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Doug Pederson struck one final blow to Mike Lombardi

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USA Today Images

Doug Pederson struck one final blow to Mike Lombardi

No NFL writer has eaten more crow in the last year than Mike Lombardi, who famously quipped Doug Pederson “might be less qualified to coach a team than anyone I’ve ever seen.” It was a foolish thing to say at the time, and clearly, the statement did not age well, seeing as Pederson guided the Eagles to a Super Bowl championship immediately after.

Well, Lombardi is the gift that keeps on giving. It wasn’t enough he had to eat those words and essentially admit that was probably the most profoundly stupid sentence a football person could string together. It turns out Pederson got one last chance to own Lombardi before his immortal line could fade into the background, taking its place along such whimsically remembered Philly sports quotes as “We’re talking about practice,” and “We can all count, those points would’ve helped.”

NBC Sports’ Peter King got a chance to preview Pederson’s new book, “Fearless: How an Underdog becomes a Champion,” co-written by Dan Pompei. The book, which goes on sale Tuesday, Aug. 21, contains an interesting nugget about the coach’s behind-the-scenes dealings with Lombardi.

That got a ton of attention last year when Pederson was on the road to winning the Super Bowl. Pederson, in the book, says Lombardi wrote him a letter during the playoffs last season. “It was written on a typewriter, and was about three paragraphs long,” Pederson writes. “The letter said, ‘The first rule of any informed opinion is to never began with the end in mind. And I violated that rule. For that, I extend my sincere apology.’ I was appreciative, and at least it showed he was man enough to admit he was wrong.”

Then this: “After the Super Bowl, the possibility of writing this book came up. One of the interested companies thought Lombardi would be a great co-author and submitted an offer. I said, respectfully, ‘No thanks.’”

And now you know the rest of the story.

Maybe it shouldn’t surprise in 2018, but to think somebody got the idea that Lombardi should be the person to help tell Pederson’s story, and actually had the audacity to ask Pederson this is crazy. Lombardi said about the most disrespectful thing possible about another man’s career, his livelihood — and most importantly, was completely, 100 percent wrong — but, sure, let’s check with Pederson and see how he feels about this.

You might even say Lombardi was probably the least qualified person for the job.

Lombardi did go on to write a book, by the way. While it’s not an autobiography, nor does the title refer to the author, does anybody else find a smidgen of irony in the book’s title, “Gridiron Genius?”

More on the Eagles

What water ice flavor are you?

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NBC Sports Philadelphia

What water ice flavor are you?

Wooder ice is a personality trait and no one can tell us otherwise. 

Here in Philadelphia, we don't mess around when it comes to our declarations of love for our favorite foods. And we take it quite seriously which type of food aligns with our personality traits as a result. 

So we're giving you the chance to determine what *wooder ice* flavor best suits your personality with this extremely scientific quiz. 

Pick some iconic Philly places, players and more to determine your flavor. 


A deep investigation into all the Philly sports references in The Office

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NBC Sports Philadelphia

A deep investigation into all the Philly sports references in The Office

I have invested a great deal of time in binge-watching NBC’s The Office on more than one occasion, with the most recent instance taking place during this period of quarantine.

One of the best aspects of the show, is its location — its proximity to the city we know and love. 

According to Dwight K. Schrute, Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch is only a 30-minute trip to Philadelphia if you drive 240 miles per hour — which to be very clear, we don’t recommend. 

So it’s really no surprise that the characters have often discussed things that we hold near and dear to our hearts in this city: cheesesteaks and Philly sports. 

In fact, we have compiled a list of 20 mentions, references, and reminders of Philly sports across 19 of the show’s 201 total episodes. 

S1E1: Pilot


 


Meet Ryan Howard.
I’ll leave it at that. 

S1E5: Basketball

The lack of Sixers t-shirts during the matchup between The Office versus The Warehouse was quite disappointing, but this absolutely incredible find made up for it: a mask eerily similar to Joel Embiid’s mask in the 2018 playoffs and a Mike Scott.

 

Foreshadowing two greats, perhaps?

S2E3: Office Olympics

If you look closely, you’ll notice a Mike Lieberthal bobblehead on Dwight’s desk. A nod to the Phillies, right? Sure. But the reference goes deeper than just the red and white pinstripes. 

Mike Lieberthal’s full name is Michael Scott Lieberthal. Mind blown? 

 

S3E23: The Job

When interviewing for a job at the corporate office, CFO David Wallace jokes around with Jim about his candidacy for the position because he’s a Sixers fan. Clap your hands, indeed, Halpert.

S3E18: The Negotiation

Jim’s then-girlfriend complains about his priorities, saying, “You would rather sit on your couch and watch a Phillies game than go out to a movie with your awesome girlfriend.”

What is the issue here, exactly?

S4E9: Local Ad

Jim shows Pam Dwight’s profile in the game Second Life when she notices that Jim gave his character a job as a sports writer in Philadelphia. 



Careful what you wish for, Beesly.
 
S4E15: Night Out

Ryan Howard pretends to be The Big Piece at a club.
 
Again, just going to leave it at that.

S4E16: Did I Stutter?

Ryan calls Jim into the conference room to ask the question we Eagles fans hate: Why?

Well, he really asks “How?” but you get the point. 

S5E18: Blood Drive

Kevin Malone recaps his worst breakup, saying, “We were reading the paper and I said, ‘Oh my God, I think the Eagles could clinch the NFC East.’ And she said that we’re done.” 

The Eagles, of course, had some fun with that: 

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Like if you’ve always believed. #FlyEaglesFly

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S6E6: Mafia

This one was a sneaky one. Jimbo has made it pretty clear that he’s a Philly sports guy, but his love spreads as far as the Arena Football League, too. If you look closely at his desk when Kevin “moves in” during the Halpert honeymoon, you can see a football with what looks like the AFL logo on its side. Philadelphia Soul fan, huh?


 
S7E8: Viewing Party

Jim changes the channel during the company’s Glee viewing party.

S9E1: New Guys

In an effort to become friends with one of the new guys, Pete, Jim asks if he’s a fan of the Phillies. After a couple of *coughs* stupid answers, Pete says he’s a Red Sox fan.

 

S9E2: Roy’s Wedding

During the car ride back from Roy’s wedding, Pam tells Jim about a past plan to surprise him with Sixers tickets for his 30th birthday. Jim, already knowing about the gift, laughs with his wife about her mistake of buying courtside seats to an away game in Phoenix. 

An away game nowadays? With their record on the road? Dodged a bullet there.

S9E3: Andy's Ancestry 

At the end of this episode, Jim tells Pam that he’s accepted an offer at Athlead, a sports marketing agency in Philadelphia.

S9E10: Lice

Kevin, Darryl, and Jim talk about the Sixers during their lunch break. 

Later in that episode, Jim has a meeting with Sixers legend, Julius Erving. 

A little 1-on-1 with Dr. J? Sure, no biggie.

 

S9E14: Vandalism

At the 11:10 minute mark, the Philadelphia Flyers show up on the bottom of this presentation board on the bottom right corner at Athlead, the first reference we could find regarding the Flyers in any capacity. 

Additionally, there are quite a few Eagles names on here, inlcuding Nick Foles,  Jason Kelce and Kurt Coleman and even Andrew McCutchen, though it would be prior to him joining the Phillies of course. 

S9E18: Promos

Ryan Howard (yes, THE Ryan Howard) has a meeting at Athlead with Jim and Darryl. During their conversation, he shares his screenplay for “The Big Piece.”

The other Ryan Howard even sent him a special video message during his retirement ceremony at Citizens Bank Park in one of the greatest crossovers we have ever seen.

 

S9E20: Paper Airplane

Jim gets a call from a colleague over at Athlead and asks if they’ve heard back from Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels yet. 

S9E21: Livin’ the Dream

The last mention I noticed came from the final season’s 21st episode. Jim is once again trying to connect with Pete, saying “Go Phillies, right?” before realizing Pete stinks and doesn’t watch the beautiful game of baseball.

There you have it, all of the mentions we could find in this show regarding Philly sports, except the Flyers, which we are still unsure if Halpert is a fan of or not. 

And before anyone gets spicy and feels the need to tell me how bored I must have been for doing this, just remember, you’re the one reading this.

BONUS

We also unearthed this deleted scene that references The one and only Answer at 1:48 in this clip below.

 

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