But Where Was Mamula? I Think I Found Him

But Where Was Mamula? I Think I Found Him

Mike Mamula has been a lot of things to a lot of different people. He’s been a cautionary tale to those easily seduced by eye-popping performances at the NFL Draft Combine. He’s been a source of frustration for Eagles fans thanks to his singular ability to consistently arrive at the opposing quarterback a half-second after the ball was released.

And to those who read A.J. Daulerio’s 2006 Deadspin Eagles Season Preview, he’s been a never-ending punchline. Specifically, after going point-by-point through yet another disappointing Eagles loss, A.J.’s exasperated father would inevitably ask the host of WIP’s postgame show “But where was Mamula?”

The question is beautiful in its simplicity. In four words it captures the frustration, disappointment, anger, wild expectation, retrospective disbelief over setting such wild expectations, and inevitably the heartbreak inherent in being an Eagles fan.

The phrase is also incredibly versatile. It can be angry, sarcastic, forlorn, or exclamatory. The defensive line is getting destroyed in the run game? BUT WHERE WAS MAMULA? The front four is getting zero pressure on the quarterback? BUT WHERE WAS MAMULA? Andy Reid burns a timeout because the defense only had ten men on the field? BUT WHERE WAS MAMULA?

See? How cathartic is that? I’ve never felt so good asking a rhetorical question. The satisfying part of the question is that there is no answer. Quite simply, Mamula’s whereabouts are best left unknown.

Well, that’s what I told myself until my world was rocked on Sunday night.

As a married man I am often subjected to televisions shows I’d never in a million years watch but for maintaining marital harmony. By in large these shows appear on either Lifetime or Bravo.

My wife often complains that sports never end. I am firmly entrenched in a twelve months a year sports watching regimen – baseball, basketball, football, hockey, soccer. She’s right, it never ends. It’s amazing.

Well, the devious folks over at Bravo have taken a page from the world of sports and have created so many seasons of “The Real Housewives” that it too never ends. Andy Cohen is an evil genius.

So, imagine my surprise on Sunday night when some indeterminate episode of “The Real Housewives” ended and the pilot of a new reality show called “Thicker Than Water: The Marinos” began. The details of the show are not important.

Essentially, it’s a show about four adult siblings, all of whom are married, who do stuff in front of tv cameras. I think that pretty much sums it up.

What is important is that the show takes place somewhere in South Jersey – I think maybe Bordentown. The final scene is a birthday party for one of the Marino people who for some reason has a television show.

Again, the specifics don’t matter. There’s a quick cut to a shot of three guests on the porch.

My eyes locked in on the guy in the middle. No. No shot. Wait. Let me pause this and take a closer look. Is it? It kind of looks like him. That’s got to be him.

Oh my god. THERE’S MAMULA!

After all of these years of asking the question he just appears on my TV screen – on Bravo? He’s a guest at the birthday party of someone who has a reality television show? That’s where Mamula is?

It makes zero sense, which in a strange Mamulian way makes total sense. I am maybe 99% certain that’s him. However, you’re crazy if you think I won’t cling to that 1% chance it’s actually not him.

I don’t want to live in a world where you can answer the question “But where was Mamula?” 


Here's a larger shot, next to this flickr photo of Mamula for comparison. 

From the 2006 Archives: Mike Mamula can swim

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

USA Today Images

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

CHESTER, Pa. — On the eve of his comeback after missing nearly 13 months with a left tibia stress fracture and other related injuries, Union midfielder Maurice Edu fractured his left fibula on Saturday, keeping him out for the 2016 playoffs and beyond.

“I was trying to take the shot on goal and my foot got stuck in the turf,” Edu said Sunday, in his blue Union-issued suit and supported by crutches. “My ankle rolled and twisted and it kind of snapped a little bit. I heard it crack, and a lot of pain from there. I got a scan afterward, and there was a break.”

There's no timetable his return.

Edu, 30, has spent over a calendar year fighting various injuries that have kept him out of game action. His trouble began on Sept. 30, 2015, when he played through the U.S. Open Cup final with a partially torn groin and sports hernia. It was during Edu’s recovery from those injuries that he developed a stress fracture.

"A little bit frustration. A lot of frustration, to be honest," he said. "But all I can do now is get back to work, focus on the positives and make sure that my situation isn’t a distraction from the team."

Edu’s teammates were equally devastated by the news. Edu, the Union captain when healthy, is popular and well-respected in the locker room.

"I feel so bad for him," said Alejandro Bedoya, who wore a dedication to Edu under his jersey on Sunday. "He’s one of my good friends, so I was looking forward to playing alongside him. I know how hard he’s worked to get back, and to see him go out like that, it’s heartbreaking. I’m sad for his loss and I hope he stays strong."

Edu, who has been with the Union since 2014, returned to training in July and played three conditioning appearances with the Union’s USL team, Bethlehem Steel FC. He was on the bench for the Union’s last three games and was set to make his first appearance in over a year against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, a game the Union eventually lost, 2-0 (see game story).

"We’re gutted for Mo," Union manager Jim Curtin said. "He was slated to start today. It’s real upsetting because he’s worked so hard to get back on the field. It’s been a tough 2016 for him, but I know he’ll come back stronger."

While he was visibly shaken by recent injury, Edu is driven to return.

"What happened, happened," Edu said. "I have no control over that. The only thing I do have control over is my next steps from here, how I prepare myself mentally and emotionally and how I continue to support this group."

NFL Notes: Dez Bryant to return vs. Eagles; Geno Smith has torn ACL

NFL Notes: Dez Bryant to return vs. Eagles; Geno Smith has torn ACL

The Cowboys expect Dez Bryant to return Sunday night against the Eagles, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Bryant practiced Monday after the Cowboys' bye and "was doing everything," according to Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News.

The Cowboys have gone 3-0 since Bryant injured his knee. Wide receivers Cole Beasley and Terrance Williams have been productive in his absence, with Beasley scoring three TDs and Williams totaling 155 receiving yards in Dallas' last two games.


Jets: Torn ACL for Geno Smith
NEW YORK — New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith has a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and is seeking a second opinion on the injury that would end his season — and likely his time with the team that drafted him.

NFL Network first reported the severity of Smith's injury on Monday.

Smith, a second-round pick in 2013, injured his knee while taking a sack from Baltimore's Matt Judon in the second quarter of the Jets' 24-16 win Sunday. Smith, who got the start in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick, had an MRI on Monday.

-The Associated Press

Bears: Jay Cutler to return in Week 8
LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Bears quarterback Jay Cutler will return from a thumb injury to play against the Minnesota Vikings on Oct. 31.

Cutler has been out since he suffered a thumb sprain in a Sept. 19 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Coach John Fox said Monday that Cutler has been cleared to play in the game next Monday night.

His backup, Brian Hoyer, suffered a broken left arm against Green Bay in the Bears' 26-10 defeat last Thursday. Fox says Hoyer has had surgery.

Fox says it's possible the team could pick up one more quarterback behind backup Matt Barkley, who played against the Packers after Hoyer's injury.

Chicago (1-6) is at the bottom of the NFC North division.

-The Associated Press