Flock of Eagles 'Reality Bites': Birds Come Crashing Down to Earth
Back to Life.
Back to Reality.
Back to the Here and Now…yeah.
Welp, it was fun while it lasted, huh?
That question we posed back on a blissful September day in Birdland, “are the Eagles actually good?” is now starting to generate the type of reply we dreaded during training camp.
This was the moment I feared.
And while we aren’t yet close to the haunting fate that befalls that song’s narrator in its final rhyme where he states “but now I’m in jail, doing life and I’m scared/some kid snuffed me cold and greased me where no one dared” we are at least at the stage of getting robbed for our big chains, with the big plates on ‘em, after boogieing down inside the Latin Quarter at the BDP show we got into for free.
It shouldn’t have to be like that.
And where the Eagles are at is displaced from the sole possession of first place perch they'd occupied heading into a way-too-early bye week three weeks ago, dropping down into 3rd place with a bullet, heading into a match-up against one of the league’s best defenses, and the return of Sammy Sleeves next Sunday.
We here at Flock of Eagles took last week off, much like the Birds did on their bye the week before or even the first half in Detroit.
We can neither confirm nor deny that we thought Detroit game would be a layup.
We did know this week against the team Chip Kelly donated Desean Jackson to a couple off-season’s ago would not be.
The Birds always seem to end up splitting their annual pair of games against the DC team with the racist name.
Or at least they used to anyway.
Now the Eagles find themselves in the ignominious position of having lost four straight games to a quarterback as mediocre as Kirk Cousins.
To put that in perspective, Washington has beaten the Cleveland Browns three straight times.
Whenever your football team is part of a statistical trend that compares unfavorably to the Y2K Cleveland Browns, the news takes on a very doo-doo brown-tinted hue.
So as the Greek literary titan Nikos Kazantzkanis once opined in the midst of his lifelong existentialist inquiry, “since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality”.
It’s now a sobering Monday morning after a saucy weekend that from a sporting perspective has ended sourly.
So I’m not gonna brow-beat y’all with anything too high-brow.
Rather than tell the rest of this cautionary tale with literary references thru the eyes of Kazantzkanis, a man nominated nine times for the Nobel Prize of Literature, we can instead tell it thru the magically doe-eyed empathy that flashed across our movie screens in the 90’s every time Winona Ryder was in a scene.
One Greek author and philosopher might have scored nine Nobel nominations.
But he still came home with one less medal than one American musical legend.
Staring down the barrel of the Minnesota game at home and a Halloween Weekend House of Horrors in the Jerry Dome, it’s now officially safe to wonder whether the Eagles might go oh-for the month of October.
So while it is only early fall, Birds Fans may have already started into the winter of our discontent while watching our team fly south in the standings.
So we’ll wrap-up this week’s “Reality Bites” edition of Flock Of Eagles with some quotes from the many memorable characters Winona Ryder has played in her movie career:
Lelaina Pierce: I was really going to be somebody by the time I was 23.
Troy Dyer: Honey, all you have to be by the time you're 23 is yourself.
Lelaina Pierce: I don't know who that is anymore.
For 23-year-old Carson Wentz, this weekend is when it all came crashing down with a stat line nearly as ugly as the Eagles o-line looks without Spiked Vein Lane in the lineup: sacked five times, mustering just 179 passing yards despite trailing all game, zero touchdown passes and connecting on just 11 of 22…Eww.
Please God don't let me fall in love and want to do disgusting things...Dear God, I love the way he throws”-Charlotte Flax in ‘Mermaids’
For the record, we still absolutely love Carson Wentz, these kinds of growing pains had to happen at some point. Still you can’t help but look at the protection provided for Cuzzo yesterday plus the embarrassment of riches surrounding him at the skill positions to throw to and wonder “what would Carson look like if he had this rather than THAT”.
Meanwhile we're all painfully aware of how bad management can put a quarterback’s legacy in jeopardy, so the Birds better get him some more support soon.
Dinky Bossetti: Who understands ANYONE these days... who WANTS to?
Gerald Howells: Gosh, I want to kiss you so bad, Dinky...
Dinky Bossetti: It's good to want things...
We all so badly want Doug Pederson to be the stabilizing force at the head coaching position that Chip Kelly's ego run a muck was not.
want him to be Andy Reid without the time-management issues.
We loved the inventive and unpredictable playcalling in the first three victories.
He’s now called two straight terrible games.
It’s good to want things…but it doesn’t always mean we get them.
“Maybe *you* can relax in a haunted house, but I can't."-Lydia in 'Beetlejuice'
Next week’s game at home has been the one fans around Philly have been talking about as soon as they destroyed the Steelers in a game that’s beginning to feel increasingly like an aberration for both teams.
Yet it must also be pointed out that in a parity-driven league where the difference between good and bad fluctuates so much, the difference between being at home or on the road is the biggest pendulum swing possible.
We saw the home cooking the Lions got in Detroit.
Yesterday in DC was more like being soundly beaten and outclassed by a team we’re still not very convinced is all that classy mostly because they don’t have a first-class coach or QB.
However, it will not shock us if somehow the mighty and undefeated Minnesota Vikings come into the Linc next week and lay an egg while taking their first loss.
You telling me you can’t see Sammy Sleeves’ eyes already getting big, quivering in fear next week inside a loud stadium now united against him as if he and Chip were still here?
We concede that we can clearly see that as a likely possibility so if you're a betting man, taking the points at home seems like good value.
While we also must confess the looming divisional matchup versus the Cowboys in Dallas on Mischief Night for Dez Bryant’s first game back, puts us in far more fright.
“Snuggle in, sweetie. It's cold out there."-Kim in 'Edward Scissorhands'
For Sammy Sleeves next weekend, playing in what forecasts indicate might be the first cold game of this season in Philly (mid-50’s and cloudy). We will be in attendance. We don’t expect the same levels of savagery present as that day we sat in the 700 level of The Vet watching the frothy crowd unwittingly celebrating the end of Michael Irvin’s career…but it will be pretty far from cordial.
It’s hard to imagine it will provide anything less than the most acrimonious environment Bradford has been in since he played the University of Florida in Florida for the 2009 BCS National Championship. We saw how that turned out.
Unlike Eagles’ camp in 2015, Bradford couldn’t beat out Tebow back in 2009.
“Dear Diary, my teen-angst bullshit now has a body count."-Veronica Sawyer in 'Heathers'
Fletcher Cox has taken two ridiculous, much deserved personal foul penalties that have extended drives and yielded touchdowns in two straight weeks. That bullshit needs to stop. IMMEDIATELY. He does not make enough big plays to counteract that level of damage, particularly at his already-overpriced price tag.
And speaking of counting stats, the Eagles now have committed more penalties as a team in their first five games than any Eagle season in history, having just yesterday passed the previous record set in 1988. A record in ’88 that was set during the decidedly undisciplined Buddy Ryan Era in a year where the late-great Dirty Waters was trying to put people in body bags on every play. This team doesn’t have that kind of menacing edge. This team just has maddening levels of “WTF are they thinking out there?” instead.
“Take me away from all this death!"-Mina in 'Dracula'
These receivers are killing me slowly. All of them. I can’t even talk about it with any more detail than that in my current state. I hate each to varying degrees, Josh “Is” Huff the most but Agholor in the first round continues to be the Trojan horse that makes the subject even more sore.
“You're a thing, a construct. They grew you in a fucking lab."-Annalee Call in 'Alien: Resurrection'
This is Jason Kelce’s reputation as a good player in a nutshell. I can’t wait until people stop talking about how ‘athletic’ our two-penalty-per-game ‘leader’ of this offensive line is. He’s trash and whenever he’s mercifully finally out of here we will not for one second miss his overtalking and underperforming ass.
“Have you ever confused a dream with life? Or stolen something when you have the cash? Have you ever been blue? Or thought your train moving while sitting still? Maybe I was just crazy."-Susanna in 'Girl Interrupted'
It’s becoming fairly apparent that this secondary, in the immortal words of Dennis Green, are who we thought they were.
We still love Malcolm “By Any Means Necessary” Jenkins for what he brings to the table including catching our favorite Kirk Cousins TD pass yesterday.
Nolan Carroll, you’re alright I guess.
At least you’ve greatly outperformed our two big free-agent corner splashes over the last decade, so we’ll let you live.
But that's about it.
Jalen Mills gave us more than Eric Rowe ever did, while performing sub duty and being a rookie picked five rounds later than Chip took Rowe....but that ain't saying much.
We're not even sure Belasterisk can rejuvenate E. Rowe any more than Suge can resurrect Tha Row.
Lucas: Dragonfly Nymph. You ever see one?
[Lucas holds up a beer bottle with a bug inside]
Rena: Oh, it's ugly. Glad it's not bigger than me.
Lucas: It turns into something very beautiful, Rena.
Rena: Is that possible?
Lucas: Yeah, can you imagine that? Turning from something ugly into something beautiful.
Rena: No. Frankly, I can't.
As for the future of this season, we’re not even gonna pretend we can call it. Because that old cliché of the NFL standing for “not for long” became a cliché because it works on so many levels. We headed into this season expecting 5-11. We started the season undefeated thru September while in sole possession of first place in the NFC East. Two weeks later and Minnesota ahead, we could be in last place by the end of the week while only just starting the seemingly most difficult stretch of the schedule.
Baby, who knows what’s going to happen?
It’s pretty obvious that three years of Chip Kelly decimating this roster has resulted in a dearth of talent in some key areas, while we’re probably at minimum 3-4 difference making players away from really contending for anything of importance. But making an entertaining little run this year, mostly due to that hot start which must now be aided by catching some breaks and maybe some people catching the damn football, is a legitimate hope still in play today.
Like our girl in the early 2000’s, after the embarrassment of being caught stealing something when she clearly had the cash, the past couple L's are starting to feel like we’re heading for a crash.
For the sake of our Beloved Flock of Fly-Eagles-Fly-ers, let's hope they instead bounce back like the Black Swan/Stranger Things and upcoming Beetlejuice-2 era of Winona.
Because from this point forward in Philly, we're gonna Ryd-er-Die either way.