“No, no, no…NO…NOOOOOOO!!!!!” -Every Eagles fan at least twice a month since consciousness.
Philadelphia is one of the few sports towns in the country that suffers from a strange phenomenon. Philadelphia Eagles’ fans are one of a few fan bases that cannot even take the time to enjoy it when positive things happen. The Chicago Cubs’ fans were in that boat until they came back from down 3-1 in the World Series last year, against the Cleveland Indians. The entire city of Cleveland was in that boat, until LeBron James brought one home for the land, also rallying from 3-1 down in the NBA Finals last year. The entire fandom of Philadelphia was in this spot, until the Phillies won it in 2008, minds were lost in the city of Philadelphia that night.
In the end now this apprehensive view of a sports team has become less about a city being cursed and more about individual teams. Some obvious ones who currently suffer are the Cleveland Browns, New York Jets, Detroit Lions, Los Angeles Clippers, Washington Wizards, Seattle Mariners, Pittsburgh Pirates just to name a few. To fit into this special category you have to have suffered for a long amount of time, with either a few superstars that should have won a championship, or a dedicated fan base. Hence why fans of the San Diego Chargers do not count. Because, fair or not, fan bases like that do not give the impression that their emotions are as tied into the team, as with other cities. (Yes this is a long diatribe just stay with me!!)
Philadelphia Eagles’ fans are clearly in the first category. Mainly because the biggest complaint with bird’s fans is that they boo too much. This is a sensation that can only be called joyful angst. To some degree Eagles fans like to be miserable because it “conveys toughness and gives you a real outlook on life…” Or at least that’s what my father said to enlist yours truly into this cult.
In the postmodern world, because of the day-to-day 24/7 news stream, it is easier to have joyful angst, because bad news can come from anywhere. That is why a week after the Eagles signed wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey for one year $9, (plus a possible $5.5 in incentives) and Torrey Smith for three years and $15 million, something is wrong, very wrong. Those actually seemed like good moves.
This sucks because now Philly fans have to look to other sports to fill the anger gap (thank you Flyers for the losing streak!) but there isn’t a big source to turn to. Even worse Ezekiel Elliot was doing Ezekiel Elliot things at Mardi Gras, so it just reminds you that the Dallas Cowboys can implode at any time. The Washington Redskins continue their downhill slide from the team that made the playoffs two years ago to firing their general manager. Combine that with Desean Jackson and Pierre Garcon both being replaced by Terrelle Pryor. The icing on the cake is that quarterback Kirk Cousins wants out. All in all they seem to be imploding. Lastly, the New York Giants went out and got Brandon Marshall which is a nice move but nothing like the fear of what they did last offseason. This means that no one in the division is causing pain either.
GM who reportedly is a football mind and players GM, gone. The franchise record breaking QB 2Xs over wants a trade. It's only March. https://t.co/kluPMzpykv— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) March 10, 2017
Ah but look no further. In times of perfect tranquility you can always count on analysis to provide it. In this case it was Todd McShay’s Mock Draft 3.0 which has given us something to be mad about.
Mock Draft 3.0 just released. Have at it… https://t.co/7j3APbnLWm— Todd McShay (@McShay13) March 15, 2017
Yes he has the Eagles, who select 14th in the NFL Draft, selecting Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey. Not only is the thought that McCaffrey is a little bit too high at this spot (for the most part he’s been a late first round selection), but the Eagles aren’t really in the position to take a running back. Football knowledge has been leaning back on this in the recent years but for the most part you don’t take a running back in the first round unless you already have the offensive line set. The reason being this is the one spot you just don’t want to miss on.
Of late this has changed of course with the stand out season the aforementioned Elliot had but for every Elliot there is a player like the old Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy, who’s off the team after a few years. Yes, I know, bad example because seemingly every Packers first round pick lately is a free agent but still. In the long run you do not do it because if the offensive line, and the team, are not ready to immediately jump on the opportunity like the Cowboys last year.
Take away the fact that the draft is not until April 27th and the last time the Eagles drafted a running relatively high it was LeSean McCoy, a.k.a. the best running back in Eagles history, in the 2nd round. Or that the Eagles obviously need a corner back and this is clearly a deep corner back draft. Or that Howie Roseman, the vice president of football operations, has really done nothing wrong since he was put back in power.
Nope the McShay Mock Draft gives fans a reason to go back into a comfortable spot of joyful angst. Now the fan base can be worried about Roseman for doing something that he hasn’t even done yet. Even better, it could have been something that he wasn’t even considering going for, and it had the same effect. Or maybe best of all, it’s over a player who no one can, REALLY tell whether he’s going to be a good pro or not. Everyone has their opinions but there is no way to tell just how good McCaffrey can really be.
Joyful angst is a beautiful thing I promise.