It's been a long, long season, complete with injuries, the absence of familiar faces, and all kinds of other distractions and nonsense. And yet, right now, none of that matters. It's a new season, a new beginning, and despite having a challenging road ahead as the 6th seed in the NFC, the Eagles have as good a shot as anyone to go to the Super Bowl. So before we head into the games that really matter, let's take one last look at the obstacles we've overcome thus far (in timeline fashion), and let's put them behind us and move ahead...
February 27, 2009 - Perhaps the most beloved player in the history of Philadelphia sports (a town that has crossed paths with the likes of Julius Erving, Mike Schmidt, Reggie White, etc), Brian Dawkins signs a free agent contract with the Denver Broncos.
February 27, 2009 - Further solidifying February 27, 2009 as one of the worst days in Eagles franchise history, the Eagles announce that they have signed OT Stacy Andrews to a 6 year, $39.8 million contract.
March 9, 2009 - In a brilliant PR move, the Eagles fire physically disabled employee Dan Leone for voicing his displeasure with the Eagles' front office for not getting an extension done with Brian Dawkins. The message sent is loud and clear to all other physically disabled, minimum wage Eagles employees - No further similar incidents have been reported since.
All of March/April - BGN is bombarded with annoying "We Need Anquan Boldin" fan posts.
June 4, 2009 - It is revealed that the Eagles best offensive threat (at the time), Brian Westbrook, will need surgery to remove painful bone spurs in his right ankle. He will miss all of training camp.
July 24, 2009 - Sean McDermott is named Eagles permanent defensive coordinator, thus confirming that Jim Johnson will not coach the Eagles this year.
July 26, 2009 - Eagles hire Todd Pinkston as an intern. Several months later, Jeremy Maclin will "Pinkston" a deep ball in the regular season finale against Dallas.
July 28, 2009 - Eagles' longtime defensive coordinator and legendary football man, Jim Johnson, dies of cancer.
August 3, 2009 - Starting standout MLB Stewart Bradley tears ACL, out for the season.
August 5, 2009 - After missing 8 days of camp, Jeremy Maclin finally reports for duty after signing his rookie contract with the Eagles. Coming from a spread offense in college, it was a concern for some that his development would take more time than usual to adapt to a Pro-style offense.
August 5, 2009 - Juqua Parker and Todd Herremans decide to take a little break from the rigors of training camp by chilling in the dark with a couple young sluts in the shadiest van I've ever seen. Parker is arrested for possession of weed.
(That's not a joke - That's the actual van.)
August 8, 2009 - The horrific week continues - Promising rookie TE Cornelius Ingram tears ACL, out for season.
August 12, 2009 - Another injury? Really? This time it's Todd Herremans, with a stress reaction, or a stress fracture, or something. He'll miss the first 5 games, leaving the Eagles with just 2 projected starters along the O Line.
September 1, 2009 - Quintin Demps complains that he wasn't handed the starting job, throws hissy fit.
September 3, 2009 - Apparently determining that spending 19 months in Leavenworth isn't quite enough, Commissioner Roger Goodell decides that suspending Michael Vick for 2 games is juuuuuust the right amount of extra time Vick needs to be away from football to satisfy his debt to society.
September 5, 2009 - Eagles cut legendary CB Jack Ikegwuonu. A single, heart-wrenching scream is heard far and wide throughout the Delaware valley.
September 5, 2009 - Dan Klecko cut. Any player at every position breathes a sigh of relief.
September 6, 2009 - The Eagles place rookie OT Fenuki Tupou on IR... (kneeling and looking toward the heavens with arms outstretched)... "NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!" OK, so this one is more of a "redshirt" type deal.
September 15, 2009 - The Eagles place formerly projected starting RT Shawn Andrews on IR due to a "sore back," out for season.
(overhead view of Andrews' hair)
October 18, 2009 - Jason Peters is injured and his replacement, King Dunlap, asked the Raiders nicely if they'll leave Donovan McNabb alone. Despite promising to be their best friend, the Raiders instead decide to toss Dunlap around like a rag doll in route to an embarrassing Eagles loss.
October 28, 2009 - Eagles place versatile LB Omar Gaither on IR with a lisfranc injury, out for season.
November 3, 2009 - OK, so this one isn't football related, but the Phillies lose to the Yankees in the World Series. This owner of this truck celebrates alone in his room with... well... himself.
November 11, 2009 - The Eagles place Ellis Hobbs on IR due to a serious neck injury, out for season.
November 11, 2009 - Once a loaded position, in addition to losing Ellis Hobbs for the season, the Eagles lose yet another CB, Joselio Hanson, to a suspension for taking a diuretic. Pat Williams and Kevin Williams of the Vikings, as well as Will Smith and Charles Grant of the Saints also tested positive for a diuretic, but only Hanson draws a suspension. Thanks again, Mr. Goodell.
November 12, 2009 - Mike Pereira, VP of officiating of the NFL, admits the officials erred in their challenge review by not moving the spot of the ball on Donovan McNabb's game-changing QB sneak attempt in a loss to Dallas. Eagles fans are briefly happy about Pereira's comments for 0.3 seconds.
December 29, 2009 - The Eagles place Jamaal Jackson on IR, with... take a guess. Anyone? Bueller? Another ACL tear. This leaves ONE offensive lineman that will have started all 16 games - Wanna guess who? Hint - it's a guy that many thought wouldn't even make the team (myself included)... Winston Justice.
(No date) - A tally of all those who have missed at least 1 full game this season...
Starters on IR (or soon to be added to the IR list)…
- RT Shawn Andrews
- MLB Stewart Bradley
- C Jamaal Jackson
Others on IR…
- LB (all LB positions) Omar Gaither
- CB Ellis Hobbs
- TE Cornelius Ingram
- T Fenuki Tupou (although that’s more of a "redshirt" type situation)
Starters that have missed at least one full game due to injury…
- QB Donovan McNabb (2 games)
- RB Brian Westbrook (8 games)
- WR Jeremy Maclin (1 game)
- WR DeSean Jackson (1 game)
- LT Jason Peters (1 game)
- LG Todd Herremans (5 games)
- RG Stacy Andrews (6 games)
- OLB Chris Gocong (1 game)
- OLB Akeem Jordan (4 games)
Others that have missed at least one full game due to injury…
- WR Kevin Curtis (13 games)
- QB Michael Vick (1 game, 2 more for suspension)
- DE Victor Abiamiri (3 games)
- CB Joselio Hanson (4 game suspension)
(taking deep breath)
It's been a looooong, extraordinarily challenging year, and despite all the setbacks above, despite the laundry list of injuries, despite the death of our defensive coach and the departure of our defensive leader, and despite the various acts of stupidity, the Eagles still went 11-5 and find themselves with a golden opportunity to make a deep playoff run in a conference where there is no current dominant team.
(riding around on my horse like William Wallace)
(OK, I suck at the graphics, but you get the idea)
Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no! And it ain't over now. What happened to the BGN I used to know? Where's the spirit? Where's the guts, huh? This could be one of the greatest games of our lives, but you're gonna let it be the worst. "Ooh, we're afraid to go with you, we might get let down again." Not me! I'm not gonna take this. Romo, he's a dead man! Barber, dead! Witten, dead! Austin, dead!!!
I say this to YOU, Dallas Cowboys...
You're going to bitch and moan about about some schmuck spitting on your logo, when you haven't faced anywhere near the adversity the Eagles have faced this season? Well EFF YOU, WE'RE WINNING ANYWAY! In fact, you know what?
HHHHAAAAAAOOOOOGGGKKKKKKK... THHHaaaaaaWWIIIIIIIIT!!! There's another loogie for your star.
You got your home game with your mildly interested 100,000 fans golf clapping in a nice, friendly, temperature-controlled environment? Well EFF YOU, WE'RE WINNING ANYWAY!
You swept the regular season? Good for you. It means nothing in the tourney. Nothing. EFF YOU, WE'RE WINNING ANYWAY!!!
EFF YOU, WE'RE WINNING ANYWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LET'S GET THOSE COWBOYS!!!!!!! HOOOO-OOOOOOOOOHHHH!!!