With things generally looking up on the new CBA labor front, I hate to be Debbie Downer... but my best guess is a Lehigh Training Camp open to the Eagles fan public is already lost... and Undrafted Free Agents will remain in the limbo of a "Lost 2011" year...
Cherish this photo scene of 2010's Training Camp at Lehigh... it may very well be as close to a memory or a dream you will have of interacting with Eagles players and coaching personnel at an open training camp setting until the summer of 2012...
You may think the NFL has an "agreement in principle" with the labor negotiators representing the players... but that is not enough to open Training Camp at Lehigh.
This fact of life was driven home to me by Stan White, former NFL linebacker, currently an attorney, high school football coach, and radio analyst for the Baltimore Ravens...
Stan told me: "It may take many weeks for the two sides to get it all down in writing... and there's still the possibility that a bunch of owners may pull the rug out on the current negotiations, which happened to us while I was a player rep in the '70's, just to see if they could panic us and break us down..."
"Either way, I don't see the Big Deal getting done in writing in time to open traditional Training Camps around the league..."
No sooner did I get off the line with Stan White, when I heard an announcement on the WBAL-AM radio feed:
"The Baltimore Ravens have pulled the plug on their traditional Training Camp at McDaniel College (formerly Western Maryland College) in Westminster, Maryland... This will be the first time in 16 years the Ravens have not held an open training camp... They will instead train at their team facility in Owings Mills, and all practice sessions will be closed to the public..."
My first reaction was: this does not bode well for Lehigh.
It's sad. I've attended both the training camps of the Eagles and the Ravens for many years. It is a sheer joy to get up close to the ropes and mingle with the players and the coaches and the operational staff members. It is like a community festival in many ways. It is absolutely a joy to witness young kids brought in by the busloads grabbing their chance to get behind the ropes at the end of practice and score autographs and a personal moment with their heroes.
I will also miss the random and completely personal one-on-one's you can get with the players...usually at the end of morning practice...when you can just listen to guys talk with each other and establish some credibility with them by just being a quiet observer. They totally get it when you are down by the ropes...but don't yell at them. Just observe...
Better yet, if you book a room for a few days, or live close enough to the training site to hang around after hours, you'll get a chance to run into a player or three at a local restaurant or bar...just sharing the same space in a public room... and you'd be surprised at how willing some of them are to include you in the conversation.
As long as you don't act like a jerk...
It's usually a magical time in the life of fans and players...but it's being taken away by the litigative delays.
Local merchants in Bethlehem, Pa. will feel it, too, as revenue dollars they counted upon quickly evaporate into the litigative fog...
Hotels, motels, restaurants, corporate sponsors, day-workers, cab-drivers, concession operators....forget about it.
Baltimore was the first to drop the other shoe on NFL Training Camp yesterday. You should hear the moaning and wailing among the merchants of Westminster, a town virtualy the same size and similar remote location as Bethlehem. The Ravens drew over 120,000 fans and tourists to their traditional TC venue last summer. The local Best Western was booked exclusively by the team for its players and staff in 2010. Now all of that local economy is up in smoke.
I fear the same fate for Bethlehem and Lehigh University.
* * * * *
Meanwhile, the undrafted free agents out there are getting the shaft, too... Unless something gets put down in writing soon on a new CBA, the Class of 2011 Undrafted FA's will be known simply as "The Lost Boys"...
This is a crueler fate than losing traditional fan-interactive Training Camp...
This is a group of very good players who for some God-only-knows reason did not get picked in the 2011 Draft. This group of "Lost Boys" includes:
TIER ONE (My personal bias picks):
- Pat Devlin, QB, Delaware
- Darvin Adams, WR, Auburn
- Scott Tolzien, QB, Wisconsin
- Brandon Bair, DE, Oregon
- Terrence Tolliver, WR, LSU
- Ian Williams, DL, Notre Dame
- Kris O'Dowd, C, USC
- Chris L. Rucker, CB, Michigan State
- Henry Hynoski, FB, Pitt
- Jerrod Johnson, QB, Texas A&M
- Josh Bynes, LB, Auburn
- Damik Scafe, DL, Boston College
- Anthony Walters, S, Delaware
- Jake Kirkpatrick, C, TCU
- Kendric Burney, CB, North Carolina
- Mike Hartline, QB, Kentucky
- Mario Fannin, RB, Auburn
- Mark Herzlich, LB, Boston College
- Zach Hurd, G, Connecticut
- Blake Bolles, QB, NW Missouri State
- Marc Schiechl, DE, University of Colorado-Mines
- Joe Lefeged, S, Rutgers
- Preston Dial, FB, Alabama
It would be a sad waste of a year's development time if these guys had to wait until the Spring of 2012 to even step foot upon a professional training facility. But much like traditional Training Camps closing to fans, this is where the collateral damage fallout is headed.
Andy Reid's final take:
"We've got schedules set up," Reid said. "If we have to practice (at the NovaCare Center in South Philadelphia), we practice here. If we have to practice at Lehigh, we practice at Lehigh. Everything is taken care of. We've got a good plan for both. I guess the changes (from Lehigh to NovaCare) would happen with the marketing department and the opportunity for the fans to see the team at that time, which is a shame."
Any camp at NovaCare would be closed to fans due to legal restrictions put on the site when the Eagles built their complex there.
As for the 500 word story.. I could bang that out no problem... If I had a topic... Lupes give me an assignment, den it's just like pointing a gun (no offense Plax).... Pull da trigger and watch me go to work.
For dose of youse who are also fans of da Phitins... More bad news. Madson is now also out due to some mysterious hand injury??? YIKES. Soooooooo the bullpen now has available Bastardo, Stutes, Herndon, Baez, Mathesion, and Perez??? While no longer available are Lidge, Jose, Madson, and KK (recently moved to starter since Big Joe and now Roy2 are on the DL).... The O better start scoring more than 1 or 2 runs a night if we want to hold onto the best record in baseball.... Let alone the NL East
Lupes,....regarding you're offer to write an article: this is a TOTALLY unrelated question.... but, do you check for flat out plagerism, when you are reading someones's article ? I don't mean using another writers ideas, or borrowing writing styles,...I mean flat out copying and pasting, and just substituting your own name for the real author's name ? Would you normally check for that? Because I think that's what Bri would do.....
@Brozer8 I don't check for that...the great artist steals only from the best, I once heard in Art History class...
HAHAHAHA I think you might be on to something! @Brozer8
@Brozer8 ouch... No love for da GK??? Methinks that would be a move sunny would try... Not Bri, who IMO has more integrity than that. Instead Bri would refuse to write on the grounds he ain't gonna spoon feed ya! lol
That shoulda done it !!!!! Everytime, one of youses, has a milestone in yourn life,....turn around and look.....cuz you'll see yourn pal Broz, standing right dere behind youze......and when youz see him, go ahead and give 'em a big ole THANKS BROZ !!!!!
If the Bored returned to PE.com I would happily follow the banter as i did for years. You guys are way too prolific to not contribute over there, assuming the digs are livable of course. Hopefully Lupes can keep the lights on across the street over at the speakeasy so I can stop by occasionally. It's a little too square over there for me.
I'm going to single handedly push GFJB99 over da 2000 point mark,....because it's what I do. Here I go. Oh yeah.....YOU WELCOME !!!!!
Too bad about Peter Falk. He was awesome in so many different roles... but none better than his role mimicking his own "Columbo" role in the Peter Simon written flick "Murder By Death"... which is hilarious and highly recommended by The Great JB99.
Here is an example. obtw... I can't believe they got so many great actors to do such a goofy flick.
@TheGreatJB99 Good Lord, I actually once wrote a blurb that was essentially THAT!
@TheGreatJB99 I think if you use more spacing, and really tight margins, and LOTS's of punctuation, like 30 exclamation marks after boff sentences, then it will look like an entire article.....as opposed to 8 words.
@TheGreatJB99 That kinda suked,..since you spelt celick correctly,..perk up!....see you toads on sunday,..i'm off to sea the wizard,.....nice ladies,.....das frenchy est une hookere,..n'est-ce pas?......GK.
I still wish Loops would take one day off a week, to relax, refresh, recharge, and enjoy his creation ! Perhaps on da Sevenff day (tuesday) like da Good Book sayeth. Heck, he could even make one of his readers write one article a week on his day off, so that all could appreciate more, what he does ! THAT would be funny !
Actually, it would be funny till it came to be MY turn, at which time I would make up some lame excuse, about being too busy. Broz's blog: Unnnnnnn...uhhhhhh...I like football...cuz uhhhhhhhh, football is good-n-stuff....yeah......and I like the Eagles........and hey, the Giants SUCK ! Whoozewiffme ? The End.
Gonna go veg and get drunk from the couch for a bit, Maybe turn on the tube, and if nothing soots me fancy, go back to reading Swan Song!
The other possibility I see in this realm we have here is that its a freer environment. Now I know we are all fans and loyal and shit but I don't think spuds can be objective. Not saying that I know Lupes can be either just saying that I believe he has the freedom to be.
@Demappulls! If I want the Eagles to win a Super Bowl in my lifetime, I can never be truly "objective"...I want that SB for a lot of reasons...I can say I think something sucks if the Birds fail to get it...pretty sure Spuds can say that, too... the problem for Spuds is, if he says an aspect of the Birds sucks, he's got a paycheck on the line...
I say give Spuds the chance he deserves... obviously the EMB peeps meant more to him than we did, probably because of their sheer numbers of registered users... they got exactly what they demanded---a complete retrofit return to the classic format. We, on the other hand, will be subjected to yet another experimental format. I say keep an open mind...and evaluate. Besides, ain't no sin in posting at both places...we're cool like that.
Sidney Rice might reach the market too...Sims-Walker possibly...Imagine adding any of these guys to our WR corps...UNSTOPPABLE...
I love it here. I can make all the crude and nasty jokes I want, and talk some smack and use swear words like bitch, slut, ho, dick, ass douchebag, cunt(sunny), fuck, and whatever I want.
@Demappulls! The best thing about veteran posters at PE.com is that we censored ourselves... Sometimes it's funnier when you invent a word to say the word you know we know you meant to say...
Except when someone tells say for instance a lesbian joke or sumptin? @Tom Jackson
@Demappulls! Entertainment is often about working "smart" around "blue"...just saying, being "practical" about constructing hidden meanings often results in a bigger laugh!
@Demappulls! Well, there you had the Christina Lurie influence at work... every now and then she toured her kingdom...and lesbian jokes were completely incorrect politically at the time of her last tour...and we know what happened then...ask South Philly Ben, a home-grown genius who got Lenny-Bruced there...
But I understand what your saying. I live in Utah they some of the dumbest shit to cover over swear words its just retarded sometimes. @Tom Jackson