Before Sunday’s game against the Ravens, I was going to write a post about how it was time for all of Philadelphia to give up any hope for the Eagles. How, whenever we give up on our teams in the middle of the year, they seem to suddenly rebound and make magic happen. Remember Jeff Garcia? How about the Sixers in the second half of last year? Or the Phillies two seasons ago, when they were down 7 games to the Mets with 17 to go? I don’t know what it is, but if our team is within arm’s length of success, but has routinely been falling short of reaching it, what always seems to propel them the final distance is the complete lack of faith our city places in them.
What a crazy, mixed up town we call home.
I was going to compare it to a section in the book Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which, if you haven’t read, I highly recommend. Awesome book. Anyway, there was a section about flying, and the general gist was that the only way humans could actually fly was if you forgot you were falling. (Editor’s note: And the only way you will forget you are falling is by taking a few too many tabs of acid). Like I said, it’s an awesome book. The Eagles are the opposite: they fly, or “succeed,” when we assume all is lost.
So maybe Hitchhiker’s Guide was making a more poignant and optimistic evaluation of human behavior…whatever.
I guess there was a reason I never wrote that post – the reason being that, in all reality, all hope is lost. Seriously. It’s over. Everything…is…over. The Donovan McNabb era is over. The Andy Reid era is over. This season is lost. This is not an underhanded attempt to somehow send weird karma the Eagles way to save the season – there is no longer a season to save. Even if the Eagles win out, they will be 10-5-1, which probably would still get them in. But honestly – does anybody think they’ll win out with games against the Cardinals, Giants, Redskins and Cowboys, all in the playoff hunt, still on the schedule? I sure as hell don’t.
I mean, Kevin Kolb came out to start the second half! For those of you who somehow missed the implication of the previous statement, I will repeat myself: Kevin Kolb came out to start the second half! Andy Reid said that nobody’s job was safe, but I never thought I’d see the day that he would bench number 5. I suppose 8-18 with two picks and a fumble will do the trick, but this was as symbolic to me as anything else.
Think about it for a second. You are the Eagles, and you aren’t sure how much longer you will have McNabb as your quarterback. You have a young backup in place, but you really don’t know anything about him. The season seems to be slipping into oblivion, and your head coach benched the incumbent, who has started painfully slow every game, and hasn’t showed the ability to lead a team to victory in the tight games.
Think you might want to know how good the backup is before you start the next season?
After all, you may still be able to get some value for McNabb in a trade this offseason. If Kolb doesn’t have the look of a winner in the next couple of games, you can start to explore other options at QB. And, perhaps most importantly, you can see how Kolb fits into Reid’s system, and determine whether or not Mr. Reid has a future with this team.
And, though it pains me to say it, I don’t think he should. The system just isn’t working anymore.
It’s time to move on.
Not all was bleak from today. The defense, though it will never show it on the scoreboard because of the all of the points derived from turnovers, played well. DeSean Jackson, if he works his butt off, will be a very, very good receiver in this league. Brian Westbrook will get healthy once more. There are many bright spots on this team – for next season. But, barring a miraculous turn-around, the likes of which I have never yet seen, this year is over. Let’s see what Kolb has going on. At the end of the year, let’s ship McNabb out. (Editor’s note: Rant, during the game today, asked me what I thought was going through McNabb’s head after he had been benched. I answered, “Hmmmm…Minnesota, or Chicago?”) At the end of the year, let’s respectfully move on from the Andy Reid era. Maybe we could bring Steve Spagnola back into the fold, who knows?
But it’s all over. Seriously. Normally, I would chalk up my negativity to a bad loss, but this feels worse. Deeper. Like something ended today, something that we can’t get back. So surrender all hope. Throw in the towel. Forget you are falling. This time, I don’t think we are going to recover. (Editor’s note: You’re really bringing me down, Pundit).
It was a great ten years, and I’ll miss you, Andy and Donovan. But I think it’s time to say our farewells.