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as seen on phillyBurbs.com

Hope springs eternal
The Eagles hype has already begun.

Normally, I'd say don't believe the hype when it comes to the Eagles, but maybe this year we finally can.

Can thousands of the feathered faithful, who keep flocking daily to the Birds' retreat at Lehigh University for training camp, be wrong?

Are the Vegas lines, which put the Eagles as the favorite to win the NFC championship game finally, to be believed? (A $100 bet right now will win you just $550 if the Eagles succeed at getting to the Super Bowl on most Web sites.)

Will the additions of wide receiver Terrell Owens, defensive end Jevon Kearse and the return of linebacker Jeremiah Trotter be enough to push the Birds past their mental block in the NFC Championship Game? Will the loss of Duce Staley and veteran cornerbacks Bobby Taylor and Troy Vincent not hurt.

Will the TV hypemasters (it's hard to call them sportscasters when all they do is cheer) - Hell, ESPN is even using T.O. on the cover of its own video football game. (Say it with me: No Madden jinx, no Madden jinx, no Madden jinx.) - finally be right?

Many of you apparently think so. At least that's how you voted in an informal, unscientific, almost-meaningless poll on phillyBurbs.com sports Web pages over the last two weeks.

With more than 380 ballots cast as of Sunday, 263 of the voters said this is the year the Eagles soar to the top of the NFL. Another 48 said the Birds would make it to the big game before going belly up. (God, I hope it's not the Raiders again.) Only 19 voters felt the Eagles are doomed to be the brides-maids in the NFC one more. (What, three times wasn't enough?)

Surprisingly, another 19 voters felt the Birds would be watching the playoffs on TV or playing Madden at home late this winter.

I know I will.


Without putting a foot in my mouth, it's time to say goodbye to the little colt from Bensalem that could ... and did.

On Saturday, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner will officially retire from racing with a party and parade at his home track.

Until then, we here at phillyBurbs want to hear your final thoughts on "America's horse."

Send your comments via e-mail to me at . We'll publish the best ones we get.


The Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame folks are getting ready to start voting on their second class of inductees and when the list is complete, I'll let you vote on them again right here.

"With a permanent museum still a ways off, we are working on a mobile museum," said Hall president Ken Avallon.  The 'Hall on Wheels' will allow us to appear at numerous events and functions instead of keeping our collection (of more than 200 items) under wraps."

To read more about it, click here.

Dave Ralis is the sports content manager for phillyBurbs.com. His "Pave the grass" columns appear online on Mondays. To read his previous columns, click here. Contact him at or at 215-269-5051.

Aug. 9, 2004