Why aren't the Eagles ever that "lucky team" like the Giants? Part 2
The following is the final part two of a series featuring Dennis Bakay and Joe Vallee's take on the New York Giants, who just pulled off another huge upset against the Green Bay Packers in Lambeau Field. Join them as they ponder the question - "Why can't the Philadelphia Eagles catch teams sleeping in the playoffs like the New York Giants?"
Part Two- Joe's Take:
I truly can’t believe I am watching this nonsense all over again. Some Cinderella team who has no business whatsoever being where they are find themselves on the verge of another Super Bowl berth. I feel like it’s October all over again with the Phillies.
Now don’t get me wrong, the Giants could lose to the 49ers (who seem to have some of their own magic going on) and we’re not even talking about this after Sunday.
However, after watching the Giants play, I agree with Dennis. I’m getting an incredibly nauseating feeling that it’s 2008 all over again (and not because the Phillies are going to win the World Series, but more on that later). When watching these games, the sings are too obvious to ignore. Don't tell me you guys didn't think of David Tyree in the '08 Super Bowl when Eli Manning threw that "Hail Mary" against the Packers last week....
I don’t care what anybody says, the New York Giants are and have been a bigger rival to the Eagles in the NFC East than the Dallas Cowboys over the last decade or so. Sure, there was the 2009 season, where those two consecutive losses to Dallas pretty much unofficially ended Donovan McNabb’s time in Philly. But to be honest, Cowboys fans could care less about Eagles fans. The only reason there’s any Cowboys fans in this area is because they want to annoy the Eagles fans. Some say they became fans in the 70’s when the Eagles stunk, but that’s nonsense. I sat in 100 degree heat at The Vet during the summer of 1985 watching Jeff Stone and Rick Schu, and I never thought about becoming a Mets fan. EVER.
Yeah I know, the Birds beat the ‘Boys in the NFC Championship Game back in 1981. This is unquestionably a historic moment for Eagles fans, but the Cowboys won a Super Bowl three years prior and won three more a decade and change later. So when you look at the grand scheme of things, do you think Cowboys fans are THAT scorned by one NFC Championship Game? Spare me. And oh yeah, they’ve beaten the Eagles in the playoffs three times since then. Man, that’s a lot of threes....
And while we’re on the subject of threes, that’s how many Super Bowl titles the Redskins and Giants both currently have. From the 1986 season up to and including 1995, the NFC won seven of those ten Super Bowls (the Giants and Redskins both won two and the Cowboys won three. The 49ers won the other three). The only legitimate team who didn’t win was the Eagles (the Phoenix Cardinals were a joke).
Of course, the Giants success is always hard to swallow, especially since the Eagles usually always find a way to lose come playoff time, and the Giants end up getting a wide right kick from the Bills' Scott Norwood, or catch the almighty Patriots on a bad day.
When I was growing up, the better team won. Plain and simple. It was none of this lightning in a bottle, Disney fairy tale gibberish. Although the Flyers took Edmonton to seven games in 1987, they lost. Edmonton was better. The ‘93 Phillies? My favorite team of all-time, but they were way out of their league against the Blue Jays (and for the record, I’ve never completely watched Joe Carter’s celebration). The 2001 Sixers? Did you watch the Lakers that year?
But here’s my question: Why couldn’t Shaq and Kobe have hated each other when Larry Brown was coaching the Sixers and not the Pistons in 2004? There was no way that Lakers team was focused. What about the Flyers in 2010? Going to the playoffs on a shoot out, coming back from 0-3 to beat the Bruins (who promptly won it all the next year), and then losing the Stanley Cup on an overtime goal that nobody knew went past Michael Leighton except the Blackhawks? The obvious answer here is that the better team won. But obviously, that doesn't always happen anymore. Remember the 2010 San Francisco Giants? The Cardinals? Why isn’t Philly ever “THAT TEAM”?!!! Now I’m getting amped up.
If you want to get technical, what’s even more irritating is that one particular play sticks out in my mind that drastically altered the Eagles’ season. It was during the Eagles’ home opener (oddly enough) against the Giants (I’ll let Steve Olenski from Philly2Philly’s “The Morning After” take it from here):
“Leading 16-14 in the 4th Quarter, the Eagles faced a 4th & 1 from the Giants’ 43. Instead of punting and at the very least pushing the Giants back to their 20 on a touchback punt, Andy Reid decided to go for it. LeSean McCoy was tackled for a 3-yard loss. Eight plays later, Victor Cruz (who?) hauled in his second touchdown, beating Mssrs. Asomugha & Page for the ball in the end zone.”
Think I’m crazy? Well, the Birds finished 8-8, the Giants 9-7. Moreover, the Eagles had a better conference record. Just sayin.’
Perhaps the worst part of all this if the Giants win will be their (mostly) arrogant fans bragging about their four rings. On the flip side, us Eagles fans can brag about the 1960 NFL Championship victory that my dad attended when he was in high school. I’ll never forget all the razzing I received for most of 2008 from Giants fans after they shocked the world and beat New England. One incident stands out in particular.
Some friends of mine along with yours truly took the train to Shea Stadium that summer to see a Phillies-Mets game. The Phils lost the game (Remember the one where Jose Reyes homered off Ryan Madson and he was waving his finger around?) and some Mets fans decided to rub it in on the way out. “Philly, nothing but a bunch of losers,” the guy said as we walked out of Shea. “Our Giants: Superbowl Champions. Your Eagles? Losers. Your city is a city of losers. We have everything, you have nothing, and you will never, ever win.”
My first thought was to pound on this guy something fierce, but we were in enemy territory. Besides, there was nothing I could say and he was right. Three months later, I wondered what that guy was doing three months later on Halloween while I was at my first parade, but I digress.
I highly doubt it, but maybe one of these days the Eagles or any of our sports teams will catch that team who is sleeping.
Until then, go Niners. Win that sixth Super Bowl.........
Six? Man, can't we just get ONE?!!!
Contact Joe Vallee at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Eli photo: www.newyorker.com