Each week Dave and Patrick discuss the week that was. It's Two Guys Internetting Football!
Patrick: Hi there, Dave. Hope you had a nice holiday weekend. I'm sure there's a snarky and elegant segue for this, but screw it: Jason Pierre-Paul (reportedly) blew off a finger with a firework, so now's not the time for subtleties.
Assuming he'll be able to resume his career, it's doubtful that it'll be with the Giants. After all, the team recently pulled back their $60m contract offer in the wake of last weekend's events. It's a shame for many reasons, not the least of which being because JPP has continued a proud tradition of completely obnoxious New York defensive linemen who are super fun to root against. Where does he rank on your list of divisional villains? And who else would you put on that list?
Dave: One of the fun things about being a fan is players you love to hate and watch them screw up. Math whiz JPP is certainly a player we enjoy watching fail. But he's not even close to the most hated Giant, though now he rockets to the top of the James Bond type villain thanks to a physical deformity. DRC, at least to me, is the most hated current Giant. But I'm not sure they're actually hated, to me they're more of a punching bag. For truly hated, that would be Michael f'n Strahan. Villain #1 of the Andy Reid era. Thankfully the whole nation joined us in hating him, if only temporarily when Brett Favre gifted him the sack record. I'm not one for asterisks but since it was Strahan that record has an asterisk in it. Strahan vs Coughlin was fun until they won a title. Why couldn't you hate him more Michael? His post-playing career just makes you hate him even more because he's always on TV.
Which is going better than his former teammate and punching bag Tiki Barber. There's a guy you loved to see fail, and he kept bringing the hits well after his playing career ended. He was easy to hate when he played, then he got a wholly undeserved bump by being in New York and landing a broadcasting job. I'd feel bad for Ronde Barber but screw that guy too.
Of course, the biggest villains are the Cowboys, and among them Aikman, Irvin and Smith. You can hate all of them for different reasons: Aikman was overrated, Irvin was one of the most annoying players in the league and then when Deion Sanders joined it went into overdrive, and Emmitt Smith you just plain hated. Now though... maybe Dez Bryant but we will always have "Dez dropped the ball" to troll with.
Tony Romo is a really good QB but I don't hate him because he usually finds a way to lose. I guess the entire offensive line is hate material, they're good but not as good as the media portrays them to be. Greg Hardy is just a despicable person, he's at the top of my list this season.
Then there's the Redskins. DeSean's an easy target for some, DeAngelo Hall is a joke, hell the whole team is. They've won three Super Bowls in my lifetime and they play the Eagles twice a year and I can't think of anyone that I truly hate. You?
Patrick: For Eagles fans of a certain age I think the Giants are the easiest team to hate. There was a period in the mid-aughts where all of their stars were extremely unlikable for one reason or another. The one guy who really stands out to me though is Jeremy Shockey. He had everything you looked for in a villain: he was good enough that you had to respect his game, but he was extremely cocky and never seemed to shut up. But at least he gave us this wonderful moment:
Washington fans make me hate that team in general, but there isn't really anyone on that squad you look forward to seeing your team pick on. As for the Cowboys, the TO era was always a lot of fun, and his comically larger-than-life persona made him so easy to root against. But to be fair to Owens, that was part of his shtick. But his 2006 return to the Linc? One of the best Eagles games I've ever seen.
Then, of course, there are the guys you hate because of what they did in a single game. Ask any fan about Matt Bryant and you'll get an angry stare at best, and broken limbs at worse. Ditto for Ronde Barber, even if the Eagles were able to make him make this face a couple seasons ago.
Any guys you hate based on one game?
Dave: My hatred for Matt Bryant has outlasted the establishment that I watched that game at.
Oh man, Jeremy Shockey. What a douche. He never lived up to the hype, but like you said he was just good enough that you had to respect his abilities. When he was wearing gloves. It was always fun to watch him drop TDs because he wasn't wearing gloves. Jason Sehorn was another guy you just hated because he was another good but not great player who because he played in NY he was overrated. Like JPP with the fireworks, you'd feel bad about him blowing his knee out because Jim Fassel thought it would be a good idea to have him return kicks in the preseason, but because you hated him you laughed. Man, that NY bump. Mark Bavaro was another one. Good player but overrated because he played for the Giants. But then he played for the Eagles and everything was alright. The NY bump is not just limited to the Giants, Curtis Martin getting into the HOF before Chris Carter and Tim Brown was a joke. But the Jets have mostly sucked and the Eagles don't play them once a year.
One game wonders of hate... Speaking of the Jets, preseason superstar Danny Woodhead! Seriously though, Joe Webb immediately comes to mind, but he's just the manifestation of a season of frustration. Ricky Manning, Joe Jurevicius ARGH. The pain. The horror. The horror.
Patrick: Not sure how he hasn't come up yet, but there's also Plaxico Burress, who, to bring this conversation full circle, also injured himself in a completely avoidable accident. Not that I want to kick a Giant when he's down, but I'm not sure which was worse. I'd say JPP, because this could end up costing him tens of millions of dollars. What do you think?
Dave: That's a good question. JPP's cost him a finger and almost certainly cost him money. Plaxico's cost him two years out of his career and the money with it. Would you rather lose your index finger or go to prison for two years... I think I'd take prison time, the index finger is really important.
Now there's a question for the readers: which embarrassing, career altering injury was worse?