Unlike our President or Congress, for Andy Reid the buck now stops here.
This writer is not a Philly native, but he has lived in Philadelphia long enough to learn of the Philadelphia Eagles' fans collective love/hate relationship with their head coach.
In essence, they love to hate him.
Oh sure, there was a time when the Eagles fans and their coach engaged in the more traditional love/hate relationship, in which the Philly faithful either loved their coach like Santa Claus or hated him like Hitler.
But that time has passed.
That time passed somewhere between Donovan McNabb throwing up in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl against the Patriots and Kevin Curtis dropping a first down ball in his hands in the NFC Championship against the Arizona Cardinals.
Now, Reid's relationship with Eagles fans is more in the vein of "heads, I win; tails, you lose."
Generally speaking, the reactions of Eagles fans and the media tends to closely follow a newly established script: whenever the Eagles do well, it is because the players played unbelievably and the team was fantastic. Whenever the Eagles do poorly, it is because Reid has put together a bad team and is a bad manager on the field.
But now, all that has changed.
In amongst all the talk of the Eagles' formidable off-season—and it has been that—doesn't it seem like there is something unsaid here?
Hasn't Howie Roseman made the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles season an "all-or-nothing" one for the team and for Andy Reid?
For the first time since 2004, Philadelphia's fans and media can actually say, with a straight face, that the Eagles have every right to expect to be the best team in the NFC.
This will be the first year since the Terrell Owens fiasco that Reid and the Eagles will be without the standard "yeah, buts" that have plagued the team for the last five years.
As in, the Eagles didn't get as far as we hoped. Yeah, but Donovan McNabb was hurt.
Or, the Eagles came up short in the playoffs. Yeah, but we were lucky to get as far as we did with the players we had.
Or, the Eagles had a disappointing year. Yeah, but we were actually in a rebuilding year.
Generally speaking, it has been the "yeah, buts" that have saved Reid's job year in and year out, as patience has worn thin with the Eagles performance. But in 2011, there can be no yeah, buts.
At this point in their relationship, the Eagles fans' patience with Andy Reid is about where Paul McCartney's patience was with John Lennon around the time the Beatles were recording "Let It Be."
Now, finally, the Eagles are the team. Everything is in place. They have made big-time moves, there is no quarterback uncertainty, no players in need of development, no position where the Eagles have a "nothing-we-could-do-about-it" hole.
Is this the year in which the Eagles can finally hold Andy Reid 100% accountable for what happens on the field without any "yeah-buts"?
It would certainly appear so.
With no quarterback controversy, with a bevy of talented offensive players now in their primes, and with a landslide of big-time off-season acquisitions, 2011 is finally the year.
When the confetti is falling onto the field after the Super Bowl in six months, Andy Reid is either going to be the most beloved coach in team history, or he is going to be the newest former coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.
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