Eagles: December 2006 Archives

My buddy Joe asked me this question last week, via the commentary. I didn't answer it and waited for the Eagles to play the Cowboys before I answered.

I can tell you that as a Philly fan, a fan of any team in Philadelphia, that we never expect our teams to win. Joe isn't on my email list, the email list for the Philadelphia Eagles Club of Hoboken, but if he was, he would have heard me say a lot of times: "The Eagles SHOULD win this game". I think I wrote it when we played four teams this season: Houston, 49ers, Tampa Bay and Jacksonville.

At the time I felt that they were "winnable" games. The Eagles were playing good football and on both sides of the ball had the better chance to pull out a victory. As you well know, the birds went 2-2 in those matchups and in my humble opinion should have won all 4.

There are other teams and games, that I felt that they were overmatched. Last week against the Giants, I felt that the Giants were going to beat us. I told plenty of people this and didn't go into the game expecting a win. I was fully expecting our run defense to get destroyed by Tiki and Co.

Imagine my surprise when our run defense shut New York down. I was at Mulligans cheering louder than ever before watching our birds rise like a Phoenix from the ashes of a failed season into a soaring bird of an epic story. This week was much of the same. I thought the Giants game was a bit flukey. I thought "Ok, they had one nice game, but this week we will see the "Real Philly Team".

As any Philly fan can tell you, our teams love to rip our hearts out. Give you some hope, give you something to look foward to, a smidgeon of interest, fanning the flames until they smother it down with a swift smack. Sometimes it is with key injuries or with a collapse of whatever offense they were cobbling together, when the poor playing or terrible professionalism rears its ugly head.

It is 8pm on a Monday night and the Eagles soundly trounced the Cowboys on national television, when most pundits were crowing for a Cowboy victory. Me? I had a quiet optimism. Much like I didn't want to be the Jinx of Jinxes, I just kept my mouth shut. Hopeful, but still expecting the Real Philly Team to show up Monday.

I wrote weeks ago that Garcia wasn't going to be the answer at quarterback. Boy, was I wrong. I think it says volumes about the Philadelphia Eagles. McNabb is a good quarterback, but he isn't the reason why the Eagles soar. They have key players on every facet of the offense and defense that step up and make our team look good. Westbrook, Dawkins, Sheppard, Andrews. Now Garcia can add his name to that list because, quite simply, he is playing some great football.

Eagles are in the playoffs. When McNabb went down weeks ago, I was fully expecting another 6-10 season. I was getting text messages from my friends some offering condolences, and some barbed heckles. One friend of mine, who will remain nameless, had a friendly wager with me at the beginning of the season. I said that the Eagles would end up with a better regular season record than the Giants. I felt like Eli stunk, and their team would be 8-8, and I felt that Eagles could beat that. Everyone was healthy and TO was gone.

Once McNabb went down, well, that friend of mine had his way with me. Heckles and taunts via text messaging. Plenty of advice on paying him and how to pay him. I kept my mouth shut. I didn't expect the Eagles to play as well as they did and didn't expect the Giants to implode. I already felt me losing some weight to my pocket.

I guess it is "Merry Christmas" in more ways that one today. I get bragging rights, a win of a wager and the fact our Eagles are headed into the playoffs. If they keep playing the same football they have been playing the last two weeks there is no reason why they can't beat anyone in the NFC. Mark my words - the Eagles are playing the kind of football that takes you to the Super Bowl.

Game of the Year?

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The season isn't over for our birds, but I have to say that last Sunday was such an exciting game to watch. Ups and downs. Turnovers and offensive battles. The bar had a modest crowd of about 40 people at kickoff, and the energy level was amped.

There was even a Giant fan or two in the back bar and I was a bit unhappy about that. A few people emailed me asking if they could bring a Giants fan to the bar, and I suggested they just sit in the front bar, to avoid any problems. I have no personal problem with opposing fans coming to the bar, but do they REALLY need to sit in a crowd of Eagle fans?

I remember at one point I was cheering so much that I got dizzy. Also remember jumping up and down with the crowd that was left by the end of the game (right after the Cole interception for a TD) and got klunked in the head by someone's elbow. It didn't matter I was on cloud 9.

Yesterday at work and online I had a lot of payback. I tried to remain "somewhat" civil about it, but I was absolutely savoring this win. I said at the beginning of the season that, to me, the Giants were an 8-8 team and the Eagles were a 10-6 team. I even put a few friendly wagers to back my words up. I remember when the Giants were 6-2 my roommate Matt laying into me relentlessly about how great the Giants were and crowing over and over. Oh, I was steamed. I told him a simple rule, "Never talk trash until the season is over."

I stuck by my rule. Even with this win, I just felt like it was an early Christmas present. Win or lose next week against the Cowboys, you can't take this win away from us. Hey, if we beat the Cowboys - that's another present. If we make the post-season it is present number three.

With the Eagles who knows what will happen. I am just happy that after McNabb went down that we have responded as true professionals and can win as a team.

The Few, The Proud, The Real Fans

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I remember when I approached Paul about having the Eagles club at Mulligan's. I told him that i'd probably be able to get about 60-80 people at his bar a week.

Paul was very nice about it and said the number of people didn't matter. He was fine if I brought in 5 or 500, he was happy to host the club.

I went on, telling Paul, that every season, for the last 3 seasons, we had a sharp decline in people coming out to the bars when December hit, for various reasons. Its colder, and people don't like going out to bars in the cold. The holiday season takes it toll on our attendance. So do injuries, and if the team plays poorly.

This season was much like last season. We had 80 people in the bar for the first 5 games, then about 60 in the bar for the next couple, and with a McNabb injury & some bad losses, some people figured that watching the game at home was better than at the bar. To me, the club is more than just watching the football game. It is being social. Meeting new people and cheering or nursing our wounds together.

But I will tell you what. I watched the Carolina game with a handful of fans on Monday night. We sang when the Eagles scored each touchdown, and were jeered by Jets fans and other Eagles haters each time. I kept my mouth shut. By the time the game ended I had only five Eagle fans left in the bar and the haters all were long gone. It could have been the most fun I had watching a game of this season, even with such a small gathering of local fans.

Thom and Kathleen, you two shouldn't have left early!

I hope to see a few people who still believe next Sunday. We got the Redskins to take care of before our big showdown with the Giants. Stay tuned people, we aren't out of this yet.

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This page is a archive of entries in the Eagles category from December 2006.

Eagles: November 2006 is the previous archive.

Eagles: January 2007 is the next archive.

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