It’s hard reading Eagles stories the day after a disappointing loss — and, for the most part, I’ve just been skimming — but this is a story I read all the way through. Using the popular “traded emails” format, we learn that, indeed, the Eagles were not any easier to watch in Iraq than in Philadelphia. Or Arizona, for that matter.
But, you know, maybe the only appropriate place for Eagles fans to watch that game was in a war zone.
An autograph-signing with Eagles linebacker Stewart Bradley scheduled for tonight at Forman Mills, in Turnersville, N.J., has been canceled, as was last night’s scheduled appearance by receiver DeSean Jackson at the Forman Mills in Northeast Philadelphia.
The events were mentioned in yesterday’s Dan Gross column.
Eagles players appearing at local discount clothing wearhouses: Gossip!
While the Cardinals and the Eagles have been reborn in the playoffs, there’s no changing their wings. The Cardinals, who had the NFL’s third-highest scoring offense, have become more balanced but still like to air it out. The Eagles play gritty run-oriented football.
Presumably, Bill Bradley was not in Philadelphia this fall for the non-stop torrent of every Eagles fan ever urging the team to throw the ball. But, you know, maybe he could have like looked up the Eagles to see if they were, indeed, a running team? And, hey, look! The Eagles page on NFL.com has them 6th in passing yards and 22nd in rushing yards!
But whatever: This was a major story in the NFL all season. And Andy Reid, coach of the Eagles, is famous for passing the most of any coach in NFL history. If you are paid to write about football, you should know this. You have to know this! You could not possibly be a big football fan and not know that Andy Reid likes to throw the ball.
I don’t think it’s just a typo or slip, and not just because he clarifies that the Eagles’ rushing attack is “gritty.” The column’s about how people should root for the Ravens and Cardinals if they want a high-scoring, fun, non-boring Super Bowl. Nevermind that Brian Westbrook and Donovan McNabb are known for being pretty damn exciting or that people enjoy defensive football more than people like, say, low-scoring basketball. Or that the Steelers were so exciting the last time they played in the Super Bowl they threw a wide receiver pass, the first time it had ever been done in the big game.
My question is: Why is this a column? Who to root for in the conference championships? What football fan doesn’t already have a rooting interest? Sure, I’m an Eagles fan, but I have teams I tend to enjoy because of a certain player or two, or their history or colors or they had Ickey Woods or whatever. I generally have soft spots for the Steelers and Bengals, and maybe the Lions out of pity. I guess I could root for a team so that the next time I watch football there is a chance it will be more exciting, but, I dunno, I think I’ll stick to hoping the Eagles face the Steelers in the Super Bowl because it’d be neat to have an all-Pennsylvania game, and I think it would be interesting to see if each team’s fans could actually be civil and not murder each other. (I’d actually say this is more likely than you think.)
I know it’s not a big deal. I write more than enough about stupid stuff, and “who to root for” isn’t exactly the worst thing ever. The new service journalism, telling you who to root for in athletic contests and then rendering that service moot by reporting the team with the coach that throws more than any coach in NFL history has a gritty rushing attack.
So by the time I got to security at EWR, I didn’t have the Trent Cole shirt on, but still had the “Winning is for the Birds” t-shirt rolling, and may have been looking a bit haggard after a day spent outside in the cold.
So I walk up to the metal detector in the remnants of my Eagles gear and step through. No alarm is triggered, per lo usual, and I show the TSA guard my boarding pass. SHOCKINGLY, I was selected for a random search that evening! The guy wearing the Eagles gear at Newark Liberty International airport! You don’t say! Note that I fly A TON (~100K miles last year), with 95 percent of those flights through EWR, and I have never been selected for a random search like that. Never. Whatever, though. I took my patdown with a smile.
No way am I ever considering this is a just a coincidence. It’s pretty great, though, that he was able to remain upbeat about the whole thing; I guess if surviving a patdown is the least one can do to help the team advance in the playoffs.
Yes, of course this incident could alter the outcome of Eagles’ games. What, that sounds silly? Did you see the article in the Daily News today about how the Eagles’ are one of the final four due to “strong character”? Any sillier than that? Well, okay, maybe a little.
Also, I guess he could be happy nobody planted drugs on him. You never know, with these Giants fans.
Holy God, this thing is thirty photos! I guess I’m going to have to go through and pick out the highlights, this slideshow is so important. Well, let’s see: Actually, I remember photo number four, or at least I remember when the Eagles finally clinched the division for the first time since 1988. (I was there. The girl who gave me the tickets for my birthday is now married. Aww, how nice.)
Photo #7 is our first interesting one so far, because Reid has a funny expression. And, wow, he really still has lost a lot of weight since then, even if he hasn’t kept it all off. Kudos, Andy.
Speaking of weight, here’s Reid eating sundae at training camp (photo #10) in 2002. I really enjoy the caption: “Eagles head coach Andy Reid bites into a ‘Andy Reid’ sundae, and he said a ‘monday & tuesday’ at training camp in 2002.” Are we to assume Reid stood there for two days eating sundaes? I’m pretty sure that’s it. By the way, 33.3 repeating done!
And now I’m nearly halfway in, and here’s Andy Reid coaching the Pro Bowl, which used to be an annual occurrence. Look, Jeff Garcia is in the background! The previous three or four Reid photos before this one were all just him at a press conference. Useful. But think of the pageviews!
Photo #20. Man, is there any expression for Donovan McNabb but “goofy”? I really don’t think so.
Ha, ha, photo #24 isn’t even of Andy, it’s of his son Britt following a guilty plea. Classy, Philly.com. I would have gone with an instructional drawing of how to put pills up your ass, but that’s just me.
Then, after a ton of Reid son photos, we’re back to football at #28, from a preseason game this year. The slideshow didn’t include that photo from the back of the Daily News the year the Eagles went to the Super Bowl, the one I was looking for and expected to see, possibly the only interesting photo of Andy Reid ever. But whatever, at least there were 7 shots of him at press conferences!
Photo #30. I dunno; maybe this expression isn’t goofy? Kinda, still, though. And by the end I think Andy has gained all the weight back, though he definitely looks better now even though he’s older. Come on, Andy, you can do it!
Know what the best part of the local sports team doing well is? Well, right, it’s that if you’re a fan of that local sports team, you feel awesome. (I have no idea why, but things just work that way, okay?)
“It ain’t nothing but a Super Bowl, baby! No ifs, ands, or buts, or maybe!” (This was, as you may have guessed, Monty Gee, who “showed up after hearing media reports announcing the mini-rally.” That is by far my favorite part of the article.)
“I fly high with the Eagles! I fry with the Eagles! I bleed green!”
“My son called all the way from France spelling out Eagles.”
“I’ll do anything for the Eagles.”
“It’s in the stars! It’s in the cards!”
“I’m very excited.”
“I think this is the year.”
In conclusion? Yes, Eagles fans are excited about their team’s success.
All year, we Eagles fans have been waiting by the phone, waiting for somebody to call us up and tell us we’re not alone. These hangups were getting us down. And yesterday, Donovan McNabb told us, “Hello, operator, headed to the NFC Championship with this number of regular season wins: 9!”
Sorry, I’m done. Kudos to the Daily News for their “Can You Hear Me Now?” cover, though; not only was it good, it prevented me from making the first paragraph in this post worse.
In terms of celebrations, yesterday’s McNabb phone call was more Joe Horn (couldn’t find the cell phone to celebrate) than one of Terrell Owens’ carefully scripted stunts. But no matter. It was, by far, the best thing McNabb has ever done. If you didn’t like that yesterday, stop rooting for my football team.
I’m sure he’ll take some flak for it — after all, McNabb can’t win here no matter what he does (even if the Eagles win the Super Bowl, I’m serious). Yeah, it was stupid — he got a 15-yard penalty — but one can only assume he was calling Plaxico Burress, thanking him for shooting himself in the leg and making this game a bit easier easier.
(But, really: Whatever. I don’t know if Burress would have mattered yesterday at all. Down two scores in the fourth, the Giants were essentially running the ball into the line. Eli Manning, for whatever reason, was sloppy all game; would he even have been able to get the ball to him?)
Look, I’m excited about the Eagles. Very excited. But right now I cannot — cannot — stop laughing at the thought of a thousand angry Eagles fans cursing John Bolaris’ name when he suddenly appeared on the screen as the Eagles were about to beat the Giants and head to the NFC Championship. Then, it happened again, with ads for Verizon and Progressive Insurance.
All in all, not the best weekend for Bolaris. There’s this, and Saturday’s storm that failed to materialize, making the promo that interrupted the game about 100 times funnier. I’d stay inside for the next couple days if I were Bolaris.
The Eagles are headed to the NFC Championship Game. I’m going to spend the rest of my day reading articles from mid-season about how Eli Manning is better than his older brother. At least they both have the DoubleStuf League to fall back on!
Next week, it’s on like Donkey Kong in Arizona, as the Eagles take on the Cardinals (of all teams). Revenge for the horrible field in the 1947 NFL Championship is finally at hand!