Tag Archives: Brian Westbrook

Read This, Not That

Or I should say, “Read These, Not Those.”

One Penny:

The Bystander Effect.  Most of us know it as not helping a fellow human being who has called out for help or appears to be in physical distress when there are numerous observers.  As Natlee75 remarks, however, it could be as simple as not speaking the truth…and as serious as a recent headline news story. The entry may be too frontal cortex-heavy for anyone who needs a shot of espresso before doing any critical thinking in the morn, but it really got me juggling two opposing viewpoints, which Natlee75 touches upon in two paragraphs in the bottom of his post.

To re-phrase, how can man be so evolved intellectually and philosophically but then succumb to altruistic paralysis when someone is in need of help?  What is more unfortunate, to be in duress and manage to garner an audience of more than two? Or for every person that walks by to keep on walking?  A list of possible explanations suggests that the number of people around is irrelevant.

No good deed goes unpunished.  In the escalating adrenaline of the moment, fear as well as good intentions could very likely override a person’s ability to analyze the potential consequences of his actions.  So, if you decide you are going to help, say, a car accident victim, and for some reason don’t just call 911 and  get as close to the mangled car as possible and keep the injured individual talking.  If, instead, you choose to take it upon your non-rescue-trained self to really do something, your help could do more harm than you thought.  This man learned the hard way.

If we agree that reality is varying shades of gray (rather than black-and-white), whether or not you help your fellow man and the extent to which you offer assistance would necessarily be assessed on a case by case basis.  Ideally, you’d be able to make that choice without fear of guilt or prosecution.  Moreover, there’s a scale of helpful/harmful behaviors and actions contextualized with degree of consequence.

On one side, there is Good Intentions Gone Horribly Wrong, on the other side is Received With Much Gratitude, and in the middle is No Actions Taken.  Generally, helping someone bring in their groceries or opening a door or holding their place in line would be on the side between No Actions Taken and Received With Much Gratitude.  It’s more of a favor.  Yet, I imagine that you can conceptualize a situation in which carrying someone’s groceries to their car would result in something regrettable.

Any act that is meant to relieve another person’s pain, no matter the context, could go either way.  The person in pain could be supremely appreciative or irate…depending on whether or not the aid you facilitated or administered ultimately produced favorable or unfavorable results.

I’d like to think that there’s a meta-balancing act between the multiple pendulums that govern human interactions.  Those individuals that are afraid to ask for help vs. those individuals that don’t want to get involved.  Think about all the people that you know and who have ever been the victim of someone else’s deception, violence, manipulation, inconsideration, or all of the above.  How many of them confronted the wrong-doer?  How many of them filed a police report and pressed charges if applicable?  Now, think of all the people you know that wouldn’t hesitate to “do something,” anything if they were to witness an illegal act happening in their line of sight?  Which list is longer?


Two Penny: Brian Westbrook’s Monday concussion.

Three Penny: More Coke in Atlanta.

Four Penny: NBA Digital deal.

Five Penny: The Leaves on the trees are falling.

NFC Wildcard 2009: Eagles flatline the Vikings

Justin Four. The second 2009 AFC wildcard game was towed in by the Baltimore Ravens. They beat the Miami Dolphins 27 to 9 (on CBS) and will go up against the Tennessee Titans next week for the divisional crown (unless I hallucinated this bit of info when I was watching the Fox pre-game show). Click here for details. As for the NFC? The Philadelphia Eagles slugged over to the frontal cortex of the Minnesota Vikings. Broadcast on Fox, the first quarter began with the Eagles on offense. Three minutes later, the Vikings took to offense then gave the ball back to the Eagles. Wide receiver DeSean Jackson returned the punt for sixty-two yards. A few plays later, kicker David Akers flung up a forty-three yard field goal. Rinsed and repeated (for fifty-one yards) at the bottom of the quarter. Philadelphia 6 and Minnesota 0.

The second quarter burst out with a forty-yard touchdown by Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. Minnesota 7 and Philadelphia 6. The Eagles’ third field goal put them back on top, 9 to 7. A powdery dust of the white stuff later, Vikings quarterback Tavaris Jackson threw an interception. Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel made the snatch for a TD. Philadelphia 16 and Minnesota 7. Woohoo! Attendez! Were the Nordic ones going to back down? Jamais. Adrian Peterson got his two femurs into the end zone in the pit of the quarter. A sneeze afterwards, Vikings cornerback Cedric Griffin stole the pass Donovan McNabb targeted at wide receiver Kevin Curtis. Going into halftime, Philadelphia 16 and Minnesota 14.

The third quarter started off with Vikings tight end Jim Kleinsasser making a couple strides down into the Eagles’ nest. I wonder how long it took for Kleinsasser to learn how to spell his last name. Man, man, man. Vikings defensive end Jared Allen knocked the ball out of McNabb’s grip with about a minute left in the quarter. Defensive tackle Fred Evans lunged after the ball.

The fourth quarter ticktocked down to 6.5 minutes when Eagles running back Brian Westbrook made a seventy-one yard mad dash into the end zone. Philadelphia 23 and Minnesota 14. Fanks the gourd. The Vikings still had time to do some rhythmic gymnmathematics, but then Eagles defensive end Juqua Parker recovered a poorly snapped ball with under three minutes on the clock. Anything you’d have done, I’m gonna do betta. Boiling down to around two minutes, the Eagles nudged up their numbers with a field goal. Enfin, beating Minnesota 26 to 14, the Eagles are off to shoot bottle caps with the New York Giants for the NFC divisional game next week.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Joe Buck and Troy Aikman were the commentators. The more of Joe Buck that I see, the more I think he looks like a sixth grade science teacher. The words “igneous,” “proton” and “asthenosphere” could come rolling out of his mouth…and convincingly.

2. Kevin Curtis was sporting a moustache. I’m not a fan of facial hair but he still looks marvelous.

3. The first half undoubtedly demonstrated that both teams were full of intensity and “know-how,” but all of their effort paid off in table spoons rather than buckets. Yes, DeSean Jackson plucked Tavaris Jackson’s ball out of its trajectory and Adrian Peterson got to the end zone twice, and yet….

4. Taylor Hicks apparently sang the national anthem before the game started tonight. I missed it or it wasn’t televised.

Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.

NFL 08: Eagles juicy fruit the Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons ferried themselves north to the city of brotherly love to temper-tantrum in the face of the Eagles. Televised by Fox, the first quarter started with a huge play–Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel snatched Matt Ryan’s pass meant for Falcons wide receiver Roddy White. In the bottom of the first quarter, Eagles defensive end Trent Cole slammed into Matt Ryan’s sternum and incurred a flag. Falcons backup quarterback Chris Redman may or may not go in for a few plays.

The second quarter started with a nice McNabbWestbrook maneuver, but the Falcons responded to that with an equally nifty LoftonDavis play. Both teams’ defense have done quite well. Atlanta’s offense amped up its performance when Matt Ryan and Roddy White connected for a touchdown. Falcons 7 and Eagles 0. Towards the bottom of the second quarter, the Eagles own quarterback Donovan McNabb put the ball into the end zone and tied the score. Going into halftime, Eagles in the lead with 10 points (thanks to a field goal).

The third quarter began with an Eagles touchdown tanks to running back Brian Westbrook. Philadelphia 17 and Falcons 7. In the bottom of the third quarter, Atlanta was two sheep short of a sweater in putting the ball in the end zone–even though there were two consecutive flags on Philadelphia that kept the Falcons in the red zone. On Matt Ryan’s third pass, he threw the ball towards Roddy White but Eagles cornerback Lito Sheppard caught the ball.

The fourth quarter progressed nearly to the halfway point with no scores until the Eagles increased their lead with a field goal. Philadelphia 20 and Atlanta 7. Another Falcons trip to the red zone produced, to my unwavering delight, a TD made by Roddy White. Philadelphia 20 and Atlanta 14. Mais, Brian Westbrook gave his Eagles a bigger lead with under two minutes left in the game. Philadelphia 27 and Atlanta 14. Final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Sam Rosen and Tim Ryan provided commentary. I’ve never heard of these guys before.

2. Was I conflicted about team loyalties? I like both teams, I could be content no matter who won. Of course, I’d be thrilled to see the Falcons take the top bunk.

3. The Eagles lead the league in dropped passes? Is that what the commentators said?

4. In the minute before halftime, and the commentators discussed how many times the Falcons’ opponents have blitzed Matt Ryan, the graphic had Green Bay written as “Greeen Bay.” Hilarious.

5. Eagles wide receiver Kevin Curtis had to miss six games this season due to hernia surgery recuperation. He caught his first pass for the season in the very bottom of the second quarter. He caught seventy-seven passes last year.

Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.

‘Tis the Season: Eagles swat the Cowboys

I’m being attacked by a dull-pulse headache, so there won’t be an entry on the New York Giants vs. Washington Redskins game tonight.

The Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles didn’t play pattycake in their game today (on Fox).

The first quarter was scoreless. The second quarter was supposed to give the Cowboys a touchdown at the top of the quarter but Eagles safety Quintin Mikell intercepted the ball at the back of the end zone–it was quite stunning–but I like the Cowboys so I wasn’t cheering or anything–but because he fumbled the ball, Dallas retained possession (running back Marion Barber jumped on it). Soon afterwards, the Cowboys put the first set of numbers on the board with a field goal. Seconds before the second quarter ended, Eagles wide receiver Reggie Brown made a TD.

The Cowboys made another field goal in the top of the third quarter. The Eagles widened their lead over Dallas with a field goal in the top of the fourth quarter. Philadelphia 10. Dallas 6. Final score.

Am I upset that Dallas lost? I like them as a team, but I like Kevin Curtis, wide receiver for the Eagles. Il est tres mignon. My head hurts too much to be upset. Maybe surprised is more accurate–but then not that surprised. Many of the Cowboys were playing not 100 or even 90% healthy.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Cowboys safety Roy Williams was flagged for horse-collering Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb towards the bottom of the first quarter. McNabb may or may not still be on the Philadelphia team next season.

2. At the top of the second quarter, after a commercial break, the camera cut to Jessica Simpson wearing a Tony Romo jersey (a pink number 9).

3. After no opportunities to make TDs or catches last week, Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens  was able to do his thing (minus the TD) tonight in the top of the fourth quarter–after the Eagles made the field goal.

4. The Cowboys scored no touchdowns today. Three of Tony Romo’s throws were intercepted, including one in the bottom of the fourth quarter by Eagles safety Brian Dawkins.

5. In order for his team to keep possession of the ball and run the clock out, Eagles running back Brian Westbrook sacrificed a touchdown and downed himself at the one yard line.

For game summary, stats, and play by play, click here.

‘Tis the Season: Patriots squeaked by the Eagles

The New England Patriots against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb didn’t play tonight on account of an injury. A.J. Feeley stepped in for the evening.

Holy Mary in a Manger. Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel intercepted the second Eagles pass just moments into the first quarter and ran to the end zone for a touchdown. The Eagles matched the touchdown when running back Brian Westbrook jumped over three players (two Eagles and one Patriot) into the end zone a few minutes later. With fewer than two minutes in the first quarter, Patriots fullback Heath Evans broke the tie with a touchdown.

Eagles wide receiver Greg Lewis brought the tie back with TD in the top of the second quarter. Patriots broke that tie again with a field goal in the middle of the second quarter. New England 17. Philadelphia 14. Ooo. Greg Lewis took his fellow Eagles on top with another touchdown in the second quarter. Philadelphia led 21 to 17. But the Patriots weren’t having second-tier. Wide receiver Jabar Gaffney made a touchdown at the bottom of the second quarter.

The third quarter allowed the Eagles to take top tier after wide receiver Reggie Brown made a TD. The quarter began with a touchdown by wide receiver Randy Moss that was reversed because of offensive pass interference on Moss himself. The fourth quarter put the Patriots back in the lead halfway through the quarter when running back Laurence Maroney made a touchdown. New England 31. Philadelphia 28. The Eagles had a shot to put on more numbers, but Asante Samuel made another interception in the bottom of the fourth quarter. The game ended with the Patriots winning 31 to 28. Although the Eagles weren’t able to achieve what would have been one of the most momentous feats in recent NFL history, they have demythologized and humanized the New England players. I would even argue that the Eagles played “better” against the Patriots tonight than the Colts did a few weeks ago (Indianapolis lost by four points 20 to New England’s 24). Perhaps not technically, but dramatically, yes.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Did all Sunday Night Football telecasts on NBC this season begin with an extreme close-up of Al Michaels?

2. Al Michaels remarked that “Tom Brady‘s numbers are otherworldly.” Not long after Michaels made this comment, Brady had to run the ball and then took a slide. New England sure has a dainty runner in their quarterback.

3. When the first quarter ended, Al Michaels said “…will take us into the second stanza.” It’s only a matter of time before he adds “trimester,” “chapter,” “prong,” “lap,” “verse,” and “act.”

4. Baseball players chew all sorts of things during games because they’re probably really bored (all that sitting around until it’s your turn to bat or take the outfield). Why do football players chew gum? Suited players too. So many shots of the side lines, so many jaws a chewin’ (if it’s not gum, then it’s Starburst, fruit roll-up, or gummy bears). How large a stash of gum do these players have that they can chew while they wait to go back onto the field? Excepting instances where they’re not going back in, of course.

4. Al Michaels likened the referee’s faulty microphone to an emulation of Marcel Marceau, the legendary mime. He’s just full of intertextual comments tonight, isn’t he?

5. John Madden believed that the Jabar Gaffney TD could’ve been reviewed. While Gaffney caught the ball and had possession of it, when he came down onto the field, neither knee was still in the end zone.

6. Patriots kicker Stephen Kostowski missed a thirty-two yard field goal nearing the bottom of the third quarter. Returning from the commercial break, there was a slow-motion instant replay of the field goal, accompanied by an unnecessary graphic that involved solid sheets of color covering the area outside of the uprights and a cyan colored line that traced the path of the ball. I think it took the cake in terms of ugly graphics that occasionally come along with instant replays.

For game summary, stats, and play by play, click here.

And now for something quasi-unrelated. Eagles wide receiver Kevin Curtis is ludicrously aesthetically pleasing (with and without helmet). I decided to look him up on wikipedia. One of the trivia factoids about him is that he “scored a 48 out of a possible 50 points on the Wonderlic intelligence test administered to all prospective rookies at the NFL Combine. The highest among active players.” I followed a few of the links concerning the Wonderlic test and found this thought-provoking piece on intelligence and quarterbacks.

pic cred: official Eagles web site