The Evster: Watching a Game at the Linc. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Weirdos

The Evster: Watching a Game at the Linc. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Weirdos

According to a recent survey, research shows that 83% of NFL fans prefer to watch football games from the comfort of their own homes. Only 16% would rather view the game at a stadium while one person (me) prefers to watch while peering through a third story window outside of a Saint Joseph's University sorority house. I'll telling you man, you have not experienced true exhilaration until you've seen Shady McCoy break free into the secondary while you hang onto a tree branch from 35 feet up and pray that a young woman will remove her socks.

Despite my preferences, my wife and I bit the bullet last weekend and went down to the Linc for the home opener versus the Chargers. At the game, I enjoyed some of the many thrills that can only be experienced live and in person while also being reminded of why I hadn't left my couch in roughly six years.

Below are just one guy's opinions on the many pros and cons that come along with watching a game at the Linc.

A Philadelphia Eagles cheerleader performs during the second half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Pro:  Some Female Eagles Fans Are Wearing Some Really Short Shorts These Days

There have been a lot of amazing trends in the world of female fashion recently -- from leggings to side boobs to convincing people that it's socially acceptable to wear ballet flats everywhere -- but in my opinion nothing compares to the shorts that basically show off the bottoms of women's butts. While walking from the parking lot to our seats I must've seen at least seven or eight butts peeking out of women's shorts which led me to almost walk into roughly seven or eight telephone poles. Unfortunately, the Eagles next home game is not until October 20th, so I guess bottom-butt-showing season is over, but for one sunny afternoon in early September it was a total butt-a-palooza down in South Philly.

Con:  Lotsa Dudes with Missing Teeth

I don't know if this is a thing these days, like if gangs are making their members pull out their own teeth for solidarity or something, but I saw at least four or five South Philly dudes who had legit teeth missing from their mouths. I'm talkin' like, their incisors, gone, just gone, leaving a gaping hole in their mouths and fear in my heart. At one point, after a long completion to an Eagles tight end, one guy from my section who must've had three or four teeth TOTAL, stood up, smiled wide and pointed to the Celek nameplate on the back of his jersey while yelling, "Celekkkkkk!!!" And, lemme tell ya, no one -- and I mean, no one -- had the guts to tell him that it was actually Zach Ertz who had just made the reception. As the toothless wonder continued to grin ear to ear and actually point to where Celek had signed his jersey, I began to find him equal parts terrifying and adorable.

great, great shot by enrico


Pro:  Seeing the Entire Field 

This has always been the best thing about going to the game (well, besides the whole short shorts thing): being able to see the plays develop right in front of your eyes. Even the most ignorant fan can feel like a guru when he/she sees Desean Jackson streaking down the sidelines with his arm held high, only to have Michael Vick scrambling out of the pocket in the exact wrong direction. Then everyone gets to scream stuff like, "How did he not seeeeeeee him?" completely forgetting that while we kick back in the stands, Michael Vick has seven 250-pound defenders trying to rip his skull off.

Con:  It is Nearly Impossible to Figure Out the Down and Distance 

At the Linc, there is one shafty old-school Spectrum-esque scoreboard that always keeps the down and distance, but it's located in a spot where no human being would ever look for it. However, there's also a giant rectangular, ridiculously colorful screen that hangs above the sidelines, but whenever you actually look at it, it's flashing something stupid like "TEXT 45674 TO SIGN UP FOR NFL MOBILE" or "DIETZ & WATSON HAM IS THE OFFICIAL HAM OF THE HAMGLES" or "OKAY, EVSTER, WE GET THE POINT." Trying to keep track of the game flow was probably the most frustrating part of my experience, except for when I couldn't pee during halftime because I thought an 8-year-old kid was staring at my dork.

Pro:  Watching the Cars Go By on I-95

During a 3-hour NFL game, there is only about 1 minute and 47 seconds of actual game play. The rest of the time, the players are huddled up and catching their breath while fans are looking at their phones and trying to complete level 84 on Candy Crush Saga. But if you're lucky enough to have a seat where you can see the highway, you can avoid this boredom by sitting back and watching the cars whiz by. I've never seen my wife so relaxed at a sporting event, just staring off into the Southwest corner like a newborn child. There's a chance this was due to her mixing whiskey and percocets, but I think she just might be an in-the-closet gear head.

Con:  That Stupid Axe-Grinding Music They Play After EVERY DOWN

Doesn't matter if the Eagles picked up a first down or were called for seven consecutive holding penalties, the Linc's speakers blast metal jams after every play in an attempt to PUMP YOU UP. At times it worked our section into such a frenzy that one lady started screaming at Lane Johnson to "SHOVE SOMEBODY IN THEIR FAT STUPID FACE." Personally, I find it a bit much, but I'm also a person who owns around 35 different Sounds of the Oceans CDs. I don't like the whale sounds, though. The whale sounds are scary.

Pro:  The "Fly Eagles Fly" Song and "E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!" Chant

On it's own, the Fly Eagles Fly song is one of the lamest non-Neil-Diamond-recorded singles in the history of music, but when sung by 68,000 maniacs after an Eagles score, it's super fun. Throw in that "E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!" jawn at the end and you've got something SO MUCH BETTER than that stupid "J-E-T-S JETS! JETS! WHATEVER NEW YORKERS GET OVER YOURSELVES!" chant that is in no way similar to what we're doing, nope, no way at all, completely different, ours is completely different.

this guy does not like to keep it down

Con:  Everyone Just Constantly Yells

I totally forgot how loud people are at Eagles games. From pre-game tailgates to key third downs when the Eagles clearly aren't getting off the field, every insane idiot in that stupid stadium is just always yelling all the time. I mean, I get it, I guess that the crowd really can have a negative effect on the opposition's performance, but yo, can we all just calm down for like five quiet minutes? At one point during last week's game, a dude with earrings in both of his ears turned around to me and yelled, "HOW THE EFF ARE WE LOSING, MAN?" to which I replied, "Hmmm, not really sure, maybe it's because of the vast, chasmic hole in our secondary. Or could be the fact that the Chargers are currently 23 of 24 on third down conversions. But I'm not really sure. Maybe you should try to scream louder." I mean, I obviously didn't say that, I didn't say anything. I just sorta shrugged and made a weird sound out of my nose, but he got the point. He totally got the point.

Pro:  So Many Obscure Throwback Eagles Jerseys

I was pleasantly surprised to see so many Eric Allen jerseys being worn at the Linc. I've always thought that dude deserves more respect. Byron Evans, too. And Clyde Simmons. Also Riley Cooper sucks so much ass.

Con:  Seeing People Ruin Their Perfectly Nice Jerseys by Having Their Own Names on the Back 

Wearing a personalized jersey that has your own name on the back is just a total waste. I mean, this is your opportunity to escape your own pathetic life for a few hours and morph into any athlete you want to be! I own a COREY SIMON jersey (a TJ Maxx $5 special) and when I put that baby on, I feel like I could eat 6 whole cheeseburgers and not shit my pants. Turns out I can't, but I FEEL like I can, and so can you. So "Big Ron" or "Dingledowski" or whatever you're thinking of getting stitched on your back, ditch that idea and head over to TJ Maxx pronto.

recommended: encased meat over an open flame

Pro:  Tailgating

I'm totally lying. I hate tailgating. I only put that up there so that all the 700 Level readers who just skim these posts wouldn't get mad at me for leaving tailgating out and blast me in the comments section. I've never understood how it's fun to stand in a parking lot for hours at a time, getting sunburnt and developing skin cancer while trying to catch a football and hold a chicken wing at the same time. But if you guys love it, God bless ya. Just promise to please wear sunscreen.

Con:  Traffic, Man. Traffic. 

Ugh.

The Pro of All Pros:  Getting to Go Home

After a win, there is nothing better than walking down the ramp, high-fiving complete strangers and knowing that very soon you will be on your couch, passed out and drooling until the closing segment of 60 Minutes.

Follow the Evster @TVMWW.

Cold can't keep Joel Embiid away from first Sixers practice

Cold can't keep Joel Embiid away from first Sixers practice

STOCKTON, N.J. — Joel Embiid awoke Tuesday morning and was still feeling ill from a cold and virus he has been battling since last Friday. He had been coughing, experiencing a bloody nose and even vomiting, but all those symptoms could not stop him from a day he has been eyeing for over two years: his first NBA practice.

Embiid had stayed back in Philadelphia on Monday night while the Sixers traveled to training camp at Stockton University in South Jersey. On Tuesday, he decided to leave the city and join the team on campus.

“I woke up this morning and I was like, ‘I waited too long for this time, so I’ve got to go and try to do some work in there,’” Embiid said.

Embiid had been sidelined by foot injuries since the Sixers drafted him third overall in 2014. Tuesday marked his first NBA practice, and he is eyeing his first preseason game next Tuesday against the Celtics.

Embiid was not expected to be part of training camp Tuesday because of his illness. He surprised the team when he arrived while practice was underway. The Sixers' medical staff cleared him before he took the court.

“He forced himself into practice today,” head coach Brett Brown said. “He said, ‘I feel good, I want to go.’ With the time that he has put in the last few years, he meant it. You respected that instruction.”

Embiid is following a minutes restriction during training camp, which currently is 25 minutes for the morning session and 20 minutes for the evening session. His previous physical restrictions have been lifted and the team is monitoring him for workload and time on the court.

“I step back and figure out how do I want to spend my money?” Brown said. “If we’ve got X amount of time, where do I feel like he can make the most improvement? Where do I feel like he’s going to have the best chance to get on the court and play minutes, as we expect against the Celtics?”

Tuesday morning’s session focused on the defensive end. While Embiid had trouble breathing at points and tired quickly, he made an effort to give 100 percent on the court. The only lags in Embiid’s game Brown noticed were attributed to his illness, not because of his foot.

“I don’t think he’s missed a beat from a great month of September,” Brown said.

The Sixers sensed the enthusiasm from Embiid. Regardless of his restrictions, his energy was felt among the team.

“When he did get in, he played well,” Ben Simmons said. “He’s a big inside presence. He got a lot of boards and crashed the offensive glass.”

Added Jahlil Okafor: "He’s excited to be here. Obviously, he’s had a couple tough years with his injuries that he couldn’t control. But he’s finally here and he’s taking advantage of that."

The Sixers will hold training camp through Friday at Stockton University. Embiid is looking to push past any symptoms to be on the court as much as he can.

Nerlens Noel's complaints only damage Sixers' trade leverage

Nerlens Noel's complaints only damage Sixers' trade leverage

Silence is golden.

It's a phrase uttered often by parents and teachers. It can also be an effective phrase when dealing with negotiations.

I'm not revealing a big secret by saying the Sixers have a logjam in their frontcourt. At some point, something has to give.

Nerlens Noel, a key component of the aforementioned logjam, doubled down on his quotes from over the weekend about the Sixers' "silly" frontcourt situation.

"I don't see a way it can work," Noel said on Monday. "It's just a logjam. You have three young, talented centers that can play 30-plus minutes a night."

Uh-oh.

Bryan Colangelo acknowledged that teams have been trying to "poach" a big man off him. He's been adamant in saying that he's not shopping any of his bigs. For leverage purposes, that's wise.

Any leverage Colangelo may have accrued through his media tour this summer took a hit. With the health of Joel Embiid still a question mark, it's important that the Sixers take a wait-and-see approach to their situation. Noel may have just put a damper on that plan.

I'm not advocating for the trade of Noel and keeping Jahlil Okafor. In fact, I've said that if Embiid proves he's healthy, I'd move both Noel and Okafor if the value was appropriate.

There can be arguments made for keeping Noel over the other two centers. His athleticism and rim protection skills fit Brett Brown's system and the way the NBA is trending. And it's important to note that Noel isn't wrong. It won't benefit him to take a cut in minutes. It won't help Okafor either. It's not the most pleasant situation to be sure. He has every right to be unhappy, but getting the media involved doesn't benefit Noel or the Sixers.

Anyone in any job should have the right to speak out if they feel they're being slighted, but sometimes you have to "play the game." If Noel were a poker player, he just revealed his hand. He should've shown up, said the right things and allowed Colangelo to negotiate a deal.

The best parallel is what the Eagles and Sam Bradford went through this offseason. Bradford was unhappy the Eagles traded valuable draft picks to acquire Carson Wentz. Understandable, but when he threw his rattle down and sat out part of camp, it helped nobody. The Broncos tried to lowball Howie Roseman, figuring Roseman had no leverage with Bradford's intent to get traded out of town. Roseman stood his ground and the Eagles were able to hold the Vikings hostage when Teddy Bridgewater suffered a season-ending knee injury.

It's not something you hope for by any means, but these things happen. Players get hurt and teams are left scrambling to find a replacement. Take a look at the Chris Bosh situation with the Miami Heat. Bosh, who's had a tremendous career, will likely never play again because of issues with blood clots. The Heat are likely not a match for the Sixers given defensive-minded center Hassan Whiteside's new contract, but the point is that you never know what will happen between now and opening night.

For Bradford, it was resolved just a week before the season started. If Noel follows suit with Bradford, perhaps there will be a similar solution.

"Things need to get situated," Noel said. "I think things obviously need to be moved around, someone needs to be moved around. It's just a tough situation. I can't really say too much because I have no say in the matter, so obviously that's for who can handle the situation in the right manner."

Well, Nerlens, you said too much already.