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.

Best of NHL: Canadiens score 10 goals in rout of Avalanche

Best of NHL: Canadiens score 10 goals in rout of Avalanche

MONTREAL -- Max Pacioretty had four goals, Brian Flynn scored twice during a six-goal first period and the Montreal Canadiens routed the Colorado Avalanche 10-1 on Saturday night.

Flynn, Pacioretty and Artturi Lehkonen each scored against Calvin Pickard in the opening 7:12, and then Pacioretty, Paul Byron and Flynn each had a goal among the first four shots on Semyon Varlamov.

Pacioretty completed his hat trick in the second period and added another in the third to give the captain seven goals in his last four games.

Alexander Radulov and Jeff Petry also scored for Montreal, which has shown no drop-off without injured scoring leader and first-line center Alex Galchenyuk. Montreal outshot the Avs 36-16 (see full recap).

Malkin, Crosby lead Penguins past Lightning 4-3
TAMPA, Fla. -- Sidney Crosby had another eventful night.

The Penguins star returned after passing concussion protocol following a first-period hit to get his 20th goal, and that stoked Pittsburgh's rally for its latest victory.

Crosby and Evgeni Malkin both scored their second goals on third-period power plays, helping the Penguins come back to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 on Saturday.

Crosby was shaken up by Luke Witkowski's check with eight minutes to go in the first but returned for the start of the second period (see full recap).

Late barrage helps Blue Jackets beat Islanders 6-2
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Jack Johnson, Cam Atkinson and Seth Jones each had a goal and an assist as the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the New York Islanders 6-2 on Saturday night for their sixth straight win.

Josh Anderson, Brandon Saad and Lukas Sedlak also scored for Columbus and Sergei Bobrovsky had 25 saves.

Josh Bailey and John Tavares scored for New York, which had earned a point in a season-high five straight games (4-0-1). Jaroslav Halak made 32 saves until he was pulled after the Blue Jackets scored four consecutive goals in the third period.

Anderson put Columbus ahead 3-2 at 2:19 when he picked off a defensive pass and banged it in from the slot seconds after coming onto the ice for his shift (see full recap).

Matthews, Hyman score in 2nd, Maple Leafs beat Bruins 4-1
BOSTON -- The Toronto Maple Leafs found a way to overcome a poor opening period.

Auston Matthews and Zach Hyman scored in the second period, Frederik Andersen made 32 saves and the Maple Leafs beat the Boston Bruins 4-1 on Saturday night.

"The last three games the first period kind of did us in," Toronto coach Mike Babcock said. "We didn't start on time. We were able to hold on. It still wasn't the first period we wanted, but we didn't give up the goals and we were able to execute a little bit."

After managing only two shots on goal in the first, Toronto was happy to get to the dressing room with the game scoreless (see full recap).

Best of NBA: Grizzlies dominate throughout, crush Warriors

Best of NBA: Grizzlies dominate throughout, crush Warriors

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Marc Gasol and Tony Allen scored 19 points each and the Memphis Grizzlies rolled over the Golden State Warriors 110-89 on Saturday night for their sixth straight win.

The Grizzlies led by as many as 30 points in the second half - the biggest advantage by any Warriors opponent this season. Seven Memphis players finished in double figures.

Kevin Durant led Golden State with 21 points, while Stephen Curry added 17 points and Ian Clark finished with 10 points. Curry and backcourt starter Klay Thompson (eight points) were a combined 8 of 28 from the field, including 3 of 14 outside the arc.

Memphis built a double-digit lead early, led 61-38 at halftime and kept building in the third quarter (see full recap).

Butler, Wade lead Bulls to 105-100 win over Heat
CHICAGO -- Jimmy Butler scored 31 points, Dwyane Wade added 28 against his former team and the Chicago Bulls held off the struggling Miami Heat 105-100 on Saturday night.

Butler scored Chicago's final 10 points to help the Bulls come out on top after Miami pulled within one.

Wade keyed a big third-quarter run in his second game against the Heat, and the Bulls hung on after handing San Antonio its first road loss two nights earlier.

Goran Dragic led Miami with 21 points and 11 assists. An energetic Hassan Whiteside added 20 points after being benched for part of Friday's blowout loss in Cleveland. Tyler Johnson scored 15, but the Heat dropped their fifth straight (see full recap).

LeBron scores 44, reaches assist mark as Cavs down Hornets
CLEVELAND -- LeBron James scored 17 of his season-high 44 points in the fourth quarter and reached another career milestone as the Cleveland Cavaliers won their fourth straight, 116-105 over the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday night.

James did it all, adding 10 assists and nine rebounds in 43 minutes. He took over in the fourth quarter, scoring 13 straight during one stretch to help the Cavs hold on.

As the final seconds ticked off, James stood at midcourt and spun the ball on his index finger as the crowd roared.

James, who moved into ninth place on the career scoring list Friday, recorded his 7,000th assist in the first half, becoming the first frontcourt player in NBA history to reach the plateau. James is the only player with 27,000 points and 7,000 assists (see full recap).

George has 37 points to lead Pacers over Blazers 118-111
INDIANAPOLIS -- Paul George scored a season-high 37 points to lead the Indiana Pacers over the Portland Trail Blazers 118-111 on Saturday night.

George made five 3-pointers, and Thaddeus Young hit six 3s while getting 24 points and nine rebounds. Myles Turner added 14 points for the Pacers, who had lost five straight regular season games to Portland.

C.J. McCollum made a career-high seven 3-pointers and had a season-best 34 points for the Trail Blazers. Damian Lillard had 33 points behind five 3s.

George scored 13 straight points in the fourth quarter for Indiana. He was fouled on the go-ahead basket with 4:36 remaining and completed the three-point play to give the Pacers a 108-105 lead (see full recap).