I don't know what's bothering me more: The fact that the Eagles will miss the playoffs, and most likely finish under .500 for the 2nd time in three years, or that my attitude toward those developments has been so non-chalant.
The Eagles dropped another winnable game yesterday 16-13, putting them at 5-8 on the year, and I just don't seem to care that much.
This whole season has just kind of existed for me in the background. I haven't put a lot of thought, energy, or emotion into it.
I think I know why.
A) The Phillies. As the Phils rode a thrilling September into the playoffs for the first time since 1993, I found myself devoting just about all of my sports attention to them, and not much to the guys in green. By the time the Phils were done in mid-October, the Eagles were already on the ropes.
B) The Patriots. Once it was established that New England was the class of the league, and by a wide margin, what was there to get excited about with the Eagles and a possible playoff berth? It was clear by about halftime in week 1 that no matter how good the Eagles played this year, it wouldn't be good enough to get the ultimate prize, which at this point, is the only ending I'm interested in. When the city you root for hasn't produced a title winner since 1983, titles are all you want.
C) The "been there, done that" factor. This season has looked like too many other Eagles seasons from recent years. McNabb hurt, bad receivers, not enough commitment to the running game, the knack for losing the close games, bad clock management, and the always demoralizing slow start to the season. I've seen it before, and could tell by the way they blew the opener at Lambeau that it just wasn't going to be their year. It was really a blessing that I could recognize it so early. Saved me a lot of restless Sundays.
The good news about the NFL is that teams can turn things around in a flash. Problem is, I'm not sure if McNabb and Reid are up to it. It's maddening watching these two year in and year out. Maybe it is time for some changes.
On the plus side, the Eagles have plenty of cap space, they'll get a good spot in the draft, and with the right moves -- some receivers, a little help on defense -- they could be right back in the mix next year.
I certainly hope they are. It's been a pretty emotionless football season for this Eagles fan.