The Philadelphia Eagles: Weeks In Hell Trudge Slowly

Euno LeeCorrespondent ISeptember 21, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - SEPTEMBER 20: LeSean McCoy #29 of the Philadelphia Eagles and Jonathan Vilma #51 of the New Orleans Saints scramble for a ball during their game at Lincoln Financial Field on September 20, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Hello world, I am Euno Lee, and I am a Philadelphia Eagles fan. Which makes me a borderline masochist during the months of September to December (don't even get me started on late-January).

Our fans are known for drinking away our sorrows and being generally belligerent before, during, and after games, but believe me, never has belligerence been so well-spoken.

Like drinking, the problem with the Eagles this season is that, every painful Sunday, we wake up the following morning to a painful realization-real life.

Donovan McNabb fractured a rib in an absolutely unnecessary "statement" touchdown in the closing quarters of Week One's game against the Carolina Panthers, that looked more like Philadelphia putting on a defensive and special teams clinic.

The good news: Philly fans (and the Eagles, to their credit) are excellent at coping with adversity. After all, with a list of injuries matched in length only by Snoop Dogg's rap sheet, Donovan McNabb has been the perennial part-time employee of the Eagles enjoying full-time pay.

Even with this shocking disparity of performance to salary, the Eagles have managed to make the playoffs seven of the past nine seasons (halfway) under McNabb.

The Eagles recently signed Jeff Garcia, a veteran quarterback who enjoyed his time in Philadelphia and is familiar with Andy Reid's West Coast Offense. Unfortunately, this is where the bad news begins.

The bad news: While Garcia and controversial new signing Michael Vick are unable to play until Week Three, Philadelphia suffered domestic abuse at the hands of Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints in their regular season home opener.

Not only does this game (regardless of the circumstances) hold bearing on potential playoff momentum, which, given Drew Brees's MVP-esque overture to the NFL season, seems inevitable, but it speaks to the shakiness of the Eagles as a whole.

Aside from the defense being sliced to ribbons by Brees, the Eagles were plain negligent on both sides of the ball. Kevin Kolb put some air underneath the ball, throwing for 391 yards-unfortunately the ball ran out of gas into the wrong hands. Three times.

What's more, the team incurred seven penalties for a total of 45 free yards of field position. The team was in a funk virtually the entire second half. It was a forgettable outing.

As I create more paragraph breaks and consider the length of the "Bad News" section versus the "Good News" section, and how much more I have left to write, the squat shape of the handle of Smirnoff Vodka in my bedroom becomes more and more seductive.

I abstain and continue: Kevin Kolb's leadership is everything you'd expect of a second-string quarterback. His interviews cry out benchwarmer, with astounding, swagger-filled gems like "I've got to cut those turnovers out", and "I saw the guy and just made a bad throw, a bad decision." 

Mr. Kolb, this is not Pee-Wee football, where being hard on yourself magically improves your performance. It is difficult for the team to stand behind a man who is not confident in his ability to perform, physically gifted as Kolb may be.

That Smirnoff handle is starting to take the form of a circa 2001 Halle Berry.

Donovan McNabb's injury is not as light as it appears to be. The tragedy of a cracked rib lies in the agonizingly slow, painful road to full recovery. Symptoms include chest pains and difficulty breathing, and can be aggravated with stress. Obviously, playing full-contact football is out of the question, and playing injured will only hurt the Eagles in the long run.

A full recovery usually takes up to six weeks. NFL players, unfortunately, are human beings like everyone else. Six weeks is six weeks. I suspect McNabb will be back by Week Five for a date with the Buccaneers, not feeling 100% but close enough and healed enough that with a little skittish play, aggravation won't become an issue.

Finally, Andy Reid all but chiseled in stone that Kevin Kolb will start Week Three against the Kansas City Chiefs, regardless of Garcia and Vick's availability. Count me among the disenchanted; McNabb-to-Kolb is not going to be a Bledsoe-to-Brady or Bledsoe-to-Romo quarterback coronation (or, in both cases, shameless usurping).

Here's to hoping that one of these three have the natural leadership to hold these upcoming weeks so that McNabb can close out the season.