I happened to be on air with former NFL players Jonathan Ogden and Stan White a few days ago on WBAL-AM, and they both told me it takes at least four days after a game for most players just to get their bodies back to equilibrium in time to prepare for the next game… And yet, the NFL continues to put teams through the Thursday-after-a-Sunday game gauntlet… What makes it even worse for the Eagles this Thursday night, they had to travel 3,000 miles in a cramped charter jet across three time zones to Pacific time… which means, not only are they dinged up, aching, emotionally drained from a losing season, and physically dehydrated and exhausted, but when Seattle runs out on the field at 8:20 P.M.EST, to the Eagles it will feel like it’s 11:20 P.M. EST…
A lot of this game’s outcome will depend on how fast and steady Vince Young comes out of the box at QB for the Eagles. If he’s missing in accuracy or pocket awareness, look out… this thing could get ugly in a hurry.
And speaking of getting ugly, it’s time to address the insane controversy in Philadelphia right now over the alleged “incompetence” of Andy Reid as head coach and defacto GM of the Eagles…
This thing is turning into a circus of football idiocy. The story of “Andy under fire” reminds me of the Peanuts character “Pig Pen”, who cannot seem to escape the cloud of dust and dirt that surrounds him—even though he’s a pretty good kid. To be editorially honest, I love me some Andy Reid… I do dig the guy… I think he’s smart and football-savvy, his players love him for the most part, and he knows how to draft. Yet there’s no denying his record in this “all-in” year invites attack and criticism. I get that
Andy’s signed through 2013, he’s won almost 110 games since 1999, so he doesn’t have to go anywhere right now. As a master delegator, he can ride this out. He’s done it before. And I for one am rooting for him to hold on through the current media-fan swirl of criticism and somehow manage to convince Mr. Lurie to extend him in 2013… I’m rooting for Andy Reid to get another shot at his second Super Bowl ring (he’s already got one as an assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers way back when)…
But in the spirit of fairness, I hereby introduce a guest writer, Jonathan David Morris, who will give you the “con” side of the argument….
Jonathan David Morris’ background in his own write:
“My main claim to fame is that I wrote a syndicated column for about six years, beginning in 2001 and ending in 2007. I abandoned the column, which was pretty successful at the time, to finish working on a book. The book, unfortunately, never got published, but I never went back to the column. I think I just needed a break from writing for a while. I was mentally and physically burned out. (Just an FYI, the book was about a sports reporter who’s called upon by a serial sniper to write about the sniping of a homeless guy who thinks he’s playing a very deadly game of football. So there’s a sports connection there.)”
“Right now, I am finishing a new book (a novella), which I’m publishing in February on Kindle and Nook. I’m also restarting my column, though not on the weekly basis I was writing it on before. I realized I truly missed writing and needed to get back into it in a major way. The ebook I’m putting out is just a part of that process; the column is another part; and finding some writing opportunities in other locations, such as on blogs like Eagles Eye, is the third. Since my own site (readjdm.com) isn’t Philly sports-centric, it’s not the best place to put stuff about the Phils or the Eagles. But I want to make Philly sports one of the things I write about, because, hey, like everyone here, I’m passionate about them.”
Okay, Jonathan, fire away… and don’t mind the shrapnel that comes flying back…
Time to “put up or shut up” on Andy Reid is now (by Jonathan David Morris)
A lot of people went into 2011 thinking this was a “put up or shut up,” Super Bowl-or-bust sort of season for the Eagles. Considering the flurry of moves the team made, and the general “all in” attitude they swaggered into preseason press conferences with, that perception amongst the fans was only fair.
But now here we are, eleven games in, and 2011 has been a lot more bust than Super Bowl. It has been, in some ways, the most disappointing Eagles season fans have had to endure in many years (and considering how the 2000s went for us (can you say 1-4 in NFC title games?), we’ve certainly had beyond our fair share of disappointing seasons).
Let’s face it. It’s been years since this guy has been popular in Philly. People have wanted to see this guy go for a lot longer than the last eleven games. And is it any wonder? Andy Reid gives us the same tired, recycled lines every single Monday, win, lose, or draw. He makes mistakes on the sidelines that even people with no real football knowledge whatsoever know better than to make. His time management still stinks, his game day decisions still stink, and although most of us will never get close enough to know for sure, you have to imagine that clump of fur he calls a mustache probably stinks worst of all. We’re tired of him. His act is old. And as the “Fire Andy” chants proved at the Pats game, fans of the Eagles are ready to see him go.
Well, how ready are you? Are you ready to do your part?
We all know Jeffrey Lurie loves this guy as much as the rest of us have come to despise him. Let’s do a theoretical situation here. The Eagles are 4-7, and let’s pretend they lost all of their remaining games to finish at 4-12. Even in that worst case scenario, is anyone really confident that Lurie would can this walrus? I’m not.
And here’s why: Because he doesn’t have to. Because Eagles fans are some of the most loyal fans of any team in any sport, and Jeff Lurie knows it, and he takes advantage of it. He knows as long as there’s some excuse (“Let’s axe Castillo and give Reid someone seasoned to work with”), and as long as the Birds make a few moves here and there, it will have the appearance of trying to right the ship, and that will be enough to hook us at least for one more year
Eagles fans need to know that this team, and this coach, already had their “one more year,” and that was this year, and maybe even last year before it. The time has come to put a fresh face on this organization, and the time to let them know that we want that face is now.
Chanting “Fire Andy” at the Patriots game was an excellent start. But how much more impactful would it have been if there had been no one at that game to chant that chant to begin with? That’s what it’s going to take.
This is going to be tough for Eagles fans to swallow, but if you really want to see Andy leave, it’s going to take getting tough with the team you claim to love. Jeff Lurie, like most team owners, speaks in the language of money. You need to speak that language with him in order to make your point. You need to let him know that as long as Andy Reid is still around, money is something he won’t be able to count on. You need to let him know that sticking with his guy is the worst business decision he could make.
So how do you this? In any one of several ways.
First, don’t go to games. I’m serious about this. You may have tickets, and the idea of not using them may seem insane to you, but if the idea of going to games is to root for your team, then think of skipping those games as a new kind of way to root for them. What you’re rooting for is the Eagles of the future — a future that will never arrive until Jeff Lurie cans Andy Reid. You can help usher that future in by letting Lurie know you are done with the past. That means staying home.
Second, don’t watch at home, either. Don’t even turn on the game. Watching a game equals ratings, and ratings equal interest. We need to show Jeff Lurie we’re capable of apathy.
Third, the old speak-with-your-wallet trick. You’re already skipping games, which means no one’s paying for parking, no one’s paying for beer, and no one’s buying Eagles paraphernalia at the Linc. This is something the team brass will notice. Holiday shopping season is upon us; you need to restrain yourself when you’re at the mall, too. Don’t buy that Eagles sweater for your dad this Christmas. Don’t buy that football with the Eagles logo on it for your kid. As long as people are still buying this stuff, Lurie knows he has carte blanche support — and as long as he knows he has that, he’s going to stick with Reid.
Finally, if you really want to show this team what you’re made of, take the second part of “put up or shut up” literally. Just shut your mouth. Let’s call it radio silence. You can still talk about the Eagles in private, still read up on your favorite blogs, but when you get in the car and turn on 97.5 or 94.1, resist the urge to call, resist the urge to talk, about the Eagles. The team is going to notice that you’re doing this. And if they don’t, the hosts will, and they’re going to tell the team. You need to create the sense that there is a line and the line has been crossed, and that the team no longer has your support as long as it has Andy Reid.
Can you do these things? Will you? Do you have the strength to do them? Remember, I’m not saying you should actually stop loving this team. I’m just saying you should practice tough love with them.
And if there’s ever been a time to do this, that time, right after a blowout loss to the Patriots, right after we stumbled to 4-7 during our supposed dream season, is now.
You could make the case that Andy Reid and Bill Belichick are similar, in that both of them are exceedingly arrogant. The difference is, when you win three Super Bowls and come within a miracle catch by the other team of winning a fourth, you can be as arrogant as you want. Andy Reid has done none of this, and it’s time for him to go. The Eagles seem to think they can be as arrogant as they want with this city, because this city is so in love with the Eagles.
The time to put up or shut up — the time to show them the power of that love — is now.
Jonathan David Morris writes from Chester County. Check him out on Facebook at facebook.com/readjdm or follow him on Twitter @readjdm
Well, in his spirit of “Occupy Wall Street”, (or Broad Street), I think it was important to hear out the literate spokesman for the “Fire Reid” movement… at the very least Jonathan David Morris can communicate in good English. Many of the Bored Members here may actually agree with Morris… I know J. Wood does… still I disagree with some of the observational cliches about “time management” and “game day decisions”… JB has already tutored us extensively on the intrinsically sound theory behind Reid’s coaching technique in those areas, and there’s no need to drag Morris through that mud.
I remain a Reid supporter, and I will not stop watching Eagles football or calling into radio shows… and since I can’t afford a ticket to the Linc anyway, I will not boycott the live action… But as I watch the game with the Seahawks tonight on NFLN, I will not totally discount Morris’ essay… for I will have to deal with his legions of supporters on the morrow if the Eagles tank it out in Seattle.