The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

How could the Eagles let Brian Dawkins walk?

Where are they going to find another 35-year-old safety with fading skills?

Who is going to fist-bump and chest-thump after such rare and monumental events as a first-quarter tackle?

And now, when their starters are introduced before home games, who's going to come bounding out of the smoke like a kangaroo on crack?

Why couldn't they have listened to us fans?

I mean, why do we even bother to dress in team jerseys and get drunk every Sunday if we're just going to be ignored? Wonder how they'd like it if we didn't renew our season tickets? Bet you that franchise wouldn't survive long if they had to fill the stadium with high-school graduates.

Doesn't Andy Reid know that we're the real football experts? How many times has he called a talk radio station? How many fantasy leagues is he in? What are his blogging credentials?

Why didn't they get rid of someone they don't need? Like Donovan McNabb. So the guy threw for nearly 4,000 yards and led his team to its fifth NFC championship game. Big deal. We'll be fine with Kevin Kolb. He may be young and inexperienced, but at least we're sure he can lead an offense down the field in the fourth quarter.

All this just proves again that the Eagles don't understand the salary cap. Because I'm pretty sure teams get an exemption if they overspend for sentimental reasons.

But the real reason we're so disgusted is that we're certain the Eagles are really going to stink again.

Remove a slow, aging defender from a team that was already so bad it barely made it to the NFC Championship game and it's a proven recipe for disaster.

What do Jeff Lurie and Joe Banner have against Dawkins?

As far as I know, the Eagles have never before unloaded a popular player late in his career. Tommy McDonald, Reggie White, Randall Cunningham. They were all here for the duration. As it should be.

No, Sundays at the Linc just aren't going to be the same.

The hoagies won't be as tasty. The beer won't be as cold. The dried vomit will smell different.

And what about the rest of the week? If Dawkins doesn't have his weekly radio show at Finnigan's Wake, what reason will there be for us to drink, eat chicken wings, and ask fawning questions on Monday nights? We'd be better off drinking at home.

And now that he's not here any more, who's left to dress like Shaft, with those wide-striped suits and full-length fur coats?

Oh, you're right. I forgot about Howard Eskin.

NASCAR note of the week. Sorry, but I'm a little behind on my NASCAR homework. Anyway, I just discovered this Rush Limbaugh quote from October:

"The elites think they're the smart people, and they think Sarah Palin's a hayseed hick. She may as well be on the NASCAR circuit."

Not sure who should feel insulted there.

Northeast rules. Remember when everyone was afraid that free agency would cause the best players to migrate to the warmest climates?

Well, 11 of last 18 winners of the World Series (Yankees, Phillies and Boston twice) and the Super Bowl (Giants, Baltimore, Pittsburgh twice, and New England three times) were from the Northeast.

Stick that in your silos, Middle America!

More pressing matters. It's understandable that the Coast Guard was so quick to abandon its search for the two missing NFL players in the Gulf of Mexico.

After all, they've got more important things to do like, well, like, and you know, like. . . .

Actually, I can't recall just what it is the Coast Guard does, but I'm sure it must be more important than trying to save a couple of lives.

Oops. Tight end L.J. Smith was set to receive an offer from the Detroit Lions when it hit him in the hands and fell to the ground.

Death notice. Jerry Sacharski, who helped popularize T-ball, died this week at 93. Officials in Albion, Mich., speculate that he may be buried in a 2-foot-deep grave.

Cha-cha charges? Brazilian race car driver Helio Castroneves faces prison time. Surprisingly, the offense involves tax evasion and not his appearance on the criminally inane Dancing with the Stars.

Contact staff writer Frank Fitzpatrick at 215-854-5068