Saturday, December 03, 2005
What If? That's a Tough Question
In response to Andrew's final paragraph in his post about how things have go wrong for the Eagles, I must say that it is not reasonable to expect that if Pat Croce had been able to beat Jeff Lurie to the punch that the same situation would have existed in the Eagles organization this year.
Imagine this scenario...
Perhaps Croce wouldn't have fired Ray Rhodes as quickly as Lurie did. Instead, Rhodes is allowed to coach the Eagles one more season. In the process, Andy Reid is hired instead by the Washington Redskins. The Eagles, with the second selection in the 1999 draft, decide that Ricky Williams is the best choice for their franchise. Rhodes touts him as a tough guy who just knows how to play football. McNabb, in turn, finds his way to the Redskins and Reid.
Also- remember how long it took Philadelphia to get their act together to get Lincoln Financial Field and Citizens' Bank Park built? Remember how Pittsburgh and Philadelphia were given the money by the state at the same time, but Pittsburgh had their stadiums built 2 or 3 years before Philly? Jeff Lurie wanted a new stadium from the day that he bought the organization. He talked of moving them if he didn't get a new stadium. Perhaps the stadium thing wouldn't have been as high on Croce's list of things to get done. Lurie pushed and pushed and pushed for it and it still took five years to happen. Perhaps the Eagles would still be in the Vet if Croce was the owner. If so, it might me reasonable to say that Ricky Williams would have decided to move on much earlier, as nobody wanted to play in that dump. Perhaps the Eagles QB would currently be Brad Johnson.
And finally, with the Eagles not on the doorstep of a Super Bowl championship, perhaps T.O. would have thought that Baltimore didn't look so bad compared to Philadelphia. Why go play in that dump for a franchise with no hope for the future?
The point is that it isn't not fair to say that the Eagles would have been as successful if Pat Croce had bought the team. Every event that occurs on this Earth is both affected and affects everything else that happens. The particular string of events that have unfolded for the Eagles over the past 7 years have occurred because of the moves Lurie and Reid have made. If those two men hadn't been there, I believe that it is more likely that the Eagles would be worse off today than they are.
Don't sell Lurie and Reid short. They have built the franchise into a model that many other franchises are trying to emulate.