Adam Reger | Pittsburgh Writer

Pittsburgh writer, editor, and ghostwriter

Tag: Philadelphia

Shifting Loyalties; or, Imperfect Revenge Storylines in Eagles vs. Redskins

In various sports media this week, I’ve seen the suggestion a few times that when former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb returns to Philadelphia this Sunday, fans there will boo him. I suspect, and certainly I hope, that this will prove an absurdly pessimistic view of Philly sports fans (whose reputation for sourness is deserved, overstated, and in a perverse way a kind of badge of honor which they are constantly trying to justify by bad behavior). Few Philadelphians would really argue that McNabb helped usher in a decade of success for the Eagles, and is empirically the best quarterback the franchise has ever had. He rarely got them over the NFC Championship-game hump, true enough, and never won the big one, but the Eagles won far more games because of McNabb than he lost for them. Indeed, thinking about the offensive weapons the Eagles have now, versus their receiving corps during the 2002 and 2003 seasons, it’s a wonder McNabb got the team as far as he did with James Thrash, Todd Pinkston, and Freddie Mitchell catching balls. (Remember that before McNabb went south to D.C., Thrash did—and on a Redskins team that consistently finished behind the Eagles in the standings and, especially, in offensive statistics, he couldn’t hold on to a receiver spot and was relegated to the special teams.)

And yet, my loyalties on Sunday will be clear and firm. I will be thrilled to see Trent Cole and/or Brandon Graham (or the thrilling new addition Darryl Tapp) bury McNabb, or Asante Samuel step in front of a pass. (Or it would be swell if Nate Allen, whom the Eagles drafted with the second-round pick they got from Washington in the McNabb trade, intercepted McNabb.) I worry about what Washington tight end Chris Cooley might do, covered by the Eagles’ suspect linebacking unit (although Cooley is on my fantasy football team, so you might say my loyalties are divided in this area). But on the whole I am confident, and looking forward to the game for the reasons I usually do: I expect a decisive and satisfying Eagles win.

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Weekend wrap-up

This past weekend was an excellent one for comedy, as I (in chronological order) scored a VHS copy of the great “Weird” Al Yankovic movie UHF at a Philadelphia used bookshop; watched a great, great show put on by Paul F. Tompkins as part of his “Tompkins 300” tour; and, last but not least, met Tom Scharpling. He showed up to support his friend and frequent “Best Show” guest. He’d seen the show in New York, which I deduced by the fact that he started laughing into his hand just before most of the really good bits.

Lesser lights from the weekend: my Philly food experience. For whatever reason, that Wawa Italian hoagie didn’t go down quite as smoothly as it has, so dependably, in the past.