Thursday, September 23, 2004

Let's Not Go There

That seemed to be the stance taken by Terrell Owens and his former coach (when he was with the 49ers), Steve Mariucci. That doesn't stop our little band of media members from still trying to make a story out of this non-story. Bob Brookover couldn't get any good copy out of T.O., so he resorted to ripping quotes from his book Catch This! Going Deep with the NFL's Sharpest Weapon in order to dredge up negative stories. Brookover seems to lay the groundwork here for "more oppportunities to decline questions about his controversial past" that are sure to be plastered across headlines before the season ends. Why can't we just focus on the 2-0 start, and talk about the play on the field? Dana Pennett O'Neil gets Mariucci to mention that Andy Reid never called him for feedback about T.O. before making the decision to acquire him. Mark Eckel says that when Mariucci was asked what his feedback would have been, he answered, "that's a theoretical question that I don't need to answer."

Shannon Ryan writes about Steve Sciullo, was was cut by the Colts and signed by the Eagles shortly thereafter. The article gives some insights just what it's like for a player to go through being unemployed to having to deal with all the ugly details about moving and finding a place to live. Sticking to actual football issues this time, Bob Brookover talks about the Eagles' increased use of the shotgun this season. Jack McCaffery writes about this too, and has Donovan McNabb saying this is a way to keep defenses on their heels. Les Bowen writes that this Sunday's Eagles-Lions game will feature two, perhaps lesser known, brothers facing off in the NFL: Jerome and Stockar McDougle. Sam Donnellon doesn't know what people are up in arms about over the Eagles giving up so much yardage on defense. He says this approach by the Eagles is nothing new, and calls it the Alfred E. Newman "what, me worry?" approach to Jim Johnson's defense. Paul Domowitch says that McNabb might be "the man," but Brian Westbrook is the "most indispensable" player upon whom the Eagles' hopes of getting to Jacksonville lie. McCaffery also writes about what it's like for Kevin Jones to be playing against the Eagles, the team he rooted for growing up. I believe Bob Grotz (not officially credited with the article on the website, but this is his regularly scheduled piece) records Lions quarterback Joe Harrington's response to the question of whether he was impressed by McNabb's career: "Does 100 pounds of dough make a big cookie?" Mmmm...100 pound cookie... [insert Homer Simpson drool here].

The Philles continued their too little, too late "domination" of the Florida Marlins, defeating them 12-4 yesterday at Pro Player Stadium. Todd Zolecki and Dennis Deitch have the game stories. Rich Hofmann thinks he knows why the Phillies failed to live up to expectations, and it has to due with their starting rotation and the lack of "quality starts" (he uses some statistics to try and back up his assertions).

Bill Lyon writes about the ugliness that surrounds the Jeremy Reonick situation, and notes that both sides can't be right. Ed Moran talks with Bob Clark, who insists the Flyers are "a long ways from being on the hook for Roenick's salary." J.R. believes his salary would be covered by insurance anyway. Anthony J. Sanfilippo has Clark admitting he has "no clue why [J.R.]'s doing this. You'd have to ask [him] why he's doing it." Fortunately, Ed Moran reports that the Flyers have not had to lay off most employees. Being a larger company, Comcast-Spectacor has had the advantage of shifting employees around and moving them to other responsibilities during the lockout. Meanwhile, Don Steinberg says that NHL fans might be able to get their fix, in somewhat of a strange fashion, as G4techTV will be "simulating" the entire NFL season, and actually broadcasting the results. Comcast SportsNet is expected to even show highlights packages. Details such as the hardware (XBox, Playstation 2) and software (which game will be used for the simulation) have yet to be worked out, but my guess would be the first one that drops any restrictions with their game license that would prevent it from being used in this manner.

Marc Narducci was there for the press conference announcing Todd MacCulloch's retirement. Eliciting laughter from the assembled audience, "Big Mac" summed up his career: "I was amazing. I was way better than you guys remember. I don't get the credit." Phil Jasner submits his article on the subject as well, and gets MacCulloch to joke that he was going to try his hand at baseball next. Phil also reports that the Sixers are trying to negotiate a contract extension with Samuel Dalembert and his agent before October 29, and before the NBA's next collective bargaining agreement, which could have a completely different set of contract constraints.

CSN has Phillies-Marlins at 7:05.

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