Gonzo: Vital pregame analysis

Posted: September 07, 2008

There's a hilarious scene in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy where the members of various news stations around town gather to fight gangland style. Too many outlets in San Diego, they mutually decide, so they grab tire irons and chains and do battle.

Philly needs to thin the field, too.

The market is saturated with Eagles entertainment in the hours before game time. Between Comcast SportsNet's new Pre-Game Live, and the offerings on WYSP-FM and WIP-AM, there are far too many suitors for your attention leading up to kickoff. How's a busy Eagles fan supposed to pick one?

Don't worry. We have you covered. What follows is an evaluation of the three major pregame programs.

Each member of a show will be assigned an individual point total, which will then be added or subtracted from the team's overall score. Most points wins the First Annual Pregame Show Rumble.

Remember, this is all very scientific.

WYSP

Howard Eskin: Andy Reid loves to whisper information in Eskin's ear, but it's hard to tell where Eskin's beliefs end and team propaganda begins. (-3)

Bill Bergey and Kevin Reilly: Pregame Show Rule 1 - every team must have a former Eagle. YSP has two. (+8)

Rich Hofmann: For a while, he rocked a quality '70s porn 'stache. Then he shaved. (-2)

Intangibles: Management loves changing the station's format. Here's hoping they give circus music a try in the middle of a discussion about Lito Sheppard. (+5)

Total: +8

WIP

Reuben Frank: We worked together at a place I try not to think about anymore, for people I'd like to forget. Reuben is still there. I'm sending him a cake with a file in it. Tunnel, Reuben, tunnel. (+2)

Glen Macnow: No screaming. No blather. Mercifully, Macnow is smart and smooth. (+5)

Rhea Hughes: Pregame Show Rule 2 - every team must have a voice of reason. (+5)

Hugh Douglas: Anyone who calls himself a "bad-ass-ador" and scraps with T.O. has value. (+6)

Joe Conklin: This isn't politics. They aren't debating how to prevent another Russia-Georgia flare-up. Someone needs to remember sports are fun. (+3)

Eskin: Yup, he's pulling double duty. (-3)

Intangibles: Six people? Who isn't on this show? Was the guy who plays Ben Franklin not available to join the ensemble cast? (-2)

Total: +16

Comcast SportsNet

Ray Didinger: Easily the most knowledgeable football analyst in town. (+6)

Ed Rendell: Ever read A Prayer for the City? (+7)

Vaughn Hebron: The analysis is good. The suits are better. (+4)

Michael Barkann: Pregame Show Rule 3 - like real football, every team must have a solid quarterback, someone to advance the conversation. Barkann is an all-pro. (+6)

Intangibles: She won't be in-studio, but adding Kathy Romano (of WMMR-FM fame) to the team is still genius - equal to the Eagles signing a No. 1 receiver. (+10)

Total: +33.

And there you have it. After an exhaustive study, The Inquirer officially recommends Comcast SportsNet for all your before-kickoff needs.

(Ed. Note: The only thing The Inquirer "officially recommends" is buying more newspapers. They're here to stay. Tell your friends.)

A quick public-service announcement from SportsWit': Are you heading to the Eagles game or gathering with friends to watch it? Do you plan to don a team jersey? If so, you may want to think twice.

Some people - many of them media killjoys - think jerseys are silly. Not us. Here at SportsWit', we support your right to throw one on - within reason. As you prepare for today's game, there are some general rules you might want to observe to save you and those you love any embarrassment. To wit:

1. No kickers. Saw a guy walking down Walnut Street the other day wearing a David Akers jersey. Not a good look. We fully understand that Akers does kung fu or some such, and that Ralph Macchio and Chuck Norris would be no match for him. We are also aware that Sav Rocca is twice the size of a normal punter. Doesn't matter. No. Kickers.

2. No personalized jerseys. You do not play for the Eagles. No Jablonskis, Spankertons, Jaspers or other names not on the roster should be stitched across your shoulders. We can't emphasize this enough.

3. Only some throwbacks are allowed. Reggie White and Jerome Brown are fine. Todd Pinkston and Mike Mamula are not.

4. No alterations under any circumstances. If your favorite player was cut, retired, traded, or died in a horrible fire, that doesn't mean you're suddenly permitted to put masking tape over the name and write someone else in. Unless you're pushing a shopping cart and picking aluminum cans out of the garbage, that's simply unacceptable.

That's it. Follow these rules and wear your jersey with pride.

Planet Gonzo

Is there a single fan in town who isn't excited to see what DeSean Jackson can do? . . . Now that the season is finally upon us, I pray the insufferable Manning brothers commercials will cease . . . Will the Eagles be pushing the "Go Green" thing on us all year? Can't we just watch football and crusade on the planet's behalf some other time? I'm reminded of Mr. Burns' wise words on The Simpsons: "Oh, so Mother Nature needs a favor? Well, maybe she should have thought of that when she was besetting us with droughts and floods and poison monkeys! Nature started the fight for survival, and now she wants to quit because she's losing? Well I say hard cheese."

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