“Are you ready for some football?” the jingle asks. My answer is YES! Now technically, the season began the other night with Green Bay defeating New Orleans. However, the season is official when the team you root for begins. For the great majority of us, that is Sunday.
The Philadelphia Eagles are my team of choice. Well, my rooting interest was not a choice. Born into a sports crazed family in a sports crazed town, being an Eagles fan was thrust upon me. My first memory of the Eagles was a 1978 playoff game. They went up 13-0 on the Falcons. The only reason they were not up 14—0 is because they missed an extra point. I wasn’t worried and declared to my family, “no big deal. They’ll win this game easy.” I got stares and reminded to not talk till it’s over. Well, the quiet turned into ugliness when the Falcons scored two touchdowns in the last 5 minutes to win the game 14-13. “You had to talk didn’t you. Yeah, they are gonna win, don’t worry,” they mocked. What did I know – I was only 8,
I could fill a lot of space talking about Eagles memories, but I would rather focus on the upcoming season. The team signed a number of players, and the expectation level has soared. The term dream team has even been mentioned in reference to them. Of course, the most recent incarnation of that term, the Miami Heat of Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh, lost in the NBA championship. I would like to say that I think the Eagles will live up to that term and turn in a season that many of us fans have been longing for (I asked a rabbi to offer a blessing for them before Super Bowl 39. He declined noting that the Patriots owner, Robert Kraft, was known for his charitable ways towards Jewish oriented charities. I should of recognized then that it was hopeless.).
I believe the 2011 Eagles will be an interesting team. They are stacked at a few positions particularly defensive backs and wide receivers. In fact, I think their offense could be outstanding, but their offensive line is such a question mark that it is hard to see it being consistent enough. On defense, I feel good about their line and cornerbacks. The linebackers are a wildcard though and to hope for them to be anything better than mediocre is a stretch while the safeties will probably be merely okay.
So, the Eagles, my team of choice, should be good but probably not good enough to achieve championship status. Despite this, I am ready for football and am looking forward to watching this season. Let the games begin!