A question I get a lot in the wake of the Eagles’ Super Bowl win is, “Do you think Eagles fans are spoiled by winning it all? Do you think they will turn on their team if, say, they don’t get to the NFC Championship game in 2018?”
The answer is always “No” from me. We had a 5-year stretch from 2000-2005 in which we just missed winning it all by that much. We got close in 2008 and 2010, too, and some might even say 2013 as well. We weren’t even close to being spoiled as fans then, so why now? Every season was a renewed quest for the Holy Grail and was treated as a separate universe unto itself by true Eagles fans. The passion never died, and the only turning against the team came when it was obvious after the 2012 season that the Andy Reid/Joe Banner era had to give way to something new.
A few miles down the road it’s a different story. Ravens fans had a nice 5-year run from 2008-2013. Making it to the AFC Championship game or the Super Bowl every year became expected. When that abruptly stopped happening, most Ravens fans turned on John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco and even GM Ozzie Newsome. They had become spoiled by winning.
Eagles fans are much better equipped to pass the “post-win struggle” test. We don’t bail when the going gets tough—at least not until the ship actually crashes into the dock like it did in 2012.
It’s possibly a rough stretch of sea ahead for the Eagles, and we may be tested as fans.
One reason for required strength and patience is the unknown prognosis of QB Carson Wentz.
As Tim McManus reports at ESPN.com, “It’s clear that Wentz is still getting accustomed to the protective brace around his left knee. He was seen pulling on it quite a bit throughout the day, especially early on during warmups. He’s acknowledged that it’s been an adjustment, but is slowly getting more comfortable with it. He moved with a little bit of a hitch at times during Tuesday’s session, perhaps in part because of that brace.”
So nothing is set in stone yet as far as getting Wentz back to 100% of the MVP candidate he was last season.
If it takes a while for Wentz to get going when he comes back on the field as a starter, don’t be surprised. Knowledgeable fans will understand, and they won’t whine like spoiled brats—like Ravens fans did after Flacco’s slow recovery from the same injury.