Five cases of turmoil within our borders.

Michael Vick/People Who Tackle Michael Vick

When you’ve got Eli Manning as your quarterback, you’ve got to expect stupid shit to go down, like fumbling while sliding to avoid being tackled; a play in which no opposing player is probably going to touch you (unless you consider the “ground” to be an opposing player, too; sort of a neutrally hostile dickhead element to the game that can fuck everybody up).  But when Michael Vick makes a run, first of all, he’s probably going to travel ten steps further than you thought possible, and he’s also not going to slide.

Michael prefers a technique that guided me down a staircase twice as a child and once as an intoxicated Temple student:  the face first self-body slam.  But like the ground, or a concrete set of steps, Michael’s also been hurdling himself toward redemption.  Right now, the affection felt for him by Philadelphia, and the team surrounding him, is no where near where it was three years ago, when many thought he had dog-fought his way out of an NFL career.  Now, to not only be on a contender, but the driving force on that contender, would not have been the guess of anyone of the era.

Which is why Andy is so sick of watching his boy go down like that.

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid (R) talks with quarterback Michael Vick during the second quarter at Soldier Field in Chicago on November 28, 2010. The Bears won 31-26.   UPI/Brian Kersey Photo via Newscom
"OMFG ARE YOU OKAY."

[Yardbarker]

Michael’s violent acceptance of his fate on running plays and ability to maneuver himself like a sidewinder has gained him the ire of enemy defenses league-wide who would prefer it if he would just stop messing around and be tackled.  Their irritation on this matter has led to harder and harder attacks on his torso, and teams react to playing against a man who hates touching the ground so much he often throws his own face at it.

“Yeah, it bothers me, to be honest with you.  That bothers me and I see the same thing you’re seeing and it bothers me.”

–Andy Reid

This matter triple-bothers Andy Reid so stop it.

“You know, he does run, but he’s still a quarterback and there has to be, you know, you can’t treat him like he’s a running back there.  That’s not what the rules state.”

But none of this matters anyway, as Michael explains his coach’s point is moot because he is, in fact, undestroyable.

“It has no affect on me whatsoever.”

–Michael Vick

So.

Union/Expansion Draft

When I’m driving, I mindlessly curse out pedestrians.  I don’t want to call it “road rage,” but I am an inconsolable wreck constantly on the verge of tears while operating a motor vehicle.  The thing is, when I am a pedestrian, I still have rage, namely if I am walking across a road.

“Psh, they won’t hit me,” I always think while a car impatiently honks at my foot speed.  “And even if they do, I’ll just sue.”  (This thought is sometimes replaced by the much more conscience-gnawing “Oh, that little girl is running interference for me on any wayward cars anyway.”  Conveniently, the concept of being pulverized by a cement truck ever enters my head.

In either case, I fail to think of the varying perspectives from each standpoint, despite common exposure to both.  The Philadelphia Union were just last year the team that had all the MLS muttering unpleasantly while handing over lists of protected players.  Each time there’s an expansion franchise added to the historic annals of Major League Soccer (No, I am trying my best not mock it, thank you very much), each current team has to hand over players that the new team/s may want to fill out their roster, although they are permitted to formulate a list of names that are untouchable.

In 2009, the Union were that team.  It was hilarious.  Pulling key players out of other team’s rosters… it was like plucking key Jenga pieces out of the stack, but you got to rewrite the rules so everyone else lost.  Of course, this year, the Union aren’t crossing the street; they’re one of the manic, furious drivers being held up by some asshole walking in slow motion across an intersection.

The Portland Timbers and Vancouver White Caps are the new inductions to the league, but it was the White Caps who ripped versatile promising upstart Shea Salinas and steady-handed veteran gunslinger Alejandro Moreno from our bowels.  Hey, Vancouver–in case you’re wondering if Philly needs little or no reason to initiate an outrageous, generation-spanning blood feud:

We do.

SANTA CLARA, CA - SEPTEMBER 15: Shea Salinas  of the Philadelphia Union trips into the pitch against the San Jose Earthquakes on September 15, 2010 at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, California. The Earthquakes won 1-0. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
After spending the off season training with Michael Vick, Salinas refused to move the ball with anything but his face.

[Yardbarker]

Andre Iguodala/Evan Turner

Evan Turner’s numbers tank when Andre Iguodala isn’t suffering from tendonitis.  Andre isn’t strong enough to build off of in the way that Sixers brass are drooling over an Evan Turner/Jrue Holiday backcourt of the future.  And Doug Collins is aware of the situation, has announced of his awareness, and then looked at the ceiling while whistling every time Evan doesn’t make a field goal.  The two productive players are not forging a symbiotic relationship; with Evan the slick, #2 pick remora fish simply not attracted to Andre’s shark blood.

Back in May, it was assumed that the three would be capitalizing on their individual skill sets to create a fully-functioning Sixers war machine.  Although none of them has a three point shot that you’d trust to watch your kids, there was the hope that the injection of Turner and new coach Collins would prevent a season long tragedy.  For exactly no seconds since the year started have the Sixers penetrated that fantasy.

And now we’re watching Evan play exceptionally, but only when starting in place of Iguodala.  “TRADE HIM!!” the masses cry; only to be muffled by the lounging, torrential carcass of Elton Band’s contract.

As usual, if the coaching staff could just get the players to stop powdersmacking each other, maybe there’d be less resentment festering in the locker room.

Temple Owls Football/The Past

I thought I’d take this opportunity to clear up a few common conceptions/misconceptions regarding Temple.

  • Yes, the entire Temple police force is made up of owls wearing adorable miniature police uniforms.
  • Yes, the football team at one point hadn’t won a game in three years or something.
STATE COLLEGE, PA - SEPTEMBER 19: Wide receiver Chaz Powell #2 of the Penn State Nittany Lions runs with the ball after catching a pass during a game against the Temple Owls on September 19, 2009 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
PICTURED: "God DAMN it!!"

[Yardbarker]

  • The only time I saw them play in person, they recovered a fumble from Penn State on the first play of the game.  Then they immediately turned it over on the next play, and proceeded to put on a performance so terrible, it gave me pneumonia (I’m convinced it wasn’t the driving rain storm or the fact that I had let some girl puke in my jacket the night before).
  • No, they will never be able to seer those miserable years out of history.

Jayson Werth/My Heart

GO OR STAY JUST STOP DRAGGING THIS OUT.