A Philly media member with some Pride memories
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – One member of the media contingent covering the Philadelphia Eagles has some fond memories of Nashua.
Geoff Mosher, who writes for Fanrag Sports and does talk radio at 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia, made many a trip to Holman Stadium in the late 1990s and early 2000s covering the Somerset Patriots of the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball for the Courier News in Bridgewater, N.J. when they would square off against the Nashua Pride.
“What I loved about Holman was, when the Atlantic League was starting up, a lot of new stadiums were built – Bridgeport, Somerset, Atlantic City,” he said. “You always knew going to Holman, going to Nashua, you were still getting the old school, residential neighborhood baseball field.
“And I also knew there’d be 11 home runs combined with both teams and there’s be a 14-15 inning game. That was great on getaway nights, and (Pride captain) Glenn Murray would be hitting his seventh homer of the night. And I’ll never forget that press box (before Holman was renovated in 2002).”
Mosher remembers the epic Pride-Patriots Atlantic League title series. The Pride won the first meeting in 2000 but lost two others before leaving for the Can-Am League n 2006.
“They were awesome,” Mosher said. “I remember when (Pride manager) Butch Hobson collapsed in the dugout (in New Jersey) and he had to be taken to the hospital. And he came back and managed the next day (in Nashua). … That was Butch for you.”
Fast forward 15 years later welcome to the mayhem of Super Bowl LII. The Philadelphia fan atmosphere, Mosher said, is simply “crazy.” The only other team in his mind that “grabbed the hearts of the city” was the 1993 World Series Champion Phillies, with their group of Darren Daulton-John Kruk led unruly characters.
“This team is completely different,” Mosher said. “They’re a socially aware team. … It’s crazy in Philadelphia, they honestly believe this is the team. … It’s a football city. They’ve been waiting 57 years. And every time the conversation comes up with the Cowboys, the Giants, the Redskins, it’s always about ‘How many rings do you have?’, and there’s that big fat goose egg.
“They really do think this is it. A lot of people didn’t think they’d beat Atlanta, a lot of people didn’t think they’d beat Minnesota, a lot of people didn’t think Nick Foles could be a quarterback and he’s played well.”
“I’ve never covered a team like this that’s so devoid of ego, so in it for each other” Mosher said. “You’d have to be that way to lose your MVP quarterback and still make it to the Super Bowl.”
Mosher gives Pederson, who was under fire after his rookie 7-9 coaching season, a lot of credit. Pederson handles the offense and came up with a run oriented game plan vs. Atlanta in the Divisional Round and then, against Minnesota, the Eagles were “throwing the ball all over the place.”
We’ll see if either plan works in Sunday’s game.
The Patriots had their usual Super Bowl Eve photo day with family in friends at U.S. Bank Stadium. They did not have any practice or walkthrough. As head coach Bill Belichick said, the team would normally be traveling on a Saturday for a road game, anyway, or have the afternoon off for a home game, and there was going to be the usual Saturday night team meeting.
“The families go thorugh so much, they sacrifice so much for all of us,”Belichick said in Saturday’s NFL issued pool report. “…So it’s great to have them all here….It’s a nice event for everybody. Everybody will look back on this.”
One of the Hall of Fame nominees getting a lot of attention here all week heading into Saturday night’s inductee announcement was, of course, is former Patriots and longtime Vikings receiver Randy Moss. “Few players have changed the game,” Moss told the media this week. “Lawrence Taylor changed the game. I changed it. A few others changed it. I deserve first ballot.”
Fans who are going to the game, despite it being indoors, have been urged to dress very warm as there will be long security lines outside the stadium. The forecasted high temperature for Sunday here is five degrees. Light snow fell in the area on Saturday…
Eagles coach Doug Pederson’s words to his team after their final practice: “Play loose, have fun, enjoy the moment,” he said. The Eagles were scheduled to have a short walkthrough Saturday at U.S. Bank Stadium.