Free agency seems to be trickling to a close. We all know what the Eagles have lost -- a whole bunch of veteran savvy and leadership. They've gained an offensive tackle, where they probably needed two, and a couple of safeties. Fullback Leonard Weaver remains unsigned. His courtship with the Eagles seems to have gone stale. Surely Weaver will sign somewhere soon; the last time a weaver took this long, Penelope was trying to hold off suitors until her husband got home.
Panic, though, would be silly. We're still more than a month away from the draft. Neither Arizona wideout Anquan Boldin nor Buffalo offensive tackle Jason Peters has been traded. Either one of those guys would instantly make this a much better offseason, particularly Boldin. The Eagles have two first-round picks, if they don't trade one or both of them either for Boldin/Peters or just to move up in the draft. I think they can get out of the first day of the draft with a starting-quality offensive tackle and a significant running back complement to Brian Westbrook.
If that happens, they're a solid contender again in '09, despite everything. That's even more true with Boldin or Peters added to the mix. Of course, we've yet to see the resolution of the supposed Donovan McNabb acquisitions test for wanting to stay here. I really think No. 5's state of mind has a lot to do with his play, and until he declares he's on board and enthusiastic, the offseason will remain incomplete.
My uninformed take on this business with Correll Buckhalter and the alleged Delaware County drug dealer: Anybody out there understand why Buckhalter's name was part of the assistant district attorney's opening statement? Buckhalter apparently isn't being charged. So why would names this guy might or might not have given the police have any relevance to anything? Is the assistant district attorney saying the alleged dealer should get more time because the alleged dealer says he sold to celebrities?
If there's a case to be made against Buckhalter, Delaware County should make it. Otherwise, well, I'd have a hard time getting a story printed in the paper where I alleged someone bought drugs if I had no proof. I guess the legal system works differently?
We've been so busy here at Eagletarian central that we haven't managed to note the merging of two of our favorite blogs, bountybowl and igglesblog. It's an interesting marriage that should work, though we're sorry to see bountybowl go, it had a unique voice. Derek, the original Igglesblog guy, tends toward stat analysis with charts and graphs, while Gabe, the former bountybowl guy, is more into the kind of funny/sarcastic take we have been accused of favoring here. Good luck to their collaboration.
One nonfootball note: I knew better than to really watch the Flyers play in Detroit last night. I just clicked over during commericals. I was surprised to see the visitors up 2-0 early. But when I saw the Red Wings had made it 2-1 by the end of the first, I knew where the game was headed. Still, the 2-1 lead held well into the third, even as I courageously staved off incipient optimism. Sure enough, I clicked back and Detroit was up 3-2. I knew that was that. Same as it ever was.
I was thinking I must have covered the last Flyers win in Detroit, back before my 1989-2002 run as the beat writer here at the Daily News. But my mind was playing tricks. The game I covered -- the first hockey game I ever covered, and the strangest -- was an 11-6 Flyers victory at Joe Lous Arena on Feb. 23, 1988, a game in which the Flyers scored seven (yes, 7) third-period goals and won by 5 after trailing 5-1. John Stevens was wearing the orange-and-black that night; he is identified in my story (I dug it up out of the electronic archives) as one of three nongoalie Flyers who failed to record a point.
I was covering for Jay Greenberg, who was off at the Winter Olympics in Calgary, I believe. It was my first trip to Detroit; I entertained notions of bumping into Elmore Leonard, or perhaps Lee Iacocca. Didn't happen.
And the Flyers' most recent win in Detroit actually came the following season, a 4-3 victory on Nov. 4, 1988. Jay was back from Calgary by then, I didn't cover it.
Enough hockey, before the Philly.com blog police write me a ticket. But I'm thinking we'll see the Flyers win in Detroit again right after Joe Banner, Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb engage in a group hug with the Lombardi Trophy.