A bad break for the Eagles? Too early to snap to a conclusion

We all know that Donovan McNabb is more fragile than Humpty Dumpty (if a tad more mobile).Consequently, the health of McNabb’s backups is paramount to the Eagles if they want to use a quarterback in their offense … something most teams do ever since the Single Wing took flight into the pages of history.Which is why last night’s 13-11 loss to the Jets in an otherwise meaningless and listless preseason finale might have some lasting impact on the season.Maybe, maybe not.Backup quarterback A.J. Feeley broke the third metacarpal on his left hand. Fortunately, he throws with his right. Still, taking snaps from center could be an ouchy and maybe iffy thing. Andy Reid said Feeley would see a hand specialist today, and Reid and Feeley said they did not think the injury was any big deal.Even if the specialist thinks the injury is a big deal, it may not be for the Eagles.Rookie Kevin Kolb continues to look like the real deal. After a lethargic few throws, Kolb finished 22 for 33 for 220 yards, including a 31-yard touchdown pass to somebody named Zac Collie (no relation to Lassie, I trust). If McNabb would unravel like cheap rayon at some juncture this season, Kolb seems poised to step into the breech. The kid is as cool as a miffed spouse… and his read-and-recognition skills could get him through a thick Russian novel.If Kolb plays and excels this year, perhaps there will be no soup for Donovan in Philly next year.

Walking to school ain't what it used to be

Today’s front page of Berks & Beyond reports that some Muhlenberg School District parents are angry about a busing change that may require their children in Saylor Farm Estates to walk about two miles to school.First of all, walking to school is a tradition that’s slightly older than carbon. Your grandfather likely walked 10 miles to school. My dad told me he walked 5 miles to school … uphill both ways. He didn’t mention that he must have also flunked geography. Not to call our ancestors liars, but some of these obviously were tall tales. Not mine. I actually did walk about 2 miles to high school. Granted, my legs were well-rested because I had walked a grand total of a block to grade school for eight years.But as you may have noticed, life’s a funny old raccoon. People and things change more frequently than Victoria’s Secret models change underwear. People used to accept hardships in life. Now folks have a bruised-by-life quality about them.As for the kids in Saylor Farm Estates, I imagine those 16 or over likely have their own car or access to kids who do. Car pooling is a great way to develop social skills. For those kids under 16, Mom and Dad likely can adjust their schedules a bit to transport their offspring to school. Parents can also take turns ferrying neighborhood kids to and fro.If kids do get stuck walking, well, it could help burn some Supersized calories off of ’em. After all, there are more porkers in America than cell phones.Then again, school starts so early for some kids today that they could be walking to school in the dark. And with pedophiles and predators seemingly being spawned in record numbers, this is a legitimate concern for parents.Home schooling, anyone?

Let's not punt on the Eagles just yet

Eagles fans are flapping their tongues today in utter despair.Cheer up, gang. Things could be worse. All your tongues could be caught in a cement mixer instead.Granted, the Birds looked about six exits beyond terrible in their wretched 27-13 loss to the Steelers last night.And yes, I do realize that Game 3 of the preseason is supposed to be THE dress rehearsal for the season opener.Still, it’s way premature to cancel this year’s production. Once the real season starts, August exhibitions — like our summer vacations — are merely frivolous memories.Nevertheless, there is some — please insert pregnant pause here — cause for concern. The first-team offense looked alarmingly lethargic against Pittsburgh. The best thing you can say about Donovan McNabb is that he emerged unscathed.The first-team defense was flat-out impotent. Right now, Omar Gaither is about three toes shy on both feet of filling Jeremiah Trotter’s shoes. Freshly minted strongside linebacker Chris Gocong often looks lost in space, not surprising since he’s still tethered to his college defensive end tendencies. And strong safety Sean Considine, despite a fresh set of muscles, still looks awful weak.Two bright spots from last night: Thunder-footed Aussie Sav Rocca looks like he likely will give the Eagles a valuable field-position dimension at punter. And Kevin Kolb appears to have precocious read-and-recognition skills for a rookie quarterback. So if McNabb and backup A.J. Feeley get hammered to the sidelines this season, Kolb may be ready to step into the breech.Of course, if matters get that bad for the Birds this season, a desperate Andy Reid may resort to metaphysics and start looking into the souls of the media for some answers. Imagine that.

Surfing a real gusher of hot celebrity news

Nothing like some celeb news as hot as McDonald’s coffee to keep the tabloids and paparazzi scrambling about like field mice.Rumors are resonating like global sonar gone amuck that A-list power couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are about to check into splitsville. Doubting Thomases apparently are not restricted to the Bible. Millions of cynics never thought that relationship would span 50 years. By the way, I can categorically deny the rampant rumor that I’m the new man in Angelina’s life. Trust me, if I were I’d spill my guts faster than a stool pigeon with nervous knees banging like cast iron door knockers. After all, dating Angelina would give me instant cred in my neighborhood (if not my household).Then comes some disturbing celeb crime news from the Left Coast, where the noose of justice hardly drops like a guillotine (how’s that for mixing and mangling metaphors?). Nicole Richie was released from jail Thursday after serving 82 minutes of a four-day sentence for driving under the influence of drugs.Eighty-two freakin’ minutes! Hell, I have dental appointments that last longer than that. I’ve stood in Subway lunch lines longer than that. It takes longer than that to brief George W. on his cornflakes each morning.Meanwhile, Lindsay Lohan reached a plea deal Thursday on misdemeanor drunken driving and cocaine charges that calls for her to spend just one day in jail.One, as in uno, day? Her parties last longer than that!I guess the court felt sorry for her since she has been trying so diligently to totally derail her acting career.Or fell for her sob story that “it is clear to me that my life has become completely unmanageable because I am addicted to alcohol and drugs.” Who says the poor girl doesn’t have a grip on reality? Evidently she’s aware her life is a train wreck.I know celebrities feel imprisoned by their fame, a supposed curse that makes them feel like carcasses to be picked over. But cut me a break. Their celebrity is a double-edged sword. They may have to avoid restaurants. But they avoid serious jail time as well.Bottom line, life ain’t fair. After all, try getting a plumber on weekends without having to take out a second mortgage. And just when you spill your heaping plate of pasta on your lap, then you discover you’re out of napkins.

The McDonald's murder: What a senseless waste of life

A mutation of fear is the byproduct of any senseless, high-profile murder in our city. And it leaves a cage of rabbits in the stomachs of residents.The July 18 shooting death of a woman working the graveyard shift (how sadly ironic) at the drive-through window of the McDonald’s restaurant at Ninth and Spring streets has hung like a dark, wrinkled curtain over the face of our town.And now police have charged two city residents — including a 15-year-old boy identified as the gunman — with the heinous crime.Fifteen? God help us all.Xavier Rodriguez-Colon told police he killed Shawnee Koch during a botched robbery attempt. Yonel Hernandez-Payero, 28, told the cops he drove the stolen car used in the shooting.Shawnee Koch’s life was tragically snuffed out at 40 in a clumsy attempt to grab a few crummy bucks from McDonald’s.If convicted, Rodriguez-Colon and Hernandez-Payero essentially tossed away their lives.For what?

A little short on details

Being a dwarf does have its job limitations. For instance, a midget simply isn’t going to measure up in the NBA.Still, I think Daniel Blackner could have found a slightly less loathsome job than being Captain Dan the Demon Dwarf at the Edinburgh Circus of Horrors. But I guess the little rascal wanted to worm his way into show biz somehow. And I guess doing an act in which he pulls a carpet cleaner across the stage with his penis pays the rent.Still, it has to be a less enthralling circus job than the poor dude who has to trail the elephants carrying a shovel. Unfortunately for Captain Dan the Demon Dwarf, his act morphed from the absurd to the sinister the other day. Prior to rehearsing his act, he noticed the end of the vacuum cleaner’s suction pipe was split and super-glued it back together. Apparently being an impatient little bugger, Captain Dan didn’t bother reading the fine print of the instructions. So he waited only 20 seconds for the glue to dry, rather than the recommended 20 minutes.Which turned out to be a towering mistake. You guessed it. Captain Dan wound up gluing his penis inside the vacuum cleaner nozzle.”It was too painful to free myself and I was terrified that if I pulled too hard, I’d rip it off,” said Captain Dan, a man of courage if not charm. “The very thought left me in a cold sweat.”The show’s producer, the aptly named Dr Haze, had to rush the Demon Dwarf to the hospital.”It’s not every day that a circus dwarf with a Hoover attached to his penis gets in the car with you,” observed Dr Haze in what undoubtedly will go down as one of the most memorable quotes of the young century.Putting the bizarre mishap into proper perspective, Dr Haze added, “It was one of the most bizarre accidents I’ve ever seen — and I work with a freak show.” Dr Haze certainly was chatty about the pickle his star dwarf found himself stuck in.”One of our girls who works in the box office had twisted her knee and I was taking her to hospital as well,” he explained. “”She had a smirk on her face and was trying to be polite but she was struggling not to laugh.”She apparently had to bite through her cheeks to stifle a hearty giggle or guffaw.At least she didn’t puke.”It was the most embarrassing moment of my life,” said Captain Dan, a statement that obviously raised few eyebrows. “”When I was wheeled into a packed A&E on a wheelchair with a Hoover attached to my willy, I just wished the ground could swallow me up.”Obviously the experience totally sucked for Captain Dan.

Eagles no longer hot to Trot

It’s rather obvious that Jeremiah Trotter doesn’t have much tread left on his tires. His mangled knees crack like walnuts … and that’s when he’s merely sitting down. His bad wheels have slowed him so substantially that you could use a sundial to time him in the 40.Once a perennial Pro Bowl middle linebacker for the Eagles, Trotter now is unemployed. In a stunning swirl in the spiral, the Birds released the loquacious and bombastic fan fave today. Granted, it will seem weird at first not seeing him in the Eagles’ lineup, bringing his boiling intensity to the equation. But personnel evolution in the NFL this time of year is as automatic as an elevator door. Some players are going up, others are going down … and out.The media will miss Trotter’s sound bites more than the Birds will miss him on the field. Omar Gaither is definitely an athletic uptick as the new man in the middle.

Guilty Vick's NFL career isn't dog meat

Disgraced Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick is going to plead guilty to federal dogfighting conspiracy charges.No shock there. Guilt poured over him like so much rain. So he cut a deal with the feds to minimize his jail time.Still, Vick likely will spend at least 12 to 18 months in the pokey. In the Not For Long sport, a player’s shelf life barely lasts beyond breakfast.Yet there figures to be NFL life after prison for Vick. The embarrassed Falcons likely will sever ties with the former face of their franchise, but some team someday will sign him. The pressure to win in the NFL is so suffocating that some franchises would sign an assassin if he could put a Super Bowl in their gun sights.

Does Florence Nightingale work at Hooters?

I don’t really keep abreast of how many stabbing victims seek help at a Hooters restaurant in lieu of a hospital emergency room, but I reckon you couldn’t populate a tiny hamlet with them.Nevertheless, some boob in El Paso who was turned into a human pin cushion from multiple stab wounds in a bar fight outside of Hiney’s restaurant somehow managed to reach a Hooters 4.5 miles away. Perhaps the dude was woozy from blood loss and the heat-lamp Texas sky. Or maybe he simply had a hankering to ogle the cuisine at Hooters. After all, we all know how awful hospital food can be.