Into just about
every one of his public monologues, Jeffrey Lurie injects a form of
the same phrase. Lately, Howie Roseman has been providing the chorus.
Give or take an inflection, this is how
it goes: “We don't want to be risk-averse.” It's the Eagles'
justification for everything; they could hire a coach and later fire
the guy, both times proud that they were willing to take a chance.
Lurie, for one, says it so often that he must spend his weekends
leaping from Acapulco cliffs.
But no matter how many times Roseman
took pride in taking the risk of trading multiple draft picks over
multiple years to acquire the rights to draft Carson Wentz, the truth
was the Eagles were taking anything but the dangerous route to what
they believed was a championship. Rather, not unlike the Sixers, they
convinced themselves that there was only one way to NFL fulfillment,
and that was to do whatever it took to land a prospective superstar.
In the case of football, that would be a quarterback.
The Sixers did their tanking up front,
losing for years and collecting Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor and other
promises. The Eagles went back-door, forcing the move for Wentz,
aware that they would not have many chances in future years to
improve through the draft.
It's the way idealists have warped
sports. Rather than letting something grow organically, they imagine
a model and then try to make that model work. The Eagles have grown
convinced, brainwashed even, that nothing will work without a
superstar quarterback, and that once they have one, it's just a
matter of how to arrange the parade chairs.
Carson Wentz may become a superstar. Or
not. But the Eagles are not going to become champions just because
they think they have figured out a system in a sport that is not so