What I wouldn’t give to be a blade of grass near the line of scrimmage at an NFL game. (One that’s far enough away to not get completely crushed under the several tons of human that crash into one another, but close enough to hear what goes on prior to the snap that doesn’t quite get picked up by those booming mic satellite looking things.) Because if I were, I’d be able to hear things like this.
In the midst of getting absolutely pounded by the Denver Broncos on Sunday—something that I’m still in the process of glossing over, trying to strike it from memory—at least one Philadelphia Eagles defender tried to disrupt Peyton Manning’s pre-snap audibles by shouting “Papa Johns!” Peyton and the Papa, if you weren’t aware and living off the grid for the past several years, have had quite the business relationship. The middle-Manning has appeared in several commercials, like this gem…
…and has even invested some of his millions of dollars in Papa John’s franchises.
Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin explained the taunting to 91WIP this morning:
“Well I know—I think I might have heard Papa John’s once, but I don’t know who said it, I mean that’s kind of funny. When any quarterback goes and talks at the line or any center, they start yelling ‘Mike’s 59′ or ’98′s the 4th down’ where they try to figure out the protection, we, on defense, we start, like I’ll say—if they start yelling ’98′s down, meaning I’m the fourth rusher, I’ll start yelling ’59′s down’ because it just confuses them. We can say, we tell the referee that we’re changing who our fourth is upon what they say. So that kind of stuff happens all the time when quarterbacks are making calls and defenses are trying to make calls back.”
Barwin then tried to sooth my soul by talking about how things are going to get better for the 1-3 Eagles, who still, somehow, are second in the division:
“We played four games, we’re 1-3. We’re not where we want to be, but what are we, one game out of our division? So there’s a lot of football to be played. We knew there was going to be some wrinkles we had to get through this year, but obviously you lose three straight it’s really hard on guys. I think it’s important for myself and other leaders on this team to make sure guys stick together and not start blaming or creating issues that aren’t there,” Barwin said. “You have to take it one game at a time, but if we win next week and somebody loses we could be tied for first place in the division. We’re all very conscious of that, and we also know—that game yesterday got out of hand obviously, but if you look at other games we understand this is the NFL. It’s a few plays every single game. We could easily be sitting here at 3-1 instead of 1-3. If we switched these plays and make a couple more plays than we’re doing right now, we can get this thing turned around quickly.”
The Eagles travel to the Meadowlands to take on the still-winless Giants next Sunday.