Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE
If you are reading this by a bridge, you might want to stop here.
A year that started with so much promise and optimism for Eagles fans has not only been a disappointment, it has burned to the ground at a level we haven’t seen since the ancient city of Pompeii.
On the field, this team has been one of the most disappointing teams in Eagles history. Even the one glimmer of hope- Nick Foles- has looked average at best. The argument could be made that Bryce Browns performance last week might have been the highlight of the season. But even in years past when the team has been even worse than this group, the hatred towards a team was never quite this strong. Fans are not just mad that the Eagles aren't playing well, they plain hate them.
Why is that? Why does it seem like this team gets under the skin of the fans more than any other team in Eagles history?
The reason might be that this Eagles team is ruining all of the little things that are supposed to make football fun. Whether it is the jerseys, sports betting, fantasy football, Twitter, or even the Red Zone, the Eagles have been killing what is supposed to be the best time of the year.
Let’s start with Fantasy Football. There is no doubt that other than the Eagles, the team that most fans are most invested in is the one they manage on Sundays. Coming into the season, some of the players on the Eagles were considered top fantasy players, especially LeSean McCoy. Even Michael Vick was thought of as a potential sleeper pick, and an Eagles defense that was supposed to produce a ton of sacks was considered a smart pick. Just like the results on the field, however, things have not gone as expected.
McCoy has only 2 touchdowns this season and after entering the season as the 3rd rated running back on Yahoo! rankings, he is currently 40th entering this weekend’s game. Vick has been equally disappointing as he has just 1 rushing touchdown to go along with only 11 passing touchdowns. Needless to say, his fumbling and interceptions have not helped with. Across the board, Eagles players have been a disappointment if you drafted them on your team. Jeremy Maclin, DeSean Jackson, Brent Celek- they are all having down years, especially in terms of fantasy production.
Besides the frustration this team has given fans in fantasy, they have been equally frustrated in gambling. While not all choose to engage in sports betting, those that do know that sometimes a win there can feel almost as good as a win by your favorite team. This year, the Eagles have cost fans big money if they bet on them. The Eagles have been a losing bet 10 out of the 11 times this year. That makes for some pretty disappointing Sundays.
Eagles players have even been frustrating to follow on Twitter. If they aren't promoting self-branded, stupid t-shirts (Babining), they have been lashing out at fans. Jason Babin, Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper are just some of the players to have gotten into it on Twitter with fans.
Even hope that the Eagles might change jerseys have been dashed. When Jeffey Lurie and his wife divorced prior to the season, there was a small glimmer of hope that the team might go back to the Kelly Green jerseys that fans love so much. No word of that change coming has leaked, however, and the team even brought back the black jerseys that the majority of fans hated. Thrown in the fact that some teams saw exciting changed to their jerseys when Nike took over, and the fact that the Eagles still trot out in midnight green adds another level of disappointment with this team. Who's excited to go by a new, $90 dollar Nike replica Nnamdi Asomugha jersey?
To cap off what has been a truly devastating season, Eagles fans cannot even escape them on the RedZone. Anyone who watches the RedZone knows that it is one of, if not the best, inventions in football Sunday history. If you decided to stop watching your favorite team and exclusively watch the RedZone this year, your enjoyable experience has been ruined by cut ins to the Eagles. The Eagles have been abysmal in the red zone on the field this season, meaning seeing the Eagles featured in a quad box more times than not have led to disappoint, not excitement.
Yes the hatred has to do with Andy Reid, the attitude of the players, and the fact that fans simply want to see more from a team they love so much- but it has been magnified by all of the little things off the field that we were supposed to be able to enjoy this year. With this group, fans have not been able to.
The good news is that change is coming. The Eagles are about to enter one of the most exciting off-seasons in recent history as they likely will enter next season with a new head coach, a top draft prospect, and even a new quarterback. The frustration and disappointment that had been all over this year of football in Philadelphia could finally be over.
Change is coming Eagles fans. Just hold on for five more weeks.
If you can stand it.
Follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks