The Eagles Tanking Is The Worst Ever Attack On New York City
The Giants had done it. After a shaky 0–5 start to coach Joe Judge’s inaugural year with the team, the G-Men finished a Cinderella run to a 6–10 record and a potential playoff birth on the back of a game-sealing interception by rookie Xavier McKinney off the Cowboys Andy Dalton. It had the potential to be the sort of season you tell your kids about — the emergence of Daniel Jones as a potential franchise-altering player, and of Judge as the Belichick to his Brady, ready to take on the league for decades to come. The parallels are there everywhere you look: Jones was the sixth overall pick, Brady a sixth rounder; Judge coached special teams and wide receivers for two years under Belichick; Brady even won an unlikely Super Bowl in his second season in the NFL, something the Giants gave themselves a chance to do with their win over the Cowboys. And here in the Big Apple, City of Eli, we know a chance is all you need. Then, just like in Brady’s magical 2001, hateful agents purposely crashed and burned, devastating New York City.
On September 11th, 2001, it was radical jihadists; last night it was the Philadelphia Eagles, but that’s where the differences begin and end. Both groups attacked because they were jealous that New York City is the capital of the world and they have to live in, pardon my French, shitholes. Both groups were also envious of what we New Yorkers had, aside from the city itself: in the jihadists’ case, capitalism and the free market; in the Eagles case, a potential playoff birth. Most importantly, neither attack was meant to solely harm its nominal target. The attacks on 9/11 were an attack on all Americans, which is why the terrorists chose a symbol that represents America better than any other: New York City office buildings. The Eagles’ tanking, meanwhile didn’t only harm the Giants. It was a volley against the spirit of competitive integrity in the NFL as we knew it.
What were the Eagles hoping to gain by mirroring the 9/11 attacks heading into the year of their 20th anniversary? By playing a backup quarterback for one quarter, they moved up from the ninth overall pick in this year’s draft to the sixth. A team isn’t going to get a franchise-altering player with the sixth overall pick, and whatever player the Eagles take there now will be walking into a locker room poisoned by the odious cloud of the most disgraceful quarter in football history; they’d have been much better getting that fifth win and going into next season with their top-10 player walking into a winning culture.
Instead, they chose literal violence, not just against the New York Giants and their fans but against all of America. Every other game this season has been untarnished by bad actors and disease; in fact, no other team has ever gone into a game and done anything less than everything possible to win. From Pittsburgh to Kansas City and everywhere in between, every team has given their all. Then, in prime time, in front of the whole country, they destroyed the integrity of the National Football League. Nate Sudfeld? They might as well have just put a wide receiver under center. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. How much worse might the NFL look in 15 or 20 years when the youngsters who watched this game either enter the league thinking tanking is OK, or worse, don’t come at all, pursuing passions they deem more morally beneficial because of this fateful night? How many children will walk away from the game forever because they know a hard-earned Super Bowl can be snatched away by a selfish rival just because they want to?
And that, more than anything, is what makes the Philadelphia Eagles play Nate Sudfeld for a quarter against the Washington Football Team as bad as 9/11. Every day, as many people die because of Wuhan Flu as died on September 11th. That means that yesterday was equally horrific to begin with. They are equal in death. Then, on top of that, the Eagles destroyed the dreams of every child in America and the beautiful Sunday pastime of tens of millions by sullying the competitive and ethical integrity of the National Football League, America’s great beacon of hope. Say what you want about the perpetrators of the World Trade Center attacks; at least when they attacked, the NFL got cool military flyovers instead of the first ever black mark on its reputation.