"What the hell is this guy even talkin' about? Mayans?! WHAT?!"
As some of you might know, December 21st, 2012 is the exact date that is supposedly going to be the final day we all spend on Earth, according to the Mayan calender.
What some of you might NOT know, is that it's (hopefully) a bunch of bull. I mean, those guys didn't even consider LEAP YEARS! DUH, MAYANS!
That, however, is only slightly relevant to what I'm about to say, so before you hastily scroll down and begin feverishly typing in your hatred and harsh criticism telling me that I don't know anything about stuff and that I've wasted your VALUABLE INTERNET TIME, just...just calm down and read the rest of this...
There's no doubt that everyone is incredibly excited for the season opener against the Cleveland Browns this Sunday. Even the players can't wait to finally get back on the field. The one thing that's kept me kind of apprehensive to all of the hype, however, has been just how excited the players say they are. They're all saying how much better they're going to be this year, and that they believe they can be the #1 defense in the league. While it's wonderful to hear such confidence from the team (as I've emphasized numerous times), it just doesn't sit right with me because of this strange...thing that just seems to reappear season in and season out. As soon as someone on the team, or a fan, or even a commentator says one good thing is gonna happen with this team, or something positive about the team, the exact opposite happens. As soon as Joe Buck blurts out how LeSean McCoy hasn't fumbled in a game since his rookie year, OH LOOKIT DAT, HE FUMBLED IT! So that's why I get a little nervous when I read about how every player on the defense believes they can be the best in the league. 'Cuz that's what they were SUPPOSED to be when guys like Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha got their jerseys last season! But whatever, no offseason, no cohesiveness, first year defensive coordinator blah, blah, blah, we know. It's a new season, and regardless of all the talk, I'm excited and just ready for it to be Sunday.
Now back to the Mayans. If the season turns out to be everything we've been promised and have been expecting, what if the prophecy is true? What if the sun DOES explode? What if the Earth DOES get hit with a meteor the size of Texas? Or was it California? Whatever state they used in that apocalypse movie. What if Snookie's child IS Satan incarnate? Call me crazy, but what would scare me more is if all of those promises and expectations the Eagles organization gave us were all for nothing. Not because the Earth finally said "I've had it, I'm done, and you're all coming with me *BOOM*!" but because we've spent an entire year thinking this team could do what no other Eagles team has done. We thought that after all of the bullshit that we as a fan base have endured, and especially after the horrible event the team and the Reid family have experienced during Training Camp, that it was all for jack squat. That would break my heart more than anything.
But enough of this depressing yammering. After witnessing my first ever undefeated pre-season, I'm both nervous (THERE'S THAT WORD AGAIN) and happy. I'm nervous because the Detroit Lions went 4-0 in their 2008 preseason...then went 0-16. While I'm sure the Eagles will do nowhere near that bad (they damn well better not, at least) it still nags at the back of my mind that we could have a disappointing season. A reasonable worry that we all seam to have EVERY YEAR. But I'm also happy about the undefeated exhibition because it shows how much the 2nd and 3rd stringers wanted to play football in an Eagles uniform. It showed that our roster is as deep as any in the league. It also made me emotionally unstable at the thought of "waiting" for Week 1 to roll around. It made me think to myself, "if our back-ups can do this good, regardless of if they played back-ups or not, what will our starters do when THEY play in games that matter to THEM?!" And that's what it comes down to. The preseason might be unimportant as far as wins and losses, but it's important to all of the rookies and young players in the league as far as getting a roster spot, which means a job and source of income for a lot of players. Which obviously means they get to provide for their families, which is a strong motivator as far as playing good football for their team, and so on and so forth. That's what matters to those guys. How they play against starters is important yes, but when I think about preseason, I think about if our rookies and back-ups have outplayed the opposing back-ups and rookies, then that just says nothing but positives to me. Not to mention, our back-ups did very well against Cleveland's starters.
Moving on, what matters to the starters is obviously the regular season, and in the long run, the playoffs. If our starters can play with the same kind of intensity that our back-ups did when they played for what was important to them, then that's what will be the determining factor for this team's season. Which just so happens to be another opinion about our Eagles that I've stated time and time again. Yes, from a football standpoint what really determines their season will be the execution of their gameplan, defensive improvements, and Michael Vick managing to stay healthy for more than 10 games, but I'm hoping the heart that was shown in 2010, y'know, when we WON games in the 4th quarter, can be something that they bring back to the table this season. If they can, and so long as the goddamn Mayans weren't right, this will definitely be a season to remember.