BIRDLAND: A Confederacy Of Dunces


BY JOE PAONE IGGLES CORRESPONDENT Given the horrific real-life events of the last week that actually matter, I’m going to judiciously avoid using words like “disaster,” “catastrophe” and “apocalypse” when talking about last night’s abomination of a performance by our erstwhile football heroes.

Besides, why resort to using those words when “utter shitshow” pretty much nails it?

This is no longer Andy Reid’s team. These guys don’t play like Andy Reid players, they don’t talk like Andy Reid players, they’re not as resilient as Andy Reid players, they’re not as serious as Andy Reid players. I feel awful for Coach Reid. What’s he supposed to do with this pile of slop? I blame the guy who brought these mercenary losers and no-shot draft picks to town. Some terrible front-office executive named Andy Reid.

Coach Reid might have the worst offensive line I’ve ever seen in green—and that is really saying something when you remember Buddy Ryan’s almost purposely terrible O-lines. Reid’s best starters—Jason Peters, Jason Kelce and, last night, the fatal blow, Todd Herremans—are sidelined with injuries. The 2011 first-round draft-pick, elderly firefighter Danny Watkins, appears to be a complete bust. The big-money re-signee, left guard Evan Mathis, has been exposed as a big nothing without Peters there to pick up his slack. Their backups, who are now starters, essentially suuuuuuuck.

The defense, meanwhile, doesn’t get to use injuries as an excuse for its wretched play. No, these guys are just fundamentally terrible. And I really have to question their effort last night.

Their game can be summed up as follows: Seven-man gang “tackles” where the Saints’ ballcarrier still somehow manages to gain yardage. Linebackers and defensive backs completely run over, by and through. Gaps in coverage so huge, you almost have to admire the Eagles’ uncanny mathematical ability to be so consistently far away from making tackles. Undersized, under-talented cats all over the place. Kurt Coleman—have you ever seen a guy talk as big as this clown does and be so laughably insignificant once the game starts?

And the prize cornerbacks? Let’s put it this way: Why does anyone even care what Nnamdi Asomugah has to say anymore about the state of the team? Dude, you’re a big part of the problem, no matter how “eloquent” our middle-aged white sportswriters find you.

To watch the postgame press conferences of Andy Reid and the courageous-but-hopeless Mike Vick was to witness two broken men who are out of answers and out of gas. Andy was in his usual Post-Loss Auto-Cliché Robot Mode, but this time he was a parody of himself and, worse, he seemed to know it. His “we’ve got to play better”-style canned remarks were delivered with an exhausted, jittery, terribly-concealed cynicism. This guy doesn’t believe in the team he assembled anymore. He knows he’s lost the respect (if not the affection) of the locker room. He knows it’s over.

Even more notably, the media smells blood in the water, knowing that Andy’s power base is crumbling before their eyes. After 14 years, they suddenly grew the stones to call BS on Andy’s press-conference blather. That’s because they know there won’t be any repercussions or consequences now. And they have nothing else to write about for the next two months.

It’s all over, fellow Iggles fans. Accept it, move on from it emotionally. It really isn’t worth our time. We won’t stop watching, but we have no reason to believe in this entire franchise right now.

A cleansing postseason fire is coming. Or it better be.

So for the love o’ Lurie, turn off WIP and do something more worthwhile: Vote.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joe Paone has attended nearly every Eagles game with his dad since 1978 and he has the lasting psychological scars to prove it. He also runs a PR firm, plays rock music, and hunts New Yorkers for sport. You can follow him on Twitter  @Birdlandia or contact him at