Birds still flawed and unlikeable

Vince Young led the Eagles to a 17-10 win over the Giants.
AL BELLO/GETTY IMAGES

You will hear and read much about the sudden rebirth of the Eagles. Believe none of it. Their 17-10 win over the Giants may have provided a temporary reprieve from this dreadful season, but it proved nothing.

Vince Young’s dramatic drive that saved the season — at least for now — was remarkable in every way. Six third-down conversions with the game on the line against a formidable defense is cause for celebration, as is the blind-side sack by Jason Babin that preserved the victory in the final minutes.

But 12 minutes of joy after a season of frustration isn’t enough for me or for you. Before and after that unexpected spree of positive developments, the Eagles were the same muddle of disjointed talents and bad attitudes. Their final destination is programmed into the GPS. They are going nowhere.

For example, the revived defense that held the Giants to 10 points was rescued not by defensive coordinator Juan Castillo but by Young, who held the ball for close to nine minutes and prevented the biggest chokers in football from blowing their sixth fourth-quarter lead. Not only had the defense given away the lead in a five-play, 73-yard drive, but it ended up allowing 143 yards on just 10 plays in the final quarter before Babin’s turnover.

The notion that Castillo was somehow vindicated because the Eagles won the game is almost as absurd as Castillo’s original appointment to his new job. What exactly did the Eagles prove? They stopped the run against a team that can’t run, and they were in the process of another fatal swoon when Young rode to the rescue. Does anyone believe the Eagles’ defensive problems are behind them?

And then there is the case of DeSean Jackson, who appears to have won his power struggle with Reid. Before the game, Jackson compared himself to Larry Fitzgerald and the NFL’s other top receivers, then he cost his team a 50-yard gain by taunting a Giants assistant. He ended his busy day by proclaiming that he was “the light I bring and shine on my teammates.”

Jackson learned nothing from his benching. In fact, he was empowered by it. Now he thinks the Eagles can’t win without him, and Reid did nothing to discourage that idea after the game. Jackson is a child out of control — selfish, boisterous and poison in the locker room.

Yes, the Eagles won a big game on Sunday. But nothing has changed. Andy Reid is still lost. Juan Castillo is still clueless. And DeSean Jackson is still playing for DeSean Jackson.

The end is near for these overindulgent underachievers — and the sooner the better for all of us.

Shocking but not surprising

In the deepening cesspool at Penn State, there are two themes that require our undivided attention. One is Jerry Sandusky, the former defensive coordinator accused of sexually abusing children. The other is the army of gutless people, led by Joe Paterno, who enabled Sandusky to do what he allegedly did.

Think about the other stories that have emerged since the darkest secrets of Happy Valley became headlines. Politicians were more interested in filling their campaign coffers than in seeking justice for the victims. A judge violated the ethics of her job and took care of a friend. Eyewitnesses were discouraged to tell the truth and then vilified when they tried to.

Is any of that behavior surprising? It happens every day. Granted, the scope of the corruption is alarming, especially in a sick little place like Happy Valley, but it is just a diversion. What really matters is that a man is accused of the worst crime possible, and many people — including the coach most associated with moral behavior — enabled it.

The only things we all need to remember involve Sandusky and Paterno. In a TV interview, Sandusky required a 17 seconds to deny that he is sexually attracted to children. Seventeen seconds. Ask a friend that. You will find none, not one, who needs that long to respond.

Honesty demands respect

When Ilya Bryzgalov stoned Phoenix last week, it wasn’t just a big victory, it was a welcome — and rare — triumph for the truth. You see, Bryzgalov was hated in his final days in Phoenix, basically for one reason. When asked a question, he answered it honestly. Imagine that.

His candor led to a few fractured relationships when he publicly referenced a bad play by a teammate. That’s how the Russian goalie got a bad reputation. He spoke the truth. We already got a glimpse of this honesty when Bryzgalov trashed himself, essentially saying he couldn’t stop a beach ball.

Well, here’s one vote of support for the refreshing new addition to our sports community. We already have enough sneers from Andy Reid, enough hiding from Jeff Lurie and Joe Banner, enough tired cliches from Chase Utley and Ryan Howard.
If we have learned anything at all from the Penn State tragedy still unfolding, it is that honesty remains the best policy. If Mike McQueary had said something publicly about what he had witnessed in 2002, would the alleged abuse have continued? If Joe Paterno had used his powerful voice to halt the insanity, would his legacy have withstood the assault?

Sports figures who prefer the safe route to popularity should study Bryzgalov. Either because of a cultural gap or his honest nature, he’s showing the public something that has become extinct. It’s called respect.

– Angelo Cataldi is the host of 610 WIP’s Morning Show, which airs weekdays 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages.
Opposing viewpoints are welcome. Send submissions to letters@metro.us.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

On newly released tape, 'Squeaky' Fromme says was…

By Alex DobuzinskisLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A one-time follower of mass murderer Charles Manson who in 1975 tried to assassinate then-President Gerald Ford told a…

National

Electric Zoo tickets on sale Tuesday as festival…

Electric Zoo tickets go on sale Tuesday. The festival announced plans to amp up security after two attendees died last year from apparent drug overdoses.

Local

VIDEO: Conflicting accounts after horse carriage falls over…

There were conflicting accounts about what caused a horse carriage to fall near Central Park and Fifth Avenue on Wednesday.

Local

Bronx Zoo welcomes 2 newborn gorillas

Rounding the number of western lowland gorillas up to 20, the two tots are the first born at the Bronx Zoo since 2006.

Going Out

Pop-up cat cafe opens to long lines in…

The country's first pop-up cat cafe opened in New York on Thursday.

Movies

Interview: Steven Knight on making Tom Hardy normal…

Filmmaker Steven Knight discusses his new movie "Locke," set entirely within a car and featuring only one actor on-screen: Tom Hardy.

Movies

Interview: 'The Quiet Ones' star Sam Claflin on…

"Hunger Games" co-star Sam Claflin talks about his new horror film "The Quiet Ones," plus how technology connects him with fans.

Entertainment

Here's what to do in New York City…

ART Opening Reception for Gerson Leiber’s Rites of Spring: A Modernist View of Nature Tonight, 6 p.m. Carter Burden Gallery 548 West 28th Street #534…

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

MLB

5 infamous pitcher ejections for cheating

Never fear Yankees fans, Michael Pineda is far from the first MLB pitcher to be thrown out of a game for cheating.

MLB

Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda ejected for using pine…

Pineda was thrown out of the game against the Red Sox Wednesday for having pine tar on his neck -- for all the world to see.

NFL

Giants 2014 regular season schedule

The Giants will play five prime-time games — against the Lions, Redskins, Eagles, Colts and Cowboys.

Parenting

New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.

Tech

From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.

Style

Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.

Style

MAC & Proenza Schouler collection unveiled

MAC Cosmetics is releasing a new collection with Proenza Schouler.