by Keiana Williams
It all began with a simple statement from Vince Young at training camp. “It’s like a dream team.” Maybe it is. Maybe Vince Young is right, because as an Philadelphia Eagle fan or player it all just seems too good to be true. Athletes WANT to play here. They WANT to be around Mike Vick. Maybe there’s an energy they like, or they respect the fact that the Eagles are a well-run organization, starving for their first Superbowl title.
Unfortunately, the “dream team” statement picked up steam. The media ate up that statement as if it were a grisly piece of candy. ESPN twisted and maneuvered it as if the FANS and entire organization were the ones becoming arrogant. Then came the Miami Heat comparisons. Take a second to think, people. Basketball and football are two COMPLETELY different sports. The Eagles biggest free agency splash signing, Nnamdi Asomugha, did not hold a 1-hour special called “the decision.” There was no uniform fashion show held where smoke came out, and select Eagles emerged, high fiving fans. Furthermore, DeSean Jackson did not guarantee “not 1, not 2, or 3” championships. The situation has been handled with class from the players, who are all anxious and ready to get to work, and are focused on training camp and nothing else.
These humble and gentle players who haven’t done a thing, had to hear a statement by Rob Ryan. I’m not the media, therefore I’m not going to mentally high-five Ryan for an attention grabbing comment he quietly made in the privacy of his own office. Dallas and Philly already hate each other. He doesn’t need to stir the pot, and as far as I’m concerned it’s fear. If he were secure and confident he wouldn’t have to express it anywhere but on the football field through his players. Then you have the Packers’ Jermichael Finley’s tweet, “man I wish we had the damn Eagles on the schedule. All this “Dream Team” talk is killin me.” What have the Eagles, themselves done? If Finley doesn’t want to hear “dream team,” he needs to change the channel from ESPN. It hurt me to hear even Donovan McNabb chime in on the circus. Donovan says, “The problem is: What do you do with Asante Samuel? Then, you’ve got to worry about DeSean (Jackson). When he comes back are you going to give DeSean the ball or throw it to (Jeremy) Maclin? Remember, you have to give LeSean McCoy the ball, too. And then at the end you still have to pay Mike Vick. They have more problems than people are looking at.” As a huge McNabb fan, I’ve lost a bit of love for the guy. Is he bitter? Jealous? Upset, maybe? I get that, but why hate? Why does everyone assume the Eagles won’t take care of their players? And furthermore, is McNabb aware of the mess in front of him in Minnesota? He’s got to worry about his own business. Leave Philadelphia behind and focus on the future. Kevin Kolb took the high road. He said in an interview, “I’m sure Mike and the rest of the guys will get you the championship you deserve,” addressing Philadelphia fans. Take notes from Kevin on humility, Donovan. Don’t even get me started on Skip Bayless, who has done nothing but hate the Eagles ever since these moves were made. Every time I turn on my television to ESPN or NFL Network there’s a story on the Eagles. All this unwarranted hate, for what?
So I say to the media, “all of this is YOUR doing.” You started this. You blew the “dream team” statement out of proportion. Vince Young was just having fun and in awe of the moment he had just stepped into. Big deal. Did I miss the part where he guaranteed a Lombardi? You have the entire world hating the Eagles and their fans, and that is the ONLY thing they have in common with the Miami Heat. Don’t you get it? It’s been a tremendous off-season. Eagle fans and players are entitled to be excited after everything we’ve been through. How does that translate to arrogance? I’ve said to my friends who are Eagle fans as well, “I LOVE this off-season.” How is that the same thing as guaranteeing a Superbowl title? Understand that Eagle fans are used to heartbreak. As much as our rivals like to remind us, we have never won a Superbowl. We have a 1960 NFL championship that most don’t even give us credit for. We are excited because this season has the POTENTIAL. Yes, I said POTENTIAL. I don’t make predictions. The Eagles have gassed our fan-base up before plenty of times only to let us down. I can honestly say a big amount of the fan-base is optimistic, but cautious. We know better. Why does the media insist on turning what is a positive time for the Eagles and their fans into a negative one? I’ve heard the comments. “I’m not convinced.” Then there’s the good old, “I don’t buy into the hype. The Eagles are overrated.” The media portrays us fans as angry and miserable, but we’re crucified for being the exact opposite right now? Isn’t that what they wanted? They have created this monster, not us and the organization.
To the rival fans of the Philadelphia Eagles, give credit where it’s due. When the Cowboys, Redskins, or Giants made an outstanding move I had no issue putting my pride aside and giving props. Why? I know how to be objective, and hold a sports conversation without my hate and emotions getting involved. In those years great moves were made by our rivals, I’ve sat and listened to these rival fans dish out as much as they could. Suddenly some can’t take it back. They can’t handle it. I write it off as anger since their own teams are not making many significant moves. What do they expect an Eagle fans reaction to the moves to be? Anger? And if we acted that way, we’d be “ungrateful” or “unappreciative” of our team. We can’t win. We Eagle fans know the season has to be played. The games VS the NFC East will be hard-fought and hoisting a Lombardi is a tough feat to achieve. In the meantime, the excitement of an Eagle fan or player is truly justified.