Would You Wear The ‘Shirt Of Hurt’?

Sport Relief is a biennial charity event from Comic Relief and BBC Sport which brings together the worlds of sport and entertainment to raise money to help vulnerable people in both the UK and the world’s poorest countries.

In 2006, David Walliams of ‘Little Britain’ fame swam the English Channel to raise money for the charity. David also swam the Gibraltar Strait for the 2008 campaign before television presenter Adrian Chiles cycled 335 miles in just two days.

So far this year, television presenter Helen Skelton has completed a solo kayak down the 2,010 miles of the Amazon, while colleague Christine Bleakley water skied across the English Channel. But perhaps the most incredible challenge so far in Sport Relief history was taken up by comedian and movie star Eddie Izzard – 43 marathons in only 51 days!

Sport Relief raised almost £20m (approximately $30m) last year and they’re looking to smash that figure during the televised show on Friday 19th March.

So how does that have anything whatsoever to do with our Philadelphia Eagles?

Well, a number of UK sports fans have agreed to wear the “shirt of hurt”, the team jersey of their most bitter rivals and be photographed wearing it in order to raise money for a very worthy cause. There is an online gallery here. A number of soccer players have even been convinced to swap a jersey with a dreaded rival. England has 92 professional soccer teams and the entire country is only slightly bigger than the state of Pennsylvania, so rivalries here can be pretty intense!

And this made me think. How much would need to be donated for one of our bleeding green Eagles fans to wear a Dallas Cowboys jersey? Would you be photographed wearing one if $50 was donated? How about $500? How much would it take?

What if DeSean Jackson was to wear a Cowboys jersey in order to raise a substantial amount for those in need? Would you be prepared to match that amount so that he doesn’t go through with it, or wouldn’t it bother you?

I’d love to read your views on this, so please feel free to click on the ‘comments’ link at the top of the post and tell me what you’d be prepared to do in the name of charity.

For the record, there’s no way I’ll be wearing a Cowboys jersey. I’ll be donating enough to pay for a hot, nutritious lunch for over 600 children living in extreme poverty in Zambia, but wearing that star? No way!

Cheers from the UK and GO BIRDS!

EaglesFanCast 80 – Free Agency Nothing

Our Philadelphia Eagles enter the 2010 Free Agency season not with a bang, a crackle or even a little hiss.  As other teams scramble and write out big checks for star players, the Eagles organization looks within.  They sign Jason Avant and Leonard Weaver, trade away Reggie Brown… and do not pick up anyone new.  So far.  This week we talk about how things are, how they appear, and some philosophical topics as they relate to the Eagles.

What we discussed this show:

  • Eagles cut favorite player Brian Westbrook a few weeks ago
  • Signings – receiver Jason Avant and fullback Leonard Weaver
  • Restructuring Stacy Andrews’ contract
  • Trade receiver Reggie Brown to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a reported sixth round draft pick
  • Todd rants about Donovan McNabb
  • Have the Eagles become a team that players may not want to come to, because of the Eagles Management team?
  • We try to sort out some of what is going on for Free Agency so far

Stay in touch this offseason:

Email: fans [at] EaglesFanCast.net

Voicemail Line: (856) 335-3675

Twitter: @EaglesFanCast

Facebook: facebook.com/EaglesFanCast

MySpace: EaglesFanCast

[audio:http://media.libsyn.com/media/eaglesfancast/080_EFC-Mar_9_2010.mp3 | titles=Episode 80 – Free Agency Nothing|artists=EaglesFanCast]
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New EaglesFanCast Logo

We are thrilled to release our new logo for EaglesFanCast today! As I wrote about a few weeks ago, we are making changes to what EaglesFanCast is. We have already added on two new blog contributors, Holden and Steve, and one more that our podcast listeners will be familiar with very soon. They are excited to be part of EFC, and we could not be happier to have them involved.

The second thing that is happening is our new logo.  We loved the old one and it served us well for the first couple years, but it was looking dated and was in need of a makeover.  The original logo encompassed the helmet and the media player that symbolizes only a small part of what this new media space is.  We felt that moving forward with a completely new design would embody a unique style all our own.

Paul Muller, the man behind Puzzle Piece Productions, is a fellow podcaster, is out of Philadelphia and is, of course, a big Eagles fan.  I worked closely with Paul to bring this new design together, and he both spearheaded the concept based on the sketches I envisioned and supplied, and ran with it, developing a completely new look.  He was both patient and accommodating with my many changes and tweaks, and didn’t complain once!  LOL  I want to thank Paul for an amazing job, and we are psyched to finally show it off.

Besides the logo you see above, which will be for the overall EFC presence, there will be a secondary logo, shown at the right.  This will be used specifically for our podcast. This logo will be part of any of the sites and locations that are specific to the podcast show itself, such as on the iTunes Store, Zune Marketplace, TPS Radio, and any podcast directories we are listed in such as blubrry or Podcast Alley.

So tell us what you think!  If you like it, please also go visit Paul at his site, especially if you know of someone that needs logo and graphics work done.  Obviously he does a great job.

Let’s Not Pass On A Super Bowl

There was a great deal of debate during the last season surrounding Andy Reid’s play calling. In my opinion, his reluctance to run the ball meant that we didn’t hurt teams as much as we could and should have done. We didn’t shorten the field and unlock our deep weapons DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin as often as a genuine Championship contender needed to.

Obviously there’s more to winning a Super Bowl than just the offense, but would we be more likely to succeed with a better balance between run and pass? Let’s look at some numbers.

Over the past ten years during the regular season, the eventual Super Bowl champions opted for passing plays 51.58% of the time. The highest percentage over that time belonged to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with 57.8% during the 2002 season and the lowest was the Pittsburgh Steelers with 40.84% in 2005.
What about our Eagles? Well, the average regular season passing play percentage over the decade was 57.60%. The highest season saw 62.94% in 2005 and the lowest was 52.84% in 2002, the only year of the past ten that the Eagles’ passing percentage has been below that of the eventual Super Bowl Champions.

The Eagles made it to Super Bowl XXXIX after throwing the ball 59.26% of the time during the regular season, more than any Super Bowl winner of the last decade. What happened in the big game? 75.00% of plays saw Donovan air it out and the game was lost. That wasn’t the sole reason for losing the game of course, but in my opinion it was definitely a factor.

Another indication of the Eagles’ weakness on the ground is that the average time of possession over the past decade during the regular season is only 29:28 per game. That’s over 2 minutes less than the Super Bowl winner of each year, 31:33. Even those pass-happy Buccaneers managed to hold onto the ball for 32:07 during the 2002 season.

If you look at team rankings, the Super Bowl winners over the past decade have been ranked #14.7 passing and #13.5 when running the ball. The Eagles fare better with their passing ranking of #12.3 and slightly worse when it comes to running the ball, #16.0. Hey Andy, pass the ball less and run it more! It works!

It’s interesting to note just how many high-powered passing teams have lost the Super Bowl. Over the past ten years, the #1 or 2 ranked passing team over the regular season has ended up as the Super Bowl runners up on 5 occasions – that’s half of them! The #1 ranked team hasn’t won at all, with only the 2006 Colts managing a win as the #2 ranked team. Maybe a passing game will get you to the big one, but it isn’t enough to go all the way. The last two years the losing team, Colts and Cardinals, were the #2 ranked passing team during the regular season but #32 when running the ball.

An effective running game opens up so many options. Everything from running the clock down to protect a lead, to pounding a defense and tiring them out before hitting them with a long pass play. It sounds backwards, but don’t we owe it to our talented receivers to run the ball more?

Cheers from the UK and GO BIRDS!