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New Year’s resolutions from an Eagles fan in search of a happier sports experience in 2022 | David Murphy

Placing more faith in Nick Sirianni, picking a side on Jalen Hurts and more ways to be a better Eagles fan next year.

Eagles Head Coach Nick Sirianni yells against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, November 7, 2021 in Philadelphia.
Eagles Head Coach Nick Sirianni yells against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, November 7, 2021 in Philadelphia.Read moreYONG KIM / Staff Photographer

Dear Diary — It’s two days before the new year, and something feels off. I don’t know if it’s the post-Christmas blues, the general lack of sunlight, or the public health emergency that has paralyzed society for two years. Maybe I’ve just spent too much time breathing in my own regurgitated breath. One good thing about masks — nobody can see you yell curse words at the television. Which brings me to a realization I had a few weeks ago as I sat in my recliner and watched the first half of that Eagles-Giants disaster.

See, I thought to myself, maybe it’s me. You know, me: just your average Philadelphia sports fan who loves his teams so much that he turns himself into a crazy person multiple times per week. I know, I know. We’re not supposed to be the kind of people who think like that. You know, emotional intelligence and self-reflection and all that jazz. I should be outside throwing batteries at Santa, right? But I’m like any other person in any other fan base, just a hard-working 9-to-5er who wants 2022 to be a year where I’m a better version of myself. With that said, here are my first annual resolutions from a hypothetical Eagles fan:

I will look carefully at the rest of the Eagles schedule before firing the coach four games into the season.

I know, I know — quite a change, right? Two months ago I went to a tailgate dressed up as a daffodil with a sad clown face. You know what, though? Nick Sirianni might have been right when he stood up in front of a room of highly paid, fully grown men and told them that each one of them was like a beautiful flower. Actually, never mind, that was silly then and it’s silly now. Buddy Ryan, forgive me.

That said, the coach had a point. There was growth under the soil. I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t slightly ashamed at all those things that I said now that the Birds are 8-7 and in control of their playoff destiny. How was I to know they’d end up playing seven teams who would be a combined 28-61-1 heading into Week 16? I guess I could have looked at the schedule that came out over the summer. This year, I resolve to do that.

I will stop booing Jalen Reagor.

He didn’t draft himself, did he?

I will stop putting my faith in the three late-first-round draft picks the Eagles have coming to them.

See: Reagor, Jalen.

I will stop obsessing over Carson Wentz.

I still contend that it was friggin’ hilarious when the wife asked me to take out the trash and I said to her, “What do I look like, Carson Wentz?” And, for the record, I got a lot of chuckles when the UPS guy stubbed his toe on the curb and was howling in pain and I said to him, “Who are you, Carson Wentz?”

But the other day, there was this incident at the office. Joe from accounting was supposed to be on vacation, but I get to work and he’s at his desk in sweatpants looking kind of pale. Turns out, he forgot to hit “save” on the quarterly report on Friday. So I say to him... well, you know. Long story short, I need to forget about Carson Wentz.

I will stop obsessing over all unvaccinated players.

This one’s a tough one, because the vaccine thing drives me nuts. Here we have this wonderful piece of medical ingenuity that is a product of all that makes America great: expensive education, profit-driven science, market incentives, the benevolent corporate state. Yet a lot of people who swear by the innate goodness of all of those things are suddenly convinced that it would bestow upon us a monstrosity that will warp our brains and turn us into mindless drones. Has Aaron Rodgers done his due diligence on every shot he has taken in order to play through pain? Do any of these guys know exactly what’s in the supplements they take? Hell, 50% of my diet is made up of chemicals that can also be found in yoga mats. See that orange stuff on my undershirt? That’s Cheetos dust!

That being said, I simply do not have the mental or emotional bandwidth to try to rationalize with people who have chosen such an irrational hill to catch COVID on. Reality is, the odds are overwhelming that none of these guys will have a bad outcome from the virus. And yeah, even if you don’t believe that the benefits of living in a dense, interconnected, technologically advanced economy requires some degree of selflessness and sacrifice on the part of the individuals who participate in said economy, it’s awfully short-sighted and pig-headed to risk leaving your team without a quarterback in a must-win January game.

But what am I gonna do? A statistically significant percentage of the population still believes that the Earth is flat and that we did not put a man on the moon. Anybody who was hoping for anything better than the current vaccination rates was hoping for a utopia that will never exist. I resolve to control what I can control and accept people for who they are!

I will keep believing in Jalen Hurts even when he has a bad game, or I will keep disbelieving in him when he has a good game.

From now on, I will limit myself to three changes-of-mind per season when it comes to the Eagles’ quarterback position. I will have a take, and I will stick with it. Maybe he’s the Future. Maybe he’s a guy that can keep our head above water until The Future comes along. Whatever the case, there’s really only one thing that matters. He isn’t Carson Wentz!