goeagles99 Turns 10

Posted: March 3rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 123 Comments »

The 2002 season was a lot of fun for Eagles fans.  The team went 12-4.  They won with Donovan McNabb, Koy Detmer, and even AJ Feeley.  The offense set a franchise record for points scored.  The defense was great. STs were a weapon back then.  Life was good right up until that fateful day when the Bucs closed The Vet down with a 27-10 win.  The image of Ronde Barber picking off that pass will haunt us all for a long time.

The Eagles had a pair of key free agents to deal with in the offseason.  DE Hugh Douglas was coming off a 12.5 sack season.  LB Shawn Barber was an athletic playmaker who led the team in solo tackles.  No matter if you went to ESPN, Pro Football Weekly, The Sporting News, USA Today or wherever, Barber and Douglas were considered 2 of the Top 10 free agents in the entire league.  Keeping them would keep the Eagles atop the NFC.

Since the team had lost Jeremiah Trotter in free agency the year before I was nervous about what would happen with Douglas and Barber.  They were the 2 best players on the right side of the defense.  You just didn’t want to lose them.

My primary sources of information back then were PhiladelphiaEagles.com, Philly.com, and the major football sites.  I got plenty of good information, but there wasn’t much in the way of scoops or breaking news.  There was no Twitter.  There were no blogs.  All the stories at that time talked about the Eagles need to re-sign Douglas and Barber, but no one gave any clues as to what was going to happen.  

I was desperate to know what might be going on.  While reading a story at PE.com I saw something about the message boards.  I thought about checking them out, but message boards at the time had a terrible reputation (still do, mostly).  Did I want to waste my time reading crap from a bunch of lunatics?  The answer turned out to be “yes”.  My hope was that someone on Philly TV or radio would have some inside scoop (right or wrong) that would offer insight or at least hope and that would get posted on the MB.  In hindsight, I guess I was looking for Howard Eskin.  That sounds so wrong, huh?

So I joined the Eagles Message Board in March of 2003.  I hoped for info, but sadly didn’t find what I was looking for.  I did happen to see a lot of odd questions and topics.  While reading one I decided to answer somebody’s question.  I don’t recall the subject, but it was something I considered obvious info.  I didn’t think of it as a big deal.  Then I answered another question.  And another.  And so on.

I never told anyone I was some football guru or anything like that.  I just answered questions and offered my opinions.  My username “goeagles99″ became pretty well known inside of the first couple of months I was on the EMB.  The team lost Douglas and Barber in FA.  The team signed Nate Wayne and traded for Mark Simoneau.  Being the nut-job I am, I watched game tape of them from 2002 and posted my thoughts.  EMBers weren’t used to having someone that kept game tapes from other teams laying around for such purposes.

The season started and I began writing my Detailed Game Reviews.  That was something else that just hadn’t gotten done before.  Who had the time or desire to study a game and write several thousand words on it?  A nut-job like me.  I began writing a lot about the draft after the season.  One day I posted some pre-Combine notes.  That got a good response.  I wrote a long draft preview for the EMB and one of the guys I listed as a favorite player was OT Trey Darilek.  The Eagles then took him in the 4th round.  That made people realize I wasn’t totally a nut-job.  I actually had some idea what I was talking about.

I continued writing about the Eagles and the draft on the EMB.  In the summer of 2004 I started a simple thread in TATE (Talk About The Eagles) called Eagles Blog.  The initial discussion was about the Eagles DL.  That thread lasted until April of 2009. It turned into a brilliant discussion.  I might have started the discussion, but there was great insight coming from all over.  PhillyPhreak54 was the Training Camp guru. shlynch (Sam) was the contracts/cap expert.  justrelax was the OL guru.  There were other posters who kept the conversation smart and interesting.  Flying Dutchman was the strength training guru.  FranklinFldEBUpper was the STs guru.  Guys like rhino, mcud, SwamiStubbs, mrmulti, SarasotaPhil, Matt, dukebowden, RealCrippler, InfiniteSeriesN, baloophi, austinfan, eaglesnut and TSOP were huge contributors. I’m leaving out dozens more.  The blog truly became a great place for information and opinions.

In late 2005 I launched ScoutsNotebook.com with a friend from the EMB, Matt Alkire.  Sometime in the spring of 2007 I began talking to Dave Spadaro about writing a column for PE.com.  That came to fruition as the season opened.  I wouldn’t have gotten the column if not for the support of many EMB readers.  They were the ones who really sold Dave on the idea.  I think NYC Eagle was the guy who was the most relentless.

With stuff on the EMB, PE.com, and ScoutsNotebook, I figured it would be smart to start a blog so I could point people to my content from one central location.  I started EaglesBlitz in September of 2008.  It looks like an assignment that a 4th grader would get a C+ on, but my intent wasn’t to have that turn into a major project.  In March of 2009 I broke a story about Sheldon Brown getting deal to Cleveland and my traffic jumped substantially.  At that point I realized I needed to have a decent looking blog.  After the 2009 draft, my old buddy Sam approached me about joining Iggles Blog.  That seemed like an ideal fit and so I jumped right over there.  That was great, but lasted for less than a full year.  Derek was the leader of Iggles Blog and the birth of his second child made him decide that either the site or the family had to be put on the back-burner.  I’m assuming he flipped a coin and the family won out so Iggles Blog was no more.

I spent a couple of months writing for BGN before starting Iggles Blitz in the spring of 2011.  I still write for PE.com.  I still run ScoutsNotebook.  I did mix in a short stint at The Huffington Post as well, but that seemed like an odd spot for draft info so I focused on the sites where I felt a better connection.

None of this wouldn’t have happened if not for the EMB.  People love to make fun of message boards, but joining the EMB had a profound effect on me.  It gave me an outlet to do some writing.  I have been studying the draft and free agents since the 1990’s.  I just never had a place to share my thoughts.  I studied Ian Beckles when the Eagles signed him.  I remember getting excited when the team made a play for DE Simon Fletcher.  I was fired up when we signed DT Bill Johnson in March of 1998.  I have legal pads with notes on the draft prospects I liked and disliked.  I hated the Todd Pinkston and Freddie Mitchell picks.  Derrick Burgess was my favorite player in the entire 2001 draft.  I was blown away when the Eagles took him.  Corey Simon was a no-brainer.  Back then I just yelled this stuff at the TV or mentioned it to friends.  Living in NC, I didn’t have a lot of Eagles pals to discuss players with.

There are plenty of bad message boards out there.  The EMB isn’t one of them.  The Eagles promoted it, ran it well, and made it a good place.  Kudos to Dave Spadaro, his staff, and the Moderators for that.  Kudos to Jeff Lurie or whomever in the organization let the Eagles spend time and money on the EMB.  Not all 32 teams had a MB back then, let alone a good one.

Think about the Eagles Blog thread I mentioned earlier.  I was in there.  So was Sam.  There was an author (Tom McCallister).  There was a successful television writer and author.  There was a documentary filmmaker.  Lawyers. Corporate types. Professors.  This wasn’t a bunch of guys screaming “Reid suckz!!!” over and over.  Those people existed, but they are everywhere.  There was plenty of good content and plenty of good people.  I loved my time on the EMB.  I’ve been inactive for a couple of years, but only because of time limitations.

I can’t tell you all the friends I’ve made from the EMB.  I’ve gone to Eagles games with them. I’ve gone to Training Camp with them. I’ve met them for drinks in NC, PA, and out in L.A.  I’ve had long phone conversations with them.  These friendships began online, but were great when we met in person.  I can honestly say that I’ve not run into a single bad person from the EMB.  If anything, we get along even better in person than online.

Here is a picture of me (black t-shirt) and the “Welcoming Committee”, a group of Eagles tailgaters that made sure visiting teams felt welcome as they drove into The Linc.  This was from my first Eagles game, a MNF win over the Vikings in September 2004.  You simply can’t go wrong hanging out with Jay, Bob, Chris, Sean, Travis, Mike, and the rest of the gang.  Great guys.

 

The Crew

I don’t know where I’ll be in 10 years.  Back in 2003 when I signed up as goeagles99 I sure didn’t expect to have a blog where 6,000 people gathered every day to discuss the Eagles.

Thanks for a decade of great memories and friendships.  Can’t wait to see what the future holds.

* * * * *

For those who are from the EMB, let’s take a little trip down memory lane.

* Back in March of 2004 the Eagles were trying to get TO.  He was trying to get to Philly.  The media did a terrible job of covering this situation.  There was a poster on the EMB who provided the best insight.  I think the poster was named Muzzy or something like that.  He/she was a lawyer and took a look at TO’s contract, which somehow had gotten online.  The consensus was that TO’s agent, David Joseph, had royally screwed up.  TO had the right to void his deal.  The cut-off date for him doing this came in late Feb. or early March.  The date for using the franchise tag came before that cut-off date.  For some reason, everyone thought the agent a fool.  His client’s date came too late.  But that was backward thinking.  As the EMB poster explained, it was the Niners who screwed up, not the agent.  The date for designating franchise players could come and go and then TO could opt out, making him a totally unrestricted free agent.  I remember reading this on the EMB at 3am one night and being blown away.  The NFL could not get around this.  It was SF’s mistake.  The Eagles agreed to the trade to help the league and Niners save face.

* Every summer Dave Spadaro would host the EMB Moderators up at Lehigh for a day.  He’d take them out to lunch and get them special field passes.  I really can’t imagine any other NFL team doing this.  Great job by the Eagles.  In 2006 the Mods were on the sideline watching practice when Tom Heckert’s phone rang.  He was standing right by them.  A guy known as Fast Freddie looked at Heckert and said “I hope that call is about a WR.”  Absolutely classic.  And we did deal for Donte Stallworth about a week later so who knows.

* My friend Allez Aigles got quoted in the newspaper a couple of times.  That drove me nuts.  I was desperate to get quoted, but that never happened.

* Back in 2004 we started keeping track of which players the Eagles met with prior to the NFL Draft.  That is done now all over the place, but I think a guy named MuddyWaters20 was the first to do it.  Kudos to him.

* A guy named TransplantedEaglesFan led philosophical discussions on a regular basis.  I think he called it the Question of the Day or something like that.  Really smart guy.  Also loved arguing with him about Oliver Stone and movies in general.

* While the EMB was a source of much great Eagles and football discussion, it also led to some insanity.  A guy named Hollywood Freddie innocently started a thread called The Logic of the Bucs.  He was confused by some dumb moves the organization made.  Me and a guy named MDS hijacked the thread to use it for our personal insanity.  We had odd senses of humor (to put it mildly) and would just post oddball thoughts in there.  That was great fun for a week.  Then MDS got banned.  I couldn’t let The Logic of the Bucs go to waste so djbigf and I turned it into a picture thread.  We decided to post pics of hot celebrities from each decade.  We started in the 40s or 50s with Lauren Bacall, Jane Russell, Marilyn and then worked up through the 1970s.  Anyone could go find pics of Jennifer Anniston or some current babe.  We wanted to focus on the Claudia Cardinale’s of the world.

The thread was entertaining and kinda cool if you liked older movies and retro stuff.  djbigf is the king of pop culture knowledge, for the EMB and maybe Earth.  One day a guy saw the pics and decided to add his own.  In came raunchy babes with huge fake boobs.  Another guy started adding girls with enormous butts.  The thread went completely sideways at that point.  Soon enough, a few naked pics got posted.  That was a major no-no on the EMB.  For some reason, no Mod saw them and no one told the Mods about them.  That went on for maybe a week.  Then things got really odd.  A Giants fan posted a picture of a naked guy.  That was brilliant and evil.  We couldn’t tell the Mods to take it down.  They’d see the naked ladies and close the whole thread.  So for several days, if not a week, there was a picture of a naked man on the EMB.  It was buried in a long, long thread, but that was pretty classic.  The Logic of the Bucs might be the greatest EMB thread of them all.

* And now for random names/phrases that will only make sense to the EMBers…

URLAKERZZZ !!!!

Jordan Taber

His name was Robert Paulson

gbee

Aces 4 Eva

Mod points

mr hunt

RIP Herb and Pat

Phil’s son invites the garbageman to dinner

Just PM Prophet 215 if you have any questions

_


  • Jonzee72

    Reading your stuff is a pleasure, Tommy. Long may it continue.

    • TommyLawlor

      Thank you sir.

  • http://twitter.com/BEkstromsPenis brendan ekstrom

    I’m curious about the welcoming committee. What exactly did you guys do?

    • TommyLawlor

      I was only at 2 games. I’m told there was a lot of yelling. The occasional middle finger salute was given. There might have been some eggs thrown once or twice. I don’t recall all of the shenanigans. Nothing out of hand. Just stuff that would get the players attention and make some of the young guys uncomfortable.

  • bdbd20

    If we sign Urlacher, you should post on EMB for old times sake.

    • morenthemiddle

      urlacherzzzzz

      • TommyLawlor

        just added that.

    • TommyLawlor

      I will do that.

  • morenthemiddle

    Yeah, good times over there. I haven’t been on in a couple years. I didn’t post a lot but was on everyday until I discovered your site. Do you remeber 4th and inches? He was posting in the real early days of the EMB, don’t know if he was still posting when you got on.

    • TommyLawlor

      I don’t recall 4th and inches.

  • Anders

    I posted alot on EMB, but not in TATE but in Around the NFL because I liked talking with opposing fans as they give a more nuanced view.
    It was on EMB I did discover you Tommy and I have posted on both Eaglesblitz, Igglesblog and here under various usernamers.

    I havnt really been on EMB for a long time as I think BGN and IB as I like the blogging style better than the message board style.

    • TommyLawlor

      Thanks for the support, my friend.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=565087931 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee

      You are the most knowledgeable Eaglesfan in Denmark I’m sure. Keep up the good work Anders!

    • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.verhoog Matthew Verhoog

      It’s really interesting to see all the people outside of Philly that come here, I guess we just need a place to talk about something other then Hockey. (or whatever sport is big in Denmark)

  • http://twitter.com/akuatuta nathalie a

    harumph. misty eyed moi.

    • TommyLawlor

      You’re part of the great international flavor the EMB brought to the Eagles. Kudos for that.

  • ChaosOnion

    Tommy, that is some amazing ish (ah, that curse filter.) I joined almost at the same time you did for exactly the same reason. I craved information about the Eagles. Living in Florida since 1997 and pre-NFL Network. EMB was a waterfall in the desert. Urlakerz, Boldinz, worm-burners! The Eagles needing nothing more than a big, skilled WR, but I still hated that Owens trade at the time. I gorged on the Kool-Aid during 2004, but those initial misgivings proved themselves out the following season.

    Anyway, congratulations for turning a hobby into a living (as much as it may be.) Living the dream, man!

    • laeagle

      Don’t forget the big back! There are still people over there complaining that we don’t have one!

      • ChaosOnion

        How could I forget the “Big-Back?” Half EMB still does not understand big back is throwback. I think Big Red should get a bit more credit for Westy and Shady. He was ahead of his time with Westy and kept going with Shady. (I am admittedly giving Reid some credit for drafting both.)

        On a completely unrelated note, I am watching A Football Life: Steve McNair. Best line, “You get one of them boys from a rural area, they built different.” I really want some country-strong slinging the rock for us.

      • Cliff

        Remember when TATE’s favorite running back was Nate Ilaoa? LOL

        • Cliff

          Then Tony Hunt!

          • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.verhoog Matthew Verhoog

            The always popular sentiment (insert any big RB) “could he be the big back we need”.

    • TommyLawlor

      I don’t remember which poster it was, but I died laughing the first time someone said in regard to Donovan, “Why does he hate those worms so much?” Should have listed that as well.

      And the filter turning Dick Vermeil into D Vermeil always was funny.

      • laeagle

        I remember the “I just used the EMB message boards biggest cliche” filter for Kool Aid, too.

  • http://twitter.com/ViniEagles Vinícius Gonçalves

    Great story. It´s really interesting to see how things developed until today. It´s funny because I am new to football. I am from Brazil and here most of the people only like soccer. But we have ESPN Brasil where they show NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, etc..

    Some day during the 2008 season I was with my TV on and it was on ESPN and they were showing a NFL game and I started to watch to see if i learn the game. And I really liked it! And start to read about it. And the team that identify with me the most was the Eagles. Because of the colors (same as my soccer team) and specially for the city and the fans. I feel like I was part of it. And time showed me that it was true… It was a so-so season but in the end that combination of results and the 44-6 victory against the Dallas i will never forget.. I was jumping in my room with every point. I was feeling the game!!! I remmember that later we played Giants in a playoff game that year and the lights in my house went off… man, i was really pissed!! I was desperate.. I need to watch that game! And then the lights come bakc (2nd quarter) and we won..
    Since then, i start to learn the most about football that I could. Since I lost more than 20 years of my life without knowing nothing about it i have to work on my knowlodge of the game and the franchise.

    And in this part yours post was a major factor for everything!! A good part of everything I know about NFL, Football and the Eagles is because of you. You even “teached” me some english since that in the beggining i read your blog with help of a dictionary! hehehe.

    Today I am a every day reader of the blog and can call myself with pride a true Philadelphia Eagles fan. Never visit U.S. until now but i dream to watch a game at Linc. My father went to us and bring me a white Westbrook jersey back and some eagles books in 2009.

    Today, I have at least 20 Eagles fan in my city that are fans because of me and it will keep growing! Hehehe.. Sorry for the long post. I just wanted to tell people how someone lost in Brasil could be so much proud to be an Eagles and how much u influenced me! Thanks. If somehow someday i see u I will pay u a beer! :)

    Ps: Hope that in 10 years u are an oficial Eagles scout!!!

    • TommyLawlor

      Great story. Glad to have you as part of Eagles Nation.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=565087931 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee

      Good read, sir.

  • laeagle

    God, I remember thinking back then, “who is this goeagles99? I’d like to subscribe to his newsletter.” You were one of the main reasons that board was cool for as long as it was. I really miss PhillyPhreak’s training camp posts. This was well before everyone and their mother started covering camp, and he had really good insight. Then the morons took over. It started as a trickle and ended as a flood, but luckily the sane people were able to follow posters like you to greener pastures.

    Thanks so much for your hard work over the years. Been following you since the beginning, and you and the others like you are part of the reason it’s so fun to be an Eagles fan.

    • TommyLawlor

      I miss Phreak (Jay) as well. Last I heard he moved back down to Texas. Good guy online, but great guy in person. I almost got him to spew coke at lunch once when I made reference to someone having a bad case of crotch crickets. Great memory.

      • laeagle

        Nice. Luckily I had just finished my sip of coffee or it would be all over my computer.

        Drop me a line if you’re ever out in LA again. I live over by Andy Reid’s high school and can lead you on a pilgrimage.

        • Baloophi

          Hey! I’m over by Marshall, too! I used to play flag football over there until they fenced it up and my hamstrings retired…

          • laeagle

            Nice! Let me know if you’re ever up for watching a Flyers game at the Public House on Vermont.

        • g00se

          I used to live in the area. More by King Middle School. Now I live in the valley. I am up for meeting up with you guys to watch some Eagles games!

          I don’t know if you guys read Eagles news on Bleeding Green Nation…I’m the guy that met Andy Reid at Marshall.

          http://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2012/6/21/3104318/bgner-meets-andy-reid

  • Baloophi

    Ahh the EMB. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. I miss it!

    BUT, I love our new home. Thanks, Tommy.

    Another quick memory from the EMB: there was always an unofficial race to be “first!” to reply to Tommy’s Detailed Game Review. I always thought it was cheating to do so without first reading it all the way through but since Tommy typically didn’t post it until really late Sunday/Monday night (sometimes later if it was particularly depressing), I always felt I had a slight advantage being on the West Coast.

    • T_S_O_P

      He’s certainly a night owl as I’d awake in Blighty and a get my chance at first too.

    • TommyLawlor

      I do recall the race to be first. Glad you won a few of those.

    • Cliff

      Hahahaha! I remember that too! How does it feel to know you spawned so many strange “sub-culture” type things on the Internet, Tommy? LOL

    • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.verhoog Matthew Verhoog

      I remember the times when some newbie would respond to a DGR with, “an why the [masked profanity] sHould we Listen TO YOU” and then 5 people would respond with, “goeagles is the only reason I come to EMB”.

    • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.verhoog Matthew Verhoog

      If only the first commenter on this article didn’t go “First”, that would be sweet. *understanding that was a really dumb thing, but anyways, dumb things in the past are fun to remember.

  • HazletonEagle

    Great post. I joined the eagles blog after you had already stopped posting in there. But I do remember your ask goeagles99 in the draft section, and your contributions are sorely missed.

    • TommyLawlor

      I miss the EMB. Tried to keep posting there while also doing the outside writing, but I found that I couldn’t answer questions. Just too time consuming trying to be all these different places.

      • HazletonEagle

        For sure. I asked nd (Matt) the other day when the first mock is coming out on scouts notebook. He said to ask you. Ive been looking forward to it.

        • TommyLawlor

          Working on it.

  • T_S_O_P

    Tommy, you promise you didn’t read the blog today? Allez gets a mention there today too.

    • TommyLawlor

      I did not go to the current Eagles Blog today.

      Haven’t seen or heard from Allez in years. Anyone have an update on him?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=565087931 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee

    Dear Tommy

    Happy anniversary.

    I became an Eagles fan in 2005. At first a very casual fan, because I’m from Denmark, and I couldn’t follow the team as closely as I can now. For me, the extremism of my fan-ship (is that even a word?) began in the spring of 2011 when I found your blog.
    I was devastated as I one day saw that you were leaving. I can honestly say that I was hurt and saddened, because I felt I had lost something very important to me. Needless to say I was very happy, when you opened up this site in what seemed like a year later.
    I have this site as my browser homepage, and log on 5-10-15 times a day, depending on the news stream, and it’s become an important thing in my life and daily routine.
    For that I want to thank you and all of you fantastic Eagles fans, who contribute to the best fan-page in all of sports.

    • http://twitter.com/ViniEagles Vinícius Gonçalves

      So cool to see Eagles fans around the world!!

    • TommyLawlor

      I love the fact that I’ve been able to help so many international Eagles fans. Why limit the suffering to just people in Philly or the US? :)

      It is great to see readers here from Denmark, Germany, Brazil, England, Hungary, France, and even Delaware. Members of the armed forces read while being stationed all over the world. The international side of things is something I never anticipated. Very cool.

      • Anders

        I think the NFL been so world wide now helps on it.

  • Tumtum

    GE99,

    I discovered the EMB part way through the 03′ season, and read them for quite a while before creating an account one day finally in 04′ because I couldn’t help but make a thread on an idea I had. I dont remember it, but I do recall I was honored you posted there in my first thread.

    Anyway, I totally ONLY got hooked to EMB after reading your stuff. I LIVED for your detailed game review… and really all your stuff. Its hard finding guys that are going to focus on the Eagles as much as you do/did and did not have ties to the team. Not that those guys arn’t great, but they just can’t say everything. You are totally awesome, and love the fact I found IgglesBlitz here.

    P.S since I only found IggleBlitz after the season, Im not sure if you do it but I REALLY hope you still do a DGR!!!

    • A_T_G

      Don’t worry, he does.

      Although when last season got out of hand I think Tommy was crediting pudding with sacks and Megan Fox with opening holes.

      Actually, that last one might be a different website altogether.

      • TommyLawlor

        Greatest site ever.

    • TommyLawlor

      You can type “Detailed Game Review” into the Search box and find links to this year’s. Prepare to be depressed, though.

  • http://twitter.com/ViniEagles Vinícius Gonçalves

    One idea for the 10 year anniversary could be u getting some of your favorites posts and post again for us to read. I particulary would like to read the Miracle of Meadowlands 2 game review! Hehehe

  • SteveH

    lol, I had forgotten about URLAKERZZZ!!!!, we should bring that back.

    • http://twitter.com/mannafromkevin Kevin

      PLEASE NO. Not even for nostalgia’s sake. That might’ve been the most tired and overused joke ever on the EMB.

  • http://twitter.com/SeedSeries J. Brian Anderson

    GE99-

    I remember reading your EMB post the first time back in 2005, I was like whoa who’s this guy? Articulate and entertaining? finally! I’ve been a loyal reader ever since, I’m so glad we can be on this blog-journey with you together. I’m really happy with all the content you’ve put together on the new coaches and philosophy. While we don’t know exactly what will happen with the team in the coming years, what we (I) do know is that win, lose or draw [surprise McNabb, yes it can happen!], we’ll all have something GREAT to read. The stories, news, and rumors are what it’s all about and that’s what you do best Tommy (love H2H btw).

    Keep up the great work. I wouldn’t be the fan I am today without your Philadelphia Eagles contributions.

    Best,

    J. Brian Anderson

    • TommyLawlor

      Very kind words. Much appreciated.

  • NinjaP

    I joined the EMB back in 2003 as well. So I have been following your stuff for that long now. Always look forward to the stuff you write. Actually interviewed you in 2007 for a college english class I had. So thanks for all that you do for us eagles fans. I don’t use the EMB much anymore these days either (I just go to check the 411 for local news articles) but your stuff from here pretty much gets mentioned everyday in the eagles forum of footballsfuture.

    So just saying keep up the good work and hopefully you can supply us all with 10 more years of great information.

    • TommyLawlor

      Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/ToastJenkins ToastJenkins

    I feel slighted….lol. here’s to 10 more years, Tommy

    • TommyLawlor

      Ha. I was going to mention you and re-wrote the part to shorten it.

      You are the first person I remember responding to my pre-Combine draft notes post. Your words of encouragement may have seemed simple and innocent to you, but they had an effect on me. Made me realize people did want to read about the draft as much as I did. Thank you, sir.

      • http://twitter.com/ToastJenkins ToastJenkins

        well we still have to meet at training camp at some point. now that i live in Indy my goal is to get access to the combine for us

  • MichaelFloyd84

    The Legend of Jordan Taber! I wasn’t sure if anybody actually remembered him. Ha

  • Iskar36

    Tommy,

    I have been reading your posts since around 2005 starting on EMB. Since readying my first Detailed Game Review of yours on the EMB, I never consider a game “finished” until after your posts. From the EMB, to EaglesBlitz, to IgglesBlog, and finally to IgglesBlitz, your posts have always been my first stop for Eagles news and as Eagles fans, I think we are all extremely appreciative of the incredible insight you provide.

    • http://twitter.com/bubqr Virgile – Bubqr

      Exact same feelings. Been reading since Feb 2005, hasnt missed a DGR since. There are some good content now available, I like Sheil K and Jimmy K for example, but none still comes close to yours. I mean I’m still hoping, each day, to wakeup and see one your article over one of this year s prospect for example. I love those.
      And also, the comments threads here are always great to read, you managed to gather a good community.

      Ps: No mention of douglas704 ?

      • http://igglesblitz.com Sam Lynch

        PS: Booooooooo.

  • Toby_yboT

    It’s incredible how many of us have been around these 10 years and still posting. The emb has seen me through a divorce and a couple chapters of life.

    As soon as I figured this was about the emb I hoped you’d mention the Logic of the Bucs… oh what a thread.

    • Toby_yboT

      A couple more emb moments that stand out to me

      – John Richie’s mom started a thread announcing Richie’s serious career ending injury, before it had made the news. She was blasted as a fake at first, but it ended up being legit.

      – Greg Lewis was one of the first eagles players to start his own site. He had a page where you could post a question for Greg and he’d come along and answer it. Greg was really popular on the board after the superbowl and a bunch of us went nuts on his site. I remember asking him a serious of bizarre questions but I don’t think he ever caught on to my sarcasm, he answered all of them with serious replies.

      – The guy who broke the trade for DeMeco Ryans several days or a week before it was news.

      • goeagles55

        For some reason, I read every post Ryan Moats made on his EMB blog.

        • Toby_yboT

          There’s been a cowboys fan who sporadically posts wild rumors about Ryan Moats and behind the scenes accounts of his NFL career. Based on some of the other crazy and legit sources I’ve seen on the EMB, I’m inclined to believe there’s some truth to his rumors.

  • dukebowden

    Fun stroll down memory lane. The EMB (and now this site ) is a great resource for fans underserved by local and national media. I was one of I’m sure hundreds who encouraged you to strike out on your own with your writing and insights. All of us feel a measure of pride at your success. Keep it up!

    • TommyLawlor

      Haven’t heard from you in a long time. Hope all is well.

      • dukebowden

        All good here. Have a couple of kids and been though a bunch of big moves in the last 5 years but I don’t think I’ve missed one of your posts. And I still reliably get drunk and posty during the draft wherever you happen to be hosting it that year. Good times. Hope things are well with you too.

  • KillaKadafi

    I would log on to the EMB simply to read your articles, I learnt a great amount and thoroughly enjoyed myself while doing so – thanks.

    I’ve never been back to the EMB since they rejigged it a few years back, many of the quality posters had ceased posting by that point and it just didn’t seem the same anymore.

    On a side note, how can we reminisce about EMB without mentioning Baltimore Bob?!

    • TommyLawlor

      Bob is such a complicated topic that I skipped him. Some of my friends met him. Real dude. And kinda scary. I think about Bob every time I see a story about Amanda Bynes, his “favorite gal”.

  • Arby1

    Happy anniversary GE99 who was very briefly during a draft GD99 (boohoo Sean Lee!) Card holder since 2004/5.

    • TommyLawlor

      Thank you sir.

  • BreakinAnklez

    Ahhhh…the good ole EMB and TATE. Lot of good info on there. I remember sitting up in college on the eve of FA looking to see who we’d sign (Damn you Mark Eckel and LeCharles Bentley!!!) Tommy- no idea if you remember but I used to post as jmudukes28 and asked you probably asinine questions about which of my beloved Dukes had a shot at getting drafted. I actually have a Akeem Jordan jersey that I got him to sign one summer while he was back at campus…it was like Christmas morning- hope he stays. Thanks for the good times…and hopefully many more!

    • TommyLawlor

      Of course I remember discussing JMU with you. Real good teams back in those years. Either won the title or played in the title game one year. Terrible field. Looked like a cow pasture.

      • BreakinAnklez

        Yes…back in 2004, my freshman year. Won 3 straight road games and beat up on Montana 35-13 I think. That field was a disaster….turf came up with every step!

  • http://twitter.com/t_mcallister Tom McAllister

    I heard that swamistubbs was a real a-hole.

    • TommyLawlor

      Degenerate scumbag. Can’t believe some idiot put him in a book. The guy looked like ReRun.

      • goeagles55

        When I joined the EMB in 2005, I had no idea I would read well over a book’s worth of posts from one member, and buy and read an actual book written by another.

    • BigEFly

      Hope the book writing is going well. Still miss seeing the red beret in the Blog.

  • Flyin

    Gaylord_Focker

    ge99, I’m guessing you left him out because he may need his own post.

    • Baloophi

      He and Jim Stark.

      • TommyLawlor

        Stark was a real piece of work.

    • TommyLawlor

      Thought about Focker before I began writing. Somehow just got left out. His annual prediction posts were always classics.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nathan.e.rufo Nathan Rufo

    Man, Prophet215 has so many PMs backed up in his inbox…

    • TommyLawlor

      He’s slow to answer.

  • TommyLawlor

    Another fun memory…there was a guy named Tobias77 who found these draft videos and would share links to them. That seemed like cutting edge technology back in 2005-06. Now we get disappointed when YouTube doesn’t have 5 clips of every star.

    • D3FB

      Hell some of us get mad when there aren’t 5 video for UDFA types.

    • Toby_yboT

      That was me. They were hard to find back them but for some reason I enjoyed it… I was borderline obsessed for a while, the search consumed me. A lot of times I had to look through a pages source code and scan the html to locate the video file and link to it.

      When I went through my divorce I changed my username and created a new account on the emb, going by jefetio or charles grodin

      • TommyLawlor

        Glad to know you’re still around. Always wondered if that was you. Very cool.

  • ICDogg

    I think I’ve been reading those DGR’s ever since you started writing them on the EMB. Always a must-read.

  • goeagles55

    I joined the EMB sometime during the 2005 season. I was more of a reader than a poster but I discovered the DGRs and previews shortly after joining and made them a staple of my weekly Eagles reading. Now, I refresh this site at least 5 times a day.

  • GermanEagle

    What?! No mention of those highly intelligent Eagles fans from Germany that have been loyal to you ever since?! I am breaking up with you Tommy!

    • P_P_K

      I sometimes feel like I sacrificed my intelligence when I became an Eagles fan.

    • TommyLawlor

      Don’t leave me!!! I don’t handle rejection well. I’ll just drink beer and watch draft tape all day. My life will be a mess.

      • GermanEagle

        I’ll stay then!

  • OwenH85

    Hey Tommy,

    First time I’ve posted a comment but have been reading this blog from the beginning. Always great work and has improved my knowledge of the NFL immensely. I just wanted to send you my thanks from one of your Irish fans.

  • http://twitter.com/alex_karklins Alex Karklins

    I’m fairly late to the party. I first saw your writing on PE.com and followed you to Eagles Blitz and Igglesblog before you landed here. I think this is a great commenter community, and you help make it great by actively participating in the discussions and even answering some of my dumb questions. Thanks for everything you do, Tommy!

  • Kevin_aka_RC

    I started posting here as Kevin_aka_RC instead of RealCrippler to show less of my age, but some fun things never change. I loved the old EMB (and still appreciate the new draft focus of the current one, even if it sometimes gets out of hand).

    As a Canadian, I don’t have a lot of opportunity to talk “real” football and have even less opportunity to talk great Eagles football. I love being able to discuss and debate these issues in depth on this blog, Derek’s old blog, bloggingthebeast, etc. The Detailed game reviews kept me going through Mike McMahon and PhillyPreak’s Training Camp posts were always a highlight (sadly, it gave us false Lorenzo Booker hope).

    My first time going to an Eagles game I got fantastic tailgating, restaurant and hotel advice from various posters like JR and Beast. Sometimes, it’s the little things. Sharing what I saw from the game (the various combo routes that you couldn’t see pre All-22 film) was a lot of fun.

    I look forward to 10 more years of GE99 and Eagles discussion. Or Megan Fox staring in 2020’s Invincible as Vicky Papale. Whichever comes first.

  • P_P_K

    I remember 2003 because that was the year we definitely, positively, absolutely had all the pieces together and were going to win the SB. Scanning EMB on a daily basis, I began to look forward to reading the posts of goeagles99. What an intelligent guy, really took things to a higher level. It’s been great following you around the web, Tommy. Thanks for all you’ve done, and thanks for providing this place for all the good-natured banter about football and other stuff.

    I was trying to make out the jerseys worn by The Welcoming Committee. Some classic Eagles players we’ll never forget. I got:
    #53 – Hugh Douglas
    #5 – Donovan
    #20 – Dawk
    #36 – Westy
    #81 – T.O.
    Was the guy on the right really wearing #34 – Reno Mahe?

    • TommyLawlor

      Probably Kevin Turner.

  • Ark87

    Seems like I missed the good days. Didn’t start going to the net for eagles news/talk until I moved to NC in 2008. Back home there was such a robust and passionate fan base, there’s always someone to talk smart Eagles football around…not so much in Wilmington…(though if you ever do find yourself in Wilmington NC, be sure to visit a bar called The Copper Penny, a guy from Philly owns it, when the Eagles play it is packed with Eagles fans, the fight song plays and is sung on scores, amazing and unexpected experience for these parts).

    Started out with PE.com, the team was still good in my eyes so I wasn’t able to detect the positive spin that is so obvious now. I noticed the Fan-Demonium column you run there, quickly identified a lot of substance in your writing that most of the writing on the site was lacking. Saw the little blurb about you and where else you write, and here I am. Best Eagles talk around imo.

  • greenblood0118

    I joined the EMB in 2005. It’s been the most visited site by me since, hands down. I’ve read some of the best football stuff on the planet in there. I’ve also read the funniest things I’ve ever come across! When they tried to change the platform a couple of years ago, it changed a bit, I think…
    Hey Tommy, remember the Dawkins Photochop Thread? Freakin classic…

  • bsuperfi

    Congrats, Tommy. Always loved reading your thoughts on the EMB and here. I’ve learned a ton. It’s tough to imagine any other fanbase having as strong options as we do with all our excellent bloggers.

  • Toby_yboT

    The TO days…. that summer when the Eagles pursued TO was like the blossoming of the emb as we know it. That was the first time, I think, when the emb showed it’s true potential for stalker type behavior. I remember people posting updates outside and inside of TO’s hotel room, all kinds of “inside” accounts of the TO saga. Back then the EMB was truly unique, and it still is but less so. No other team had a message board with the level of involvement and obsession as us eagles fans had.

  • Mac

    Tommy, I’m a late comer to the Eagles online game. I didn’t start checking out philadelphiaeagles.com till I got my desk job back in 2010. I was reading article as fast as they were posted. One in particular caught my attention… Fan-Demoniom.

    I looked forward to those columns from week to week, and tried to have fun or intelligent conversations with folks in Spud’s columns. I remember wishing for a place to read more articles by Tommy Lawlor. Your columns were the best by far! I couldn’t believe that you weren’t either on staff, or soon to be snatched up by the scouting dept.

    So glad you set up this blog as it is such a great place for info, ideas, and a great community. Your blog has become part of my daily routine. Thanks for all your hard work!

  • Bighouse1

    great post… the EMB has been a great experience since 2003, and I appreciate your contributions since that time!

  • Jarred M

    Coincidentally I also joined the eagles message board in march of 2003. Stumbled up your stuff shortly after and have been following your writing on the various sites ever since, even made a few people aware of the knowledge you were dropping.

    Have always been a fan of the insight you provide partiuclarly on the draft.

  • g00se

    Your story is very inspirational. Thanks for sharing! I always wondered how these blogs were started and how they become to popular!

    I have been an Eagles fan since 1999 (Age 13). Before that, I was in search of my team. I live in Los Angeles, so everyone is either a fan of the Niners, Raiders, Chargers, Rams, or Cowboys…yuck…

    My uncles and friends tried to make me become a fan of those teams..I tried…but it didn’t work out. I wanted to find my own team. Finally, in 1999, I saw Mcnabb play…I was amazed by his athleticism. I had never seen a QB with so much athleticism. So, I looked up the Eagles schedule and I started following them. I watched any of their televised games. I went from learning about Mcnabb, to learning about the whole team.

    I started following igglesblitz in 2011. I learned about it through a comment left on BGN, which I also started following in 2011. I was so happy to learn that the love and passion I have for this team doesn’t make me crazy lol. There are actually other people that think about the Eagles as much as I do.

    My greatest Eagles moments came in 2012. I bet Andy Reid at John Marshall High School..read about it if you get a chance =)

    http://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2012/6/21/3104318/bgner-meets-andy-reid

    And I attended my first Eagles game (Eagles vs. Cowboys at the Linc)…

    Anyway, thanks for everything you do. I will continue to be a loyal reader.

  • Westpaceagle

    Thanks for the memories Tommy!

    I remember when you started posting on the EMB back in 2002 and how quickly you became the most respected poster. You certainly elevated the level of analysis and discourse and showed that fans can be exceedingly knowledgeable as well as passionate.

    Well done, congrats, and GO EAGLES!!!

    Tatergeddon Forever!
    WPE

  • http://twitter.com/mannafromkevin Kevin

    Tommy,

    I enjoyed this “aside” article. The EMB, prior to its reformatting, was a pretty amazing place. I recall asking you once about scouting and good football books to read that could help me get a better “scout’s eye” and learn more about the game. You even offered to schedule a phone call with me just to chat about scouting, etc. I never took you up on it (unfortunately) but I really appreciated that you were willing to take the time to chat with a random dude from the Internet.

    Keep up the good work!
    -formerly known on the EMB as “dawkinspwns”

  • http://twitter.com/Angry_Amishman Angry Amishman

    Just admit though that you really where ‘Gaylord Focker”.

  • D3Keith

    Tommy,

    Cool post. I never posted on the EMB, but had a similar experience as I posted 12,000-some-odd posts on BGN in the semi-early days, so this jogged my memory even though it was about a completely different Eagles message board subculture.

    We had our lightning rod commenters (JIBTA, which was short for jack [ikegonuwu] is better than asante) and our inside jokes (maclyn sux) and even a get-together photo not unlike the photo you have above.

    In those days of BGN, say 2008-10ish, your best bud Jimmy Bama was the star writer, alongside Jason B. One of the Eagles fans from Baltimore set up a game at the public parks in the shadow of The Linc — the old JFK field I guess. It was 18 degrees but like 20 of us played. I captained one squad and Kempski ran the other. He had all the talent, but we rallied. We were trailing 6 TDs to five when someone threw the game-tying TD pass to me. Glory was mine, and Kempski would never hear the end of it. Except it skipped off my hands and he took it the other way for the game-clinching 100-yard INT return. Or something like that. Anyway we ended up with a photo of a bunch of guys in Eagles jerseys like yours.

    I can attest that you can end up with real-life friends off message boards; between D3football and the guys I’ve played fantasy sports with since 2000, I’ve spent way too many hours online not accomplishing things in life but enjoying the banter.

    I know if I’d ever seen a long future posting about the Eagles coming, I would have picked something much more clever than D3Keith. I think I did it because as my BGN sign in it was short and easy to remember. But then once you’re known by a name, it pays to stick with it.

    There was definitely a time when I was so frustrated trying to find good knowledgeable Eagles chatter that I was drawing up plans to start a blog called Rational Eagles Fans (or something to that effect). Luckily I discovered BGN and IgglesBlog and the various Homes of Lawlor, and I never had to create an obviously substandard webhome for Eagles chatter. You guys blow my thoughts away, and having created a community around that is a special thing.

    Congrats on finding your niche in this world Tommy. Not a lot of people get to do something they love and be appreciated for it.

  • McMVP

    Great post Tommy…those were the days! Damn I miss Swami…at least I have his book to remember him…

  • BigEFly

    Austinfan? Really? Your memory is slipping. He was Arlingtonfan back then. Drop into the Blog some time. JR is back feeding us his knowledge on the OL. Franklin still is running the Special Teams blog. The All-22 has added some real depth to discussions on Wednesdays (It’s like being surrounded by a bunch of Dereks). Doug is banned so we keep hoping that Sam will come back and explain the CBA to us. We’ve added some newer guys, some of which we picked up when your ScoutsNotebook thread died in the draft and are now pondering what Chip will run and what Davis will run in projecting the draft. You always had a feel for who AR would draft. Do you feel you have that feel now with Chip?

  • maknav

    I rarely write comments but wanted to tell you that I really appreciate what you have been doing. I moved from Japan and started watching football when Reid and McNabb took over, and, as a a scientist, I was desperate for more objective way to analyze the game, and you just provided that. I basically obtained my entire knowledge in football with your DGR and the discussion in the EMB. Keep good work!

  • Ron

    I have followed you since the EMB days of goeagles99. I remember eagerly awaiting your game previews and DGRs. Thanks Tommy, you rock!

  • Peter Holmes

    Congrats on your “fame” and longevity Tommy. It’s well-deserved. I’m only surprised you haven’t gotten even more recognition.

    Born and raised in Philly, my brother and I have been Eagles fans our whole lives, but we didn’t become crazy fans until 2003 when we both ended up in NYC. The first game we went to was 2004 vs GB at the Linc and we clobbered the crap out of them that day. That was sweet!

    Being part of the Eagles diaspora, the only outlet for our Eaglesmania was the internet. Back then we read PE.com every day and there was no shortage of stuff to check out…Spadaro has always done an excellent job. We joined the EMB around that time too, which was fun at first but we soon realized the world of TATErdom was insane and paranoid. The best thing you could get there was an hysterical laugh (I’ll always remember the Dawk photochop thread).

    But one day my brother put me onto this guy called goeagles99. “You gotta check out his game reviews on the EMB, he really knows what he’s talking about.” We were instantly addicted to the DGRs and I would print them out to read word…for…word…on the train after work. I gotta say, after 3 months of that heavy dosage I transformed from a crazy fan into a knowledgeable fan. I realized how clueless all the office watercooler “experts” were.

    We’ve been following your writing ever since. These days Iggles Blitz is my DAILY primary source for the team while PE.com is my secondary source. You also introduced me to other great writers and sites like Blogging the Beast. PFT is good for rumors and broad headlines but otherwise useless. NFL.com, Yahoo sports, and all the mainstream media outlets are a complete dump of sensationalist bullshit. In the vast wasteland of lame sports writing, Iggles Blitz and all your other pieces stand out for their excellent writing, thoughtfulness, timeliness, connection with the fans, hard research, in depth analysis that actually rings true, and the all-too-rare ability to turn dumb couch jocks into intelligent critical thinkers. You’ve always challenged us as readers and I’m really grateful for it.

    I’ve always considered myself lucky to be an Eagles fan, but you make that even more true. Most other teams don’t have this kind of resource. Thanks for all the years of great work and stupidly blind loyalty to the Eagles!