Eagles Shoot the Messenger, Fire VP of Communications

image from mobilwi.typepad.comYou shot me!

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.


32 Responses

  1. I MSHOCKED this classless organization did not make Zeiger wrote his own firing press release

  2. His former job was at Amway. Now does that fucking say it all or does that say it all? Trailertrash people selling homemade soap door to door to Senior VP of the Birds. Christ.

  3. Hey Jeff you might want to tell the next PR guy to watch over what your moron players tweet to your paying customers

  4. Surprised you’re not talking about Nova getting smacked down by 18 to a subpar Ivy League school. Oh wait, no I’m not, you fraud.

  5. I listened to Zeigler that day when he was on WIP. Never had I heard more moronic, intelligence insulting bullshit from the Eagles in recent memory. But yeah, he was just the first of MANY casualties as Jeff Lurie sharpens up the machetes for his offseason night of the long knives.

  6. I think it’s in Jeff’s best interest to move the eagles out of philly. Worst ran organization in sports

  7. As VP of communications he was most likely relentlessly prodding Lurie to COMMUNICATE with the customer base. As any recent college grad with a degree in PR or communications would do, since that is what any business would do in a time of crisis. PR 101. The reality is that if the organization isn’t going to communicate, why have a VP of communications at all. Top to bottom this is easily the most unlikable group of people in sports history. Assholes every one.

  8. Re: Kyle, and everyone else, I’m fairly sure Zeigler was fired because he wasn’t aggressive *enough* in the behaviors you’re all taking objection to.
    He’s a PR guy working for Jeff Lurie. You know, the guy who changed the team colors, eliminated and priced out the 700 Level, and tried to ban hoagies. He isn’t there to maintain a respectful dialogue.

  9. The ex director of FEMA under Bush used to be a horse show judge.
    wasn’t this an X Files episode ?

  10. A few corrections to your article that you need to be mindful of. This isn’t opinion, this is fact:
    1 – Their web and media team is one of the best in the NFL time and time again. Look up their emmys won, and also compare the multimedia and video online offerings compared to other teams. It’s top of the line. Spadaro is there to cater to the diehard fans – why hire a controversial mudslinger in house? That’s just poor business.
    2 – Zeiger didn’t have the power to oversee “Player PR.” Don’t believe me? Look up what Derek Boyko’s job description with the organization is… Derek is the guy that looks over what players do when it comes to media. Zeiger oversaw non-team PR (i.e. music, sponsor press releases, etc.).
    3 – Their flash videos before games are not made by the Eagles. A 3rd party company makes them from the ground up and they are put online a few days before gameday.

  11. Where i work, we can’t have a nativity scene in our lobby.
    but the menorah is there every year.
    not that i’m anti semetic or anything.

  12. jews have no soul Candy, neither do gingers get it straight. The guy was obviously the “leak” who’s been the high level front office source letting the reporters know about Reid not getting fired last week etc…thats why he’s gone. There isn’t a PR guy on the planet who could put a positive spin on this season. He’s probably relieved.

  13. How many more useless positions will Lurie fire to make it look like he’s shaking things up but still leave Reid and Roseman in charge?

  14. Banner the Rat left the ship first.
    Lurie will vent his divorce hatred upon the Organization.
    Kyle has in his posession valid emails that verify most Eagles fans complaints for the last 14 seasons.
    wisely, Kyle has taken the high road.
    this aint TMZ

  15. wisely, Kyle has taken the high road.
    when the fuck has that ever happened?
    this aint TMZ
    yeah, it is, dumbass

  16. ^^but not an aversion to creating fake Halladay FB pages to redirect traffic

  17. Tim: Regarding those flash videos, doesn’t SOMEONE in the Eagles organization have to look them over before putting them up on the website? I find it hard to believe that sort of thing is done in a vacuum without the blessing of the front office, meaning Zeigler or somebody there.

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