I haven't felt such a thing as "delight" since the Eagles beat the Cowboys by 38 points in 2008.
It was a wonderful feeling, and now it has passed.
You see, the feeling was gone when I realized that the Eagles, in the state they were in, had a slimmer chance than Dallas to beat the Vikings, thus telling me that the Eagles had almost no shot at the Super Bowl. And while that is a disappointing way to start an article, it must be done.
Because it will help those of you who still get that feeling of dread over you every morning when you remember the Birds aren't playing football until next season. I know it helped me.
If you can look back to the 2004 season when Philly made the Super Bowl, how scared were you all the way through January? On a scale of 1 - 10, I was a 10. Going into that game against Atlanta I could only think of the pain I would have to endure again after seeing Dawkins, McNabb, Westbrook, and Andy Reid walk off the field without giving a NFC victory speech.
The only way to explain the playoffs to any real football fan is with the word "terrifying".
Last year, when Philly fell to the Cardinals, I was numb. I couldn't watch the game because I was overseas at the time, and instead I had to watch text scroll every 50 seconds on a computer screen which told me that Larry Fitzgerald made a 40 yard catch or that Brian Dawkins missed a tackle.
My New Year's resolution was to be positive, because I realized I was a cynical guy in December sometimes and decided to try and change. So, I'm not going to say that I am glad that the Eagles lost , especially to the Cowboys, but I am definitely glad that I, as well as all the other Eagles' fans, didn't have to go through the first month of 2010 losing sleep on Saturday nights or dwelling upon all the bad things that could happen during the next game.
With that said, I wanted the first place I incorporate my New Year's resolution to be in my articles. That means it is time to look ahead to the next big thing on the horizon...the NFL Draft.
Over the next few articles, I will be looking closely at a potential Eagles' draft pick for next season. There are a lot of holes in this team that need to be filled, especially because the big name positions are either aging—Westbrook, McNabb, some LB positions—injured—LB, offensive linemen—or just not playing as they should—DE, o-line, DB, a few WR, LB, Safety, amongst others. And while a few of these do have young, healthy, promising second and third stringers, some of them don't. Those "don'ts" are holes the NFL draft needs to fill...
Tomorrow's article is for a potential first rounder at a position that is probably the main reason we lost to Dallas, so stay tuned.
I got about 14 variables of the same question in the last week, so I think it is about time I answer it.
In so many words:
If McNabb were to get traded away before next season and Kevin Kolb started all season, what should Eagles fans expect?
Not a ring, that's for sure. Let me tell you this. I like Kevin Kolb. He is as good of a backup as any player in this league and has the potential to put a few of those "elite" QBs to shame. But in his first season I don't see why a two game starter would be able to carry a team with a broken offensive line and no running game deep into the playoffs. I can't get my head around it.
To be brutally honest, I think next year or the year after has to be the year for Philadelphia to win it all, or else Eagles fans will have to wait another 10, 20, or even 30 years before another chance presents itself. McNabb is getting old, Westbrook looks to be done, and I don't know how long Andy Reid can coach for, especially with this team that gives even its players stress-caused cardiac arrest, and if Kevin Kolb stepped in next year and didn't perform the way everyone thinks he can, then the Super Bowl is out of the question until 2030...I mean, franchise QBs like Donny Mac don't come around very often.
Compare the Eagles to the early '90s Buffalo Bills. They lost four big games in a row, albeit those big games were four Super Bowls, but they just couldn't finish off a season, which is very much like Philly in the last decade.
The Bills sported a franchise QB in Jim Kelly, who helped push the Bills into the Super Bowl all four times, almost like the way McNabb helped the Eagles to all those NFC championships. Yet after the 1993 Super Bowl loss to the Cowboys, the Bills never reached a title game again. Kelly retired in '96 after a few more playoff appearances, then the Bills just became a bye-week on everyone's schedule.
You are probably asking, "What on earth is this guy talking about?" Well, I'm talking about how no Philly fan wants the Eagles to end up like the Bills after losing a franchise QB. In my opinion, if a Super Bowl is coming to Philly, it will be soon or not for a long, long time, and I don't want to risk putting Kevin Kolb in to start without absolutely needing to just in case he isn't as good as everyone thinks he will be.
Better safe than sorry, right? What do you think?
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I hope the Jets grab the ring, they are the underdogs and they deserve to win. But that's probably just me being the "defense is better than offense", "I hate watching shootouts", and "I like any team that is green" kinda guy I am.