NOTE: The rest of this is about football, and it contains swear words. Mostly "asshole." You might want to skip this one and come back tomorrow, when I put up Easter pictures. I mean, you can read this if you want, but it's probably going to get me disowned. AGAIN. Why don't you just look at the fancy special effects on this picture and try again later?
Okay, don't say I didn't warn you ... proceed at your own risk. IF YOU DARE.
I am now a fan without a team. This has been a long time coming. And yet, my heart breaks to do it.
On Easter Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles traded away Donovan McNabb to the Washington Redskins -- a division rival! -- for two draft picks, one in 2010 and another next year. Two "maybes" for a definite.
For most of my life, I have been an Eagles fan. Sure, in high school and college I "experimented" a little, and had a brief fling with the Buffalo Bills, my poor beleaguered Buffalo Bills, who will always hold a special place in my heart. But my first true love has always been the Eagles.
It is true that I have not always loved everything about the team. I think that Ron Jaworski is a grade-A douchenozzle. I never really liked Randall Cunningham or Rodney Peete or Buddy Ryan or Rich Kotite. I want to forget Fred-Ex. I don't even remember Ray Rhodes.
Perhaps I have only blocked out the most unpleasant things, though, because I remember Harold Charmichael, and the "Gang Green" defense, and Dick Vermeil before he became a smarmy Blue Cross pitchman, and Andre Waters, and Reggie White. These names still give me a tingle.
When McNabb got drafted by the Eagles in 1999, I was not one of those people who booed. I am willing to bet that this was in large part because he was an Orangeman, like me. Fellow alums always get the benefit of the doubt, right? But I remember thinking: "This is a ... weird choice. I hope these guys know what they're doing. I want to believe."
I suppose it goes without saying that I was big into "The X-Files" at that point. Stranger things had happened.
And boy, did they ... in 8 of McNabb's 11 seasons in Philadelphia, the Eagles made the post-season. Five times, they played for the NFC Championship. One trip to the Super Bowl. Multiple Pro Bowls. 3rd highest win percentage of active QB's in the NFL, behind only the almighty Tom Brady and the almightier Peyton Manning. 4th-and-26! Fourth and goddamn twenty-six.
McNabb has never been anything other than a class act and a true gentleman while he was in Philadelphia. He married his college sweetheart. They have four kids together. He is not one of those "dudes" who hangs around strip clubs or drives around with guns in his car or gets snagged in the airport with 500 lbs. of cocaine in his suitcase. He appeared in soup commercials with his parents. His parents, y'all. You cannot possibly be more clean-cut than that.
But there are so many Eagles fans who say that, because they never got the Super Bowl ring they feel they "deserved," McNabb was a bum. Worthless. Good for nothing. A loser. A choker. A talentless hack. A fraud. All those other things, measurable and unmeasurable, that made him one of the best players in the NFL -- none of them appear to matter. The fact that he's been beaten and bruised and broken, hammered and heckled and hollered at, kept on coming back for more, and never had a negative word to say about anybody, ever -- those intangibles mean "nothing" because they came without a championship.
Hey, guess what? It took John Elway four tries and FIFTEEN YEARS to win a Super Bowl -- he eventually won two of them. And Dan Marino NEVER won a Super Bowl. Are they a couple of useless bums too?
Well, then, I quit this bitch. I don't want to be associated with people who seriously believe that winning isn't everything, but the ONLY thing. Because they? Are assholes. The lot of them.
Santa-booing, battery-throwing ASSHOLES.
I still love the Eagles, and I'll probably watch them all season from behind splayed fingers, but I will always and forever hate Eagles fans, even as I am one of them. And I hope they get exactly what they "deserve" this year: a Super Bowl. For Donovan. In Washington.