Philadelphia Eagles – Last Team Standing

(Image Credit Associated Press/Philadelphia Eagles)

We hold onto our cherished memories as long as we can. However, as time relentlessly marches on the once razor-sharp details of favored recollections inevitably begin to dull around the edges a bit…and may even start to fade.

I (currently) believe the year I became a full-fledged Philadelphia Eagles fan was 1967. I was nine. My family had access to season tickets – seats located on the very top row of venerable Franklin Field. When I was monitored and allowed to do so, I remember standing up on those worn, wooden bleachers, stretched my arms across the significantly sturdier brick wall surrounding the stadium…and re-focused my wide-eyed attention on the vast Philadelphia skyline.

During halftimes – but also when all hope for my Eagles winning those days had flown away – I recall the times I was on those bleachers looking out across the city’s horizon.

I unfortunately saw a great deal of the Philly skyline during second halves of Eagles games back then.

The Philadelphia Eagles won the NFL Championship back in 1960 but being two years’ old, I admittedly wasn’t cognizant of that accomplishment. But I fully comprehend the one this franchise achieved on February 4th, 2018 in Minneapolis, MN.

I remember the last time I wrote about the Eagles here was early December, 2016. My recollections of that particular occasion are almost as vivid as newer memories created this past Super Bowl Sunday. After a brutal, ugly 32-14 loss on a cold, dank, dark day in Cincinnati it was my considered opinion they had hit rock bottom yet again…a level my Eagles found themselves residing at for many years as I was growing up.

There certainly have been some very good, very solid Eagles teams along the way. There also have been a handful of years since 1960 where we fans could seriously expect the season in question might be the one where the franchise could achieve pro football supremacy once more.

But the 2017 season wasn’t one of them.

No way.

There simply aren’t enough WordPress servers to house all the data I could provide as to why the Eagles winning the Super Bowl is the most incredible, improbable, illogical, implausible and inconceivable professional sporting achievement the Philadelphia region has likely ever witnessed.

The positively gruesome way their 2016 season ended both on and off the field. All of the season-ending injuries to stars suffered this year…even before league MVP-candidate quarterback Carson Wentz’s year also prematurely ended in Week 13.

Most assuredly there was legitimate reason this year’s edition of the Philadelphia Eagles were calculated to be underdogs in each contest of their postseason.

They were.

Yet, here we are.

As the crush of confetti flew once Philadelphia’s sensational Super Bowl victory was finally secured I recalled – gratefully still with much clarity – those first, formative, frustrating fan years standing on those bleachers.

The Philadelphia Eagles.

Last Team Standing.

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Posted in Football, NFL, Personal, Philadelphia, Philadelphia Eagles, Pro Football, Pro Sports, Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 80 Comments

From Boaty McBoatface To Footy McFooty Face – Intelligent Inspired Creative Advice From The Internet

(Image Credit The Natural Environment Research Council/New York Times)

A wise person once commented computers, machines and the like will only be as inspired and intelligent as the wise humans who create, utilize and manage them.

At this point we should probably consider walking back enthusiasm towards receiving consistent, high-quality intelligence and inspiration from the Internet and, by extension, the human race.

At least when it comes to asking the Internet for creative advice.

Last Friday an investor group led by former U.S. National Soccer star Landon Donovan opened up a poll on their Soccer City San Diego Facebook page asking the Internet to select the ten best prospective names for their prospective Major League Soccer squad.

The name with the most votes at this writing is Footy McFooty Face.

By a wide margin.

If this has a familiar tone it comes as a result of your remembering last year the U.K.’s Natural Environment Research Council asked the Internet to come up with an intelligent, inspirational name for a multi-million dollar British Navy research ship.

The winning name was Boaty McBoatface.

By a wide margin.

No, the R.R.S. Boaty McBoatface is not going to be hitting the high seas anytime soon. The R.R.S. Sir David Attenborough (named after the famed naturalist) will be once it completes construction at a shipyard in Liverpool. However, one of three high-tech remote controlled yellow submarines just began its first mission a few days ago bearing the very name of Boaty McBoatface…and one of the “Boaty” trio may ultimately achieve the first-ever under-ice crossing of the Arctic Ocean.

(Image Credit The Natural Environment Research Council/The Guardian)

Indeed, the British Science Ministry threw cold water on the idea of having a $240 million-dollar vessel named Boaty McBoatface…agreeing instead to honor (?) three robot subs. They obviously decided completely rejecting the very Internet they solicited creative advice from was not the best case scenario.

The worst case scenario is of course the point here. How many more times will marketing and social media “experts” sacrifice themselves into the deep end of the Internet pool soliciting creative advice?

Consider within this decade alone:

Singer Justin Bieber’s people rejected the Internet’s selected destination for his next world tour – North Korea.

Austin, Texas officials passed on renaming their Solid Waste Services department the Fred Durst Society of the Humanities and Arts (after the lead singer of the band Limp Bizkit).

Slovak officials balked on naming a pedestrian and cycling bridge near their border with Austria after action movie star Chuck Norris.

Mountain Dew drank in the early responses towards selecting a name for their new apple-flavored beverage and promptly pulled the plug on “Dub The Dew” after “Hitler Did Nothing Wrong” took the lead.

Many more examples exist. With recent ones resulting in the popularity of Boaty McBoatface and Footy McFooty Face…face it…humans still have not learned asking the Internet for creative input often brings more heartburn and humiliation than help.

On a couple of occasions those who solicited the Internet for its opinion did try to make lemonade from lemons:

The singer Pitbull actually went ahead and honored the Internet’s selection for a Walmart location to hold one of his concerts…in Kodiak, Alaska.

Singer Taylor Swift and her sponsors donated a combined $50,000 to Boston’s Horace Mann School for the Deaf after becoming the Internet’s selection to host one of her concerts. Each student was given a free ticket for her next local appearance.

And in the case of Boaty McBoatface not only do three submarines now bear that proud (?) moniker but the U.K.’s National Oceanography Centre has designed both cartoon and life-size inflatable versions to educate children about marine research.

(Image Credit The Natural Environment Research Council/Metro News)

The Internet was constructed by humans (not God or Amazon as was previously rumored). It only makes sense it would showcase the most superior intelligence humanity can offer…as well as display the wackiest, most mischievous, silliest and supremely outrageous behavior humanity can provide. When you ask open-ended creative advice of the Internet diverse feedback is logically what one should expect.

I do wonder since queries of the Internet continue maybe at least a couple of these marketing and social media “experts” are doing this on purpose. You know that old adage…there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Is it possible these examples of creative advice are precisely what they’re looking for by continuing to inquire of the Internet?

Nah, nobody’s that intelligent.

Posted in Humor, Life, News, Opinion, Thoughts | Tagged , , , , | 90 Comments

CSI: Comma Scene Investigation – Curious Case Of The Oxford Serial Killer Comma

Chalk outlines are likely being drawn around this blog as you read this.

A team of CSI’s – Comma Scene Investigators – has surely initiated a forensic review of each line from each post and outlining where commas are considered missing.

If I ever was taught the ways of the Oxford Comma as a youth I don’t recall.

Which isn’t that egregious a crime since I don’t recall what I had for dinner last night.

You could even build a case around the probability I never even heard of the Oxford Comma until a few days ago when word came from Maine a class-action lawsuit about overtime pay for truck drivers could cost the dairy company in question an estimated $10 million.

That’s a lot of moo-la.

Oakhurst Dairy’s description of what was exempt from overtime pay was even written following the comma guidelines set forth by Maine’s legislature…guidelines that specifically say don’t use the Oxford Comma.

The Oxford Comma is also known as the Serial Comma. Serial Killer Comma is more appropriate in this instance for its alleged criminal absence will kill some short-term profitability for Oakhurst if they do eventually lose this on appeal. (This decision reversed a lower court decision siding with the company)

An employee was not to be eligible for overtime pay if they were involved in:

The canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storing, packing for shipment or distribution of:

  • Agricultural produce;
  • Meat and fish products; and
  • Perishable foods.

 

The prosecution’s punctuation play was with no comma after “shipment” it meant the dairy drivers have been eligible for overtime. A comma after “shipment” would have made it clear (maybe) the law disallowed OT for distributors of perishable foods…AKA dairy drivers.

Maine’s Legislative Drafting Manual not only states to shun the Oxford Comma (the final comma used before a coordinating conjunction in a list of three or more items as provided within Oxford University style guidelines) but adds this piece of evidence about commas in general: “The most misused and misunderstood punctuation marks in legal drafting and, perhaps, the English language.”

(Did they need two commas in that sentence? Perhaps…)

While I never knew I was committing a crime in the eyes of some I remain more surprised at the anger and comma-calling surrounding this subject. There appears to be a lot of folks out there who swear by the Oxford Comma…and swear at you if your opinion of its requirement differs.

The band “Vampire Weekend” released a single a few years back titled “Oxford Comma.” They swore over its very existence.

Consider me up-to-speed now…the debate has apparently been quite passionate on this topic for a long time. It’s a tad embarrassing feeling as if I’m last on the (crime) scene considering I possess a degree in Journalism.

I think after looking into this the two factions can be described as follows…

Team Oxford Comma claims using an Oxford Comma 100% of the time takes out any and all ambiguity you might have in being understood. Total comma clarity.

Team Comma Sense (of which I am a member…now) claims the use of any comma is defined from sentence to sentence and overuse of commas can lead to less effective communication. No comma redundancy.

The conversation has apparently been swirling around for ages but I swear before the court of public opinion it’s the first I’ve heard of it.

I’m surprised someone from Team Oxford Comma hasn’t called me out before now.

I’m not surprised an American legal document is being picked apart for its punctuation.

We Americans do seem to be taking up loud, passionate positions and discoursing away on everything these days. Some subjects would appear to be universally important to most…but importance is indeed relative.

I am proud to be a member of Team Comma Sense but look forward to any debates…arguments…to the contrary.

Do you feel I’ve committed a crime by not lawyering up with Team Oxford Comma?

Do keep in mind for any closing argument the evidence needs to be beyond a shadow of a doubt to secure a favorable decision, verdict or conviction.

Posted in Blog, Blogging, Humor, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 43 Comments