Just hours before Michael Vick returns to Atlanta for a primetime showdown, WIP's Adam Reigner takes a look at how we've changed as fans. Two years ago, could you have imagined rooting for Michael Vick? Be honest.
We may see ourselves as a blue collar fans, lunch pail and all. But alas we are not. We have been seduced by the quick strike, fireworks type offense. What happened to the offense of old when we had to grind it out? We’ve become just like every other city: we want the glitz and glamor; dare I say we idolize the “star”. In the span of three years, this town has gone from psuedo-hating a stand up citizen worthy of hall of fame consideration to admiring a convicted felon, who hasn't won a playoff game since 2004. It’s not all about winning. Just like it isn’t about just getting into the end zone, anymore. It’s about something more.
After all, its just any given sunday and we want Willie, Willie Beamen
Michael Vick is without a doubt that chick you never had a chance with in life. She just got out of a long term relationship and was looking for a little self confidence after a bad break up. She was getting her life back together and just wanted someone else along for the ride. That’s you — the rebound who has fallen head over heels.
You had a good girl before, one who was always there for you, but you never wanted her. She was constantly trying to win your approval, so much so that in the end, you just ended up hating everything little thing she did.
Donovan McNabb is the all-time Eagles leader in career wins, pass attempts, pass completions, passing yards, and passing touchdowns. Every year he carried an offense that featured players like Na Brown and James Thrash. You screamed for Andy Reid to go out and get some wide receivers, but they were fine there. Even when we did finally get that wide receiver that we so coveted, we still found a way to blame McNabb and demanded even more from him. Instead of seeing the type of player you had in McNabb, all we ever saw was him with a 400-pound weight on his back. The man never complained that he didn't have wide receivers. He came to work everyday with his lunch box and gave it everything he had. He never let things bother him, usually. Instead, he would simply laugh them off. And we hated him for this. ‘Tis true.
Michael Vick, on the other hand… well, he has a record. Literally. Countless chances have been given to a man who can effortlessly throw a football 60 yards with the flick of a wrist. His talent is unmatched, a man who self admit-tingly never put the time into becoming a complete quarterback in the NFL. He finally ran out of chances… before the Eagles took one last one on him. And we weren’t even his first choice of teams to play for. Could you blame him? He never had to work hard at being fast or throwing the ball far, and is now one of the most popular athletes in our blue collar town.
He led the greatest tandem of wide receivers the Eagles have ever had to a first-round loss. What could McNabb have done with this talent in his prime? He took this offense to the five NFC championship games and one Super Bowl with far less.
Fact of the matter is this, blue collar fans don’t exist anymore, not here nor any other city. We've changed. I’ve changed. You’ve changed. We are all under the influence of "Sportscenter.” The three yard and a cloud of dust people are gone. It's one handed catches and touchdown celebrations now. None of that's blue collar. And none of that is Philadelphia anymore. Scream all you want, Andy isn't going run the ball this year, he's going to rely on his luxury jet to safely guide him into another playoff run.
In the interest of full-disclosure, I am just like you, though. I have left the comfort of that girl with whom I could do no wrong for the girl who was out of my league. I’d rather watch Vick scramble for three yards than witness McNabb throw the ball at Westbrook’s feet any day of the week.
But things aren’t always as they seem …
What if DeSean Jackson dropped that 88 yard touchdown on Monday night, would you be as willing to forgive Michael Vick?
What if the eagles defense had stopped the Cardinals on that last drive — or caught up with Joe Jurevicius, would you be as willing to love McNabb?
The answer to both of those questions is, sadly, “no.”