Did any of you happen to see a 6-foot long iguana around the Spectrum or roaming the streets of South Philadelphia sometime back in the '80s? If you did, WWE Hall of Famer Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat would probably like to speak with you. Fellow WWE Hall of Famer “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan (HOOOOOOOOOOO!) was interviewed by Brian Haddad on WIP last night and shared yet another tale of Spectrum lore, this one about the time Steamboat lost his pet iguana somewhere in the arena and never saw it again. The building was a stronghold of the then-WWF during pro wrestling’s territory era of the 1970s and 80s and the organization would hold shows multiple times a year there during that time period. During last night’s interview, Duggan told Haddad that Steamboat let the iguana loose during one of the WWF’s stops at the Spectrum back in the day and never saw the lizard ever again. “Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat lost his iguana,” Duggan said. “He had a big, giant iguana that he used to carry and it got loose in the Spectrum and disappeared. So the big rumor in the old Philly Spectrum was that the thing grew to six feet long eating grass in the Spectrum.” Grass, spiders, rats, ticket stubs, decades-old stale popcorn – you name it and that runaway iguana probably ate it in the Spectrum. Despite the fact they each no longer exist, old-school WWF and the Spectrum are gifts that just keep on giving.
Guess the Eagles defense is for real after all.
Even the most optimistic viewers couldn't have been expecting the Eagles to hold Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and the potent Steelers' offense to three points on Sunday. It was A+ effort by the unit as a whole, holding the Steelers to 251 total yards and 15 first downs in a 34-3 blowout (see Instant Replay).
The Steelers finished with 23 yards rushing. Roethlisberger was sacked four times and completed a pedestrian 54.4 percent of his passes. The Eagles also forced two turnovers, while Pittsburgh was held without points on two trips inside the red zone.
Again, this is supposed to be one the most high-powered offenses in the NFL, and the Eagles shut them down, looking the part of a top-five defense in the process. Extraordinary effort (see 10 Observations).
Another week, another transcendent performance by Carson Wentz. The rookie signal-caller connected on 23 of 31 passes for 301 yards with two touchdowns and, for the third straight game, no turnovers. A number of the incompletions were dropped as well, including what should've been a 41-yard touchdown by Dorial Green-Beckham. Wentz has been about as close to perfect as can be, and each time is somehow more incredible than the last.
Pittsburgh entered the game with the second-ranked run defense in the NFL, yet Wendell Smallwood and Kenjon Barner were able to consistently find space. The pair finished with 25 carries for 121 — a 4.8 average — with a touchdown each. Add Darren Sproles' six receptions for 128 yards, including an improvised 73-yard catch-and-run for six, and you can't ask for much production from a trio of backs.
The receivers didn't do a whole lot against a depleted secondary. Jordan Matthews hauled in an easy 12-yard pass for six, one of his two catches in the game, while Josh Huff, Nelson Agholor and Dorial Green-Beckham combined to make 10 receptions for 74 yards. Green-Beckham also had the drop, which in the grand scheme wasn't huge, but is the difference between pedestrian numbers and good.
Busy game for the tight ends, as Brent Celek and Trey Burton totaled five catches for 80 yards. However, Burton's two drops drag the grade down just a bit, one in particular coming on what would've been a big play down the seam.
Wentz wasn't sacked once and hit only three times. The pockets were clean, Pittsburgh's exotic blitzes picked up and the quarterback had time to scan the field. The ground attack also got better as the game went on, as 93 of the Eagles' 125 rushing yards came in the second half. They could've done better in that facet, but against a stout front seven that limited its first two opponents to 3.4 yards per carry, it was a solid effort.
Dominant. Fletcher Cox came up with two sacks and a forced fumble, Brandon Graham got to the quarterback for the third straight game and Bennie Logan registered his first. Steelers running backs were limited to 22 yards on nine carries, while the pocket was collapsing on Ben Roethlisberger all game. Simply dominant.
Nothing too flashy from the linebackers, but they cleaned up after the defensive line, made all the tackles that came their way and provided tight coverage in the middle of the field. Nigel Bradham led the way with four takedowns, including one for a loss, while Jordan Hicks finished with four tackles, a quarterback hit and two pass breakups.
The Eagles secondary broke up 10 passes, but only had one interception. Malcolm Jenkins dropped one. Nolan Carroll dropped one. Rodney McLeod dropped one, only to later wrestle a ball away from Darius Heyward-Bey for a pick. It's hard to find much fault in the defensive backs when all receivers not named Antonio Brown were limited to 107 yards through the air, but they have to start coming up with these plays.
Bennie Logan's blocked field goal on the opening possession helped set the tone for what would be a long game for the Steelers. Caleb Sturgis was perfect on two field goals and four extra points, and Donnie Jones pinned one of three punts inside Pittsburgh's 20. The only real knock on special teams was a penalty against Chris Maragos for making contact with the punter, but the Steelers' ensuing fourth-down try failed. No harm, no foul.
Another absolutely phenomenal job by Doug Pederson and his staff to get the Eagles to 3-0. Offensively, they stuck with the ground attack even though it was slow to produce, but allowed Wentz to open it up against a Steelers defense that ranked 31st against the pass entering the week. On the other side of the ball, Jim Schwartz has the front four playing inspired football, and that dominance at the point of attack has resulted in three easy victories. Great stuff.
Philadelphia sports fans have a storied history of throwing things.
They threw snowballs at Santa Claus back in 1968 and bracelets onto the ice at the Wells Fargo Center during a Flyers home playoff game last April.
On Sunday, one fan took that long-standing reputation to new heights.
At a tailgate outside the Linc leading up to the Eagles-Steelers game, a dancing Birds fan wearing a Donald Trump mask had an Amoroso roll thrown at his face.
Eagles fan wearing a Trump mask getting hit in the face with an Amoroso roll, as is tradition pic.twitter.com/QONiXF4Rl3— chris jones¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (@LONG_DRIVE) September 25, 2016