Here we are folks…the day that all of us Die Hard Eagles fans look forward to every year…Opening Day! There is only one thing that we are and have been looking to more and that is to finally win a Super Bowl! Unfortunately I am not here to tell you they will win one this yet or anytime soon. However, I am here to tell you that as a DIE HARD…Eat, Sleep, Bleed Green…that this team has a chance to be exciting.
Fourteen Years is a long time in any stretch of the word. For the past fourteen years us Eagles fans have had to suffer, cheer, be disappointed, a roller coaster of emotions. Under Andy Reid, this team has enjoyed one of its best runs in history. There will be so many memories for us all. These long lasting memories are burned in our brains.
The first memory coming at the 1998 Draft…when the Eagles took Donovan McNabb with the first pick and a 100 unhappy fans that traveled up the turnpike booed. Wow! Yes I will never forget that. Then I remember it was like week 7 or 8 that season, Donovan McNabb behind Tutor Doug Pederson getting his first game action. There is the Redskins game when he made the triple step and fakes out the Redskins secondary on the way to a first down.
There was 2001.the unprecedented trip to the NFC Championship and a lead at the half against the heavily favored Rams. Then it was Marshall Faulk who ran up and down and our Super Bowl hopes were dashed by the Rams as a fourth down pass slipped through the outstretched of receiver Freddie Mitchell.
Then there was 2002, the year all of the nation really thought that the Eagles were going to win the big one finally. The trip to the second NFC Championship, this time at home. This would be our last moment as Eagles fans in the Vet. Tampa Never has won in Philly during blah blah blah these kinds if conditions…when it’s colder than 40Degrees! We had them guys! We were right there. Duce Staley runs in am Eagles Touchdown early in the first quarter and then that was it. Another chance squandered as Ronde Barber picked off a pass that will live in infamy. The Buccaneers went on to win their first Super Bowl behind Brad Johnson (journey man).
Then the 2003 season…after Brian Westbrook and the magical season that ended in the NFC Championship at the Linc! The once again heavily favored Eagles fell to the soon be Super Bowl bound Carolina Panthers. I will never forget Donovan getting knocked out of that game. The feeling of hopelessness as fans as the Panthers ran for over 200 yards.
The signings of perennial pro bowlers Terrell Owens and Jevon Kearse. That magical run in 2004 where everything the Eagles did turned to gold. That Monday Night game against Dallas when Donovan McNabb went off and had that wild scramble that ended up in a Touchdown. Then the Extreme Cold at the Linc facing the Atlanta Falcons in their fourth straight NFC Championship. The big hits on Michael Vick and Alge Crumpler. The Eagles finally winning the NFC. Brian Dawkins holding that trophy high above his head. And then the Super Bowl…Terrell Owens playing hurt. The almost win and then a win taken away. The mismanagement of the clock. The loss. These are all memories burned in our brains.
Ok…then the McNabb/TO fallout, the disappointment the next few seasons. Then the glimmer of hope in playoff games against the New Orleans Saints. The playoff game against the Arizona Cardinals…another chance to go to a SuperBowl. And finally the last few painful years. Well folks…these memories will last until we finally win the big one.
However, I bring some good news as the Eagles are now under a new regime. It may take a few seasons to get back to excellence, but the Eagles will get there. Mark my words. Chip Kelly turned around an Oregon program that was in a similar situation. The Ducks had been good and then the coach lost the team. Kelly rebuilt the Ducks and they have been a powerhouse ever since. He will do the same with the Eagles.
Don’t expect great things this year. However, there is so much promise and hope that us Eagles fans can hold onto. And it all starts tonight on Monday Night. Just like that Monday night in Washington which seems like eternities ago. The Eagles march into Washington as underdogs. No one really knows what to expect from this team as Kelly did not show much in preseason. However, tonight there will definitely be some offensive excitement! Hopefully this Defense has matured and learns to play within its limits.
Ok…it’s almost GOTIME!!!!! So as we prepare for another Eagles Season…lets do the chant that we can only hope will last deep into January and a trip to the big dance! Until next time…E-A-G-L-E-S!!!! Eagles!!!!!!!