I’m 36 years old, have been out of college for 12 years and graduated high school in 1993, yet every Labor Day weekend I still get that sickening ‘back to school’ feeling in my stomach. Most of that comes from a depression when only the end of summer and the end of another beach season is staring me in the face. See, I’m a beach bum and a 15 year resident of Sea Isle City. You can find me at the Carousel on Saturday afternoons, Carmen’s on Sunday mornings and every other minute, pretty much parked on the 54th street beach between Friday afternoons and Sunday evenings. To say the least, I enjoy my life between May and September.

Do I have to tell you the one thing that helps me see my way through my annual depression? This year, there are 2 reasons, actually…a seemingly inevitable 2nd World Series parade and FOOTBALL SEASON. Nothing like the Eagles to melt away my summer ending sadness. Time to focus. Time to dream (no pun intended). Time to begin mentally preparing myself for another crushing, emotional, disappointing gut-punch in January. AND time for your 2011 Week One NFL Notes & Musings…

What is it about Chokey Romo that causes his wide receivers to turn in to pregnant women when he blows yet another game? First T.O. turns in to a crying, slobbering mess and now I have to see Dez Bryant whispering under his breathe to avoid tears minutes after Chokey coughs up another game. If you’re a Dallas fan, please note this is not a trend. It’s his way. He chokes at big moments in big games. End of story. There is too much evidence to support.

It was nice to see Buddy Ryan on the sideline with his sons before the Jets / Cowgirls game. Who was the peculiar old guy trying to sneak in to the pictures being taken of them?

It’s only week one but I may be ready to eat some crow. Cam Newton looked downright SENSATIONAL on Sunday! I’m glad I don’t bet anymore because I would’ve put a mortgage payment on him never looking as good as he did this week. He is the first rookie in NFL history to throw for 400 yards or more in his debut.

The Redskins are not that good. The Giants are extremely thin thanks to injuries.

There’s a solid chance that the best game of the year was the first. It doesn’t get more entertaining than Thursday night’s Green Bay / New Orleans league opening matchup.

The best college game of the year will most likely be the Michigan / Notre Dame firework show from Ann Arbor. I don’t remember seeing 3 TDs in 72 seconds ever, at any level. It’s astonishing to me that with a 114,000 person capacity, that was the first game ever played in that stadium at night.

Donovan McNabb went 7 of 15 for 39 yards. No typos there. Adrian Peterson rushed for 98 yards on 16 carries. I’m wondering if they had the ball in the 2nd half. At all.

The Tom Brady UGG commercial annoys me to high heavens but whoever made the decision to air these Bucky Larson movie commercials should be assassinated. If there’s ever a Smith & Wesson within arm’s length while one of those commercials airs, it’s ‘goodnight, Irene’ for me.

Speaking of Brady, his 517 yards passing Monday night at Miami was a franchise record and the 5th highest game total in NFL history.

Sebastian Janikowski tied the NFL record for field goal distance with his 63 yarder Monday night in Denver.

Terrell Suggs is now the Ravens’ all time sack leader with 71.5. He had 3 on Sunday versus Pittsburgh.

Players who wear eye black annoy me and the college kids who put their area codes on it are worse. Does that make me sound old?

Raise your hand if you had Cleveland or Kansas City in your elimination pools…I have two hands up. I had them both in my two pools.

The Eagles did not dress their first (OG Danny Watkins), second (S Jaiaqwan Jarrett) and third (CB Curtis Marsh) round picks on Sunday. That’s disturbing.

Sophomore blues? LeGarrette Blount was held to 15 yards rushing and Ndamukong Suh was held to one tackle.

Eli Manning is now the current leader for consecutive starts with 111, since big brother had to take a year off.

Chris Cooley is now the Redskins’ all time leader in receptions by a tight end with 423.

Pumpkin ales are here! Between them and Oktoberfest brews, it’s the best time of year for beer. Try Southern Tier’s Pumking Ale…delicious!

Shane Lechler tied a franchise record with a 77 yard punt. Oakland’s kickers must love that mile high air.

Indianapolis needs to sit Kerry Collins down and let Curtis Painter play. Collins retired for a reason and he showed that on Sunday. There needs to be a rule about starting QBs and fully grey beards.

It was nice of Ted Ginn, Jr. to help disguise the fact that San Francisco continues to be woeful at the quarterback position. Ginn returned a kick 102 yards for a TD and a minute later, took a punt 55 yards to the house for another score.

And finally, like so many of you, I relived 9/11 Sunday morning, watching all the archived footage. I held my 2 year old daughter and thought, “how do I explain this to her someday?” Reliving that fateful morning brought back a lot of anger. I’m a proud Philadelphian but there is no greater city in the world than New York and, for a time, we were all New Yorkers. It was a jolt that brought life in to a different light. Sports is so minor and has so little to do with our lives. It’s an escape from reality and that’s all it should ever be. I hope you, too, were reminded on Sunday morning about the things that really do matter in life and pray you were able to squeeze yours tight as I did mine.

With that in mind, take a moment and read a column I came across on ESPN.com. CLICK HERE for the article.



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Darren DeGaetano
A lifelong buddy of Voodoo Brown's, Darren was born in Philadelphia and resides with his family in South Jersey. His resume includes ten years producing sports radio in Philadelphia and five years as a writer, director and producer for NFL Films. His weekly NFL NOTES & MUSINGS column provides his thoughts, anecdotes and eye opening statistics that happened over the previous weekend. Additionally, every Friday, Darren offers his "What 2 Watch 4" column to set you up for the coming weekend football action. Darren's best known annual piece features his Darrentees, a collection of NFL bold and not so bold predictions for the season at hand. Finally, Darren is a full time NFL Insider for Philadelphia's Sportsradio 94.1 WIP and co-hosts the Thursday night / Friday morning overnight show with Big Daddy Graham and can be heard on the official Philadelphia Eagles post-game show. He also likes red wine. Lots and lots of red wine.


  1. Nice job Casideech! Now only one request; you’ve mentioned McNabb in your Christmas in September and week one article. PLEASE never do it again. He’s now been exposed nationally to be the choker he really is. Philly fans have known this for quite some time and now we don’t hear any reporters earbeating us that we’re crazy to not kiss his “future hall of fame ass.” Love ya.

    • Agreed, Joey! I love how Donovan & Don-lovers talk about the Eagles never having any weapons when he was here… but nobody really talks about the luxury of having a very good-to-great offensive line during his entire tenure here…. not to mention a great defense that made his job much easier.

      We’re seeing it now, it’s kind of flipped on the Eagles: lots of weapons, spotty line as opposed to solid line, Pinkston/Thrash… but that line kept Donovan upright for many years. Gave a QB that could hit receivers in stride plenty of time to dink & dunk. Not to slight Donovan, but I wonder how many Superbowls we would’ve won with Peyton Manning back there.

  2. Birds looked OK vs a second tier Rams.My concern is Vick.Can any player, running back or QB last the season running like that.His talent is huge but one bad hit and it will be “there is always next year”again.

    • That’s an easy answer…Nope.

      Consider this…Vick has only played all 16 games one season in his career. The offensive line certainly improved as the game progressed but some of that was because the Rams’ defense clearly wore down. In fact, you’re seeing that league-wide because of the lack of conditioning. It’s going to be a month before you see defenses catch up. Look how many 3, 4, and 500 hundred yard passers there were!

      It’s not all on the line. Vick could save himself a few hits a game if he learned how to slide.


    Mccoy is a beast! Mccoy, absolute 4th quarter stud. The last time we had a lead in the 4th quarter was Dallas last year and he gashed them in the 4th too.

    Vick was awesome, but if he rushes for a 100 yards every game, then he will on the injured reserve by October.

    O Line was bad in the 1st half, but the second half they played well and its nice to see them run block late. They love it!

    D line was great at the end, with the lead and thats the reciepe. The wide nine is not good for the run, and the linebackers are going to get exposed. But if were up by 14 in the second half where good.

    Linebackers are awful. This team has 7 weakside linebackers. Casey Matthews looks like a boy in mans league. If the tackles dont chip the olinemen then Matthews is going to get mawled every play. This linebackers are a dime of dozen philosphy sucks! Andy swallow your pride and go get us a stud mlb!

    Safties looked good in coverage and it helps when you got our corners and a hell of a pass rush.

    Corners played very well as expected and yes Namdi will give up a play once and awhile. He is awesome!


    Im done, good piece Goomba!

    • I like a lot of what you wrote. Unfortunately, what you see is what you get.

      The o line should improve as the season goes on. The LBs could, though it’s not as likely.

      The defense is going to mirror the offense this year. They’ll come up with a lot of big plays. Unfortunately, the defense will also give up a lot of big plays.

  4. “The Eagles did not dress their first (OG Danny Watkins), second (S Jaiaqwan Jarrett) and third (CB Curtis Marsh) round picks on Sunday. That’s disturbing.”

    Yes, but as disturbing as that is, how about starting 4 of their picks from the 4th, 5th, and 6th rounds? Even though Matthews is a loooong stretch to be a quality starter, that’s still good value for those rounds.

    What’s the story on Watkins and Jarrett? Can we simply chalk it up to not enough prep time in offseason due to lockout? I hope so.

      • It would be interesting to compare how other ’11 draft picks that were projected starters are doing. I have to imagine a lot of other teams must be having similar issues.


    Andy Reid when talking about his linebacker play chuckled and said that on Jacksons td run the hole at the line of scrimmage was so big that he himself could of fit through it.

    He wont be laughing at his post game press conference when the linebackers cost him his third playoff game in a row. Still time to make a move Andy!

    On a positive note Andy has hired two of the best and UGLIEST line coaches in football. I would be fired up too if I had to look at Wasburn and Mudd in the eye every day.

  6. D
    Whats the scoop on Brian Westbrook.Heard he worked out for Dolphins but was not offered a contract.Too many dings to the noggin or bad wheels.Or are there just too many guys like him now, just younger.

    • A noggin injury is nothing to joke about and, equally, nothing to take a chance on. For B. West’s sake, I hope he hits the beach for some R & R.

  7. Just in…..desean jackson is now recieving food stamps from the goverment.

    Danny Watkins will start when he is 30.

    Casey Matthews is taking ballet lessons.

    And howard eskin is renting a room from Andy Reid so he can document everything he does on and off camera.

  8. Any truth to the stories circulating out of Miami that the NCAA is not sending officials to the Miami vs Ohio State Game because neither team will abide by the rules.Also that agents and boosters will have their own locker room.

  9. I got a feeling that Vick is going to get so fired up to play in the dome; he takes off for a 150 yards.

    He still wants to prove that he is the best athlete in the NFL, and there is no other place more fitting than on national tv at Atlanta. For our sake: just be a Quarterback.

    Im really concerned with our run defense. It didnt get any better in the second half. It got better when Mccoy gashed the Rams for a long td and that put them up 3 scores. The Rams were down 11 and and tried to pass that drive when they were averging 6 yards a carry. The Rams dropped 7 passes which one was a td to their Tight End Kendricks. There is a reason why the Rams are 7 and 9 every year.

    Over all it was a good win! This team has alot of talent but they need to address some obvios weaknesses. The window to win is here, and that should be the mind set of now.