Bird Feed: Ramblings from Monday night

Needless to say, the 2012 NFL season hasn’t played out like Andy Reid and the Philadelphia Eagles had hoped. Monday night’s contest against the Carolina Panthers stuck to that script. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Andy Reid will be let go after the season is over. It’s a stone cold fact. You know it. I know it. Reid knows it. Though I’m a big Reid supporter, even I believe he’s earned his pink slip. Recent draft blunders, lack of locker room accountability, paying big money to underachieving free agents; all Reid’s fault. He built this team. Ultimately, he should take the fall for its failures.

With that said, I don’t understand how little flack the players have taken for this disastrous season. Andy Reid can’t jump offsides on three consecutive plays. Andy Reid can’t turn the football over. Andy Reid doesn’t miss tackles or blow coverages. Players do. It makes sense the coach gets a majority of the blame, but Reid’s gone to bat time and again for this team and the players still have no guts. When do we start taking them to the woodshed?

Anyway, I was at the Linc Monday night to watch the Eagles’ season officially be put to sleep. The crowd was venomous, disinterested, and excited – all at the same time. The crowd vibe was the weirdest of any Eagles game I’ve ever been to – Booh Reid, quiet down, drink beer, consider leaving, cheer Bryce Brown, and repeat.

Never before has the subway ride to the Linc for a Monday night game featured so much breathing room. The parking around the stadium felt like an office building lot on a weekend. Even the stadium was depressingly empty, only filling up toward the close of the 1st quarter and then slowly emptying again from then on. Jeffrey Lurie, Reid, and the 2012 Eagles have successfully and completely sucked the life out of Philadelphia football fans. We were zombies in South Philadelphia Monday night, not waiting for something amazing to happen, but wondering when the wheels would inevitably fall off.

Considering the Philadelphia offense revolved entirely around a rookie quarterback and a rookie running back who never accumulated more than 15 carries in a football game, the wheels came off significantly later than expected. Then again, two fumbles and a failed 4th down conversion on your final three possessions should almost be expected when you have rookies in critical roles. Playoff Good Decent Average teams don’t rely on late round draft picks in November. Regardless, even though fans were disgusted with the costly fumbles, it was somewhat impressive the Eagles were even in position to win that game.

Let’s be honest, it was the best game the Eagles played since they collapsed to Detroit in Week 6. Hate Reid, call him fat, scream for his head, curse his lame post game quotes; say whatever you want, but the Eagles competed Monday night. They lost because three rookies tried to do too much. They lost because a defense full of high-priced, big-name talent couldn’t stop the league’s 20th ranked offense when it mattered. They lost because they suck, not because they didn’t try.

For this reason, I didn’t boo Reid Monday night. Not once. I didn’t refrain because I think he’s a victim, but because I don’t see the point in kicking a dead horse. Reid knows he’s out. It’s the players that must realize they potentially face the same fate. (Jason Babin realized this Tuesday morning.) Finally showing up for a Week 12 contest after five consecutive no-shows is completely outrageous. As Troy Vincent said before Monday’s game, “Don’t cheat the sport.” In other words: You’re a professional – act like one. Be responsible. Be accountable. Hustle. Not that it matters now. These players scuttled the 2012 season long before Monday night.

The Eagles and Reid will now go through the motions together for the final month of their relationship. Then they’ll undoubtedly part ways. Reid will probably take a year to be with his family before taking a new gig elsewhere. The Eagles will be left sorting through overpaid and underachieving divas, aging veterans, and young players with potential in need of guidance and direction – something they can’t currently find in the Eagles locker room.

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