Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A New Era Of Eagles Fandom

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Time was, an Eagle team that was as bad as this one would have been booed out of the stadium.

They weren't. Not even when they fell behind 14-3, with the defense giving up points in ways that redefined the term easy.

Time was, an Eagle coach that called a fourth and inches play with a slow-developing run to the running back, rather than a simple sneak with your tall, young and physical QB, would hear the deafening hatred of people who, frankly, looked and sounded like they were dangerously unhinged and bereft of other things in their life.

Tonight, no so much. At all. Honestly, I've heard nastier crowds, and more intense ones, at high school games.

Time was, a back-breaking fumble from a promising rookie RB in the midst of his breakout professional game would make me feel a little bad for him. Tonight, I pretty much expected each mistake, given how fundamentally unsound he was with the ball.

Finally, I don't really ever remember rooting for the worst team in the conference. I'm sure there were this bad before -- after all, that Donovan McNabb pick was pretty high -- but, well, one of the pleasures of age is that bad seasons all tend to blur together. Bobby Hoying or Mike McMahon, either Detmer... couldn't tell them apart in a lineup right now. Blissfully.

Tonight, Eagle Fan did something I don't really remember them ever doing before: they just didn't give a crap. There were no chants for Reid's dismissal, no sustained boos, no intensity at any point, really. Even the touchdowns by Bryce Brown, a relatively strong positive for the club's future in that it gives them trade chips if they decided to just tank 2013 as well and move Shady McCoy for picks... was more of a meh. It was the first preseason game we've ever seen in Philadelphia in November.

By the way, not that this is a trope you will ever hear in the national media, this was the strongest point yet over how playing in Philadelphia has been forever changed by the move to the Linc from the Vet. The intensity, for good or ill, is gone. The fans are looking at smartphones, stuffing their faces, or just, as the oceans of empty seats showed, not there. After 1.5 years of this, there's nothing you can do to make these people care anymore.

Because, well, Coach For Way Too Much Of Anyone's Life Andy Reid hasn't just lost the locker room. Or the local media, or talk radio, or the defense, or the owner.

He's lost the town.

We care more about draft position than wins.

So Reid is, finally and for the last time... the right coach for this team.

For five more weeks.

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