Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Calm Down

By Jared Trexler

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, especially on the day after Christmas -- the day after the Philadelphia Eagles put the fate of the NFC East in their own hands with a resounding 23-7 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.

Yet, the truth has to come from someone outside the hysteria of fandom. It shall set you free.

The Eagles aren't that good.

In the last four weeks -- a magic carpet ride that started with spewed pessimism, and ended with a thumping of Tony "Hollywood" Romo -- the Eagles have molded into an embodiment of their quarterback.

That quarterback is Jeff Garcia, who despite a three-year magic-in-a-bottle run in San Francisco, has been the definition of mediocre.

Mediocre also defines the Eagles in the trenches. Most importantly, it defines the conference in which they play and the competition in which they faced over the last four weeks.

Carolina? A severe group of underachievers without a running game or a secondary. Washington? A club grooming a young quarterback with average skill players and a coaching staff stuck in the late 1980s. The Giants? A team with serious ego issues, a quarterback will little game toughness and a beat up, beleaguered defensive unit tired of listening to the army general.

And that leaves us with Dallas. Probably one of the most hyped teams in recent memory without a leg to stand on. The running game is average, the quarterback is becoming exposed, the defense already has (thank you Drew Brees).

So, while four wins are four wins, a tortoise sliding past another tortoise won't win you more than a concession race.

Did any football fans see Baltimore this weekend? San Diego IN Seattle despite a below average game from its first-year signal-caller?

I truly believe what I'm about to type. I'm taking off the gloves and not holding anything back.

If the Philadelphia Eagles some how, some way represent the NFC in Super Bowl XLI it will be the biggest travesty in the history of the league.

Worse than the sacrifical lamb -- New England -- against the Monsters of the Midway in Super Bowl XX. Worse than the overachieving San Diego Chargers against Steve Young's 49er machine in Super Bowl XXIX.

There is no Super Bowl particpant that compares to this year's Eagles.

In fact, if the Eagles jumped conferences they'd be staring straight at a top 15 draft pick, destined to pull out seven wins masked in mediocrity.

Yet, never has the opportunity for the poor been so great. Some street dweller, normally restricted to chump change and leftover scraps, will win a conference and join the party as a two-touchdown underdog in Miami for Super Bowl XLI.

There they will talk about Rudy. Joe Namath's New York Jets. We'll watch Jim Valvano running around the court after his North Carolina State Wolfpack shocked Houston for the college basketball national championship.

I'll here the name Ben Curtis. The phrase, "Miracle on Ice."

However, once the game commences, something widely known around the league will become abundantly clear.

The NFC doesn't have a 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers. In fact, one league beat writer told me Tuesday that the conference only has two "2006 Pittsburgh Steelers."


So calm down Eagle fans.

Your club just isn't that good.

**You can reach Jared Trexler at jtt128@comcast.net***

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