I've finally caved. I'm watching Eagle games even with Michael Vick in the lineup. Indeed, I've resolved myself to not just "live and let live" but to actually root for him. This is how far I've gotten.
So yesterday afternoon, having just finished my most recent edits on my screenplay, I thought - what the hey - I'll watch the Eagles. (And don't buy that casual tone. I planned the whole day around that afternoon game.) So I rambled on down to Heroes and Legends, our downtown sports bar, to watch the game. Got there late - score was 10 to 3, Raiders ahead of the Eagles ... huh? What? Oh, the Eagles have the ball. Oh, this will be fine. No problem. March on down... um, "March," I said. Not meander. Not backtrack. Not... heaven forbid it... kick a field goal!!! Well, it's David Akers, and he's as reliable as salt, so at least we'll get points on the board.
And that's when things went from bad to worse. Including two missed field goals by Akers (!!). Long ones - but not over 50 yards - and that's just not like him. Just. Not. Like. Him. And it shouldn't have come down to that. Yes, had he made them the Eagles would have won. But they should have won anyway. They should have played the game, and not wasted time on the past.
The one shining light - I think the problems with the Eagles defense are problems of execution and not design. As I mentioned a couple months ago, beloved defensive coordinator Jim Johnson passed away this summer. But his legacy is living on, through his assistant coach (now coordinator), because the Eagles defense looks pretty good from a structural standpoint.
But the game itself - and the offense??? - I was there to enjoy myself - I said enjoy myself, people - not throw my back out again from tension. (And nothing in baseball made me feel better. I've been rooting for the Dodgers and the Angels to make it to the World Series. Sigh.)
It's enough to turn you into a Vikings fan. Which, I've always liked Brett Favre, and all he wanted to do last year was play one season with the Vikings, and the Packers wouldn't let him (yes, I understand why), so he went to the Jets and then came back this year for the season that he wanted last year. A season with the Vikings...
I remember the 2007 season, when the Eagles did so poorly, and I'd try to watch the games... When people asked me (and they asked me, yes they did) how I felt about the Eagles' season that year, I'd say, well, they're not playing football. I don't know what sport it is that they think they're playing - must be tiddlywinks or something - but that is not football.
This year was different! Was supposed to be different... But how do you lose that way? To the Raiders? grump grump grump
photo credit: Andy Chase, found here