I’ve heard a lot of talk about the Eagles game tonight against the Carolina Panthers at 8:25 on CBS3 (radio: 94.1 WIP) being the Birds’ toughest test of the season so far.
Take away that the Eagles’ lone loss was by seven points at undefeated Kansas City, and playing the Panthers (4-1) is an upgrade in opposition. The Eagles, however, are unquestionably Carolina’s toughest opponent of the young season, too.
The combined record of the teams the Eagles have beaten is 10-14. The record of the opponents of the Panthers is 11-13. Both have beaten one of the three winless teams.
Yes, the Panthers won at New England, but highlighting that presumes the Patriots are the team some predicted would go unbeaten instead of one that is 3-2 and ranked last in total defense and second-to-last in scoring defense.
The Eagles have given up 1 point a game more than Carolina but have scored 6.4 more per game than the Panthers. Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has passed for more yards and thrown more touchdowns than Carolina quarterback Cam Newton and has fewer interceptions. The Birds are fourth in the league in rushing, while the Panthers are 19th.
This game is a huge challenge for both teams.
Cubs no longer have that losing appeal
There was a time, as recently as last fall, that rooting for the Chicago Cubs in tonight’s decisive Game 5 of the National League Division Playoffs against the Washington Nationals at 8 on TBS would have drawn most Americans to the corner of the Cubs.
This team, however, is no longer the ‘Cubbies” or the “Lovable Losers.” Those were cute nicknames for a franchise that had endured more than a century of tough luck, bad breaks and sour karma. From billy goats to black cats to Bartman, all fans fans who suffered through tough times with their teams could take comfort in the fact that at least they weren’t Cubs fans.
Now, the Cubs are the defending World Series champions. The charm of their miserable misfortune is gone.
The question of whether the sun would still rise if the Cubs won a World Series has been answered. It did.
Tonight, there’s nothing else to hope for than an entertaining baseball game no matter who wins.
What I’m reading
I watched Allen Iverson play for more than a decade and was often flat-out amazed, but I’ve never seen anything like Joel Embiid. Staff writer Keith Pompey describes how Embiid played in an NBA game for the first time in 257 days and dominated.
Well, since it’s my column, I can disagree with the game predictions from our Eagles crew. I say the Birds win, 27-20.
Two days later, people are still talking about the failed replay challenge that probably cost the Flyers at least a point against Nashville. Staff writer Sam Donnellon relays coach Dave Hakstol’s thoughts on his decision.
Charlotte Observer columnist Tom Sorensen talks about Carson Wentz, North Dakota and Raleigh, N.C. before asking whether the Eagles quarterback ready to handle the big-time atmosphere of the Panthers’ stadium – honestly.
The Phillies are searching for a new manager, and staff writer Matt Gelb gives a rundown of the first set of those interviewing for the job.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones conveniently picked a bye week to make his edict about benching players who protest the anthem. Todd Archer at ESPN.com writes how Jones is trying to square things with his players so they don’t test to see if he is bluffing.
This is not the kind of support that helps the cause.
Kijuana Njie, a Las Vegas woman who describes herself as a model, said she released the video of recently fired Dolphins offensive line coach Chris Foerster snorting cocaine in part because she wanted to expose “the inequalities that come with being a minority compared with a white privileged person in America.
“… We don’t get paid the same amount as everyone else.”
I don’t know what the going rate is for someone to be used, as Njie described, as “a cocaine platter,” so I can’t say if Foerster, who is white, paid Njie, who is African-American, less than he would have paid a white model to play the same role.
“How do we have someone who is paid millions to be a leader for a team doing blow when we can’t have blacks kneeling for the anthem?”
I can honestly say that I have no idea.
Eagles at Panthers, 8:25 p.m. (CBS3, NFL Network; WIP-FM 94.1)
Cubs at Nationals, 8 p.m. (TBS)
Mavericks at Hawks, 7:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
Kings at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
Texas State at Louisiana-Lafayette, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
Golf on Golf Channel
PGA: CIMB Classic, 10:30 p.m.
European PGA: Italian Open, 4 a.m. Friday
High School Football
Carol City (Fla.) vs. Miami Northwestern, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Changes in listings: Comcast SportsNet has changed its name to NBC Sports Philadelphia (NBCSP). The Comcast Network is now NBC Sports Philadelphia+ (NBCSP+).