What Are The Eagles?
If you follow me on any other social platforms, you’re probably coming here to see the annual column that I’ve been talking so much about. You know, THE COLUMN.
The one that I write every year on the precipice of Eagles training camp.
That will publish tomorrow and will be worth the extra day wait. I’m sorry if I misled you. That wasn’t nice, was it? If you can get past the slight audible though, hopefully you’ll keep reading and see why.
This year, I decided to do something a little different on the first day of camp. It’s this time of year that I really increase my social presence and start to write and tweet more leading up to the spectacle that is football season.
That’s visible. It’s substance. People know it. What they don’t see or know is that every year after the Super Bowl (Yeah, the Super Bowl, the one we predicted would go to overtime) ends, I go back and evaluate what I did throughout the season.
Every tweet I sent. Every mention I’ve received. (Yeah, hi DadSelfie 👋, I’ve read every single thing you’ve sent about me). Not because I care in a way that I’ll let it discourage me or change what I do but because I want to identify trends and ways I can make my content better.
What I concluded last year is that I need to do a better job communicating the why — the reason behind the passion.
‘Why do you love the Eagles so much, and why do you spend time doing and caring about this?’
Those are two questions I receive frequently, and that’s why I’ve decided to pivot and kickoff the season with a post titled ‘What Are the Eagles?’ that attempts to answer that exact question.
Hopefully you can relate to your favorite team, hobby, etc. Let’s hit it.
WHAT ARE THE EAGLES?
The Eagles are victory, heartbreak, euphoria, frustration all in one.
The Eagles are wearing a 2004 NFC Champions hat that’s been through rain, snow, and multiple moves, previous autographs now faded, for every game, waiting for the January when you can buy a new one.
The Eagles are witnessing a stadium go from feeling like a morgue to a Rock ‘N’ Roll concert when things go right in Week 17 and your slim playoff hopes have suddenly become alive again.
The Eagles are screaming for Michael Bush, an average Raiders running back having the game of his life against the Buccaneers and keeping your season going in the process.
The Eagles are sprinting up a towering flight of stairs with your best friend from high school, part to get to your seats in time, part to not get stampeded over by thousands of others doing the exact same thing, when the above happens.
The Eagles are winning 44–6 and being back in the playoffs after a season away.
The Eagles are texting that same friend in all caps a week later when Brian Westbrook takes a screen pass to the house in Minnesota.
And the Eagles are throwing your remote against the wall in late January when their incredible run in 2008 ends with a missed pass interference call in Arizona.
The Eagles are remembering July 28 as the day Jim Johnson died. — The greatest defensive coordinator there ever was and greatest there ever will be.
The Eagles are crying when Brian Dawkins leaves a few months later in free agency.
The Eagles are spending an exorbitant amount of money the following December for standing room only tickets so you can cheer for Dawkins as a member of the Broncos during player introductions.
The Eagles are being in fifth grade, 54 yards away from going to the Super Bowl, and crying when Aeneas Williams ends your season with an interception.
And crying again a year later because of Ronde Barber.
And again the following year with Ricky Manning Jr.
The Eagles are after all of this, your dad, who over time had become less of a diehard and more of a casual sports fan hugging you and saying “They’re goin” after Donovan McNabb throws a game-clinching touchdown pass to Chad Lewis in the 2005 NFC Championship game.
The Eagles are having a 7–0 lead in the Super Bowl against a New England Patriots dynasty and losing your mind in excitement.
And the Eagles are sitting in shock three hours later in your living room after a 24–21 loss, not crying this time but trying to soak it all in and wonder when you’ll get to experience it again.
The Eagles are Quintin Mikell blocking a field goal against the Chargers, and a 40-year old woman running around and hugging everyone in your section after Matt Ware returns it for a touchdown to give you a lead late in the fourth quarter.
The Eagles are a fire alarm going off minutes before this happened with repeated announcements to evacuate, but everyone just keeps watching the game.
The Eagles are who you turn to in order to survive college breakups, rejections, and everything else that comes with being 21 years old.
The Eagles are waking up at 6 a.m. on a Saturday to drive up to Lehigh for training camp.
And chanting “Dallas Sucks” with 10,000 other fans in early August.
The Eagles are Terrell Owens outshining Randy Moss on national TV.
The Eagles are less than a year and a half later hating Terrell Owens but never being able to forget how he changed your offense.
The Eagles are Jeff Garcia captivating an entire city in 2006.
The Eagles are getting a 90 instead of a 100 on your Honors Chemistry test in 10th grade because you stayed up for the epic win over the Panthers that started it all instead of studying. And it was worth it.
The Eagles are Keyshawn Johnson whining like a little bitch for a flag after Lito Sheppard comes down with the game-sealing interception in the back of the end zone.
The Eagles are yearning for the days of shutdown corners like Sheppard and Sheldon Brown and hoping Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas can be the next ones eight years later.
The Eagles are being excited to tweet “Anti 👏 Marcus 👏 Smith 👏 pedigree 👏” every time Derek Barnett makes a play during his rookie year.
The Eagles are stuffing Marion Barber on the goal line on Christmas Day.
The Eagles are late round draft steals like Trent Cole, Todd Herremans, and Brent Celek.
The Eagles are John Dorenbos magic tricks.
And franchise crushing first round draft busts like Jerome McDougle, Danny Watkins, and Marcus Smith.
The Eagles are having two TV’s in your dorm room during your freshman year of college so you can watch if the Steelers are on at the same time.
The Eagles are Kevin Curtis randomly exploding for 221 receiving yards in a single game against the Lions.
The Eagles are praying for Asante Samuel in free agency and then watching it actually happen.
The Eagles are being haunted by Larry Fitzgerald but massively respecting him at the same time.
The Eagles are eating Thanksgiving dinner at 3 p.m. so you can be ready for the game.
The Eagles are Donte Stallworth touchdowns on Opening Day in Houston.
The Eagles are hating the Kevin Kolb pick from the very beginning.
The Eagles are instantly falling in love with Cody Parkey when he hits a 50-yard field goal on Opening Day in 2014.
The Eagles are Darren Sproles punt returns touchdowns on Monday Night Football for all the world to see.
The Eagles are saying ‘Fuck you’ to every lazy stereotype and narrative when Andy Reid receives a rousing standing ovation as head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs in his return to Philadelphia.
The Eagles are making Internet friends, enemies, and all sorts in between on Twitter.
The Eagles are Slap Bet and his crew trolling you for liking Nick Foles and not liking the Marcus Smith pick.
And the Eagles are you trolling them right back.
The Eagles are being haunted by “The Joe Webb game” and “The Joe Jurevicius game.”
The Eagles are falling for the trap and being excited about Jason Babin, Nnamdi Asomugha, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
And the Eagles are happily saying good riddance to all three 17 months later.
The Eagles are watching press conferences even though you know nothing meaningful will be said.
The Eagles are “Injuries” , “Times yours” and other catchphrases that emerge over the years.
The Eagles are making new friends at a new job in a new city because you all speak the language ‘Fly Eagles Fly.’
The Eagles are coming to grips with watching at a bar if the game isn’t on TV.
The Eagles are being excited when the game is on local television so you don’t have to go to the bar.
The Eagles are high-fiving random strangers after touchdowns.
The Eagles are cheesesteaks, crab fries,and cold beer.
The Eagles are “We’re from Philadelphia, and we fight.”
The Eagles are a 9–3 record in your lifetime when seeing them in person.
The Eagles are a Friday night family reunion in April at Shorty’s for the second and third round of the NFL Draft.
The Eagles are being sad when your favorite beat writer, Sheil Kapadia, leaves before the 2015 season to go cover the Seahawks.
The Eagles are reading Birds 247 every morning on your commute and being sad when it shuts down.
The Eagles are watching a win against the Jets in enemy territory.
The Eagles are not one but two miracles at the Meadowlands.
The Eagles are Donovan McNabb finding James Thrash to end a nine-game losing streak vs. the Giants on Monday Night Football.
The Eagles are onside kicks to open the season in Dallas.
And drinking pickle juice in 100 degree Texas weather.
The Eagles are AJ Feeley going into Foxboro and nearly knocking off the undefeated Patriots.
The Eagles are LeSean McCoy running wild in the snow.
The Eagles are pretending not to like DeSean Jackson two days of the year but secretly still loving him.
The Eagles are Hugh Douglas and Jeremiah Trotter coming back after leaving in free agency to be part of a team that reaches the Super Bowl.
The Eagles are Connor Barwin, originally from Cincinnati, making Philadelphia his home in every sense of the way for four years.
The Eagles are looking ahead to a winner-take-all Week 17 showdown and chanting ‘We Want Dallas’ loud enough for people to hear you on TV.
The Eagles are giving a damn about Nelson Agholor dropped passes.
And the Eagles are being pumped about signing Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith so you might not have to.
The Eagles are tweeting “ZACH ERTZ MY DUDE!” every time he makes a big catch for a first down.
The Eagles are 27 touchdown passes and two interceptions.
The Eagles are winning the NFC East in Jerry World and Nick Foles outplaying Drew Brees in a playoff game a week later.
The Eagles are writing haikus until you get the perfect one.
The Eagles are 4th and 26.
The Eagles are Brian Dawkins intercepting Brett Favre in overtime of a playoff game and getting you into field goal range.
The Eagles are David Akers walk-off field goals in the playoffs.
The Eagles are knowing that no matter how bad good or bad the snap is, Koy Detmer would get the hold down perfectly for Akers.
The Eagles are going over your monthly text message limit in a span of two days on your junior class trip in high school because you’re missing the draft for the first time ever.
And a year later, the Eagles are jumping up and down with one of your best friends when they trade up to draft Jeremy Maclin.
The Eagles are stealing Jordan Hicks in the third round.
The Eagles are shocking the Patriots in an otherwise miserable 2015 season.
The Eagles are wanting John Harbaugh during the January 2016 coaching search and knowing all the while that it’s completely unrealistic.
The Eagles are traveling home for an open training camp practice and preseason game on consecutive weekends.
The Eagles are chanting ‘Do the deal!” at your TV screen on draft night in 2015, in unison with thousands of fans at the Eagles draft party.
The Eagles are wondering what might have happened if the Titans budged and you actually got Marcus Mariota.
The Eagles are getting your franchise quarterback in Carson Wentz a year later for a lot cheaper.
The Eagles are driving out to San Francisco to break up with Chip Kelly yet still rooting for him at the same time.
The Eagles are 45 minutes before kickoff on Opening Day an entire bar pausing their conversations and cheering wildly when CBS shows Wentz warming up for his first start.
The Eagles are singing the first fight song of the season when Wentz hits Jordan Matthews in the corner of the end zone for an opening drive touchdown an hour later.
The Eagles are dominating the Steelers and Falcons and knowing that while you have work to do, you’re not that far away.
The Eagles are feeling like you’re on top of the world when they re-sign Nick Foles after two years later.
The Eagles are being anxiously glued to Twitter waiting for the schedule to come out in April.
The Eagles are counting down the days until you can post this column.
The Eagles are counting down the days until kickoff in Landover.