Eagles

It's time to change the narrative about Philly sports fans

It's time to change the narrative about Philly sports fans

Old narratives often die hard in network television. Especially when it comes to sports broadcasting. 

Game in New York, you’re almost guaranteed to see an aerial shot of the Statue of Liberty or Times Square. Redskins play on a Thursday night, Lincoln Memorial. Chicago, Lake Michigan scenic shot. Philadelphia, cheesesteaks being fried on the grill at Pat’s and Geno’s or the Rocky statue. You can almost book it.

What you can also bank on is a producer in New York or L.A. (usually not from Philadelphia) pre-producing a package that week leading into a nationally televised game in which snowballs being thrown at Santa Claus or something of that ilk is referenced. If it’s not done in the package, the subject is injected or introduced to the lead broadcasters in the production meetings leading up to said game. The old Philadelphia-fans-are-knuckle-dragging-cretins angle. 

It’s tired. It’s lazy. It’s predictable. And it’s gone on for years. It’s the easiest way to push the buttons of a Philadelphia sports fan. But there may be an end in sight to the false narrative.

Take the last couple of years for example. Let’s go back to the 2017 NFL draft, held at the Ben Franklin Parkway. It was a game-changer for the league. The outdoor setting was perfect, the weather could not have been better, but it was the fans that stood out. They came out in droves. They lustily cheered on anything the Eagles did. They had fun with the commissioner, booing him upon first sight — and Roger Goodell played along beautifully. They jeered Drew Pearson, who attempted to give them the business. Brian Westbrook responded in kind the next day. Philly fans showed the world what passion was those three days. The NFL noticed. So did virtually every national broadcaster.  

Fast-forward to last season with the Eagles and the absolute domination by the fans at road games. This was nothing new but it was taken to a different level in 2017. Exhibit A, the Chargers' game in L.A. was an absolute takeover; it was an Eagles home game. Other cities do not travel that way. 

Then on to the Super Bowl championship parade. Broad Street and the Parkway covered in a sea of green with a jolly green giant dressed in a Mummers suit speaking for all those misrepresented fans who didn’t have that platform. It was epic. 

To the baseball team over the course of the last month. Chase Utley returned to a three-day love-fest. And this past weekend, a stirring, heart-wrenching speech from Brandy Halladay, the wife of the late Roy Halladay, about how this city has embraced her and her family through their most trying time. The weekend was capped off by nothing but cheers for prodigal son, Jayson Werth. Instances like Werth’s introduction — if it was anything but warm — would have been chum for the national narrative that Philadelphia fans are the worst.  

Lastly was Brian Dawkins' induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Not surprisingly, his devotees showed up in droves, outnumbering any other group. Dawkins closed his speech acknowledging and thanking them. It was a perfect ending to an emotionally draining oration. Oh, by the way, 40,000 people showed up for a practice Sunday evening at the Linc.

Who knows if any of the above evidence will end the false perception put forth by the Michael Wilbons, Colin Cowherds and Skip Baylesses of the world. Not to mention those network suits. 

Perhaps it was Union supporters, Sons of Ben, echoed by esteemed philosopher and poet, Jason Kelce, who put it best:

“We’re from Philly, f------ Philly, no one likes us, we don’t care.”

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Eagles Injury Update: Reports on all half a dozen injured Birds

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Eagles Injury Update: Reports on all half a dozen injured Birds

The Eagles are hurting emotionally and physically, Doug Pederson said, after their 48-7 loss to the Saints in New Orleans. 

Let’s dive into the physical portion now. 

Six Eagles left Sunday’s game early with injuries. Pederson was asked about all of them in a rapid-fire question to start his Monday morning press conference. 

“That’s a big list,” he said. “Big list, big list, big list.”

Here are those updates: 

• Long snapper Rick Lovato suffered a concussion and is in the NFL’s concussion protocol 

• Jordan Hicks (calf) is week to week

• Sidney Jones (hamstring) is week to week 

• Avonte Maddox (knee) is day to day 

• Rasul Douglas (knee) is day to day

• Jason Kelce (elbow) is “fine” 

Even though Pederson said Maddox is day to day, that’s somewhat hard to believe. Maddox’s injury looked nasty and he was seen walking away from the building Monday morning with a significant limp. 

Normally, when Pederson calls someone “week to week,” they’re going to miss some time. That’s where Hicks and Jones are. Pederson said Jones had healed completely from his hamstring injury but suffered a new injury. 

If Lovato can’t play this coming Sunday, linebacker Nate Gerry is the team’s backup. He long-snapped in college and was warming up on the sideline Sunday night. 

In light of the rash of injuries, Pederson was asked about his trust in the team’s medical staff. Pederson was defensive about this topic and said there’s “no problem.”

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Eagles snap counts: Depleted defense relying on deep backups

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Eagles snap counts: Depleted defense relying on deep backups

The Eagles were lit up by Drew Brees and the high-powered Saints offense Sunday afternoon. 

It didn’t help that the Birds had a bunch of random guys out there trying to stop one of the best offenses we’ve ever seen. 

The Eagles on Sunday got 147 combined snaps from five defensive players who weren’t on the roster to start the season! 

Cre’Von LeBlanc: 44 (63 percent)
T.Y. McGill: 30 (43 percent)
Chandon Sullivan: 26 (37 percent)
De’Vante Bausby: 24 (34 percent)
Treyvon Hester: 23 (33 percent)

That’s pretty wild. The guy who has been on the roster the longest of that group is Hester, who was promoted to the active roster on Oct. 2. Sullivan was promoted Oct. 25. LeBlanc was claimed Nov. 5. T.Y. McGill signed on Nov. 6. And Bausby was promoted Nov. 17. 

Other defensive snap count notes

• Obviously, the secondary was a mess with injuries. Rasul Douglas played 51 before going down. Sidney Jones played 22 snaps before his hamstring injury. And Avonte Maddox played just 17 snaps before his injury. 

• Michael Bennett and Brandon Graham each played 42 snaps. Chris Long played 39 snaps and Josh Sweat played 20, the most of his career. 

• Jordan Hicks played 64 snaps of 70 before leaving the game with a calf injury. Before the injury, he had played every snap this season. 

Offensive snap count notes

• Josh Adams appears to be the new lead back. He got 28 of 51 snaps and was one of the very few bright spots. He had seven carries for 53 yards and caught three passes for 19. Corey Clement played 14 snaps and Wendell Smallwood played just four. That’s significant because Smallwood came into the game as the Eagles’ top rusher. 

• Golden Tate played 36 snaps (71 percent). Tate had five receptions for 48 yards. He’s a good player, but that third-round pick looks like a steeper and steeper price. 

• Dallas Goedert played just 16 snaps. In the last two games, he has played 34 snaps. In those two games, he has one target and no catches. 

• If you’re looking for another positive, Lane Johnson and Jason Peters were at least able to play all 51 offensive snaps. Jason Kelce played just six snaps before leaving with an elbow injury. 

Offense

Isaac Seumalo: 51 snaps (100 percent)
Brandon Brooks: 51 (100)
Lane Johnson: 51 (100)
Jason Peters: 51 (100)
Carson Wentz: 51 (100)
Alshon Jeffery: 51 (100)
Zach Ertz: 47 (92)
Stefen Wisniewski: 45 (88)
Nelson Agholor: 44 (86)
Golden Tate: 36 (71) 
Josh Adams: 28 (55)
Dallas Goedert: 16 (31)
Corey Clement: 14 (27)
Jordan Matthews: 14 (27)
Jason Kelce: 6 (12)
Wendell Smallwood: 4 (8)
Halapoulivaati Vaitai: 1 (2)

Defense

Malcolm Jenkins: 70 snaps (100 percent)
Nigel Bradham: 70 (100)
Jordan Hicks: 64 (91)
Corey Graham: 61 (87)
Rasul Douglas: 51 (73)
Fletcher Cox: 49 (70)
Cre’Von LeBlanc: 44 (63)
Michael Bennett: 42 (60)
Brandon Graham: 42 (60)
Chris Long: 39 (56)
Haloti Ngata: 33 (47)
T.Y. McGill: 30 (43)
Kamu Grugier-Hill: 29 (41)
Chandon Sullivan: 26 (37)
De’Vante Bausby: 24 (34)
Treyvon Hester: 23 (33)
Sidney Jones: 22 (31)
Josh Sweat: 20 (29)
Avonte Maddox: 17 (24)
Nate Gerry: 8 (11) 
Tre Sullivan: 6 (9)

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