Posts Tagged ‘Monday Night Football’

Philadelphia Eagles MNF season opener in Atlanta headlines 2015 schedule

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

by Brandyn Campbell

Brandyn Blog






There are still five long months to endure until football is back, but hope arrived in the form of the Philadelphia Eagles 2015 schedule release on Tuesday evening.

The season starts for the Birds with the Monday Night Football opener on September 14 at Atlanta. The thrill of a new season continues to soar when the Eagles meet the Cowboys in Week 2 for the home opener at the Linc.

Philadelphia’s next meeting with a divisional foe comes on the road in Washington on October 4. The first game against the Giants comes on October 19 at home in another Monday night matchup. Philadelphia’s season will end against the Giants on January 4 at the Meadowlands.

Anticipation is on high for Chip Kelly’s third season with the Eagles, as evidenced by the fact that the team will be featured on national broadcasts no less than six times: Week 1 (at Atlanta) and Week 6 (vs. Giants) on Monday Night Football; Week 7 (at Carolina) and Week 9 (at Dallas) on Sunday Night Football; a Thanksgiving Day feast at the Lions in Week 12; and Week 16 (vs. Redskins) on the NFL Network. 

The NFC East matchups will be filled with emotion, but a few other games also leap out as being heated battles. Namely, Week 13′s game against the Super Bowl winning (bleah) Patriots at New England. Immediately following is the Week 14 contest against the Bills at the Linc, or the return of Shady McCoy to his former home. It’s always good when it’s personal.

Fansided calls the Eagles 2015 schedule the 3rd toughest in the league. Philadelphia has their work cut out for them this year regardless of who they face, with a number of key pieces, especially at quarterback, that will need to step up and perform quickly. There remain many unknowns, but with the schedule release this week and the draft finally arrive next week, critical pieces of the puzzle have slowly started to fall in place.

What do you think of the Eagles 2015 schedule?

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Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

WATCH: Darren Sproles’ punt return for touchdown against Panthers

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

by Brandyn Campbell

Brandyn Blog





Cam. Woah Cam. The turf at the Linc is what Cam Newton will remember most from his trip to Philadelphia for Monday Night Football.

Cam. Woah Cam. The turf at the Linc is what Cam Newton will remember most from his trip to Philadelphia for Monday Night Football.

It was a game with many, many Philadelphia Eagles highlights, as the team extended its record to 7-2 with the 45-21 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Monday night. Blowout games tend to serve as highlight reels for the team doing the blowing out.

The Panthers, on the other hand, were so bad that you felt for them. You knew how awful quarterback Cam Newton must have felt after suffering sack after sack after sack by Eagles defenders, particularly LB Connor Barwin, who played like a man possessed with 3.5 sacks on Newton. Cam was sacked a total of 9 times in the game. Ouch. But he kept getting up, only to receive more punishment.

So many highlights from the Birds this game that it’s hard to pick one – there were the multiple, steady, and productive Mark Sanchez-to-Jordan Matthew’s connections that resulted in two touchdowns. For his part, Sanchez, in his first full game leading the Eagles offense, finished the game with an impressive 20 of 37 for 332 yards and two touchdowns.

Let’s go to an old favorite this season. RB Darren Sproles, the man so foolishly given up by the New Orleans Saints. He just won’t quit, and he has always delivered for this Eagles team.

The Eagles scored in all phases on Monday night – on offense, on defense, and on special teams. Watch Sproles deliver a 65-yard punt return for a touchdown, his second TD of the game – all while still in the first quarter.


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Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

All eyes on Mark Sanchez as Philadelphia Eagles face Carolina Panthers

Monday, November 10th, 2014

by Brandyn Campbell

Brandyn Blog






As with any game, there are many important aspects of the Philadelphia Eagles on which to focus this Monday night. But who are we kidding?: Tonight’s game against the Carolina Panthers is all about Mark Sanchez.

Every step he takes, every move he makes, we’ll be watching him. Every throw. Every decision. Can Sanchez ably lead the Birds for the six to eight weeks that Nick Foles is expected to be out with a broken collarbone? If so, is he the quarterback on which we should hitch our trailers for an even longer stretch of time? If Sanchez can avoid the turnovers that became an all-too prevalent part of Foles’ performance this season and turn in a series of consistent performances, the answer could be yes. But those are big “ifs”. Sanchez has his own history of turning the ball over to overcome. Since entering the league in 2009, the former USC quarterback has thrown for more interceptions (71) than touchdowns (70) in his career.

Evan Mathis’will return to the o-line just as Todd Herremans exits for the season due to torn biceps. The Eagles have finally found some footing with their running game and would do well to take advantage of the 131.9 yards the Panthers have allowed on the ground each game. With a healthy Chris Polk added to the already powerful mix of LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles, the Birds could have a dynamic game on the ground tonight. The run needs to be a prevalent part of tonight’s game to allow Sanchez time to adjust to the role of signal caller for Philadelphia.

There is another important story to watch as the Eagles take the field at the Linc tonight and for the remainder of the season. How will Philadelphia fill in for the loss of DeMeco Ryans? Defensive coordinator Bill Davis plans for Casey Matthews and Emmanuel Acho to take over Ryans’ middle linebacker responsibility as far as making calls. On the field, the defense will use a combination of Acho, Matthews, and Mychal Kendricks to make up for the loss of Ryans. It’s a similar solution as to when Kendricks was sidelined for several weeks, Davis said last week.

“[Linebackers] Coach Rick Minter does a great job of teaching the concepts of both so we can move multiple guys to the MIKE or the WIL depending on what we need”, Davis said. “Whether we’re in dime or nickel or anything like that. Right now it’s the same rotation as when Mychal [Kendricks] was down. It’ll be [Emmanuel] Acho and Casey [Matthews] handling first and second down duties at the DeMeco spot instead of the Mychal spot. They’re cross-trained and they’ll be fine.”

While the Panthers defense features Luke Kuechly, last year’s Defensive Player of the Year at MLB, it is struggling this season. They have already given up 236 points this season. They gave up only 241 in all of 2013. They are missing Pro Bowl DE Greg Hardy. Their struggles will be a nice complement to an Eagles team adjusting to key losses on both sides of the ball.

Cam Newton and the Panthers’ offense aren’t doing well on any front this year, putting up just 19.7 points per game, 25th in the league. By comparison, the Eagles average 29.2 points per game (5th in the NFL). Newton is completing just 57% of his passes, and Carolina’s receiving corps’ top producers are Greg Olsen, Kelvin Benjamin and former Eagle Jason Avant. Love Avant as we do, that is hardly a stellar lineup. The Panthers are also putting together just 94.7 rushing yards per game, which leaves them with no clear answers for getting points on the board.

A Panthers team with significant issues facing an Eagles team adjusting to key losses on both sides of the ball may make for a more competitive Monday night matchup than we’d like to see. But the Eagles will still prevail.

Prediction: Eagles 24, Panthers 14

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Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

Darren Sproles electrifies, ignites Philadelphia Eagles to comeback victory over Indianapolis Colts (GIFs)

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

by Brandyn Campbell

Brandyn Blog





Two words say almost everything you need to know about the Philadelphia Eagles’ 30-27 comeback victory to defeat the Indianapolis Colts on Monday Night Football: Darren. Sproles.DS

Can we talk about what an incredible pickup the former Saints running back was for the Eagles? Not only have Sproles’ performances been outstanding in and of themselves, he has provided a spark at just the right moment in back-to-back games. Sproles has put his team on his back, showed a toughness and done what needs to be done to come out with a W. It’s so Philly. Sproles was Philadelphia’s top receiver with seven catches for 152 yards, with 26 more on the ground and  a touchdown.

Sproles wasn’t the only player to come through big at key moments. Safety Malcolm Jenkins came up with a huge interception of Andrew Luck deep in Eagles territory on 3rd-and-9, a score that would have buried the Eagles for good should the Colts have finished the drive. The pick set up Sproles for his 51-yard screen pass, which ultimately led to the game-tying touchdown by Jeremy Maclin late in the fourth. Cody Parkey then nailed a 36-yard field goal to seal the come from behind victory for the Birds at Lucas Oil Stadium as time ran out on the clock.

The Eagles certainly don’t believe in making things easy. In two games, they have been outscored 34-6 in the first half, then gone on to outscore their opponents 58-10 in the second half. The Birds never make it easy, but 2-0 with some of the most electrifying comebacks in recent history isn’t a bad way to start the season.

Want to rewatch some of Sproles’ great plays from the night in the form of some amazing GIFs? Why, I thought you’d never ask.


Philadelphia Eagles – Indianapolis Colts MNF game has potential to be a shootout

Monday, September 15th, 2014

by Brandyn Campbell

Brandyn Blog





MNFWe’re coming to the close of Week 2 in the NFL, and significant injuries have already been unkind to many teams, the Philadelphia Eagles and Indianapolis Colts included. Philadelphia will play Indianapolis in Lucas Oil stadium, where Andrew Luck has a 13-3 record since being drafted by the team as the first overall pick three years ago. Will homefield advantage be the edge that the Colts need?

The good news for the Birds is that Indianapolis will be without Pro Bowl linebacker Robert Mathis, who led the league last season with 19.5 sacks. Mathis was serving a 4-game suspension for violating the league’s drug policy but is now out for the season, tearing his Achilles while training. The Colts also will be without inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman, who was their leading tackler both of the last two seasons.

Hopefully Indy’s D, absent of star power, will help Philadelphia’s patchwork offensive line. Chip Kelly is pleased at how quickly veteran guard Wade Smith is picking everything up, and is already splitting reps at left guard with Dennis Kelly, in Evan Mathis’ stead. Andrew Gardner is in at right tackle, taking over for Allen Barbre, who was the fill-in for Lane Johnson as he serves his 4-game PED suspension.

While the o-line is a decided matter of concern for Philadelphia, the amount of playmakers on the offense is not. Look for QB Nick Foles to put in a performance more like the second half of the season opener against the Jaguars than the first. The Colts are struggling to contain tight ends this season, which means that Brent Celek and Zach Ertz may have a field day. And LeSean McCoy now has Darren Sproles to share the load on running duty, and we may even see a peek at Chris Polk on the road. Add to this the fact that Mac is back–Jeremy Maclin had a solid debut in his return from injury–and the Eagles should have little trouble getting points on the board.

While Indy may not have the big names on defense at the moment, they have one of the best quarterbacks in the league to lead their offensive attack. Just in his third season in the league, Luck is strong, athletic, poised and precise. Luck’s weapons include receivers Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton, and Hakeem Nicks. He also has tight ends Dwayne Allen, returning from injury, as well as favorite Coby Fleener. The team has almost no rushing game to speak of, with the team likely regretting their trade with the Browns for Trent Richardson more each week. He and Ahmad Bradshaw are sharing the team’s rushing “load,” if you can call it that–the Colts ran just nine times last week against the Broncos.

If the Eagles have a lead late in the game, don’t get too comfortable. The young QB has made a name for himself as the fourth-quarter comeback king.

This will be a good test to see just what the Eagles defense can do against a prolific passing attack. Big production will be needed from the secondary to keep Luck’s boys at bay. CB Brandon Boykin, who saw only 32 percent of snaps last week, should see more time on the field, and Cary Williams will need to be on top of his game in the defensive backfield.

This Monday night game could turn into a shoot out. Even with all of the assets that come with Luck, this Indy group doesn’t look like the strong teams of the past two seasons. It will be an exciting matchup that will see Philadelphia get the edge.

Prediction: Eagles 33, Colts 28

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Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

2013 Redskins: Burgundy and Fools Gold?

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

by Devin McMillan

Dev Blog






It was a rough return for Robert Griffin III on Monday night. (Photo via

It was a rough return for Robert Griffin III on Monday night.
(Photo via


Having lived in the Washington, DC area for the past 18 years and interacting with droves of fans, radio personalities, and other folks that cover the Washington Redskins, I would say that I have a pretty good finger on the pulse of this franchise and its fan base.  Monday night’s season-opening 33-27 loss to the rival Philadelphia Eagles has raised some questions amongst the optimism that has surrounded this team since their 7-game winning streak to end the 2012 regular season with the team’s first division title in the new millennium and first playoff appearance since 2007.  But for some, the second half performance of the team on Monday night, especially by its young, stud quarterback, eased the blow from an unexpected loss and has allowed them to remain confident and retain their optimistic views about what this season may yield for the burgundy and gold.

Personally, I wouldn’t place too much stock into the second half of Monday’s game if I were a Redskins fan.  It is no different than what we often see in the NFL.  One of the oldest sports clichés in the book lends that “the hardest thing to do is play with a big lead”.  Teams fall behind, then begin running a desperate, pass-heavy offense against soft nickel coverage, with the defense’s main objective being to keep everything in front of them and the offense’s main objective being to milk the clock; usually by running conservative rushing plays.  More times than not, a team trailing big and facing these conservative methods of offense and defense suddenly look like world-beaters in the passing game and brick walls on defense, and this is usually fools gold.  Fools gold reminiscent of the aforementioned SPECTACULAR 7-game winning streak that earned the Redskins a rare playoff berth last season.  These are the types of things you cannot hang your hat on as a fan of an organization because they are fluke occurrences.  In my experiences with Redskins Nation, many folks seem to only dwell on the positive and choose to carry on as if the negative never took place.  It is the age-old battle of norms vs exceptions.  Because they finished the way they did last season, all of Redskins Nation now KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that a run like that couldn’t possibly mean anything less than the Skins are a great team and NFC East foes should settle in for burgundy & gold dominance for the foreseeable future.  In their minds, there’s nothing more to it.

The only problem however, is that NO ONE has stopped to wonder why they started Monday’s game down 33-7 or why they began last season 3-6 in the first place.  Most fans assume that the 2013 Redskins are more representative of the team that went 7-0 down the stretch in 2012 more so than the team who started 3-6.  Many pundits outside of the DC area believe they may fall somewhere in between.  Since NONE of us REALLY know, wouldn’t this season be the proving ground for whichever of those teams they really are?  Judging by my interactions with one of the most loyal fan bases in sports, I’d say the answer to that question is a resounding NO.  They certainly saw enough last year, and because of it, many think this season will feature the Super Bowl run that has alluded them since the early 90’s.

The Skins had no first round pick in this year’s draft due to the RG3 deal.  Considering they weren’t able to snag any perceived “franchise-changing” talent as they did in the first round last year, I would say that they had a fair to pretty good draft.  They also couldn’t add much in the way of free agency due to the penalties levied upon them and the Cowboys by the NFL.  So besides getting some injured players back, how did this team improve itself over the offseason?  Despite the issues mentioned above, along with shaky depth along the offensive line, a fairly weak secondary, and uncertainty about the franchise quarterback’s knee and/or mental health surrounding that knee, the team has garnered the confidence of its fans that it has stepped into the realm of the NFL’s elite.  I’m glad they see it.  I may need to clean off my eyeglasses to get a better view.

In my preseason predictions, I had the Washington Redskins fighting it out with the Philadelphia Eagles to stay out of the NFC East basement this season.  Nothing about the opener has told me that my prediction will turn out wrong.  However, it has only been one game and even I think the Redskins are a better team than they showed on Monday night.  “How much better” is the question.  I guess we’ll all have to sit back and wait for that answer.


Devin McMillan of The War Room, for War Room Sports


3 Bright Spots from Philadelphia Eagles’ 30-22 Loss to the Carolina Panthers

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

by Brandyn Campbell





His name is Brown. That’s what they call him.
(Image via the Philadelphia Eagles)

The words are more difficult to come by with each loss.  What more is there to say?  The nightmare that is the 2012 season for the Philadelphia Eagles continues.

In a season with not much positivity, I can’t bear to write another somber account of yet another Eagles loss.  At least not at the moment.  There were a few bright spots from the Philadelphia Eagles’ 30-22 loss to the Carolina Panthers to highlight, so let’s have a look.

1. They made it a game.  This could be both a positive and a negative.  We expected a blowout after Carolina scored two touchdowns in quick succession in the first quarter, but the Eagles made it a game and went into halftime with a 15-14 lead.  Perhaps that glimmer of hope made the unraveling that happened later in the game, something to which we’ve grown far too accustomed as of late, that much more painful.  Or not, as we just don’t expect much from this team anymore.  But we saw that there is still some life and fight in this Philadelphia team, something we haven’t witnessed in weeks.

2. Bryce Brown.  His two fumbles cost the game.  But the Birds were right to trust their instincts when drafting Brown,  who had 178 rushing yards in his first NFL start, averaging an incredible 9.4 yards per carry and running in both Philadelphia touchdowns.  Brown set an Eagles rookie record for most rushing yards in a single game.  He must be sick about his fumbles and how they impacted his team, and Brown will remember that feeling and learn to hang on to the ball.

3. DeMeco Ryans.  The defense continues to be a perplexing mess but think how much worse it would be if the Eagles hadn’t acquired the middle linebacker in the offseason.  He led the D with 10 total tackles and made plays when no one else would.  Or could.  He is one player whose fight you can see each and every week.

There’s so much not-so-positive from the game to discuss it’s hard to know where to start.  But  that will be coming at you soon.

Want more Philly Sports Muse? You can find me on Twitter at @sports_muse and on Facebook.


Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

The Rumor Mill Churns: Jon Gruden to Replace Andy Reid in Philadelphia?

Friday, November 9th, 2012

by Brandyn Campbell






Will Jon Gruden put on a coaching headset again for the Philadelphia Eagles?


The fact that Andy Reid is in the midst of his last season as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles seems to be a foregone conclusion.  With a 3-5 record and a team in disarray, Reid has shown no ability to remedy the problems plaguing the squad or light the needed spark within his players.

For all intents and purposes, Reid is a lame duck coach.

He’ll keep talking but, like his team, we’ve stopped paying attention.


A true indication of the fact that Philadelphia fans and media are already thinking ahead to life after Reid are the reports about possible contenders to fill the expected-to-be-vacant coaching slot.  FOX29′s Howard Eskin kicked it all of on Thursday by saying that Jon Gruden is interested in a return to coaching.

More from Eskin, via Sports Illustrated,

“He enjoys working Monday Night Football in the ESPN Monday Night booth, but he is a coach and has the itch.  I’m told he wants to go to a team that can win and the key has a quarterback.”

So, Eskin said that puts two teams in the mix, the San Diego Chargers, where Gruden is tight with general manager A.J. Smith, and they have a good quarterback with Phillip Rivers.

“And the Eagles are also a good fit for the Gruden requirements,” Eskin said.  “He loves Philadelphia, thinks the Eagles will be a good team next year, and the keys here: He likes the backup quarterback, Nick Foles, who he has already worked out while working for ESPN.”

How much is Gruden liking Foles?  In a conversation about the performance of rookie quarterbacks this season, after talking Luck and Wilson and RGIII, the conversation turned to Foles (via Birds 24/7):

“I had Nick Foles in the preseason against New England.  Michael Vick got hurt on the fifth or sixth play, and Foles went the distance, on the road in Foxborough.  If you like prototype pocket passers with some functional mobility and a tremendous amount of toughness, Foles is interesting.”

“What really impressed me in the preseason was they weren’t running generic formations.  They ran about 30 different formations out of about eight different personnel groupings in successive plays.  So I see him recognizing coverages.  I see him getting to second and third receivers, just like you’d want a quarterback to do in that system, and I love his NFL size.  He reminds me a lot of Brad Johnson, from his football character to his ability to decipher a lot quickly, and we won a championship with Brad.”

Birds 24/7 co-author Tim McManus gave this caution about Gruden’s remarks:

“These quotes suggest he is high on Foles, though as anyone who has listened to his Monday Night Football broadcast can attest, he sounds high on everyone at one point or another.”

So very true…

Gruden last served as head coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he was fired in January of 2009 after spending seven seasons with the team.

Could Jon Gruden be the next head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles?  It certainly sounds like a reasonable possibility. But does anything ever go as predicted with the Birds?  It’s just going to get more interesting from here.

Want more Philly Sports Muse? You can find me on Twitter at @sports_muse and on Facebook.


Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

Tough Questions Face the Philadelphia Eagles After MNF Loss to New Orleans Saints

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

by Brandyn Campbell





LeSean McCoy ran for 119 yards in Monday night’s game but his efforts weren’t enough to help his team overcome defeat.
(Photo via the Philadelphia Eagles)

Nothing like a Monday Night Football embarrassment.  The Philadelphia Eagles could only assemble 13 points against the worst defense in the league.  The Birds notched 447 yards of offense and yet only came out of the game with 13 points.

Where do you go from here?

The Philadelphia Eagles have now fallen to 3-5  in the 28-13 loss  to the New Orleans Saints with absolutely no signs of improvement in sight.  The fourth straight lost for the Birds.

Mike Tirico called it, “The night of the red zone nightmare.”  And that about sums it up.  The turnover issues returned, and in the red zone, no less.

The offense was 0-5 in the red zone.  Mike Vick was sacked 7 times.  The offensive line got even worse when Todd Herremans left the game early with an ankle injury and Demetress Bell put in an absolutely atrocious performance at right tackle.

On defense, Eagles fans may be wondering if Juan Castillo is available to return as coordinator as things on that side of the ball were a mess once again.  Getting pressure on Brees was absolutely essential this game, so of course the D did as little of that as possible, though Jason Babin and Brandon Graham had a sack a piece.  The secondary, the unit that now-defensive coordinator Todd Bowles was brought in to the team to coach, was as it has been for much of the season – a problem.

Andy Reid said that Mike Vick would be the quarterback next week against Dallas, and why not?  Nick Foles would get killed behind that line.  Heck, it’s a miracle that Vick has lasted this long.

So what now?

The last game the Eagles won was on September 30 against the New York Giants.  More than a month without a win.  It’s astounding.

Andy Reid’s postgame presser showed a man who no longer believes his words but is desperately trying to put on a brave face.  Mike Vick seemed shell-shocked.  Brandon Graham expressed utter frustration at wanting to save his coach’s job and play a good season to honor Garrett Reid but having no idea what’s going wrong.

The Eagles’ loss rounds out a complete week of suckitude around the NFC East, with each and every team in the division suffering defeat.  That at least means that the Giants haven’t been able to increase their lead over the Eagles.  Up next for Philadelphia are the Cowboys at home, an always-intense battle.  If the Birds suffer an embarrassing loss to Dallas at the Linc, the boos heard against Atlanta in Week 8 will seem soft as lullabies.

It’s clear that no one knows how to fix the problems with the Eagles because if they did, the issues wouldn’t keep reappearing.  They would be fixed by now.  Maybe there won’t be the dramatic wave of changes this week as many have predicted if the Eagles lost in New Orleans.  Perhaps the team is resigned to the reality of their woeful and habitual under-performance.  And maybe we all have to face the fact there are no more excuses – this is just not a good football team.

Want more Philly Sports Muse? You can find me on Twitter at @sports_muse and on Facebook.


Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

Mike Vick’s Brother Wants the QB Traded from the Philadelphia Eagles

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

by Brandyn Campbell


Twitter was created for moments like this.

The Philadelphia Eagles, while embroiled in a battle for their season against the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football, did not need any more drama directed their way.  Enter Marcus Vick, brother of Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Mike Vick.  Marcus doesn’t like how the Birds’ o-line has been playing and he doesn’t care who knows it.

He deleted the tweet that started the national furor, but here is a screencap from what I retweeted during the game.

Why that singular tweet was removed and the rest of his rant against the Eagles is a mystery.  Read from the bottom up.

Oh but wait.  MV the non-NFL player had more to say.

Great going, man.  Exactly what your brother needs right now – more drama.

Want more Philly Sports Muse? You can find me on Twitter at @sports_muse and on Facebook.


Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports