And you thought the Eagles' 8-8, playoff-less season was disgraceful. The two weeks since the season ended have somehow been even more of a slap in the face to America's most passionate, loyal and long-suffering fan base.
As teams with talent far inferior to theirs have squared off in the playoffs, the Eagles have marked the time with one insulting move after another. They didn't fire Andy Reid, or Howie Roseman, or Juan Castillo or even Dave Spadaro. They haven't released a single player, and the only people who have left the team since season's end are some defensive backs coach you've never heard of, and an equally anonymous player personnel guy who got hired to take over the Colts (good luck with that one, Indy!)
Worst of all, the Eagles haven't done a single thing so far to improve a roster that clearly wasn't good enough. Where is the sense of urgency?
So what does Andy Reid do? He goes on vacation! For a man who hasn't won a Super Bowl after 13 years to go on vacation should make the blood of every Eagles fan boil. Vacations are for winners! And beyond that, what's Andy doing scheduling a vacation for mid-January? Clearly, he wasn't planning on coaching in the playoffs this year.
At any rate, Reid's sojourn has delayed his decision on the future of Juan Castillo. We'll have to wait for an answer on whether Big Red inexplicably keeps Castillo around, or throws him under the bus.
But perhaps even worse than that was the disgraceful press conference by Jeffrey Lurie last week. All year long, myself and other passionate Eagles fans demanded that Lurie speak to us. Not only did we demand accountability, but we need reassurance that our team's owner actually cares about his team and its fan base.
But when he did speak? First he teased us that changes were actually coming, and then, just more of the same nonsense, followed by the announcement that Reid will return. Ray Didinger said it best on the morning show the next day: "this isn't a game!"
With all we spend on tickets, jerseys and concessions, Eagles fans are entitled to a championship, every year. That's what Lurie and Banner don't get.
How can our owner be so arrogant as to believe that he actually knows how to run an NFL team? This isn't "V.I. Warshawski"! This is the Eagles! This is the problem with rich people owning sports teams. We're a blue-collar town, and we need blue-collar ownership. Not everything has to always be about money.
So how can the Eagles get back in touch with their fan base? For one thing, the team's brass needs to spend a lot more time listening to sports talk radio. Perhaps they should put drafting and player personnel decisions up to a vote on the team website.
Other Philly sports takes:
- In his Philly Metro column last week, in which he argued that the NHL Winter Classic sucks, is a ripoff and shouldn't be played, Angelo Cataldi showed once again that he's the preeminent sports commentator of our time. He's always willing to say the thing that absolutely no one else will.
- Speaking of the Winter Classic, the latest outrageous libel against Philadelphia fans is that we booed the singing of the Canadian national anthem. Nonsense; we weren't saying "boo," we were saying BOOOurns, I mean, "Giroux."
- I was happy to hear that Ryan Howard is just about six weeks away from swinging the bat. He should be able to take a called third strike even sooner.
- I can't believe the cops arrested the Flyers fan who beat up a Rangers fan outside Geno's on the day of the Winter Classic. That sort of behavior should be rewarded, not punished! Whose side are the Philly police on?
- It's refreshing to see Penn State alumni such as LaVar Arrington take a brave stand against the hiring of Bill O'Brien, which is without a doubt the most embarrassing and indefensible thing the Penn State football program has ever done. Why won't more ex-Eagles players threaten to burn all their team memorabilia unless there's a coaching change?
- So unfair that John Bolaris gets fired and Andy Reid doesn't. Clearly, there's a huge double standard for mediocrity between the NFL and weathermen.
- The Sixers, in their home opener last week, sold a record 15,157 hot dogs, according to CEO Adam Aron. Are we SURE Andy Reid is on vacation?