The NFL notebook …
PHILADELPHIAó The Eagles were in the middle of another fourth-quarter meltdown when the chant began echoing through the Linc: “Let’s Go Phillies!”
The best team money can buy may have been overhyped. Michael Vick and Co. are off to a 1-3 start, drawing the ire of fans who’ve put all their hopes on the Phillies to win the World Series.
Football has long been No. 1 in Philadelphia, but the City of Brotherly Love is a baseball town nowadays.
So, when the Eagles blew a 20-point lead and lost 24-23 to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, fans didn’t boo as much as usual.
Instead, they started cheering for the Phillies, who played Game 2 of the NL division series later that night a few blocks down the road.
Across the state, fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers don’t have the same luxury.
The Pirates haven’t reached the postseason since 1992, so there’s no October baseball in the Steel City to take attention away from the struggling Steelers.
The defending AFC champions are 2-2, and don’t look like a team that could make another deep playoff run.
It’s been 12 years since the Keystone State didn’t have a winning NFL team. With three-quarters of the season remaining, it’s still too early to panic.
“We’ve got some work to do,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said after a 17-10 loss at Houston on Sunday. “It’s not anything mystical.”
COLT LOSING, TOO
BEREA, Ohio ó Nothing gnaws at Colt McCoy or hurts him more than losing.
Just four games into his second NFL season, McCoy has already lost more games as a starting quarterback with the Cleveland Browns than he did in four years at Texas, where he finished as the winningest QB in NCAA history.
McCoy, who has taken some hard shots the past two weeks, is also taking a few hits from disgruntled Browns fans.
They want more from him, but first-year coach Pat Shurmur is preaching patience with McCoy, whom he still considers a rookie.
ST. PAUL, Minn.ó Vikings wide receiver Bernard Berrian and a Minnesota state lawmaker have apparently patched up their Twitter feud.
State Rep. John Kriesel was tweeting after the team’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs dropped the Vikings to 0-4. He linked to Berrian’s Twitter account and seemed to ridicule the player’s comment that he is open and should get the ball more.
Berrian shot back with an offer to watch game tapes with Kriesel. He then added, “sit down n shut up.” The Republican from Cottage Grove, Minn., is an Iraq war veteran who lost his legs in action. He is also backing a bill to build a new NFL stadium in a Twin Cities suburb.
Berrian told reporters Monday that he and Kriesel traded phone messages. Kriesel tweeted that he took no offense: “I deserved it. I ripped on him. I’m just surprised that he even cares about what me or others would say.”
NOT TEBOW TIME
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. ó The fans may be chanting “Tebow! Tebow! Tebow!”
Inside Broncos headquarters, the roar is more like, “Orton! Orton! Orton!”
“Kyle’s our guy. That’s who we’re rolling with,” running back Willis McGahee said Monday. “Whoever doesn’t like it, it is what it is. He’s leading the Denver Broncos. He’s running the show. So, I mean, I think everybody just needs to get over it.”
Which is what coach John Fox said minutes earliera bit more diplomatically.
Fox reiterated that Kyle Orton is his starter even though the Broncos are 1-3 and coming off a disheartening performance at Green Bay that included three interceptions.