Eagles Fans Flying High, at Least This Week

Phil AndrewsCorrespondent IDecember 29, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JANUARY 11:  Fans of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrate against the New York Giants during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game on January 11, 2009 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)
Michael Heiman/Getty Images

If you've ever ridden a roller coaster, then you can somewhat understand what it feels like to be an Eagles fan and trust me, this year's team has taken its' fans on yet another ride.   

It all started in the offseason, when the front office decided to not overpay for 13-year veteran safety Brian Dawkins—not only the heart and soul of the team’s defense, but also a huge fan favorite. Needless to say, this move did not sit well with the fanbase, many of whom pledged to not renew their season tickets. More on that in just a moment.

Now imagine someone cutting the electricity on your roller coaster ride, leaving you stuck upside down in the middle of the loop. It’s kind of how many Eagles fan felt the night of the Aug. 13, when the announcement was made in the middle of the preseason opener against New England, that the team had just signed former Falcons quarterback Michael Vick to a two-year contract.

Gee, I’m going to guess there are at least one or two Eagle fans who are dog lovers. As it turned out, team owner Jeff Lurie had put his two dogs to sleep over the past two years and was extremely sickened by the brutal acts of abuse Vick and his partners performed on Vick's stable of fighting pit bulls. 

So why sign the former felon? Again, the team lets all-around good guy Brian Dawkins walk but in turn signs a player, who at the height of his federal trial, was public enemy No 1. Talk about a publicity nightmare.

Then came more pledges of fans not only willing to forgo next year's season tickets but also wanting to boycott the team this season.  Again, more on that in just a moment.

Then there was the 1-and-3 preseason record, which quickly prompted regular season predictions of the team finishing 6-10, 7-9, or 8-8.

The fact the Eagles gave up 120 points in those four exhibition games,only added to the rage of those fans already upset over the loss of Dawkins.

Hold on to the bar and please keep your arms inside the confines of the coaster car, because we are about to hit an incline.

The Birds win their season opener by crushing Carolina in Charlotte 38-10, as the defense converted seven Panther turnovers into 24 points. Unfortunately, in the win, Donovan McNabb suffered a pair of broken ribs.  So, here we go again, another injury for No. 5 and another season of uncertainty.

During Donovan’s two-game absence, third-year quarterback Kevin Kolb stepped in and threw for over 700 yards, four touchdowns, and three interceptions. Unfortunately, some of those numbers came in the 48-22 loss to the previously unbeaten New Orleans Saints.

The season appeared headed for certain derailment on Oct. 18, when the 2-2 Birds jetted west for a showdown with the 1-3 Oakland Raiders, a game that should have produced Philadelphia’s third win of the season.

Instead a 13-9 loss to the Silver and Black had Eagle fans screaming for Donovan McNabb’s benching and the ouster of Andy Reid as head coach. Oh yeah, and more fans wanting to opt out of their season tickets, more on that in just a, well you know.

Now, when it comes to fall in Philadelphia there are two things most Eagles fans can count on: plenty of leaves to rake and a late-season run by their beloved Birds.

As a matter of fact, during Andy Reid’s 11-year tenure as head coach, his teams are 73-39-1 in games played from November on, including an impressive 31-11 mark in the month of December.  

This season the Eagles went 7-2 through November and December, 8-2 if you count the Redskins win on the last weekend in October.

Bottom line, the Birds are now in sole possession of first place atop the NFC East with a record of 11-4. A win this Sunday in Dallas would give them the outright division title, the second seed overall in the conference playoffs, a first-round playoff bye and a chance to advance to the team's sixth conference title game in eight years. 

Yep, it’s been another typical football season in Philadelphia.

By the way, for all those Eagles fans who still want to vacate their season tickets, listen up. According to team president Joe Banner, the waiting list for season tickets is currently 60,000 names long.

Recently, 15 of those fans were given the chance to purchase tickets. At that rate, it would take 4,000 years for all 60,000 of those fans to get tickets.