Ugh. I feel like this doesn’t need any further explanation, but let’s rehash this horrid experience from Eagles history anyhow:
- Desperate for a real playmaker on offense, and armed with the 25th pick in the first round of the 2001 NFL Draft, The Walrus, then-GM Tom Modrak and the Eagles personnel team took Mitchell and passed on four Pro Bowl Wide Receivers, two Pro Bowl Tight Ends and two other wideouts that weren’t great but would have been an insurmountable improvement over that talentless assclown known as FredEx:
- Reggie Wayne, 1st round, 30th pick (Pro Bowler)
- Todd Heap, 1st round, 31st pick (Pro Bowler)
- Quincy Morgan, 2nd round, 33rd pick (decent #2-3 wideout)
- Alge Crumpler, 2nd round, 35th pick (Pro Bowler)
- Chad Johnson (aka Ochocinco), 2nd round, 36th pick (Pro Bowler)
- Robert Ferguson, 2nd round, 41st pick (decent #2 wideout)
- Chris Chambers, 2nd round, 52nd pick (Pro Bowler)
- Steve Smith, 3rd round, 74th pick (Pro Bowler)
The Eagles could have also taken anyone of these playmakers (though Morgan flamed out once he was traded to Dallas), but instead went with the smallish (maybe 6′ and definitely under 200 lbs.), speedy and cocky wideout from Los Angeles (sound like someone else we know?).
But, again, hindsight is 20/20.
- The fact that Freddie Mitchell was the sole Eagle to provoke the Patriots through the media leading up to Super Bowl 39. Even Terrell Owens kept his mouth shut (though he was slightly busy getting his broken leg ready for the game). The only good thing to come out of that, was Bill Belichick calling Mitchell out after the game saying, “He’s terrible. I was happy when he was in the game.”Mitchell, by the way, caught one ball for 11 yards in the game.
- “I’d like to thank my hands for being so great.” Sorry Freddie, but I hate to break it to you… your hands, not what you think they are. In four years, Freddie caught 90 balls. He did however average 14 yards per catch. Maybe he should have thanked his feet.
- The nicknames… I know you remember them. Of course there’s the aforementioned “FredEx”, but his most (in)famous is probably “The People’s Champ” – you may remember him carrying around a WWE-style belt to press conferences and such. What championship did he ever win, I always wondered. Then there was “The Sultan of Slot,” which would have been a clever for the Madden version of Freddie Mitchell (who could absolutely destroy the middle of the field in Madden 02); Hollywood, because he was from Hollywood (get it?) and because he was once on the show Blind Date (I guess?); First Down Freddie, which actually carried some weight, because it seemed he’d always pick up a first the few times he did catch the ball; and of course Fourth Down Freddie or 4th and 26 Freddie.Which brings us too…
- 4th and 26. Freddie Mitchell’s shining moment. Listen up fellow Eagles fans… Yes, 4th and 26 is a nice memory, but guess what, it proved to be meaningless in the end and is FAR from the Eagles greatest plays.Sure, the win against Brett Favre and the Packers was a great win, but it was a Divisional Round game – the first of the postseason for the Eagles, who secured homefield and a bye – and was made entirely moot the next week, when they lost at home, as favorites, to the Carolina Panthers. If Freddie Mitchell had any real talent, maybe he would have been able to get off the line of scrimmage and catch a freaking pass in that game. Instead, the Panthers Defensive Backs and Linebackers absolutely destroyed the Birds’ receivers at the line, blowing up their routes and their confidence. But that’s neither here nor there.4th and 26 was a really awesome play, totally memorable and endearing, but (again) its far from one of the best Eagles plays of all-time. It doesn’t come close to 4th-and-1 against Dallas (my all-time personal favorite). It doesn’t measure up to DeSean’s return this year (which similarly feels a little less special, considering it was the absolute apex of the 2010 Eagles season). It’s not nearly as good as the legendary Wilbert Montgomery game-sealing touchdown against Dallas in the 1980 Championship Game, the original Miracle in the Meadowlands, Randall Cunningham jumping over Giants Linebackers or even Donovon McNabb juking two Redskins defenders out of their shoes. 4th and 26 is great, but its forever tainted by the egotistical jackass who caught it.