: if you’re considering a name that your 12-year-old cousin might also use, pick a different name. 

The Wentz and Future King

Just unbearably bad. Yes, Wentz was once an MVP frontrunner before injuries sapped him of that prestige the last two seasons and he’s now poised to go scorched earth on the rest of the league once again, but just no.

Hit the Jaccpot

Do I love DeSean Jackson? Maybe more than life itself, but come on. 

Hit 'em where it Ertz

My dad is in a fantasy football league this season for the first time in about 15 years since he was in a salary cap-based league on Sporting News. I remain shocked that he didn’t try to make this his name, especially when he went out of his way to draft Zach Ertz in the second round. He was also mad I didn’t enact a rule as commissioner that no one was allowed to draft Cowboys players. 

The only good names

Ra's al Ghul Douglas

You like Batman? A nod to one of the Caped Crusader’s greatest adversaries that also spotlights a young cornerback poised for a breakout starting role this season, I’m all in on this name. 2019 also marks the 80th anniversary of Batman’s first comic appearance way back in Detective Comics No. 27, so get ready to turn the Bat-Signal into the Eagle-Signal. 

Mr. Arcega-Brightside

Let me paint you a picture. It’s Week 16. Mid-round fantasy pick Miles Sanders has carried you to your fantasy football championship, where you’re projected to beat your sophomore year roommate. You’re outside the Linc, waiting for the Eagles to smash the Cowboys and clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs in the process. As you’re finishing your last Miller Lite before heading into the game, “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers comes on at the tailgate. You’ve reached the pinnacle of your existence.

JJ Arcega-Whiteside is also poised to be a future beast, though maybe not for this specific fantasy season. 

Eagles won Super Bowl

If you’re in a league with work colleagues or old friends from college, there’s nothing wrong with reminding them what happened the night of Feb. 4, 2018. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

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