By Beasley Reece
I was part of the 4th annual Great Eagles Debate Thursday on WIP and it was an honor to share my opinions on the coming season and state of the Eagles with the distinguished panel. Chickie’s and Pete’s in South Philadelphia was the venue and Eagles fans showed up in mass. CBS3 filmed the session for a television airing on April 3rd on the CW Philly. We talked about everything from the future of Andy Reid to the next home for Kevin Kolb. It was spirited with challenges from members of the panel that at times degraded into one on one personal taunts.
The panelists were Jeremiah Trotter, Rob Ellis, Anthony Gorgano, Howard Eskin, Angelo Cataldi, Dave Spadaro, Ike Reese, Al Morganti, Hugh Douglas, and yours truly.
Nothing was solved.
Despite the over two hundreds combined years of Eagles experience from the panel for Journalist and former Eagles players, no one solved the issues nagging at fans of this team but a good time was certainly had by all.
We all tired to suggest a direction that would lead to an Eagles Super Bowl victory. Since my offerings were often limited to one minute I will tell you something I didn’t have time to explain to the attendees.
There is a common denominator shared by teams that achieve the incredible. There is a rally cry, a moment of trauma, a cause, or something bigger that each player as an individual that catches fire and sustains focus and effort throughout a campaign.
The best I can come up with is Magic.
The magic often comes out of nowhere and when least expected. It is often born of tragedy. I thought the loss of Defensive Coordinator Jim Johnson might supply the rally flag for the team to gather around.
Coaches often look for a Merlin moment.
Sometimes the magic takes flight in a song. The Pittsburgh Pirates had “We are family”. The Detroit Pistons had the “Bad Boys” chant. The St. Louis Rams had “The Greatest Show on Turf”.
A common magic maker is the old tried and true, “us against the world” feeling that good Coaches frame into something to hang onto.
The Eagles Super Bowl year actually found a spark when T.O. was getting what the team considered too much credit for its success. When he went down with an ankle injury the rest of the flock tried to prove that they could get to the Super Bowl without him.
Then Terrell tried to prove he could come back in time to play in the big game.
The panelists in the Eagles Debate obviously believe that the team needs the perfect Head Coach, the perfect secondary, or the perfect offensive line in order to win the ultimate prize. Actually, Winston Justice is good enough. Andy Reid is good enough. Michael Vick is good enough. McCoy, Jackson and Macklin are good enough. The linebackers are good enough. The safeties are good enough. The Eagles need those players to play above their heads because they believe collectively in something bigger than themselves.
What they need is to stay healthy and catch fire. They need to catch lightning in a bottle. The Sixers have a little magic working with their “love” potion. They make a play and make an “L” with the thumb and a peace sign from the 60’s as they trot away from the score.
The Phillies had some kind of magic in 2008 but they never shared the details. Outsiders always felt they had a clubhouse secret.
Do you believe in Magic!