February 6, 2016
By Tom Taft Although it will come as a surprise to many, the NFL is a socialist institution. As the country prepares to watch Super Bowl 50, are there any lessons to be learned from its success? The NFL is essentially run by a central government that has the final word on everything. It's a government determined to compete effectively to maximize its share of available entertainment and advertising dollars, even at the expense of the performance of a given person or group within the system.
September 1, 2015 |
GREEN BAY - Understatement is kind of a Chip Kelly thing, and the guys who end up being Chip's guys - a group that certainly would seem to include Sam Bradford - quickly adopt that mode, if they didn't come preprogrammed with it. But Bradford, who waited so long to unfurl what he unfurled Saturday night at Lambeau Field, couldn't fully contain himself, after completing 10 of 10 passes for 121 yards and three touchdowns in three series of...
August 31, 2015 |
GREEN BAY, Wis. - Reporters talking to Kiko Alonso this week about his Eagles debut, set for tonight's preseason game at Lambeau Field, wanted to get a sense of how Alonso felt about having been away from live action so long; he tore his left ACL getting ready for training camp in 2014, and hasn't played since the final game of the Buffalo Bills' 2013 season. "Long time," Alonso agreed, nodding. "Long time. " Alonso lapsed into silence. The reporters awaited further illumination.
August 28, 2015 |
EAGLES RADIO VOICE Merrill Reese was disappointed when he entered the NovaCare media room yesterday and heard that Aaron Rodgers isn't expected to play when the Eagles visit Green Bay tomorrow night. Someone observed that Rodgers, 31, a two-time NFL MVP, probably doesn't need to play the Eagles in the preseason to get ready to lead the Packers into the games that count. "Yes, but I need him to play!" Reese joked. Like many fans and media observers, Reese had been looking forward to seeing how the Eagles' much-discussed defensive improvements would stack up, even in a meaningless game, against the NFC's top quarterback.
August 27, 2015 |
LAMBEAU FIELD is where the overhaul began, isn't it? Technically, the Eagles still had six games left, and a 7-3 record, and a great chance at the playoffs. But consider the words Chip Kelly used last month when he offered his opinion on where the Eagles were at the end of last season. Not close. Where did they look less close than ever? Lambeau Field. After each of the Eagles' other five losses, you could envision a scenario in which a few shrewd tweaks would result in a different outcome.
June 20, 2015 |
For a moment, assume the worst for Sam Bradford. Picture him at Lambeau Field on Aug. 29, dropping back to pass against the Packers during the Eagles' third preseason game. The third exhibition game is a team's most important preseason game. It's the dress rehearsal for the regular season. It's Bradford's best chance, maybe his only chance before the final score starts to matter, to answer the questions about whether, after tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament twice in a 10-month span, he can make Chip Kelly's offense purr like a Ferrari 458 over 16 games.
January 10, 2015 |
Despising the Dallas Cowboys never really goes out of vogue around here. The needle on the hate-o-meter just fluctuates based on how well or poorly the team that Jerry Jones bought is playing. With the Cowboys having already dethroned the Eagles as NFC East champions and set to play in an NFC divisional playoff game in Green Bay on Sunday, this is obviously a time in which the needle is tilting to the far right. Speaking of the right, Gov. Christie, a lifelong lover of the Cowboys despite being a lifelong resident of the less-vegetative northern end of the Garden State, has added a unique twist to the Dallas disdain.
November 17, 2014 |
GREEN BAY, Wis. - Reading too much into one 60-minute act of football is always a perilous exercise in the 21st-century NFL. Today's team of destiny could be tomorrow's downgraded discard, and yesterday's rejects always have a shot at redemption the following week. Now that we have that disclaimer out of the way, let's say this about what transpired in the wind and cold at Lambeau Field late Sunday afternoon: The Eagles looked so feeble and inferior against quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers that it is difficult to imagine them coming back here in January and winning a far more meaningful game.
November 15, 2014 |
THERE'S A CHANCE that if you've seen the Green Bay Packers play more than once this season, you've seen them play really well and also really, really poorly. The Packers looked amazing in last Sunday night's 55-14 dismemberment of a bitter rival, the Chicago Bears. But remember that Thursday night game at Seattle, the league's season opener, that ended with the Packers losing, 36-16? Every NFL pundit rushed to his Twitter account to proclaim that the Seahawks were going to repeat as the Super Bowl champs.
November 13, 2014 |
CHIP KELLY said facing Aaron Rodgers on Sunday is "going to be a lot of fun. " Fun is kayaking down the Colorado River or skiing Snowbird. Fun is a European river cruise or front-row seats at a Springsteen concert or salmon-fishing in Alaska or driving a Ferrari. Going up against arguably the game's best quarterback on his own turf would seem to be about as much fun as getting a colonoscopy. But if you're a confident 7-2 football team that is eager to see how far it has come and how far it may still have to go, well, then I guess I can see how you might view Sunday's game against the red-hot Rodgers and the Packers at Lambeau Field as fun. The Eagles are coming off perhaps their best defensive performance of the season.