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Monday, March 30, 2009

The Philadelphia Eagles Invented the Game of Football

The Philadelphia Eagles invented the game of football. Oh no? You say that they didn’t invent the game of football? Well, my friend, the three amigos of Andy Reid, Joe Banner, and Jeffrey Lurie would lead you to believe otherwise. The self-proclaimed gold standard, the Eagles have failed to acknowledge some very important things about their organization. And this is what will do them in at the end.

First, the Eagles need to remember that professional football is based on a fan driven economy. And much like the real world economy, it can have its ups and downs forming a cyclical path that in some cases can be predictable. It wasn’t twenty years ago when the team couldn’t sell out, and required a local TV station to buy up the tickets so that it wouldn’t be blacked out. Then, the team was bad and there was a disconnect between then owner Norman Braman and his customer base. Stars like Reggie White and Seth Joyner were great a hit in the pocket book and were allowed to leave. Since Lurie and Banner took over, they have had a nice run of success both on and off the field. But, again, like the economy there could be a fall coming….and like I said, it can be predictable. First, Dawkins was allowed to leave…then Tre Thomas…, and like Reggie and Seth, were barely replaced. Could this be the precursor to a downturn for the gold standard of the NFL?

The Birds administration have had a chronic issue with arrogance, from the pretentious Boston born owner and his evil little henchman to the non-answers begrudgingly provided during every post-game press conference. They put off the notion that they think very little of the fans. They are a three headed monster that think the people paying them hard earned money are crazy for not bowing down to their god-like status in the world. Perhaps I am crazy, or maybe we all are for not realizing what we really have; a football dictatorship. We are told, by them, how to root for our team. We are disregarded, by them, when we speak. And we are those who have been taken advantage of from the onset. Perhaps it time for a revolution. We can have a Boston Tea Party and dress up like Redskin fans and begin the process of regime change.

But just as every notable dictatorship has condemned the masses to their rule, the three headed monster also gave themselves the ability to rewrite history; and their good at it too, not Stalin good, but good. Every year during the state of the team address, it is almost as if they are trying to convince us that not only did they win last year’s Super Bowl, but every Super Bowl since 1996. I could swear I saw a Football Prospectus photo with Lurie hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. They should really wait a little while more, until all of the fans are completely brainwashed, before they start officially changing the history books. I’ll provide an example. After the Baltimore blowout, otherwise known as the game Coach Andy benched Donovan, Reid said that he didn’t know who was going to start the next week, mentioning Kolb and McNabb by name. More recently, he stated that McNabb was always the guy and that there was never a question about it. Soon the whole Dawkins saga will disappear into a new season and that story will change. Old photos of the Eagles great will then be superimposed with those of Quintin Demps even though he was in grade school when Dawk joined the Birds. And they’ll expect us to believe it without question.
I don’t mind an owner making business decisions, that’s part of life when it comes to being a sports fan. What I don’t want is to be spoken down to, to be told how to behave when I pay to behave how I wish (within reason). I don’t want to be told what is good for me when the actions taken eat me alive. And I do not want someone in charge of something that I love dangling my precious in front of my face and saying it is not mine. The Eagles belong to me, me and every other Philly fan around the globe. We want honesty, a sense of reality, and the knowledge that ownership will truly improve to reach the next level. Not say that they’ve tried and that it’s not their fault; that our expectations are too high. We don’t want to here that they’ve won however many games and that they are just as good as teams who’ve brought home the glory. The Phillies gave us the taste of a winner and now the Eagles are in trouble, because it is their time to bring the next championship, and they better get ready for the criticism, second guessing, and foul-mouthed venting every time they fail to win it all. Because unbeknownst to the three headed monster, they didn’t invent the game of football, they just invented a new way to disenfranchise the fan.

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