What Would Buddy Do?
In re: whether or not the team “cares” more than the fans
Posted on January 30th, 2009 at 11:13 am by Cheesesteak Hoagie

In article dissing Jeffrey Lurie’s comments regarding how bummed Lurie was about the Eagles losing the NFC Championship Game, arguably-”fresh”-but-inarguably-”derivative” local columnist John Gonzalez wrote the following:

The truth is, being part of the Eagles organization is a job for the players and coaches and even the owner - one they get paid handsomely to do. For them, it’s a business. Which is fine. It really is.

But for fans here, sports are something radically different. Rooting for the Eagles (or Phillies or Sixers or Flyers) has nothing to do with money and everything to do with our collective identity. It’s a passion passed down from parents to children before many kids can walk or talk, read or write. Growing up here means you’re part of an exclusive, rabid (sometimes dysfunctional) tribe.

You can’t fake your way into something like that. What Lurie and the players and their advocates too often forget is that the fans were around long before they arrived. And they’ll be here long after Lurie sells the team and decamps. He may own the club on paper, but not in spirit.

Ultimately, Lurie and the Eagles are merely custodians. They couldn’t possibly care as much as the natives. And that’s cool. Frankly, it would be unnerving if they did.

Anyway, someone should tell them to abandon the hard sell. No one’s buying it. [Emphasis mine.]

Well, I’m buying it.

Especially after reading the following:

“He presented with the back pain the week of the Minnesota game,” Burkholder told Daily News and Inquirer reporters in a hastily arranged call from the San Francisco airport, where Burkholder was changing planes for his trip to the Pro Bowl. “We got him an MRI right after the Giants game, and the MRI looked funny. We thought he was going to have a disc problem, because of the symptoms, but it actually looked like there was a tumor beside this stress fracture in his spine. That alerted our doctors that something else might be going on. They did further testing, further scans, had him see some other doctors, and it looks like the melanoma is back, in his back. It’s manifested itself in a tumor in his spine….

“Thursday and Friday, going into the Arizona game, we were suspicious that he needed more testing. He had more testing done on Monday, when we got back, and that’s what proved for sure that it was cancer,” Burkholder said.

Without going into too much detail, those don’t seem like the sort of decisions you make if you don’t care deeply about the team and your job.  If anything, I think you could argue that maybe Jim Johnson cared a little too much.  I sure as hell would have taken the weekend off, big client meeting — or whatever — be damned (sorry, employer!).

Anyway, I’m sure Eagles fans everywhere will have Johnson and his family in their thoughts.  I sure will.

Comments so far:

Link Here | January 30, 2009,

A very similar line of thinking has been running through my mind. Something that goes like, “Perhaps it’s a good thing the Eagles lost the NFC Championship. What if they didn’t? Would Jim have taken the time he needed to have a biopsy or whatever he needed?”

I might not have. It’s just back pain after all and that can wait until after the Super Bowl.

Get well soon Jim.

Comment by cavortingEagle

Link Here | January 30, 2009,

Did you really just take the Gonzales column and tie it to Jim Johnson’s battle with cancer?


Gonzales was talking about the smugness and the “we know better than you do” attitudes of Lurie and Banner and how it relates to the Eagles fan.

What a stretch by you.

Comment by James Fayleez

Link Here | January 30, 2009,

You know, we usually just focus on how crazy the players are to play through injuries and pain, but I guess the coaches fit in there too.

Comment by The Bounty |

Link Here | February 3, 2009,

Sorry for the late reply on the comment regarding a stretch.

Bob Ford mentioned after the Cardinals game that the players and coaches care a TON more than the fans. I tend to agree (and I don’t find myself agreeing with Bob Ford very often).

Don’t apologize for Gonzalez. Those are his words above. That’s why I copy-pasted them. The point here is that these guys on the Eagles care a LOT more than we do as fans, however important it may seem to us. To a scary degree.

Get well, Jim Johnson.

Comment by The Bounty |

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