The Eagles are clinically insane. They are an organization that continues to do the same thing, year after year, expecting a different result. Two years ago, president Joe Banner used those words to define insanity. He was right.
The Eagles are nuts. Is there any other logical explanation for Andy Reid making the same mistakes, with no accountability? Is there any reason why he continues to pass the ball maniacally behind a woeful offensive line? Is there a better excuse for why the defense is always too small and too young?
The miracle of 2010 became the debacle of 2011 at Lincoln Financial Field, when the Eagles did more than lose another playoff game. This time they unwittingly revealed Reid to be overmatched on the field and a bully off it. They screamed from the rooftops that he will never win a Super Bowl as a head coach — not here, not anywhere. Was anyone listening?
Of course, they weren’t. Reid is the biggest winner in Eagles coaching history. The fact that he got Michael Vick crushed under a blitz on the very first play is not important to the people in charge. The fact that his red-zone defense is the worst in the past quarter-century isn’t relevant. All that matters is that Reid has won a lot of games in his 12 years here.
And it isn’t bad enough that fans — who have waited 50 years since the last Eagles’ championship — must deal with the weekly repetition of Reid’s maddening mistakes. They also have to suffer the added indignity of his comments after losses. This week, the coach actually pointed the finger at one player, kicker David Akers, who missed two field goals. Reid’s defense gave up three more touchdowns in the red zone — on three attempts — and the only villain he was willing to name was the kicker.
There are really no surprises anymore on this Eagles merry-go-round. The top officials — president Joe Banner and owner Jeffrey Lurie — will lie low for a few months until the anger subsides, and then they will resurface around draft time to crow about the team’s promising future.
At training camp, Lurie will have a fully reloaded arsenal of hollow platitudes to describe Reid. The coach will then greet another undersized and inexperienced group of players, who will perform honorably until their ultimate failure again in the playoffs.
Take note, Philadelphia. We are all captives in the world of the Eagles, and the lunatics are officially running the asylum.
Trust is hard to win back
As we savor the most compelling drama in sports, the NFL playoffs, it is impossible to ignore the act of suicide being contemplated by these outrageous people.
Do they really have the audacity to shut down America’s most popular sport? Yes. My best guess is that these ingrates — all made successful by the fans — will turn their backs and shut down the NFL. The fact that the labor dispute has gotten this far is absurd. That it could lead to a winter without football is appalling.
TV ratings are at an all-time high. New stadiums are popping up all over the country, thanks to the tax contributions of the fans. Ad revenue is setting records in a terrible economy. In every way possible, fans are supporting the NFL.
In return, they are about to get punched in the face. Players want guaranteed contracts and better protection of their battered bodies, especially in a new 18-game schedule. Owners want more money; somehow, they have concluded they are not rich enough.
Hey, they can leave if they choose. But the players and owners need to know what’s at stake. Not money. Not ratings. It is something harder to win back — the affection of loyal people who deserve their favorite sport every week.
‘Guv’ was one of us
Ed Rendell will leave the governor’s mansion next week, after 16 years as the loudest political voice on Philadelphia sports. How will he be remembered? To me, it’s more how he should be remembered.
As someone who has done a sports-talk show during his tenures both as mayor and governor, I am outraged at the ignorant commentaries being provided in Rendell’s final days. Gov. Rendell made news again Sunday when he had a meltdown on “60 Minutes” while discussing casino gambling. Before that, he was vilified nationally for calling us “a nation of wussies” after the Eagles postponed a game because of snow.
If you’ve been reading this column, you know I am no mouthpiece for the governor — or anybody else. His blind and clueless fawning over Donovan McNabb was a source of constant irritation to me.
But here’s the bottom line: Philadelphia sports fans have not had — and will probably never have again — a more vocal and determined advocate in politics. Rendell played a major role in financing the new stadiums, and, most importantly, he was truly one of us.
He cared. And, like the sports fans of Philadelphia teams, he did so too loudly sometimes.
–Angelo Cataldi is host of 610 WIP’s Morning Show, which airs weekdays 5:30-10 a.m.
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