Off Topic – Hangin’ With Jimmy Bama

Posted: January 27th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 33 Comments »

Just a goofy post about my trip to Mobile.    

Okay, so I’ve shared plenty of notes on players and such, but going to Mobile was about more than that.  It was an adventure.

My flight arrived Sunday at 630pm.  I took a cab downtown to my hotel.  My buddies from were at a different hotel 10 mins away and I didn’t want to worry about getting there to watch the game.  I opted to go meet Jimmy Kempski (from BGN and Blogging the bEast) at a bar 2 blocks away.

I’d never met Jimmy, but we’d talked on the phone and exchanged emails and he seemed like a good guy.  I walked in the bar and figured out who he was.  Jimmy was already pretty drunk.  He’d been there since the AFC game.  I quickly got a PBR and started screaming at the TV for my Niners to win.  I knew Jimmy was a bit drunk when he told me the same story twice in 15 minutes.  He also introduced me to his friend at least 3 times.

Things got interesting when there was the muffed punt TD/non-TD play.  Jimmy and I tried to explain to a couple of local drunks that you can’t advance a muff.  I’m not sure these gents were familiar with the term “muffed punt”.  The locals were screaming at each other when Jimmy starts snapping his finger by one guy’s face, trying to get his attention.  I thought for sure the guy would take offense and kick Jimmy’s ass, but the guy just never paid any attention.  The place cleared out after the game.  Jimmy split and I finished my beer before heading back.  My tab for 6 pints of PBR…$6.  I literally couldn’t believe the bartender.

I woke up Monday morning and was a bundle of nerves.  I was at the Senior Bowl.  I was going to meet the guys from for the first time.  Believe it or not, I’ve not been to Philly since…2004 and I haven’t been to Lehigh since I started writing for the site.  I was going to be walking around a city I didn’t know and was going to be surrounded by football royalty.  I thought taking a long hot shower would settle me down.  I didn’t realize that the room was already 75 degrees and that the hot shower would make it close to 80, with about 10,000 percent humidity.  I started sweating when I got out of the shower (never a good sign).  I walked over to get my credentials at the media area and the sweating finally stopped with the morning breeze, but I think I was the only person up there with wet hair.

I talk to Bo Wulf for a couple of minutes and then Rory Segrest walks up to say hi to the guys.  He’s now working at Samford and is in town looking for a better job.  Felt weird to stand 2 feet away from a guy I’ve ripped so much in the last couple of years.

I caught a ride with the guys and Adam Caplan to the afternoon practice.  A red car pulls up next to us and Drew Rosenhaus jumps out.  This is just another sign of the weird world I’m now in.  That night I got to eat dinner with Tony Pauline, the draft guy for and that was interesting.  He told some good stories.

Tuesday I wasn’t nervous at all so the day started smoothly.  I rode with Jimmy to the stadium.  He turned a street or two too early and we started going through a weird neighborhood.  There was a sign up that read “Speed Lumps Ahead”.  I don’t know how things are up in Philly, but here in NC we call them speed bumps.  Lumps?  What the hell is that?

I wore an Eagles shirt to practice that day.  After practice all the players, coaches, scouts, and media go to the middle of the field and talk to each other.  I’m trying to see who Eagles guys are talking to when I look in front of me and there is Juan Castillo.  I’d semi-stalked him the day before and felt weird about that so I quickly turned my head away.  Jimmy said Juan looked right at me and gave me a nod.  Must have been the Eagles shirt.  I missed my chance to chat him up.  Rats!!!  Not sure exactly what I’d have said, but I could have come up with a couple of good questions.

Jimmy and I went to lunch after that.  Jimmy got a bit lost leaving the stadium.  I then told him to turn one way.  He corrected me and said where we needed to go.  Sure enough, he was right.  I then realized that he had great Alabama instincts and officially changed his name to Jimmy Bama.  We went to Saucy’s BBQ to eat.  They proclaimed to have the best ribs in the world.  Uh, no.  Good, but far from great.  I thought the side items were excellent and they had very good sweet tea.  In line behind us at lunch, Juan and Sean McDermott.  Jimmy joked that now Juan was stalking me.

While in the elevator at the hotel that day a couple of guys got on with us.  I recognized one, but couldn’t think of his name to save my life.  At some point he says “Hi, my name is Marc Trestman.  Who are you?”  He is currently the HC of the Montreal Alouettes.  He once was the OC for Steve Young in SF.  He’s an offensive guru.  We chatted for a minute.  Couldn’t have been a nicer guy.  That’s the Senior Bowl world.

Nothing too notable happened at the afternoon practice.  We got lost on a side street on the way out and drove through a really poor area.  We passed two hair salons and a place that sold barber supplies so Jimmy and I named that area the Hair District.  We all know about towns having the warehouse district, the docks, or the garment district, but only Mobile has the Hair District.

After dinner, Jimmy and I had beers with Caplan over at the players hotel.  Nothing too wild went down.  Norv Turner was looking sexy, but when isn’t he?   Corey Chavous was hanging out there.  I so badly wanted to ask him about Reggie McNeal (Corey infamously once said on NFLN that McNeal was his #1 overall prospect).

Wednesday was pretty uneventful.  We did drive by a building where someone had spray painted on the back “I hate Derick Rivero”.  For some reason, that cracked me and Jimmy Bama up.  In the spirit of being good visitors to Mobile, we also decided to hate Derick Rivero.  Sorry dude.

There was a funny moment when Jimmy and I walked through the hotel lobby.  The Cowboys and Patriots were staying at our hotel.  We get out the door and I joke to Bama about Rob Ryan.  He asks what I’m talking about.  I mentioned that we just walked by him.  Jimmy’s like “Where?”  I said just now in the lobby.  Somehow Jimmy walked within 3 feet of Rob talking to Cowboys scouts and didn’t see him.  That long, scraggly, nappy hair is unmistakable.  Only Rob has it…unless Santa Claus ever becomes a meth head.

To be fair, we twice walked by Hank Fraley and I missed him both times.  Jimmy even called out Hank’s name once to get my attention, but I was busy daydreaming about Megan Fox or $1 PBRs.

I got to meet Les Bowen and spend some time with him.  Nice guy.  He and I actually shared a flight into Mobile.  I was highly disappointed that he didn’t have a posse with him.  I figure Iverson’s guys have to hang with somebody, right?  And he also wasn’t J.J. Hunsecker.  Just a nice guy.

I went to the airport on Wednesday evening.  I flew out on a plane that was 75 percent NFL scouts.  Would have been cool if it wasn’t such a tiny plane.  I’m not tiny, but the Raiders scout beside me spilled into my seat.  At one point a Cowboys scout tried to pass by and I had his crotch grinding my shoulder while the Raiders guy looked like he was about to rest his head on my shoulder.  Welcome to the glamorous world of NFL scouts.

Trying to explain the Mobile airport to you guys is darn near impossible.  No one was at the ticket counter when I got there.  I mean employees or customers.  There was no waiting at security.  I was the only passenger.  I sat down at a desk and typed up some stuff and heard this announcement, “Flight 2677 to Houston is empty.  We have an empty plane.  Where are our Houston passengers?”  I’ve never heard of an empty plane before.

Overall, it was a great trip.  Meeting Les, Adam, and Tony was great.  3 pros that were all nice guys.  Hanging out with the guys was cool as well.  Sam, Fran, and Bo are fun, but also great professionals.  They worked their butts off to bring you guys great coverage.  That wasn’t some casual trip.  They put in 12 hour days.  I don’t think any other team had the same kind of site presence.  That’s amazing when you consider the Eagles have the 15th pick.  This isn’t like we’re 2-14 and scouting the future QB star.

Special thanks to Jimmy Bama for being a fun guy to hang out with.  Follow him on Twitter if you like.  He might have some updates on Derick Rivero or the Hair District.

33 Comments on “Off Topic – Hangin’ With Jimmy Bama”

  1. 1 Joe Taylor said at 12:56 AM on January 27th, 2012:

    Spadaro wasn’t there?

  2. 2 Anonymous said at 1:01 AM on January 27th, 2012:

    No. He stayed in Philly to do Eagles Live and run the site. Plus, Dave isn’t a big draft guy. He doesn’t know the players all that well yet. He’s much more of an NFL guy.

  3. 3 Liam Garrett said at 1:12 AM on January 27th, 2012:

    You should have asked Juan if he thinks fundamentals are important. He would have talked your ear off, which would have led to drinks, to PBR shotgunning, to becoming BFF’s, to front office connections, to fame/fortune, and eventually to Megan Fox leaving that chickenshit from “90210” and learning to make you ribs the way you like.

    You really muffed the punt on this one, Tommy.

  4. 4 Anonymous said at 8:11 AM on January 27th, 2012:

    For the rest of my life, my companion will be regret.

  5. 5 Anonymous said at 8:35 AM on January 27th, 2012:

    Hard to argue with this type of logic. LOL.

  6. 6 Furt said at 1:19 AM on January 27th, 2012:

    “I think I was the only person up there with wet hair.”,
    “Hair District”, “That long, scraggly, nappy hair is unmistakable. Only Rob has it…unless Santa Claus ever becomes a meth head”
    Awesome! Seriously, Hope this is the first of many more scouting trips, keep up the stellar posts!

  7. 7 Anonymous said at 1:53 AM on January 27th, 2012:


    Glad to hear you had a great time and thanks for getting us the inside scoop! Sorry the ribs weren’t as advertised…

  8. 8 Anonymous said at 8:09 AM on January 27th, 2012:

    Tried to go to The Shed w/ Pauline. Closed by the time we got there. Very disappointing. Did eat at Heroes and it was very good. Also had lunch at a place downtown called Mama’s. Very good fried chicken. Overall, the food was excellent.

  9. 9 Anonymous said at 2:34 AM on January 27th, 2012:

    $1 for a pint of beer?! Sounds like heaven to me…

  10. 10 Anonymous said at 4:40 AM on January 27th, 2012:

    Come to Prague….same price, much closer, better beer (sorry Tommy!).

  11. 11 Anonymous said at 8:12 AM on January 27th, 2012:

    I’d love to come to Prague. I’ll certainly let you know if I ever get the chance. I’d love to meet some of our European Eagles brethren.

  12. 12 Anonymous said at 10:54 AM on January 27th, 2012:

    I went to Prague 3 years ago and it was definitely not that cheap any more. The cheapest pint of beer I could get was for 3 bucks. Any insider tips for my next Czech trip are much appreciated though!

  13. 13 Anonymous said at 3:21 PM on January 27th, 2012:

    I think we need to form some sort of European fan-club. Tommy could be the honorary president.

  14. 14 Anonymous said at 2:45 PM on January 29th, 2012:

    I’m afraid that you are right about the increasing prices here, but to a great extent that depends on location (distance from the city center). The most famous beer hall in Prague is U Flecku, nowadays populated solely by tourists. There, you’ll pay 60 kc (~$3) for 0.4 liters. Also downtown, but more of a Czech beer hall, is U Medviku, selling Budvar (Czech Budweiser) for 35 kc a half liter, just under $2. Further from the center is a nice non-touristy restaurant called Klasterni Senk, on the grounds of the Brevnov Monastery – they even have ribs, although I wouldn’t suggest that Tommy fly here just to sample them. They sell their own monastery beer for 32 kc, ~$1.50, and quite good. In our residential neighborhood about 30 minutes by tram/foot from the city center, our local pub U Cechu sells Pilsner Urquell for 30 kc and Gambrinus (the most popular “light” beer in CZ) for 23 kc, which is getting close to a dollar a pint if you can stomach light beer. All of these places have websites, just do a Google search. On your next visit, you might be interested in the Prague Beer Museum, which is not a museum in the conventional sense but a pub featuring a large number of Czech microbrews, many of which are not readily available elsewhere in Prague. It’s located downtown so easy to reach from almost anywhere.

  15. 15 Anonymous said at 8:26 AM on January 28th, 2012:

    My thought was, “$1 for a pint of PBR? What must a bar that has PBR on tap be like? Were you able to watch the game on a comor television?”

  16. 16 Joe Taylor said at 4:32 AM on January 27th, 2012:

    What’s your thought on WR?

    If DeSean is re-signed, do you think the team will try to upgrade the position by going for a WR somewhat early in the Draft or a top WR in FA?

    What about TE?
    Do you think the Eagles will try to find a very talented, very tall TE?
    Clay Harbor could be a Aaron Hernandez for us, but I wish we could get a 6-6 TE.

    What are your thoughts about Demeco Ryan from the Texans? Do you think Ryan for Asante is a fair trade? Kareem Jackson is not good enough to be a starter. Who could the Eagles trade for Ryan that would be fair? Would a draft pick do it? One of our 2nd round picks could interest them.

    Lastly, what about Mario Williams? People say he’s not a great fit in 3-4 which I honestly don’t know because I didn’t really pay much attention to the Texans and their defense…If he isn’t a great fit, he should be expendable with the emergence of former rookie Brooks Reed. Along with Connor Barwin opposite of him.

    It would definitely take a lot, but what do you think the Texans would be looking for, if they were willing to take trade offers for him? Do we have anyone here that would interest them?

    I think with a dynamic, big body WR, and a monster DE, we would instantly become the favorite to win the NFC.

    Look at the Giants. Hakeem and Victor are so explosive, and dynamic. Then you have a great front 4, great pass rush. They have 3 great pass rushers, and 1 STANDOUT end in JPP…

    If we somehow got another beast pass rusher (MARIO WILLIAM!!), it would OVER. On obvious passing downs you could have Williams, Cole, Babin, and Graham/Tapp.

    The only thing about trying to get Williams is how much they want for him and his contract. How could we pay his big contract along with all of our other players with big contracts.

    With a true dynamic #1 WR, we could use him in many ways….The last true #1 WR we had was T.O. Do you guys remember how Andy Reid had a big section of his play sheet just for him? You could just about run every play with him…

  17. 17 Eric Weaver said at 11:38 AM on January 27th, 2012:

    From everything I heard/read, Mario was playing fine until he got hurt.

  18. 18 Anonymous said at 12:31 PM on January 27th, 2012:

    Mario WIlliams is a Free Agent. He’s going to command top dollar. Also with as much rotating as we do I don’t know that you want to blow 10 mil on a DE. Also I think Demeco is still in favor down there and he was just nicked up this year.

  19. 19 Anonymous said at 8:37 AM on January 27th, 2012:

    Hey Tommy, Great writing. Didn’t The Who write a song about your trip entitled, “Goin’ Mobile”?

  20. 20 Anonymous said at 9:41 AM on January 27th, 2012:

    Yes. And I’m a huge Who fan. Great song.

  21. 21 James Wann said at 8:41 AM on January 27th, 2012:

    Mr. Segrest,
    You DID have a better job. What happened?

  22. 22 Anonymous said at 9:32 AM on January 27th, 2012:

    I’ll offer, “Amok in Mobile.” 😀

  23. 23 Anonymous said at 9:49 AM on January 27th, 2012:

    Really good post. Hopefully you got some good contacts out of it!
    It sounds like you didn’t meet Jim Washburn. It’s likely he prefers you over Les

  24. 24 Charlie Zimmerman said at 11:00 AM on January 27th, 2012:

    There is a “I hate Derick Rivero” group on FB and they have a photo of some white spray paint on a brick wall with those insprirational words and even a star on the end for good mesaure.”

  25. 25 Anonymous said at 11:00 AM on January 27th, 2012:

    Glad you got the chance to fulfill a fantasy! Could a future reality show pitch be in the offing? I know I’d watch!

  26. 26 Jimmy Kempski said at 12:42 PM on January 27th, 2012:

    Here’s a pick of the brick wall we saw about Derick Rivero:

    And Charlie Zimmerman is right. There actually is a facebook page about this dude. Weird.

  27. 27 Steve H said at 2:52 PM on January 27th, 2012:

    I was so intrigued by this I did a little google investigation. Best I got is that Derick Rivero is a pornstar. *Shrug*

  28. 28 Anonymous said at 8:37 AM on January 28th, 2012:

    Yeah, strange phenomenon. Apparently the FaceBook page makes bumper stickers.

  29. 29 Gary said at 6:14 PM on January 27th, 2012:

    The real question is, were you able to sell any sunglasses?

  30. 30 Anonymous said at 9:23 PM on January 27th, 2012:

    Of course. How do you think I paid for the trip back to NC?

    Next up is discount Lasik Surgery at halftime of the Senior Bowl. That’s a 2013 project.

  31. 31 Anonymous said at 10:11 PM on January 27th, 2012:

    F*ck all yall
    -Derick Rivero

  32. 32 Anonymous said at 8:40 AM on January 28th, 2012:

    So when the Cowboy scout had his crotch grinding against your shoulder, I hope you calmly turned to him and said, “Unless you swear on Jerrah’s star that you won’t draft Luke, I’m going to shrug.”

  33. 33 Kammich said at 3:48 PM on January 28th, 2012:

    I don’t know how you resisted the urge to throw the McNeal fiasco into Chavous’s face, haha.

    Granted, Chavous is 6’1″, 210 pounds and probably still runs a 4.6… but if he came stampeding towards you, you could’ve just used Bama as a human shield. 😉