Buddy Ryan 10th Reason-Come From Behind

The 10th reason for the appeal  of Buddy Ryan, nearly 20 years after he left,  was the ability the Philadelphia to come from behind and win.  Some of these games were really exciting.

1986 at Los Angeles Raiders.

This game went into overtime and had a little bit of everything.   There were numerous sacks and turnovers with  Randall Cunningham keeping the Eagles in the game.  Fulton Walker  returned a punt for a touchdown for the Raiders and Greg Garrity did likewise for the Eagles.  The Raiders had the ball at the Philadelphia eight about halfway through the fifth quarter. Marcus Allen fumbled and  Andre Water recovered;  Waters ran 90 yards inside the Raiders 10.  A change in a second.  Randall Cunningham went in for the winning score.  Eagles 33 Raiders 27

1987 Washington Redskins at Veterans Stadium.

The Eagles were behind by 11 points twice, 14 to 3 and 21 to 10.  Randal Cunningham passed to Greg Garrity for the winning score.   Eagles 31 Redskins 27.

1988 Houston Oilers at Veterans Stadium

After 12 plays in the first quarter, including special teams, the Eagles were behind 16 t0 0.   The Philadelphia Eagles gradually crawled their way into the game after that.  Eagles 32 Oilers 23.

1988 Dallas Cowboys at Veterans Stadium

Dallas jumped out to a 20 to 0 lead.  Randall Cunningham threw a one yard touchdown pass to Keith Byers for the winning score.  Eagles 24 Cowboys 23

1989 at Washington Redskins

Washington led by 20 points twice, 20 to 0 and 27 to 7.  The Eagles kept passing, running, and getting turnovers.  Cunningham passed to Keith Jackson for the winning score.  Eagles in a thriller 42 to 37.

1990 at Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys blocked a punt for a 20 to 14 lead late in the game.  The Eagles came back in the final seconds as Randall Cunningham passed two yards to Keith Jackson.  Philadelphia won a squeaker over the improving Cowboys 21 to 20.

Under Buddy Ryan, you never counted the Eagles out.

2008 Replay Not Likley

Think back to the  Thursday night game the Eagles played in 2008 and it was just a great turnaround.   The previous three weeks Philadelphia went from 5-3 to 5-5-1.  There was:

  1} a 36 to 30 loss at home to the New York Giants on Sunday Night.  The game itself was not as close as the score indicated;

  2} a disgusting 13 to 13 tie with the lowly Bengals;

  3} the 36 to 7 blowout at Baltimore.  Special teams provided  temporary hope with Quinten Demps returning a kickoff for a touchdown just before halftime.  The Ravens led at that time only 10 to 7.

 Andy Reid benched Donovan McNabb just before halftime but stated after the fiasco that there no change in the line up.  McNabb was often brilliant in the six wins that followed.   This will not recur in 2011 because:

–the other divisions are much stronger;

–Dallas with four consecutive wins is in a great position.

–this game is in the 12th not the 11th win of the season.   Picture adding a loss and converting a tie to a loss.

Harrisburg Events Before the Civil War II

THE VISIT OF CHARLES DICKENS TO HARRISBURG

WE PICK UP  CHARLES DICKENS AMERICAN NOTES IN 1842

The scenery, which had been tame enough at first, was, for the last ten or twelve miles, beautiful. Our road wound through the pleasant valley of the Susquehanna; the river, dotted with innumerable green islands, lay upon our right; and on the left, a steep ascent, craggy with broken rock, and dark with pine trees. The mist, wreathing itself into a hundred fantastic shapes, moved solemnly upon the water; and the gloom of evening gave to all an air of mystery and silence which greatly enhanced its natural interest.

LEONARD-THIS IS EXTREMELY WELL WRITTEN PHRASE THAT’S SIMILAR TO SCENES IN M0VIES AND TELEVISION. DEPENDING ON THE PERSON IT GIVES FEARS OR INSPIRATION OF NOT KNOWING WHAT’S AHEAD.  HE PROBABLY APPRECIATES THE SUSQUEHANNA MORE THAN THE RIVERS HE HAS SEEN IN OTHER AREA.  DICKENS WENT TO HARRISBURG AFTER GOING THROUGH THE BOSTON TO RICHMOND CORRIDOR.

We crossed this river by a wooden bridge, roofed and covered in on all sides, and nearly a mile in length. It was profoundly dark; perplexed, with great beams, crossing and recrossing it at every possible angle; and through the broad chinks and crevices in the floor, the rapid river gleamed, far down below, like a legion of eyes. We had no lamps; and as the horses stumbled and floundered through this place, towards the distant speck of dying light, it seemed interminable. I really could not at first persuade myself as we rumbled heavily on, filling the bridge with hollow noises, and I held down my head to save it from the rafters above, but that I was in a painful dream; for I have often dreamed of toiling through such places, and as often argued, even at the time, ‘this cannot be reality.’

LEONARD-WE HAVE ALL HAVE HAD NIGHTMARES SIMILAR TO WHAT DICKENS JUST SPOKE ABOUT. HE IS OF COURSE TALKING ABOUT THE MARKET STREET OR CAMELBACK  BRIDGE LEADING TO CENTER CITY HARRISBURG.   THE CROSSING HAS NONE OF THE ROMANCE ASSOCIATED WITH THE RIVER.  IT SEEMS QUITE DANGEROUS AND MUST HAVE SEEMED LIKE HOURS RATHER THAN MINUTES CROSSING THE RIVERS.

At length, however, we emerged upon the streets of Harrisburg,whose feeble lights, reflected dismally from the wet ground, did not shine out upon a very cheerful city. We were soon established in a snug hotel, which though smaller and far less splendid than many we put up at, it raised above them all in my remembrance, by having for its landlord the most obliging, considerate, and gentlemanly person I ever had to deal with.

LEONARD-STREET LIGHTING NEVER GETS THE ATTENTION IN SMALL CITIES THAN IT DOES IN LARGER ONES.  THIS IS UNFAIR BECAUSE SAME NEEDS EXIST.  IN 1842, HARRISBURG HAD BEEN THE CAPITAL FOR 30 YEARS AND THE STREETS SHOULD HAVE SHINED.  CHARLES DICKENS STAYED AT THE SITE OF THE WARNER  HOTEL ON MARKET SQUARE . IN LATER YEARS, THE PLACE  HAD A BLUE KEYSTONE POLE IN FRONT AND A METAL MARKER ON THE BUILDING NOTING DICKENS’ PRESENCE . AT ONE TIME, THE HOTEL CATERED TO INDIVIDUALS AND LEGISLATORS.  IN THE MID 60s,  COMPETITION CAME FROM SUBURBAN AREAS, THE WARNER FELL IN TO DISREPAIR,  AND IT WAS AN EYESORE.  THE CITY DEMOLISHED THE WARNER HOTEL IN THE MID 80s FOR A PARKING LOT FOR THE HARRISBURG HILTON.

As we were not to proceed upon our journey until the afternoon, I walked out, after breakfast the next morning, to look about me; and was duly shown a model prison on the solitary system, just erected, and as yet without an inmate; the trunk of an old tree to which Harris, the first settler here (afterwards buried under it), was tied by hostile Indians, with his funeral pile about him, when he was saved by the timely appearance of a friendly party on the opposite shore of the river; the local legislature (for there was another of those bodies here again, in full debate); and the other curiosities of the town.

LEONARD-DICKENS, AS A SOCIAL REFORMER WAS INTERESTED IN PRISONS SAW THIS NEW PRISON JUST AFTER SEEING THE ONE IN PHILADELPHIA.  HE ALSO SAW THE STORY OF JOHN HARRIS BUT THERE ARE DOUBTS ABOUT THE STORY.

I was very much interested in looking over a number of treaties made from time to time with the poor Indians, signed by the different chiefs at the period of their ratification, and preserved in the office of the Secretary to the Commonwealth. These signatures, traced of course by their own hands, are rough drawings of the creatures or weapons they were called after. Thus, the Great Turtle makes a crooked pen-and-ink outline of a great turtle; the Buffalo sketches a buffalo; the War Hatchet sets a rough image of that weapon for his mark. So with the Arrow, the Fish, the Scalp, the Big Canoe, and all of them.

I could not but think – as I looked at these feeble and tremulous productions of hands which could draw the longest arrow to the head in a stout elk-horn bow, or split a bead or feather with a rifle- ball – of Crabbe’s musings over the Parish Register, and the irregular scratches made with a pen, by men who would plowa lengthy furrow straight from end to end. Nor could I help bestowing many sorrowful thoughts upon the simple warriors whose hands and hearts were set there, in all truth and honesty; and who only learned in course of time from white men how to break their faith, and quibble out of forms and bonds. I wonder, too, how many times the credulous Big Turtle, or trusting Little Hatchet, had put his mark to treaties which were falsely read to him; and had signed away, he knew not what, until it went and cast him loose upon the new possessors of the land, a savage indeed.

LEONARD-THE INDIANS HAD THE SKILL OF ART RATHER THAN WORDS AND THE SKETCHES WERE INTERESTING.   THE BROKEN TREATIES  WITH THE INDIANS IS UNFORTUNATELY PART OF AMERICAN FOLKLORE.  THE IMPORTANT POINT IS IT WAS NOT CONFINED TO THE WEST.

Our host announced, before our early dinner, that some members of the legislative body proposed to do us the honor of calling. He had kindly yielded up to us his wife’s own little parlor, and when I begged that he would show them in, I saw him look with painful apprehension at its pretty carpet; though, being otherwise occupied at the time, the cause of his uneasiness did not occur to me.

It certainly would have been more pleasant to all parties concerned, and would not, I think, have compromised their independence in any material degree, if some of these gentlemen had not only yielded to the prejudice in favor of spittoons, but had abandoned themselves, for the moment, even to the conventional absurdity of pocket-handkerchiefs. It still continued to rain heavily, and when we went down to the Canal Boat (for that was the mode of conveyance by which we were to proceed) after dinner, the weather was as unpromising and obstinately wet as one would desire to see. Nor was the sight of this canal boat, in which we were to spend three or four days, by any means a cheerful one; as it involved some uneasy speculations concerning the disposal of the passengers at night, and opened a wide field of inquiry touching the other domestic arrangements of the establishment, which was sufficiently disconcerting.

LEONARD-CHARLES DICKENS WAS OBVIOUSLY REFERRING TO CHEWING TOBACCO.  USING TOBACCO AND LEAVING THE JUICE ON THE RUG  IS CRUDE BUT COMMON GUESS IN THOSE DAYS.

However, there it was – a barge with a little house in it, viewed from the outside; and a caravan at a fair, viewed from within: the gentlemen being accommodated, as the spectators usually are, in one of those locomotive museums of penny wonders; and the ladies being partitioned off by a red curtain, after the manner of the dwarfs and giants in the same establishments, whose private lives are passed in rather close exclusiveness.

We sat here, looking silently at the row of little tables, which extended down both sides of the cabin, and listening to the rain as it dripped and pattered on the boat, and plashed with a dismal merriment in the water, until the arrival of the railway train, for whose final contribution to our stock of passengers, our departure was alone deferred. It brought a great many boxes, which were bumped and tossed upon the roof, almost as painfully as if they had been deposited on one’s own head, without the intervention of a porter’s knot; and several damp gentlemen, whose clothes, on their drawing round the stove, began to steam again. No doubt it would have been a thought more comfortable if the driving rain, which now poured down more soaringly than ever, had admitted of a window being opened, or if our number had been something less than thirty; but there was scarcely time to think as much, when a train of three horses was attached to the tow-rope, the boy upon the leader smacked his whip, the rudder creaked and groaned complainingly, and  we had begun our journey.

Past History with New England

The Patriots have defeated the Philadelphia Eagles three consecutive times.  The 31 to 28 loss at Foxboro in 07 hurt more than the Super Bowl loss three years earlier.  Some is some mystic about the number three.

2004-The Eagles lost to New England in the Super Bowl by three 24 to 21;
Three years later;
2007-The Eagles lost to New England at Foxboro by three 31 to 28.

The 07 loss dropped the Eagles to 5-6  and virtually ended any Post Season hopes.  Should the Eagles win today, they will rise to 5-6.  Life support for the Post Season remains.

The 07 loss stemmed from three interceptions, two by Asante Samuel.  Samuel opened the game in Eagles territory returning an interception  for a touchdown.  He closed the game with an interception in Patriots territory ending the Eagles’ hopes.   The Eagles got no turnovers but there was one critical series that swung momentum to the other side .  Philadelphia stopped the Patriots on downs at the own 34;  but they failed to get a first down and punted the ball away; big series.

In 03, the Patriots won at Philadelphia 31 to 10.  Philadelphia had  six turnovers and yielded eight sacks.  Nevertheless one point brought Donovan McNabb and the Eagles some respect.  The Eagles had the ball at their own ten with two minutes left and behind 24 to 10.   The New England defense cut off the sidelines and long passes. Donovan could have completed a series of short passes that would have boosted his completion percentage, gotten additional yardage, and perhaps even a meaningless touchdown.

Instead he chose  the difficult route and threw a long pass. Teddy Bruschi intercepted it and ran  for a touchdown. Donovan McNabb stood low on actual figures but high in esteem.

Harrisburg Events Before the Civil War-I

2012 the Bicentennial of Harrisburg becoming  the Capitol of Pennsylvania.  The city always had a significant economic base, since  the Susquehanna River crosses the Blue Mountain.  Five significant  events occurred in Harrisburg before the Civil War. Here are the first two.

I.  President George Washington slept over in Harrisburg on October 3, 1794, on his way west to put down the Whiskey Rebellion near Pittsburgh. He spoke to a crowd gathered in Market Square, calling Harrisburgers “zealot and efficient patriots” even though he knew a majority of these people sympathized with the whiskey makers who did not want to pay taxes.   In distance, terrain, and commerce, Harrisburg is much closer to Philadelphia than Pittsburgh.  Going west to Pittsburgh, it’s all mountainous.  East to Philadelphia, it mostly flat.  Nevertheless, not wanting to pay taxes overrides everything.

II.  The Whig Party gradually rooted and the Federalist Party dwindled  after the War of 1812.   The Whig Party had no policy, no specific ideas,  and certainly  program.  Their common bond was hostility to legacy of President  Andrew Jackson.  In December of 1839, the Whigs held their  Political Convention at the Zion Lutheran Church in Harrisburg on Fourth Street just off Market.  The church is still there next to the Alva Restaurant.   Harrisburg is the smallest city ever to hold a political convention.

The front runners were Senator Daniel Webster of Massachusetts and Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky.  As you know, outstanding legislators seldom get the Presidential Nomination. They have records that the opposition can use against them.  Their supporters often believe they do not go far enough.  Compromise is often necessary to get anything done.  As a result,  a Dark Horse emerges.  In this case it was William Henry Harrison of Indiana.

While military Governor of Indiana, Harrison put down an Indian Rebellion at Tippecanoe and later fought in the War of 1812.  The Whigs chose John Tyler of Virginia as Vice President.  The party created the best campaign publicity line, at least up to that time “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too.” The Whigs easily defeated the incumbent, Martin Van Buren, a Democrat from New York.   In frontier days, things moved slowly.  The election occurred in November 1840,   11 months after the convention. 

Add to that  the inauguration day of March 4,  four months after the election,  made the process slow and dangerous.  William Henry Harrison, at 68, was the oldest man to assume the Presidency until Ronald Reagen, 120 years later.   Harrison gave a 90 minute address on a rainy and cold day days. He caught pneumonia and died one month later.   The longest address made for the shortest administration in history.

 

 

Whigs easily defeated the incumbent Martin Van Buren, a Democrat from  New York.   Things moved slowly in frontier days.  The election was 11 months later than the convention.  William Henry Harrison, at 68,  was the oldest man to assume the presidency until Ronald Reagen, 120 years later.  Harrison gave a 90 minute speech on a rainy day on March 4, 1841.  He caught pneumonia  and died after being in office only one month.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York Giants in 2007

Nobody enjoyed last night’s victory over the New York Giants more than I did  but there were  two soft spots needing attention.  Mistakes are not only important if you lose. Three pass interceptions and that foolish display from DeSean Jackson really hurt.

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The 2007 New York Giants  team had the worst Regular Season and best Post Season Play of any NFL Champion.   In 2006, they started at 6-2 and  finished 2-6 for an 8-8 or .500 season.  Now without  Tiki Barker, total collapse of the team seemed imminent. They went all the way winning  in the Super Bowl and deserved it.  Nevertheless their schedule was not difficult .  The NFL basis the matching  of the six swing  games with teams having similar records.  That is a way off maintaining parity.

Let’s group the season together based on similarity and chronology.

{1} The first two games which the Giants lost; at Dallas 45 to 35 and at home to the Green Bay Packers 35 to 13.  This one sided loss had the fans clamoring for the firing of Tom Cloughin.

{2} The Giants defeated the Washington Redskins at Landover, Md 24 to 17;  the the team won five more games bringing their record to 6-2.  A great streak but the win over the Redskins was their only winning team NY defeated in 2007.

{3} At New York, the Giants lost to the Dallas Cowboys  30 to 21, snapping the six game winning streak and now their record was 6-3.  The Cowboys swept the series from the Giants in 07.

{4} The Giants won four of next six for 10-5 record.  Let me state the point again.  The Washington Redskins, at 9-7,  were the only winning team they faced in this period. The Redskins beat the Giants in New Jersey 22 to 10.

{5}  The New England Patriots beat the Giants  in the Meadowlands in the final game 38 to 35.  The Giants came in at 10-5 and could not improve their Wild Card Status by winning.  The pressure was on the the Patriots to get a perfect regular season.  And they did.  More Later.

New England the Last Three Years

The New England Patriots have not won a playoff game since the AFC Championship Game in 2007. The 21 to 17 loss to the New York Giants was the second biggest in Super Bowl history. The other New York team, the Jets, pulled the 16 to 7 win over the Baltimore Colts in 1968
The big victories for New England in  each of the last three years were at home. The figures do not lie.

2008 Week 15 Arizona (7-7) N.E.  (9-5)

Matt Cassel threw 20 times for 345 yards and three touchdowns.  Wes Welker caught seven passes for 68 yards.  Stephan Gratkowsi kicked four field goals. Matt Leinhart threw a 78 yard pass to Larry Fitzgerald late in the game to prevent a shut out.  I will say this-the Cardinals, badly out manned, never gave up. That one bright spot was when the Patriots led 47 to 0.

Other statistics, first downs 27 to 8 and total yards gained  514 to 186.  The Cardinals gained only 44 yards rushing and got eight first downs. Since the Cardinals went to the Super Bowl in 08, this was one of the Patriots’ most impressive wins of the decade.  Patriots 47 Cardinals 7.  The Patriots finished at 11-5 and did not make the playoffs.

2009 Week 6 Tennessee (0-5) N.E. (3-2)

Chris Johnson for the Titans and Lawrence Monroney  for New England each gained  125 yards.  Any similarity between the two teams end there.  Tom Brady completed 29 of 34 passes for 380 yards and six touchdowns.  The Titans total passing game was -7 yards. Wes Walker caught 10 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns.  First downs were 32 to 9.  Guess what team had the greater number.  Patriots 59 Titans 0.

2010 Week 12 with both the Patriots and Jets at 9-2

Tom Brady completed 21 of 29 passes for 364 yards and four touchdowns.  Wes Welker caught seven passes for 181 yards and a four touchdowns.  Big factor was the three Patriot interceptions. Patriots 45 Jets 3.                  

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