The Day After: We’ve Been Here Before, We’ll Be Here Again

September 24, 2012

Here’s the thing about yesterday’s abysmal 27-6 loss to the Kevin Kolb-led Arizona Cardinals… We’ve seen this game numerous times before, throughout The Walrus’ reign of terror.

We saw it last year in Seattle. We saw it two years ago in Tennessee. We saw it the year before that in Dallas – twice in two weeks! – and the year before that in Baltimore. There was that Monday night game a few years ago, when Seattle came to the Linc and dismantled the Eagles, and the last season at the Vet, when Peyton Manning and the Colts ruined the Eagles’ perfect season at home.

Andy Reid’s career is littered with these games. Every single year, the Eagles show up extraordinarily unprepared for a game – usually looking ahead to a bigger game or a bye week – and get completely demoralized. Every single year it happens.

This week made total sense too. Going across country, following an emotional comeback win against the Ravens, with a Sunday Night matchup against the Giants looming… Of course this was the week they’d get waxed!

But the issues go so much deeper than that… There were other problems yesterday that should have been fixed a long time ago, yet they continue to persist.

Again, the playcalling, which was absolutely hideous. You know how Andy likes to choreograph the Offense’s first fifteen plays? Well, you or I could have done a better job than he did! Here’s how the Eagles started yesterday’s game:

  • 1st and 10: Broken play, Vick scrambles for 3 yards.
  • 2nd and 7: Incomplete pass.
  • 3rd and 7: Incomplete pass.
  • 4th and 7: Punt.

At least they were moving the ball against the Browns and Ravens before Shady coughed up the ball and Vick threw his first pick, respectively. This was just a hideous three-and-out start. After 14 seasons, you would think that Andy Reid has learned to establish the run in the first series of plays… Nope! He didn’t feel the need to utilize the backfield until, oh, about midway through the third quarter… You know, when they were down 24-3.

By the end of the first half, the run-pass ratio was 1:23, or something egregious like that. Andy called four – FOUR – handoffs to LeSean McCoy in the first half. Four. And of course, once he entered the second half down 24 points, he didn’t need an excuse to keep passing… And inexplicably decided to start running the ball.

Which leads us to another long-running Andy Reid coaching red-flag… Where was the sense of urgency in the second half?! Did The Walrus go into the locker room at halftime and tell his team to save their energy for next week?

In the third quarter, down 24-0, the team showed zero need to rush to the line, hurry up after plays or try for touchdowns instead of field goals(*). The team basically gave up. Maybe not as badly as last year’s debacle in Seattle, but still enough to warrant serious change in the coaching staff. Change that will never come.

(*)Hmmmm… where have we seen this before? Oh right! Super Bowl XXXIX. Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Where’s the fight? Where’s the desire? Where’s the killer instinct and absolute NEED to win football games? Do you think Andy Reid would ever play tough football until the final whistle, like Greg Schiano’s Buccaneers(**)? No they wouldn’t!

(**)We mention this solely because we absolutely LOVED what Schiano called when the Giants went to kneel on the ball. THAT’S football! You play until the final whistle blows, and you try to win at all costs. Tom Coughlin is a whiny bitch. The other team was trying to get the ball, not hurt your pussy of a QB. Get over it, Coughlin… it’s football.

Hell, this team has so little fight in them, that they throw open palm slaps:

Look, we’re not trying to constantly repeat ourselves, but this is beyond insanity at this point. Nothing has changed. This is the same team it’s always been, with the same identity Andy Reid-coached teams have always had. Every season Bill Belichick tweaks his team to change their identity. In the early 2000s, the team was built around the Defense. By 2007, the team was an Offensive juggernaut with the ultimate deep threat in Randy Moss. Last year, he changed course and moved to a two-TE base set, that saw the Offense morph into an unstoppable beast (when its two premiere Tight Ends are healthy).

What has Andy Reid ever changed? Besides that ill-advised experiment with the Wildcat, he’s been running the exact same Offensive scheme since 1999. And the only thing that’s changed about the Defense is its demise in the wake of Jim Johnson’s death and the addition of the Wide-9. The rest of the NFL figured out how to beat Andy Reid years ago, yet he still trots out the same old tired bullshit year after year after year after year after year after year.

Much like we mentioned yesterday – in complete and utter disgust – this is Jeffrey Lurie’s fault. He has allowed Reid to continue this fraudulent, sham of a regime, simply because it hasn’t inversely effected his bottomline. Much like Roger Goodell’s stubbornness with the actual refs(***), why change something that’s broken and pisses fans off, when the money is still coming in?

(***)Who, let’s remember, aren’t that much better than their replacements.

That’s the only green that matters to The Half-Billionaire: the green color of money. Not the midnight green of the team he owns.

And so here we are… enduring yet another lost Eagles season. 8-8 won’t be good enough, so Andy will make sure to get to nine wins, and will be back to torment us for yet another year. Can’t wait to get blown out on the road next year in Green Bay, Minnesota, Denver or Kansas City!

If only the Lurie’s divorce could have ended like the McCourt’s…

Fire The Walrus.


The Day After: The Walrus Talks Turnovers, Inevitably Mentions Pie

September 10, 2012

Oh Andy… We love when you lob us a softball, but this is up there with the time you mentioned sandwiches! Or the one where you talked about ham! Oh and don’t forget about the time Les Bowen asked you about the team’s gameplan for Dallas and you gave an eighteen-and-a-half minute dissertation on how Krispy Kreme should give the Philadelphia market another try(*)? Man, you really love to use food analogies…

(*)This may or may not have happened.

If you haven’t seen/heard The Walrus’ morning after patronizing coach-speak press conference, Andy defended Vick and his quartet of colossal fuck-ups and put the blame on his own shoulders and blah blah blah blah blah. You know how it went, they’re all the same. The only thing of note was this gem from Reid, via CSNPhilly.com:

“Offensively, turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. You just can’t have those and I would say that we didn’t play as disciplined offensively as we needed to all the way around. I know Michael took the blame yesterday, [but] it’s not a one-man show. That’s not what it is. Everybody had a piece of this pie starting with me and the coaches.”

Sorry Andy, but “turnover” isn’t like “Beetlejuice”… When you say it three times, a pastry doesn’t show up.

No mention of why his gameplan consisted of twice as many passing plays than runs, when the Browns’ front seven couldn’t stop Billy Ray Valentine from getting to the secondary?! Sure, Vick throwing four interceptions is Andy’s fault… when you consider that the Browns’ gave up 147 yards per carry in 2011 and Reid called for Vick to drop back to pass 56 times yesterday.

Was this post just an excuse to make fun of The Walrus for innocuously mentioning food? You betcha!

Meanwhile, the Eagles are now 7-7 in opening games under Andy Reid… yet undefeated following a bye week. Why is it that The Walrus can’t prepare his team over the course of an entire offseason – the team looks rusty and out of sync and penalty-inclined the first week of every season, without fail – yet is perfect with one week to prepare? Does this make sense to anyone?

And if you’re watching/watched this Monday Night Game between Baltimore and Cincinnati, how worried are you for next week’s game? The Ravens look really good. And there’s something about their tenacious, ageless Defense that just SCREAMS Vick injury. Just sayin’…

Now somebody get The Walrus some pie!


The Day After: The Nightmare May Be Over But The Insanity Continues

January 2, 2012

Another season gone, another empty trophy case.

Sure the Eagles “looked like a football team” these last four weeks, but at what cost? To save face? To save Juan’s job? To save The Walrus from extinction?

They may have been playing for pride, but the Eagles just rubbed the 2011 season in our faces. They showed us what could have been, and that’s a kick in the teeth. There’s no consolation prize for finishing the season on four game win streak, when the first twelve games were a mitigated failure.

Thanks for finally showing guys! Maybe you should have done that in September…

Meanwhile, The Devil and The Billionaire have been in uncharacteristically silent, sparking “intrigue” into what might be going on behind the scenes. But don’t get your hopes up, because Andy Reid will be back once again. Maybe they do replace Juan with Stevie Spags – who we would love to see return home, as he was the rightful heir to Jim Johnson’s DC throne… But apparently can’t co-exist with Jim Washburn and the Wide-9 – but major, headline-making changes are not on the horizon.

We’re calling Banner’s bluff. As “all in” as they may have been in August, the excuses are coming in January… no minicamps, no real offseason, limited training camp, no time for cohesion, too many new faces. The front office will give Andy another chance with this team.

What’s the definition of insanity? Doing the same over and over again and excepting different results.

Welcome to 2012… Year 14 of insanity.


The Day After (The Day After): Eagles Get The Wrong Coach Fired

December 13, 2011

By convincingly beating the Dolphins 26-10(*), the Eagles simultaneously changed the fates of two franchises. Embattled, but respected, Head Coach Tony Sparano was fired by the Dolphins, while embattled, but loathed, Head Coach Andy Reid all but assured that he would return for yet another season. Oy.

(*)In one of the most boring games we’ve witnessed in quite some time.

Again, we cannot find it in our hearts to root against the Eagles, the team we live, breath and bleed for… But we knew it would take a 4-12 record to finally remove The Walrus from our lives. Or at least the continuation of the trend from the week 13 game against the Seahawks that saw the players more or less quit on the season. Neither of those things happened.

Maybe it was the return of Mike Vick to the starting line-up that lit a fire under the rest of the team. Maybe it was the fact that they had a quarter of the season left to save face. Either way, the Eagles showed up on Sunday, and not only saved their coach’s job, but are still inexplicably IN THE PLAYOFF HUNT!

Like Chucky or Mike Myers or Freddy Kruger, this team just won’t die(**).

(**)Though the putrid play of the rest of the NFC East surely plays a part in keeping the Eagles alive.

We made a joke on Twitter and Facebook on Sunday, when FOX displayed a graphic explaining what it would take for the Eagles to make the second season, claiming that we would change FireTheWalrus.com to AndyIsGod.com, because the thought of this team making the playoffs was so laughable. It still is, especially when they could only go 8-8 at best… but it actually doesn’t seem entirely far-fetched.

The Eagles simply need to win their remaining three games – at home for the Jets, in Dallas on Christmas Eve, and Washington at the Linc on New Year’s Day. It’s not out of the question. The Eagles have a history of beating the Cowgirls in Dallas around Christmas time – going 4-1 in December games in Dallas over the past five seasons – and if they play well, can definitely beat the Jets and Redskins(***).

(***)Though the Eagles do have a tendency of struggling against bad Redskins teams in meaningless games.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys and Giants can’t post a record better than 1-2 over the last three weeks… certainly not out of the question for two teams known to implode in December. Dallas has games against Tampa Bay (likely a win), the Birds (a game we’d have to win) and the Giants (very meaningful for both teams). New York’s remaining schedule, much like the Eagles, includes the Redskins, the Jets and Dallas, all at their home stadium – though they’re technically the “away” team against the Jets.

So, though it’s still highly unlikely – and pains us to admit it – the Eagles seem to have a legitimate shot at winning the East at 8-8. Which would be a joke. This Eagles team doesn’t deserve to make the playoffs. No 8-8 team deserves to make the playoffs.

Does anyone really want to see the Eagles host a playoff game this season? Not really, considering this would likely be the third straight season to see the Eagles bow out of the playoffs in the first round – though, the NFC Wild Card teams may be made up of the awful Falcons, childish Lions, banged up Bears and/or the streaky Seahawks. Could the Eagles get past one of those teams? Of course… even though they’ve already lost to three of the four. But anything can happen in the playoffs. Until, of course, the Packers play.

So while we can’t root for the Eagles to lose out, we also can’t say we’d be super excited to see them in the playoffs. But at this point it really doesn’t matter…

Short of three straight embarrassing losses where players quit on the coach, The Walrus will be back. No matter how much we cry and scream and pine for his removal.

Welcome to purgatory!


The Day After: The Rest Of The League Calls The Eagles “All In” Bluff

December 2, 2011

We shouldn’t be this mad this morning. We expected the Eagles to lose in Seattle… what with the short week, cross-country trip and no talent.

But what we witnessed last night was demoralizing/embarrassing/comical/heart-wrenching. The 2011 Philadelphia Eagles did the one thing that we find more deplorable than sticking up for Andy Reid: they quit. Quit on their coach (finally), quit on themselves and, worst of all, quit on their city.

It’s one thing to be bad. It’s an entirely different thing to be bad and have no heart.

So THIS is what it’s like to be a Coughlin-era Giants fan!(*)

(*)And even they got a fucking Super Bowl win out of it…

We don’t know about you out there in Fire The Walrus-nation, but we are mortified to be Eagles fans this morning. It hurts to have the team you live and die for show zero heart and desire on national television(**). It’s painful to have the team that means more to you than family quit against a team led by Tarvaris Jackson and Pete Cheat Carroll. It’s stupid to care this much, we know… but we do.

(**)Though we’re pretty positive that the only people watching that awful “game” were Eagles fans, Seahawks fans and degenerate gamblers.

We’ve never hated an Eagles team, but this year’s vintage has seriously put us over the edge. The Eagles are like a sibling… sure they do stuff that annoys us and from time to time (like the 2009 season) they do things that make us really angry and frustrated with them. But we never HATED them. The 2011 Eagles are the equivalent of your sibling raping/murdering your spouse. We hate them. We don’t care if they don’t make it back from Seattle.

Can you tell how angry we are today?

In all seriousness though, this HAS to be the end of the line for The Walrus. No matter how we’ve felt about Andy, the one thing we’ve always defended him on was the fact that his players never quit on him. No matter how ugly and tumultuous things got for his teams, they never stop playing for him. Well guess what… that’s over with! The tipping point has come. His players no longer care to kill themselves for him. And that is the straw that will finally break The Walrus’ back.

The Billionaire and The Devil and Howie – who all deserve an equal amount of scorn and pink slips(***) – have no excuse for not firing Reid. It’s over. His reign of terror is done. There is no coming back from this.

(***)If only someone had the power to shitcan the owner…

We have many more thoughts/concerns/comments regarding last night and the state of the team in general – things like: Desean Jackson is a bitch. Vince Young is a third-stringer at best. Jim Johnson could coach better from his grave than Juan Castillo does from the sideline – but we need to collect our thoughts and cool off.

Unlike The Walrus’ tenure, this isn’t over. More later.


The Day After: The Linc Embraces Our Long-Running Rallying Cry

November 28, 2011

Before we get into the abysmal excuse for a football game that occurred yesterday, we just want to make one thing clear to the local and national media who are just catching on to the whole “Eagles fans are sick and tired of Andy Reid” thing… Eagles’ fans don’t want Andy fired for this season alone. It’s the culmination of the last 13+ years and no Super Bowl that has gotten us to this point of boiling-over frustration.

Sure, this year has been the tipping point for many fans – particularly the group that wanted to see what The Walrus could accomplish with all that “talent” on the field. But the media needs to look past the “all in” sentiment and total disappointment that is the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles, and realize that the “Fire Andy” chants have been a long time coming. He has had season after season after season to put this team over the top and win a Super Bowl, yet continuously fails to do so. We’ve seen great Defenses, dynamic record-setting Offenses, elite playmakers and Hall of Fame-caliber talent… yet no Lombardi trophy. And that’s why his franchise-best record, franchise-best winning percentage and franchise-best playoff victories no longer hold water.

Take PFT proprietor Mike Florio’s Monday 10-Pack for example:

“Fire Andy,” and then what?
With the 4-7 Eagles needing to run the table and hope for plenty of help, what happens if (when) they fail to qualify for the postseason? The home crowd has begun chanting “Fire Andy!,” an indignity that hasn’t been loudly foisted upon anyone in the NFL since Matt Millen left Detroit for good. Given that the Eagles went “all in” for 2011, with president Joe Banner telling PFT Live that the line between success and failure resides at winning the Super Bowl, common sense suggests that failing to succeed means walking away from the table, not getting another stack of chips with which to go “all in” again.

So what happens if Reid gets fired? Does owner Jeffrey Lurie believe he can find someone as good, and hopefully better, than Reid?

Then there’s the issue of the front office. With Reid supposedly still in charge, Banner and G.M. Howie Roseman could be vulnerable if Lurie tries to hire someone like Bill Cowher, who would want to have the same power that Reid has enjoyed, along with the ability to hire a new set of lieutenants.

It becomes a complex and risky exercise for Lurie, making the status quo safer, and thus more likely. Even though things haven’t gotten better under Reid lately, they could get a lot worse.

Andy Reid may be the best coach in Eagles history, but that doesn’t mean anything to Eagles’ fans anymore. For all his winning and all his records, he will never have a statue built in his likeness. No streets will be named “Andy Reid Way.” The Linc will never be known as “The House That Reid Built.” And that says a lot.

Did the national media bash Tampa Bay fans when they knew Tony Dungy wasn’t the one to lead them to the pinnacle? Or Colts fans who couldn’t wait to see Jim Mora run out of town? Was there national scorn for the Titans fans that wanted Jeff Fisher ousted? No. Those coaches took the heat for their team’s losing ways. So why should Andy get a free pass?

Florio, and the rest of the football world, needs to realize that Eagles fans respect what Andy Reid has done for us – taking a miserable, directionless franchise and restoring them to great heights – but are tired of watching the team hit the same postseason wall year after year. Maybe there isn’t a better coach out there. Maybe the Eagles do regress without Reid at the helm. But we want to find out. He is not the end-all, be-all of coaches. We want to see someone new waddle stalk the sidelines. We need a change in philosophy. We need a change in direction. Whether it’s right or wrong, it’s what needs to be done.

Nobody – even us here at Fire The Walrus – can discredit what Andy Reid has done for this franchise. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t worn out his welcome. Multiple times.

Yesterday’s debacle against the Patriots provided a perfect example of why it’s time to move on.

With his starting Quarterback out, and the weak-armed Vince Young in, Andy decided to design a game plan that primarily featured deep passes?! Sure, the Pats’ secondary is a total mess and the Eagles were able to attack them, but Young can’t throw the deep ball unless the wind is helping him out. Every single deep pass – whether caught or not – was underthrown. On the third play from scrimmage Riley Cooper caught a 58-yard pass from Young, but had to slow his route to catch it, allowing Kyle Arrington to keep up with him and stop a sure touchdown. Desean caught a deep ball over the middle that, if thrown correctly, would have led him into the end zone. Instead the team inevitably settled for a field goal when the drive stalled.

Young may have amassed 400 yards in the air, but could only muster one touchdown. (Of course Desean didn’t do him any favors, but more on that soon.) Sure, the Pats’ secondary is suspect and vulnerable, but why does that constitute giving Lesean McCoy – one of the best Running Backs in all of football and, by far, the Eagles’ best Offensive weapon – a total of 14 touches. Total. All game.

Especially egregious was the lack of touches for Shady inside the 10-yard line. With 1st and 5 from the Patriot’s 5-yard line, the Eagles Offense ran the following sequence of plays:
1st down: Shotgun, Young sacked for no gain.
2nd down: Young drops back, scrambles out of bounds for a 1-yard gain.
3rd down: Shotgun, Young’s pass incomplete (ball hits Desean in the hands).
4th down: Field goal.

And with 2nd and 8 from the Patriot’s 9-yard line:
2nd and 8: Shotgun, Young drops back, scrambles for 7 yards.
3rd and 1: McCoy run, no gain.
4th and 1: Incomplete pass to Celek in the end zone… except Celek was out of bounds anyway.

Seven plays inside the Patriot’s 10-yard line. One called running play. Great job guys! No wonder Jim Washburn wanted to beat the living crap out of Mornhinweg.

In what universe did that game plan make sense?

And let’s not forget about the typically insane use of timeouts! The first of which came just six and a half minutes into the game, with the Eagles facing 3rd and 10 from the Patriot’s 25. The Eagles lined up with plenty of time on the play clock, but didn’t like what they saw, so Young called for a TO. And they came back to the line in the EXACT SAME PLAY! The second timeout came just five minutes later, with the Eagles on Defense and the Patriots looking at 3rd and 1, and threatening to score. The Eagles were seconds away from being called for too many men on the field (again), and burned their second TO… only to jump off-sides coming out of the timeout, giving NE a first down and eventually a touchdown. For those scoring at home, that’s two timeouts in the first 13 minutes of play.

Most maddening, and possibly telling, of all is the play of Desean Jackson. Three separate times Young hit him in the hands with the ball for what would have been a touchdown, and all three times Jackson alligator-armed the ball. It was simply Pinkston-esque.

Desean has never been one to shy away from contact, but obviously this team and this coach aren’t worth risking his body over. He may be worried about his contract and his health, but that is no excuse to completely give up. Clearly, he is not happy with The Walrus, and went out of his way to show it. No player has ever quit on Andy the way Desean has, and though that may be a testament to his personality, it’s also a telltale sign that Reid is slowly losing the locker room(*).

(*)Read Derrick Gunn’s piece on the Washburn-Mornhinweg argument, which sheds some light on the divide in the locker room, the lack of leadership and the complete implosion of this team as a whole.

But poor execution and poorer game planning aside, the real story from yesterday’s loss was the “Fire Andy” chants that rained down on this pathetic group of players and coaches, and continued all the way into the parking lot and subway. This wasn’t the first time there have been anti-Reid rumblings at the Linc, but it was the first time in his overstayed tenure that the home fans totally and collectively turned on him so vehemently.

Eagles’ fans are pissed off. Eagles’ fans are frustrated. Eagles’ fans have seen enough. The time has come for the team to hear our cries of anger. Those “Fire Andy” chants will only continue to grow louder and more frequent and more in unison.

And that’s a win in our books.

We just hope Lurie can take a break from counting his money to pay attention.


The Day After: That’s All Folks

November 14, 2011

It’s time to petition the NFL and ask that they formally change the name of the Lombardi trophy to something more accurate, like: the Silver-Thing-That-Philadelphia-Will-Never-Possess trophy.

Yesterday’s Eagles game(*) was one of the most pathetic showings for our football team in a long time. And they’ve played some really bad games recently…

(*)If it can even be called that…

Michael Vick looked like the Michael Vick who once took snaps for the Atlanta Falcons. You know, the same Michael Vick who didn’t care enough to practice hard, stay awake in team meetings or follow socially-acceptable moral guidelines. Maybe it was the absence of his sole deep threat or the fact that the Eagles should have beaten the Cardinals handily, but for some reason, Vick decided that yesterday would be a good time to pull out his Donovan McNabb impersonation. Poor decisions, poorer throws, bad demeanor and body language… It was like number five never left!

And speaking of Desean’s healthy scratch… we cannot/will not, kill Reid for benching Jackson for missing a meeting. No matter what the reason was for his absence from a team meeting – whether for Special Teams or not – Desean deserved to be punished. If there’s one thing that we can respect The Walrus for, it’s not giving preferential treatment and not being afraid to discipline his star players. That’s part of the reason why his players don’t quit on him (though that may now be debatable).

John Miller, of Philadelphia Sports Daily, pontificates that we are entering the end of the Desean Jackson-era in Eagles history, but we see it differently. Would Desean have been the difference yesterday? Probably not. The Offense was putrid, Vick was the worst he’s been as an Eagle and Andy’s play-calling (which we’ll get to shortly) was planned as poorly as Penn State’s crisis management. But removing Jackson from the field totally warps the complexion of the Eagles’ Offense.

He may not be the best receiver, but the threat of Jackson getting behind the Defense is enough to keep the secondary on its heels. Without that dimension on the field, the Cardinals D was able to frustrate the receivers with bump and run coverage, while their Defense Line was able to pin their ears back and attack the backfield all day(**). If yesterday proved anything, it’s that the Eagles Offense desperately needs Desean Jackson in the lineup. He is a difference maker, even if he’s just playing decoy. Yesterday was understandable, but also proved how integral he is to this team. Pay the man!

(**)Have you ever heard of Daryl Washington before? He was certainly anonymous to us up until yesterday. Now, Eagles fans and Michael Vick will not soon forget his name.

Even worse than the Offense’s lack of execution/preparedness/caring, was the game plan that Andy devised for this game. How does Lesean McCoy – possibly the best Running Back in all of football – only get fourteen carries?! Not in a half… the WHOLE game! On top of that, in the last two games – both losses with leads blown in the fourth quarter – Shady has FOUR fourth quarter carries. Out of 33 Offensive plays! Did we mention that he LEADS THE NFL in yards per carry, yards per game AND touchdowns?! Is Andy TRYING to get himself fired?

UGH!

And we haven’t even mentioned the Defense yet…(***)

(***)Actually, besides the secondary allowing Red John Skelton to make a mockery of them, the front seven played pretty well. Even Castillo had an alright game… Somebody must have finally told him that Defenses are allowed to blitz!

Of course, the most disturbing trend to come out of yesterday’s loss is the Eagles’ unprecedented, history-altering ability to lose games they’re leading in the fourth quarter. Courtesy of CSN Philly’s Reuben Frank(****): The Eagles were outscored 14-3 in the fourth quarter, and they’ve been outscored 74-27 in the final quarter this year. Also, the Eagles are the only team in NFL history to blow FIVE fourth quarter leads in first nine games. The 1954 Packers, 1984 Browns, 1999 Saints each did it four times.

(****)And we urge you to read his take on “Michael Pick.” We sure hope The Devil put a “Psych, just kidding” clause in Vick’s $100 million contract?

Even worse… the Eagles are now 1-7 in their last eight home games. One win, seven losses. At home. Where we cheer for them. Where we blow out our voice box every week for them. Where we spend ungodly amounts of money to support them. Where we live and die on every play for them.

So much for home field advantage. So much for the “Dream Team.” So much for the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles season! We’re not even halfway through November.

As hard as it is for us to want the Eagles to lose, that’s the only hope we have for the rest of the year. The more they lose, the better the draft pick, the better the chance of someone other than The Walrus making it. Failure is our only hope.

Welcome to rock bottom.


The Day After: The Battle For Who Could Coach Less

November 8, 2011

And welcome back!

Much like the majority of Fire The Walrus Nation, it is tough to hate on our beloved Eagles after a near-perfect, Romo-embarrassing performance against the Cowboys. But then The Walrus goes and reminds us exactly why this site exists…

Let’s not be mistaken… all of the national football “experts” who immediately and predictably anointed the Eagles the class of the NEast after the Dallas shellacking, clearly haven’t been paying close attention to Andy Reid the last 13 years(*)(**). Reid-led Eagles teams ALWAYS give us one (1) complete game a year, and only one – last week against the Cowboys, the Redskins Monday Night Game last season, the Giants in 2009, the Steelers in 2008, the Lions in 2007. The team’s record following those five games where they we’re clicking on all cylinders: 1-4.

(*) Though, to be fair, their opinions on teams flip-flop worse than Reid does on the “honey baked” versus “smoked” ham debate.

(**) Congratulations Andy Reid, on your Bar Mitzvah of Ineptitude!

This was a textbook Walrus game. Didn’t we all see this coming?

And what a strange game it was. Could the Bears and Eagles be any more similar? It was like watching mirror images play each other… and both images look like Jekyll and Hyde. Have you ever seen a game where both teams put together really solid, well-planned and executed drives, while simultaneously making poor decisions, missing tackles, drawing ludicrous penalties and playing ridiculously sloppy? What a terribly coached game for both sides of the field.

For the life of us, we’ll never figure out Andy Reid’s decision – and it’s definitely his call, not Bobby April’s – to have rookie Punter Chaz Henry THROW a pass! On fourth-down! In the fourth quarter! In Chicago territory! Seriously, 4th and 6 from the 42, down three points with less than ten minutes remaining… Just keep the Offense on the field and go for it. Or punt and play actual Defense. Why is that so hard? Instead we get to see Henry’s girly noodle arm under-threw a WIDE open Owen Schmitt by, what felt like, 30 yards.

Speaking of going for it on fourth down… the play call on 4th and inches from the Bears’ 20 in the third quarter: Why hand the ball off three yards deep with no lead blocker, rather than have Vick simply fall forward? Maybe were picking nits – they did convert and go on to score a TD on the drive – but Andy Reid’s inability to call short yardage plays never ceases to amaze us.

The most egregious coaching job of the night has to go to Paul Mooney Lovie Smith though (though Mike Martz likely made this specific call). Third-and-goal from the Eagles’ 4 yard-line, up three with four minutes to play and the clock ticking down, and the Bears drop back to pass?! The Eagles D stiffened up a little bit and slowed down the run, but mostly on first and second downs. Even if the Bears don’t punch the ball in there, they still take at least 30 more seconds off the clock. Just dumb clock management, any Eagles fan can tell you that!(***)

(***) We traveled to Chicago in 2009 for the Eagles-Bears Sunday Night game, and Bears fans may have hated Lovie Smith then more than Eagles fans have hated Andy Reid at any time. Naturally, he’s still there. Somewhere in Chicago, the URL “FirePaulMooney.com” is being purchased…

What a shitfest all around. The Eagles’ secondary played horribly – another bad game for Asomugha – even allowing Roy Williams to grab snag three catches, each for a first down. The Defensive Line didn’t necessarily play poorly – they were in the backfield on nearly every passing down and consistently flushed Cutler out of the pocket – yet somehow didn’t get one hand on Cutler the entire game. To their credit, the Bears’ O-Line, playing with two back-ups, played extraordinarily well protection. And no matter how far back the Defense pushed the Bears on first and second down, they seemed to convert every single third down (****).

(****) In reality, the Bears converted seven of their 14 third downs, but did rail off four in a row to start the game and two on their clinching drive. Coincidentally, the Eagles were 8-14 on third down.

The only saving-grace was that the Offense did look unstoppable at times. Shady continued his campaign to become the most beloved Eagles Running Back of all time. The O-Line and Brent Celek(!) made some jaw-dropping blocks. Vick was throwing some really nice balls and his receivers were making nice decisions… you know, until the fourth quarter. Really, Desean Jackson was the only goat on Offense last night. Is the contract situation, and the talk of Shady getting a new deal soon, responsible for him disappearing completely?

Even the refs got in on the act, making some insane calls – thought thankfully both ways. The Eagles got a freebie with a pass interference call in the first quarter that shouldn’t have been called (the ball was tipped first). The Bears got lucky with the roughing the passer penalty that was caused by a Bears’ Lineman pushing Jason Babin in the back. The one truly horrible mistake was the pass interference call on Nnamdi that kept the Bears’ clinching drive alive. If he looks at the ball, that call isn’t made. Again, terrible game for Asomugha.

Regardless of how they did it though, the Eagles have once again blown a fourth quarter lead – their fourth of the year. They are now three games behind the first-place Giants and two games behind seven NFC teams – Packers, 49ers, Giants, Lions, Saints, Bears, Falcons, Bucs and Cowboys. They need to go 7-1 to even think about the playoffs. It’s not likely. And even if it did happen, this team isn’t winning a championship. Hell, this team isn’t capable of getting past the five best teams in the conference.

Again, we don’t condone rooting against the Eagles, but at this point, it’s all about draft position and The Walrus’ fate.

Here’s to a high draft pick… and somebody new making the decision.


The Day After: The Walrus Breaks Out the Bill Walsh Costume for Halloween

October 31, 2011

If the Eagles went 2-14 for the season, but the two wins were against the Cowboys, we’d be satisfied(*)… especially if they were wins like last night’s.

(*)Note: We would not actually be satisfied.

Man, is there anything better than beating the Cowboys? Yes! How about completely dismantling them on national television, while making Tony “Most Unwarrently Over-Hyped Quarterback Not Named Tebow” HRomo look like a concussed high school kicker forced to take snaps at QB?! He is putridly atrocious… and we freaking love it!
For all the scorn and vitriol we have for Andy Reid – after wins or not – nothing comes remotely close to the absolute boiling rage we carry for the Cowboys and their ratfink fans. That win felt good. Super good. Like what-heroin-must-feel-like good.

So for Halloween, we’ll put on the costume of not caring about The Walrus for a week, and just enjoy the beauty that was 34-7(**).

(**)How badly did you want to see the shutout?

Maybe it was an aberration – the Eagles are perfect after the bye under The Walrus, after all – but if this team can play at this level, or close to it, they can beat anyone. It’s not quite time to get the hopes up too high, but if they can continue this streak and take care of the Bears and Cardinals at home the next two weeks, this team is certainly playoff bound. What a far cry from 1-4.

The problem is we knew this would happen. Andy Reid teams historically start slow, string together winning streaks when the weather turns and make a run… only to fall to pieces in the playoffs. So, only time will tell if this team is truly gelling or not. In the meantime though, there was a whole lot to like last night.

Michael Vick played flawless football, as he once again showed us that he really can be the ultimate weapon at QB. Besides one McNabbian throw that hit the turf, he was threading the needle with ease all night and using his legs in all the right spots. It certainly helped that the Offensive Line finally played like an actual NFL Offensive Line. They were phenomenal, in fact, as Vick had all the time in the world and the holes they created for Shady were unreal.

Speaking of Shady and unreal… we couldn’t have more of a man crush on this guy. We hate to ever compare anyone to Barry Sanders – who is by far our favorite non-Eagle of all-time – but the cuts McCoy makes, the slight little head fakes, the way he can turn on a dime, is all reminiscent of the Lions’ Hall of Famer. Comparing a Running Back to Sanders is like comparing players to Jordan, but as far as Eagles Running Backs go, Shady McCoy may be the best of our lifetime. And that’s saying a lot.

The only thing we can truly complain about – and no its not Andy-related(***) – are idiot Cowboy fans.

(***)How could it be… he called a really great game, controlled the clock correctly, went 2-for-2 on challenges (albeit no-brainers), and most importantly, proved that an Eagles win following a bye week is as much a guarantee as taxes or death.

Look, if you’re from Dallas, we have no beef. You’re a Cowboys fan and that’s fine. But if you hail from Philly or New Jersey or Delaware or anywhere other than the state of Texas (and possibly Arkansas) and you’re a Cowboys fan… well, you’re just a confused, phony, front-running schmuck. Or a total piece of shit. Either or.

We have zero patience for these delusional nitwits who claim to be Dallas fans, yet have never stepped foot in the state Dallas resides in. Sports are all about geography, and if you think otherwise, well, you’re kind of an idiot. When you were in high school did you root for the school in the town over? Do you side with Iran because they won the Iraq war and we didn’t? Does civic pride mean nothing to you?!

If you couldn’t tell, our section was filled with an inordinate amount of Cowboys fans last night. A father even had the balls to bring his young son – must have been 7 or 8 – dressed in a HRomo jersey(****). We hope that kid went home and cried his little fraudulent eyes out over the pounding the Eagles gave his “team”… and gets his stupid Cowboy-liking ass kicked in school for the next 10 years.

(****)We’re calling child abuse on that one…

Phony Dallas Cowboy fans living amongst us… the only thing worse than The Walrus.


The Day After: Is It Too Late For A Lockout?

October 10, 2011

Well, here we are… one of the lowest points in recent Philadelphia sports history. Who would have thought that July 29 – the infamous day where, in a two-hour span, the Eagles surprisingly signed Nnamdi Asomugha and the Phillies miraculously traded for Hunter Pence – would be the apex of the 2011 sports year for our tortured city? That was it. That was our championship.

There was so much hope that day, and the weeks to follow. The future looked so bright for our two favorite franchises(*) and our city was envied by sports fans across the country. The Eagles and Phillies were being LAUDED nationally… a feat so rare, it comes around as often as Halley’s Comet. Philadelphia was on the precipice of greatness, of championships, of parades… But, realistically, just on the precipice of failure.

(*)Yes, we’re four-for-four and love the Sixers and Flyers too. But we all know that the winter sports aren’t as meaningful as the summer/fall ones… at least until the playoffs start. It’s awesome that the Flyers are 2-0 and look great, but realistically, call us in May/June.

And it’s not typical failure either. The Phillies – easily the most talented team in the National League, and on the paper, the strongest team in all of baseball – failed epically. Forget everything that happened before Game 5 of the NLDS(**), the Phillies went into the most important game of the season with the best pitcher in baseball on the mound… and he threw a one-run gem! Except they couldn’t even get a man to THIRD BASE?! They couldn’t muster more than three hits, let alone a single run.

(**)Oh, Cliff and your four run lead…

Not to be outdone – and/or in an effort to steal headlines from the woeful Phillies – the pathetic Philadelphia Eagles burst out of the gate in 2011 about as well as Ryan Howard leaves the batter’s box: Crippled. The Eagles could have started 2-3 and it would have been considered a disaster. But no… that wouldn’t be enough for our fragile psyches. The Walrus’ “team” stands at 1-4 and our fans stand on the edge of the Ben Franklin Bridge.

Sports are supposed to be the distraction from our shitty lives. Our country is in an awful place, our economy is fucked, our entertainment consists of idiots from Jersey and a rich, spoiled, untalented Armenian family, we’re overworked, underpaid, pissed off… And our sports teams are simply exasperating the situation. There is nothing to look forward to, no hope on the horizon.

Sure, there’s always next year… but unless next year includes a new football coach and new starting lineup for our baseball team, there’s just going to be the year after that.

Was 2008 an aberration? A fluke? A once in a generation moment of success and pleasure, that won’t return for another 25 years? It certainly feels like it. It feels like 2008 didn’t even happen. We’re right back to where we started: always expecting the worst, always experiencing the worst.

If you can’t tell, depression is in the air today. What transpired over the past 72 hours was pure torture. It’s taken every last bit of feeling and emotion out of us. Its kicked us in the teeth and punched us in the stomach.

Where do we go from here?

It’s not like a 1-4 start, or even a 1-15 finish, will mean the definite end of The Walrus’ regime. The Billionaire and The Devil LOVE Andy. He can do no wrong. Even failing with a team (supposedly) as talented as this one, isn’t a sure thing to get him a pink slip. And doesn’t that seem where we’re headed? The disappointment and frustration isn’t enough… let’s keep the heart of the problem here and see how he can fuck it up again next year. Let’s continue to dig the knife deeper into the hearts of Philly sports fans.

We didn’t post this last night after the game, because we knew it would be a rambling, incoherent mess(***)… and obviously it still is. It’s impossible to wrap our brains around the pain we feel right now. It’s too much to even talk about Jason Avant or Juqua Parker or Blaine Bishop Jarrad Page. The individual pieces don’t matter. The entirety of the Eagles organization (and Philly sports in general) is horrifically flawed. It needs to be blown up. It needs to start from scratch. It needs to Fire The Walrus.

(***)You know, as opposed to everything else we write…

We’ll wrap this mess of a post up with something Mike Florio wrote on profootballtalk.com this morning:

“So when going ‘all in’ and losing, what happens?  Do you get a new pile of chips to gamble next year?  Or is there accountability for making a bad bet?”

We want to know the same thing Mike… we want to know the same thing. Unfortunately, Andy Reid is staked to a seemingly endless supply of chips. Will The Billionaire and The Devil ever call his bluff?

Are we sure it’s too late to have that lockout?

 More to come… (including an actual recap of the embarrassment that was the Eagles versus the Bills).