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Levity Around the Eagles is Better than the Alternative in the NFL's Dead Period

Nick Sirianni got his competition on at a South Jersey tennis court and A.J. Brown celebrated his 18th birthday earlier this week

The calendar flipped to July, at least for some of us (more on that later), and that means we're creeping ever closer to the opening of NFL training camps.

That can't come soon enough because the NFL has become America's passion and that means many fans crave it.

The lone lull in the league's hold on the average fan's psyche is right now, the so-called six-week dead period between mandatory minicamps (for the 30 teams that partake in the kind of antiquated setup) and the kickoff to the so-called grind.

Players and coaches are recharging their batteries in preparation for that grind which will be non-stop from late July through Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium in February of 2023.

In Philadelphia, though, the need for Eagles news never rests.

This week that meant gossip of the head coach threatening a Bronx-bred New York Giants fan on a South Jersey tennis court for daring to wear his Big Blue devotion on his sleeve in Eagles country, along with A.J. Brown celebrating his 25th birthday with a Kyle Irving-like claim that the star wideout might really only be 18.

First “Peter from Maple Shade,” phoned into Thursday’s edition of WFAN’s Boomer and Gio Show with his no-doubt slanted take of the story that went down at Haddonfield's Cenntenial tennis courts, a favorite childhood hangout of this reporter by the way.

"He came up to me and said I have a problem with what you’re wearing,” the knucklehead said of Nasty Nick Sirianni. “I don’t really have a problem with the Yankees t-shirt, but I have a problem with the [Giants] cap."

Tough guy Pete, of course, wasn't about to back down on the mean streets of one of South Jersey's most exclusive townships.  

"I told him, ‘Listen bro, if you have a problem with it, come do something about it,’" Pete said, presumably in his best "Stone Cold" Steve Austin voice.

As a public figure with everything to lose, Sirianni, being the bully he is, doubled down on his Giants hatred.

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“He said he had a problem wearing that hat on these courts, meaning Haddonfield," Pete said. "Then he goes to me and says, ‘Well your team sucks, and your head coach sucks.’

"He said that about three times."

The recess bell at nearby Haddonfield Middle School then rang preventing the throwdown in H-Town.

"I’m thinking this guy wants to fight. I said, ‘This isn’t sixth grade. Why don’t you just shut up?’ Pete said. "[Sirianni] kind of took a few steps towards me, and at that point, he kind of just shuts up.”

Who wouldn't when facing down the barrel of a mismatched Yankees T and G-Men hat?

That's got crazy written all over it.

And speaking of crazy, Brown set Twitter afire with his thoughts on time and the calendar.

Incidentally, the Eagles' biggest offseason acquisition is at least somewhat correct - time is actually rounded up or down when it comes to the length of days and years to make things easier.

That didn't stop many from claiming the straight-edge Brown was partaking in some party favors to celebrate his birthday when he continued to try to explain what he was saying.

Ultimately, Brown wisely gave up and deleted a few of his follow-up tweets.

In the dead period, however, a little light-hearted levity is always better than the alternative.

-John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for's Eagles Today and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Sports. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports-talker Jody McDonald, every morning from 8-10 on ‘Birds 365,” streaming live on and You can reach John at or on Twitter @JFMcMullen