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Monday, January 19, 2009

Eagles Drop Fans to Depths of Despair

I swore this team wouldn’t do it to me again. Yet, here I am wondering how the Eagles have managed to drop us to such depths with their loss in the NFC Championship game to the Arizona Cardinals.

My buddy has what he calls the “Seagull” theory of Philadelphia sports teams. The theory was never more in play than yesterday. The Eagles carried fans to the peaks of excitement only to drop us, plummeting to Earth, devastated. Or, as he put it:
The team is the seagull. We, the fans, are a clam. The gull snatches us up, carrying us higher and higher. The view is beautiful; life couldn’t be better. Then, after the gull has reached a dizzying height (oh, just for the sake of argument, DeSean Jackson’s go-ahead TD), it releases the clam. We’re still having a good ride, unaware what is below. We gather speed (as Arizona begins its 8-minute drive, say), finally hitting the rock and shattering (the last, futile pass attempt to Kevin Curtis), whereupon the gull comes and eats our little clammy heart.

After a ridiculously bad first half in which the Cardinals jumped on the Eagles 24-6, the Eagles actually came back to take the lead in the fourth quarter. It was a lead their defense would quickly hand back.

I’m also believing more and more in the theory that the Eagles just can’t handle pressure. Arizona pounded this team early. The Eagles got it going when you have to believe the Cardinals had relaxed. Is that the Eagles’ fault? No, but it doesn’t necessarily go against the argument. Even the go-ahead points came on a long pass, not any sort of long offensive drive. Then, the Eagles defense allows a methodical, time-consuming, season-ending drive. Donovan McNabb still had almost 4 minutes to win the game, and finished with four straight incompletions.

I woke up this morning still stunned the Eagles lost to Arizona. Despite the idiots on ESPN that wanted to enshrine the entire Cardinal team, they stink. There is no way in hell they are a Super Bowl team. The Eagles choked. Their defense stunk the joint out. The offense didn’t show up in the first half. David Akers and the entire special teams unit were putrid.

There’s a whole offseason to debate everything they should do, but if it doesn’t start with going out and getting a stud wide receiver and a big running back to compliment Brian Westbrook, next year will end the way this one did – without a Super Bowl title.

Regardless, we are once again doomed to another heartbreak (or seagull drop), and another offseason of wondering if the window of opportunity is still open for the Donovan McNabb – Andy Reid Eagles or if it closed years ago.

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