Balls, Sticks, & Stuff
9/03/2004
 
Unshiny Unhappy People
Tired of all the negativity surrounding the Phillies, this morning I decided to turn my attention to the Eagles. "Surely there must be a plethora of positive articles about the Eagles." The first two articles I find are by Sal Paolantonio reporting on the perceived shortcomings of Andy Reid and Len Pasquarelli doing the same for Donovan McNabb.

"Just when I thought I was out, THEY PULL ME BACK IN!"

What is it with Philadelphia, phans, and negativity? Other fan groups have it as well, Red Sox fans and Cubs fans immediately come to mind. But Boston Red Sox fans at least remain positive right up until the very last second (when their outlook instantly morphs into a completely resigned fatalism). Cubs fans, in most years, know they aren't going to win, but really don't care in the end as long as they have a nice summer in the sun at Wrigley. These fans can at least enjoy the experience.

Possibly it is easier for me to retain a certain amount of optimism because I do not live in Pennsylvania and therefore I am not exposed to the constant phlagellation from co-workers, friends, radio, and television. In a sea of Redskins and Orioles and Braves fans I can keep in perspective how fortunate I am to have Donovan McNabb and Andy Reid at the helm of my favorite football team and see that while the Phillies are a major disappointment, that the franchise is head-and-shoulders above what it was several years ago.

Back to Reid and McNabb specifically, Sal Pal reports the interesting fact that Andy Reid's contract runs out this year and inevitably Sal Pal uses the term "hot seat". How can a coach that has resurrected a franchise and taken them to the semi-finals of an entire professional sport three years in a row and favored to do so a fourth time be on the hot seat? In the depths of the Richie Kotite/Ray Rhodes eras, if you had told any Eagles fan that in a couple of years the team would go to the NFC Championship game three years in a row, they would have hastily dropped their cheesesteaks, gone down on bended knee and thanked their Maker. As for McNabb, Len Pasquarelli also brings up the three NFC Championship game appearances as if they are a bad thing and calls McNabb's throwing accuracy into question. Many a fall Sunday afternoon, I have tossed my hands up in the air and rolled my eyes as a McNabb tries to bounce a pass to an open receiver. But after a few deep breaths I remind myself of my take on his accuracy: He is being coached to throw the ball low. It is very rare that a pass thrown too low is intercepted and Pasquarelli does point out that while the number of McNabb's passing touchdowns may not be as high as we would like, his interception totals are extremely low. That's a trade off I am more than willing to take.



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