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Most of the guys on my team are from the South, so we're not fond of practicing in the elements. When it gets cold outside, we tend to move toward "The Bubble," our indoor practice facility. As one of my teammates said, "We don't need to go outside, we know what it feels like." And on this particular Monday night in Philly, under a blanket of snow, it didn't feel too good.
Coming into Monday night's game versus the Seahawks, a lot of people were calling this a must-win contest. I don't like that moniker. I think every game is a must-win, regardless of the day of the week or the record. I want to win games on Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. And if the league decides to throw in Wednesday Night Football, I want to win that game, too. But, it's true, we've been playing catch-up all season, and this was our time to step up.
Unfortunately, we failed to do so, losing 42-0 to the Seahawks.
Call it the latest chapter in a soap opera season. I honestly can't remember getting beat this bad, not even at Michigan. It might be because I tend to forget the embarrassing losses -- the ones that rip the life force from you.
The loss was particularly bothersome because it happened on the same night that the Eagles retired the great Reggie White's number. I didn't know the guy personally, but I know he accomplished amazing things on the field and we wanted to make him proud.
Basically, everything went wrong.
Obviously, the turnovers and the touchdown returns were huge. But I was irritated from the very first Seahawks drive. I knew it would be a tough night when the ref called a phantom illegal contact penalty against Jeremiah Trotter in the end zone -- thereby negating Quintin Mikell's INT, keeping Seattle's drive alive and leading to a touchdown three plays later.
I'm telling you, Jeremiah didn't even touch the guy. And that got us off on the wrong foot.
This week, everyone will be talking about the quarterback position. As readers might recall, my friend Mike McMahon joined me as a guest film critic in one of my previous reviews. If your memory is fuzzy, he was the one salivating over Keira Knightley's physique -- and uh, performance -- in "Domino." Well, lately he's been wearing a different hat to work -- that of the Eagles' starting quarterback.
Starter or not, we like to call McMahon, "Mah-Honey." I'm not quite sure who came up with it, but I know it's based on '80s comedy star Steve Guttenberg's "Police Academy" character, Officer Mahoney (if you squint, you'll see a resemblance). Nevertheless, Mah-Honey is experiencing some growing pains and on Monday night, coach Andy Reid gave him the hook, replacing him with Koy Detmer after Mike tossed a few INTs.
Detmer is a wily vet who's been in that position before and is comfortable with the system. Mah-Honey is a young, exciting player who can bring a running dimension to the position. I have no idea who will get the start next week, but I think both quarterbacks give us a chance to win.
And this much is certain: We all better be ready to play because we host the New York Giants next Sunday, and our playoff chances are starting to look bleak. Some players love to crunch numbers and give a prediction. I'm not a big math guy, but I'll drop a teammate's metaphor: For a while, the window looked like it was closing. Recently, we jammed a stick in there -- but now there's a crack in the stick and one more loss will likely snap it -- and end our season.
Yup, it was a terrible end to a terrible week that was further encumbered by a sexy female assassin named ...
***** DHANI'S REEL REVIEW *****
Movie: "Aeon Flux" (in theaters)
Studio: Paramount Pictures and MTV Films
Director: Karyn Kusama
Stars: Charlize Theron, Marton Csokas, Frances McDormand
Ideal date: A teammate. Preferably the one who dented your car and whom you'd now like to subject to 95 minutes of torture.
"First Down": Moves the chains.
"Sacked": Lost yards. Not good.
"Fumble": Doesn't get any worse.
Ideal date: (1) Girlfriend (2) Cheerleader (3) Teammate (4) The kids (5) Coach
MATT McCOY'S CALL
|More movie reviews by Dhani|
• Get inspired with "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" and the latest with T.O. and the loss to the Cowboys.
• "Domino," starring Keira Knightley, documents the life of a sexy bounty hunter.
• The remake of the legend, "Zorro," has a family twist.
• "Flightplan," starring Jodie Foster, takes a sack.
• Complete NFL coverage
This week, I learned something new about the business of film critique. When movie execs doubt the quality of their film, they eliminate advance press screenings, thereby forcing the reviewer to buy a ticket with the general audience. Such was likely the case when Paramount Pictures and MTV Films execs recently gathered around a table to discuss their collective stinker, "Aeon Flux," based on the popular MTV animated series.
Although I don't mind waiting in line like an average filmgoer, my rookie teammate, fellow linebacker and guest reviewer, Matt McCoy, despises lines. Furthermore, he hated the movie and is now very angry with me for dragging him to see it.
What made the experience even more painful were the throngs of "Aeon" cult fans who provided us with a little more entertainment than we could handle. With devotion rivaling that of "Star Wars" and "Lord of the Rings" supporters, these Flux'ers were amped (with outfits, gear . . . you name it). And they likely went home disappointed.
Now, it's important to note that I'm a fan of the original TV series and came to the theater excited and optimistic. I had a pencil and paper in hand so that I wouldn't miss a beat.
So, there we were, Matt McCoy and I, staring into a bleak future that saw disease wipe out all but a lucky 1 percent of society. So far, so good.
Then the plot kicked in and the fun ended. In fact, I offer to you my notes, taken verbatim from my notepad during the movie:
1. "Beautiful 'Aeon Flux' [Theron] demonstrates her reflexes by catching her eyelash."
2. "Angry revolutionaries [led by McDormand] want their freedom back and hire Aeon to assassinate dictator, Chairman Goodchild [Csokas]."
3. "What should I do tonight?" [Matt wrote this on my notepad]
4. "Call sister to see what she wants for Christmas."
5. "Forgot to feed Wilber, my fish and best friend."
Fascinating how the mind wanders. While the predictable plot, bad acting and cheesy direction failed to hold our attention, Charlize's skimpy costumes kept us alert and ready for more. As Matt said, "It was all bad, except Charlize's nightgown -- or nightcloth."
The movie's only other commendable feat was the creation of its impressive backdrops, gardens and, well, furniture. In fact, the guy sitting behind me summed it up best: "That was a 90-minute Ikea commercial!"
Franchise Player: Matt and I wouldn't dare say anything bad about Charlize Theron. After all, she might be available one day and we just might have a shot. So, we blame director Kusama and the lesser cast members for not allowing Charlize to flex her acting muscles. Extra kudos for wearing less than a hoochie momma in a rap video.
Player in a Contract Year: Finding a worthy actor for this special award was nearly impossible. However, after exhaustively searching through this messy movie (and our own souls), we managed to find someone who gave a surprisingly strong performance. We call him "The Unknown Soldier" because, well, the soldier didn't have a name. But he followed orders well and was very effective in protecting Goodchild from the revolutionaries. Nice work, soldier.
Benched: Sure, MTV's "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" and "Hustle and Flow" were excellent movies, but the MTV execs should take a seat for destroying the legacy of the original "Aeon Flux" animated series. Some programs should stay on the small screen. These crooks robbed me of my fond memories.
So far, we've managed to bash everyone associated with this movie -- except the gardener, that is. So, we give the gardener the game ball. After all, it's his garden that serves as the bad guy's fortress defense mechanism. I guess when trying to protect oneself from the world's greatest assassin, one should hire a gardener to plant different types of dart throwing coconut trees.
The final scene serves as the film's most pleasant surprise. Why? Because we were amazed to find ourselves still awake and breathing. As soon as the newly liberated people of the future begin to explore their new surroundings, Matt and I started to explore our way out of the theater.
Dhani Jones is also the host of "Timeless," returning for its second season in February on ESPN2. Currently, he's our resident movie critic reviewing what's out on the silver screen.
Off the field, he's a renaissance man. The Philadelphia Eagles linebacker looks more like an artist and intellect than an athlete. His hobbies include his poetry, music, studying Islam, painting and photography. People magazine rated the pro as one of this year's sexiest bachelors.
More information about Dhani can be found at dhani55.com.