The Tragedy of the Philadelphia Eagles

Harrison MooreAnalyst IIApril 21, 2009

I’d like you to picture a beautiful girl dedicating herself to a relationship with a man who has proven himself unworthy more times than even Mother Teresa would forgive.

It's not like we haven’t seen the mistreated lover/antagonist jerk scenario repeated time and again throughout movies, and maybe even in our own lives.

If you haven’t, I recommend you watch the Lifetime channel (it doesn’t really matter what time of day you choose to do so.) When you fully grasp the concept, you’ll understand the pity I feel for Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb.

I cannot emphasize this point enough: Philadelphia is one of the worst cities to play for in sports history, particularly as it relates to football.

When the guy who came into the season as your No. 1 receiver couldn’t get open if he was being covered by a one-legged mannequin (Kevin Curtis,) the only receivers you’ve had since 2005 are guys named Reggie Brown and Greg Lewis, and every tight end on your roster combined accounted for less than 700 yards for the entire season, you aren’t exactly playing with Super Bowl-level talent.

What I’d like to ask the entire city of Philadelphia is this: What do you expect?

Expecting Donovan McNabb to bring home a Super Bowl victory with the level of talent he has around him is literally asking him to build a mountain out of a molehill.

LeBron James is in the NBA for a reason. The one-man act can win you games in some sports, but football isn’t one of them.  

The first (and only) time McNabb had a quality receiver, he not only managed to lead the Eagles to the Super Bowl, but he also became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for over 30 touchdowns and fewer than 10 interceptions.

To me, that provides a not-so-subtle hint that provided with some real level of help, McNabb can play about as well as any quarterback to grace the game.

Unfortunately, the Eagles are about as good at taking hints or making adjustments as L.J. Smith is at not fumbling the football. What amazes me most about the Eagles is that they not only show extreme impatience with their best players, but that they are much more lenient toward less talented players of the same position.

Will someone please explain to me how Donte' Stallworth spent less than half the time in an Eagles uniform that Greg Lewis did, or how Omar Gaither outlasted Takeo Spikes?

You know something, Eagles fans? If you want a Super Bowl, then rid yourselves of Andy Reid for a start. A coach that can’t clock manage or draft is more useless than a gasoline-filled fire extinguisher.

If you need further proof of this, you need look no further back than Jan. 14, 2007, when the Eagles met the New Orleans Saints in the second round of the playoffs.

Down by a field goal with less than two minutes to go on 4th-and-10, the Eagles took a shot and converted. Or at least they had converted previous to the false start penalty that negated the first down and pushed them five yards further back.

Then Reid took it upon himself to negate something much greater than a first down conversion.

He decided to negate all the hard work that Jeff Garcia, Brian Westbrook, and the entire team had done to rebound from a dismal 5-6 record all the way to six straight wins, the NFC East title and an improbable run to the second round of the playoffs.

He decided to punt.

The Saints would obviously elect to run out the clock, and there was no credible reason to believe that they wouldn’t succeed, as they had rushed for 80 yards in the first quarter alone, but Andy wanted to be a hero. He wanted to be a playmaker, and when his asinine decision fell through, no one called him on it.

The drug-related incident with his sons soon afterwards turned him into an empathetic figure, and instead of facing Reid’s incompetency, fans elected to blame Donovan McNabb for the team’s midseason slump that saw them plummet from a 4-1 start to the aforementioned 5-6 drop-off.

We fast-forward back to today, and the Eagles are no better off. Reid still stands on the Eagles' sideline, and the Eagles follow their tradition of vehement refusal to acquire the playmakers necessary to win a championship.

If last year’s season should have taught the Eagles anything, outside of the fact that Reid still can’t clock manage, it should have been that the Eagles receivers aren’t worth the cloth their jerseys are made of.

For that reason I’d also like for someone to explain to me why the Eagles refuse to even talk with Marvin Harrison.

Although Harrison was dealing with injury problems over the course of last season, I’d take seven or eight games of him over 16 games of any receiver currently wearing an Eagles uniform any day. Having been teammates with McNabb at Syracuse would at least give McNabb a familiar face to throw to.

Fun Fact: None of the receivers that were on the Eagles roster the year they went to the Super Bowl are still with the team.

At the end of the day, Marvin Harrison in an Eagles uniform is a pipe dream. The Eagles would much rather spend their time giving first round picks to their divisional archenemy Cowboys.

They would much rather draft backup quarterbacks like Kevin Kolb, who's thrown fewer than 35 attempts in three years, than have brought back Jeff Garcia as McNabb’s backup and actually tried to get a player who would (gasp) play, or worse, make an instant impact.

I say all this as a former Eagle fan myself. I once believed in the team and their desire to win, but I learned long ago that winning is a positive bonus for the Eagles, and not the main goal, assuming it even happens at all. This was, of course, previous to their dismissal of seven-time Pro Bowler Brian Dawkins.

In closing, I’d like to say that McNabb took the high road during the insulting situation surrounding the drafting of Kevin Kolb, again took the high road with the Eagles' inability (or disinterest) in surrounding him with quality players, and has for far too long risked his body trying to make plays with an offense devoid of any consistent playmaker not wearing a No. 36 jersey.

McNabb, get the hell out.

This team just doesn’t deserve you.