The bodies will start to pile up over at the NovaCare Complex and that power plant the Eagles call home. First Juan Castillo was shot, by Andy Reid. Now it’s the Eagles' senior VP of communications, Rob Zeiger. He’s dead. He was fired by the team last night, according to a report by Jeff McLane of Philly.com:
Zeiger oversaw the team’s public affairs department and was part of the Eagles’ executive administration. He was the liaison between owner Jeffrey Lurie, other members of the Eagles front office and the media.
Zeiger’s name was already removed from the Eagles’ online employee directory as of Tuesday evening.
Messages left with the team and Zeiger were not immediately returned.
Zeiger was hired in May, 2011. The Eagles have had trouble finding someone to occupy that role for longer than just a short period. Zeiger was preceded by three communications directors in about ten years time.
That’s it, Jeff Lurie, blame the messenger, you coward. But here’s some news for you: it’s not the message, or Zeiger, that stinks– it’s the product. It’s your worthless, underachieving, overhyped, poorly coached, whiny, loserish product. Your football team, it blows right now.
Fall guy thing aside, Zeiger didn’t exactly do a great job. He was brought on in May, 2011, and besides a brief period of euphoria when the Eagles went on a spending spree last July, public sentiment towards the team has gotten substantially worse since. Most of that is due to said loserish product, but Zeiger failed miserably to control the conversation. Last week, he provided laughable excuses for why fans carrying Fire Andy signs were removed from the stadium, and for why music at the Linc, seemingly blaring to drown out boos, was so loud. He told the WIP Morning Show that loud music was a trend the team had seen around the league and cited a “good vibe” in the parking lot that day. [The tailgating scene included a Fire Andy truck and a car fire. Lots of fire.] Zeiger offered a similar response – which I called a "flaming pile of shit explanation" – to one of our readers in an email that he tone-deafly closed with an E-A-G-L-E-S chant.
Beyond that, the Eagles’ relationship with fans has been miserable. Zeiger did nothing – literally nothing – to assuage the feelings of fans who were rightfully enraged that idiots like Jason Babin, Jason Kelce and Riley Cooper (among many other players) were spouting off about fan support or lack thereof (instead, the Eagles just kept congratulating themselves on their windmills and solar panels with self-serving emails like this one). Zeiger also did nothing even remotely innovative or useful with the Eagles’ web or social media offerings. Though I don’t know how much control he had over them, I’m guessing a “VP of Communications” has some say in a team’s online efforts, which, for the Eagles, suck. Dave Spadaro is a corporate shill masquerading as a reporter, and it's offensive. Weekly website splash cartoons – the latest of which basically begged fans to stay and was borderline racist – are mostly cheesy and lame. The team even went so far as to block individual websites from embedding their videos (this site included). And then there’s the whole thing about the Eagles controlling local media by dictating what content is “acceptable” and which reporters can cover the team– there's some truth in those stories.
So yeah, Zeiger wasn’t very good at his job. But his body will – and should – be only the first of many to pile up.