A fellow Philadelphia Eagles fan wrote me this week after the 33-25 victory over the Washington Redskins to tell me that the team had gotten him excited again. “It’s like battered wife syndrome,” he said of his masochistic tendency to love the team each time they perform well, only to have his love turn to pain. Again and again and again. Perhaps the comparison is a bit hyperbolic, but it did make me think of the many ways my Eagles addiction has been emotionally damaging. My eighth step toward recovery (Click here for steps 1-7) is an account of that damage. I must “make a list of all persons I had harmed, and become willing to make amends to them all.”
I have harmed so many in my pointless obsession with a team that will never, ever win the Super Bowl in my lifetime, so I can’t list them all here. But I submit a partial list so that I may begin the healing process:
1) My non-football-fan ex-girlfriend, who I will just call X. Sometimes X would ask me what I wanted to do for dinner on a Sunday night and I would say, “Fucking hell!” Or I would just remain silent and brood and later criticize her relationship with her mother. Sometimes X would say, “why are you being so defensive?” and I would say, “Well, somebody needs to be defensive. It’s not like we can count on fucking Jerome fucking Kearse. What a bust! They call him the Freak. Well he can get the Freak out of Philly cause he can’t rush the quarterback. What happened to our vaunted defense?” I can see that my tone hurt X’s feelings. Besides, I think she kind of liked the Freak, in her own way.
2) My friend Gabe, who is a Redskins fan. I gave Gabe a hard time in recent years when the Eagles dominated the NFC East, and regularly pummeled his pathetic Redskins (Steve Spurrier’s “Fun N Gun” offense, what a joke!). Then I was supposed to watch this weekend’s game with him and his infant sons Max and Emmett (He dresses up the twins in Skins gear), but in my erratic, inconsiderate game-day tradition, I cancelled at the last minute. The Eagles beat the favored Redskins, the same Redskins team that seemed likely to make the playoffs and rise above the NFC fray. I’m sure Gabe feels really bad. I’m terribly sorry.
3) My cousin E.J. When we were kids, E.J., my brother and I would play “knee football” in a carpeted room on the second floor of our house. We would then pretend our younger cousin was, say, Danny White, and we would sack him repeatedly, rubbing his head against the rough carpet. He is still emotionally scarred. And on top of it: He’s a self-hating Eagles fan, for life.
4) My friend Matthew McKown, who is a Cowboys fan. I never could accept this. The Cowboys? Doesn’t it just make you sick to look at their owner Jerry Jones? But I shouldn’t have made Matthew feel bad, just because Michael Irvin vexed me with his brilliant, cheating ways, or that “America’s team” was such an evil corporate juggernaut. To each his own.
5) Eagles Coach Andy Reid. I blame most of my bad moods of late on Andy Reid’s poor parenting. It’s not his fault that his kids have drug and gun problems. Or maybe it is, but it’s not my place to judge. And just because he’s a Mormon doesn’t make him a hypocrite. Or if it does, why should I care? And so what if he’s fat? I’m sorry, Andy. I’m ready to make amends. (Before I do, I have to link to this and this).
6) My Sundays. I’ve calculated that the Eagles have lost 259 times in my lifetime. That’s 259 days damaged and lost forever.
7) You, dear reader. I’m sure you’ve got your own damn problems.
you are not an really eagles fan if you are apologizing to redskins and coyboys fans…
— Garrett Reid Nov 16, 04:09 PM #