I can see it now: Dave Spadaro sitting at his desk in his office at the Nova Care Complex—sitting, staring, wondering, and hoping. Finally, he has had enough; he stood up and rolled up his sleeves and marched down to "Big Red's" office.
There were questions that needed to be answered, and by golly, Spadaro was the man that was going to get answers. He had waited through long days and the nights? My god the nights—Spadaro like the rest of the Eagle fan base had wondered.
Just why hadn't we heard from Andy Reid about Brian Dawkins' and Tra Thomas' departures from the nest?
So, Spadaro used his "pull" with the Eagles—I'm sure to the displeasure of Reid—to get a one-on-one sit down with the Eagles' head man to discuss Dawkins and Thomas and why they weren't going to be wearing midnight green this season—a hard hitting "20/20" worthy interview.
For those of you who don't know who Spadaro is (and I can't believe anyone wouldn't), he's the head writer for PhiladelphiaEagles.com. That's right, Dave's an Eagle employee. He writes the puff pieces—things that get approved by the Eagles brass before being published. In all seriousness, Dave is a good writer, and I'm sure from what I've seen and heard, he's a nice guy.
However, this is just another low blow to Birds' fans—another smug reaction to a fan uproar and the demand to know why. After weeks of nothing but "statements" from Reid, Banner, and Lurie on Dawk and Tra, finally we get to actually "hear" it from one of them. Hear what? Something...well anything...anything at all—which turned out to be nothing.
The shame of it is what Eagles' fans expect and what they get in situations like this is usually the same. Eagle fans have become wise to the Birds' game, and you have to think the Birds know this and just don't care.
They know fans will still shell out the money, because Philly has been a football town for quite a while now. That could be changing however.
This is how the Birds have operated since Reid and Banner's arrival about 10 years ago. And to their credit, running the team "like a business" has gotten them much success—no Super Bowls but much success.
And sure, fans have always had something to moan and groan about. And surprisingly, most of the groaning turns into "they were right." Almost every unpopular decision made by the Eagles' front office has worked out. And no Eagle fan can deny that. Then again, this style may be running a bit thin.
In the end, the smug attitude they keep can and will eventually catch up to them. Since this current regime has been in power, the Birds have had little, if any, competition—although, they have had a few scares. They had the Sixers in 2001, but every fan knew it was one-and-done with that team.
They had the Flyers in 2004, but most would argue "it's just hockey," well, you'd be wrong. Philadelphia hockey fans can be as rabid as a guy from Moose Jaw. However, after that season, the NHL went on lock out.
So, the Eagles were still "the gold standard" in the city. Now, they have to contend with the Phillies who just won the World Series and have captured the city's imagination and heart. If the Phils come back with the same team, maybe better, they're young and going nowhere anytime soon. So, now the Birds must deal with their biggest scare of all.
I'm not asking the Eagles to completely change, nor asking them to not treat the team like a business. There is just different ways to go about doing what they do. It doesn't have to be so cold.
People don't like cold, especially when it comes to losing a beloved player. Philly is a fickle city. The Phillies, a handful of years ago, were as unpopular as a team could be, but it turned around very quickly.
Hopefully, Joe and Andy will realize things can turn around for them just as quickly in the wrong direction, before it costs them their jobs.
Mike Santa Barbara