Star struck, but can we just move on?
One of the things to keep in mind when you're filming yourself desecrate the star at midfield of Cowboys Stadium is that someone might eventually see the footage. The odds become even greater when you post the video on the official Web site of the Philadelphia Eagles.
As many of you know, Dave "Spudcam" Spadaro, an Internet writer for the Eagles, has been vilified for leaving spittle on the star hours before last Sunday's game. He was filming a goofy segment called "Spudcam" for the team's Web site and Spadaro got a little carried away. From what I know, Spadaro's a nice enough guy.
He writes favorable stories about his home team while wearing a green fleece. But his actions Sunday and the subsequent video became big news in both Philadelphia and Dallas. During the broadcast of the BCS title game Thursday night on ABC, Channel 8 anchor Gloria Campos repeatedly teased a story on this international incident.
So how does a man in his 40s suddenly find himself spitting on an opposing team's field for an Internet video? It's the kind of thing that can go wrong when someone is given a credential and dropped off at the game hours before kickoff.
You might be surprised to hear that Eagles fans have reacted almost as angrily to Spadaro's spitting spree as Cowboys fans. They believe Spadaro's actions reinforced the city's reputation for having boorish fans. Many Eagles fans are sick of the whole "snowballs at Santa" story and insist that they've entered an era of respectful conduct.
I love the fact that Eagles coach Andy Reid was asked about Spadaro's spittle during a news conference Thursday. Here he is trying to win a playoff game and he's fielding questions about the team's head of Internet development. Spadaro's epic apology on the team's Web site seemed more like a cry for help. Here's a portion of that apology:
"I admit I get carried away with my love of the Philadelphia Eagles, and if this is a crime, I am clearly guilty. Game days are an incredible experience for me. The will to win is unlike anything I have ever felt. The angst and the tightly-knotted stomach and the ups and downs of 60 minutes of Eagles football leave me thoroughly drained -- win or lose -- and I enjoy having the opportunity to communicate that to the many great Eagles fans who follow this team on a (many-times) daily basis."
After reading that, I think it's safe to say that Spadaro and I seem to have different game-day experiences. On Saturday night, Spadaro will return to the scene of his heinous act. At this point, the Cowboys don't have plans to increase security around the star before the game, but it's definitely an option.
"Again, I apologize to those whom I have offended by my actions with Spudcam," writes Spadaro, presumably with a straight face. "I acted in an unprofessional manner and I am deserving of the punishment coming my way, and of the scorn of Dallas fans and those who did not appreciate my actions. I am responsible for my work and I will stand up to the criticism."
Dave, on behalf of the ESPNDallas.com family, we accept your apology. Best of luck with Spudcam.
Matt Mosley writes weekly on the Dallas-Fort Worth sports scene for ESPNDallas.com.