COUNTERPOINT: The Union mascot is a great idea (as long as it's a moose)

COUNTERPOINT: The Union mascot is a great idea (as long as it's a moose)

Earlier in the day, Steve Moore -- both a hardcore soccer fan and Philadelphia Union supporter -- wrote strongly of his opinion that the organization potentially looking into the idea of a team mascot is a very bad idea. This is a counter point.

The Philadelphia Union may be putting out feelers as to how some of their fans would feel about the team adopting a mascot. This is great news.

A Philadelphia Union mascot would be totally awesome! As long as the mascot is a moose.

Now, some hardcore supporters may be against any idea of a mascot, but whatever. Steve's a fan. I'm a fan. We may not be fans in the same way, but my butt fills just about the same amount of seat space at PPL Park every fourth or fifth game.

Critics may say, "But a mascot is bush-league and no legit sports franchise would ever need to stoop to such levels.

Yeah, you may have a point EXCEPT:

Okay, now that we got that out of the way, why would a moose mascot be totally awesome for the Union?

You want a mascot that represents an important part of your local history or the history of a tropical island a couple thousand miles away. Either or.

We all know the Union need to be a frugal franchise while they're still in the organization's relative infancy. No need to spend any more money on focus groups when they can't even afford a legit left back. Just take what the truly spectacular work Adam Aaron did with the Sixers and run with it. Phil E. Moose already has the hearts of Philadelphians.

Not many people know this, but back in the late 1700's, moose were roaming all over the Pennsylvania and New Jersey areas. It was actually a moose with a lit cigar stuck between its antlers that helped guide the way on the famed frigid night when George Washington and his troops crossed the Delaware River.

WHERE IS PPL PARK LOCATED?

On the Delaware River.

Proof:

"Moose leading Washington Crossing" unearthed by Zoo with Roy

So there's your history.

Now, if you don't like my moose idea. Fine. I don't really care if the Union have a mascot or not. But my two year-old nephew might enjoy it, so I won't write the idea off while the team is in the INFORMATION GATHERING phase of things.

Some mascots are cool.

All moose are cool.

Eagles-Redskins predictions by our (cough) experts

Eagles-Redskins predictions by our (cough) experts

The Eagles (5-7) come into Sunday's game against the Redskins (6-5-1) on a three-game losing streak.

The Redskins exposed the Eagles' defense the last time these two teams met almost two months ago on Oct. 16.

Here are our (cough) expert predictions for this Week 14 matchup.

Dave Zangaro (4-8)
After losing three straight games, I couldn't pick the Eagles against just about any team in the NFL. Maybe Cleveland. Maybe Chicago. 

But against Washington? Nah. Can't do it. 

Sure, I know Washington comes into the Linc on a two-game losing streak, and they're clearly not a top team in the NFC. It just doesn't matter. Kirk Cousins is a decent quarterback and Washington clearly has enough weapons to shred the Eagles like they did for 493 yards in the first meeting. 

For the Eagles' offense, Carson Wentz hasn't looked good in a long time and this week he enters with a few of his skill position players banged up. 

This looks like another loss to me. 

Washington 26, Eagles 20

Derrick Gunn (5-7)
The Eagles are an embarrassed, desperate team, and a win over the Redskins could lift the weight of what has been a downward spiral. Ryan Mathews and Jordan Matthews returned to practice this week, but can they jolt this offense back to life? Carson Wentz has played like a rookie the last three games, and the once stout defense has crumbled.

So here come the Redskins, losers of two in a row but still very much in the playoff conversation. The Redskins' defense is beat up and could be missing several key players, but unfortunately for the Eagles, Washington's offensive weapons are relatively healthy, except for tight end Jordan Reed, who's listed as questionable with an AC joint sprain. Matt Jones and Robert Kelley pack a punch out of the backfield. 

Quarterback Kirk Cousins has been in a zone. Over their last six games, Cousins has averaged 352.6 passing yards, plus he's thrown 12 touchdown passes and only two interceptions. 

The Eagles remember what Washington did to them back in Week 6, but I feel their revenge motives will fall short.

Redskins 27, Eagles 17

Ray Didinger (5-7) 
With all the talk this week about effort and players dogging it, I fully expect the Eagles to come out focused and fired up at home Sunday. Here's the problem: I just don't know if they are good enough to win the game. Motivation is one thing, but talent is another and right now, the Eagles are lacking in that area.
 
The players have been called out by their coach, by the media and by the fans so if they have any pride at all they will come out and play hard against the Redskins but I look at the matchup of this Eagles' secondary against the Washington receivers — especially a hot DeSean Jackson (25.3 yards per catch the last three games) — and I don't see a happy result.
 
Redskins 24, Eagles 17

Corey Seidman (5-7)
Close game, better performance from Carson Wentz and an awakening in the run game, but not enough defensive talent to shut down what Washington will try to do deep with DeSean Jackson and Jamison Crowder, over the middle with Jordan Reed and short with Pierre Garcon.

Redskins 31, Eagles 27

Andy Schwartz (5-7)
It's simply come to this. I can't pick the Eagles to win a game the rest of the season until they do.

I want to think the offense will benefit from the return of Ryan Mathews and Jordan Matthews. And I want to think the defense will play with desperation and break out of its "slump" and make some big plays.

But I won't believe it until I see it.

Redskins 24, Eagles 16

Shayne Gostisbehere suffers bone bruise on right hand in win over Stars

Shayne Gostisbehere suffers bone bruise on right hand in win over Stars

Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere took a shot off his right hand in the second period Saturday and has a bone bruise. 
 
The Flyers will watch it because sometimes the swelling prevents wearing a glove comfortably the next day.
 
Ghost, who has five points – all assists – over his past six games, was hit with a puck in the second period of a 4-2 win over the Stars. He went to the bench and tried to shake it off, but left for the dressing room shortly after a Flyers power play began in the period’s final three minutes.
 
He participated for part of the power play, then left the ice and did not return until the start of the third period.
 
“It was good by then,” he said. “Obviously, it hurt a bit.”
 
The Flyers play in Detroit on Sunday night. 
 
Ghost has 16 points (four goals) in 29 games this season. X-rays were negative, he said, adding he was not worried about the hand, which was badly swollen after the game.