Extra Points: App State, Eagles Games Made for Lively Debate
Since I've already voted, there was no reason for me to watch Donald Trump and Joe Biden swap insults last night.
I was too busy debating about whether to stick with the Appalachian State-Arkansas State game on ESPN or switch over the Eagles-Giants game on FOX.
As an App State grad (Class of 1980), it thrilled me to see the Mountaineers dominate in a 45-17 victory at Kidd Brewer Stadium, otherwise known as "The Rock." I was also surprised to see fans in short sleeves in the stands. What I remember most about those days in Boone, N.C. was that it started snowing in October and you didn't see grass - at least the kind on the ground, remember it was the late 1970's - until mid-April.
Of course, as my wife just reminded me, it's been over 40 years since I was living in Gardner Hall, walking to class in my Earth shoes, typing term papers on an actual typewriter, and being entranced by Southern girls wearing Add-A-Bead necklaces and talking with knee-buckling accents.
It's been a long time since I made the eight-mile drive to Blowing Rock - Boone was a dry town in those days - with my roommate Scott Myers and the rest of the Thomasville gang on weekends to hit the Library Club, Antlers and Shenanigans. For some reason, there were two different drinking ages: 18 for beer and 21 for liquor. As a result, Busch was the drink of choice during my freshman and sophomore years before I was introduced to the wonders of Wild Turkey.
Scott, who I still meet up with for an occasional round of golf, deserves the credit/blame for turning me from a shy, naive Cape May beach boy into a seasonal Southerner who drank sweet tea, chewed Red Man, ate grits and became a lifelong Parrothead. I was so naive at first that I thought the Library Club was an actual study hall.
Once quarterback Zac Thomas and the Mountaineers began to take control, I reluctantly clicked over to Eagles-Giants. The game lived up to my expectations, which were about as low as the tide at Trenton Ave. beach in Cape May earlier that day. Both teams reinforced the claim that the NFC East is the worst division in football and it's not close.
One play in particular symbolized the Giants' struggles. Quarterback Daniel Jones broke through a canyon-sized hole in the Eagles' defense and bolted upfield. According to Next Gen Stats, he topped out at 21.23 miles per hour, which is the fastest top speed by a quarterback over the last three seasons. Although I have a hard time believing Jones is faster than Kyler Murray or Lamar Jackson. Unfortunately for Jones, he decelerated to 7.24 MPH at the Eagles' 8-yard line, which is about the time he stumbled, tumbled and rolled to a stop without an Eagles defender within 10 yards of him.
"I don't know," Jones said. "I tried to run faster than I was running and I got caught up."
The Eagles were inept for much of the game. Carson Wentz was inaccurate and inconsistent before rallying the team to a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns that gave them the win.
Again, diehard fans will praise the Eagles for the comeback. But the late-game heroics wouldn't have been necessary if Wentz played better at the outset, if coach
Doug Pederson's play-calling hadn't harkened memories of the time Rich Kotite went for two because the rain had smeared his play chart, if place-kicker Jake Elliott hadn't turned into Ray Finkel.
It was enough to almost make me want to drink Wild Turkey again.
Or at least sweet tea.