January 2007 Archives

Superbowl Box Odds

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This week I am gearing up for the Superbowl. Sadly, my beloved Eagles won't be making an appearance, but I am still very excited to watch the game because I am betting on the game. I'm not actually betting on who will win, just hoping that I get lucky in my Superbowl box bet.

Never played a Superbowl box?

It is basically a pool, in which you pay a certain fee to buy a "box" in a 10x10 grid. The horizontal columns & vertical rows will be assigned to one of the teams in the Superbowl. This year, in my current pool, the Colts are the veritcal column and the Bears are the horizontal row. It doesn't matter, really, to which team is assigned a row or the columns.

Everyone pays anywhere from $5, $10, $20, $100...I have heard of Superbowl boxes that were $1,000 box entries on Wall Street. Each person picks a box, write in their name, and once all the boxes are filled up, with 100 entries, then the numbers are drawn, to fill in each of the 10 columns and 10 rows:
012907b.JPG

The numbers are from 0-9, and each number is randomly assigned (by way of drawing numbers from a hat, for example) to each column and row. So, if the first number drawn is "4", then that is assigned to the first column. This is repeated until all the numbers have been drawn for each column, and then repeated for each row. Then looks like this:
012907c.JPG

Once completed, each grid will have its own unique combination of numbers from 0-9. As a player in a Superbowl box the only thing you are interested in is the TOTAL score of the game for the first, second and third quarters & the final score (not the fourth quarter, the final score in case of overtime).

If you had the box in the grid where it lines up to 7 (Bears), 3 (Colts), then you are rooting for each quarter of the game the LAST number of the TOTAL score. So, if in the first quarter, the score is Bears 7, 17, 27, 37, 47...the only thing you care about is that the "7" is represented. To win, you also need the Colts to have 3, 13, 23, 33...and so forth. The Bears could score 7 points and the Colts 103 or the Bears score 13 and the Colts 7, you are still a winner. The team winning doesn't matter, just the last number in the total points at the end of each quarter or final.

There are 4 prizes in the most common pools. First quarter, second quarter, third quarter and final score. Remember that most pools say "Final score" and not "Fourth quarter" in case of an overtime game. I have known some pools to be $2 per box entry. The most common seem to be $10, with first quarter assigned $125, second quarter $250, third quarter $125 and final score $500. Again, this can vary from pool to pool. I'm playing in 2 pools this year, one for $10 and the other for $20 per box.

Some pools have quirky side rules. I have played in pools that had a "reverse" for the final score, so that if the score was Bears 27, Colts 13, the person who had the reverse of the winning box - holding 7 (Colts), 3 (Bears), was also rewarded like $10 or so per quarter & a bit extra for the finals.

Each year when I play the pool, I always think: What's the best numbers to have in this pool?

I went to the website of the Superbowl, and took reviewed the total scores for each quarter and the final scores of all 40 Superbowls. I want to stress the following before I continue:

1. Please note this only accounts for Superbowls, and not regular season football games. I think teams play differently in the Superbowl and regular season scores would show a different tale. For example, battles of field positon in the first quarter versus desperate-powered 4th quarters seemed to be more common in what I found in the stats.
2. I'm was an english major, not a math major. I'm sure this isn't 100% accurate. I'm sure somewhere I may have made a mistake.
3. I'm still think about Superbowl XXXIX. I was there, the game was incredible. I honestly think we could have won that game if we just ran the ball more. Too many mistakes that doomed us, I think one of the key momentum changes was the interception in the first quarter by Rodney Harrison with the Eagles in the red zone.

I talked to someone about this while writing it and while this may differ than the results of regular season scoring, I think that the Superbowl is a different beast. There certainly have been runaway blowouts, but for the most part it seems that the contests are two evenly matched teams vying for a battle of field position and strategy. In a regular season game a team might be more apt to go for a 2 point conversion, or take more chances when their offense is backed into the end zone (and risk a safety). Also I simply didn't have the time to crunch the numbers of every regular season game of the last 40 years.

So, I found the results interesting.

For the first quarter the following numbers in the last 40 Superbowls have been: 0,3,4,6,7. That's it. If you have those numbers, for any team, you are looking good, at least for the first quarter prize.

0 has shown up 37 times (20 times for the away team, and 17 times for the home).
3 was 19 times.
4 was 5 times.
6 was 1 time.
7 was 18 times.
Best first quarter combo? 0,0, which showed up 9 times.

For the second quarter the following numbers in the last 40 Superbowls have been: 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9. Everyone can be a winner! Those holding 0, once again, are looking good.
0 has shown up 25 times
1 was 2 times.
2 was 2 times.
3 was 16 times.
4 was 8 times.
5 was 1 time.
6 was 7 times.
7 was 14 times.
8 was 3 times.
9 was 2 times.
Best second quarter combo? 7,0 which was 5 times. Plenty of other combos showed up 4 times.

Once again, for the third quarter the following numbers in the last 40 Superbowls have been: 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9.
0 was 16 times.
1 was 4 times.
2 was 2 times.
3 was 10 times.
4 was 12 times.
5 was 4 times.
6 was 8 times.
7 was 17 times.
8 was 2 times.
9 was 5 times.
Best third quarter combo? There isn't a clearcut favorite. 0&4 show up 4 times.

The final score everyone shows up again. Here's what I found:
0 was 12 times.
1 was 9 times.
2 was 4 times.
3 was 6 times.
4 was 10 times.
5 was 4 time.
6 was 10 times.
7 was 15 times.
8 was 3 times.
9 was 7 times.
Best final score combo? 7&4 showed up 4 times. 7&0 was 3 times.

Best number, clearly was 0. It appeared 90 times in the every quarter or final last 40 Superbowls. 40 Superbowls multiplied by 4 quarters is 160. There are two teams, so that number is doubled to 320. If my math is correct, that makes it 28% of the time. 7 showed up 64 times or 20% of the time. The worst number was 8, with only 8 times it appeared, or 2.5% of the time. This was also the same story for 5, which tallied for 9 times or, 2.81%.

I have the full stats after the jump, have fun crunching them to your full desire. Also note I included a "squared" percentage. It isn't 100% accurate, but it also gives you an idea of the chances that a combination of having that number would win. Just having a 0 is nice, but doesn't mean you win 28% of the time. It just means it has been appearing 28% of the time, you still need the second number to win.

Have fun, good luck and I hope the Colts crush the Bears. To me, the Colts earned their way to this Superbowl, with a great, winning organization over the last 5 years, much like the first class Philadelphia Eagles. The Bears are a flash in the pan team, having one good season and really have no business in the Superbowl with a quarterback like Rex Grossman.

But, as we all know, Defense Wins Championships. Think about the Ravens in 2001 (Johnson went 18/34, 215 yards, 2 TDs and 1 int. Or Tampa Bay in 2003 (Dilfer passed 25 times, completed 12, had 153 yards and 1 TD). To me, I think the Colts deserve the victory not only on this season, but the fact that they have been a great team for the last 5 years and contending for the crown with the Patriots always standing in their way. They finally beat the Pats (in a game that I think should have been the real Superbowl). Don't count out the Bears. They have the special teams alone to give their QB mid-field position every kick off or punt. That's amazing.

Here are the stats after the jump. If you find a mistake with what I calculated, please email me, and I will fix that.

CANCER SURVIVORS RALLY

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Sent to me by my friend Christina...

CANCER SURVIVORS RALLY TO SUPPORT
AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY

WHAT:
• The Relay For Life kick-off rally is when families, caregivers, cancer survivors, schools, companies, etc. come together to celebrate the beginning of the Relay For Life season. Relay For Life will take place in Hoboken on May 19, 2007.

• The American Cancer Society Relay For Life is a community celebration where individuals and teams camp out, barbecue, dance, and take turns walking or running around a track “relay” style to raise funds to fight cancer. At nightfall, participants will light hundreds of luminary candles around the track in a moving ceremony honor cancer survivors as well as remembering those lost to the disease. The American Cancer Society Relay For Life represents hope in that those lost to cancer will not be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported, and that one day, cancer will be eliminated.

• Started in 1985, Relay For Life began with one man who walked and ran around a track for 24 hours raising $27,000. This year, Relay For Life will take place in more than 4,500 communities and is expected to raise well over $300 million.


WHO:
• The American Cancer Society encourages anyone wishing to honor cancer survivors and caregivers, or pay tribute to those who have lost their battle with cancer to attend the Relay For Life kick-off to find out more about the Relay for Life event in Hoboken.

WHEN:
• TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2007 at 7:30PM

WHERE:
• MILE SQUARE BAR & GRILL
221 WASHINGTON STREET, HOBOKEN, NJ 07030

HOW:
• To join Relay For Life in Hoboken, call 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit www.cancer.org. Create a virtual team or donate online anytime at www.cancer.org/relay.

The American Cancer Society is the nationwide community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy and service. For more information about the American Cancer Society, call 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit its web site at www.cancer.org.

ABC 1-2-3

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I just read this:

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/GameOn/story?id=2819621&page=1

Right after I read Janine's comment, "this will NOT help your quest to find a girlfriend!!!" on my Warcraft post.

Part of why I write this blog is a sort of honest "This is who I am" writing style. I will write about things I am even ashamed about doing (Fights with Giant fans, unabashedly getting seats on the PATH).

I could sit here and write about some sort of Phony Sean that doesn't really exist. I could get very creative and try to portray someone who isn't real. Or maybe creatively edit out things that I haven't done. I'd hazard that most of what I am is written into this site, warts and all, and i'm not looking for any sort of validation. I do like constructive comments. I don't really need people to tell me that my site sucks - if you don't like it, don't read it. Go someplace else.

But then again, when I read an article from abc news, I know that I am hitting the pulse of what is going on. I know that more people are gaming. I know that it is becoming more mainstream. 15 years ago if you said, "I love fantasy movies, like The Hobbit." - everyone would shun & ridicule you. Today, how many people do you know that loved "Lords of the Ring". Yes, i'm well aware of the VAST differences of the two movies. My point is that with technology and creativity it is making things that were once "uncool" to "cool". Before the .com boom anyone who worked on computers were laughed at. Now they are the new CEO's.

Sorry to people like Janine who think i'm on some sort of "quest" to find a girlfriend. I'm not. I'm a firm believer that a girlfriend doesn't make you happier. I'm very happy by myself. If, perchance, I meet someone - great. But I certainly expect that they would love me for who I am - gamer and all - rather than a false facade of who I am not.

The end is near!

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Nothing angers me more when I read stories like this...

Asteroid to destroy Earth?

The news industry, no doubt, is based on the same capitalistic factors as the entertainment industry - the more people watching your program translates into more revenue for your efforts.

This so-called Journalism translates into a sensationalistic method of reporting.

Is this news? Sure.

Is this important news? Not really.

Are we going to be wiped out by Avian Flu, asteroids, nukes, overpopulation, global warming or too much methane gas farted into the atmosphere by cows? Who knows?

To me it is also like a paralleism to living here in New York. I told my mother recently, while she visited me over the holidays, that I really don't like living here because of the chance of another terrorist strike.

It is like living in Pompeii, next to Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 78.

I got the first "rumble" in 2001 (I wasn't here for the 1993 bombing, for example). To me it has always been a question of not "if" but "when" the next big thing happens. Certainly the media adds to this sense of unease.

But much like the news report about Asteroids - my attitude is "What can you do?"

Do I tuck tail and run away? Well, no. I certainly am well aware, much like our ancient Pompeiians, that living here has a certain level of risk. I know there are friends of mine who have confided in me that they, too, would like to be "someplace else" besides here in the future. I'll stay here until the day comes where I decide (or i'm forced) to leave. It's funny some friends and family have said, "Why don't you just leave?" - But after living here 13 years, and establishing some roots in the community it is very hard to just change cities and start over. To some people it is very exciting for change and new things, for me, and my personality, I have little desire to shake things up. I like my weekly bartending gig. I like knowing my friends at Maru. I enjoy working in the heart of New York. I told people before I feel like living in New York would be the equivalent of living in Rome during the height of the Roman Empire. The pulse of the world beats here, you can feel the energy in the air when you walk around New York. I never had that experience in Philadelphia (sorry Philly, you know I love you).

I think about the risk of living here a lot. I remember when I walked into work every morning, the World Trade Center standing like a beacon, with the sun rising over the towers, and I would always marvel at them. They were eye catching, they were almost larger than life. Now when I go into work, there is always the same wistful rememberance of what was. Sort of like remembering the good times with an old girlfriend. You remember how great it once was.

I'm just tired of the news constantly scaring us. Doom and gloom. I suppose, in a way, that is why blogs are a bit more popular, don't you think?

One Big Happy Warcraft Family

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Family-07-2004 089
Originally uploaded by Furey.
My next few weeks will be a bit....occupied. If you haven't heard of the game "World of Warcraft" then you have been under a rock. They now have 8 million people playing this massively addicting game. My nephews have joined in on the fun and I went from obscure relative to rock star status with them.

For those who don't know the game I will try to explain the basics. It is a online 3d video game. Based on Dungeons & Dragons, you are in a medieval fantasy world in which you adventure in the form of quests, killing monsters & also battling other living players. There is an online economy, and you advance your character through experience in killing monsters, solving quests or other similar puzzles. The higher level you get, the more powerful you become, and a force to be reckoned with by monsters or players. There are other programs that allow you to use headsets and chat online with each other using Nextel-like style programs like "Ventrilo". You can play the game, press a key, "Hey, lets go to the stronghold" and everyone in your ventrilo channel will hear you talk and can respond.

Ok, so you should have an idea of what's going on. So I have played the game for the better half of 2 years, since it began, and my character, a mage, is probably more powerful than 95% of the rest of the characters on the server.

When my nephews started playing they were at the bottom level, or level 1. I was the highest level, level 60. My two nephews started to play, and by welcoming them, I gave them each 25 gold, which in the economy of the game was something that you would have accumulated by level...40.

The response was fun watching them jump around.

Little did I know that I was going to regret my generousity.

You see, I also have 2 OTHER nephews who heard about this and became very, very excited to also play. My visit to Washington DC was a marathon sesson of explaining to them how the game works and their excitement to start playing. Once I got them online, and taught them the basics came the problem.

Now, I am not a father or a parent (as far as I know), and I didn't realize how the "monkey-see-monkey-do" mentality works with kids. Maybe if you are a parent reading this, you might chuckle and if you are single, you may empathize with me.

Now my generous gift of 50 gold to my other two nephews was not lost on these two. Their immediate action was to ask ME for gold also, and quite honestly, I certainly could give them 25 gold each, but I was getting a bit low myself. So I gave each of them 5 gold, which is PLENTY for anyone their level. It should certainly last them 10 levels if they are careful.

Right after I gave 5 gold to one nephew and watched him start talking to another level 1, and I was busying chatting to someone else. Then I watch when the level 1 character exclaim "THANKS!" and jump around. It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what he did.

"Did you just give him some gold?", I asked.

No answer.

"Do not, under any circumstances, give away your gold.", I told him.

That worked until the next day.

I get online, and my nephew, excitedly runs up to me, "Uncle Sean! Hi 2 PAC!"

(Their parents relay certain edited portions of my writings to them...)

He opens up his trade window and says: "GOLD"

I'm mortified and laughing at this at the same time. I created a monster.

Fortunately their parents have been nice enough to explain that Uncle Sean isn't a gold vending machine. But I must admit that it is nice to have something in common with my relatives that for years has basically been my dark secret.

Try to explain video games to the non-gamer and you can almost hear the eyes roll in their head. They don't understand it. They don't want to understand it.

You know it's funny. I played fantasy football in high school. Now remember, that is 1986 when I was in school. No internet. No Yahoo or CBS Sportsline sites to calculate your scores. We read the newspaper each day, and would, by hand, calcuate our scores. The jocks laughed at us, they didn't understand fantasy football. They didn't want to understand fantasy football. They thought it was just a bunch of guys who took their dungeons and dragons to the sports world.

Today, fantasy football is...normal. Everyone plays it, from jocks to nerds to girls to my uncles.

So what's my point? World of Warcraft is just the tip of the iceberg. It is what fantasy football is in 1996. It might not be the watershed game that the world plays, I still think that game is about 10 years away, but with the world growing more and more distant from each other, the one level of community that thrives is the online community.

Case in point. My brother-in-law was in California for business. He started to play Warcraft at the same time his children, my nephews, started to play. His home is in Great Falls, VA and when the kids got online after school last week - so did he. I don't know, it just is a nice way for parents to keep in touch and connect with their kids, if you ask me.

The same is true for my friends. Last March I was on a golf trip. While there I convinced a friend of mine to give the game a try. He wouldn't have struck me as your "typical" online gamer. He tried it and loved it. LOVED IT. To the point where he would email me and say, "Took the day off from work so I could play."

Hey, I know where he's coming from. A lot of my "vacation time" is basically "computer time". Some people go on a vacation to a beach to relax, or maybe golfing - relaxation to me is sitting in front of a computer and playing games with my friends.

This week an expansion to Warcraft was released. An expansion sells new content: more monsters, lands, spells, items and things to explore. It raised the levels from 60 to 70.

My one sister laughed with me yesterday saying how my nephew saw I got to level 61, and started to go bonkers, saying "UNCLESEANISLEVELSIXTYONEYOUHAVETOSEETHISOHMYGODHESSIXTYONEMOMMOMMOMUNCLESEANISSIXTYONE!!!!"

To the untrained observer and people that wouldn't understand his excited language it would be like watching a child hop around with a honey bee in his pants yelling bloody murder.

Now I am trying to figure out if there is a way I can get out of birthday presents and christmas presents in return for World of Warcraft favors for my nephews. That would be nice.

(The above picture was taken of the Koy fish pond & waterfall at my parents house at Collegeville, PA in 2004)

The Saints March On...

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IMG_1069
Originally uploaded by Furey.
Congratulations to the Saints.

It was a fun night, even in a loss, and I feel nothing to be ashamed about (I write this as I post pictures of me in an Eagles helmet...). The Eagles played a great game, had some costly penalties that changed the outcome considerably. I'm just amazed at the crowd we got at Mulligan's - the bouncers told me we had 158 Eagle fans and 2 Saints fans. Wow.

I absolutely thought we were going to win that game. I have no real game changing reasons why we lost, I think Reggie Bush did an incredible job and Deuce McAllister simply ran all over us. The defense did the best it could, but certainly we hurt without Lito.

No one expected the Eagles to even get this far. We beat the Cowboys on Christmas Day. We beat the Giants in the playoffs. We put a scare into New Orleans and lost by 3. To me, that just proves that the window ISN'T closing on the Eagles and they, even without McNabb and Jevon Kearse, are a team to be reckoned with.

I uploaded all the pictures from last night. I hope you enjoy them, and hope to see everyone at the bar next season in August for the pre-season 2007 Eagles.

Footlocker/Champs/Footaction Sale

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I picked this up from the Eagles messageboard, reposting here for any sports fans who didn't know:

Don't miss this footlocker/champs/footaction 40% off sale! It starts on January 11th. The code is below.

Coupon also works IN-STORE if you print out the coupon and bring it with you.

40% OFF also works on items that are already on sale.

Sale starts 1/11 and ends 1/15!

Footlocker F&F Online Code: FF7JL307

Champs Sports F&F Online Code: FF7J6307

Footaction F&F Online Code: FF7JV307

DISCOUNT WILL NOT WORK ON NIKE OR JORDAN BRAND PRODUCTS!

You type in the Online Code during one of the last Checkout pages, I believe after you've already entered in your payment information.

I bought my Westbrook Jersey this way, and got a nice deal on it from the Reebok site. This is an awesome sale.

Edited to add: I updated the hyperlinks, they weren't working. -Sean

WMMR Eagles vs Saints Song

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This made me chuckle...

http://www.wmmr.com/upload/eagles_in_new_orleans.mp3

Work Safe. I'm reading the message board on the Eagles site and a few rabid Saints fans are there and posting like they "deserve" to win because of Katrinia. That's silly. Some even wrote how the "refs will be on our side, too" - rather than hoping for a fair game they want the refs to be more sympathetic towards their team and help them win?

Seriously, I don't get people sometimes.

I'm looking forward to Saturday night. Win or lose, i'm really just happy we beat the Giants. I could not have taken an entire off season working and living in Hoboken and having those fans try to rub it in my face. If we lose next week, I still walk away amazed at what a great season our birds have been having. If we win, its another notch in our belt - another Divisional Championship appearance - and that is when I get REALLY excited to be one game away from a Super Bowl.

Right now i'm not thinking Super Bowl. Looking forward to a fun, feisty crowd at Mulligan's on Sunday. From what I was told by my friends, Mulligan's was insane on Sunday. I can't wait to bring my camera and take some pictures of the fans and the bar.

Eagles Playoff Win!

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Sean
Originally uploaded by Furey.
Friday at work I got an email from a friend at Anheuser-Busch. It said to call him ASAP, he had some good news. I wasn't sure what this good news was about, but if you know that I run the Philadelphia Eagles Club of Hoboken out of Mulligan's bar - I have about 200 Eagle fans on my email list that I email each week with the bar specials, Hoboken information and the match-up of the game from The Sports Network. If you aren't on the email list, just email me at philly2hoboken@gmail.com to get on the list. I won't spam anyone, nor do I share the email list with ANYONE. If you move away or don't want to get it anymore, simply reply to the email with "REMOVE" and I will remove you that day.

I work with Paul, the owner at Mulligan's to design the beer specials. We have $2 Bud Light / Yuengling drafts or $8 pitchers. Also there are buckets of Bud Light 4 bottles for $10.

When I started all that, it wasn't in the expectation that I was going to get ANYTHING for it. I simply wanted to get a good deal for my fellow Eagle fans, and absolutely wanted to make sure we had a Yuengling special, since most everyone I know loves that beer.

Imagine my surprise when I spoke to him, and he said, "Hey, thanks for everything with promoting Bud Light this year in the Eagles Club. I have a few tickets to the Eagles game - they are yours as a gesture of our appreciation at Anheuser-Busch."

The next day, Saturday, I got 3 free tickets Fed-Ex'd to me for the Eagle game at the Linc. I called up two friends, and made a day of it.

We first went down to Pat's Steaks and waited in line for about 15 minutes. To be honest I haven't been to Pat's in at least 25 years. The last time I remember being there, is when my father took me as a kid and he described the whole ordering process to me.

Anyone watch the Seinfield episode of "Soup Nazi"? I'm sure you have. It is much like that when ordering. There are 4 Steps, which I read while in line:

1. Specify if you want your steak with (wit) or without (wit-out) onions. {if you're not a rookie this should come naturally}

2. Specify Plain, Cheez Whiz, Provolone, American Cheese or a Pizza Steak. {we have lettuce and tomatoes / { if we have to read your mind it's 50 cents extra}

3. Have your money ready. {do all of your borrowing in line}

4. Practice all of the above while waiting in line. {if you make a mistake, don't panic, just go to the back of the line and start over}

Yes, I did practice this. I got to the front and panicked, forgetting to ask for provolone. "One Wit, Pizza Steak." and slapped my $20 bill down. Then I got my change, and started to walk to the next window. The guy called to me about 10 second later saying, "Your steak, sir!" and I was slightly embarassed to scurry back to get my steak. I was trying to act like an old pro, when I was really a tourist.

We all got a steak. On a scale of 1 to 10, i'd give the steak easily an 8. Even by forgetting to ask for Provolone cheese, and getting wiz cheese, it was delicious. Even the fries were outstanding. As i'm writing this i'm just thinking of having another cheesesteak - I might have to head over to Philly's Cheesesteaks on 5th and Washington, but I know it won't be the same.

After Pat's we headed down to the stadium. The traffic was, of course, very busy. We spent at least 30 minutes to drive about 1/2 mile to the parking lot. The parking lot was mostly uneventful, we had a few beers. I made the mistake of buying "Sparks", to see what all the hoopla was about (I know a few people who swear by it). What a terrible choice. I switched to Yuengling quickly.

I went to the game with a Giants fan, Chris. I told him before the game that it probably wouldn't be a good idea to wear a jersey to the game. I didn't want to provoke any trouble, and I knew from my past experiences at the Giants stadium that I had lots of people yelling at me and one time throwing peanuts. I saw a lot of Giants fans, either in a group of other Giant fans or with Eagle fans that day. Most of what I observed was good-natured heckling, and I didn't witness any fights or anything that would make me think that our fans were being belligerent. Even Chris commented that he could have worn his jersey without a problem and I agreed. Next time there is a game at the Linc, I won't tell anyone not to wear a jersey, everything I observed was civil. Chris told me he saw someone go up to a Giants fan and say, "Fuck you!" and walk away. I think if you have thin skin you shouldn't be at an opposing teams stadium.

Exciting game to watch, with the battle of field position early in the first quarter. I thought it was a tough, tough battle. Both teams were really hard on defense, and hats off to the Giants, they gave us another classic close nailbiter game.

I was worried about going to the game. I have a past history of attending any Philadelphia sports game and watching our team lose. I don't know if that is simply due to my bad luck or the fact that most Philly sports teams have been fairly poor teams over my last 34 years. The first score of the game happened when I went away from my seat to the bathroom. When I returned, one of my friends, who knows about my poor luck said, "If the Giants score again, you are going back to the bathroom!"

There was one time, in the 4th quarter when I was at the bathroom again and the Giants were driving down the field. I refused to go back to my seat, and watched the game from the TVs that were above the consession stands. I was there for about 10 minutes, until the Giants scored a TD, and then return to my seats. One friend asked, "Hey, did you wait back there because the Giants were about to score." I nodded and they laughed.

I'd like to say I had a GREAT time, but here's a few thoughts about attending a game in a stadium in winter:

1. We were very fortunate to get nice weather. It was about 45 degrees out that night, and before the game I had on my jersey, a hoodie and a long sleeve shirt. I asked my friends if that would be good enough and Chris said, "Just remember: Always keep your head and your hands warm and you will be fine." So I ran back inside and brought my wool hat and gloves. He was absolutely right. I will never attend a fall/winter game without those two important components. My only regret was that I didn't wear boots.

2. Watching the game I was rarely happy. Mostly filled with dread, and nervous could have been that experience. I feel the same way at home or in a bar, but in some ways that is diffused since you aren't sitting about 500 feet from the players. The whole time i'm just ready to start eating my wool gloves in frustration if we don't score.

3. Living in the NYC metro area for so long it was funny to go to the stadium and pay $6 for a 16 ounce beer. I remember living in Philly and how i'd moan and groan over paying $6 for a beer. I found myself thinking yesterday, "That's not so bad! Only $2 more than you would pay in Hoboken."

4. The rest rooms at the Linc are very new, but amazingly still disgusting. Stopped up toilets and water/urine all over the floor. Whoever designs a bathroom should simply have drains all over the floor - or maybe a grate - to account for this.

5. I sat in the 200 level, which is the top tier (but was lucky enough to be in the 2nd row). I was with lots of Eagles and Giant fans (some in jerseys and some not). I saw some good natured heckling and a three shouting matches. That was about it. I'm sure that somewhere in the stadium there was a Giant fan minding his own business and had a bad experience, but there is no way that anyone can tell me that Eagles fans are that terrible. Even Chris, who wasn't wearing a jersey, agreed that he could have easily worn his jersey without a major problem.

6. The Linc needs to fix the PA system. Each time the ref announced anything, it was hard to decipher.

7. My seats were the 230 section, which is basically end-zone seats. I still had a great view of all the action, even when the teams were on the other side of the field. The stadium was absolutely packed with people. Getting inside was a bit of a pain, since I was in line for 15 minutes before getting patted down. Then another 10 minutes to walk up the ramps to my seats. The best part was when the 4 U.S. jets flew over the stadium. I saw them coming from a mile away, and pointed it out to my friends, we got to watch them come directly at us, and the thunderous boom shook the whole stadium. It was really awe inspiring. We were giddy after watching that for a solid 5 minutes. If you want to see that in the future, just wait outside the "Pepsi Arena" entrance and they come from the opposite direction of that entrance, south of Philly.

I'm very happy today and even took off work in anticipation that it was going to be a long day and night at Philadelphia on Sunday. I'm glad I did. I got a nice night of rest, plan on hitting the gym and making myself a good dinner. Next weekend the Eagles play the Saints in New Orelans on Saturday night at 8pm! I plan on taking off work from bartending to watch the game at Mulligan's and hope to take some good pictures at the bar.

The Devil You Know

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What an incredible season.

Up and downs. Pitfalls and peaks. A stunning comeback of a team reminiscent of 2002, when our Eagles were led by AJ Feeley to the playoffs.

Now the birds have the Giants this weekend, on Sunday at 4:30pm.
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Here's my thoughts on that. First, I think the Giants are a dangerous team. I respect many of their players, and think that in many ways the Giants and Eagles are two very similiar teams, on paper. I think the coaching is completely different. Reid isn't a taskmaster, he has a quiet calm about him. I like that a lot. There is only so long that a coach/parent/teacher/commander can yell at a subordinate until it falls on deaf ears.

Aside from that I think this weekend is anybody's guess. In the last two matchups, I think the Eagles have looked good. I think the Giants win in September was a fluke, more based on stupidity by the Eagles than the Giants beating them outright. I think the recent win by the Eagles in December, the game was a close contest. Eagles didn't make as many bone headed mistakes, and shored up a run defense by playing Tiki very tough.

This weekend has to be the same. Box in Tiki. Force Manning to thow the ball and beat our secondary with his arm. I have no doubt that Manning COULD do that. Plaxico is enormous, i'd just practice about 3 different plays to maximize his height advantage against the birds. Get Shockey the ball across the middle about 10 times in the game - I don't understand why he isn't used more. Eagles would have it much more rough if they did this.

Birds just have to play the same ball they have been playing. I see nothing wrong with our offense. They score points on the ground and in the air. Its a good 50/50 mix of football. I'm all for some trick plays, too. One play i'd like to see is the fake FG that the birds did on 10/15/00 against the Cardinals. It is the play where the holder takes the snap on a FG, flips it behind his shoulder to the kicker, who is already running for the first down. Akers did this play before (albeit with Koy Detmer as the placekicker), but it might be too risky for a playoff game. Who knows?

This is a "Devil You Know". We play the Giants twice a year, and anything can happen when division rivals meet. Barring any major injuries this week or during the game, I think we should be able to dismantle the Giants. A good lesson to learn is the game vs the Falcons - with our system of play, our coaching and using our backup players we still beat a first team offense. That's a very good sign of talented depth to a team. Even if someone gets hurt we have players ready to step in and step up.

Prediction this weekend is that you are going to have an angry, loud crowd at the Linc. Manning and company are going to have a very hard time establishing a rythym. Birds should do what they need to do to win and Eagles sail to a victory 31-23.

Happy New Year!

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The picture was from 6th and Bloomfield. A large crowd of onlookers were stunned by a 15 minute long firework show by local residents. I remember living on 6th and Bloomfield about 10 years ago, and they would have a firework show each year. It seems they get bolder and bolder each year. A bit blurry (I didn't have a tripod and had the shutter open for 4 seconds, f/11). But this was one of the better pictures. Happy New Year!

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