Before we get started, check this out. The commissioner's very name is golden.
Kelly Evans, Ardmore, PA:
"Thanks for taking my question, Angry Who Dat! I’ve been checking out this site in advance of our game Monday night and it’s great. I bet it’s a lot of fun blogging about the Saints both on your website and on Canal Street Chronicles."
What a nice email! I thought Eagles fans were supposed to be dicks. Way to buck the stereotype.
Yeah, it’s a lot of fun. You know what the best thing about it is? Enjoying unrestrained discussion about football, win or lose. That’s what makes the internet great – it gives people a chance to express their opinions to more than just the guy they share an office with (and couldn’t care less about football) and it typically embraces feedback and accountability, at least in the Illegitimate circles.
"Funny you say that. I visited a message board this week also, and they basically just disavowed all dissenting opinion and suppressed anyone who tried to hold a poster accountable for their dumbassery. They even had a bunch of douches who wrote weekly pieces that were supposed to be entirely above criticism, and that principle was enforced vigorously by the moderators in the name of community. It seemed to me that all they really accomplished was to create a herd mentality and dumb down the content in the name of ‘friendliness’ in order to generate a large number of clicks."
Wow, you’ve learned a lot about this site in just a few days. Whatever, though. It sounds like a place where I’d get banned for life.
But that’s what’s great about the "blogosphere" (if you insist on such a term): it’s an evolution of and improvement on the community idea created by message boards. Just as twitter has made us realize what a wasteland Facebook really was, so have more expressive forms done to message boards. Of course, there are some terrible blog platforms also, but even the worst of them invites and embraces criticism. What’s great about Canal Street Chronicles and blogging in general is the dissent; if I chose to write a post on how ridiculous Dave is for taking the Eagles plus three on Monday night in the Dome, I know he would hit "publish" without a second thought. The same happens in comment sections and fan posts areas on a good community website – argument is seen as the result of a diverse, knowledgeable fan base.
That makes for great dialogue. On a personal level, Wang has taken me to task for what he believes is my deluded outlook on the defense, Reid G. has debated me on my own site, and countless many have ridiculed me on twitter for saying that Spags should get more time to work things out. They aren't even always nice about it. And I think that’s just great.
Too often, message boards label dissenters as "trolls." It’s a copout, an easy way to squash any opposing viewpoint and protect one’s own "internet fame." I sometimes worry if these people just have such miserable lives that they have to embrace such silliness – it’s the only thing in the world they’re really able to control. It’s one thing if someone gets personal. It’s entirely another when he or she ridicules your stupid, pointless post that you repeat on a weekly basis in an obvious grab for attention. You chose to write that, you chose to seek attention for your opinions and ideas, and if they’re dumb, you should be held accountable. The same goes for any blog.
Ultimately, someone who writes a blog necessarily does it for fun. Few make any real money, if any at all (I haven’t profited one penny, for the record). That’s what it should be, a hobby, something you enjoy and take a little pride in. And "trolls" are hardly counterproductive to that process – there’s one right here at CSC (and many on twitter) that has helped me flesh out an argument on multiple occasions. They test your temper, but they make you think; they should be embraced as long as they’re not getting too personal (then it might be time to give them the business).
If a website enforces a policy that protects idiots and squashes those who offer any unfavorable opinion of their work, that website is not worth your time. Start searching for something else – and when you find it, judge it on quality, not on its volume or membership or number of daily clicks.
Derek Rose, Philadelphia, MS:
"When you’re finished pontificating, I would like to know what you think about Andy Reid’s decision to play Michael Vick on Monday night after all. Thanks. I mean, if you have time for a football question."
Ah, there’s the typical Eagles fan we all know and love.
No big deal. I think it was the wrong decision. But I’m making an assumption here: that the Vick benching is inevitable at this point and that Reid was full of it when he said:
Michael is, was, and wil continue to be our quarterback. This is not a week-to-week thing.
which basically always means the quarterback is a dead man walking and that his demise is being considered on a week-to-week basis. Reid’s fighting for a job,
"FI-RE AN-DY! FI-RE AN-DY!"
"Sorry. Go ahead."
Andy Reid is fighting for a job, and if he rides Michael Vick to a 7-9 record, he’s gone. Everybody in the country knows it. So it only makes sense that he would eventually make a change and hope for the best. If I’m wrong about that, and he doesn’t necessarily want Vick on the bench, then the Saints game might be a good time to make him look good, what with our troubles with Unconventional Quarterbacks™ and all.
But assuming that the change is coming at some point this year, why not plug in Foles against the Saints? Worst Defense Evar™ isn’t even the reason. A pile of passing yards does less for a rookie than confidence – how many rookies come in mid-season and tear it up because nobody has film on the guy, the offense gets a spark, and other unquantifiable factors, and then immediately slumps? Well, basically every rookie that starts against the Saints. But, again, that’s beside the point.
The reason I’d start the kid this week is that it’s a perfect storm of confidence builders. He would play in a "tough environment"; opposing defense aside, it does get loud. Yet, he’ll inevitably throw for a ton of yards, all while – and here’s the key – never being so much as grazed by a defensive lineman.
Would Foles make a mistake or two? Probably. The Saints might even come away with a turnover or two. Hell, the Saints might still win the game. But worst case, Foles would lose in a valiant effort on national TV, a shootout with Drew Brees on the road in primetime, and Foles would get the immediate Matt Ryan treatment while Reid would
"FI-RE AN-DY! FI-RE AN-DY!"
...while Reid would look like a genius.
I can’t believe he’s not doing it.
Of course, the switch could come at halftime, and all of the above would remain true. Ugh. I need a drink before I answer any more questions.
Roy Pincituro, Springfield, PA:
"We have something in common. Roger Goodell. He talked Vick into coming here."
Hey, Saints and Eagles fans, we have a special guest on the mailbag this week. Saints interim head coach Joe Vitt is here to answer your questions.
Patrick Vanhorn, Darby, PA:
"My Eagles’ defense only allows 4.0 yards per rushing attempt, tied for 12th in the league in that category. They’ve only given up 2 touchdowns on the ground the entire season. Meanwhile, they’ve allowed the eleventh worst yards per attempt on passing plays, and allowed 10 touchdowns. Do you think that the Saints will focus more on the pass to take advantage of the Eagles’ secondary?"
Rebecca Heil, Belmawr, NJ:
"The Saints' defense has been bad all season. Hell, for years. But the offense averaged 29 points in the first six games. Against the Broncos the offense couldn't do anything. Are there any major factors that changed before the Broncos game that could explain the Saints' first real blowout of the season?"
Jeffrey Longstreth, Yeadon, PA:
"After week two, the Saints coaches talked a lot about 'unconventional quarterbacks' as the source of many of the Saints' troubles. They hypothesized that the 'running' styles of Cam Newton and Robert Griffin were to blame for some of the Saints' inability to adapt during the course of the game. With another unconventional quarterback coming in this Monday night, does the fact that the defense has been terrible against all quarterbacks of every style ease your worries about 'unconventional quarterbacking'?"
Thomas Centanni, Cherry Hill, NJ:
"Hey Joe, I'll pitch in a thousand bucks if your defense can get Michael Vick out of the game. What do you say?"
"Ha! You thought that was funny! You're smiling! You can't hide it!"
What an ass. Next question. Oh, Derek's back.
Derek Rose, Philadelphia, MS:
"FI-RE JOE VITT! FI-RE JOE VITT!"
Okay, yeah, that was uncalled for, Joe. I think that's kind of his thing, though. Sorry, this was a bad idea. Thanks for coming, Joe. We should do this again sometime.
Love ya, Joe!
Eagles fans, shame on you. So rude. That was embarrassing.
Let's see if we can redeem ourselves with one more question. Make it good.
Steven Kroupa, Gloucester City, NJ:
"I gotta admit, I don't think we can get a win in the Dome Monday night, terrible defense or not. I have no faith in Michael Vick. Do you agree, and if so, how could the Eagles get a win?"
I do agree. I honestly, bless my heart, think we win Monday night. It all hinges on the Vick/Foles controversy. If Vick plays the entire game and hands us a couple turnovers, the game is already over. The running joke is that Vick has a career day because the defense is so terrible. But even given the worst defense ever (or whatever), the quarterback has to actually do something right. I don't believe in Vick to even take advantage of this matchup. Sorry. If Foles gets a shot before the game is out of hand (say, at least two scores), the Eagles can take it.
That is all assuming, of course, that the offense we're used to shows up. If the guys we saw in Denver take the field, Vick isn't the issue. I don't think that happens, though.