Just when you think he's out, they might pull him back in.

The best part of last Sunday's Eagles game - aside from previously smug New Yorkers heading home with scowls on their faces - was that Reggie Brown wasn't involved. Didn't play. Didn't dress. Didn't do anything but stand there in street clothes and further embarrass himself.

When Giants receiver Domenik Hixon dropped a 50-yard bomb from Eli Manning, Fox-TV caught Brown on the sideline cheering and laughing. It was like watching Kevin Federline dog out Vanilla Ice for not having any musical talent.

Comedy aside, I thought benching Brown was a wonderful step forward for the Eagles and their nothing-to-see-here/move-along propaganda machine. Had they dressed Brown but not given him much playing time, they could have spun it as a rotation thing. He's still in the mix, blah, blah, blah. (See: Sheppard, Lito.)

But telling Brown not to bother putting pads on for such a significant game was tantamount to the Eagles' admitting they'd made - gasp - a mistake. Unthinkable, right?

After all, before the season, the Birds were peddling nonsense about how Brown was their number-one guy. They were fixed just fine at wideout, they said. No one - not the fans or the media - bought that garbage. No one except the Eagles, that is.

But self-delusion can only last so long. Last week, they decided to go with Greg Lewis over Brown. That tells you everything you need to know. Shy of Andy Reid throwing up his hands at a news conference and admitting that everything they'd said about Brown was fatuous, I can't think of a better way to publicly indict the former second-round pick.

For a minute there, it was all so healthy. The Birds appeared ready to move on, and everyone from the fans to the journos thought it was the right thing to do. Then Kevin Curtis suffered a concussion.

I'm not a huge Curtis fan. For one, he's the kind of low-talker that gave rise to the famous Seinfeld bit. For another, he hasn't been able to stay on the field. But if Mr. Inaudible can't go on Monday, that means all this wonderful progress might be lost. It means the growth the Eagles have made might be arrested. Because they'll have to dress someone, so if Curtis can't play, Brown is probably in the fold again. Right?

"We'll see how it goes," the ever-forthcoming Reid said yesterday. "We'll see how it works out."

For once, his stunted answer didn't make me mad. I actually sympathized with him. You finally divorce yourself from a bad situation, only to find out that it isn't over after all. How depressing.

Get well soon, Kevin Curtis. Get well soon.

I could see Brett Myers doing it. Or Jimmy Rollins. Or Shane Victorino. Depending on what kind of altered, feel-good state he was in, I could even see Chase Utley doing it, though he'd need a large crowd and a bank of live television cameras. But Cole Hamels? Who knew the quiet Californian would show such bravado?

Yesterday, the World Series MVP not only talked some serious off-season trash to the Mets, but he did it on their turf. He did it unflinchingly, too.

According to the New York Post, Hamels was interviewed by Evan Roberts and Joe Benigno on WFAN-AM. When asked by the hosts if the (not so) Amazin's choked last year, Hamels didn't hesitate. "Last year and this year, I think we did believe that," Hamels reportedly said.

Here's the best part. When given a chance to walk it back, to say, "No, wait, that's not what I meant, the Mets are all God's children," or something similarly timid and apologetic, Hamels chose to go the other way. He threw another high hard one at the Mets collective heads.

"For the past two years they've been choke artists," Hamels added, according to the Post.

How wonderful. I can imagine Hamels getting a call from the WFAN booker and trying to suppress a mischievous smile while politely agreeing to do the show.

"What's that? You want me to do an interview on your New York radio station? You do know I play in Philly, right? You don't care? Um . . . OK, then I'd be ever so delighted. Now then, about those dogs you people call a baseball team . . ."

I'm fairly certain this will make Hamels completely reviled in New York, if he wasn't already. It will also make him even more popular in Philly.

Hooray. Everyone wins.

Is Delaware really considering making sports betting legal? If so, anyone want to take a road trip to Wilmington? . . . Speaking of betting, the latest Super Bowl odds, courtesy of Bodog, have the Eagles at 30-1 to win it all. Three weeks ago, they were 80-1. . . . So long, Pat Devlin. We hardly knew ye. . . . According to the New York Post, Plaxico Burress was at a strip club a few hours before shooting himself. Nothing exceptional there, until you get to the part where the Head Quarters employees call Burress "cheap," "rude" and "conceited." At least they didn't make fun of his sweatpants.

Contact columnist John Gonzalez at 215-854-2813 or gonzalez@phillynews.com