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By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There is one man, and only one man, responsible for the Eagles disastrous 27-6 loss in Arizona on Sunday.
That man is not Andy Reid.
That man is not Michael Vick.
It’s not Dallas Reynolds or Demetress Bell. It’s not Kevin Kolb or Ken Whisenhunt. It’s not any one on either team, and chances are, you don’t know him. His name is Mike Conroy, and he’s willing to take responsibility for the foul mood Eagles fans have been in this week.
“I’ve sat on this since Sunday too ashamed. It was all my fault guys, not Vick or Reid’s,” Conroy said on Twitter this morning. He was ready to come clean.
To know Mike, is to know a man who lives and dies with the Eagles. Who lays awake at night in anticipation of the next game. A man who cares.
I knew what he meant. A week earlier Conroy had taken a risk, and somehow it worked out for the best. His biggest mistake was taking an equally big risk on Sunday, and it proved to be one too many.
The Eagles lost Sunday’s game because Conroy decided to eat a breakfast sandwich on Sunday morning instead of a mini-quiche. Unhappy with the way the Eagles played against the Browns, he decided to break his long tradition of eating a pumpkin and cream cheese muffin on game days. He was going to make a change for the home opener against the Ravens. He felt it was risky, but necessary. Worried that he was taking this decision too lightly, I asked him if he was sure he was ready for this sort of responsibility.
@SpikeEskin: @mikecroyconroy broski where’s the muffin?
@mikecroyconroy: @SpikeEskin I’m making a super aggressive audible this morning: Mini Quiches!
@SpikeEskin: @mikecroyconroy I trust you but I’d be lying if I told you that didn’t make me nervous.
@mikecroyconroy: @SpikeEskin the mini quiches will be a turning point today. Either sending Vick to the bench or onward to MVP glory. I’m nervous too bro.
We know how that Ravens game worked out. The Eagles played a dominant second half on defense, and Michael Vick looked a lot more like a professional quarterback. Conroy took a leap, and it worked. The Birds were going to be Super Bowl contenders, and it was because of Mike. It was because of the quiche. From this point on, the recipe for success was simple.
@spikeeskin: @mikecroyconroy quiche every week.
@mikecroyconroy: @spikeeskin it’s a must start snack.
Super Bowl contenders, until this past Sunday. The Eagles were destroyed, 27-6. The defense was carved up in the first half by Kevin Kolb. KEVIN KOLB! Michael Vick once again looked lost, fumbling twice and not throwing a touchdown pass. Dallas Reynolds once again looked like a player I’ve never heard of. The Eagles managed to waste a time out in between quarters, during a television time out.
How the Eagles could beat the Ravens, quite possibly the best team in the AFC one week, then look like they did against Arizona was a mystery. Until this morning. I should have known.
@mikecroyconroy: @SpikeEskin was coming home early morning from Baltimore. Had a breakfast sandwich. I’m sick about this. I let the whole city down.
“I was at a wedding in Baltimore on Saturday night,” Conroy told me. “Right when the vows were being exchange a sinking feeling that settled into my gut – I’d have no access to the mini quiches in the morning. Visions of the fog bowl, Jon Harris being drafted, and Rich Kotite fumbling over his charts raced through my mind, while those egg baked treats where hundreds of miles away.”
The fate of a city was in his hands, and Conroy choked. He knew it, but stayed quiet until today. The Gold Standard was not anything that Jeffrey Lurie was responsible for, but the golden egg batter used to make Conroy’s meal.
“I sat quietly with the shame ever since the game ended. I heard callers on 94WIP blast Reid and Vick, knowing deep down inside, my inability to pull down those little bite size quiches sealed the fate of the Birds before kick off had even happened,” he said.
Though it appears as if the mistake was made on Sunday, Conroy thinks the fate train may have come off the rails a week earlier. “I can’t help but wonder, if I never strayed from the pumpkin cream cheese muffin, could I have got one on the road at a rest stop Sunday morning, and the Birds would be 3-0,” he said.
Ashamed, broken and confused, Conroy doesn’t quite know what he’ll do on Sunday, when the Eagles take on the Giants. “I might have to make an aggressive move to something like turkey scrapple, as the both the mini quiches and pumpkin muffins are completely shot now,” he said.
As the Eagles have become unraveled, so has his diet, so has his life. The ache that Michael Vick feels as he tries to pick himself off the turf is one we’ll never feel, but the pain that Conroy will have to live with, knowing it’s all his fault, is even more unimaginable.
With Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals, and referee-gate last night, I thought we needed some levity. But if Mike doesn’t it get it right this Sunday I’ll kill him.