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All Or Nothing for Eagles

Discussion in 'NFL Zone' started by LaTunaNostra, Jul 22, 2004.

  1. LaTunaNostra

    LaTunaNostra He Made the Difference

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    Posted on Thu, Jul. 22, 2004
    http://www.philly.com/mld/dailynews/sports/9212378.htm?1c

    John Smallwood | All or nothing for Birds

    SUCCESS WILL BE JUDGED BY SUPER BOWL BERTH


    IT'S ALMOST here.

    On Tuesday, the rookies report and by next Friday night, the entire roster of the Eagles should be at Lehigh University for the start of training camp.

    Soon, very soon now, the daily caravans will jam up the Northeast Extension on the way to Bethlehem to watch the Birds prepare for the 2004 season.

    Before you know it, it will be Aug. 13 and the Eagles will be in New England to face the Super Bowl champion Patriots in their first preseason game.

    There is enthusiasm. There is hope. There is even optimism - perhaps the most in a generation from Eagles fans.

    And dare I even test the wrath of the great football gods by saying it is all justified?

    The beginning of what could be the strangest season ever for Eagles fans is just around the corner.

    It will be the ultimate test of emotional perseverance for

    Eagles fans - a weekly roller-coaster ride where the highs will be very high and the lows will be oh so low.

    It will be a season where everything and nothing will matter

    before Sunday, Jan. 23, 2005, when the NFC Championship Game is played and a berth to Super Bowl XXXIX will go to the winner.

    That's the dichotomy that is created when a team has lost three straight NFC Championship Games but then has one of its all-time greatest offseasons in trying to remedy that situation.

    It won't be a one-game season because it can't be.

    To win the NFC championship and erase 3 straight years of crushing disappointment, the Birds have to first reach the NFC Championship Game.

    That alone makes each of the 20 weeks from the start of the regular season on Sept. 12 against the New York Giants to the Divisional Playoff weekend (Jan. 15-16) important.

    Despite the fact that they lost the last two NFC title games in South Philadelphia, the Eagles' best chance still lies in having the best conference record and having the NFC playoffs go through Lincoln Financial Field.

    Of course, I'm not sure how this team could possibly survive the intense scrutiny and pressure that would come with

    having a third title game at home after having lost the

    previous two.

    But that just magnifies the

    single-minded nature of this

    season. Every game, every victory, every loss will be viewed in

    relation to the NFC Championship Game.

    And when it's done, nothing, absolutely nothing, will be good enough, nothing will be considered successful unless the Eagles are victorious on Jan. 23, 2005.

    Without question, the Eagles' management deserves praise for finally having that aggressive offseason it has been promising fans for years.

    The signing of free-agent defensive end Jevon "The Freak" Kearse from the Tennessee Titans, the trade for talented but controversial wide receiver Terrell Owens (San Francisco 49ers), and even the recent

    re-signing of prodigal son middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter show that head coach and football grand pooh-bah Andy Reid has accepted the need to lose some of his stubbornness and think a little more outside of the box.

    But if the Eagles don't win the NFC Championship Game, none of it will matter.

    If the Birds come up short of the Super Bowl again, Reid quickly will go from enlightened guru back to a coach who can't win the big one.

    Quarterback Donovan McNabb could win the MVP award and have the greatest statistical season ever, but if he again fails to lead the Eagles to the Super Bowl, he will be standing right behind Reid in line for goat horns.

    Kearse could win the NFL sack title; Owens could catch 100 balls for 1,500 yards with 20 touchdowns; but if there is no

    Super Bowl berth at the end of the rainbow, the belief will be that the Birds acted a year too late.

    The bottom line is that the

    Eagles could go 17-1, but if that one loss comes in the NFC Championship Game, they might as well have gone 1-17.

    Oh, yes, it's almost here.

    In less than a week, the Eagles will open training camp. Six months from now, on Jan. 23, 2005, their season will officially begin.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Send e-mail to smallwj@phillynews.com. For recent columns, go to http://go.philly.com/smallwood.
  2. Danny White

    Danny White Winter is Coming

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    Do you really think a Super Bowl LOSS will satisfy the Eagles fans?

    I'd go one step farther and say anything short of the Lombardi trophy is a failure for the Iggles at this point.
  3. David

    David New Member

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    That's an absolute fact!

    I don't think they can pull it off, but we'll see.
  4. ARMAGEDDON EAGLE

    ARMAGEDDON EAGLE Benched

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    LaTuna

    Thanks for the interesting perspective/read. :)

    Danny White,

    The Lombardi Trophy is really not the true measurement of a succesful year for the Eagles; so I disagree with your philosophy. I see this year as a a "tablua Rosa (Latin for "clean slate)."

    I've said it before, this is a different Eagles team than previous years. How is this relevant? Timing, personalities, learning new Eagle offensive/defensive
    systems, etc.

    So, having said all that, it could go either way. But one thing is certain, the Eagles will bring their "A" game every time!
  5. LaTunaNostra

    LaTunaNostra He Made the Difference

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    He said anything short of the Lombardi Trophy.
  6. ARMAGEDDON EAGLE

    ARMAGEDDON EAGLE Benched

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    Yeah, I Know. I'm sorry I caught that too late! Made the modification :eek:
  7. Danny White

    Danny White Winter is Coming

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    That's too funny! Armagedden's (sorry I couldn't resist) first post completely obliterates the whole premise of his revised post.

    Get your story straight Arm... will this season be ultimately successful without a SB victory?


    BTW, I will give you props for calling the Eddie George signing several months ago (if it actually goes down). I jumped down your throat when you suggested it then, but it looks like you knew of whence you spoke.

    I never give an Eagles fan the benefit of the doubt, but I will admit when one gets something right. Fortunately that doesn't happen often. ;)
  8. ARMAGEDDON EAGLE

    ARMAGEDDON EAGLE Benched

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    [/QUOTE]BTW, I will give you props for calling the Eddie George signing several months ago (if it actually goes down). I jumped down your throat when you suggested it then, but it looks like you knew of whence you spoke.I never give an Eagles fan the benefit of the doubt, but I will admit when one gets something right. Fortunately that doesn't happen often. ;)[/QUOTE]

    Appreciate the recognition. But like you said, EG is Not there yet. I'm not too sure if he can stay healthy, but if he does, he'll be a big asset for the C'boys.

    It's possible DW. You see, the NFC championship is considered a short term goal. Once we get over that hump (or some would like to call it a curse), the long term Ultimate goal is of course the SB. That's not absurd, because probably everyone in the NFL have similar short/long term objectives.

    Thousand mile journey begins with first step.

    Confucius :D
  9. AJM1613

    AJM1613 New Member

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    Isn't it all or nothing for everyone? A season should be branded a failure if you don't win the Super Bowl for every fan for every team, not just ours.

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