I am turning 29 years old in about a week and a half. Not exciting, I know. I got to thinking during this draft about what the Eagles were going to look like, where players would be slotted to play, what holes were filled and what still needed to be filled. Wondering, what players may we actually want to keep around for a decade? Then, I got to reminiscing about the decades prior...
For me, the 90's were my start, and they had their bumps, but they were still fantastic to me. Probably because I was young and cared more about the excitement of the game than the FO messing up the draft or the team being sold or the injuries that plagued. I remember big name players like Cunningham and Reggie White. A great defense from the late 80's coming into the 90's. The tragic death of Jerome Brown and the retiring of his #99. The injuries to my hero (at the time), Cunningham, and his eventual release. Rodney Peete's quick rise and fall from his own injuries. Big names came and went; Carter, Walker, Watters, Staley. But soon came 1999, and with my high school graduation came a new generation of Eagles.
The new generation would add a stability and early success to the desperate and eager Eagles fan base. Though McNabb may have been put through what outsider's call "unfair treatment", we the midnight green faithful call, "walking through fire and surviving, Philly style". And Donovan did. The 2000's were the greatest. With additions of Westbrook and the rebuilding of the defense, the Eagles did great things. Dawkins, Sheldon Brown, T.Cole, Jeremiah Trotter, Herremans, Tra Thomas, Jon Runyan, McNabb, Westbrook.... These guys were household names to the Eagles fans for so long. They were the Eagles. They were successful. They have been the mainstays of a franchise that has accomplished just about everything shy of winning a Super Bowl since Reid was hired in 1999. Now, they are gone. (albeit for Cole and Herremans). They are gone, but left so much behind. The consecutive Division titles will be hard to match. The Superbowl loss and disappointment that came with it. The tumultuous relationship with Owens. The great victories over the Cowgirls were always wonderful. (I just thought of them as payback for the losses we took from them in the 90's). I have so many fond memories. Sad memories too. RIP, JJ.
On the verge of an entire roster makeover, and a new supportive coaching staff, I can say honestly that I am truly excited once again. Our future is bright with this new generation. They have already shown glimmers of excellence and with the Leaders of tomorrow already set in place, there is no doubt in my mind that we will soar again. We will beat Dallas and win the division...five times in a row. And I can't wait.