What Grinds My Gears: ‘Any Given Sunday’

By Kasey Minnick
October 22, 2009

I was talking to a fellow sports fan this past week (not an Eagles fan) and he said, “Well, you should be happy because your team is playing the Raiders this week.” I automatically lashed right back at him and made a cliche remark about the movie “Any Given Sunday.” If any of you haven’t seen the movie, the title is pretty self-explanatory in the world of sports; anything can happen to any team on any given day.

Case and point: The New England Patriots on the road to perfection finishing 16-0 in the 2008 regular season and losing in the Super Bowl, the game that matters, to the underdog New York Giants.

As I was watching the game, I kept in mind to stay logged into my Facebook account, constantly hitting the “refresh” button to read the updated statuses. It’s easy for me to tell those fans that took this week lightly or those that don’t truly know the game and know that records, very bluntly, mean crap.

Yes, don’t get me wrong, I look at records and statistics, but they don’t predict how a quarterback, a wide receiver or a kicker (not mentioning any names), are going to perform in their next outing. And again, not to point any fingers, but if David Akers, the Eagles place kicker, would have been five for five, the game would have ended 15 – 13, not 13 – 9 in the Oakland Raiders favor.

But, hey, McNabb could have thrown for a touchdown or Westbrook could have ran for a touchdown instead of Akers being in the position to “win” the game.

I feel that many teams, but the Eagles in particular, go into a game, look at their record and take the contest lightly. When this type of thing happens to well-disciplined teams, they adjust their playing style to their type of game and don’t play into the hands of their contenders. The Eagles can never rebound. They had four quarters to rebound, but instead they played into the hands of the Raiders and I felt like they were paying more attention to those dressed in Halloween costumes in the stands.

The Eagles, prior to this game, were second in the league in points scored per game with 31.8. We finished this game with nine points against the team whose average total points per game is 9.8? Wow. There is absolutely no reason for this outcome, and I would have loved to heard what head coach Andy Reid had to say, or scream, to the team in the locker room.

The Eagles were an entirely different team from McNabb’s healthy return. McNabb is the quarterback, the leader or captain of the field during every offensive play. If I were Reid, I would have snatched McNabb out of the position. He had 60 minutes to redeem himself and Kevin Kolb would have been a fresh set of legs to run from the Raider’s deadly weapon of the game, Richard Seymour.

It is sad that I had more fun watching the New York Giants and New Orleans Saints’ highlights; at least the National Football Conference East has one good team in it. I am even scared looking at the Eagles upcoming schedule; we have two games each left with the teams in our division, and now after this game, we can never rule out the possibility of the Washington Redskins getting two “W’s” in their win column against us.

So, for all you sports fans, why don’t you sit down and watch “Any Given Sunday.” It can really teach you a thing or two about what can happen to the best OR worst teams. And, for all you negative, post-game “tweeters,” stop grinding my gears. Re-think your posts because it’s more embarrassing when you don’t know sports than being an Eagles fan after this week’s game.

Kasey Minnick

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