Gut-Check Time for Philadelphia Eagles
After watching the massacre in Denver and listening to the radio all week with fans venting their anger and players not connecting with reality, I typed up this call to arms for all Philly fans out there (originally posted at phillysportsspace.com):
Dear Philadelphia Eagles,
At times like these, we need to reconnect as fans and team. We’ve watched some disturbing football over the past two years, so let’s take a step back and look at things here in the greatest sports town in the country.
We are a city of fighters. It started a few hundred years ago in the summer when a group of guys got together to tell England we weren’t taking it anymore. We birthed a revolution. The city grew into generations, ages, innovators and difference makers. We are cultures spread out over miles, smells, tastes and speech that can take you around the world in one afternoon. We blue collar, industrial, dirty hands and ripped jeans. We are families, summers at the Jersey shore and winters battling traffic on 76. In this city, you are part of the lifeblood that runs midnight green.
We are our stadiums. We are Franklin Field, the Vet and the Linc. We are taking our families to the game, sitting outside for hours, eating sandwiches and drinking with friends that we just met minutes before. We are watching players blow out their knees on the painted-green concrete of the Vet. We cheered when Michael Irvin got hurt. You know why? Because he was a part of the Dallas Cowboys and they are not welcome on our fields. We are buying our sons and daughters Eagles’ gear, wrapping our babies in blankets with a glaring Eagle head watching them as they sleep.
This is why I’m disturbed right now.
Our tradition is your tradition. You are Chuck Bednarik knocking out Frank Gifford. You are Ron Jaworski and Harold Carmichael. You are Randall Cunningham running for his life, Mike Quick and Fred Barnett. You are Buddy Ryan and the Gang Green Defense, causing an extra supply of body bags to be on the sidelines during the game. You are the Minister of Defense and one of the greatest lines in history. You are Brian Dawkins going airborne after a quarterback and almost knocking Alge Crumpler’s head off. You are Jim Johnson striking fear into the opposition. You are a quarterback enjoying the twilight of a second career after years in prison.
This is not Donovan McNabb coming up small when the chance to grab the city our first Lombardi trophy in 40 years was in his hands. This is not Terrell Owens, getting us so close to the Promised Land and destroying things a year later. This is a New Era.
This is Chip Kelly. This is an offense responding and not dictating to the opposition. This is a defense lost in transition and translation. This team is on the ropes and looking across the ring at Apollo Creed.
This is time to fight.
We do not lay down. We do not bow or walk away. We save our money and buy tickets that we can’t afford to watch you play for a few hours on the holiest day of our week. We are the greatest fans in the league. We know as much your color commentators, especially those morons Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. We will put you on a pedestal and you will never pay for a meal in this town again. You can be heroes for your actions on the field of battle.
Or you can play like you did on Sunday, letting Peyton Manning, Mr. Papa John’s, gesture and audible his way up and down the field, taking apart any spare real estate. It’s time to stop the underneath routes, start tackling and getting pressure. No more soft zone, I don’t care if it is 75-3. Keep the pedal down and put the game away and Sunday is your chance.
So the New York Giants are up. The 0-4 Giants. The victims of divine intervention more than once, Tom Coughlin throwing his play card as DeSean Jackson runs by him for the only walk-off punt return in league history. This is the first divisional game since Week 1 in a division that is ripe for the picking. The door is open and waiting for your arrival. Take us on to glory, and not just for us. Do it for our sons and grandsons, the fans who haven’t known a champion football team.
This is the time, the Eye of the Tiger, the Thrill of the Fight. This is running through South Philly, the neighborhoods, the people. Know that we are behind you. We still believe. We will always believe. Will you?
Your fans in Eagle Nation