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.

Tonight's Lineup: After hitting 6th Friday, Odubel Herrera moves up to 2-hole

Tonight's Lineup: After hitting 6th Friday, Odubel Herrera moves up to 2-hole

After watching his club get smacked around in a 9-4 loss to the Mets on Friday, Phillies manager Pete Mackanin has tinkered with his lineup for Saturday's game at Citi Field.

Odubel Herrera moves up to the two-hole after hitting sixth Friday, while Aaron Altherr goes from second to third and Jimmy Paredes gets the start in left and bats seventh. Ryan Howard starts again at first base and bats fifth.

Herrera, who has been struggling since the All-Star break with a .257 average, has lost his leadoff spot to Cesar Hernandez but is starting to find his swing again.

In the last seven days, Herrera is 5 for 17 with a double and a run scored. In August, the centerfielder is hitting .288 two homers and five RBIs.

Altherr, who played left field Friday, moves over to right field and Peter Bourjos gets the night off. Altherr is hitting .255 with four home runs and 19 RBIs on the season.

Here is the full Phillies lineup:

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Odubel Herrera, CF
3. Aaron Altherr, RF
4. Maikel Franco, 3B
5. Ryan Howard, 1B
6. Cameron Rupp, C
7. Jimmy Paredes, LF
8. Freddy Galvis, SS
9. Jeremy Hellickson, P

For more on tonight's's game, check out Steven Tydings' game notes.

Jake Metz, Soul credit strong 4th-quarter defensive effort for championship win

Jake Metz, Soul credit strong 4th-quarter defensive effort for championship win

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Despite the Soul leading by three touchdowns early in ArenaBowl XXIX, there was little cheering from the their bench.

Given the volatility that is Arena League football and the frequency from which teams can strike, the approach remained resolute and determined. Defensive tackle Jake Metz kept the mindset of a scoreless game and could not stop hearing words coming from Ron Jaworski, a highly vocal partner in the Soul’s ownership.

“He kept yelling that offense gets headlines but defense wins championships,” said Metz, who currently lives in Schwenksville, Montgomery County, and went to Shippensburg University. “That resounded with me, and brought the championship.”

Metz and his defensive teammates then went out and shut down a highly hazardous and explosive Arizona Rattlers offensive unit en route to a 56-42 win (see story). Led by quarter Nick Davila, the only three-time MVP in Arena Football League history, the Rattlers could manage only seven points in a critical fourth quarter.

At the same time, Metz recovered a fumble by Davila with the Soul holding a slim six-point margin with just under six minutes to play. That turnover was the key point in the Soul’s eventual win, and cemented the role of the defense as a shut-down unit.

On the subsequent possession, Soul quarterback Dan Raudabaugh connected with Shaun Kauleinamoku on a 30-yard scoring strike. That created a 14-point comfort zone and the final margin of victory.

“These players deserve this championship,” Soul head coach Clint Dolezel said. “This is a first class organization and ownership gives the players a first-class experience. That way, we can attract great players, and with great players comes success.”

In capturing the league title Friday night, the victory was the second in franchise history. In 2008, the Soul and Phillies each won championships, and that was the last time a professional team captured a title in Philadelphia.

Metz remembers the Phillies' win over the Rays, and pointed out, “I went to those games as a kid.” That championship stuck with the 6-foot-6, 265 pounder, and helped to forge a championship mentality.

Early in the fourth quarter, Arizona caught the Soul at 42-42. From that point, Raudabaugh directed two scoring drives, and along with Metz’s important fumble recovery, carried the Soul to the title.

“It’s all about how you respond,” said Raudabaugh, who finished with 20 for 36 for 278 yards and six touchdowns. “Granted, they have a very explosive team, but we were never out it. They did come back, but we had an answer for them.”

The answer was a strong defense which Dolezel indicated was playing at their peak just prior to the title game.

Defensive back Tracy Belton, the AFL defensive player of the year and DB Dwayne Hollis, whose fumble recovery for a touchdown early in the game was another key defensive play, clearly showed how a defense can carry a team to a league title. That was the effort the Soul brought together in an environment as unpredictable as the Arena Football League.

NFL Notes: Romo has broken bone in back; Kaepernick protests anthem

NFL Notes: Romo has broken bone in back; Kaepernick protests anthem

FRISCO, Texas -- Tony Romo is out with yet another back injury and it's unknown when he will return, although Dallas coach Jason Garrett says he expects his star quarterback to play this season.

Garrett said Saturday that Romo sustained a broken bone in his back when he was hit from behind by Seattle's Cliff Avrill and slid awkwardly on the third play of a preseason game.

Romo tried to get back into Thursday's game and said afterward that he was OK. But Garrett said the 36-year-old woke up Friday with stiffness, and an MRI revealed Romo's fourth back injury in less than four years. The injury will not require surgery.

Garrett wouldn't rule out Romo for the regular-season opener Sept. 11 against the New York Giants. Rookie Dak Prescott, a fourth-round pick who has had a strong preseason, is the presumed starter, although Garrett wouldn't acknowledge that either (see full story).

49ers: Kaepernick refuses to stand for anthem in protest
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is refusing to stand for the national anthem before games because he believes the United States oppresses African Americans and other minorities.

Kaepernick sat on the team's bench Friday night during the anthem before the Niners played host to the Green Bay Packers in an exhibition game. He later explained his reasoning in an interview with NFL Media .

"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick said. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said Saturday that "players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the national anthem."

The 49ers issued a statement after Pro Football Talk initially reported on Kaepernick's stand, saying that Americans have the right to protest or support the anthem (see full story).

Falcons: Free agent S Dashon Goldson works out with team
ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Falcons have given a workout to veteran free-agent safety Dashon Goldson, the former Redskins starter.

The Falcons will be without rookie safety Keanu Neal, the projected starter, for at least the first two regular-season games with a right knee injury.

Coach Dan Quinn said Saturday that backup Kemal Ishmael would fill in for Neal as the starting strong safety even if the team signs Goldson, 31. General manager Thomas Dimitroff says Goldson also has interest from other teams.

The Falcons cut nine players, including backup quarterback Sean Renfree, to reach the roster limit of 75 players on Saturday (see full story).