The Battle for Happy Valley Bragging Rights

The Battle for Happy Valley Bragging Rights

(For the Phils-Marlins thread, see below this post)

One thing we hear a lot about here is that the Eagles-Steelers rivalry is yoooge up at Penn State, for obvious reasons. It may not be as intense in Philly and Pittsburgh proper, where divisional rivalries take precedence, but it's still a pretty good one.

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Eagles Cheerleaders 3, originally uploaded by The700Level.

As we've talked about throughout the week, this is a close matchup with both teams being pretty good. I still like the Birds' chances though. Questions of the day include: Can the Andrews-less line provide adequate protection for McNabb? Can the front four get in Big Ben's, maybe see how that shoulder is feeling early? Will the D be able to contain Willie Parker while keeping an eye on Santonio, Hines, and Heath? If at a wedding, Brian Westbrook's host ran out of wine, could he turn water into Silver Oak?

On that O-line, Jamaal Jackson will be playing with a heavy heart after
attending funeral services for his brother yesterday. A father of four,
he was killed in a hit-and-run accident a week ago today.

I don't know how I feel about this, but the panel of geniuses on ESPN NFL Countdown unanimously picked the Eagles to win. Keyshawn was pretty emphatic about it. Whatever, we'll take it. The Birds are a damn good team, coming off a tough road loss. There's going to be a lot of motivation not to go 1-2, and it's a home game. The crowd, who is long since drunk by now with the 4:15 start, should be on fire. Go Birds.

Emmanuel Acho and Joe Banner have hilarious Twitter exchange about his awful trade

Emmanuel Acho and Joe Banner have hilarious Twitter exchange about his awful trade

You probably remember Emmanuel Acho more for his Twitter exploits than for anything he ever did on a football field. That was the case once again over the weekend when another former Eagle had a huge game for the Patriots in their win over the Houston Texans in the AFC playoffs.

Oh, and former Philadelphia Eagles decision maker Joe Banner was also involved.

All of it started because Dion Lewis, a one-time Eagles running back drafted in the 5th round in 2011, scored three TDs in a variety of ways on the Patriots way to another AFC title game.

The joke here is that Banner -- then with the Browns -- was on the winning end of the Lewis-for-Acho trade and was himself eventually fired from his job in Cleveland. But hey, at least Acho got out of that awful city.

Lewis has battled injury for much of his career and hasn't exactly been the second coming of LeSean McCoy but he's yet another case of the Bill Belichick Patriots finding a player who had floundered with other teams only to flourish in big moments in New England.

And Joe Banner may have seen that potential early on.

Nigel Bradham's trial date for battery charge moved to April

Nigel Bradham's trial date for battery charge moved to April

Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham was originally scheduled to be in court at 9:30 a.m. in Miami on Tuesday for the beginning of his trial on a felony battery charge. 

Now, that trial won't be until April. 

A motion for continuance was filed and the new trial date is set for April 10, according to the Miami-Dade State State Attorney's Office. Eagles OTAs will begin in May. 

The felony charge stems from a July 25 incident in Miami, when the 6-foot-2, 241-pound Bradham allegedly assaulted a hotel employee. The altercation reportedly arose from the length of time it took 50-year-old hotel employee Jean Courois to bring Bradham's group their beach umbrella. 

Bradham pleaded not guilty and has said he "most definitely" expects his name to be cleared from this incident.

This was the first of two arrests for Bradham since July. He was arrested coming home from Miami from the bye week after he tried to pass through airport security with a loaded gun in his backpack. 

After the second arrest, defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz famously said, "You do dumbass things, pretty soon, you’re going to be labeled as a dumbass." 

Bradham, 27, signed a two-year deal to join the Eagles last offseason and proved to be a good investment on the field. He played 97 percent of the defense's snaps and played at a high level as the team's starting SAM linebacker. He will have a base salary of $3.5 million this year, with a cap hit of $4.25 million.