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Parking lot confidential

1/18/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
Just returned from spending time with Eagles fans on the Great Lawn outside University of Phoenix Stadium. Special thanks to Kevin Seifert for taking care of the Eagles' inactives.

No big surprises on the list, but it is interesting that former starter Reggie Brown will not be on the field today. He'll be replaced in the rotation by veteran Greg Lewis.

But back to the parking lot. I think the Cardinals may have the most immaculate tailgating scene in the history of the league. Instead of everyone grilling next to their cars, the Cardinals invite fans to set up shop on a huge grassy area -- hence the Great Lawn -- that could double as a fairway.

For the most part, Cardinals and Eagles fans seemed to be getting along fine. They were briefly distracted by a Bon Jovi tribute band on the main stage, but the lead singer's inability to hit the high notes in "Livin' on a Prayer" seemed to scare everyone off.

In the middle of the Great Lawn, about 75 Eagles fans were chanting the familiar "E-A-G-L-E-S, Eagles!" refrain. But in the middle of "Fly Eagles Fly," a 6-foot-7 man wearing anEric Swann throwback jersey waded into the middle of the group.

The fans responded with an impromptu chant that focused on a body part. A few feet away, Cardinals fans were beating up a Donovan McNabb mannequin. One father was encouraging his sons to knee the fake McNabb in the groin. And really, it's never too early to start teaching your kids how to hate opposing quarterbacks.

One middle-aged man in a Kurt Warner jersey took off and form tackled McNabb. As LA Times NFL columnist Sam Farmer told me, "Don't you wish you could pull a 'Bewitched' and turn that thing into cement right before that tackle."

OK, it's time to focus on football. You wouldn't believe the game-face that I have on right now. Several Philly-based writers have admitted to being intimidated.

We're 26 minutes away from kickoff.