I watched the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday at a sports bar in Boston. The bar had two giant TVs, one showing Steelers/Texans and the other showing Lions/Cowboys. The Eagles game was off to the left, on a screen one-fourth the size. But rather than ask to switch seats or change channels, I kept getting caught up in the other games, forgetting to look over and check the score. I ended up leaving with 12 minutes left in the fourth quarter to catch a flight back to DC.
Granted, it was one of the worst games of the Andy Reid era, an unmitigated disaster that has even the most level-headed Eagles fans up in arms. But as recently as a few years ago, this would have felt like an act of treason.
Late in high school and throughout college, from August to January I would live and breathe Eagles football. I was at the Vet for the Wild Card game in 2002 when the Eagles took down the Buccaneers 31-9, and I witnessed the backbreaking loss to Carolina in the 2003 NFC Championship Game with mine own two eyes.
Nowadays, though? I'd just as soon sit down with Scott Hanson and his wonderful NFL RedZone channel than suffer through a boring Eagles loss. If that makes me a traitor, well, I apologize for preferring a better form of entertainment.
For example, the Eagles melted down in the fourth quarter of a Week 3 showdown with the Giants and basically handed them a victory. Normally, this would be enough to ruin my day. But instead, my roommate and I switched over to RedZone and watched the underdog Bills battle back to defeat the hated Patriots. Rather than bitch and moan about the Eagles all afternoon, I savored the great ending of this meaningless (to me) game.
If I was watching a random football game and it stunk, I'd change the channel. I'm just now expanding that idea to include my own team.
A few years ago, I saw a guy in an NFL Starter jacket walking down the streets of Boston. No team; just NFL colors and a giant league logo on the back. I instantly texted this information to a few of my friends and we made fun of him for a while; why didn't he just pick a franchise to root for? Did he just cheer for every game to be fun and every player to have a good time? What a weirdo.
But now, I think I understand where he was coming from. For whatever reason, I can't get into the Eagles like I used to. And it's not because I'm frustrated with Andy Reid or the defense or Mike Vick or anything having to this with this particular Eagles squad; I felt this coming on way before Week 1, which was back when this year's team was still full of promise and not leaking gas at a tremendous rate. I'm just low on Eagles passion, and I don't know if it'll ever return. I must begrudgingly admit to becoming more of an NFL fan and less of an Eagles fan. Someone buy me a new jacket.
I still love the Flyers, and especially the Phillies, with all my heart. When they lose a big game, I'm crushed. But when the Eagles lose, I can just flip the channel. I won't sit through Brewers/Diamondbacks or Blue Jackets/Coyotes, but I do get a great deal of pleasure from Packers/Cardinals. And even though it sounds weird to admit, this doesn't bother me anymore. I guess I'll find out down the line whether this is really time to move on.