Some people are fans of the Philadelphia Eagles. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Philadelphia Eagles. This 2012 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read the other Why Your Team Sucks 2012 previews here
1. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting Andy Reid to win a Super Bowl. The Eagles had their chance last January to rid themselves of Andy Reid forever. They could have kicked him the curb and no one—not even Reid—would have put up much of a fuss. They could have replaced him with a more dynamic personality—such as a chair, or the corpse of a dog, or even an oscillating fan—and finally gotten something out of a talented roster. Instead, owner Jeff Lurie took a gigantic DUMP all over Philadelphia and let Reid stay. Why? WHY? Are you fucking joking?
With apologies to Chargers fans, no fanbase in the NFL hates its coach more than Eagles fans hate Andy Reid, and justifiably so. He's an incompetent, emotionless buttsteak of a man. He LOATHES running the ball. (When LeSean McCoy ran the ball more than 25 times a game last season, the Eagles won every game. This happened a whopping three times.) Andy Reid doesn't even have to do anything to make an Eagles fan apoplectic. He can just stand there, on the sidelines, breathing out of his mustache like an idiot, and the average Eagles fan will want to choke the life out of him. His continued presence on the sideline feels like some kind of sadistic prank Jeff Lurie is playing on the entire city. Secretly, he must cackle with evil delight while watching Reid botch timeouts and call for fullback dives on fourth-and-3.
And to make matters worse, Lurie didn't even force Reid to fire the hated Juan Castillo in the offseason. Steve Spagnuolo was available. FOR WEEKS! He was standing out on the curb wearing a giant sign that said "QUALITY DEFENSIVE COACH FOR HIRE," and what did Andy Reid do? He went on VACATION. I swear to God, he went on fucking vacation before slobbing his way back to Eagles headquarters and deciding DURRRRR LET'S JUST KEEP THE O-LINE COACH IN CHARGE OF THE DEFENSE. This is criminal neglect of a football team. This is a team that will now go out and make the EXACT same mistakes it did a year ago, with Nnamdi Asomugha playing junior high roverback and the Eagles needing to exhaust all their timeouts before the opening kickoff. And do you know what the worst part is? I do ...
2. Analysts LOVE Andy Reid. They adore him. They can't get enough of him. They look at his career record, and they instantly fall in love. He's so steady! He really keeps an even keel! You listen to me, Troy Aikman: There is a difference between being levelheaded and being utterly lifeless. There is NO sense of urgency when Andy Reid is coaching this team. Mike Vick could be on fire, and Andy Reid would still walk to find the extinguisher. Analysts live in this alternate reality where Reid is one of the great coaches of the NFL and that reality is a LIE. Andy Reid is the worst.
3. Michael Vick loves killing drives almost as much as he loves killing puppies. Now that Cam Newton is here, you are no longer obligated to drop to your knees in awe whenever Mike Vick turns a busted play into a 25-yard run. It's not that thrilling when you know he's gonna either fumble the ball or throw a pick on the very next play. Vick has completed more than 60 percent of his passes only once in his career, and that was in 2010, when he was able to surprise pretty much everyone. Now that defenses know he can be contained with corner blitzes and other tactics, he's regressing back to his average quarterbacking numbers. He threw 18 TD passes last season, pathetic in the pass-happy era. And he ran for only one touchdown, so it's not as if he balanced things out on the ground. For the majority of his career, Vick's flashiness has acted as a grand cover for his shortcomings as a passing quarterback, and now that's coming to an end. He can't even last a full season. The fucker said he finally learned to slide this offseason. WELL, WHAT THE FUCK TOOK YOU SO LONG? I guess this is when Andy Reid found time to teach you.
The Eagles are a team that has been thrown together without much thought as to cohesion and scheming (and whatever scheming Castillo dreams up is usually breathtakingly wrong). And now they're going into another brutal year in the NFC East without Jason Peters (torn Achilles) and with DeSean Jackson certain to piss everyone off again. This is a patchwork team coached by a glorified mall cop and led by an erratic QB who can't stay healthy. They're screwed. And you know what?
4. This is what Eagles fans deserve. One of my favorite Twitter feeds is FakeWIPCaller, because it perfectly embodies just how miserable Philly sports fans are. You could win eight Super Bowls and give every single one of these people a new car, and they'd STILL find a way to bitch. The players are never tough enough. The coaches are never smart enough. Only Phil from South Philly has all the answers, and he's more than happy to explain them all to you. Once upon a time, the media decided that all Philly fans are unapologetic assholes, and the town took that and ran with it. It's as if the entire town is trying to live up to a reputation no sane person would want to have. You know what? I hope Andy Reid gets four more years.
5. Hear it from Eagles fans!
You're hosting Thanksgiving. You bought a turkey from Wegman's and your dad's coming over to fry that sucker up. Your wife made the stuffing and the green bean casserole and the lasagna (you're Italian, you eat the shit out of that on Thanksgiving), and all of it is delicious. The Lions are good again, and the Sunday night game features the first place Steelers against the first place Patriots AT Heinz Field, meaning there are three awesome games on the docket for the day. Your aunt went to the farmer's market and bought all kinds of cheeses and cured meats, so the pre-gaming eating is still awesome. The whole family's there too for the first time in forever, and everyone's got good feelings. It's the perfect holiday. NOTHING can go wrong, right?
Yeah, then your idiot uncle shows up, spills the gravy on the rug, asks your not-out-of-the-closet cousin if he's ever gonna find a girl and brings up Chick-Fil-A, causing a free-for-all argument before pie can be served.
THAT'S what it's like to be an Eagles fan. The whole roster can be perfect, but once you remember Andy Reid is the one calling the plays, well, it's time to start bracing for someone else to be holding the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the year.
The Linc could be full-up to capacity every Sunday of the NFL season with a different group of 69,144 fat, illiterate, mustachioed Philly slime reeking of Chicky and Pete's crab fries and Tastykakes and there would still be hundreds of thousands on the waiting list who never got in. These are people who will majestically don the jersey of a fifth-string wide receiver signed by the team 30 years ago because it was so bad it had to pluck a player off the street. This is a fanbase maniacally proud of the 700 Level in the Vet, which was one of the most vile places a human being could ever go. For many, Eagles is the only word they can spell with absolute confidence.
There is guaranteed to be at least one game this year in which the Eagles are down by between four and eight points and the following sequence takes place:
Quarter: 4, time 1:10
1st and 10, Eagles ball, opposition 15
M. Vick passes incomplete left to J. Maclin (1:02)
2nd and 10, Eagles ball, opposition 15
M. Vick passes incomplete middle to B. Celek (0:55)
3rd and 10, Eagles ball, opposition 15
M. Vick SACKED for -7 yards, FUMBLES. Ball recovered by Eagles (T. Herremans). (0:44)
M. Vick INJURED, will not return.
Eagles CHALLENGE ball spot. Call upheld, Eagles charged with timeout.
4th and 17, Eagles ball, opposition 22
N. Foles passes complete middle to J. Avant for 18 yards. FIRST DOWN. (0:35).
1st and goal, Eagles ball, opposition 1
L. McCoy runs up middle for no gain. (0:30)
2nd and goal, Eagles ball, opposition 1
L. McCoy runs up middle for no gain (0:15)
3rd and goal, Eagles ball, opposition 1
L. McCoy runs up middle for no gain (0:09)
Time expires, end of game. Eagles lose.
For the record, the above email nearly killed me.
Philly fans throw snowballs at some drunk asshole in a shitty Santa costume during a terrible season over forty fucking years ago and BAM! Legacy. Now any time some drunk asshole fan at a Philly game does some drunk asshole thing to another fan, I have to watch 3 weeks of Stu Scott staring into Camera 1 and Camera 4 declare, "There's no love in the City of Brotherly Love!"
Santa has been an anchor around my neck for years, a little meme for lazy sports reporters. And because Philly is apparently the only city in the country to have fans do asshole things to one another, our stupid fans are the only ones who make it into the national news. What does it take for another city's fans to get into the news? Pretty much they have to beat a man into a coma. Dodgers fans beat a man half to death and the media yawns, glances at it with a bored expression, and moves on. But fans boo the Cowboys in Philadelphia and Joe Buck is going to say something like "Listen to these fans give it to Cowboys. You would almost think that Santa was playing for them!" and Troy Aikman is going to say "I'm glad I'm not wearing a Santa hat this week Joe." Ugh. Fucking Santa.
What pretty much every Eagles fan tweet looked like last week:
"O shit Nick Foles BLOWIN UP dis Browns D #VickWho? #DreamTeam #I'mFat"
Philadelphia fans as a whole are a vile combination of ignorance, belligerence, racism, misery, and poor sanitary habits. They're not people, they're anthropomorphic roaches like the bad guy in the Men in Black. I'll bet you he was an Eagles fan.
Eagles fans suck is because they're a bunch of whiny malcontents who think that all of the team's problems could be solved by getting rid of all the team's good players/coaches and "getting a stud [insert position]" as if that were just like buying a fucking cheesesteak.
Go to any decent deli in NY and get a cheese steak with provolone and meat that didn't come from a horse's ass and you'll never get one with whiz in Philly again.
You'd think that after being a head coach in this league for 14 years, Andy Reid would have learned that in a two-minute drill, you shouldn't have to use the whole fucking play clock before snapping the ball, BUT NO, the team dilly-dallys to the line and takes their sweet old time to complete a 2-yard swing pass and stay in bounds to let the clock run more. We'd use a timeout, but Andy is king at spending all our timeouts within the first 5 minutes of the first and third quarters because our quarterback is not "anticipating" an extra lineman in the box. It's a fucking joke.
The worst thing about Eagles fans is that a large number of us HATE Andy Reid. The man has a 136-90-1 career record and got the Eagles to the Super Bowl. The Eagles have been relevant almost every year he's coached in the NFL, and he has only two losing seasons in his entire career with the team. Other NFL teams would kill for that success, and if Andy Reid were to lose his job tomorrow, I bet there are teams that would fire their current coaches to bring him aboard. Why do they hate him? His press conferences are boring. He doesn't tell the media anything. He protects his players when they make a mistake. He seems like a pretty good guy.
Who do Eagles fans worship? Buddy Ryan, who had an 0-3 playoff record.
There is no group of human beings on Earth who complain more about their negative national image yet do nothing but constantly feed the stereotype.
DeSean Jackson literally ran out of money and had to borrow Drew Rosenhaus' credit card last season.
Andy Reid burns timeouts like Wilson Goode burns rowhomes.
1) The Eagles' fight song. God almighty, the fight song. We sing it after every touchdown, quote it to each other on the street year-round, even buy fucking plaques with the lyrics engraved on them to hang in our Douche Caves.
"Fly Eagles fly, on the road to victory! Fight Eagles fight, score a touchdown 1-2-3! Hit ‘em low, hit ‘em high, and watch our Eagles fly! Fly, Eagles, fly, on the road to victory! E-A-G-L-E-S! EAGLES!"
With its prominent inclusion of both counting and spelling, it reads and sounds like something that Telly Monster and Elmo would warble out together while peeing on Oscar the Grouch's trashcan after a wild early evening of drinking spiked apple juice and vandalizing Hooper's Store.
2) 10-6 and losing in the first round of the playoffs. That's what the Eagles do every year. Look it up. EVERY YEAR. Last year, when they went 8-8 and missed the playoffs? They were 10-6 and lost in the first round of the playoffs. 2010, when they went 10-6 and lost in the first round of the playoffs? They went 10-6 and lost in the first round of the playoffs. That stretch from 2000-2004 when they went 59-21 and made the playoffs every year, including the trip to Jacksonshithole for Super Bowl XXXWHATEVER, where they became the first team in the post-Lombardi era to puke in perfect harmony during their final drive (the 1948 Chicago Cardinals were the only other team to accomplish this, in their 7-0 Championship Game loss to-ironically-the Eagles)? 10-6 and lost in the first round of the playoffs all five times. Last week I tried calling in to Angelo Cataldi and telling him that I am from the future, and that the Eagles will go 10-6 and lose in the first round of the playoffs this year, but in making that call I discovered two things: 1) I had the wrong number, and 2) Whoever's answering the phones at my local Bob Evans these days is an asshole.
3) We Eagles fans are misunderstood, but not in a good way. The ritualistic fluidity with which the media passes around the "Philly fans sure are a tough bunch" bullshit clichés is constructed of equal parts journalistic laziness and a relief on our part that those talking heads on ESPN and elsewhere seem incapable of recognizing us for what we really are: Delirious, Kool-Aid-slurping sycophants. Just as every year this ragtag group of lint scrapings falls out of Jeffrey Lurie's wallet and goes 10-6, we the "phans" (DO YOU GET IT?!) spend every August convincing ourselves that all the hype this year is perfectly warranted; that (this time, finally!) the players might be onto something when they use words like "dream team" and "dynasty" and "not completely fucktarded." Listen to Philly sports talk radio for more than 5 minutes during a late-summer drive time hour (after you've safely stashed your Glock in a place from which it can't jump out and harangue you into using it to shoot yourself in the face), and you'll hear it: "The pieces are there this year!", "They're gonna have a big season!", "It's now or never!", etc. Spoiler alert, dickholes: It's Never.
4) Speaking of Philly sports radio: every now and again, some correspondence school dropout will call in and ask this question: "What do you think about maybe bringing back McNabb?" Actually, I probably didn't need to include the other three. This one is enough of an all-encompassing shitfest on its own.
I was born, raised and live in this city and I can tell you, without hesitation, it's the fans. If you want to experience why Eagles fans suck, just make a day-trip to Philadelphia, walk into some shithole bar in South Philly, Kensington, or some other "blue collar" enclave (there's plenty to chose from), and approach our nearest group of civic ambassadors. They'll be easy to spot: Overweight? Check! Tight fade hair cut? Double check! Stupid, ethno-religious tattoo on their arm? (Celtic cross over a shamrock) Triple check!
Say the words "Donovan McNabb Andy Reid" and prepare yourself for a Harvard-level thesis in stupidity. Despite delivering the best years of the franchise's existence, where we played in four NFC Championship Games, one Super Bowl and piled-up nine NFC East titles, you would have thought that Big Red and Donovan were Ray Rhodes and Koy Detmer with the way that they get treated in Philly. According to the average Eagles fan, not beating the Patriots in 2004 (what a shitty team they were, right?) means that owenrship/Reid/McNabb were utter failures who weren't "committed to winning" despite consistently keeping the Eagles competitive, landing big name free agents, and otherwise running the franchise like the gold standard of the NFL. Short of Lurie himself coming down from the owner's box, winning Super Bowl after a 16-0 season, and taking a dump on the Dallas star, it's just way too fun for Philly fans to maintain their bullshit attitude.
Oh, and despite the fact that we play in a gorgeous stadium with state of the art amenities, you still routinely hear Eagles fans getting emotional when talking about how great the Vet was. The Vet was a dump that set the city's reputation back 2,000,000000 years. Get over it and take off that silly cheesesteak hat.
FUCK YOU Juan.
Our bullshit revisionist love for Buddy Ryan. Buddy Ryan was a complete asshole, and never won anything that could justify his assholeness. Rex, entering only his 4th season, is already 10 times the coach Buddy ever was. Buddy's greatest accomplishment as a coach was punching Kevin Gilbride in the face during a game; which, while awesome, is not something that will get you into Canton. He also didn't understand anything about offense. That's not an elaboration or hyperbole; he was a head football coach who didn't give a shit about what happened when his defense wasn't on the field.
Also he once (that we know of) put a hit out on a punter. A PUNTER. Even with how great Gang Green was, fans were never really that sold on Buddy, and after yet another playoff loss were turned off by him completely. But in the last few years (our jealously of Rex Ryan, our displeasure with the boring Andy Reid, and our genuine love for the late Jim Johnson) there's been this fanbase-wide nostalgia for the supposed good ol' days of the Buddy Ryan years. Horseshit.
Our bullshit revisionist love for Ron Jaworski. Philadelphia HATED Jaws when he played here. We blamed every loss on him and thought the whole "Polish Rifle" thing was cute for oh, maybe about 3 months. Even when he took us to the Super Bowl, it wasn't enough because we blamed the loss on Jaws. The second Randall Cunningham got here we ditched any possible pretense of ever liking Jaws. It's only been recently with Jaworski's emergence as a national media presence that we've pretended to love him all along.
Since our backup QB Mike Kafka was injured, the Eagles needed to put in their 2012 third-round pick Nick Foles. Foles played a good game for a brand new rookie, getting 2 TD's and throwing one pick before being replaced by some other guy, whose name I don't know because really, whose life is actually sad enough that they dedicate time to knowing the name of the 4th string QB on a football team?
So why are our fans terrible? Because the following morning I tune into the local Philadelphia sports radio station and had all of my senses violently assaulted by fans claiming Nick Foles is the future of the Eagles, that he's the next Tom Brady, that he should immediately replace Vick as our #1 QB, and that he'll probably cure cancer. Why? Because he played decently for three quarters in a preseason game against a backup defense.
The only vetting process through which our overtly racist fans put our starting quarterback through is whether they can bring them home to meet their parents.
Our current coach is the most successful coach we've ever had, yet everyone in the city is so sick of his inept clock management, awful personnel decisions (we one entered a season without a punt returner on the roster) and monotone press conferences that we squirt our jeans whenever the name Jon Gruden is brought up by one of the professional trolls who comprise the entirety of Philadelphia's sports media. Jon Gruden. Fucking Chucky. God.
Our most popular player is a convicted puppy killer and a confirmed coach killer. He once beat a dog to death by repeatedly slamming it against the ground like a bag of ice at a BBQ. Think about that. Yet he is a phenomenal athlete capable of taking over a game and putting on a display like no one else in the history of the sport. When I learned that we signed him, it was like learning that Santa Claus is real, and brings all those presents, but is also a serial rapist. Watching this team is a numb, joyless experience spent pondering the conflict between morality and entertainment. Ron Mexico ruined football for me.
Our fans are complete morons. The last time I was at an Eagles game, a fan sitting near us kept shouting at everyone in front of him to sit down and stop being so excited, calling them amateurs and saying they didn't know what they were cheering for. He also kept shouting how these were the season tickets he had owned for the over twenty years. He left at halftime and didn't come back. This made him the most tolerable of the brain-damaged cheesesteak receptacles surrounding me. We like to make fun of NY fans as fat, stupid bandwagon-jumpers who smell like day-old hoagies. We are those same smelly idiots. I never want to go to an Eagles game again.
Also, many years ago, I was going to propose to my girlfriend at an Eagles game - we were both big fans, and I was young and dumb. My plan was to do it after the birds scored their first touchdown of the night - what could be a higher high? The Eagles lost 42-0 that night. To the Seahawks. She dumped me 6 months later.
I fucking hate the Eagles. They are the worst. But I can't look away. And that's what hurts the most.
Eagles fans are so on edge and obsessed with never letting a (perceived) slight just drop away that everything inevitably goes to hell when you go to a game. I'm as big an Eagle fan as anyone but I am tired of this shit, just let me yell at Andy Reid in peace without worried about being on the end of a drunken diving elbow drop.
In a season in which the organization made it quite clear they were going for it all, the 2011 Philadelphia "Dream Team" Eagles attempted to win a Super Bowl while getting rid of their proven veteran field goal kicker (who had a tremendous season with the 49ers instead) in favor of a rookie kicker and hired a defensive coordinator who had never coached defense at the NFL level. Okay. So let's recap. When trying to win THE SUPER BOWL.... according to my football team... field goals and defense... NOT THAT IMPORTANT.
There is only one way I can think to describe being a fan of a team that employs Michael Vick as it's quarterback.
Imagine standing in front of two indistinguishable boxes that each have a hole in them for your dick. Inside one is Kayden Kross, ready to give you the most mind-numbingly good blowjob you have ever experienced; inside the other is a swarm of angry scorpions that have been genetically engineered to hate penises.
That is what every offensive play with this team feels like. You know you're either headed for the orgasmic bliss of a 70 yard touchdown pass or untouched 35 yard scamper... or you get the horrible soul deadening pain of watching Vick get pancaked on the back end of a draw play and the slow realization that the writhing means he's not going to be getting up.
I give Michael Vick 3 steps off the team bus before he shatters a clavicle, ruptures a disk in his back and tear a/if not all Cruciate Ligaments.
Our favorite city athlete is Rocky- a fucking fictional character from 1976.
Having gone to school in Philly, I can easily say Eagle fans are the worst people of any affiliation. Did you know that their football, basketball, and football stadiums are in one enormous parking lot? Then you've never encountered a Philadelphia fan, cause they will tell you that before their name. "OUR CENTRALLY LOCATED SPORTS VENUES MAKE US THE BEST SPORTS CITY!!"
The average Eagles fan's game day experience goes something like this:
Tailgate, stumble into the game, watch the Eagles score first, proclaim to be the most unstoppable team since the 92 Dream Team, throw up, fall into a drug and alcohol induced coma, wake up as they lose in the last 3 mins, call for Andy Reid's meteor-sized head.
Our coach handles the clock like Penn State handles a scandal. The average Broad Street cementhead getting high on nitrous balloons in the stadium parking lot can hit harder than our secondary. Our porcelain quarterback apparently thinks that it's Pennsylvania law that you have to hold onto the ball long enough to get a helmet to the brisket. And we can't decide if our best quarterback ever was the guy who vomited his way into losing or the other guy who vomits into our ears on game day.
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