Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Notes

My new column is up. I talked about the difficulty of winning a title. I happened to hear a great interview with Jerry West on the way home last week and couldn't help but think of the similarities between his Lakers and our Eagles. Lots of success, but no titles...until late in his career.

Jerry told some great NBA stories. The league was doing a lot to promote itself back then because of the lack of a huge fan base. One year the Lakers and Celtics played 13 exhibition games around America. They played in small towns in Cali. They played in Bangor, Maine. They were all over the place. How weird is that? The teams then faced off 10 times in the season. 23 games between them in a preseason/regular season. Wow. West said he still hates the color green to this day.

Here's the article:


* Cornelius Ingram is back on the field today. Sounds like his knee is fine.

The 3 Kings of (Spadaro, McPherson, and Kent) have up some interesting blurbs in the Bloghead feature. Rather than paraphrase them, here's the link:

The full team passing camp gets underway Tuesday. It will be good to see how the rookies and new guys do there as compared to the post-draft mini-camp. Let's hope the guys show improvement and continue to look good. Training Camp is still 6 or 7 weeks away.



izzylangfan said...

Your observations in the article about how Reid has changed are right on.

I think another important way he as changed (at least possibly) is that he no longer just hopes things will work out. He attacks potential weaknesses more aggressively. We all remember how Reid used to say "we'll be OK there". He said that about Kirkland and Simeneau at middle linebacker. It was just lucky that Trotter fell back into Reid's lap for a couple of years. He kept saying that about punt and kick returns and fullback in the last couple of years. Last year he handled the punt and kick returns. But this year he really handled the red zone/short yardage problems by bolstering the line, hiring a fullback, getting a backup running back and tight end and drafted an extraordinary receiver in the first round. In addition to avoid other potential problems he doubled and tripled up on safeties and corners as well as punt and kick returners. The competition on the defensive line is for a fourth tackle and for playing time at end. So I feel Reid this year has been more proactive in trying to head off potential problems at the pass (no pun intended - well maybe but just for fun).

Prem Prakash said...

I certainly agree it is very, very difficult to win a title at the level of the three big professional sports. It takes a combination of the right players, coaching, timing, and at least a couple good breaks along the way. I also agree the Birds have made some very dramatic moves this off-season to address their weak points and propel themselves into a discussion as to wether or not this will be the championship year. Andy may be stubborn but he is no fool and certainly wants to win.

Finally, though I have been an Andy supporter for his whole time here, I think it reasonable to acknowledge a number of weaknesses in his planning that have kept the Eagles from coming home with the Lombardi. Izzylangfan mentions several of them in his response.

One of my best Eagles buddies argues that the team's strategy has been a success, in that he is happy having the team in the run every year. He's happy when they make the playoffs as it shows they were a winning team and it keeps the season alive. I kind of agree with him but, all things considered, I wish Big Red had learned these lessons and the f.o. had made a few quicker adjustments a couple years ago when Trotter, Dawk, and a couple of my other favorites were still here.

Cliff said...

The NBA should do more regular season "home/road hybrid" games, I think. When the ABA existed, Virginia had a pro team called the Squires who split time between Richmond, Hampton and Norfolk. That essentially covered half the state.

How cool would it be if the Washington Wizards played a "home" game in Richmond or Norfolk? I can testify that virtually no one in southeast Virginia (Hampton Roads) considers the Wizards their "home team," but if they played as game or two every year in the region, they could expand their fan base.

Other possibilities are the Charlotte Bobcats playing in the Triangle or the Magic/Heat playing in Jacksonville.

The NBA can more easily accomplish this because most mid-to-major cities have arenas that seat above 15,000 people. If the NFL can play some of their 8 "home" games in Toronto, the NBA can play a few of their 41 home games in diff. cities too.

Cliff said...

This is sort of to expand on Prem's comments... we've all been frustrated with Andy Reid at some point for various things, but this is a better team than the one with Dawk and Trotter. Reid has made mistakes, but the process of him learning from those mistakes has led to the team we have now.