I got my first job when I was 16. I worked at Chuck E. Cheese as a game-room technician where I mostly slacked off, talked about how much I hated it there, and I even said the classic “this isn’t even going to be my career, so why take it seriously?” line. I did the same thing at Sears when I was 17 and 18. I worked the majority of my weekends so I missed every football Sunday from 2006-2009. It was then I got a job at a dialysis center and where I finally had Sundays off. It was like a new world being introduced to me. To me the flowers petals were brighter on Sundays. My mom’s cooking smelled that much better and football was that much more enjoyable. For the next two years I never missed a game, I was content and my mind’s highlight reel was full of plays and great moments during the season. So why am I telling you all of this? Because all of that ended three weeks ago, I’m working weekends again. It’s the reason I wasn’t able to give a post about week 2. I couldn’t get enough video to properly give an opinion.
“Are you seeing what I’m seeing?” That’s the text I got from my friend John. It was 2:00 pm on Sunday afternoon and I was on my break. The Eagles were playing the Giants. I started getting frantic; I opened up one of my sports apps to check the score, it was 14-0. The eagles were losing. I was so confused; Michael Vick had about 80 yards and an interception. That’s as in-depth as I could get. I called my cousin Mario to see what was going on, but he didn’t answer. I texted John back and sat at the break table doing the “I-have-to-go-pee-but-I’ll-wait-until-the-last-minute” dance impatiently waiting for John to text me back.
“The Eagles playing that badly or is it a misleading 14-0?” I asked. Experience taught me how to ask questions in that sense. I wanted to see if the Eagles were playing that terribly (which they’re good for about once or twice a year) or did a few bad bounces go against them (like a tipped pass that was intercepted). John eased me for a little and told me that the Eagles were moving the ball against the Giants, but they just couldn’t get score when they got into the red-zone. Besides the offensive line the red zone offense was an area of concern because they had no big wide receiver to just throw the ball up to which was why Plaxico was such a hot commodity in the off-season.
“Misleading, they are moving the ball, they just can’t score.” My break ended and I looked at my phone for one last time before my break ended and would take secret trips to the back room to check the score. I picked up and put down the same screwdriver five or six times before I said to myself that I had to switch up what I was doing. It was terrible too because in the back you were alone, but there wasn’t much service so sites that would take seconds to load were now taking minutes. I was in limbo and I didn’t like it. It’s like going out and forgetting your phone at home and the whole day you’re disconnected from the world. That if there was a disaster happening outside you wouldn’t know about because you didn’t get a text saying to panic. “Score Mobile” opened finally and the score was 14-13, the Eagles were making a comeback and they were in the red zone. I perched up behind a stack of boxes and kept hitting refresh, refresh, refresh, refresh, refresh, refresh.
Around 3:00 the Eagles took the lead 16-14 off of a field goal by Alex Henery. I was excited because the offense was finally going and I thought this would be a turn-around even though it was still early in the season. In one of the toughest divisions in football, a 2-1 start with a 1-0 division record three weeks into the season would be big. But I didn’t know Vick was out with a broken right hand and that Mike Kafka was playing for the second straight week. I didn’t know that the Eagles were getting lit up through the middle of the field because their linebackers and safeties are horrible. I didn’t know that the Eagles changed the positions of their linebackers two weeks into the season; completely reshuffling the positions which could explain why Brandon Jacobs was so wide open on that touchdown. (I didn’t know that Brandon Jacobs was that wide open) I didn’t know that the other touchdown was a display of terrible tackling. I didn’t know that play made it look like Asante Samuel’s mantra of, “I don’t get paid to make tackles” was spreading throughout the locker room. Nnamdi Asomugha played like his name was Dmitri Patterson and the stellar talent gene in the Matthews’ gene pool must’ve skipped Casey.
The Eagles lost the game 29-16, sending shockwaves through my day and had my Cowboys-fan-friend BC talking about “how bout them Eagles?” Is this what happens when your offensive line coach becomes your defensive coordinator? You panic and reshuffle the defense? The Eagles need to play man-coverage because they have the best cornerback core in the league, but Castillo played zone. The tight end still kills the Eagles and it is so blatant and so common that if you closed your eyes and listen to the announcer say, it’s a pass, 85% of the time you can guess that it’s going to be thrown to the tight end. Castillo looked desperate with changing the defense around like that and someone could argue that the pressure is getting to him. Something needs to be done as soon as possible because there will be a lot of answers needed if the Eagles don’t make the playoffs this year.