SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?

I heard this Jimmy Ruffin classic on the radio the other day.

One possible answer: they become Philadelphia Eagles' fans.

Ouch. The Eagles just clinched a playoff berth by beating a 49ers team whose QB all but gift-wrapped the victory with mistake after mistake. It's interesting how, on any given day (to adopt the cliche), the best teams can make the also-rans look like a high school team on its first day of summer practice.

So now the question becomes: how far can the Eagles go? Are they, as Andy Reid said in the press conference announcing his contract extension, the "best organization in football" (a statement appropriately questioned by Angelo Cataldi on WIP, who rightly pointed out the lack of a Super Bowl win in Philadelphia, a point echoed by venerated football writer Ray Didinger)? Or, will they win a game or two in the post-season and fall short because of a time management issue, Donovan McNabb's throwing the ball behind a receiver or into the ground, or an aging linebacker's being on the field on a passing down, unable to cover the opposing team's second-string tight end?

Look, I'm a big Eagles fan, and I think that Reid is an excellent coach and McNabb a championship-caliber quarterback. The problem for all Eagles' fans is that the misses have been many, and, as a result, we tend to put the team under a microscope to analyze it. No team is "due" in my book, but this duo is worthy of a title. Unfortunately, there are many duos worthy of titles who never get one.

Eagles' fans are hoping that won't be the case for Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb.

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