You can't turn on the radio, open the newspaper (that thing on chalky stock that leaves marks all over your hands and is generally about 7-24 hours behind on news), or read certain local websites without hearing and seeing nothing but Eagles bloviations that no one cares about.
We are obsessed in this town with hating Andy Reid. Why? Do I love him? No. Does he have chubby hips, an awkward black onesie that he wears during cold weather games, a lack of urgency at the end of halves, a stubbornness to throw more than he should, and a two-inch vertical leap? Yes, yes he does. Is he an evil man, who is set out to destroy all mankind and eat the babies of local sportswriters, fans, and season ticket holders? No, no he's not.
Somehow, we turned a season in which the Eagles overachieved, into another Reid witch-hunt. For the last two weeks, you can't escape the endless and pointless discussions about who is at fault, why we will never win with Reid, what this team needs to do in the draft etc., etc., et-f'n-cetera. Newsflash: It's not your father's town. It's not 1960, 1978, 1980, or 2002. Rocky is not cool with the young demographic, Bill Bergey is not a celebrity, and Jim Gardner is not our main source of news. Shit changes, and so does the sports landscape in this city.
It is no longer cool to pontificate about Andy Reid's motives, Joe Banner's shoe size, or the running game (wait, we don't have one? Shit, I hadn't heard). Most fans don't want to re-live the painful ending to the Eagles' season. We don't care about why you think Sean McDermott was fired (he was a shitty defensive coordinator who left gaping holes in coverage and had no clue when to blitz), or if Reid is afraid of getting a proven replacement (I'm looking at you, Dan Schwartzman- RIGHT?). Let us know when they hire a guy- we'll discuss and then move on.
I said yesterday this was a "baseball town." Perhaps that was going too far, but right now, it's certainly a "Phillies town." Despite what those who rose up through the media ranks during Reid's tenure may think, 24/7/365 Eagles discussion is no longer interesting to every sports fan in the city. The Flyers are the best team in hockey. The Phillies have four fucking aces- FOUR! Cliff Lee. Jesus Christ.
Why are we still talking about the Eagles?! Not the baseball team, we're not talking about the baseball team, we're talking about football. Not the best baseball team our city has ever seen. Football.
Many of the folks I'm talking about are people I like. I enjoy most of their work, find them usually entertaining, and almost always informative. But there comes a time when you need to take a look at what your audience wants. I get the ratings thing. Believe me, I do. I run a blog for a living, if people don't read, I don't have a job- it's that simple. Why do you think there is next to nothing on here about the Sixers? Because NOBODY READS IT. Unless something crazy ridiculous happens- like our star shoving his apprentice on the court- you probably won't see many Sixers posts on here.
So I get it. I get why, when called out by Lavs for not talking about the best club hockey team on the planet, Mike Missanelli said the Eagles move the needle. At the end of the day, there are still a whole bunch of folks caught up in the world of Rocky, who believe Wilbert Montgomery's run was the single greatest thing that ever happened on earth and that Andy Reid is somehow out to get them in some sort of Matrix-like scheme. They move the needle for sports talk radio. They call-in while eating Wawa hoagies in their trucks. And, at the end of the day, that pays the bills for local media outlets. But I do find it very hard to believe that people would tune out if we started talking about the Flyers' prospects of winning a Stanley Cup or the Phillies' right field situation. It just takes the balls to be different.
Consider this other world that is out there, filled with 20 and 30 somethings who don't give a shit about the old school, live and die with everything the Eagles do mentality. They like sports- all of them. They root for the Phillies and Flyers just as hard they do the Eagles. They want the page turned. They (we) (I) are sick and tired of the endless football bloviations. They'd expect to read and talk about the fighting Flyers today, rather than what Andy Reid is doing on his vacation.
Perhaps I'm naive. Perhaps I'm coming at this from my own world view, one that spends about 12 hours a day chronicling local sports new and interacting with the fans of this city- albeit the more tech savvy, younger, average, rational ones who aren't plugged in to the Eagles Machine (they took the red pill). But I would fully expect that needle to keep moving if we talked Phillies and Flyers.
Give it a try, please. I have a feeling these people would like it.