Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Eagles' Eckel takes in WIP's Wing Bowl

"There are times in every man's life when he questions how exactly he got to a certain point. This is one of those times for me." That's a direct quote from me during our live chat at the Wing Bowl Friday morning. It started with a 2:50 a.m. wake-up call, and included highlights such as strippers taunting me for typing on a laptop and running from a smoke bomb. For a complete rundown, I've included the chat transcript below. Eagles fullback Kyle Eckel was in the same booth as me for much of the morning. It's always fun to see professional athletes away from the field. Eckel, a South Philly native, was approached pretty much every five minutes by an acquaintance he hadn't seen in years. When I asked him about it, he said he hasn't lived in Philly since he was 18 so it was cool to run into old friends. Eckel couldn't have been nicer to fans and others who wanted to have their pictures taken with him. While professional athletes can often be stand-offish, Eckel was personable and seemed genuinely interested in conversing with fans and old friends. "Don't make me look too bad," he said after noticing me typing. "Sorry," he said after becoming the 100th person to bump into my laptop. "Don't write that down." It was also cool to see Eckel meet Bernard Hopkins and tell him he was a big fan. As soon as Hopkins made his way into the booth with me and the Pink Vodka girls, a fan yelled "Donovan sucks!" "I told you," Hopkins, a harsh critic of McNabb over the years, responded. Later, Hopkins cracked on McNabb during an interview on WIP, saying other Philadelphia sports personalities were in attendance, but the Eagles quarterback was absent. Another observation on Hopkins, who was also very friendly with all the fans. The guy couldn't go five minutes without being bugged for a photo, and most of the culprits were grown men. Fan rule: If you are a guy over the age of 15, it is not OK to bug professional athletes for photos. Kids and women are excluded. And another exception is if you were a fan of the athlete as a child. For example, if I ran into Mike Schmidt, my first favorite sports hero, I would be allowed to take a photo with him. But there's something disconcerting about a guy in his late 20s asking Hopkins for photos multiple times. For the record, I didn't see Hopkins turn anyone down. Anyway, scroll through the chat transcript for details on the smoke-bomb incident, the taunting from the strippers and everything else. I'll post my Super Bowl pick and some prop bets on Sunday morning. Also, I know I promised a big draft post on Thursday, but it didn't seem right after the news of Jim Johnson's cancer broke. So we will kick that off this week sometime.

Eagles' Eckel takes in WIP's Wing Bowl

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"There are times in every man's life when he questions how exactly he got to a certain point. This is one of those times for me."

That's a direct quote from me during our live chat at the Wing Bowl Friday morning. It started with a 2:50 a.m. wake-up call, and included highlights such as strippers taunting me for typing on a laptop and running from a smoke bomb. For a complete rundown, I've included the chat transcript below.

Eagles fullback Kyle Eckel was in the same booth as me for much of the morning. It's always fun to see professional athletes away from the field. Eckel, a South Philly native, was approached pretty much every five minutes by an acquaintance he hadn't seen in years.

When I asked him about it, he said he hasn't lived in Philly since he was 18 so it was cool to run into old friends. Eckel couldn't have been nicer to fans and others who wanted to have their pictures taken with him. While professional athletes can often be stand-offish, Eckel was personable and seemed genuinely interested in conversing with fans and old friends.

"Don't make me look too bad," he said after noticing me typing.

"Sorry," he said after becoming the 100th person to bump into my laptop. "Don't write that down."

It was also cool to see Eckel meet Bernard Hopkins and tell him he was a big fan. As soon as Hopkins made his way into the booth with me and the Pink Vodka girls, a fan yelled "Donovan sucks!"

"I told you," Hopkins, a harsh critic of McNabb over the years, responded.

Later, Hopkins cracked on McNabb during an interview on WIP, saying other Philadelphia sports personalities were in attendance, but the Eagles quarterback was absent.

Another observation on Hopkins, who was also very friendly with all the fans. The guy couldn't go five minutes without being bugged for a photo, and most of the culprits were grown men.

Fan rule: If you are a guy over the age of 15, it is not OK to bug professional athletes for photos. Kids and women are excluded. And another exception is if you were a fan of the athlete as a child. For example, if I ran into Mike Schmidt, my first favorite sports hero, I would be allowed to take a photo with him.

But there's something disconcerting about a guy in his late 20s asking Hopkins for photos multiple times. For the record, I didn't see Hopkins turn anyone down.

Anyway, scroll through the chat transcript for details on the smoke-bomb incident, the taunting from the strippers and everything else.

I'll post my Super Bowl pick and some prop bets on Sunday morning.

Also, I know I promised a big draft post on Thursday, but it didn't seem right after the news of Jim Johnson's cancer broke. So we will kick that off this week sometime.

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Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

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