Monday, October 31, 2011

I've Seen This Movie Before.. and it is Not Enough

So as I was watching tonight's Eagles beatdown of the Cowboys, we came to that inevitable moment when NBC's Al Michaels belittled the Eagle fans for (a) worrying about their team when they were 1-4, and (b) perhaps not being entirely down with Coach For Life Andy Reid's Coach For Life status.

To which I have to say something that does not require words, seeing how it's more of an elegant presentation of both hands, with knuckles facing the media, then a fast but not hurried rotation downward of all fingers, save the middle.

Look, I *get* that the media thinks that Eagle Fan is just all kinds of wrong for not appreciating CFL. He's such a good guy, you see, and certainly well-versed at giving the nationals what they need prior to the game. His teams play an entertaining brand of football, and Michael Vick equals prime time ratings, even in beatdown games.

But for heaven's sake... do two wins over division rivals that appear to be much more paper than tiger, seeing how neither is in the habit of reaching the playoffs or winning games once there, excuse all past sins? Specifically Weeks 2 through 5, which more or less ensured that no matter how good they play over the next 9 weeks, they will be on the road and, in all likelihood, playing extra games and losing before the Super Bowl?

I appreciate the fact that Cowboy Fan and Redskin Fan has had a very bad time of it during the Reid Era. That used to warm my heart. I also do not begrudge Giant Fan his Tyree Helmet Trophy, seeing how it thoroughly ruined the sh*t of Patriot Fan, and for the most part, that situation has been better for me than him, the game earlier this year notwithstanding.

But, um, after a decade and a half, it's really not enough.

The Eagles under Reid do this: they stumble from the gate, regroup during the break, make a run, blow a game or two, win playoff games when they have byes, lose when they face better teams on the road. They also then pat themselves on the back, a lot, and behave as if they've reinvented football for living up to their ceiling of pretending contending. And while tonight's game was about as good as they can play, it didn't tell me anything about that I didn't already know about this team. To wit:

> When the oppo lets LeSean McCoy (and before him, Brian Westbrook) beat them, and the team is intelligent enough to use him, they win

> When the oppo forgets the running game, as the Cowboys did tonight despite DeMarco Murray averaging over 10 yards a carry, they win

> When the oppo doesn't cash in on the half dozen or so opportunities per game to recover fumbles, make interceptions and recover tipped balls, they win

> When they get off to a fast start, since they don't have the discipline to play clean and without negative emotion, they win, and

> When the oppo does not have the discipline or athleticism to spy Vick and prevent him from making the 6 to 12 odd back-breaking runs a game that they need to maintain drives, they win.

Otherwise? Not so much.

They are exceptional at exposing bad teams. Beating good ones? Not so much.

They are solid at maintaining morale when other teams quit. Beating teams that have not quit? Not so much.

And until CFL moves on, perhaps via the fork or through some other faster agent... this is what they are, and what they will be.

So they've curb stomped the Cowboys and Redskins, the two bad teams in the division. The Giants might also be overtaken; they really did try hard to lose to the winless Fish today. They might even get past the Saints, who have somehow spit the bit in two of the last three weeks to the Rams and Bucs.

But beating the Packers?

Not on their best day, not even on their home field, and neither of those things are going to happen. Just as in bygone years to the Warner Rams, the Brady Patriots, the Gruden Bucs, the Delhomme Panthers, the Warner Cardinals, last year's Rodgers Packers and so many, many others.

So cheer. Clap for CFL Tinkerbell and the Michael Vick Project, close your eyes and think kind thoughts over how the defense has looked a whole lot less sieve-like in the past 120 minutes.

But just remember how this movie ends, so it doesn't come as any kind of surprise.

Roll the credits.

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