Eagles Fans and Realism? I’ve Seen It All
Twelve months ago right now, I could not listen to Philadelphia sports talk radio. It was beyond ridiculous to listen to people call in and talk about the Eagles as a Super Bowl favorite, and Chip Kelly as though he was an accomplished coach. I looked at a team with mediocrity all over, who had jettisoned the firepower of DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy, and Jeremy Maclin, and had only Kiko Alonso to show for it. I saw a coach who never impressed me, and seemed to be quite sure of himself for a guy who never seems to get it done.
Fortunately, that all came and passed. Or maybe it’s unfortunately, because we went 7–9 and had to watch a dreadful, not interesting football team for a season. In fact, I’m almost sure it’s unfortunately, because I came to realize once again what I already knew- the Eagles are a bad franchise. Oh sure, we’ve had Reggie, Randall, Dawk, McNabb, Ricky, TO, and other star players who were great to watch. We’ve even had a lot of ten win, playoff caliber teams in my lifetime. Let’s be honest though, the Eagles aren’t an A-list franchise. They last won a championship when my Dad was three. They’ve played in two Super Bowls, out of fifty. They obviously never won one either, thanks for reminding me other NFC East fans. Their last NFC Championship is now well past a decade ago, and their last playoff win was in 2008. If it sounds like I’m ripping my favorite football team, it’s because I am- they just aren’t that good.
But, we always act like they are. We act like a national spectacle. Usually, at least. Usually we have some players who are worth that kind of coverage though, and this year we mostly lack that, with the exception of Fletcher Cox. I don’t hear the crazy expectations this year, and after watching the first pre-season game, I guess that’s for good reasons. This is probably the most subdued I’ve seen the Eagles fanbase in a very long time. Even the fans that once tried to tell us Nick Foles was good and Chip Kelly was the Messiah are not as loud this year, and that’s good.
The Philadelphia Eagles have great fans, some of the best. We’re a passionate bunch, and a tortured bunch. Typically though, we get caught up in the overhype the Philadelphia media allows Jeffrey Lurie’s bunch to push. This year? It seems like not. Perhaps it was watching a bunch of back-up linemen get our #2 overall pick killed in the pre-season opener. Perhaps it was watching our back-up QB throw for negative yardage. Perhaps for some less-literate types, it’s because they just don’t think Doug is as good of a coach as Chip was (in which case, wow). For me though, it’s the realization that the ill-conceived experiment with Chip Kelly has decimated this team and it will probably take years to get back. That’s a terrible reality, but it’s the one I see. Either way, a real sense of realism has seemingly set in over the 215 area code. Thank goodness for sane minds.