Reader Alec Katzman: “You need to continue the site in some form. You were one of my favorite bookmarks even though I’m a Pats fan out west; it was brilliant.”
Reader Matthew Lippman: “We have followed you for years and now radio silence???”
I’ve received numerous emails and inquiries like these over the last few months. “Where are you?” “What happened?” “Were you really just Andy Reid trying to undermine his own job this entire time?”
I honestly don’t have a great answer for those questions(*) – though the thought of The Walrus posing as an infuriated and incensed season ticket holder is an intriguing idea. The best I can do is come clean and admit fatigue. Fatigue from losing, fatigue from being miserable, fatigue from The Billionaire and Howie and sports talk radio and from the hopelessness that was our Philadelphia Eagles.
(*)Full disclosure #1: I got married and made a career change since Andy was fired, among a few other big life changes, but that’s not a viable excuse for disappearing like I was Jeffrey Lurie during the 2012 Eagles season.
So thanks for coming back, I truly appreciate it and am here to serve you, the frustrated Eagles fan.
Let’s start over…
Why are we here (again)?
There’s a common misconception about the goal of this site and my original intentions. This became painfully clear when my phone and inbox blew up with a plethora of texts, tweets, emails and tirades after Andy’s Chiefs came in and – in all honesty – did what they were expected to do two Thursdays ago.
Let’s clear the air right here: I DO NOT CARE ABOUT ANDY REID, KANSAS CITY CHEIFS HEAD COACH.
Yes, I cared deeply that Andy was our coach, which was the impetus for this site’s inception. After more than a decade of watching the same result season-after-season, the frustration levels reached critical mass… and Fire The Walrus was born.
But just to reiterate this again: I hold no animosity towards Andy Reid the person(**); only Andy Reid, Head Coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.
(**)Save for the occasional – okay, more than occasional – potshots at Andy’s potbelly.
Now he’s gone, we’re happy for him, and frankly, good for him for being 4-0 and turning Kansas City’s fortunes around. I never said he wasn’t a good coach; he just lasted way past his expiration date in Philadelphia and we HAD to move on.
But, before we get off The Walrus completely(***), one more quick word on his new gig… A question I’ve gotten a lot in the weeks following that Chief’s win at the Linc: “How’s it going to feel when Andy wins a Super Bowl this season?”
(***)Don’t worry… I’m sure his exploits will still be covered here, when necessary.
To that I say, “HA!” Sure, the Chiefs look good and are clearly poised for a playoff run. But c’mon… a Super Bowl?! I’ve been saying since the day he was hired (and yes I realize I should have been saying it right here) that the Chiefs will win 9-11 games for the next few seasons… But be prematurely knocked out of the playoffs on an annual basis. Where have we seen that before?
Quick aside on the 2013 Chiefs: Amazingly, Andy’s doing it with his old formula: an Offense based on ball control and dink-and-dunking – which Alex Smith is perfectly suited for since he can’t throw the ball more than 15 yards downfield; and a Defense that is predicated on pressure up front and a ballhawking secondary. Of course, per Andy’s M.O., the Defense is 100% out of his control. It also helped that he chose a destination that came preloaded with six defensive All-Pros.
And if Andy were to win a Super Bowl? Good for him. Who cares?! He’s in the AFC, in a completely different situation and seems to be rejuvenated. As long as he doesn’t beat the Birds in a championship, it really wouldn’t matter(****).
(****)Full disclosure #2: Of course, I say all that now. Check back in February if the Chiefs get past Denver in the AFC Championship Game.
But we’re getting off topic. The point is: we’re no longer here to discuss Andy Reid. He is no longer our problem. He’s now the responsibility of the EMS workers hired to follow him to every BBQ joint he visits in Kansas City(*****).
(*****)Sorry, old habits die hard.
So, why are we here?
As a lifelong, third-generation Eagles season ticket holder and diehard – we’ve had tickets since 1939 and I’ve been to almost every single home game for the past 24 years(******) – I put way too much stock into the Eagles. My mood and personality varies week-to-week based on their performance. I live and die by the Birds and eat/drink/breathe/sweat/bleed Eagles football, as I’m sure many of you do as well.
(******)I swear this is supposed to come off as a credential, not a humblebrag.
And that’s why these last five or so years have been so hard. They’ve been frustrating, maddening, depressing and soul-crushing. They haven’t won a home game for more than a full calendar year (September 30, 2012 against the Giants). They haven’t stopped a receiver over the middle since the days of William Thomas (Willie T!). They haven’t inspired hope in fans since that fateful Dramavon McNabb overthrow of Kevin Curtis – it hit his fingertips! – in the 2008 NFC Championship Game in Arizona.
And we have only one person to thank for all that: Mr. Billionaire himself, Jeffrey Lurie.
Has any other owner in the NFL overseen more poor decisions over the last few years than Lurie? I mean, besides Jerry Jones and Jimmy Haslam, of course… Stubbornly sticking with Reid far too long; anything having to do with Joe Banner; the “dream team” offseason; naming Howie Roseman GM; retaining Vick and any members of the 2012 secondary; anything related to the words “wide” and “9”; letting Reid use Defensive Coordinator-after-Defensive Coordinator as scapegoats; allowing his team quit on their coach. Those are some pretty shitty choices.
Chip Kelly? That decision remains to be seen.
So far, there have been flashes of brilliance and excitement – mostly the first 30 minutes of the opening game – but the jury is clearly still out on the Chip Kelly experiment.
Frankly, I’m ok with that. This year is a freebie for Chip, as hard as it is to not get worked up with every mounting loss. This roster is still mostly made up of Andy’s guys and the Defense still needs a major overhaul – something that began this offseason, but really requires another draft and influx of veterans who can, you know, tackle. Plus, that albatross known as Michael Vick is still here, keeping the starting Quarterback spot warm for whomever Chip decides to bring in next season (and Chip is DEFINITELY bringing another arm in).
What Chip does represent though, for the first time in many years for Eagles fans, is hope. We’re seeing something new and intriguing. We don’t know if it’s going to work yet, but it’s just not Andy. And really, that’s good enough for right now.
I’ll delve a little more into Chip and the issues that plague the 2013 version of our disappointing football team shortly (I promise). But for now, let’s just say hello old friends, it’s good to be back.
And of course, Fire The Walrus Billionaire. (Still working the kinks out of that one.)