Sigh. I swear, the national media just loves trashing Philly teams and fans. Loves it. Partly, I’m sure, because we respond so passionately to it. We’re like that friend you have who, anytime you burn him, gets all worked up about it, and you find yourself saying, “Yo, I’m just messing with you, man.” Like, ten times.
But Bill Simmons has been killing me lately.
Now, I generally enjoy Simmons’ columns. But he’s now taken the Eagles opponents three weeks in a row, and his reasoning has often been less than sound. I mean, the Vikings started Tarvaris Jackson. The Vikings, the previously week, had barely beaten half of the Giants. And the Vikings broke four of his sanctimonious “Playoff Manifestos.”
And then he picked the Giants…which I can’t necessarily blame him for. I mean, Ray Didinger picked the Giants, for God’s sake.
But now, Simmons has gone too far. I offer some of the lowlights from his most recent article, and my responses.
Donovan McNabb, meet Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie! You know he’s throwing him one.
Why? Why has this guy suddenly become the second coming of Jesus? (Editor’s note: Jesus Shuttleworth, maybe…) Clearly, the guy has been picking up his game, but has he already entered elite corner standing? And if he has, don’t you think the Eagles will be aware of him on the field, and thus exercise caution when throwing to his side? It’s not as though the Eagles can’t afford to have one receiver locked down; after all, spreading the ball around has been the name of the game. I’m not seeing this one.
The Phillies win the World Series, the Eagles are making a Super Bowl run, every Philly sports fan is starting to relax … historically, isn’t this right when they get kicked in the teeth? I’m just thinking out loud.
YOU HAD TO FRIGGIN’ SAY IT, DIDN’T YOU? Though, in all honesty, we normally got kicked in the teeth before we had actually won any championships. So, we’re in uncharted territory right now. I mean, they haven’t even made this map yet. Besides, Philly championships seem to come in bunches, and then just stop happening. Don’t worry, Bill – we’ve probably got a few more championships in us over the next five years, then we’ll go dry for another quarter century.
Of the four remaining teams, the Cards have the best case for “Nobody believed in us!” status; we complained they made the playoffs, discounted them and made them underdogs at home this weekend, nobody seems to be making a case for them, and beyond that, they’re the Cardinals! They’re like the Clippers with better uniforms, for God’s sake.
But the Eagles are playing with house money. (Editor’s note: If I hear that phrase one more friggin’ time about the Eagles, I will light a casino on fire. I’ll try to win some money first, but then, that sucker’s coming down). The Eagles are loose – remember, they were left for dead. Nobody gave them a chance in hell. If the Cards have the underdog thing going for them, the Eagles seem to have the “destiny” thing going for them. Left for dead, the Phillies broke the city’s title drought, they got hot down the stretch, Donovan and Andy were almost run out of town before reversing the ship…their story is a compelling one, as well. Plus, you said it yourself, Mr. Simmons – they’re the Cardinals! They’re like the Clippers of football! Don’t these teams always find a way to blow games like this?
For two straight rounds, Philly was handed the football equivalent of a sewage pump leak from opposing QBs (Taint Jackson in Round 1, Eli-San in Round 2). This will not happen with Kurt Warner. And, yes, I am fully prepared to have this paragraph e-mailed to me if he throws four picks Sunday. Just concede there’s an enormous competency difference with Warner versus Tarvaris, as well as Warner versus Eli in the wind. Or at least there should be.
So, um, there isn’t an enormous competency difference with McNabb versus Jake “Bad Throw” Delhomme, or an enormous experience difference between McNabb and Matty Ice? (Editor’s note: I’m not willing to give it to him after his rookie season, but if Ryan keeps this up, I think his already incredible nickname will need one last tweak: Matty Nice. Think it over). Honestly, if you’re going to make the point that Warner faces a more legitimate challenge for the Eagles than the last two QB’s they faced, you have to say the same thing about McNabb and the Cards D.
The Frank Ruettiger Award from “Rudy” for “Consistently Failing to Believe in a Player or Team Mostly Because You Don’t Want to be Wrong for Originally Doubting Said Player or Team“
Ladies and Gentlemen, your 2009 Sports Guy!