My wife and I are expecting our second daughter in January. Consequently, I am losing my home office. I’m in the process of turning in to the baby’s room. The sacrifices we do for our children.

It’s become a rather emotional experience for me and, quite frankly, I’ve gotten a little flack from my better half. She just doesn’t understand my hesitance to simply clean out the contents of my life and box them up. Really. My entire life is in my office. I moved out at age 20 and my father moved to southwest Florida and left every family heirloom to me, not to mention anything of value I have collected over 37 years. I almost felt like I was putting it all behind me.

There’s the signed Tim Couch official NFL football that sits on my desk. “Nice catch, Darren. Tim Couch, #2.” I was the assistant director on a shoot starring Couch for NFL Films a few months after he was drafted. Now Tim Couch may be an afterthought in most NFL conversations but this guy was the NUMBER ONE draft pick overall and, for a day, he was my boy. I was a starry eyed kid trying to make a name for myself at the NFL and here was the 1ST overall pick treating me like I was Paul Tagliabue. (Tags was the NFL commissioner at the time.) We talked about line of scrimmage strategy, dealing with sudden publicity and, for most of the day, he was taking orders FROM ME! I love that ball.

There’s also the official NHL game puck that John Leclair signed for me in the locker room moments after the Flyers defeated the NY Rangers to go to the 1997 NHL Stanley Cup Finals. Are you kidding?

There’s the batting practice baseball that Charlie Manuel tossed me during my tour of, at the time, a brand new Citizens Bank Park. Oh, and the officially autographed Chase Utley ball given to me by a friend who happens to be a Major League Baseball official. That ball is under glass. It will be my daughter’s someday.

How about this gem? I still don’t know how he got it, but my father managed to get me a signed football by THE ENTIRE 1980 EAGLES SUPERBOWL TEAM.

I also have a game used basketball from the Sixers and Lakers 2001 NBA Finals. Both Kobe and Iverson scored with it.

Me & my daughter, Dani

Imagine you have one hand on the ground and the other hand just below your hip. That’s how tall the stack of ticket stubs I have is from every game and concert I have ever been to. Do you realize how thin a single ticket stub is? I’ve been fortunate and I’ve saved every stub.

My Sportsradio 610 WIP mic flags. Meaningless to almost anyone else. A treasure to me.

My mother’s wedding band. The few photos I have of us. Beyond priceless.

I even found my harmonica. Something I only play alone and you know what? I’m not half bad. Of course, I only play Springsteen tunes. That, quickly, has become my daughter’s. She’s already better than me.

Not to mention the countless on field, big moment photos of memorable sports events and poster sized prints of my father during his days as a stand up comic and entertainer. Everything, no matter size, shape or material, in my office means something to me. My life surmised in a 15 x 20 room.

What would be in your room? Have you ever thought about that? Think about everything you own that has a memory. A picture, an artifact, a family heirloom. Put everything meaningful in one room. What would it look like? What would it include?

So, now I’m house hunting. Need to find a bigger house. I need my office. I treasure my office. That’s MY Goddamn office. My solace.

Here’s to your office and here are YOUR 2011 Week Six NFL Notes & Musings…

Here’s the good, bad and the ugly with regard to the Eagles. First, the good: With the exception of obvious passing situations, it appeared the Birds have abandoned the ‘wide 9.’ Dropping down the defensive ends made life easier on the linebackers and tightened up the run defense. I also thought Nate Allen’s play has drastically improved. His coverage ability allowed Kurt Coleman to lurk in the open and pick off Sexy Rexy 3 times. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the Eagles ran the ball 38 times. I was very pleased. Now, the bad: Zero points in the second half. A field goal ices that game. They got away from what they did well in the first half…quick drops, spread offense, running in the red zone. Facing a better team probably spells doom but I’ll take it. A win is a win and after a month of losing, I was beginning to lose my faith in humanity. Last, but not least, the ugly: Rex Grossman blows. What’s the remedy for a team on a four game losing streak? S-E-X-Y R-E-X-Y. Unfortunately, if the Redskins have a good quarterback, they probably come back and win that game thanks to a conservative second half effort by Philly.

Which Jim is the bigger tool? We're going with Harbaugh, but Schwartz is not far behind

Here’s my take on ‘Handshake-Gate:’ Jim Harbaugh needs to realize he isn’t a college coach anymore. Pro players need an even tempered coach. Jim Schwartz needs a drink. Lighten up, Frances.

LeSean McCoy is the first Eagle in franchise history to score a TD in the first six games of the season. Man, he is clearly Philly’s MVP. He’s also the first Eagle to score a TD in 6 consecutive games since Ricky ‘For Who, For What’ Watters. Speaking of memorabilia earlier, I have a signed Watters jersey in my closet.

The Colts are 0-6 for the 5th time in franchise history. Let’s take a look back, shall we?
1997: 0-10
1991: 0-9
1986: 0-13
1982: 0-6

Gotta thank STATS, Inc. for this little nugget: San Francisco and Chicago combined for the most false starts in one stadium (Ford Field in Detroit) by a visiting team since 1991. I’m not sure why I care about that but I think it’s a testament to a fired up Lions fan base. If any city deserves a little success, it’s the Motor City.

San Francisco and Detroit met with a combined 9-1 record on Sunday. Last year, AT THE VERY SAME POINT IN THE SEASON, they were a combined 1-9.

Fred Jackson’s 80 yard TD run for Buffalo was the longest for the Bills in 21 years.

Steelers fans are the Star Wars geeks of the NFL fanbase

I root against the Steelers every week. I really do. I’ve never met a less educated sports fan base.

The Eagles have now won 10 of their last 12 AT Washington. Which seems off because I feel like the Skins had our number for a while.

Hey, did you guys know Steve Jobs died? Jesus, you’d think he cured cancer. The guy made the ipod, he didn’t write a peace treaty.

Chris Berman has worn out his welcome to a lot of people but I have to admit, I still enjoy him. I look forward to his ‘2 Minute Drill’ segment on the Saturday morning Sportscenter every single week.

Hollywood has checked out. There is no more originality. The only movies you see anymore are remakes. While I’m fairly interested in seeing “The Thing” as I was a big fan of the 1982 version starring Kurt Russell (also a remake), did they really have to redo “Footloose?” All the top grossing films anymore are sequels and remakes and every young actor looks like he’s doing his best Derek Zoolander impersonation. Where are the Tom Hanks’, Micheal Keatons, Jack Nicholsons, Kevin Spaceys, Robert DeNiros, Al Pacinos and Denzel Washingtons of the world? Instead, I’m forced to see previews with the “Twilight” cast who are expressionless actors better fit to star as zombies in “The Walking Dead.” Leonardo DiCaprio, Christian Bale and Matt Damon are the only few of their generation, it seems, that can act or carry a story. Bale and DiCaprio, by the way, are unbelievable actors.

Why are you protesting? ... "Fuckin' corporations, maaaaaaan"

Has there even been a more hapless plight than these Occupy protests? How about you get a job, son?

Patricia Modell, the wife of Ravens’ owner Art Modell, passed away this week. This marks the second NFL owner’s wife to pass away this year. Of course, Myra Kraft, wife of owner of New England’s Robert Kraft passed earlier this year.

Ray Lewis is now the first player in NFL history with 40 sacks and 30 interceptions.

Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have tied Don Shula and Dan Marino with 116 regular season wins as a head coach and quarterback duo.

Tampa Bay is 24-2 since 2002 when they do not commit a turnover.

Drew Brees has completed 20 passes for an NFL record 26 consecutive games.

As I write this, I have one thought about the New York Jets: Mark Sanchez stinks. Stinks. I’m tired of looking at him.

McNabb was unnecessarily disrespected ONCE AGAIN by getting benched. Next stop for Don... FOX? NFL Network? ESPN? Next year should be interesting
And now, an obituary. Donovan McNabb died recently. He is survived by his amazing children and loving wife. Donovan provided an alarming number of wins for the Philadelphia Eagles’ franchise. His fans, though rarely showed it, adored him and voted him the greatest quarterback in franchise history. He lead his team to five NFC Championship games and one Superbowl. His stats, while not quite reaching the precipice , are borderline Hall of Fame worthy. He always loved a good joke, was the consummate professional and always did his best to put his team in position to win. He will be missed by many Eagles fans and will be appreciated more several years from now.

And finally, it’s amazing how much the Eagles winning or losing affects my psyche. When they lose, there isn’t enough coffee in fucking Columbia to wake me up. This morning, I’m smiling, letting other drivers in to my lane, opening doors for strangers, saving children and nuns from a burning church…a real Mr. Wonderful.

One last thing…Thursday morning, I depart for four days to New Orleans in what seems like my thousandth trip to the Big Easy so next week’s notes will include a running tab of bars, sports conversations and maybe a photo or two of four drunken days of vacation during the Eagles’ bye week. I’ve said it a million times, the Crescent City is America’s greatest. Go for the food, go for the music, go for the atmosphere…just go. You won’t regret it.

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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.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Is it me or does Reid always seem to take his foot off the gas when Eagles have a lead going into the second half.Why so conservative?That will not stop a Brady from coming back and killing you.

  2. 1) Feel free to rent space in “The Dugout” for nice merchandise
    2) Bigger Tool: Can we add a 3rd to the list: Mos?
    3) Correction on Fred Jackson: longes run since OJ hit the hole behind Al Cowlings
    4) Easy on the Jobs death, he did more for this world then some trophy wife (see NFL owners remarks in the article)
    5) YOU ARE CRAZY…Berman Suck. He is more palyed out then S. Scott’s stupid xatch-phrases
    6) Hey Hollywood, here is a remake I’d pay to see. “Debie Does Dallas” this time staring….BiBi (go ahead google her)
    Why are you protesting? … “Fuckin’ corporations, maaaaaaan”
    7) CORRECTION ON RAY LEWIS: Ray Lewis is now the first player in NFL history with 40 sacks and 30 interceptions AND 1 MURDER.
    8) McNabb is done. Cooked. Should be called. McRibb. He will be missed by Eagles fans and the NFC Central.
    9) Another trip to THE BIG EASY..you better hope it is just your office that is cleaned out when you return!

  3. Come on man, put the girls in the same room. Just ask Michael and Christopher. I WILL NEVER GIVE UP MY MAN CAVE ,CASTLE ROOM LIKE THINGY WHERE I SPEND COUNTLESS HOURS OF MONEY MAKING!!!!!

    Great Job.

  4. Don’t want to turn this into a personals blog but on the matter of the man cave.Keep it my two boys shared a room and I think it made them closer.It was their fort and sanctuary.

  5. DEFENSE……..STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

    The Eagles defense finally showed up and played a good football game. The tackles played with attitude. Bye bye to the wide nine on first and second down. On third and long the wide nine can be utilized with Cole and Babin. They should stack the box on 1st and 2nd down. The run defense will be tested on third downs, but if the run defense does its job on 2 out of 3 times, the defense will improve.

    Washington ran their zone blocking scheme, the Eagles knew it, and the Redskins didnt care. Coleman and Allen had great games last week, but I want to see them make plays at the line of scrimmage stopping the run. The linebackers will need their help. I think the Cowboys offensive line will try to run more man blocking schemes to isolate the linebackers.

    The Bills ran a highschool offensive game plan, I dont think Fitzpatrick threw a ball over ten yards. The Redskins took a few shots, but played conservative also. The Cowboys offense is more dynamic and will be a big test for the defense.

  6. HOW DARE REX GROSSMAN CLAIM HIS TEAM IS THE TEAM TO BEAT!

    How does a backup quarterback on a 6 and 10 team last year, have the balls to say that?

    Grossman is so bad, and his 4 pics last week summarizes his career. He sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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