A story in a national publication on Eagles fans usually hits the same old themes: Snowballs at Santa, coarse and loutish behavior, Eagles court in the basement of the Vet, etc., etc. ...
No less an austere publication than the Wall Street Journal, however, has weighed in with a different story. Life at the Linc is a heck of a lot different than the 700 Level at the Vet. That we can all agree on. What that means -- at least in some ways -- is probably a matter of your perspective.
The atmosphere at the Linc is certainly less rough and tumble than at the Vet. Credit higher ticket prices and three levels of security before fans even get into their seats. The Eagles declined to release arrest figures to the Journal, but clearly the number is way down.
"We set the bar very high from the first year we opened," Mark Donovan, the Eagles' senior vice president of business operations, told the newspaper. "As a result, we not only saw a sharp drop in incidents the first year, but have seen a steady decline every year since."
The release of Tony Hunt makes you wonder whether the Eagles will be looking to pick up another running back.
They have Brian Westbrook, Correll Buckhalter, Lorenzo Booker and defensive tackle turned fullback turned defensive tackle turned fullback Dan Klecko.
Westbrook has missed two games this season -- against Chicago with an ankle injury and against San Francisco with those broken ribs. The Eagles expect Westbrook to be ready after the bye week. Consider, though, that the Eagles are now 4-5 in games Westbrook has not played since he became the full-time starter in 2004. Keeping him healthy is obviously one of the keys to the remainder of the season.
Buckhalter once again showed what he is capable of against San Francisco, in what he has said was the best game of his career. Booker, acquired in a draft day trade with Miami, has been a disappointment thus far. You have to give Klecko credit for switching positions so many times in order to stay in the league, but if he was a real answer at fullback, he could have won the job in training camp and they could have avoided this whole Tony Hunt experiment.
With the trade deadline passed Tuesday, the Eagles could only add a free agent to the roster or pull someone from another team's practice squad. And they would have to determine that option is better than the players they have. Wonder what Reno Mahe is up to these days ... Just kidding!
If you are looking for even more bye week fodder, Iggles blog has a number of interesting charts and graphs on Quintin Mikell, Donovan McNabb and the wide receiver distribution. Good stuff.