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Goodbye Old Friend


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Goodbye Old Friend

Posted: April 29th, 2020 | Author: Tommy Lawlor | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 13 Comments

Let’s put aside draft talk, Jalen Hurts debates and receiver discussions to focus on a really important subject: the end of the Eagles Message Board.

Some will laugh at that sentence, but joining the EMB, as we affectionately called it, was a life-changing event for me.

In order to understand, let’s travel back in time to the late 1990’s. Being an Eagles fan outside the city of Philadelphia was challenging in the early days of the internet. There wasn’t much content to read. You couldn’t get TV and radio clips the way we can now. And there certainly weren’t many Eagles fans for me to interact with in North Carolina.

I watched every Eagles game. I taped as many as I could and would watch them, studying the players. I took notes on Eagles players, free agents and draft prospects. I didn’t have anywhere to post them, but still did my research. It came in handy when talking to serious football fans here and there. Mostly, I just enjoyed the work.

In the 2003 offseason the Eagles had a couple of huge free agents, DE Hugh Douglas and LB Shawn Barber. I was desperate for some news on whether they would re-sign or leave the Eagles. Going to ESPN’s site and reading Philly papers wasn’t giving me the info I wanted. I had always sworn off joining a message board because of their reputation. I caved in and joined the EMB in March of 2003.

I went into TATE (Talk About the Eagles) and started searching for any scoops on Douglas and Barber. I have to admit, I felt like a kid in a candy shop as I saw all this discussion about the Eagles. Some of it was good, some awful. That is life in the online world.

I went into a couple of topics and read the posts. There were some questions people had and I knew the answers. I wasn’t sure about the wisdom of responding, but I did. I logged off and didn’t think much about it.

The next day, I went back to the EMB looking for updates on the free agents. I didn’t find anything, but did see responses to my answers. People had more questions. I responded to them and that led to another round of questions and answers. Pretty soon I became the guy you went to with football questions.

I started writing about the draft. I wanted the kid from Tennessee named Jason Witten, while the Eagles were being linked to L.J. Smith. I also was in love with a receiver from Florida State named Anquan Boldin. He ran a 4.7 at the Combine, but I kept advocating for him. On the flip side, I thought Rex Grossman would be a good NFL QB.

The EMB gave me a place to share my work. I wrote lengthy posts about the offseason. Once football season began (minus Douglas and Barber), I wrote lengthy game reviews. There was no Fran Duffy Eye in the Sky. There were no All-22 pieces. There were just my DGRs (Detailed Game Reviews).

Football was only part of the EMB experience. There were other sections where we discussed a variety of topics. This is where you started to develop friendships. You got to know each other beyond just the football side of things.

In 2004 I went to my first Eagles game. I got to meet guys from the EMB (Allez Aigles, Beermonkey, PhillyPhreak54, Travis, etc.). It was a great day and everyone was even better in person than online. It also helped that the Eagles beat the Vikings on MNF and the game was a lot of fun.

I kept on writing and doing player evaluation. I started ScoutsNotebook.com with Matt Alkire back in 2005. Dave Spadaro gave me a chance to do some work for PhiladelphiaEagles.com. I’ve been plugging away ever since. None of that happens without the EMB.

Even more, I’ve developed friendships that remain to this day.

I don’t go to the EMB much these days. There was a time when I couldn’t imagine going a day without being there. Life changes. I’m thankful the Eagles kept it as long as they did and ran it so well back in the glory days. The EMB was a special place. For me, it was a life-changing place.


There are a ton of memories from the EMB. I won’t bother trying to explain all of them to those of you who weren’t on there. For some, you had to be there.

Urlakkerz – There was a rumor the Eagles were going to trade for Brian Urlacher. To say that generated a buzz would be an understatement. After that, every offseason move would lead to posters saying Urlakkerz!!! The worse the spelling, the better.

TO – The football world laughed at Terrell Owens and his agent after the 2003 season. They said the agent had screwed up the contract and TO wasn’t going to be a free agent, as he expected. I remember reading the EMB one night at like 2am. Some poster had read parts of the contract and explained to us that the agent had made a genius move, allowing TO to become a free agent after the time when teams had to apply the franchise tag. I remember thinking…TO is going to be an Eagle. This is going to happen. That was cool.

The Logic of the Bucs – A poster named Hollywood Freddie started a thread called The Logic of the Bucs. He was ripping them for some move they had made. I didn’t care much about that. There was another poster named McNabb_Defense_SuperBowl that loved to post goofy things. He and I would hijack some random thread that no one cared about and just post dumb jokes and odd things in there. We took over The Logic of the Bucs. We had our fun for a while and then other people started coming in there. We started posting pictures of actresses from the 60’s and 70’s. You might see Raquel Welch or Claudia Cardinale or Lynda Carter. It was tasteful, but fun to look at as you would imagine. Some dude thought we were being too conservative and started posting pictures of women who were almost nude. And then they were nude. Somehow, the moderators left the thread alone. A degenerate Giants fan posted a picture of a naked guy in there. None of us could complain or the whole thread would be shut down. Some the EMB had a naked dude on it for almost 2 weeks. The word finally got out and the thread was wiped away with the click of a button.

Milwaukee – For some random reason, I started a thread on the Greatness of Milwaukee. I would post fun facts and a few made up bits on a daily basis to share my passion for Milwaukee. I had never been there and didn’t really care for it, but it was hilarious to see others join in and share their passion for the city. A bit later I did this with Sacramento and that also was successful. Later on I tried it with El Paso. No one gave a crap about El Paso.

The Aces – Someone created a clone (fake profile created by a user) named gbee. gbee said dumb things and kept talking about his gang called the Aces. He encouraged us all to join the Aces, which we of course did. Aces4Eva!!!

Training Camp Reports – PhillyPhreak54 was the TC guru. He knew Lehigh inside out and went to as many practices as possible. Those of us living away from Philly lived for his daily TC reports. I went to a couple of TCs and got to sit with Phreak (actually Jay). Jay was a fantastic person and smart football fan.

djbigf – dj was one of the all time great EMB posters. He knew a little bit about everything. And he loved to argue. Did we ever find out what the letters stood for?

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner – Wholesale Phil was another great poster. He told an amazing story. Phil’s son loved the garbage truck coming by every week. He lived to see the truck pull up and the guys to handle the bins. Phil’s son one day is out there and invites the garbage man to dinner. The guy isn’t sure what to say, but we all love kids so he agreed. Phil told him when to come over. The dude showed up and brought some dish with him and ate with Phil’s family. Turned out to be a great evening.

RIP – The EMB brought us a lot of joy and fun moments. There was also tragedy. Several posters passed away over the years. Herb is the one who sticks out. The EMB came together to share stories and jokes with him in his final days. I never met Herb in person, but he was loved by everyone.

mr hunt – Hunt might be the greatest poster of them all. He has made me laugh for more than 15 years. He had me in tears one day as he heckled a guy named NJ Trooper, who had videotaped an episode of Gilmore Girls for his wife. Hunt was relentless and genuinely had NJT ready to kill him. It was absolutely glorious.

Tyler Durden – He went by many names…because he kept getting banned. I’ll always think of him as Tyler Durden. He is one of the funniest people I’ve ever encountered. We’re still friends on FB and Jay makes me laugh on a daily basis. Jay doesn’t respond well to rules or authority, but damn if he isn’t funny. Goofing around with him and groovemongrel, Thorny, phattymatt and that whole crew led to some of the funniest things I’ve ever read.


I could go on and on with the silly stuff, but the EMB was a great football site.

A high school kid named fdiggle fan is now simply known as Fran Duffy. You may have read a thing or two by him.

shlynch turned out to be one of the smartest people I’ve ever encountered. You know him as Sam Lynch. He’s written a few places. I remember getting into a car with Adam Caplan once and Adam started talking about how smart Sam was.

ndirish5567, aka Matt Alkire, became a recruiting guru for a while and carved out his space in the football world.

I’m sure there are others I’m forgetting, but you can see that the EMB wasn’t just a bunch of knuckleheads ripping each other. There was some really good content on there.



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Tell him to come to the new board

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7 hours ago, matchew88 said:

Tell him to come to the new board

My sentiments exactly.  From where I'm sitting, the EMB made a seamless transition to the new EMB.

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