That 2011 Eagles Draft That Happened

That 2011 Eagles Draft That Happened

Perhaps I'm in the minority here, but the whole NFL lockout business really took away much of the hype surrounding this year's draft for me. Both in the weeks leading up to it as well as following along as it happened, my interest levels this year weren't as sky high as usual. I'd say the success of the other teams in town contributed a bit, but I feel like the lockout really dampened my excitement in this year's NFL draft. Did this happen with any other Birds fans out there?

That said, now that the 2011 draft is in the books, I'm all for learning about who will try to make an impact on the Eagles next season. As usual, Ray Didinger has one of the best overall takes, summarizing a draft that signified the end of an era -- an era many of us cherished.

But while that era took us to a Super Bowl, it never got us one of those coveted parades down Broad Street. So is it really worth mourning an era that always left us wanting more at the end of every season? I'd say just a little bit, only because David Akers and Quintin Mikell were both such stand up guys to have on your team.

The most noticeable trend in the Eagles 2011 draft was the seeming impact Howard Mudd had on the personnel decisions. Would the Birds have gone with three offensive lineman had Mudd not been talked out of retirement? I doubt it. It's very interesting to see just how much pull must have had with Andy and Howie. Watching the progression of these young (and not so young) linemen will be a fun experiment in seeing just how good Mudd may be.

But, but, but... what about a starting corner?

As GM Howie Roseman points out in a Q&A with Reuben Frank, if you address all of your immediate needs via the draft, you probably had a bad draft. Another interesting note from the chat with Roseman is the art of the draft pick trade. Roseman explains how they turned a 4th rounder this year into a lower 4th rounder this year and a fourth rounder next year.

As they say though, we've got to wait a couple years to see how Andy and company's last week's worth of work will rank. That is if they start playing football gain any time soon.

Previously: Eagles Draft Wrap-Up: The Lockout Is On Again

Topps cover man Claude Giroux answers U.S.-Canada questions

Topps cover man Claude Giroux answers U.S.-Canada questions

Claude Giroux spent Friday signing virtual autographs as the cover athlete for Topps NHL Skate 2017, a new onilne digital trading card game. Remember when trading cards came in a bubble gum pack? 

After the event, Giroux sat down with CSN's Michael Barkann on Philly Sports Talk for a game of “Who Does It Better: Canada or the United States?”

The game started off with a few easy softball questions, with Giroux picking the NFL over the Candian Football League. Then it got a little tougher, as Giroux chose Canadian hockey over U.S. hockey.

Despite talents like Drake and Shania Twain, Giroux went with the U.S. over Canada in music, and also chose American bacon over Canadian bacon.

Eventually, Barkann asked Giroux which beer he preffered.

“I don’t drink beer," Giroux responded.

Really? What Canadian doesn't like beer?

As he started to get up out of his seat after the interview, Giroux showed his true colors. “I love beer. I love beer,” he said.

Check out the video above to see the full game. 

Wayne Gretzky defends Connor McDavid's outburst over Brandon Manning

Wayne Gretzky defends Connor McDavid's outburst over Brandon Manning

PALM BEACH, Fla. — As the primary target of opponents over his Hall of Fame career, Wayne Gretzky can certainly empathize with the frustration of Oilers star Connor McDavid.

McDavid and Flyers defenseman Brandon Manning jostled all evening long in a 6-5 Edmonton loss. McDavid denounced the tactics of his opponent after the game, claiming Manning intentionally injured him last season; McDavid missed 37 games with a broken collarbone.

"I guess we can put the whole 'if he did it' thing to rest because what he said out there kind of confirmed that," said McDavid, who taunted Manning after scoring the second goal in the Oilers' loss.

"I think anybody who knows me or who has played with or against me along the road here, knows that I am not that kind of player," Manning said, according to a statement released by the Flyers. "I am not out there intentionally trying to hurt people. I'm a guy who plays the game hard and I take pride in that."

Gretzky didn't mind seeing that fire in McDavid, saying competitiveness is part of what makes the great ones great. And he said the targeting comes with the territory of being a superstar. It was something he and Mario Lemieux dealt with, too.

"And Connor, he's going to get tested every night, but this is not new for him," Gretzky said Friday at the NHL board of governors meetings. "He's been tested since he was a kid and then playing junior hockey and now in the NHL and he's always responded and done his part."