Writer Just Your Average Philly Columnist

Writer Just Your Average Philly Columnist

As some of you may have noticed, Inquirer columnist Frank Fitzpatrick wrote a piece on Friday titled "Morning Bytes: Blogger just your average Philly fan" which took a look at the live blogging I did for the Eagles season opener over at AOL's Fanhouse.  I felt Mr. Fitzpatrick was rather off base with many of the things he said, so I wrote him a letter:

Hey Frank,

First off, thanks for writing about me and my blog in the Inquirer.  It's always cool to see your own name in print.  I thought I'd clear some things up for you.  While I pride myself on just writing from a fans point of view, I take some offense to you saying I'm a "prototypical Philly fan" while inferring I was "quick to condemn players" and "always perched on the edge of the bandwagon, ready to leap at the drop of a pass."

I realize you've been writing about sports for the Inquirer for over a quarter of a century.  Hell, that's longer than I've been alive.  While this may give you "credentials" in some areas, it may detract from your "credentials" in other areas, namely the Internet and blogging.  I'm not sure if you really understand the concept of "live blogging" or blogging in general.  Maybe you should consult with your colleague Dan Rubin, while he, like you, may have his AARP card, he seems to "get" the idea of blogging, even if he is a few days behind the curve on some Internet phenomena.

You say "the Bird Blogger quickly revealed himself, not as the next Red Smith but as the prototypical Philly fan."  I don't think you get it.  The last thing I want to be is the next Red Smith, or even a Ray Didinger or Les Bowen (two guys I respect and admire) for that matter.  While you may still get all your info from print papers, they are no longer the only source for sports information.  There are websites and writers out there who are changing the way people watch and care about sports.  I'd rather strive to be Bill Simmons than Bill Conlin, it's just more fun being a fan.  I don't want or try to be objective.  I'm just a Philly sports fan; I'm just not prototypical.  You were close.

Now that we cleared that up, there are a few more problems with your article:

  • You comment on my criticizing Donte Stallworth for dropping a pass in the 4th quarter.  Prior to my comment, I praised Stallworth repeatedly; he had a phenomenal day.  Perhaps you didn't notice the "!@#!" after my comment or perhaps as you get older you just lose your sense of sarcasm.
  • You comment on how I stated earlier in the week that Westbrook should return punts  and how I linked to that post, like people wouldn't really believe me.  This is the Internet, linking is good.
  • Speaking of linking, you pick and choose quotes from my lengthy live blog.  What you don't do is tell your readers where they can get the full context of the quotes.  It's called a URL and you MSM types seem to dislike allowing anyone to go anywhere that isn't your own domain.  Yet you criticize bloggers who are the first to give credit where it is due.
  • You also seem to have no idea about who I am or what my credentials are.  Maybe you should try a search engine. You can find out lots of stuff on there.  I spent about 2 minutes and found out you were nominated for a Pulitzer, wrote a book about the '83 Phillies, hate badminton, and live in West Chester.
  • While I'm not claiming to have any credentials here at The700Level, AOL's Fanhouse is a network of paid bloggers.  Not just anyone can go over and talk about the wings they ate during halftime on AOL's Fanhouse.  I've done something to earn that right, even if it was while I was wearing my pajamas.
  • The live blog you quote is found on AOL's Fanhouse.  Fan + House = place for fans to say what fans think.
  • Also, I'm the biggest McNabb backer out there, I'd link you to it all, but it seems like you don't like links.

So there you go Frank, I just wanted to clear all that up for you.  And I'm probably going to start reading more of your stuff now since I know you've checked out mine.  Everybody likes to be heard.

Sincerely,
Enrico
www.the700level.com
Eagles Blogger, AOL Fanhouse

Best of NFL: Seahawks hurt Tony Romo, pull away from Cowboys

Best of NFL: Seahawks hurt Tony Romo, pull away from Cowboys

SEATTLE -- Three plays were all it took for Dallas to get yet another injury scare surrounding Tony Romo.

The quarterback lasted just 90 seconds into the Cowboys' 27-17 preseason loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night before leaving with what appeared at first to be a potentially significant injury, but ended up being minor.

Romo was tackled from behind by Seattle's Cliff Avril on the third play from scrimmage as Romo scrambled from the pocket.

He immediately grabbed at his back, crumpled on the field while trainers sprinted from the Dallas sideline and images of Romo's injury problems from last year immediately flashed to mind.

Turned out it was all just a scare. Romo walked off the field without assistance, threw passes on the sideline and lobbied for a return to the game. Dallas coach Jason Garrett opted to play it safe and Romo donned a baseball hat as a spectator the rest of the night.

"I was just in shock and had my mind on just, `C'mon, Tony. Get up,'" Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told the team's TV broadcast.

"Said a few prayers right there in the middle on the spot. Really just couldn't imagine getting that hand dealt to us. We're pleased that it's in good shape. We obviously don't need to see what Tony can do out there."

What Romo saw was an impressive initial flash from rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott and a solid performance by backup QB Dak Prescott against one of the top defenses in the NFL.

Elliott rushed for 48 yards on seven carries, including a 13-yard run where he knocked Seattle safety Kam Chancellor backward. Prescott was solid playing against most of Seattle's starting defense, finishing 17 of 23 for 116 yards, including a 17-yard TD pass that Jason Witten snatched away from K.J. Wright.

Russell Wilson and Seattle's No. 1 offense played into the second half, scoring on four of its final five possessions including a pair of TD tosses by Wilson (see full recap).

Foster leads Dolphins to win over Falcons
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Running back Arian Foster had a 2-yard touchdown run in the Miami Dolphins' 17-6 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night.

Foster, who joined the Dolphins during the offseason and is coming off an Achilles injury, had his most extensive playing time with his new team in the third preseason game that was played at Orlando's Camping World Stadium.

The four-time Pro Bowl running back played in just one series in the first half, but he made the most of the limited opportunities by sparking the Dolphins to their lone touchdown drive of the half with five carries for 10 yards, capped by his 2-yard scoring run early in the second quarter.

The Dolphins are taking a cautious approach with Foster, who hasn't played a full season since 2012 with Houston. The former Texans star didn't play in the Dolphins' preseason opener and had just two carries for minus-5 yards last week against Dallas.

With Foster expected to challenge second-year running back Jay Ajayi in the Dolphins backfield this season, coach Adam Case came into Thursday night's game wanting a little more to evaluate Foster on.

Foster didn't get a lot more work, but he did enough in the seven touches he received to make the Dolphins' running back competition interesting. Ajayi carried seven times for 11 yards and caught two passes for 12 yards.

Foster had two receptions for 20 yards, which included a 16-yard catch that moved the Dolphins into scoring position at the Falcons 22.

Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill, coming off an impressive outing against the Cowboys, didn't put his team in many scoring positions, but he did move the ball effectively.

He completed 20 of 29 passes for 155 yards while leading the Dolphins to a score in one of two red zone opportunities (see full recap).

Roy Halladay provides epic quote in tribute to Carlos Ruiz, the 'little engine that could'

Roy Halladay provides epic quote in tribute to Carlos Ruiz, the 'little engine that could'

Roy Halladay and Carlos Ruiz shared a special relationship.

We all know the story.

The two formed an incredible battery combination that produced a perfect game and postseason no-hitter in the same year.

Halladay, a Cy Young winner with plenty of accolades, loved the unassuming Ruiz just as much, if not more, than anyone.

This is case in point: Doc, via CSNPhilly.com's Phillies Insider Jim Salisbury, provided an absolutely epic quote summing up Chooch, who the Phillies traded on Thursday night.

Without further ado ...

Chooch was the little engine that could for a team loaded with big names, but no player was more valuable to the team as a whole than Carlos! He was so humble and grateful, you couldn't help but just want to do anything for him including win! He flawlessly handled one of the greatest pitching staffs ever assembled and was just as important offensively, as well. It was nothing short of miraculous that he could handle so many different personalities and approaches on a day-to-day basis the way that he did. He was the best catcher I've ever thrown to and, in my opinion, the best catcher in baseball in the years I was with him. It's going to be sad to see him without a Phillies uniform on and not seeing him sitting in his chair in the clubhouse with a smile. And just the way the fans treated Chase last week, Chooch is also deserving of that hero's welcome. They are my two favorite players of all-time as well as favorite teammates. I was fortunate to have both of them in the clubhouse. I want to wish good luck to Carlos. Maybe one day when we're old and gray we can come back to Philly!!

With that, we'll leave you with these awesome moments.

Report: Phillies calling up prospect Jorge Alfaro

Report: Phillies calling up prospect Jorge Alfaro

It appears prized catching prospect Jorge Alfaro is coming to the Phillies.

But not for long.

According to a report late Thursday night by Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan, Alfaro will be promoted from Double A Reading to the Phillies and join the team Friday in New York.

Alfaro, already on the Phillies' 40-man roster, is not expected to stay for long. He gets the call now with the Phillies' trade of Carlos Ruiz on Thursday night and veteran catcher A.J. Ellis, a part of the Ruiz deal, not yet with the team but expecting to join it this weekend against the Mets.

Alfaro is a strong candidate to be a September call-up of the Phillies once Reading is finished with the Eastern League playoffs.

The 23-year-old was acquired in the Cole Hamels trade at last season's non-waiver deadline. With the Fightin Phils this season, Alfaro is hitting .279 with 13 home runs, 61 RBIs and 60 runs scored. He's ranked as baseball's second-best catching prospect by MLB.com Pipeline and is known for his big throwing arm and power potential.