Science Finally Helps Explain Legendary 'Pickle Juice' Massacre in Dallas

Science Finally Helps Explain Legendary 'Pickle Juice' Massacre in Dallas

Sunday September 3rd, 2000 is a day most Eagles fans remember fondly. Not only because the then upstart Eagles destroyed the Dallas Cowboys 41-14, but also because it was reportedly the hottest game in NFL history and the Birds avoided cramping by downing pickle juice prior to taking the field.

A new study finally proves the amazing cramp preventing properties of the deliciously salty mixture.

But first, a refresher on that hot day from a St. Petersburg Times article written the day after the Eagles victory in 2000:

It was amazing because McNabb appeared fresh in what was
reportedly the hottest game in NFL history. The Cowboys and Eagles
played in 109-degree heat, but the Philadelphia players seemed more
energized. The players are crediting pickle juice, which trainer Rick
Burkholder recommended to combat the heat.

"I may start drinking pickle juice when I'm just sitting home
chilling," defensive end Hugh Douglas said.

Vlasic juice and Ciroc is among the former Badassador's fave club drinks.

Ray Didinger's fantastic account of that day actually says the temperatures on the field were closer to 130 degrees when Duce Staley ran for 202 yards in Texas.

As mentioned above, Eagles trainer Rick Burkholder and one of his interns came up with the idea to use the pickle juice and it worked like a charm, but nobody had any scientific evidence to back it up until now.

A study was done in an exercise laboratory at Brigham Young University -- no word on whether it was funded by Andy Reid or not -- to try and prove that pickle juice helps prevent cramps better than water. The results were published last month on the journal of the American
College of Sports Medicine's website and summarized nicely by the New York Times. They basically put college dudes on exercise bikes and made them cramp up. Pickle juice, naturally, worked wonders.

The volunteers rested and did not drink any fluids. Then their tibial
nerve was zapped again. This time, though, as soon as the toe cramps
began, each man downed about 2.5 ounces of either deionized water or
pickle juice, strained from a jar of ordinary Vlasic dills. The
reaction, for some, was rapid. Within about 85 seconds, the men drinking
pickle juice stopped cramping. But the cramps continued unabated in the
men drinking water. Pickle juice had “relieved a cramp 45 percent
faster” than drinking no fluids and about 37 percent faster than water,
concluded the authors of the study ...

So what makes pickle juice so awesome? It may be the vinegar.

Pickle juice may work, Dr. Miller says, by countermanding the
malfunction. Something in the acidic juice, perhaps even a specific
molecule of some kind, may be lighting up specialized nervous-system
receptors in the throat or stomach, he says, which, in turn, send out
nerve signals that somehow disrupt the reflex melee in the muscles. Dr.
Miller suspects that ultimately, it’s the vinegar in the pickle juice
that activates the receptors. In a recent case report by other
researchers, a single athlete’s cramping was relieved more quickly when
he drank pure vinegar (without much pleasure, I’m sure) than when he
drank pickle juice.

While the study doesn't prove any hardcore scientific facts about pickle juice, the lesson to be learned here -- besides always including a Vlasic kosher dill on your turkey sandwich -- is that eating some boardwalk french fries dipped in vinegar may also prevent cramping.

>>Didinger: Game I'll Never Forget: Pickle Juice Game [CSNPhilly]

>>Philadelphia Eagles 41 at Dallas Cowboys 14 [Box Score]

>>Eagles' juice puts Dallas in a pickle [St. Petersburg Times, Sept. 2000]

>>Phys Ed: Can Pickle Juice Stop Muscle Cramps? [NYTimes]

NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales


NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: NBC Sports Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours

Deadline: November 20

Basic Function

This position will work closely with the Vice President of Sales in generating revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship sales. The intern will gain first-hand sales experience through working with Sales Assistants and AEs on pitches, sales-calls and recapping material.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Assist Account Executive on preparation of Sales Presentations
• Cultivate new account leads for local sales
• Track sponsorships in specified programs
• Assist as point of contact with sponsors on game night set up and pre-game hospitality elements.
• Assist with collection of all proof of performance materials.
• Perform Competitive Network Analysis
• Update Customer database
• Other various projects as assigned


1. Good oral and written communication skills.
2. Knowledge of sports.
3. Ability to work non-traditional hours, weekends & holidays
4. Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
5. Must be 19 years of age or older
6. Must be a student in pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, Master or Juris Doctor degree
7. Must have unrestricted authorization to work in the US
8. Must have sophomore standing or above
9. Must have a 3.0 GPA

Interested students should apply here and specify they're interested in the ad/sales internship.

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Injury-plagued Eagles facing roster 'chess match'

Injury-plagued Eagles facing roster 'chess match'

The Eagles are facing some challenging roster decisions this week as they deal with a rash of injuries that are potentially serious enough to sideline players but not serious enough to land them on Injured Reserve.

What that means is Howie Roseman may have to find some temporary space on the 53-man roster.

Defensive tackle Tim Jernigan (broken foot), wide receivers Alshon Jeffery (calf) and DeSean Jackson (groin), tight end Dallas Goedert (calf) and running back Corey Clement (shoulder) all either got hurt in Atlanta Sunday or in Goedert’s case aggravated an existing injury.

Making this more complicated is nobody knows exactly when any of these guys will be back.

The Eagles play two games in the next nine days — the Lions home Sunday and the Packers a week from Thursday at Lambeau Field — and they need healthy bodies.

Even if for instance Jackson is found to be healthy enough to play Sunday, can the Eagles risk going into the game with only Jackson, Nelson Agholor, Mack Hollins and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, knowing that Jackson could potentially aggravate the injury?

The Eagles found themselves in that bind Sunday in Atlanta when they went into the Falcons game with only two tight ends active — Zach Ertz and Goedert — even though Goedert had missed most of training camp with that same calf injury.

So what happens if the Eagles want to add two healthy receivers, a defensive tackle and a tight end?

Let’s say they want to sign Jordan Matthews and promote Greg Ward from the practice squad, promote one of the practice squad tight ends — Alex Ellis or Josh Perkins — and add a healthy defensive tackle — perhaps Bruce Hector from the practice squad — they could potentially have to clear out four spots on the 53.

Which isn’t as easy as it seems.

You can start releasing bottom-of-the-roster guys, but some of those guys are players the Eagles feel strongly about as contributors in the future, and the Eagles could risk losing them if they try to waive them onto the practice squad or land them on the street for a few weeks.

It’s a risk they just may have to take.

“That's the chess match we have to find out in the next couple days,” Doug Pederson said. “We have a couple games here now in 11 or 12 days. We'll make it work. That's just what we do. We find a way, we make it work, we coach the guys up that are going to play, and we go play.”

Here’s a look at some possible moves the Eagles could make, depending on how many healthy players they feel like they need to add going into Sunday.

Release Craig James

The Eagles added the 23-year-old undrafted cornerback to the 53 from the practice squad after the opener when they moved Ellis from the 53 to the practice squad. James played one snap on defense and 11 on special teams Sunday in Atlanta.

Place Jordan Mailata on injured reserve 

Mailata has been dealing with a back injury and the chances of him playing this year are minimal. The problem with IR’ing him is that he won’t be able to practice, and even the scout team reps he gets are valuable.

Release Nate Herbig

The 21-year-old undraftred rookie guard was a surprise on the 53 after final cuts, and the Eagles like his potential as a future interior offensive lineman. I would think there’s a decent chance he would clear waivers at this point in the season, but you never know. Is a team really going to cut a guy from its 53 a couple weeks into the season to claim Nate Herbig?

Release Matt Pryor

Pryor, a massive offensive lineman, was a 2018 sixth-round draft pick. He’s been inactive for 19 of his 20 career games and didn’t play in the other one. He didn’t have a particularly strong preseason but the Eagles see something in the kid and I’m sure they don’t want to cut him, but they may have to.

Release Rudy Ford

Ford is the guy the Eagles acquired from the Cards in a summer trade for Hector, who the Cards wound up releasing. He may be a no-name guy, but he’s been a valuable special teamer so far, with 35 snaps in the Eagles’ first two games, fourth-most on the team. 

Release one of the defensive ends

The Eagles are heavy at defensive end with Vinny Curry, Josh Sweat, Shareef Miller and Daeshon Hall backing up Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett. Six defensive ends is a luxury they may not be able to afford. Miller is last on the depth chart, but he’s a rookie fourth-round pick and could well be claimed if the Eagles put him on the street. Hall has been inactive but had such a strong preseason it’s hard to imagine the Eagles cutting ties with him. And Sweat has emerged as the third end, getting more snaps Sunday than even Curry. Tough call.

Place Tim Jernigan on IR

This is a last resort. If the Eagles IR Jernigan he would miss a minimum of eight weeks. If he’s only going to be out a month, you’d have a healthy Tim Jernigan on IR for several weeks. If the Eagles project the injury to be closer to a six-week situation, IR could be a viable option.

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