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).

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Project #OccupyNovacareComplex

October 6, 2011

You’re probably aware – or at least should be aware – that there is a movement going on right now in New York City (and being adopted by various other cities) known as Occupy Wall Street. In short, Occupy Wall Street is a protest against the fat cats on Wall Street who are responsible for our failing economy and the fact that they NEED to be held accountable.

The movement is keeping up a running theme that’s currently in vogue throughout the world: Revolution.

So far in 2011, we’ve seen a revolution in Egypt, uprisings in Syria and Yemen, riots and protests across the Middle East, in Wisconsin, and now on Wall Street. Demanding accountability and repercussions for actions is all the rage these days, and it is high time die-hard Eagles fans jumped on that bandwagon.

Now, we’re not actually suggesting a physical revolt or violent protest… But The Billionaire and The Devil NEED to be told how we (the paying, forever-loyal customers) feel about the current state of the team. Much like the Wall Street execs that don’t give one shit about the rest of this country and the awesome predicament they put us in, Lurie and Banner simply tune out the fans, our complaints and our burning, never-fleeting desire to see the Eagles WIN A FREAKING SUPER BOWL.

We demand satisfaction. We demand respect. We demand a football coach who is more concerned with the play on the field than a reporter asking him a question he doesn’t like. We demand a Lombardi trophy and a coach capable of delivering one.

We’re putting out a call to all Eagles fans and everyone in Fire The Walrus nation: Get on your Facebook, get on your Twitter, get on your Google+ (that’s still a thing, right?), get on the Eagles’ message boards, get on 9.75 and 94.1, and let the Eagles’ bigwigs know that we will no longer stand for this!

We demand accountability for The Walrus’ crimes against Eagles fans. Forget the economy failing our country… our team is failing our city. This isn’t football, this is life… and Andy Reid has pushed us around for too long!(*)

#OccupyNovacareComplex! #OccupyTheLinc! #FireTheWalrus!

(*)Please note: This is meant to be tongue-in-cheek. In no way are we trying to undermine the importance of what’s going on around the world.


The Day After: Our Sunday of Discontent

October 3, 2011

Man, we knew the Eagles and Phillies like to show each other up, but yesterday reached a new level in the city’s “friendly” rivalry. The Phillies just couldn’t let the Eagles have the “choke-job” headline! They HAD to one-up the Birds and take the attention for themselves…

In all seriousness, words can’t describe the level of venomous anger that we feel after yesterday.

Where do the Eagles go from here? Ideally, they would lose the next 12 games and jump into the Andrew Luck sweepstakes(*), but you know that The Walrus would find some way of screwing that up – like winning a meaningless game in week 17 to take the team out of the running for the first overall pick. But, realistically, this team is headed for a 7-9, 8-8 or 9-7 season at best. And 9-7 even seems out of reach.

(*)Please don’t think that we actually view this as a possibility.

Sure, it’s only been four weeks and is too early to declare the Eagles season over… but, like we mentioned yesterday, they aren’t likely to overcome their current record. And they don’t exactly have the infrastructure in place to turn this thing around.

The Eagles are fundamentally flawed.

That is not news. We’ve known as much for the past couple of years. But it is as clear as day that this team is in major trouble. Again, they can’t tackle. They can’t play in the red zone on either side of the ball. They can’t protect the ball on Offense (more on this in a minute) and struggle to take it away on Defense. Their Defensive Coordinator is so painfully under-qualified(**) that they may as well have kept Ginger McDermutt(***). The only difference between the 2011 Secondary and the 2010 incarnation is that Nnamdi Asomugha makes roughly $11 million more than Dmitri Patterson did.

(**)And boy, is THAT an understatement!

 

(***)That’s former-Defensive Coordinator/Fire The Walrus-whipping boy, Sean McDermott for our newcomers.

It’s perplexing. It really is. Even after sleeping on it and collecting our thoughts, we still can’t seem to wrap our heads around the abject failure this season is turning out to be. We could/would never root for the team to lose or do poorly, but at this point, tanking the season is the only way Andy Reid loses his job. And even then, it’s not a sure thing, as Joe Banner The Devil basically insinuated that The Walrus is more or less the “coach for life.”

But everything must go. From the top down, this team needs to be broken up and sent packing. The coaching staff is hideous, the Defense is a disgrace and the Offense, even with its “star playmakers,” has few redeemable qualities.

Speaking of which… When did Andy Reid hire L.J. Smith to teach the Offense how to carry the ball? Vick, McCoy, Jackson, Maclin, Harbor… they ALL carry the ball in one hand, stretched out in front of them! Why?! Why are they incapable of tucking the ball in and protecting it?! And this started WAY before Maclin’s ridiculous fumble in the fourth quarter yesterday. It’s been going on since last year, and is absolutely infuriating. L.J. Smith was famous for carrying the ball like a loaf of bread(****) and cost the Eagles numerous fumbles. The fact that the coaching staff has allowed this to continue is just one more indictment on how frustratingly horrendous they are at their jobs. What the hell are the Eagles paying their coaches to do?!

(****)Copyright Pat Summerall.

Again, words can’t even begin to describe the level of vitriol we currently have for this team. It is mortifying to be an Eagles fan right now.  There is no pride in rooting for a team that has no heart and no desire. It’s maddening. It really is. We can’t even coherently rant…

Just look at what Cullen Jenkins, one of the very few bright spots this season and someone who played for a Super Bowl-winning team last year, had to say about the current state of the Eagles (via Dan Graziano’s NFC East blog on ESPN.com):

Regarding the mood in the locker room at halftime of the San Fran game – “I think it was a little bit too happy in here. Just because you’ve got a lead in the game doesn’t mean you’ve played a good game.”

Something we’ve been preaching since Fire The Walrus started – “The biggest thing we’re missing in here is the attitude. There’s not that fire, that mental toughness that makes you think you’re going to make it happen. And we’ve got to get that. At some point, the man in you has to come out.”

And finally, the truth – “There’s a lot of talented teams around the league that never win, and it’s because they don’t learn how to play the game as a team.”

Yep, that sums it up nicely!

Like we’ve been saying from day one on here, the Eagles lack the type of players that win in the NFL. There is no leader on the Defense, no Dawkins/Trotter/Douglas that can be relied on to step up and make a play, or get in his teammates faces and rile them up. There is no Jim Johnson to cover up Andy Reid’s flaws.

There’s just The Walrus, The Offensive Line Coach and a collection of players with no determination or heart.

This is your 2011 Philadelphia Eagles team. This is the season of our discontent.

This is the season to Fire The Walrus.


The End of an Era… For Better or Worse

August 2, 2011

The 2011 NFL Season will mark the end of an era for the Eagles… we just don’t know which one yet.

Either the long, excruciating history of Super Bowl-less Eagles teams finally comes to an end or the Andy Reid-regime crumbles under the weight of expectations(*). That’s it. No ifs, no ands, no buts. Joe Banner has made this perfectly – and encouragingly – clear.

(*)And Andy Reid himself.

The free agent spending spree we just witnessed was The Devil, The Billionaire and Howie’s way of publicly letting Reid know that they will not be bringing him back next season as a lame duck – lame walrus? – coach. Win the Super Bowl, get an extension. Fall short of that goal, you’re gone(**). The reckoning has finally come!

(**)Though don’t put it past those cheap lying “experts of the smokescreen” to give The Walrus another one-year extension if the team made it to, but lost, the NFC Championship Game. And my God have mercy on our souls…

With the Front Office stacking the team with as much talent as its ever had – even more so than the 2004 juggernaut Eagles(***) – the time to win is NOW. Banner even came out and said this nationally on yesterday’s PFT Live (see the link above), profootballtalk.com’s daily show. We’ve heard Banner make bold statements before – you may recall his claim of having “The best roster in the NFL!” in 2009 – but this one rings true.

(***)As good as that team was – and it was without a doubt the best Eagles team since the Reggie/Randall days – the NFL, particularly the NFC and NFC East, was so weak that season that the team’s ability was inflated.

Kevin Kolb is gone. There is no young, up-and-coming Quarterback to buy Reid a few more years – save for the potential of Vince Young, but even he’s on a one-year deal. Vick gives the Eagles the best chance to win now and the best chance to move on if it doesn’t work out. His career trajectory will either peak this season, or it unfortunately peaked last year, but there is no more room for growth. This is it. It’s now Reid’s job to have Vick get the franchise over the hump and win a Super Bowl, or it’s going to be somebody else’s job next year.

This is the ultimate test: a roster with gobs of talent and tons of depth; a premiere Quarterback at the height of his powers; a ridiculously-skilled Offense; a potentially tantalizing Defense. Barring major injuries, this is the strongest, deepest and most potent collection of players Reid has had the pleasure to coach(****). If he can’t make it work, he is the problem. There will be no more scapegoats – no matter how inexperienced the “new” Defensive Coordinator may be. Hell, if Ginger McDermutt had Asomugha, DRC, Babin and Jenkins last season, we’d most likely be cheering him in Lehigh today… maybe even dye our hair red in homage.

(****)Ray Didinger would like to throw water on that statement.

We’re not saying a Super Bowl is a sure thing… far from it. But this IS the last chance Andy Reid will have at winning one with the Eagles. He’s been handed one of the most talented rosters in the NFL, he just has to put them in the right situations.

It all falls on Reid’s wide fluffy shoulders. Banner, Lurie and Howie have made it perfectly clear, not just saying that the team is “all in,” but by actually going out and proving it with their high-profile acquisitions. The window to win is now. Expectations can’t get higher. It’s win or go home for The Walrus.

Either way, it’s the beginning of the end of an era. Super Bowl or Bust. Lombardi or Walrus.


R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Find Out What It Means to Teams

August 1, 2011

Have you come back down to Earth yet? Us either!

What the Eagles did over the past weekend was nothing short of amazing. Rodger-Cromartie. Babin. Young. Jenkins. And of course, the “pièce de résistance,” Asomugha. Oh, and don’t forget, they threw in WR Johnnie Lee Higgins and TE Donald Lee for good measure too(*).

(*)Though I don’t foresee Lee catching on with this team, save for an injury… Brent Celek and Clay Harbor are the two TEs, and if the Eagles decide to carry a third, Lee will have to battle Cornelius Ingram for the spot.

The Eagles “won” free agency in the eyes of many, particularly football analysts such as ESPN’s John Clayton and Grantland’s Bill Barnwell. And many, especially the Eagles own, recently-acquired players, are calling the team a “Dream Team” or “The Miami Heat of the NFL.”  

Quick tangent: Normally, we would scoff at such talk, and beg players like Young and Babin to keep their mouths quiet and prove it on the field… But hell, we’ve been screaming for shit-talking football players since the days of Hugh Douglas! This is precisely what this Eagles team has been sorely lacking for so many years now: Balls. Big, trash-talking, bravado-spewing balls. Seth Joyner-sized balls.

This team used to have a tradition of mean and dirty, brutally physical, DOGS… the Bednarik’s, the Bergey’s, the Joyner’s, the Runyan’s. It’s finally a return to that line of thinking. Vick(**) and Desean were the start. Now Babin, Young and Jenkins fit the mold. The Eagles were in desperate need of over-confident swagger and boisterous smacktalkers. Now they have them.

(**)Seriously, no pun intended.

Even The Devil, Joe Banner himself, got in on the fun: When Howie was asked if they still had flexibility to sign more players, Banner interjected with a “Hell yeah!” Are we watching a Twilight Zone episode?!

So as we try to comprehend just what exactly is going on over there at the NovaCare Complex – Phillies jealousy? Collective heat stroke? Pod people? Commonsense added to the water supply? – let’s look at the real reason why so many NFL veterans are calling their agents : the mystique of Michael Vick.

Two years ago today, the majority of Eagles fans were shocked and flabbergasted when Vick landed on the Eagles. One year ago today, the majority of Eagles fans were questioning why Vick still held a valuable roster spot(***). Today, the majority of Eagles fans would be talking about Hunter Pence and Hunter Pence alone, as opposed to the Eagles’ embarrassment of riches known as their free agent haul, if Vick wasn’t in Midnight Green.

(***)Yes, that was us driving the bandwagon…

Why is that, you ask? Because guys simply want to have the opportunity to play with someone as special as Michael Vick. Do yourself a favor and read Chris Ryan’s piece on Grantland.com today, Flocking to the Eagles, and former-Inquirer/current-ESPNer Ashley Fox’s piece from yesterday. Usually you read stories like that about NBA superstars or the Patriots… but an Eagle?!

If the Eagles attacked free agency during the Donny Drama years with the same sense of urgency that they’ve used during this one, maybe they would already own a Lombardi. But maybe Vick holds the key that Five never could: Respect from his peers.


NOT-SO BREAKING NEWS: The Walrus Goes ‘All In’

July 30, 2011

What can be said for what went down at 6 p.m. EST on July 29, 2011?

The day started with a post on this very site, praising(?!) Andy Reid for taking a low-risk, high-reward chance on Vince Young, back-up Quarterback. The day ended with The Walrus, The Devil and The Billionaire pushing all of their chips in the middle of the table and calling “all in” on the 2011 NFL season.

And boy, are we impressed.

A secondary including Asante Samuel, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha(*) immediately hides many of the Eagles defensive problems. They can go into the season with Jamar Chaney, Casey Matthews and Moises Fokou as the starting Linebackers(**). They can get away with a rotation of Trent Cole, Jason Babin, Juqua Parker, a less-than-100% Brandon Graham, and the Tapp-Sapp-Hunt pu pu platter at DE. They can have a lifelong Offensive Line Coach takeover the reins of the Defense. They still need another DT – sorry Bunkley – and another Safety to add to the mix, but, wow… just wow.

(*)Just writing that brings a tear to my eye…

(**)Though, hopefully, they will wise up and add at least ONE legitimate veteran to the LB corps.

People are calling this a stunning move, but to Andy’s credit, it’s not unprecedented. He has a knack for going after the top-flight free agents and acquiring his targets. Jon Runyan, Jevon Kearse, Asante, (almost LeCharles Bentley). And now the prize of the 2011 free agent class, Asomugha.

Additionally, this isn’t the first time Andy has pieced together a defensive backfield that can strike fear into the hearts of opposing Offenses. Following the NFC Championship game loss to the Rams in 2001 – which saw the Rams’ “Greatest Show on Turf” Offense and subsequent 4 and 5-receiver sets pick apart the Eagles secondary – the team drafted Lito Sheppard, Sheldon Brown and Michael Lewis in the first two rounds of the draft and added free agent Strong Safety Blaine Bishop to an already stellar cast of Brian Dawkins, Troy Vincent, Bobby Taylor and Al Harris. Bishop didn’t pan out, but the Eagles secondary propelled the Defense to the number two ranking that season.

The team’s secondary was horrendous in 2010 – giving up a franchise record 31 passing touchdowns in the regular season – and, after moving away from it for a few years, the NFL is once again dominated by Offenses running 4 and 5-Wide Receiver sets. Assuming no one is traded, the Eagles are going into the season with Asomugha and Asante – the NFL’s best cover corner and best ballhawking corner – as the starters, with Pro Bowler Rodgers-Cromartie and borederline-starter Joselio Hanson as the nickle and dime corners. Wow.

Two days in a row of praising Andy Reid is painful… but you can’t deny that he is going all out for this season. And we love it!

We’ve been screaming for the Birds to go all in for a Super Bowl run every offseason since 2004 (the last time they truly went for it). Well, they finally answered the call.

Fire The Walrus? Not today(***).

(***)But we’ll see what happens come gamedays.


Whisker Wednesday Poll

March 2, 2011

Whisker Wednesday continues with the Whisker Wednesday Poll: Who is your “Jerk-Off of the Week” (Non-Walrus Edition)?

The Philadelphia Eagles Front Office brass had a banner week (no pun intended) – from winning awards they have no business winning, to getting snubbed by the real winners of said award, to comparing the Eagles mediocre playoff success to the Steelers actual playoff success – the team’s executives certainly have a knack for getting under Eagles fans’ skin.

On top of that, their longest tenured player, David Akers, is unhappy and refuses to sign his Transition Tag (boo-hoo!), even though he’s a Kicker who can no longer make field goals past 30-yards.

Not a very happy-go-lucky time in Eagles Nation… Which begs the question: Who has been the biggest jerk-off the past week?

Personally, I have to go with The Killer of Kelly Green. We don’t hear from her often, but when we do, we all wish she would just shut the hell up.

Nobody cares that she was offended for not being thanked for simply writing a check. In fact, WE’RE offended that she would even say such a thing… considering the Lurie’s Oscar is a slap in the face to Eagles fans everywhere.

Rosenfield is a close second though… Charlie Sheen keeps us all “winning!”

Have a better candidate for “Jerk-Off of the Week?” Leave it in the comments.

Coming Soon… Oscar Snub Sundays!