Baseball, Boston Red Sox, Major League Baseball, MLB, New York Yankees, Sports, Tennis

Friday Is Redux Day Rehashing Some Old Pieces

Friday Is Redux Day Rehashing Some Old Pieces

Well major league baseball (MLB) was off to its usual start and the Opening Day “game” was a battle of the AL East “behemoths” the New York Yankees against the Boston Red Sox . The game itself was played at the “famed” Fenway Park in Boston , Massachusetts. Now as we know this the “most hated” of sporting rivalries is similar to that of the rivalry between the “Hatfields” and the “McCoys” . And as far as I know to date there has yet to be a “loss of life” between these two warring sets of baseball fans. If I’m wrong in my assumption then please do correct me on this one element.

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The three game set between the Red Sox and Yankees was televised to a national audience and to a packed crowd , that is about as passionate about the game as anywhere across the entire nation. Fenway Park in all fabled history, is a place where if you to watch game you can’t but help soak up the atmosphere and that revelry that is there to be had. Alright, if you’re a Yankees’ fan in the midst of this you’re not going to be entirely happy . But then again, considering that “two teams will meet each other eighteen times” throughout the course of the regular season. You get the impression that when the Red Sox fans and the team visit Yankee Stadium in its gargantuan glory , there’s liable to be a surly welcome for the visiting fans. Unlike any other series in baseball there is a “lasting hatred” between these two sets of fans. And at times that angst that’s shown between the two teams can rival that of the volatility of in the stands ! I suppose as such it comes down to the competitiveness between the two and the very fact whoever wins the division is “guaranteed” a berth in the postseason . If you happen to finish “second” it is by no means a “guarantee” that you will be the wildcard entrant ..

The Red Sox would end up losing the series having its lone victory of the series in the opening day game with a hard fought 9-7 victory to their heated rivals. The strange this is, with the loss of the series , the Red Sox now sit at the bottom the AL East with a 1-2 record . Well it’s early days yet , so there’s no need to panic if you’re an avowed Red Sox fan. If you’re a Yankees’ fan then you can now start to gloat. Well , that’s what you guys tend to do for the vast majority of the time and throughout the baseball season. Is it any wonder that the fans around the league tend to find the Yankees’ fans , perhaps the most obnoxious in the league ?

There’s no denying that this season for the Atlanta Braves they would like to go out with that “last hurrah” for their legendary manager , Bobby Cox. And you do get the impression that the team doesn’t at all want to disappoint their manager or their fans

. And for those Braves’ fans in attendance at Turner Field in Atlanta. The thought that this is the very last season where they’ll see the “storied manager” seated in dugout alongside his assistant coaches and players will come as something of an aberration the fans. You get the impression that the Braves’ front office executives such as GM Frank Wren , Team President John Schuerholz and Chairman & CEO Terry McGuirk would like nothing more than for Cox to bow out of the game with perhaps “a real shot” of winning another World Series crown. And no doubt that sentiment is shared by their “most famous player” ever to have the Braves’ uniform Senior Vice President Hank Aaron . The Braves’ fans will no doubt share those exact sentiment of the team’s front office and its executives. However, all that stands in the Braves’ way in the NL East division are Florida Marlins , New York Mets , Washington Nationals and the reigning division champion and NL pennant title holder the Philadelphia Phillies. A really “daunting task” indeed that the Atlanta Braves will face through their schedule this season.

It will no doubt take a great deal of guile on the part of Cox and his assistants to have the Braves in contention throughout the season. But if there’s a manager within the game that’s capable of doing that and motivating a team, then “it is” Bobby Cox !

Talk is cheap and they’ll keep on talking until the “cows come home” . There are many who are now questioning the sanity of the Philadelphia Eagles’ front office and that of their coach Andy Reid . My thoughts on the matter after the trade of the team’s Pro Bowl “quarterback” Donovan McNabb to divisional rivals the Washington Redskins . Be careful what you wish for …..”as payback can be and is a real bitch” !

Whether or Reid bent or was not in favor of the trade is matter of mere speculation at this juncture. This much however we do know , team President Joe Banner had “the final say”. Eagles’ fans you can now bitch all you want because at the end of the day there’s absolutely no one but to blame than yourselves and the entire organization. McNabb was made to feel about “as welcomed” in the city as Osam Bin-Laden would have been , were he in a room filled with Hasidic Jews. And the fact that some of you are now said to be upset over the trade shows your complete arrogance and lack of understanding as to what has taken place ! You are the very same fans who “booed the player” when he was drafted by the team out of Syracuse University .

On first impression one would’ve thought that the Eagles had drafted a mentally and physically challenged individual , given the reception the player had received on the day he was drafted. Taken second overall in the 1999 NFL Draft. McNabb would go on to serve the club with distinction. Forget what you heard about the Superbowl loss to the New England Patriots in SBXXXIX – end result 24-21 . Let Terrell Owens “hold a grudge” ,have his bitching episodes and hissy fits like a female who’s on her menstrual cycle”. I don’t recall Freddie Mitchell catching a pass on the day but I do seem to remember “Fedex Safe Hands Freddie” actually dropping a few passes that weren’t even errant throws by the quarterback. And “TO” was complaining about McNabb’s performance in the loss ? And oh, by the way what has Owens since achieved after his abrupt departure from the organization ? “Fu_ck all” , I would say in terms on any tangible success !. No , “absolutely not” the Terrell Owens “reality show” doesn’t count as tangible success ! Well that’s unless you’re talking about his antics off the field in denigrating his former teammates , coaching staff, NFL owners and anyone else who doesn’t “think along” the same lines as he does ? I suppose that’s a “form of tangible success” if it makes you look like “an ever bigger as_hole” than first thought ?

Well this is merely part one of I don’t know many pieces that will take and be done consistently each Friday by myself. But hopefully this lone piece get about some constructive and interesting discussions ? And on passing note 9 time Wimbledon women’s singles champion

Martina Navratilova has been diagnosed with breast cancer. The former champion and winner of over 167 singles titles and a further 174 doubles titles from around the world is said to be cheerful and happy that the oncologist who diagnosed the cancer believes it to benign. However, to be on the safe side she will undergo chemotherapy in Paris , France while she’s there on business, as well her work with the UN and UNICEF . Anyone who has had a female relative or friend be stricken by this debilitating disease knows how hard it can be on the sufferer not just from a physical standpoint but also on a mental aspect as well.

Navritilova has said that she intends to ” beat the cancer” and then upon her recovery she will go out and assist women in a similar fight. She intends to work in conjunction with Susan G Komen Foundation , the largest women’s breast cancer organization of its kind in the United States. To date the foundation has raised in excess of $1.5 billion since the foundation’s inception in 1982. Monies raised goes not just into research but in “the hope of a cure” not just for breast cancer but it also goes towards funding other projects and issues that are causes that primarily affect young women. Grants are also provided in social areas that are of benefit to women around the world but particularly in developing and third world countries around the globe.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Navratilova and I hope that she’s able to make a speedy recovery from her illness. In her prime the ” Czech born American was the most dominant female in women’s tennis. She may well have been the most dominant female athlete the world has ever seen in not just women’s tennis on the Sony Ericcson WTA Tour but quite possibly in women’s sports bar none ! Unfortunately when it comes to dominance in women’s sports it’s not really taken all that seriously in the world of sports journalism. In reality women’s sport is still being treated with either a great deal of skepticism or in some cases just sheer downright ridicule ! It now makes one wonder if the steps taken by former women’s tennis pro Billie Jean King in getting Title IX to be fully recognized and its battle to get it legislated upon in both the House and Senate was really worth it at all ?

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………………. ūüôā


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Aaliyah feat’g Timbaland “Try Again” Soundtrack to the movie
…….”Romeo Must Die ” (2000) . Starring Jet Li, Delroy Lindo, Anthony Anderson ,
Aaliyah Haughton , Russell Wong and D B Woodside.


Andy Reid, Arizona Cardinals, Donovan McNabb, Ken Whisenhunt, Kurt Warner, NFL, Philadelphia Eagles, Sports

Always The Bridesmaid Never The Bride …………….

Well the  Philadelphia  Eagles  have  once  again  fallen at  the  last  obstacle  they’ve  got to  face. Now  when  you  consider  that  over   the  Andy Reid  reign  as coach  of  the  franchise  the  team has  gone  to  5  NFC championship  games   in  ten  years .  And  have  only  once  been  to  the  Superbowl.  One  has to  ask  what   the  franchise   now   has to   do  to  in  order  to  show  their  fans  that  they’re   capable  of  winning  the  big  one. 



Terrelle  Smith and  Gabe Watson  of the  Arizona  Cardinals are  overwhelmed  with  emotion after  the  team's victory  over  the  Philadelphia  Eagles  in the  NFC  championship  game ....................
Terrelle Smith and Gabe Watson of the Arizona Cardinals are overwhelmed with emotion after the team's victory over the Philadlephia Eagles 32-25 .............


Terrelle Smith and¬† Gabe¬† Watson of¬† the¬† Arizona Cardinals¬† are¬† overwhelmed¬†with¬† emotion after¬†the¬† team’s victory¬† having¬† just¬† earned¬† a¬† berth in¬† the¬† NFC¬† championship¬† game with¬† a¬† 32-25 defeat¬† of the¬† Philadelphia¬† Eagles.¬† picture¬† appears¬† courtesy of¬† getty images/Chris¬† Graythen ……….






And  you  know  what   took  place   during  that  infamous  game  against the  New  England  Patriots ?  We  saw  the  play of  Terrell  Owens  and   the  seemingly  meltdown  of  Donovan McNabb.  Owens’  calling  out  of  the  player  in the  aftermath  of  the  loss  was  about as  much  to  expect   from  Owens  himself.  Never  one  to  take  responsibility  for his  own  shortcomings.  But  then again  what  primadonna  player   out   there  ever  is  ?






Sunday’s  NFC  championship  game  against  this  year’s  Cinderella  story  in the  guise  of  the  Arizona  Cardinals,  was  one  for  the  ages.  Both  teams  played  at an  exceptionally  high  level.   McNabb  himself  was  out  there  to  set  himself  apart  and  to  answer  those  who  felt   that  he  was  past  his prime.  His   counterpart   for  the  Cardinals  was  the  ageless  wonder   Kurt  Warner.   And when  one  considers  that  Warner  has  all  but  placed  this   team  on  his  shoulders  and   guided   them  to  their   first   postseason  in  ages.  One  can  understand  the  reason  why  .this  story  more  than  any  other  this  postseason  has  been  the  one  that  everyone  has  been  talking   about.   



A somewhat  inconsolable  Donovan McNabb at  the  postgame press  interview  in  Glendale Arizona ..............................



A somewhat¬† inconsolable¬† Donovan¬† McNabb¬† as¬† the¬† postgame interview¬†¬† in¬† Glendale,¬† Arizona .¬†¬† picture appears¬† courtesy of¬†¬† getty¬† images¬†/Chris¬† Graythen ………………





The Arizona  Cardinals  all  but  thought  of  as  an  afterthought , the  franchise has played    with  abandonment and  passion  this  postseason.   In doing   so  they’ve   taken   care   of  the  Atlanta  Falcons and   Carolina  Panthers.    That  not  being   enough  to  prove their   prowess  this  postseason  they  then  had  to  face  Eagles.  Who for   if  anything   the  NFC championship  game  as  such    has  been a  home  away  from home   as  such  over  the  last  decade.   Ken  Whisenhunt  as  coach  of  the  Cardinals   has  placed  this  team  at  the  pinnacle  of  a season   that  was  totally  unexpected   to  many  within  the  NFL  and  their  fans.    With  their  offensive   potency  and  a  defense  that  has  been  playing  above  themselves   during  this   postseason.  It  was  expected  that  the  Arizona  Cardinals  would  be  the  cannon  fodder   for   the   physical   play  of  the  Philadelphia  Eagles.










For  two  quarters   this   game   was  everything  that  the  Cardinals’ fan had  wished  for  and  more. Taking  a  24-6  lead  many   thought  the   game  to  be  all  but  over.  And  with  the  Eagles   facing   almost  certain  elimination   Donovan McNabb  took  it  upon  himself  to  lead  this  team  back  into  the  game.  Well  he  did  that   and  it  seemed  that  this  was  to  be  their   day. And  with  McNabb  we  know  that  he’ll either  succumb under  real  pressure  or   he’ll   just  fall  short  of  what’s expected.  Well  McNabb didn’t  disappoint  as  he led  the  Eagles  back  into  contention  with a  chance  to  win  the  game.  A 25-24  lead  with   two  and  a half  minutes  to  play  must’ve  seemed  a  godsend  to  the  Eagles’ fans  and  those  watching  live  on   broadcast  television.  What  then  transpired   was  enough  to  make  you  believe  that  there  is  such  a  thing as  fairy  tales.  






Cardinals' strength  coach  John Lott congratulates  Kurt  Warner  after  the  team's  victory over  the  Eagles ..........................
Cardinals' strength coach John Lott congratulates Kurt Warner after the team's victory over the Eagles in the NFC championship game played in Glendale, Arizona .......................



Cardinals’ strength coach¬† John Lott¬† congratulates¬† Kurt Warner¬† after¬† the¬† team’s¬† victory¬† over¬† the¬† Philadelphia¬† Eagles in¬† a¬† game¬† played¬† in¬† Glendale , Arizona.¬† picture appears¬† courtesy of¬† getty¬† images/ Chris¬†¬† Graythen ………………….







Kurt Warner  given  enough  time   can  and  has  shred  a  defense apart  with  his  play.  And  with  him   having   hooked  up  with   Larry  Fitzgerald   three  times  in the  first  half. It begs  the  question why  didn’t  the  Eagles   have  their   defense   keeping  a watchful   eye  on  Tim  Hightower  ?  But  then  again  these   sort  of  lapses   do  happen . And  it  all   but  led to  the  Eagles’  day  ending   in   sorrow.  Not  only  did  Hightower  score  the  winning  touchdown.  But  the  Cardinals  went  on  to score on  the  two  point  conversion   thereby  putting  the  game  beyond   the  Eagles’  reach.   If  nothing  else   for  Andy  Reid  and   Donovan   McNabb   this  may  well  have   been  their   last   chance  and   grasp  of  the  one   professional   prize  that  has  eluded  them  both   over  the  course   their  professional  careers  in  the NFL.   And  if  anything  one  can  assume  that  it  had  to  have  been  heartbreaking   for  not  only  their   fans   but  also  the  players  themselves.   




Edgerrin  James  of  the  Cardinals is  tackled  by  Eagles'  safety  Brian Dawkins  ................................
Edgerrin James of the Cardinals is tackled by the Eagles' safety Brian Dawkins ..............


Edgerrin James¬† of¬† the¬† Cardinals¬† is¬† tackled¬† by¬† Eagles’¬† safety Brian Dawkins .¬† picture¬† appears courtesy of¬† getty images/Phil¬† Dallhauser ……………………..




The result  32-25   now   guarantees   Whisenhunt’s   team   a  berth  as  the  NFC  representative  in  Superbowl  XLIII in  Tampa  on  the  1st February.  Their  opponents  there  will  be  the  Pittsburgh  Steelers.   The  Steelers   will  be  looking  to  raise  the  Lombardi  trophy  for  the  sixth time.  And   with  their  coach  Mike Tomlin  looking   to become  only  the  second   African  American  coach   to  win a  Superbowl  as  a coach.  Some  historic  precedences  will  be  set   whomever   raises  the  trophy.






It’s been  a  long  time  coming   for  the   Arizona  Cardinals  but  it  may  well  be  a  long  time   before  we’ll  ever  see  the  Philadelphia  Eagles  again  in  this  sort of  a  scenario.   So  close   but   yet  so   far   away.



Andy Reid, Arizona Cardinals, Donovan McNabb, Ken Whisenhunt, Kurt Warner, New England Patriots, NFL, NFL Divisional playoffs, Philadelphia Eagles

The Feel Good Story Of The NFL Weekend ……………..

Well it has to go without saying  that  the Arizona  Cardinals’ play  this season has come as  a surprise to all.  Never  mind  the fact that  they won a woefully  lamentable division (NFC West) with a  9-7 record.  That in ofitself  should be  enough to suggest  to  us  all  how  bad  the  division really is.  Now some  of  you might say  well  what  about  the AFC  West ?   Well  that’s a  story for  another  day  at  this  juncture. 






Coach  Ken Whisenhunt  in but  his  second season with the franchise has  them  heading  in the right  direction.  And  who’d  have  thought that a journeyman  quarterback  who  many  had  left  for  dead  would be  leading the  team’s  resurrection.  Matt Leinart with  his  Hollywood looks  and  college  football pedigree  was  thought of  as being  the  franchise  quarterback  needed  to lead the  team.  But  instead  it’s  been  left to two-time league  MVP Kurt Warner  to  lead  and  lead  by  example.




Teammates Antonio Smith  Antrel Rolle  and   Roderick Hood  celebrate  Hood's  interception  in the game against  Carolina..................
Arizona Cardinals' teammates Antonio Smith, Roderick Hood and Antrel Rolle celebrate Hood's interception during the game against the Csrolina Panthers ........



Antonio Smith(94) and teammates Antrel Rolle (21) and Roderick Hood(26)¬† celebrate Hood’s¬† interception against the¬† Carolina Panthers.¬† The¬† Arizona¬† Cardinals would¬† go on to win the¬† 33-13. picture appears¬† courtesy¬† ap/photo/Ken Hambleton ………………….







Though not totally  unexpected by their own  fans  Arizona’s  complete and  utter dismantling  of  the  Carolina  Panthers,  was  about as  efficient  and  comprehensive  as anyone  could’ve  wished  to  have  seen from a  team.  And  the  play of  wide  receiver  Larry  Fitzgerald  was  outstanding.  If he’s  not  the  most  dynamic  player  at  his  position within the league  at  present.  Then  I’d  like  for someone  out there  to  tell  me  who  is ?





The Carolina  Panthers  guided  by  coach John Fox had  his  team ready  to  play  and  no doubt  ready  to  make  their way  to  the  NFC championship  game  without  too  much trouble  or  stress. What unfolded  during  the  game  gives  us  reason to believe  that  you  should never   count  all  of  your  eggs  before  they’re  hatched.  Panthers’  quarterback  Jake  Delhomme  had  one  of those days  at the   office  that  no  doubt he’d  rather   forget.  As  he  was  harassed  and  manhandled  by  the Cardinals’  defense. Cardinals’  defense ?   Now  there’s something  that  you don’t  often  see  or  hear.




Disheartened Steve Smith and  teammate Brad Hoover of the  Carolina Panthers seated on the sidelines  during the waning moments of  the game ..............
Disheartened Steve Smith seated on the sidelines along with teammate Brad Hoover in the waning moments of the game played against the Arizona Cardinals....................


Disheartened¬† Steve Smith and¬† teammate¬† Brad¬† Hoover¬† seated on the sidelines¬† during¬† the waning¬† moments¬† of¬† the¬† game.¬† picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Roger¬† Masterson …………………….








I, as an avid  fan  of  the NFL  was expecting  to see  Carolina  prevail  but  little did  I have  in mind  what  millions  of  fans  nationally  witnessed  in  watching   the  game  on network television.  Never  mind  the fact  that  fans  there  in the  Panthers’  home  stadium were  watching.  Perhaps a shock to their  system  ?  What  unfolded  was something  that  even the  most fervent  fan   couldn’t  have  expected. Arizona  set  about beating  the  Carolina Panthers  mercilessly  and  did  in  such a  way  that  you’d be  questioning  which of  the  team was infact  favored   to begin with.   The  oddsmakers  in Vegas  most  certainly  had  to  have  been  offering  favorable  odds  towards Carolina.  But then again  the guys  in Vegas  do  tend  to  know  that  they’re   doing  the  majority  of the  time.







Now  for me  to suggest  that  the  result  of this  game  would  end  up  being  33-13 in a  victory  for  Arizona.  I’d  dare  say  that  a number   of  you  would  have  felt  that  I’d  been some  top of the  line  narcotics.  But  since  I don’t  do  anything of  that  nature .  one  can  only  surmise  that  this  was just  one  of those  rarities  where  the  stars  had  to  have  aligned  for  the Cardinals  on the day. In  reality  however  they  just  completely outplayed  their  NFC counterpart in  almost every  facet of  the  game.   So  much  so  that  their  defense  was  simply  outstanding and  they  offered  the  Panthers  no  respite. It  was a rarity  on this  day  where  the  Cardinals   and  their  fans  learnt  what is  was  like  finally  to garner  and  gain the   respect  of  their   peers.  Over the  years  the  franchise  has  been often likened  to  a  bottom feeder  of  the  NFL.  And  the  Bidwell  family  as  the  franchise owners  were  viewed   as  nothing  more  than  vultures.   Funny  what  success  can  then  do  to  a  change  in attitude  as  to  how  an organization is  viewed.  Now  the  Cardinals  await the  Philadelphia  Eagles  in the NFC  championship  game  and  are just  one  game  away  from   gaining   a berth  in the  Superbowl.





Kurt Warner  of the Arizona Cardinals acknowledges  the  applause  of the crowd after the  team's  victory over the  Carolina Panthers  33-13 ..................
Kurt Warner acknowledges the applause of the crowd after the team's victory 33-13 over the Carolina Panthers ...................


Kurt Warner acknowledges the applause of the crowd after¬† the¬† team’s 33-13 victoryy over¬† the¬† Carolina Panthers.¬†¬† picture appears courtesy¬† of¬† ap/photo/Ken Hambleton …………………………….





On this  day it  was  all  about the  Cardinals  and  what  they’ve  achieved  this  season  is  a  bye product  of  having  a  good  coach and  players  who  bought  into  his system. But  it’s only  that  but  the  fact  that  their  fans  after so  many  years  of  futility have  still  seen fit  to  show  their  faith  in the  team.  It  shouldn’t  come  as  any  surprise  that  as  hosts  of the  NFC championship  game  at  their  stadium  in Glendale, Arizona .  All  of the  tickets  have been  sold  out.  The fact  that  this  all happened  within   6  hours   only  leads me  to  believe  that the   fans   there  having  been starved  of  success  for  so long  are   hoping   for  something  special  to  happen  this   Sunday.







The  task in  facing  the  Eagles  won’t  be an  easy  one.  As  the  Eagles  themselves  have  had  their  own  struggles  this  season.  They’ve  been  able  to overcome  them  and  play with  a  great  deal  of  resolve, as evidenced  by  their   postseason  displays.  They  made  short  work  of  the  New York  Giants   and  are looking  to  do the  same  with  the  Arizona  Cardinals.  But  I  doubt  Andy  Reid’s  team  will  be  looking  that  far  ahead  with  regard to the  Superbowl.  They  know  that they’re  facing  a  team  in the  Cardinals   that  after   some   long  mean and   meager  years   are on the threshold  of   doing  something  big.  And if  it  means  bursting  the  Eagles’  bubble  once again.  Then I’m  sure   that’s  what  they’ll  be  prepared to  do. And  in doing  so,  deprive  Donovan McNabb and  Andy Reid  the  one  major  prize that  has  eluded  them professionally  over the  years.  Five  visits  to  the  NFC  championship  notwithstanding  and  just  one  Superbowl  appearance  which  ended in  a  loss.   A  loss  now  would  for  all  sense  and  purpose be  deemed  a  tragedy  of  monumental  proportions.




Larry Fitzgerald makes  a leaping  catch during  the  game against the Carolina  Panthers  .................
Larry Fitzgerald hauls a catch during the game against the Panthers ..................


Larry Fitzgerald¬† hauls in¬†a pass¬† from¬† Kurt Warner during the¬† game.¬† picture¬† appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Matt Isselman ……………¬†






The loss to the New England Patriots was  enough  to damper  the  ardor  the  Eagles’ fans.  And as alluded to  previously  a  loss  the  Cardinals this  time  around  would  be  viewed  with  immense  displeasure to  the  fans and  something  of a failure  within  the organization.  If  this  meant to  be  the  Eagles’ year .  Then  they’re   going  to have to  deal  with  the  Cardinals  with  a great  deal  of  efficiency.  This  is certainly  not  a  team  to  be  taken  lightly as they’ve  proven  that they  can  play with  the  best  of  them. 








For the  Arizona  Cardinals  and  their  fans  it   would  be  viewed  as  divine  intervention  from  up  above.  If  nothing  else  they’ve   languished for  long enough within the  depths of  mediocrity,  looking  at  long  last  to  be viewed as  a  credible  entity  within  the  NFL.  Scripted or  unscripted  stories  like  this  when  they come  along  are   often  viewed  as  heartfelt  and  warming  to  the  heart.

Brian Westbrook, Donovan McNabb, Eli Manning, New York Giants, NFL, NFL Divisional playoffs, Philadelphia Eagles, Sports

Well The Sound That You Hear ……….

The sound you hear  are  those  of the  Eagles and  Giants’ fans looking  to  hold sway  this  weekend as to the  two teams  meet in  the  divisional rounds  of  the  playoffs.  It’d   appear to  be the marquee matchup  of  the  round.  Albeit  that the  fans  of  the  Arizona  Cardinals  and  Carolina Panthers  might be  of  a different  opinion  altogether.



Manning throws an incomplete pass whilst being tackled by the  Eagles' Trent Cole  and  Darren Howard in a regular season  game won by the Eagles  20-14....................
Eli Manning attempts a pass whilst being tackled by the Eagles Trent Cole and Darren Howard in regular season game which was won by the Eagles 20-14 ...................


Eli Manning¬† attempts¬† a pass while¬† being tackled by¬† the¬† Eagles’ Trent Cole¬† and Darren Howard¬† in¬† an¬† earlier regular season¬† meeting¬† between the¬† two¬† teams. The Philadelphia Ealges would go on¬† to defeat the¬† New York Giants¬† 20-14 in the¬† game played¬†in East Rutherford, New Jersey.¬† picture appears¬† courtesy of¬† ap/photo/ Thom¬†¬†Brennan…………..¬†






And whilst  we  can all agree  that  these are  of the  better  teams within the  NFC . One cannot overlook the  season  that  both the  Cardinals  and  Panthers have  had.  Painstakingly Kurt Warner  has guided  his  team into  the  playoffs . And  their defeat  of  the Atlanta  Falcons was  a welcome and  pleasant  surprise  to many.   The Panthers for their part  not to be outdone  have  played  at  a high  level .  And their quarterback Jake Delhomme  seems to be  back  at  his  level best.  He’s being  ably supported by  the duo of  receivers  Steve Smith and Muhsin Muhammad.   Less  we  forget  also  they  possess a very potent  running  back  tandem. 






The game however between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles  will no  doubt  go  a long  way  letting  us  know who’s  likely to be the presumptive  favorite to  make  out of the  NFC.  And that’s with no disrespect  to  either  Cardinals  or Panthers.  As  good as  they  both are , the  Eagles  and  Giants  on  paper would  appear to  have  a much  balanced  roster. Donovan McNabb  of the  Eagles  and  Eli Manning  have  both  raised  the  level of  their  play  and  at the  same time have  their  teammates  believing  that  they’re  ready  to  take  it up  a level or  two  as  need be.



Jared Allen of the Minnesota Vikings  forces a fumble as Donovan McNabb attempts a pass in their wildcard game won by the Eagles 26-14..........................
Jared Allen of the Minnesota Vikings forces a fumbles as Donovan McNabb attempts a pass. The Eagles would go on to win the game 26-14 .................


Jared Alen of the Minnesota Vikings forces a fumble¬†as the Eagles’ Donovan McNabb attempts¬† a pass during their wildcard berth¬† game .¬† The Eagles¬† would go on to win the game 26-14.¬† picture¬† appears courtesy of¬† getty¬† images/ Adrian Ward¬†¬† ……………





Both teams defensively  are  no  novices  and  if  anything  that’s  been  one  of  their  strengths.  We’ve   seen this  evidence  as  to the  way  that  both  have  played thus  far  in the  postseason.  They’ve  been  staunch  and  miserly  as and when  necessary.  The  game itself may  well  come  down to the  play  of  both  quarterbacks  and the  protection  that  they’ll  receive  from their  offensive  lines.  That may well be  how  the battle  in  the  trenches will  be  won.  Brian  Westbrook  will  have  to be kept  in  check  also  if  the  Giants  are  to prevail.  They  cannot allow  him to have  any  room  in the backfield  or  at  the same time  allow him  to  catch  the  ball and gain  yardage.  He’s  quite  able to do  that  and  punish the opposing  team’s  defense  quite  ably. 







The Giants  are not  without  their own  offensive  weapons  and they too  will  be looking to  take  whatever  advantage  that they can of  the Eagles’  defense.  So it’ll be very intriguing  to see  what  both  teams  will  have in  store  for one  another.  Both Andy  Reid  and  his counterpart  Tom Coughlin know what’s  at  stake  for both  teams.  And for  the  Eagles  in particular  this may well be  the last  chance  for McNabb as  a  player  to  prove  once and  for  all  that  he  can  lead  a  team  to  the  NFC  championship,  having  won  it.  But this  time  lead  them to  another  appearance  in the  Superbowl  and  perhaps this  time  around   acquit himself  well.   The  acrimony of  the  team’s  last   appearance and  their  loss to New  England  still no  doubt  lingers  fresh  in his  mind at  that  of  the  fans.   Never  mind  the  fact that  his  courage  and  manhood  came into question  by  his  former teammate  Terrell  Owens.  Who’s  now sitting  at  home  alongside  his  teammates  on the Dallas Cowboys’  team.   So much  for the  fact  that  everyone  as  such  felt  that the  Cowboys were the  presumptive favorites  to win it  all.     Their  luster  is now beginning to look  like  that of an old  family heirloom that’s  gathering  a  great  deal  of  dust.  But  the  thought  is  that it’s  still  good  to take out  and  have  a  look at  when  visitors  come to  visit.






Much  as  I  like the  look of  both  teams  and how far  they’ve   both  come.  I’m of  the  opinion that this  may  well be  the  one  game that  when it’s all said  and  done.  It  could prove  to be  the  decisive  competitive  game  that’s  played  this  postseason.   The Superbowl itself notwithstanding  has a way  of either  exciting  us  or  letting  us  down when it  comes to  the overall standard of  play and  excitement.  OK  so last  year  we had  the  David Tyree catch.  But beyond  that   was  there  really  anything  else that   got   your  juices  flowing  other than seeing  the  New England Patriots being  upended  the way  that they were ?  Eli Manning  ended being  the  game  MVP and   Plaxico  Burress  proved to  us  that he  does  have  his  uses  when  he’s not  idly spending  the  time  either making  an ass  of  himself  or  shooting  himself  accidentally  in the foot, allegedly.






So come  game  time  it’ll  be  all or nothing  for  both  teams  and  absolutely  nothing  can be left to chance.  Each  team has  set  its  sights  on the  NFC  championship   game. But the  real goal  will  be   a  berth  in Superbowl XLIII and  the  chance  to  raise  the  Lombardi Trophy  aloft.   So  that’ll be  the  sound  that  you  hear  as the  fans  of  both  teams look to  lay  claim  that  they’re on  their way  to giving  it the  best  that  they’ve  got , with  their  fans in unison  playing  their  part as well.







Andy Reid, Brian Westbrook, Donovan McNabb, Eli Manning, New England Patriots, New York Giants, NFC East, NFL, Sports, Tom Coughlin

Make No Bones About It ………….

 Make no bones about it the divisional playoffs  now upcoming within the NFL  is more about the fate  of  the teams than one can really imagine.  We’ve seen  the rise of the Philadelphia Eagles who were left for dead by  many.  We’d seen the demise of  the Dallas Cowboys  long  seen as the presumptive  favorites  to win  it all.




Manning  tires to evade  Eagles' defensive players  and in  doing so throws  an incomplete pass .........
Manning attempts to evade the Eagles’ defensive players Trent Cole(58) and Darren Howard ………………


Manning tires to evade two Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive players Trent Cole(58) and Darren Howard. And in doing so he throws an incomplete pass. The Philadelphia Eagles would go on to prevail and¬† win the regular season game 20-14. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Bill Kostroun ……….



For  the  Cowboys however their  season  ended rather  abruptly with a thud as they  succumbed  to a rather  embarrassing  loss  to their  divisional rivals  the Philadelphia Eagles 44-6 at season’s end.  And  now the  Eagles will  face  the reigning Superbowl  champions the New York Giants . In  what it is  sure to  be a  game  played  with  a great deal of  enthusiasm  and passion. Both  teams  have been  playing  at  a high  standard and  it’s  hard to say who’ll come put  on top.  Both  are  equally voracious  in attitude  when it comes to defense.  But  if  anything  the  Giants may  well have  the  edge  when it comes  to  the  offensive  capabilities. Albeit  that as of late  the Eagles with the play of their  veteran  quarterback  Donovan McNabb and  their  wily  running back  Brian Westbrook have shown  that  they’re  back to their old selves and  are  equally as  dangerous  as anything  that  the  Giants have to  offer.   


Eagles' defensive end  tackles the Vikings' wide receiver Bernard Berrian ...........
Eagles' defensive end Chris Clemons tackles the Vikings' wide receiver Bernard Berrian ...............


Eagles’ defensive end Chris Clemons tackles¬† the Vikings’ Bernard Berrian during the wildcard playoff¬† game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings. The¬†Eagles would prevail winning the¬† game 26-14 in a game played¬† in the Metrodome in Minneapolis. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Tom Olmscheid ……………..



Well  with this  upcoming  game  and  their  reputations on the  line as  well  as  berth  in the conference championship. This game offers up  a great  deal  for the fans  of  both  teams as  well as  the  viewing audience. The  New York  Giants under the  guidance  of Eli Manning will be  looking  to successfully defend  the  Lombardi Trophy and  at the  same  time become first team  to successfully defend the  title  since  the New  England Patriots. And as we all know  the Patriots’ unbeaten season  ended  at  the  hands of the  Giants in Superbowl XLII last season. Of which no doubt tears  are  still being  spilt  over  that  bitter  loss at  the  hands  of the New Yorkers  by way of  New Jersey.


Brian Westbrook is  off to the races ashe scampers on a 71yd touchdown run against the Vikings  .........
Brian Westbrook is off to the races as he scampers off on a 71 yd touchdown run against the Vikings .........

Brian Westbrook is off to the races¬† as he¬†scampers¬†for¬†a 71 yard touchdown run against the Minnesota¬†Vikings in their playoff game. picture appears courtesy of getty images/Elsa Martinez¬† …………………..


While I’ve no horse  to  ride in this particular matchup it is  one  of the games  that I  for one  am really looking  forward to. As to the other games they’re all intriguing  in their own particular way. If  there’s one thing however  that I’m  pleased with  thus  far in terms  of the  games played. It’s the  mere  fact that they’ve  all been entertaining  and  played with a great deal  of  sportsmanship and  without any  officiating  controversy.  That’s not to say  that  this won’t  happen as the  postseason continues to  unfold.


Tavaris Jackson of the  Minnesota Vikings attempts a pass under pressure  from the Giants' defensive player Fred Robbins  ........
Vkings' quarterback Tavaris Jackson attempts a pass whilst being presured by the Giants' defensive player Fred Robbins ..........

Vikings’ quarterback Tavaris Jackson¬†attempts a pass under pressure¬†from Giants’ defensive player Fred¬† Robbins. picture¬† appears courtesy of¬† getty images/Elsa Martinez ……………


Andy Reid and his counterpart  Tom Coughlin are two  coaches  with the  credentials and  acclaim that’s widely acknowledged as being amongst the  best  that the game has  to offer. Though earlier in the  season Eagles’ fans  were all but  decrying  Reid  and  McNabb as  being  complete idiots.  Things  have changed  to such an extent that  they may well be thought of as being  deities within the city of Philadelphia. And off course we  all know how  fickle  the  fans  in the  city of Philadelphia  can be about  their professional sport’s franchises. If  they  can boo Mike  Schmidt , Santa Claus,  then  why  not  the likes of  McNabb or  Reid ? Such are the  machinations  of the fans  in  Philadelphia.



I’ll preface this  by saying  that  once this  game  starts  I’ll  be  glued  to  my  television set  watching  with  baited  breathe as  things  unfold  over the  course  of the  game. Chances  are  that  the game  may  well be  too close to call and  as I  don’t  consider  myself  a prognosticator  just an  ardent  sport’s  fan.  I’ll  just watch  with  glee  and  hope  that the  game itself  will  be  thoroughly  entertaining. Not  just  for the  sake  of  the fan but for  the  sake  of  the  game itself. At this juncture  we  want the game  to  filled  with excitement and  intrigue if  nothing  else. What are your  thoughts on the  game ?






tophatal ………………….