Eagles president Joe Banner went on 97.5 The Fanatic to clear up some comments he made last week. In an interview on 610 WIP regarding head coach Andy Reid, Banner made comments about the Eagles' vs. Steelers' postseason success. Eagles Nation exploded with rumors that Banner claimed that the Eagles had the same success as the six-time world champion Pittsburgh Steelers. As most people ranted, this is not true, with the Steelers winning three titles in the same time the Eagles lost four NFC Championship games and one Super Bowl. Banner talked to Mike Missanelli and explained that his actual quote was that he and the fans would trade the Eagles' numerically superior playoff wins to the Steelers superior Super Bowl appearances (and wins).
Banner mentioned the offseason acquisitions of the past ten years to highlight the organizations commitment to winning, and alluded to the idea that the recent coaching shakeups have bettered the team as a whole. He echoed his words on WIP of standing by Andy Reid as his coach. While I have no doubt Banner is sincere in this sentiment, I felt the same certainty last April when Andy Reid stood behind quarterback Donovan McNabb, and the same way I felt in January, when Reid stood behind defensive coordinator Sean McDermott. Maybe it's just Big Red. Maybe it's a conspiracy to oust all Mc's from the team. Or maybe it's a non-committal way of saying that people are on a clock. How much time is on that clock depends on who's setting it. We now know that Reid sets the clock at ten seconds and starts the countdown. Banner may be setting a longer clock, but you can bet it's ticking, and it's echoing in Andy's ears.
With the constant comparisons to Pittsburgh, whether in playoff analogies or head coach analysis (read: Bill Cowher), Philly football is running a dangerous risk of developing a complex. With the Pirates perpetually terrible, the Penguins recently vulnerable, and the NBA avoiding the western Pennsylvania city like the plague, fears of a total sports inferiority complex are remote, but still, Philly can't let itself get stuck in a Three Rivers rut. We have the Eagles, and dammit, they'll win (next year, right everyone?) and they'll win big. Next year.
What I'm trying to say is this: let's not get caught up in these comparisons with the Steel City. First off, their football egos are inflated enough (though slightly less so now, thanks to Aaron Rodgers), and we shouldn't be playing air pump to them. Add to that, the fact that Andy Reid isn't Bill Cowher, for better or for worse. The Cowher Theorem that some have used recently to mathematically prove the Eagles should keep Reid is junk. The only thing that matters is Andy Reid is Andy Reid, again, for better or for worse. The team he's coached for the past decade has changed, and (no matter what statistics may try to tell you) he and Cowher are different coaches in different times with different teams. Flat out, we are not the Steelers, nor should we aspire to be. When the Lombardi Trophy makes its way down Broad Street (please, Football Jesus, while I can still cheer and get hammered), not a soul in town will mention the S-word, and rightfully so. Now ask why we're obsessed with talking about it today. I'm not crediting any Eagles win to something another team did, and neither should you.
Now I don't mean to sound like an orthodox Eagles cheerleader (you know, the kind John Gonzalez hates), but right now this city could use a football pick-me-up. That won't (genuinely) come from an NBA, NHL, or MLB world title (don't use that as an excuse to stop trying Sixers, Flyers, and Phillies!), or from a publicly-demanded change in coaching. It will come from a successful Super Bowl run, and we all know it. Is Andy Reid the man to deliver? We have two more years to find out. If he's not, Banner says he's out. So let's give it another two. I, for one, have given twenty-seven to this team. A fraction of that won't make too much of a difference. And remember, Eagles Faithful, the next guy could be the reincarnation of Lombardi, back to claim his hunk of metal, or it could be Ray Rhodes, back to continue the 1998 season. Think on it Philly.
Now vent comments below.
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