Divisional Playoffs 2019

Getting close to the home stretch in the NFL. There are four games this weekend, and the first one up is Colts at Chiefs. The weather looks to be very nasty, with below freezing temps and snow already accumulating. It will be interesting to see how young Pat Mahomes fares in this environment for his first playoff game. He has such a strong arm,that my guess he will be fine, and same for Andrew Luck. But the Colts have a far better running game than the Chefs, and KC run defense is not the best. Oh, and KC has not one a playoff game at home since the mid 90’s when Joe Montana was their QB. This has a real potential for a Colts upset.

The second game Saturday is Cowboys at Rams. Dallas really is starting to play better lately, and the Rams seemed to stall a little toward the end of the regular season. That said, hard to see the Boys having enough offense to keep track with Goff and Gurley, and the Rams defense is superior.

The early game Sunday is maybe the most interesting game of the weekend with the Chargers at Foxborough to visit Bill Bel and the Pats. The Bolts have the offense to make this very interesting, and have solid defense too. The Pats will need a big game from Sony Michel, and Brady and Gronk have to get out of their funk. And the Pats are basically at full health finally. It is tempting to take the Bolts in an upset, but not going to bet against the Pats. Nope just not gonna do it.

The late game Sunday has the Eagles at the high flying Saints. Drew Brees is simply a machine, and he has a hot running back duo in Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. Fun fact, Brees and the Eagles’ Nick Foles both went to the same high school, though obviously separated by quite a few years. Foles has been absolute magic for the Iggles, but I think that luck runs out in NOLA.

As a fun little parting shot, today is the 50th anniversary of Super Bowl III in Miami, where Joe Namath and the Jets shocked the world by beating the heavily favored Colts. Here is a fun story looking back at that game and the really earth shattering consequences it had for pro football.

This weekend’s music courtesy of Van the Man.

59 replies
  1. Jharp says:

    Not only do I think the Colts can win at KC I think they have a chance of beating New England.

    We have a bit of payback due for the days of Tom Brady knocking Peyton Manning and the Colts out of the playoffs in the AFC Championship. I hope this is the year.

    BTW. The preseason prognosticators had the Colts ranked as the worst team in the NFL, mostly on account of having a horrible defense.

    Quite a turnaround.

  2. Mark Ospeck says:

    bmaz, I agree, 4 v interesting games… Don’t think Dallas can beat LA rams, but the other ones could go either way. Being from Bahston, I am pretty worried about the sunday at 1. But all-in-all it does look like a vg weekend of football to take our minds off other things

  3. Sir Purp says:

    I’m torn between New Orleans (my hometown) and Philly (current home). As you said, Brees has godlike accuracy (IIRC most accurate in NFL history!!) and is a machine, but as a longtime Saints fan I’m no stranger to hearbreak so I’m not gonna count Philly out.

  4. AirportCat says:

    Colts, Bolts, Boys, Saints. But the latter is the one I really care about even though I live in the DFW metro now. Who dat?!!!?!

    • Erica says:

      Im in Dallas too! Im ready for the Saints! We have all these NO ppl from Katrina and it was wonderful the last time the Boys beat the Saints!! I made sure to rub it in! I know the NFL wants Saints Cowboys…let the game begin

    • AirportCat says:

      Well, shoot, I’m 0-for-3 so far and this Saints game is not off to a good start. This is the one I actually care about, although I do like Foles. And so far Foles is playing lights-out.

  5. Peterr says:

    Metro KC has gotten 6-9 inches of snow (AKA “not news” to Chuck Todd), with snow forecast to continue throughout the afternoon. It may also mix with freezing rain later on — perhaps during the game or perhaps while people are driving home or perhaps not at all. KC Mayor Sly James said yesterday that the city was changing its snow-plow routes, to be able to keep Arrowhead Stadium, the feeder highways, and the streets that surround it clear for drivers. He also noted that ordinarily he’d be telling people to stay off the roads all weekend, “but we all know *that* isn’t gonna happen.” (Sly is a very smart guy.) He closed by strongly urging people to not choose this weekend to test their driving abilities while under the influence. If I was at the game, I’d fire up the grill again in the parking lot after the game ends, and not plan on leaving for home until 8pm or so. Let the idiots get out of the way first – and God knows there will be plenty of idiots out there.

    I’ve gotten about 8 inches at my place, which I’ve already shoveled twice. This is very wet, heavy snow, and letting it pile up and shoveling it all when it’s done coming down is NOT a good idea. When I look at the trees behind my house, it looks like something out of Dr. Zhivago, with snow bowing down the branches. (While shoveling this morning, I heard tree branches cracking elsewhere in the neighborhood. Right now 1 in 8 customers of KC Power and Light (the regional electric utility) has no power — 3300+ homes with 109K customers in the dark.  Most of these are probably due to tree limbs coming down on the power lines, and I am very glad our neighborhood has underground utilities for that very reason.

    The Kid got home last night around 10:30pm and decided he wanted to build a very creative snowman. He spent about an hour getting it built, aiming to make it look like a 6′ tall robot. Just when Mrs Dr Peterr went outside to call him in, he finished. Before he could get to his phone to take a picture, however, the top three feet of the snowbot started to slowly tilt forward . . . and slowly slowly slowly eased itself to the ground. “It’s my Cake Wars moment!” he cried, and I suspect he’s try again tonight.

    • Peterr says:

      While the power outages are widespread across the area, there are more than 2600 folks just to the southeast of Arrowhead without power. Per KCPL, these folks lost power at 3:27am, and the current status of these outages is “awaiting assignment.”

      Can you say “no stoplights”? Sure you can . . .

  6. scribe says:

    Freezin’ my butt off, even in my living room. Old house, bad to no insulation, chasing down drafts.

    Speaking of which, I heard a snippet of an interesting radio conversation today: if you’re the Iggles and the Broncos want to trade, how much will it take for the Elways to get Wentz? The consensus in the few minutes I heard was “Von Miller and draft picks”, but just how many draft picks and how high would it have to be? I mean, if I’m Iggles ownership I have rattling around the edges of my consciousness that, for all he’s shown, Wentz is also fragile.

    But on to the games. I am leaning towards the Rams, simply because I hate Dallas. Hate Jerry, hate Jerryworld and its 100k obstructed view seats. All of it. Send a mile-high tsunami and get rid of it. Please. The Owboys have been hot lately and, as is the case with the Saints too, the Rams have kinda taken their foot off the gas a bit of late. It’s entirely possible that the Owboys play again next week. Talking with a friend this morning he noted that having the bye week brings the disadvantage of getting back up to game speed and game intensity after a week off. So, we’ll see.

    As to the Saints, a similar phenomena – the coasting. Add to that an interesting stat – it seems that when there’s a playoff matchup where the one team blew out the other earlier in the season, the victim of the blowout tends to do quite well in the latter game. So, the Iggles are most definitely not out of it. I dunno whether that will pan out in Philly’s favor in NOLA tomorrow, if only because the Wall of Sound that is the Superdome will make the Iggles doing anything on O quite difficult. NOLA may well be the most difficult place to play just because of the noise.

    Frank Reich is a pretty good coach. We’re seeing that now. Once the Colts bought into him – about 6 games in – they took off like the proverbial rocket. That said, Mahomes is otherworldly in his skills. It may come down to Andy Reid’s clock management, which (as all Iggles fans know) is not playoff ready. If KC wants to win, they have to score early and often.

    And then there’s Cheatin’ Bill and the Suddenly Superannuated Cheating Cheaters of Cheatertown versus the pastel OP-shorts wearing Bolts. In case you missed it, it’s colder than Dick Cheney’s heart in New England this weekend and they play football outdoors there. My guess is the Cheaters get to travel to KC next week and Gronk plays his last game at Arrowhead.

    I’m holding out hope for an Iggles-Owboys NFC final. It’d be like a neutron star imploding inside King Roger’s head.

    And in the obligatory Stillers note: if you were an NFL franchise looking for a head coach, what would you trade for Mike Tomlin?

    Stay warm. Stay sane. It’s time for football.

    • Peterr says:

      I am leaning towards the Rams, simply because I hate Dallas. Hate Jerry, hate Jerryworld and its 100k obstructed view seats. All of it. Send a mile-high tsunami and get rid of it. Please.

      You are a wise one, scribe, though Stan Kroenke is bidding to outdo Jerry in every way possible. Could we have two mile-high tsunamis? Please?

    • Peterr says:

      if you’re the Iggles and the Broncos want to trade, how much will it take for the Elways to get Wentz?

      The Elways seem to have other problems to deal with before that deal could be considered:

      Two days after Gary Kubiak was tabbed as the next offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos, Gary Kubiak will not be the next offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos. . . .

      Given this drama in the corner office, the Iggles could probably take advantage of the distraction to drive a better deal.

  7. Pete says:

    SB III or was it SB 3 back then. 50 years ago.  Say it ain’t so. I was there due to an aunt’s access to WTVJ Cannel 4 – CBS affiliate then – Sports having tix.

    To say that a lot has changed since then is quite the understatement. Pre-game, sponsors, Miami skyline pan, halftime essentially the (great) FAMU marching band.


  8. scribe says:

    Looks like Ed Rendell is in the stands in KC, placing bets on whether that snowball will hit the field.

    Used to be, the NFL played a game in a snowstorm and the snowball tossing became part of the legend, something to celebrate. Next week there’s snow and the team turns off the beer, leading to signs that say “Can’t Buy Suds” to catch the CBS cameraman’s eye. Now, New York looks at the ubiquitous surveillance video and revokes your personal seat license with a mouseclick.

    One more way we are less free and no better for it.

    • Eureka says:

      LOL I missed this during the game, but you can bet 6abc just showed a clip of the Chefs fan throwing it, with broadcaster voice overlay: “It doesn’t hit Santa (video of Reid), but Big Red -not very jolly- he yells at the fan, telling him to think…”

      So I still don’t know where the snowball landed.

  9. Stew says:

    Hi Bmaz 
    To me, the Bolts are the Colts after they left Baltimore.
    Many years ago a young Chargers QB suffered a terrible rotor cuff injury that many thought would end his career.

    Mahomes is simply unconscious 
    If he remains healthy, Chiefs are hard to beat

    Of course I’m pulling for Brees

    • bmaz says:

      Yeah, sympathize with that view of the Bolts. And have a lot of friends in San Diego who feel the same way. Totally understand it. But I really do like Phil Rivers, and have always kind of had a soft spot for the Chargers in spite of the Spanos family. At least they did not leave in the middle of the night under cover of a snowstorm like the Colts, and the Murph was getting long in the tooth, so there is that. But still.

      And, Mahomes, yeah! Dude is like Brett Favre but with better accuracy, younger. Just a complete joy to watch play the game. Which say what one will about Favre was always endearing. He was infectious the way he played and obvious joy he took in doing so. Mahomes has a good amount of that, and it is truly special.

      • Peterr says:

        All four TDs by the Chefs came on the ground. If anyone had predicted that this before the game, they would have been roundly laughed at.

        Oh, and Mahomes got one of those four rushing TDs.

        You are absolutely right about Mahomes and his “obvious joy,” bmaz. There are some players where you are well aware that they have an “on camera” persona, where something says to them “show joy now” and they show joy. With Mahomes, it’s so clearly genuine that it’s contagious.

  10. Eureka says:

    Let’s talk about the Iggles’ practice squad.
    Here is a nice feature on Joe Ostman-  the Michigander who helps prep the Iggles O-line-  who got a shout-out from Pederson last week:
    How a baker’s son helped the Eagles’ playoff run to Saints by impersonating the NFL’s elite pass rushers

    “I’m glad you asked me about Joe,” offensive coordinator Mike Groh said Tuesday. “He embraces the number or jersey we put on him. We’ve played some excellent pass rushers over the stretch of games here. He’s usually been that guy, whether it be Aaron Donald or Khalil Mack or Jadeveon Clowney or J.J. Watt, all these really great pass rushers that we’ve played against. Joe has helped prepare the offensive line for that challenge, and our offensive line has risen to the challenge.”

    A star is born, and reborn, and reborn …
    Ostman (rhymes with postman), a 23-year-old NFL understudy, prepares for his roles with the thoroughness of Anthony Hopkins. If J.J Watt likes fava beans and Chianti, Ostman knows.

    Now to the defensive backs.  Post-Washington, broadcaster Derek Gunn restated the weeks ago-headline about the Iggles’ playing ~”people off the streets, off the practice squad.”  The Legion of Whom has grown some since:
    Upon further review, Eagles’ young DBs can flat-out play
    I’ve been jotting this during commercial breaks and lost internet.  I almost cannot believe Reid didn’t blow another dougle-digit playoffs lead.  To be continued…

    • Peterr says:

      From scribe above:

      Mahomes is otherworldly in his skills. It may come down to Andy Reid’s clock management, which (as all Iggles fans know) is not playoff ready. If KC wants to win, they have to score early and often.

      Mahomes apparently was reading this thread, thus making Reid’s clock management skills irrelevant.

      • Eureka says:

        So all this time, Reid just needed a QB who could reliably overcome him.

        I did see a headline, left unclicked, claiming that Reid’s time management has improved.  If so, more good news for you KCers.

        If the playoffs go the way scribe is ~~(what would be the right word for this, erm…) plotting, I will be clicking all that bait before a showdown of the brothers Kelce (lol).

        Also, I keep forgetting to thank you for posting that article about the cancelled Extraneous Bowl.  I kept hearing about it at the time, not getting it (weather delays, who cares?).  Concatenated, it was hilarious.

        • Peterr says:

          So all this time, Reid just needed a QB who could reliably overcome him.


          Re the Extraneous Bowl, you’re welcome.

  11. Eureka says:

    Practice squad, continued:

    As to Foles… Brees and Brady both have a decade of experience over him.  I do wish he hadn’t remarked aloud on the “hostile” environment at Soldier Field.  If the Iggles are smart, and they are, Foles has been biofeedbacking to harsh Superdome sounds until his whatever-waves go flat.

    As scribe notes, there are some not unfavorable stats ‘out there’…including quaint ones like Foles breaking Brees’ records back at Westlake High.  There are others, more substantive.  And there’s this comment thread that I didn’t fact check:

    ●Only 3 QB’s have ever beaten the 1# scoring defense in the playoffs 2 years in a row.
    ●●And 2 of those 3 QBs won back-to-back Superbowls doing so.
    ●●●WELL…..let’s make it all 3!

    But in the end, it may come down to this:

    I’m not a very religious man, but on Friday morning, something happened.

    I woke up earlier than usual to handle some work — typically, my cat wakes me up to feed her, but this time, it was so early that she hadn’t even come over and placed her 13-pound body directly on my lungs or her litter-scented paws in my mouth. I had barely taken my first deep breath of the morning and had just decided to make a cup of coffee.

    That’s when I saw it.

    At some point during the night, she pulled a book off our bookshelf — just one — and, seated on the floor in front of it with the book opened, appeared to be reading it. That book? “Philly Special” by Sal Paolantonio.

    No way I’m picking against BDN and the Eagles after that one…

    (internal link removed)

    Of course, not to sleep on the bulk of the team.  I was just thinking of those nee practice squad.

    • scribe says:

      Still riding the wave of ecstatic joy that comes from watching the Owboys lose.

      I found, in one of those salvage stores, an Owboys-themed jigsaw puzzle, big pieces for young hands.  Bought it to use to send to a friend who is a benighted worshipper at the Temple of Jerry.  Right there on the packaging it says “WARNING:  CHOKING HAZARD”.

      How apropos.

  12. Peterr says:

    But the Colts have a far better running game than the Chefs, and KC run defense is not the best.

    Chefs: 33 caries, 180 yards, 4TDs

    Colts: 14 carries, 87 yards, 0 TDs

    • bmaz says:

      Yeah, yeah….okay. See, this is why I write the trash and don’t bet real money in Vegas, or anywhere else. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  13. scribe says:

    As I noted above, it’s colder than Dick Cheney’s heart in Cheatertown.  So, I get this from a friend in that area:  on Friday, the Cheaters posted this on their twitter feed  https://twitter.com/GilletteStadium/status/1083771898138370048

    Friend relates it’s in the tunnel the Bolts will use, and might not be the only exemplar of that technology.

    What’s a little mind-fucking among competitors?

    No word – yet – on whether the Cheaters have posted barometers and pressure gauges to allow comparison of ball v. atmospheric pressures.

    Then there’s this from Edelman’s twitter: a photoshop mashup of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody album cover. https://twitter.com/Edelman11/status/1083859474266361856/photo/1
    This was before Freddie Mercury cut his hair and grew a moustache, in those days a clear signal of gayness. Inquiring minds want to know: is this Edelman commenting on Cheatin’ Bill’s intimate habits?

  14. Bay State Librul says:

    Jimmy the Greek has the Patriots winning by +4
    I’d say most New England fans would invoke “toss-up”
    In any case, I’ll be tossing them down at 1:00PM.
    Tom may have one more miracle left in his Greatest Moments in Sports History Album.
    With Gronk playing in his last season, look for him to “put on a clinic” for the fans at Foxboro.

    Final score: Patriots 29, Chargers 24.

    The Times has a neat human interest piece on Foxboro/Foxborough

    “Authelet, the town historian of Foxborough, supports the longer spelling as well. But the license plate on his car reads: FOXBRO.

    Massachusetts allows personalized plates to have no more than six letters, so he did the best he could.

    A few years ago, Authelet was waiting in his car at a stoplight in Philadelphia when another car pulled alongside. The driver honked his horn and held up a sign.

    “The guy had written on a piece of paper: Cheaters,” Authelet said, well aware of the rules controversies christened Spygate and Deflategate that have dogged Coach Bill Belichick’s team through the years.

    “That kind of reaction happens; it’s a fact,” Authelet said with a smile. “But most people tell me that I live in a sports lover’s paradise where the home team almost always wins.”

    I understand Scribe makes frequent trips to Philly?

    The “broken down, outworn, and antiquated” Patriots just might have one more swan song left.

  15. Willis Warren says:

    I’m boycotting the chiefs this year over several things, the trading of Peters being paramount (using it correctly here, gize)

    But, damn, Mahomes is the real deal. I first compared him to Bret Favre, but goddamned he’s better. The fucker can hit guys without looking. He’s gonna be better than anyone ever. His ESPN film reel where he shows his peripheral passing ability… damn

    Boycott ends for super bowl

  16. Alan says:

    Whenever I hear someone say “Cheaters”, “Cheatriots”, “Cheatertown”, I know I’m talking to a completely bitter loser, which I LOVE, because winning is great, and I LOVE WINNING! So keep hanging your hat on those tired, made up accusations of cheating, while the Patriots keep hanging losses on you, and I’ll keep loving it. GO PATRIOTS!!!!

  17. HRHTish says:

    Delurking to say how much I love that so many of you love football. What in the world do you talk about on weekends after the Superbowl?

    I’m a football superfan but I don’t favor any particular team (I have a soft spot for the Vikings, am accustomed to not prevailing, thus unattached to outcomes). I’m partial to kittyprint themed football helmets (Clemson, Bengals, etc.), but otherwise I just tend to root for the underdog or the team with the best looking outfits.

    Anyway, have a lovely football day! We’re snowed in here.

    • Alan says:

      Free agency and the draft? ;-)  Or maybe that’s why we love football–20 Sundays per year is manageable, and we get a break between seasons… :-)

  18. bmaz says:

    10 minutes to kickoff in Foxborough. Sticking with the Patriots as likely to win, but hoping for a really good game.

    Am kind of stunned by the number of people in the media that think the Eagles have a real shot against the Saints. If it was in Philly, maybe, but the Superdome is a whole nuther thing.

  19. scribe says:

    Fly, Iggles, Fly.

    I think those thermometers and the Krafts wearing short-sleeved shirts in their open-air box (proving the internal-heating power of good liquor) did in the Bolts mindset.  And Gronk was a bull on the line.

    • bmaz says:

      Last throw bad decision by Foles. Though about the same as a punt into end zone I guess.

      At some point, Brees is gonna get untracked. Turnovers not the Eagles’ friend.

  20. Peterr says:

    Yesterday evening, Chefs offensive lineman Jeff Allen posted this tweet:

    My car got stuck in the snow before the game & a nice guy named Dave help pull me out without knowing I was a player. I want to give him tickets to the AFC championship game for helping but don’t have a way to contact him. He drove a 97 or 98 Black Suburban. Pls RT

    As you might imagine, he got a lot of Spartacus-style “I’m Dave” comments, as well as predictions that sales of used Black Suburbans would go through the roof today, but then this morning he tweeted this:

    Update: Despite the recent influx in people changing their name to Dave in the KC area lol, I was actually able to track down the Dave that helped me thanks to the power of social media and #ChiefsKindgom. Thanks for your kindness

    Gotta love it.

    Meanwhile, there are still more than 4400 outages putting some 60K people in the dark around metro KC, and schools are starting to announce they are closed because of all the Not News that fell. There are a bunch of streets that cannot be plowed yet because trees and tree limbs fell across them.

      • Peterr says:

        I left out the part where Allen lists a website on his twitter page that goes to “The Cookie Society.” Turns out that is his wife’s gourmet cookie bakery. The first line of her “About Us” says “I am the mother of two little cookie monsters and wife to a cookie-loving husband.” The last line: “Life is too short and precious to be wasted on average cookie consumption.”

        Gotta love that, too.

  21. J R in WV says:

    Watching the NOLA Saints hosting the Iggles, who are ahead at halftime, and receive the opening kickoff for the second half.

    I’m thinking this game is really a toss-up between two great post-season teams! Go Iggles, although otherwise I would be a Saints fan. But I too root for underdogs, and briefly lived in Philly a very long time ago.

  22. Eureka says:

    I’ve been living the greatest scrappy football movie never made. Since the Eagles lost, maybe Bradley Cooper would make that film.

    To rise from that scale of injuries and pull off mostly road wins against mostly top teams week after week… they did great.

    Then unrested to the Superdome, with their last visit constantly rehashed- again, they came out of the gate great. That turnover and trick play fake punt later, and the momentum changed never to return.

    All things considered, props to an exhausted defense with fresh key injuries for keeping the Saints to 20 and within one score. There are calls for Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz’ head for sticking to a zone, failing to adjust…plus the backing off on blitzes because of how Iggles last lost (many blitzes) and Cowboys last won (few blitzes) v NoLa- too predictable).

    I feel awful for Alshon Jeffrey blaming himself for that miss>interception. He was apparently playing with broken ribs, too.

    Not sure what happened to the run game… And I think that sportswriter’s 13 # cat mysticism (excerpt I posted yesterday) was a hint that Foles should have tried to hit Agholor more later in the game. Apparently, neither Foles nor Mike Groh were reading the comments here.

    Not counting the outset or score, that game turned into the last one: lots of injuries and the Saints possessing the ball too damn much. From an Outstanding Start to Over.

    Anyone know how many teams play on astroturf in domes?

    Also, apropos of Sean Payton, I am not a fan of Sean Payton.

    I am glad I got to enjoy the social good feeling that was near enough to winning the Super Bowl, and am happy for all who get to enjoy the rest of the post season in that way. Good luck!

    • bmaz says:

      Say what you will, but Sean Payton is a very good offensive coach. He and Brees were going to adapt. And they did. Schwartz’s defense held overall as well as you could ask. The Eagles’ O-line was beat up and could not establish any run and was allowing ever decreasing time for Foles. That was, by my eye, the difference. Philly played a hell of a game all things considered.

      • Eureka says:

        Yeah, no knock against his coaching skill, and he and Brees obviously did adapt.  I personally enjoy a different coaching style- e.g. find rolling the Lombardi with cash into the locker-room off-putting.  Particularly in light of bountygate.

        Agree as to your read on things, but watching what felt like a replay in some ways- and when the defense is on the field so long (not entirely of their doing, as above)- there is a wonder as to how adjustments might have panned out.  Especially from the pov of someone who didn’t want to take a loss as inevitable (you and I were watching different games in that regard).  And yes, the blitz-proponents in particular are forgetting how often Brees slips out into a new pocket (if it even gets that far).  As I indicated, the defense were the relative long-haul heroes of this game as it stands.  Hell of a game, yes it was.

  23. Eureka says:

    scribe- I forgot —did you see the new (to me) Bud Light King Roger ad where he…dictates to ‘Scribe?’

  24. scribe says:

    How do you know it’s not me in that ad?

    I like the one where the foppish King Roger and his Queen get a tour of the “wine cellar”. Or is it “whine cellar”?

    • scribe says:

      So much for that season.  I see two players suffered torn Achilles tendons in the Iggles loss – an Iggle lineman and one of the Saints.  That, atop playing with broken ribs and still catching the damn ball.  I hope they recover soon and well.

      One forgets sometimes how tough one has to be to play at this high level.

      I watched the Pats game with a bunch of Patsies fans, but they were nice about it.   One had no idea Giselle has a twin sister.  Shocked the hell out of him that not only is Giselle a twin, but also that she out-earns Biebs and the twin is Giselle’ business manager.  It’s nothing short of astonishing, the level of football ignorance that can survive in Pats fans when their favorite team is winning.  As in life, it’s often the struggle that makes the success more satisfying.  When winning is handed to you, it’s not that sweet.

      I feel for the Iggles.  Their fans, they’ve had a great year and spent most of it in a haze of ecstasy.  Keep in mind, it was 58 years since 60-minute man Concrete Chuck Bednarik, one-time B-24 waist gunner (30 combat missions over Germany;  waist gunners shot a machinegun out an open window at 20-something thousand feet at attacking fighter planes) and then Ivy Leaguer (Penn) led them to win the NFL Championship.  The vast majority of both the fans who saw that win, and of those who saw last season’s win, never got to see both.  And those intervening years were truly a long Via Dolorosa through the deserts, led by immortals like Nick Skorich, Joe Kuharich (28-41-1 with the Iggles, winning 2 late season games in 1968 to move from 1st overall draft pick – O.J. Simpson – to second – some guy named Leroy Keyes), Jerry Williams, Ed Khayat, Mike McCormack (16-25-1 with the Iggles, 29-51-1 lifetime), Marion Campbell (34-80-1 lifetime), Fred Bruney, Rich Kotite (“8 and 8 is great”), Ray Rhodes, Chip Kelly and Pat Shurmur.

      “Kuharich” is still a curse word among Philly people old enough to remember;  his legacy of failure is burned deep into the Iggles psyche (right alongside the bitterness of his happy-talk in the middle of all that failure).  From his wikipedia entry  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Kuharich :

      Following the 1966 season, the Eagles once again began a slide to mediocrity, posting a losing record of 6-7-1 in 1967. The 1968 season was Kuharich’s last. The Eagles vied most of the season for pro football’s worst record, which would have earned them the chance to draft Heisman Trophy winner O. J. Simpson No. 1 overall. But the Eagles won the twelfth and thirteenth games of the season, then a 14-game season, for a final record of 2-12-0, and the Buffalo Bills, with a record of 1-12-1, won the rights to Simpson. So despised by Eagles’ fans by this time was Kuharich that a plane towing a banner reading “Joe Must Go” circled Franklin Field, the Eagles home field at that time, for all home games of the 1968 season, and for three of the home games a large banner was draped over the upper deck of Franklin Field which read simply “Joe Please Do Us a Favor and Die”. This was the season of the game of legend in which Santa Claus was pelted with snowballs as he circled the track at Franklin Field at halftime of the final game of the season (December 15, 1968, a loss to the Minnesota Vikings, 24-17), precipitated as a result of the fans realizing that they would not be getting the No. 1 overall draft pick as they had hoped only three weeks earlier.

      As it turned out, Kuharich did die, the event either unnoticed or celebrated, the day the Iggles lost the 1980-81 Super Bowl to the Raiders.  I speculate that O.J. would never have had the future he had, had the Iggles been able to draft him.  Their O-line, and offense generally, were so bad it’s almost certain the Juice would have been another Heisman Failure, the 1970 version of Ron Dayne.

      Yes, there were deep playoff runs and Super Bowl appearances under Dick Vermeil, Buddy Ryan, Andy Reid and now Pederson.  Vermeil, who took the Iggles to the SB in 80-81 only to “retire” from coaching a year or so later because of the stress, then to re-emerge with the Rams a dozen or so years later to head the Greatest Show on Turf and win SB there.  Ryan, who came from being the DC of the 85-86 Bears, importing the 46 defense, snowballs descending from the 700 level and bounties on Owboys’ kickers, still beloved for the last two.   Reid, a giant among men, whose clock management in the last 6 minutes of SB XXXIX still mystify all who spend even a second thinking about it.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Bowl_XXXIX

      Ownership-wise, the Iggles ultimately straightened out (mostly) after car dealer Norman Braman sold to Jeffrey Lurie in 90s (and Braman could concentrate on other things full-time).  Braman had come into ownership after longtime owner Leonard Tose was forced to sell to him in 1985.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonard_Tose  That sale, forced by the league, came in the aftermath of Tose being sued on his markers by casinos in Atlantic City and his defense being that he was too hammered on free liquor the casinos shoved into him to know what he was signing.  When one considers the debt alleged was in the neighborhood of $40 mil, that’s a lot of scotch.

      One-line Life lesson:  NEVER sign a marker.  (I used to collect on them.  I’ve heard all the excuses.  They all fail.)

      Iggles fans suffered through all that.  They had hopes and happy talk, sometimes fulfilled but most times dashed.

      Pederson finally broke through last year.  Finally.

      And now the off-season begins, with the Big Questions in Philly being Wentz v. Foles, In re the Fragility of Wentz, and other and sundry injuries.  Not to mention “how big a contract offer will Foles get?”  If it’s from the Jets, pass.  No matter how much money Woody Johnson throws at him.  Ask Neil O’Donnell.

      NOLA looks pretty unstoppable and, in their dome, I see the Rams folding, doing their best Old Red Sox/Lawn Furniture impression – after Labor Day, they fold up and get put away for the winter.

      Hard to pick between the Patsies and Chefs.  I’ll have to think about it more.  But Andy Reid hasn’t solved his clock management issues since SB XXXIX and Mahomes can only pull his chestnuts out of the fire so many times.  Since Cheatin’ Bill has seen Mahomes do that once, he’s probably already schemed up how to negate it.

      And my Stillers?  Still stewing.  I don’t have to speculate what Bednarik would say about Antonio Brown, Tomlin or Bad Teammate Bell.

      • Eureka says:

        Some lessons:

        Had Kuharich properly lost, we’d never have known the Dancing Itos.

        I really should be lamenting the far greater loss of an Iggles-(Reid-led) Chefs Super Bowl aftermath.

        Speaking of snowballs, Jimmy Johnson- if I got the right wiki- lived to see greater fame as a Survivor teevee contestant and peddler of men’s endurance ‘aids.’


        Snowballs don’t work, and the winter snow here preceding the NoLa game was a harbinger of doom.  Better one snowball in the hand than two launched towards the Big Easy.

  25. Bay State Librul says:

    Scribe watch:

    Did you join in with the crowd when Jon Bon Jovi sang “Livin’ on a Prayer” during yesterday’s game?

    • scribe says:


      That is not an organic celebration-istic event.

      Compare that to something a friend once experienced at a Pittsburgh Pirates game – the old  “give the audience 3 choices for the song to be played in the next break between innings, the one the crowd approves most loudly getting played”.  The Yinzers were in a funky mood that night.  They chose the polka music.

      • Bay State Librul says:

        Speaking of the Pirates, “We are Family” was the best musical shindig that I’ve witnessed.

  26. Eureka says:

    @ scribe- I _don’t_ know that it’s not you. More evidence that King Roger may indeed be a regular reader here.

  27. scribe says:

    Y’know, back in the 90s I didn’t really watch that much late-night TV and I never saw the Dancing Itos. I don’t know … how to handle this. On the one hand, and this needs be remembered, on the OJ Road from Heisman to Dancing Itos there were 2 people who, whatever their virtues and faults, did wind up dead.
    On the other hand, damn, that’s frickin’ bizarre. And it made Jay Leno and the other late-nights a bundle.
    On the third hand, it was a useful view into the sausage-making that goes on in courtrooms for those who avoid the Halls of Justice, one which limned the mess that is our criminal justice system and how the cops get away with it every time (almost).

    Dear God. What have we done to deserve this?

    And then we got King Roger the Clown to ruin football and serve as fodder for Bud Light ads.

    I shake my head.

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