Can't wait for Eagles fans to stumble into Baltimore

The Kickoff

August 16, 2006|By PETER SCHMUCK

It has come to my attention that the Philadelphia Eagles will be visiting M&T Bank Stadium tomorrow, so I just wanted to take this opportunity to welcome their terrific fans back to Baltimore. We've certainly missed you.

The only other time we get to see so many drunks dressed in green around here is on St. Patrick's Day, and that's not nearly as much fun because it takes the average Baltimorean at least three beers to start acting like an idiot. Who wants to wait that long? Your typical "Iggles" fan will blow a .25 blood-alcohol content and start a brawl after a bowl of rum raisin ice cream.

I know, I know. It's not fair to stereotype. There probably are dozens of Eagles fans who drink responsibly and treat opposing fans with dignity and respect. I've never actually met one, but I've talked to people who have, and I've heard there are pictures floating around the Internet of fans wearing Eagles regalia who have remained conscious well into the third quarter.

I'm skeptical, of course. You can do some amazing things with Photoshop.

Seriously, it's got to be strange being a Philadelphia sports fan right now, since the Eagles' greatest Super Bowl hero is also one of the city's biggest sports villains. Even I can't wait for Oct. 8, when Terrell Owens and the Dallas Cowboys visit Lincoln Financial Field for the first of two NFC East showdowns.

If you're like me, you can't get enough of Jose Canseco, who is scheduled to start his first regular-season game as a pitcher today in the independent Golden Baseball League.

Canseco plays for the Long Beach Armada and he allegedly has been throwing well in the bullpen sessions leading up to his entry into the team's starting rotation. He throws a fastball and a knuckleball, and it wouldn't surprise me a bit if somewhere deep inside his steroid-addled brain he thinks this might be his ticket back to the big leagues.

He has insisted for years that he has been blackballed by Major League Baseball. At this point, we can only hope he's right.

The Floyd Landis doping scandal has spelled the end for the Phonak cycling team. Owner Andy Rihs announced yesterday that the team would suspend operations at the end of the year after a long history of doping problems that culminated with the shocking announcement that this year's Tour de France champion had tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone.

"I guess I will have a lot of time on my hands now to swallow this bitter pill," Rihs said.

Interesting choice of words.

The reporters who blew the cover off the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative investigation were ordered by a federal judge yesterday to testify before the grand jury that is trying to determine who leaked them the confidential testimony that formed the backbone of their coverage and the best-selling book Game of Shadows.

Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams continue to insist they will go to jail before they reveal the source of the information that illuminated the steroid investigation for millions of sports fans. If that happens, it will be the best illustration yet of the futility of the continuing BALCO investigation, which has cost millions of dollars and may be reduced to jailing reporters and settling for a perjury indictment against Barry Bonds.

The Arizona Cardinals have announced that newly signed quarterback Matt Leinart will play in the team's preseason game against the New England Patriots this weekend, proving - if nothing else - that Dennis Green needs to have his head examined.

Leinart arrived in camp yesterday, and though he took part in all of the Cardinals' offseason minicamps, he cannot possibly be in playing shape. It's hard to believe the Cardinals would pay him all that money and immediately put him at risk of an injury.

The Washington Redskins will be without Clinton Portis for the rest of the preseason. The Eagles just announced that running back Brian Westbrook will not play until the regular season. You'd think the Cardinals could wait a week to make sure Leinart is comfortable with the offense.

This week's funny headline comes from TheBrushback.com, a sports humor site on the Web: Rest of Oklahoma football players hastily quit their fake jobs.

peter.schmuck@baltsun.com.

"The Peter Schmuck Show" airs on WBAL (1090 AM) at noon on Saturdays.

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