Thursday, April 17, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Eagles fans need Heimlich after Cowboys clunker

Vince Papale
Vince Papale

Like you, I was pretty pumped for the ‘Boys visit to The Linc. The blood was boiling, the saliva was dripping and my game face was on. After the game was over while walking out of the totally raucous NovaCare suite -- that was suddenly silenced -- this weird thought came into my head (keep in mind that I have taken a few blows to my noggin).

It was like a recent visit to a well-known steakhouse chain where I ordered the best beef in the house, salivating as I waited 45 minutes for it to appear. When it did it was undercooked … but that’s okay and I tackled it anyway. Well almost.
 
A piece got lodged in my throat and as I started gasping for air my wife Janet thought I was playing a sick joke. When I wheezed, “can anyway perform a Heimlich,” she knew it was no joke. Since I am still around to write this post obviously there was a happy ending.

But how does that relate to the game?  Very simply … all week we were frothing at the mouth at Romo and the ‘Boys coming to “our house” and what we got in the end was a clunker that got caught in our throats. It may take a while to dislodge, as that game was so ready for devouring. (Please note that I am in no way implying that the Birds choked as it was just that sick feeling we all felt at games end.)
 
The defense brought its “A” game in its best effort of the year. You hold any team in the NFL to 17 points and you have to expect a win, don’t you? Nick Foles was primed to attack a Cowboy defense, which is without its best pass rusher, coming off six flawless quarters and adroitly dodging any hint that there is a QB controversy in town. Sadly, he and his passes fell short, as did the team, and now our beloved Iggles sit a game back in what network “experts” call a weak division. Nick was unable to elude the rush and would up with a major “ding” and now there are cries for Vick to return.
 
I feel really bad for Nick as I did when Mike got hurt. The last thing you ever want is to see is someone from your fraternity go down with an injury as I’ve been there-done that. As a player, the frustration is more excruciating than the pain. For Nick, it’ll even be more emotionally painful as he watches the tape and sees all of the “what ifs” and he may not be able to make amends this Sunday because of his concussion.

But as the rest of the players watch and evaluate themselves on tape there will be plenty of “what ifs” to pass around without pointing fingers. The game is won by making the big plays and the Eagles -- as a TEAM -- did not make any. The effort was there and the gameplan was sound but execution wasn’t … simple as that.

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  • It’s going to be a crazy week for the team because of all of the QB stuff and it’s going to be a real test for Chip Kelly, as he’ll have to fend off any notion that there is a controversy at QB that will be stoked on all forms of modern media. Hopefully the other players will not allow themselves to be dragged into it as nothing can corrupt a locker room more than what is about to transpire this week. Stay strong. Stay true. Stay silent. As Coach Vermeil would say to we players: “Don’t overload your mouth with your butt!”
     
    So, we have the Giants coming to town buoyed by the fact they can still get back in the hunt even after playing uninspiring football. In spite of an anemic running game they are dangerous because they have great players at the “skills” and they have nothing to lose. Their defense is nothing to slouch at. Never, ever. Let’s just hope that at the end of this game we won’t be screaming for a Heimlich.

    Vince Papale For Philly.com
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