As previously noted, the Philadelphia Eagles aren't making a media appearance at the 2015 NFL Combine this week. They're one of three teams to not be represented by either a head coach or a front office executive. Philadelphia's silence is noteworthy given the changes made to their power structure this offseason with head coach Chip Kelly taking over the player personnel department and former general manager Howie Roseman being moved out of personnel completely.
The Eagles' decision to remain silent drew heavy criticism from CSN Philly's Reuben Frank. In a column posted on Wednesday morning, Frank wrote that "it’s a real slap in the face to fans" that the Eagles don't believe it's important to communicate more openly. Frank also claimed that he's not just a media member who is upset that the Eagles are making his job a little harder. He says he's writing on behalf of the fans.
"This isn’t about disgruntled media not having access to the owner or coach. We’ll find other stories to write. We’ll find other people to talk to. We’ll still be able to do our jobs just fine.
It’s not about us. It’s about you."
But is it really? Do the fans even care? Because Frank claims that "a lot of them" do.
These are the questions I was seeking to answer when I created this poll on Wednesday. With over 1,300 votes accounted for, here's what the poll results look like:
A quick survey I took on Twitter gave me similar results. 94 individual users responded to my tweet and only 11 of them (11.7%) voted yes. CBS Philly ran a similar poll and came up with similar results as well:
It's clear, then, that the overwhelmingly majority of Eagles fans claim that they don't care if the team addresses the media.
Now, this post wasn't made to bash Roob. I think he makes a number of fair points. There are clearly some fans out there that are annoyed by the Eagles' silence. There are certainly a lot of questions left unanswered considering all the changes Philadelphia made.
I just don't think it's accurate to paint a picture that some great injustice is being done here. Especially when the majority of the fans say they don't even care. If you want my personal opinion on the Eagles not speaking at the Combine, I think it's lame. It's unideal. It's an inconvenience. Even if they're not going to say anything too revealing or earth-shattering, it would be nice to hear something rather than nothing. And that's something I said last week before any of this drama emerged. So it's a bummer. Voicing displeasure is fair and fine.
But it's not the end of the world. Chip Kelly will be required to speak at the owner's meeting in March. For the Eagles fans that do care about what the team has to say, they'll have to wait a little longer until then. In this world of instant gratification, I know that's asking a lot. The questions will be asked eventually. In the meantime I think the sky will manage not to fall just fine.