Accept the Eagles for Who They Are…Losers

MICHAEL PEREZ, The Associated Press

MICHAEL PEREZ, The Associated Press

My name is Greg. I’m a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles and they are losers.

That statement is not directed at players or anyone personally, but at the franchise itself. That statement is also not easy to say or type, but I hear that’s the first step to recovery. I think it’s about time that I come to the harsh reality that the Eagles are a losing franchise.

Statements such as that go against everything I was raised to believe. I was taught that our Eagles were a proud and mighty franchise with a prestigious history. The Eagles may not have won a Super Bowl, but they’ve won championships prior to the Super Bowl’s existence and the Eagles surely weren’t among the worst in the NFL.

I fear that is all one big fallacy, a misconception that our collective football egos have tricked me and other Eagles fans into believing. Yes, the Eagles have a proud tradition, but is it prestigious? The Eagles did win championships prior to the Super Bowl, three of them. Most teams did though, even the lowly teams like the Lions and Browns. In fact, the Eagles have won three (1948, 1949, 1960) and the Browns have won four (1950, 1954 1955, 1964).

Are the Eagles part of the NFL Losers Club?

You know the club. As Eagles fans we’ve laughed franchises like the Browns, the Bungles, Jaguars, Lions, and Falcons. The Cardinals used to always be in that losers club. Some folks look at them differently with their success over the past few years. However, this weekend proved, without a doubt, the Cardinals are card-carrying members of the NFL Losers Club. They came up as small as small can get vs. the Panthers. They didn’t just lose. They lost like losers who cowered under the bright lights.

I’ve come to accept that our beloved Eagles are also part of that NFL Losers Club. It’s hard to accept. If you don’t want to face this reality, you may not want to continue reading.

Below are the NFL franchise win/loss records. Look at where our Eagles rank:

Rank Team Won Lost Tied Pct.
1 Chicago Bears 741 555 42 0.570
2 Dallas Cowboys 480 364 6 0.568
3 Green Bay Packers 720 547 37 0.566
4 Miami Dolphins 429 335 4 0.561
5 San Francisco 49ers 520 436 14 .553
6 New England Patriots 462 381 9 0.548
7 Baltimore Ravens 173 146 1 0.542
8 Minnesota Vikings 449 379 10 0.542
9 New York Giants 673 567 33 0.542
10 Denver Broncos 456 386 10 0.541
11 Indianapolis Colts 494 433 7 0.533
12 Oakland Raiders 444 397 11 0.528
13 Pittsburgh Steelers 590 530 20 0.526
14 Kansas City Chiefs 435 405 12 0.518
15 Washington Redskins 578 565 27 0.506
16 Cleveland Browns 461 451 10 .505
17 Seattle Seahawks 315 313 0 0.502
18 San Diego Chargers 421 420 11 0.501
19 Los Angeles Rams 540 542 21 0.499
20 Carolina Panthers 166 169 1 0.496
21 Philadelphia Eagles 548 582 26 0.485
22 Tennessee Titans 404 442 6 0.478
23 Buffalo Bills 393 451 8 0.466
24 New York Jets 387 457 8 0.459
25 Detroit Lions 535 634 32 0.459
26 Cincinnati Bengals 338 399 3 0.459
27 Jacksonville Jaguars 152 184 0 0.452
28 New Orleans Saints 331 418 5 0.442
29 Atlanta Falcons 330 432 6 0.434
30 Houston Texans 97 127 0 0.433
31 Arizona Cardinals 535 724 39 0.427
32 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 241 386 1 0.385

[via Wikipedia]

21st out of 32 in winning percentage. The birds are a below .500 franchise. The Browns actually have a higher winning percentage. When I first saw this, I figured it’s wikipedia so it’s probably wrong. My Eagles Ego couldn’t believe it. Pro-Football-Reference confirmed it.

And, look at the teams that haven’t won a Super Bowl:

BILLS
BENGALS
BROWNS
TEXANS
JAGUARS
CHARGERS
TITANS
CARDINALS
FALCONS
PANTHERS
LIONS
VIKINGS
EAGLES

The Panthers may get off that list in two weeks. Those are some pitiful franchises and the Eagles are among them.

Once again, Are the Philadelphia Eagles part of the NFL Loser Club? I’m afraid they are.

There is one silver lining. The Eagles aren’t the bottomest of bottom-feeders. The Jaguars, Browns, Texans, and Lions have never gone to a Super Bowl. Things could be worst, slightly. Before we puff our chests too much, remember the Browns have won more championships.

The point of this isn’t to knock the Eagles as a franchise, but to state the facts. For my own sanity, I need to accept that the Philadelphia Eagles are among the worst of the NFL. Sure, good seasons come and go, but historically they just can’t close the deal. Same is true of the Cardinals, Bengals, Bills, Vikings, etc.

I don’t love the Eagles any less. I’m accepting them as they are. My football fandom life will be much more pleasurable this way. Science even agrees.

From a 2014 Telegraph article titled The Key to Happiness – have low expectations:

Scientists at the University of London have concluded that the key to happiness is having low expectations. They mined this conclusion from an experiment in which people gambled with small sums of money. The subjects were happiest when they won, not having expected to win.

From Psychology Today’s 2014 article The Secret to Happiness and Compassion: Low Expectations:

A new MRI study from University College of London indicates that the secret to happiness is low expectations.  Author and neuroscientist Robb Rutledge says, “Happiness depends not on how well things are going but whether things are going better or worse than expected.”

Happiness depends on whether things are going better or worse than expected. If I go into every football season expecting mediocrity or losing, then I’ll be a happier Eagles fan. That’s what I’m after. I’m woefully tired of the frustration and disappointment, the setbacks, the depressed Mondays after a loss, the front office shuffling, the first round selections of: Marcus Smith, Jon Harris, Mike Mamula, Jerome McDougle, Freddie Mitchell, Antone Davis, Shawn Andrews, Kevin Allen, and the likes of: Nnamdi Asomugha, Ron Solt, Jevon Kearse. If Eagles fans would’ve just assumed all those players would be busts, think of how much happier we’d be as a collective unit.

That’s where I’m at. Will Doug Pederson raise this franchise out of the loser depths? I hope so. However, I’m not expecting much and science says I’ll be happier that way. I still love the Eagles. I’ll still attend games, watch games, and cheer for them to win. I’m just going to be grounded in their losing reality. Does that make me less of a fan? Not at all. The Cleveland Browns Dawg Pound aren’t any less fans and they’ve come to terms with their franchise’s losing.

If the Eagles finally do win, I’ll be just as happy as if I never came to terms with this reality. I’ll just avoid the anger and disapointment along the way.

I think the team would love it if all the fans came to this acceptance. Think about it. The players would like it because they’ll only be cheered for good plays. We won’t BOO bad plays because we wouldn’t have expected anything better. Everyone will be happier. It’s a win-win situation.

We all know Einstein’s alleged definition of insanity, Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Isn’t that what we Eagles fans are doing? We go into each season with the same passion, yet expect a different result, a Super Bowl.

I’m not saying change your passion, just your expectations. Accept the Eagles for who they are.

Some say people live up to expectations and setting them low sets one up for failure. Eagles fans have had the highest expections for the last two decades, at least while Jeffrey Lurie has owned the team. How’s that worked out so far?

It’s time to give the opposite a chance. I’ve seen it work before.

 

Greg

Mayor of Jawnville. Sports-junkie, writer, observer of the absurd. I rarely wear a suit, but when I do it's a 40R. Juniata Park & North Catholic proud.

About Greg

Mayor of Jawnville. Sports-junkie, writer, observer of the absurd. I rarely wear a suit, but when I do it’s a 40R. Juniata Park & North Catholic proud.

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