Philadelphia Eagles News

Smithology: The Real Giant

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This is a giant edition of Smithology.

Today, we examine the very name of Monday night's opponent. The New York Football Giants (as they are legally named) earned their label from the New York Giants Major League Baseball team. Rumor has it that the New York baseball team, which originally was referred to as the Gothams, was eventually dubbed by many as the Giants after a locker room speech by manager Jim Mutrie in which he referred to his team as "My big fellows! My Giants!"

So now, 90 years after the Football Giants came into existence, the name remains the same. But does it fit?

The 2015 New York Giants have no players on the active roster taller than 6-6, the height of record for Daniel Fells, Larry Donnell and Ereck Flowers. A wise man named Chip Kelly once said, "Big people beat up little people," and it just so happens that the Eagles have some fellows just as big and mighty as the Giants.

Four Eagles are listed at 6-6, including tackle Lane Johnson, guard Matt Tobin, and defensive ends Brandon Bair and Taylor Hart. Bair has been described as a "mountain of a man," and he spoke about it on a recent edition of the Eagles Insider Podcast.

Bair also explained the genesis of his "mountain of a man" moniker.

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"I think they just didn't have anything else to say about me," Bair said. "Everyone else had all these stats, like the all-time leading rushers and Heisman Trophy winner. They went through all of these stats and then they got to me and were like, 'mountain of a man.' It just fit."

While the name fit for Bair, there are other things in life that don't fit as snuggly for the taller Eagles.

"Short sleeves are great," Bair said. "And when I get long sleeves, I just roll them up to the elbows so nobody knows they're too short."

"Sitting in small cars," the 6-6 Hart responded when asked about the downside of being tall. "It's tough sometimes. (Leg room) is a challenge sometimes. Finding clothing is tough. I leave that up to my wife."

Hart was then asked if it made sense for the Giants to be called the Giants, even though the Eagles had players just as tall.

"It's the team name," Hart stated.

I guess there's no arguing that.

But the Eagles also have a player on their roster who stands taller than all of the Giants - the size-17-shoe-wearing Dennis Kelly. He is listed at 6-7, but when asked about where he stands, Kelly listed himself at 6-8 and a quarter …

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Alex Smith: When did you hit your growth spurt? When did you take off?

Dennis Kelly: I was always really tall. I went into my high school freshman year and I was 6-4. I don't think there was a big jump from one grade to the next.

AS: What's the biggest advantage of being tall?

DK: Just the ability to reach things, and you're able to see everything, especially in crowded places. Like you can see everything. You don't have to worry so much about where you're going. I can always see what's going on.

AS: But then if you're really tall, do you always have people asking you to reach things for them? Does that become tiresome?

DK: It hasn't yet. It's hard to answer that question, but maybe like five years from now.

AS: What's the biggest disadvantage to being so tall?

DK: Probably clothing and shoes. Especially the way my body-type is. Finding jeans is very difficult. Finding shoes is very difficult. Shirts are either way too baggy on me, or they're too short so they don't pass the touchdown test, where my midriff comes out. Just finding the appropriate length of clothing that is actually going to fit me and not look super baggy.

AS: Have any little kids ever thought you were a Giant?

DK: Yes. Multiple times.

AS: How do you react to that?

DK: I laugh at it. There was one time I remember. My brother always gives me a hard time because I'm so big so I do scare a lot of kids. We were walking out of a restaurant. A little girl, she had to be 2, was running in front of her parents head down. She ran into me and looks up, screams and runs back to her parents. It was unfortunate timing for me because my brother was there and he could see it all going on, but that's kind of the theme. Until they kind of figure out who I am, even my cousins and such, they're kind of skeptical of me at first.

AS: Does it give you any kind of advantage this week, since you're playing the Giants and you're so tall? That's where all of these questions have been going.

DK: It all making sense now. I mean, being this tall does add length and size which as an offensive line is a good thing. It takes defenders longer to get around me or it's easier for me to get someone from farther away. So it's an advantage.

AS: The Giants' tallest guy is like 6-6, so is it kind of cheap for them to call themselves the Giants when ...

DK: When clearly the giant is here? Yeah I mean it's unfortunate for them because they aren't really that tall. That's tough.


The Eagles also have a player who is of giant descent. Bryan Braman stands tall at 6-5, but his grandfather and World War II veteran Ivan Cecil Braman stood at 7-4, 360 pounds.

"I never really thought about it too much when I was a little kid," Braman said. "I think when I was older and I was in like middle school and stuff like that, that's when I really started to realize how big he was. But he was just Papa Joe to me."

So what have we learned? Firstly, the Eagles have a player who stands taller than Giants. Brandon Bair rolls up his sleeves so people can't tell if his shirts fit or not (a very wise move from a very wise man). The touchdown test is very important to Dennis Kelly, and finally, that Taylor Hart is okay with the Giants' team name.

After watching the above video from Little Giants and thinking about Sam Bradford's rousing speech from the showers of the Eagles' locker room, I am forced to give a top five inspirational speech list ...

4. The Little Giants- video above

"Roger chickened out? He's a Marine!"

1. Friday Night Lights

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