The starters only played one drive in the Eagles’ first preseason game last week, but there was still plenty to talk about afterward for Eagles fans. Carson Wentz, the team’s second-year QB, went 4-for-4 with a touchdown pass to rookie Mack Hollins. Afterward, the team then jettisoned former second-round wide receiver Jordan Matthews in a trade for Bills cornerback Ronald Darby.
I talked about Wentz, and the Matthews trade, with my parents. And with three different food truck guys. And with my neighbor and a stranger in the park and some woman at a bar. What does this tell you, besides that I eat too many hot dogs? Among Eagles fans, even the preseason is worthy of discussion.
I live in Philadelphia, and I’m an Eagles fan. And I figured I should have topics for another week of conversation, so I watched last night’s game. And watched. And watched. I caught the first quarter at home, then walked to a bar for dinner. Then, after I finished dinner, I walked back home and watched the rest of the game. I missed only a few plays. Sure, I was doing other work while I watched the game, but I basically watched the entire thing.
What a sucker I am.
Is there an American sports product worse than preseason NFL football? I couldn’t think of one. Football is super-violent, so anytime the starters are in I’m just holding my breath and hoping no one on the Eagles gets injured. (Or the Bills! I don’t want anyone to get hurt. I’m a nice guy.)
And then once the starters exit, your team is quarterbacked by a guy who sucks, throwing to a bunch of guys you’ve never heard of. The defenses can’t tackle, the players can’t hold on to the ball, and the only first-stringers out there are the kicker and punter. And none of it matters, as you’ll forget the result within days.
I know all of this and I still choose to watch. But last night’s game was particularly awful. In all my years of watching Eagles preseason football, it may have been the worst game ever, or it just feels that way because of how quickly preseason games exit my head. The Eagles and Bills combined for 24 penalties for 216 yards. They turned it over a combined 7 times. They each averaged 4.8 yards per play, which is awful. The three touchdowns the teams combined to score all came from inside 10 yards. There weren’t even any exciting touchdown plays!
And the primary highlight of the game, when newly acquired CB Ronald Darby intercepted a pass, came when Eagles sideline reporter/hype man Dave Spadaro was reading an obit for former team PR man Jim Gallagher. If you ever wanted to see a man get really excited while reading a eulogy, now is your chance.
And yet, I already talked to a Wawa clerk today about last night’s game, Darby’s interception, and the Eagles’ chances this year. I will probably watch again next week. What else would I talk to people about?