The Eagles may have defeated the Cowboys on Sunday, but as usual it's too little, too late. The Giants' win in the earlier game eliminated the Birds, extending their Super Bowl-less streak to 52 seasons.
So they're finishing well? So what? Either you win the Super Bowl or you don't. 8-8, 0-16, what's the difference? Failure is failure and the Eagles have failed every year Andy Reid has been the coach.
I was all set to devote this week's column to a 6,000-word preview/scouting report of the upcoming Wing Bowl, but I'm so outraged by the loss, and so sick of the Eagles and the people who run them getting a pass, that I've decided to parcel out who gets the blame for this disaster of a season. That the total number adds up to a lot more than 100 percent just speaks to what a soul-crushing debacle this season has been.
Andy Reid (90 percent blame) : He drafted poorly, was stubborn, refused to run the ball, made inexplicable in-game decisions and- worst of all- was snippy with reporters in postgame press conferences. Andy Reid doesn't just hate the game of football, he hates you, too.
Juan Castillo (80 percent blame): Was given a job he'd never done before and showed himself utterly in over his head. Worst of all, he did his job much, much better at the end of the year, so might they actually think about not firing him. The lesson: If you're offered a huge promotion at work with duties very different from your old job, you should always say no.
Jeffrey Lurie/Joe Banner (70 percent blame): After years of cheapskate antics, they finally spent big money on free agents in 2011. Clearly, they should've spent way more.
Donovan McNabb (65 percent blame): I thought the loser stink he left was gone from the organization by now, but apparently I was wrong.
Howie Roseman (60 percent blame): A number cruncher like him has no business being the GM of an NFL team. Say what you will about Matt Millen, but at least he played the game.
DeSean Jackson (50 percent blame): He held out of training camp, was suspended for missing a meeting, never gave a full effort, and put up the worst year of his career. Sure, the team should absolutely have given him whatever dollar amount he wanted and they still should, but that's no excuse.
Michael Vick (40 percent blame) : You know, now that Vick has followed his dominant 2010 with a merely above-average 2011, the fact that the killed all those dogs bothers me a lot more than it used to.
Nnamdi Asomugha (40 percent blame): Is he the Eagles' biggest disappointment on defense since Mike Mamula? I think he is.
Howard Eskin (40 percent blame): Notice how as soon as Reid's chief media propagandist stepped down from his daily show, popular support for the coach completely collapsed. Just a coincidence, I'm sure.
Les Bowen and Jeff McLane (30 percent blame): I don't know what's worse- that two of the newspaper beat writers saw it fit to get in a fistfight with one another, rather than both turn their fists on the coach, or that in doing so they showed a great deal more tenacity than any of the team's linebackers.
Jeremy Maclin (35 percent blame): His refusal to disclose every detail of his condition every step of the way during his training camp health scare was a major distraction that not even his excellent season could overshadow.
Vince Young (30 percent blame): I guess the Wonderlic test is more important than we all thought.
LeSean McCoy (25 percent blame): Sure, he had a great season and established himself as one of the league's best players. But like McNabb before him, Shady showed a lack of character in refusing to reject Reid's sorry playcalling.
Casey Matthews (20 percent blame): Not only did his fiancee insult the fans, but he hasn't earned the right to play in NFL games with long hair.
Jason Avant/Jason Kelce/Evan Mathis (15 percent blame): Siding with Andy Reid and against the fans? You're not helping, guys.
Steve Smith (10 percent blame): Normally I'm totally in favor of spite-driven free-agent signings, and the Eagles bringing in players for the primary reason of sticking it to divisional rivals. But Smith was just plain worthless.
That's a total of 800 percent worth of blame. If that's not enough for big changes, what is?
Other Philly sports takes:
- If you squinted really closely during the closing moments of the Giants' win over the Jets, you could make out Angelo Cataldi, Rhea Hughes and Al Morganti drinking a champagne toast, ala the '72 Dolphins.
- Speaking of the morning show, they had the absolutely brilliant idea the other week to broadcast a Joe Conklin-fronted Chipmunks Christmas song about the Eagles' cornerbacks. It may well be the song parody that finally gets Andy Reid fired.
- I'm enjoying Winter Classic 24/7 as much as anyone- but once it's over HBO really needs to give Ilya Bryzgalov his own talk show. I need to hear more long monologues about how his dog is really a hot chick.
- Sorry to hear about Kobe Bryant's divorce. Although, since he divorced the city of Philadelphia about 15 years ago, he's at least been through it before.
- Time Magazine recently named The Protestor 2011's Person of the Year, so please join me in congratulating the Novacare sign guys.