Did the Philadelphia Eagles Break My Heart, Again, AGAIN? (The Remix)
[I was going to write a new article about the Eagles letting Jeremy Maclin get away, but since the Eagle have been breaking my heart so frequently, I thought it would be easier to simply redline my article from last week. Enjoy. Or leave me hate mail. Totally up to you.]
The first second time my heart was broken was after my first second girlfriend broke up with me (she was Kathy Ireland Elle Macpherson, I was in middle school, and it was all a dream).
The first time my football heart had ever been broken was when the Philadelphia Eagles traded Brian Dawkins to the Denver Broncos. (Footnote: As a Bills fan, I was devastated after Ray Finkle missed a 47-yard field goal to allow the NY Giants to run out the clock and win Super Bowl XXV. But that was just childhood heartbreak.) Losing to John Gruden’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2002 season NFC championship game (only to have that baby-faced, know-it-all win the SB) was heart wrenching. Losing in Super Bowl XXXIX—devastating. All were circumstances beyond the control of the Eagles. But when the Eagles apparently self-mutilate themselves by releasing star players, I wonder if it’s time to break out the chamomile tea (and scotch) and watch reruns of Gilligan’s Island (which always transport me to a better place).
The Eagles have a way of tossing super stars shortly after they have peaked (or in Dawkin’s case—while they are peaking). And of course, the reason for my concern of late is the trade of LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills for a former Oregon Duck, Kiko Alonso loss of Jeremy Maclin. Yes, there are some good reasons for the trade not re-signing Maclin (e.g., Shady is a shifty, east-west back, while Chip’s system clicks with a decisive north-south runner, or so I’ve heard money), and no, those reasons don’t necessarily make me feel any better.
But have my beloved Eagles ripped out my heart yet again to test my faith in them?
In short, probably hopefully not.
I’m no stats or analysis junky, but it seems like the Eagles try to unload super talent just after said talent peaks (not to be confused with expires). Perhaps said talent could have one or two or five more productive years, but trading releasing sooner may lead to higher leverage more cap space. That being said, whenever the Eagles do trade release one of their stars, I feel like the sky is falling. For starters, without Shady Macly, who will be RB1 WR1? Sproles Matthews is an X-factor and I love him, but I don’t know how he’ll do as the primary one with the bulls-eye around his neck and I’m pretty sure he’s close to forty twenty. (Footnote: I have faith that Jordan Matthews will be a great WR1, but I would rather him emerge as the WR1 midseason than enter the season as the presumptive/default WR1.) I hear that there is a great free agency market for running backs wide receivers, but until a deal is inked, I will be blacking out from holding my breath. I also hear that this year’s draft class has is deep with great backs wide outs. Again, I am now unconscious from the lack of oxygen and uncertainty.
Thus, I feel justified in feeling that my heart is crushed. But is it really?
When Brian Westbrook DeSean Jackson was traded released across the country to SF, I thought the running receiving game was being handed over to the new-kid upstart decent WR2 option and the foreseeable future was bleak. I was wrong.
When Weapon X was traded, however, there was no calculus to justify or rationalize the trade—at least to this fan. B-Dawk was the heart of our defense and he immediately became the heart of Denver’s. Seeing him go was true heartbreak.
This is not that.
Disappointing as it may be now, the Eagles will fly on. I wish the Bills Chiefs (and Andy Reid) and Shady Macly the best, unless of course, they happen to meet the Eagles in Super Bowl XLX.
By Bobby Pierson