These Are The Times That Try Men’s Souls

Posted: November 11th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 42 Comments »

Believe it or not, FakeWIPCaller did not write those immortal words.  They were penned in the fall of 1776 by Thomas Paine.  He was a friend of George Washington and saw how bad things were going.  Washington had made some military mistakes and his troops simply weren’t ready for war.  Morale was worse than that of a  3-5 football team on a 4-game losing streak. Washington lost the locker room, so to speak.  Soldiers were deserting a hopeless cause.

Then Paine wrote Common Sense.  It opened with these words:

These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.

If only Andy Reid could get Paine to write inspirational words for the current Eagles.  Instead, he can only call upon Marcus Hayes, the master of the one-sentence paragraph.

Woe is us.

Maybe Reid could get Washington to come and deliver a fiery speech that would get the players fired up.  On second thought, that likely wouldn’t work.  Washington would probably die while riding his horse from Mt. Vernon to the NovaCare Complex.  I-95 traffic is insane and his lack of knowledge on how to deal with cars would overcome even our greatest president.

Washington saved the Revolutionary War in December of 1776 by attacking Trenton and Princeton.  He beat Hessian mercenaries in both battles.  Reid’s next two opponents are the Cowboys and Skins.  If any NFL teams are made up of mercenaries, I’d say it would be those two.  Can Andy Reid save his job and the season?  Is that a more difficult task than saving the nation?  Washington had untrained men and some even had to fight while barefoot.  Reid is missing 4 of 5 starting offensive linemen.  They do have shoes, but watching Dennis Kelly and Demetress Bell on Monday night would likely depress even George Washington.

Losing today…at home…to Dallas…would send Eagles Nation even closer to revolt.  Big Red needs to do everything in his power to win this game.  If that means running Shady McCoy 47 times, do it.  If it means playing Riley Cooper more at WR since he’s a better blocker, do it.  If it means running a quadruple reverse where Michael Vick throws a pass to himself, do it.  Don’t leave anything in the playbook or suggestion box.  This is the game to sellout to win.  Do whatever it takes.

Washington was bold and it paid off.  He wasn’t careless or stupid.  There is a big difference.  He attacked the Hessians at the right time and in the right way.  He leaned on trusted men like James Monroe and Alexander Hamilton to carry out key parts of the attack.  This wasn’t luck.  Washington had a good plan and his men executed it correctly.

It is up to Reid to come up with a good plan and then to get his players to execute it correctly.  Washington saved the nation.  All Reid has to do is save a season.

* * * * *

Here is the game preview I wrote for

This could be a very strange game.  One thing to watch for is tempo.  Tony Romo is at his best in the hurry-up attack.  If we somehow build a lead, that won’t bother Dallas.  They fell behind 23-0 to the Giants and then got red hot and almost won the game.  I wonder if Dallas will go hurry-up from the start.  Like us, they are a desperate team.

Dallas struggles to run the ball. They average 3.6 ypc.  They have only 3 runs all year of 20 or more yards.  Fran Duffy studied their OL and noticed that they do a terrible job of blocking on the 2nd level.  Dallas doesn’t have healthy RBs right now so they can’t create much on their own.  We need to take away the run and put the game all on Romo.  He’s thrown 13 picks this year.  Not all are his fault, but that’s okay.  We want the INT.  Doesn’t matter if Romo threw a bad pass or Dez Bryant failed to make the proper route adjustment.  Just give us the ball.

This isn’t a game where the Safeties should be selling out to stop the run.  The front seven should be able to handle that.  Should, being the key word. If Dallas does run on us, could be a long day.

Jimmy Bama says the RG Mackenzy Bernadeau is the weak link on the OL.  He’s given up 4 sacks this year, a lot for a G.  Jenkins and Cox need to attack him and win that battle.

Jay Ratliff is hurt.  Sounds like he’ll play, but if his quickness is limited, that makes him a significantly less dangerous player.  Dallas Reynolds might have gotten very lucky in that regard.

I am interested to see how many times Ernie Sims gets lost today.  If he has 2 sacks and an INT, I might just give up hope for humanity.  If we burn him a few times, I’ll know there is reason to carry on living…for at least another week.

I have no feeling for this game.  Let’s call it the Elimination Bowl.  The loser falls to 3-6 and while not officially out of it, is getting awfully close.  2 crappy teams enter Lincoln Financial Field…only one comes out.

Please be us…


42 Comments on “These Are The Times That Try Men’s Souls”

  1. 1 FrenchEagles said at 11:48 AM on November 11th, 2012:

    “If it means running a quadruple reverse where Michael Vick throws a pass to himself, do it.”

    I don’t know if I really want to see that… But if it works it would be awesome and save Vick for the end of the season.

  2. 2 Jonzee72 said at 12:00 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    Two crappy teams could come out of it if we tie.

    0-0 after 75 mins, 0 yards total offence for both teams.

    Would that count as a shutout?

  3. 3 TommyLawlor said at 12:52 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    Yes. And I’d celebrate.

  4. 4 Matthew Verhoog said at 1:50 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    At least we would be part of history,

  5. 5 Alex Karklins said at 12:29 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    My prediction: the game will be decided by either Vick or Romo stepping out of the back of the end zone for a safety.

  6. 6 TommyLawlor said at 12:52 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    Hadn’t thought of that. Would be fitting.

  7. 7 SteveH said at 12:33 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    There is a part of me that doesn’t even want to watch this game. As much as I’ve been finding humour in our struggles, having Dallas bury us in week 10 of a miserable season might overload my brains capacity for trauma.

  8. 8 bdbd20 said at 12:35 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    I agree. I just have a strange feeling that this may be the ugliest game of the Reid tenure. I hope I’m wrong, but there may be a lot of quit in the team today.

  9. 9 Corry Henry said at 12:37 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    If we get buried by Dallas, I’ll cry. Like snot bubbles, sobbing so hard, I stop making noise crying.

  10. 10 Corry Henry said at 12:37 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    My prediction: over 1000 combined yards of total offense, less than 40 combined total points.

  11. 11 Matthew Verhoog said at 1:49 PM on November 11th, 2012:


  12. 12 T_S_O_P said at 12:46 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    This shocking season is not stopping it being the covered game on Sky over here which means my GamePass account will not work for fear of upsetting ‘Murdoch the Evil’. Sucks. Might as well be an evening game.

  13. 13 Crus57 said at 1:31 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    Well, at least you can watch it tomorrow, and you won’t have to put up with the yacking in the studio.

  14. 14 T_S_O_P said at 2:06 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    You got to have some guts to watch a blowout the day after. I used to hoping to learn something.

    Having paid around $175, I don’t see why I can’t watch it when I want? Heck, I could have watched as many games on Sky live this year as I could through gamepass!!!!

  15. 15 GermanEagle said at 2:46 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    Where do you live? I take it that you don’t have sky sports then?!

    Every eagles game that I saw on sky this year they have lost…

  16. 16 MichaelFloyd84 said at 12:59 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    Tommy. You must have been joking. If there was ever a team of mercenaries it is us. Vick, Peters, Mathis, Babin, Jenkins, Nnamdi, Ryans, DRC. Looking at that list, it’s really not surprising that these guys are more interested in collecting paychecks that winning as Eagles. Most have been Eagles for about a week. lol

  17. 17 TommyLawlor said at 1:35 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    Most didn’t come here for the money. Vick wanted a chance. Mathis was hoping to get a job. Babin loved Wash. Ryans wanted to be MLB again. Nnamdi and Jenkins are 2 guys who came for the money.

  18. 18 MichaelFloyd84 said at 1:40 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    Regardless of what the reason may have been, i think we see what a team full of mercs brings. Losses and apathy

  19. 19 TommyLawlor said at 1:46 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    I’m telling you we’re not full of mercenaries. They’re in it for the money. That’s not us, accept for Nnamdi & CuJo.

    There is a difference in guys being home grown and guys being mercenaries. Saints won 2009 SB with lots of outsiders. Few got huge deals. Same for 2001 Pats.

  20. 20 MichaelFloyd84 said at 1:49 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    I disagree, but fair enough. Though, the quotes from players and the results on the field tend to backup my opinion.

  21. 21 T_S_O_P said at 2:09 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    Nnamdi had choices of equal money elsewhere. He doesn’t come across as a mercenary either.

  22. 22 Daniel said at 1:27 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    Almost more annoying than the eagles game is trying to guess how the Giants will luck into another win after going down 14-0.

  23. 23 TommyLawlor said at 1:33 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    So true.

  24. 24 Mike Roman said at 3:28 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    Not happening today! Did u see that drop by Cruz? Lol. He’s easily my most hated player in the league.

  25. 25 Daniel said at 3:42 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    Nah, I had to run errands before the eagles game :(. Someone should make a highlight reel of all the errors Giants, Cowboys and Redskins make for Eagles to get through the week.

  26. 26 bdbd20 said at 2:08 PM on November 11th, 2012:


    I know you said no coaching talk yet, but what have you heard of Jay Gruden? Is he a workaholic enough to be a head coach?

  27. 27 TommyLawlor said at 3:03 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    Jay would be a candidate.

  28. 28 SteveH said at 2:25 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    Watching the early games, I love how Bills players are so apathetic that they can’t even bothered to get too upset about terrible calls against them. They kinda protest for a moment then they’re like oh wait, we’re the Bills, whatever.

  29. 29 birdsofprey said at 2:42 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    long time reader first time commenttor tommy, great write up, i hope everyone on this site gives you credit as much for your ideas as they do for your ..uh.. prose. Damn fine writing I say. The historical refernces were hilarious, good job sticking with it the entire essay.
    Go iggles. Todays the day I was planning on stopping watching them this season but I’m somehow I’m rooting for a giants november and december collapse while waiting for some late season 2011esque iggles magic

  30. 30 TommyLawlor said at 3:03 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    My goal is to be creative and informative. Football is supposed to be fun so I try to keep that in mind when I write. Also helps to numb the misery of a 3-5 season.

  31. 31 GermanEagle said at 2:42 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    How amazingly depressive is it that the Eagles have not won a game with more than 3 points in the first half of the season.

    On that note: Dallas sucks!

  32. 32 TommyLawlor said at 3:02 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    That’s the spirit.

  33. 33 nicolajNN said at 2:45 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    You seem to have your historical facts mixed up Tommy, what saved the Revolutionary War was one man, and that man was Mel Gibson! Maybe he should give a pre-game speech.

    And of course Dallas sucks!

  34. 34 TommyLawlor said at 3:01 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    I stand corrected.

  35. 35 eagles2zc said at 2:46 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    I was way too optimistic going into the last 2 games and got burned. This game, I’m just hoping to be entertained

  36. 36 nicolajNN said at 2:53 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    That’s the thing, losses doesn’t hurt quite as bad if it’s been a good entertaining game, at least to me. But this year it has just been a big pile of shit. Last year I kept a relatively high spirit and had some fun during the games, this year I’ve just been miserable.

  37. 37 Mike Roman said at 2:59 PM on November 11th, 2012:


    I admire that you’re holding out hope for an Eagles victory today, for the chance to keep the postseason alive, and the chance for Andy to save his job. I know you try very hard to keep your objectivity and to not let your emotions get the better of you. You sir, are a dying breed.

    If you would have told me that the Eagles would be hosting the Cowboys in mid-November and that a large majority of Philadelphia fans would be apathetic, I would have said you’re crazy. But that’s how I feel. Somehow, this Eagles team has become more hateable than the Cowboys themselves. Outside of LeSean McCoy, I can’t think of one player on this team that I really care about. It’s obvious that they don’t care about their play on the field or the opinion(s) of the fans.

    Reid is done. He can’t save himself at this point. After 8 games, if the offense still can’t score points and the defense can’t get sacks or turnovers, Reid and his staff obviously don’t have answers. And I’m sure Mr. Lurie is watching all of this and he can’t be happy about an apathetic fan base or the fool’s gold finish to last season that gave way to our worst season since 2006.

    The disappointment surrounding this team far overrides any joy that I can get out of beating the Cowboys today. Really, how would we beat the Cowboys anyway? Two TE sets and a heavy does of running the football, right? And if that happens, that’s just going to piss me off even more that Andy and Marty waited until this point to adopt that strategy.

    To summarize, it’s Cowboys week and for the first time in my 30+ years of Eagles fandom, I just don’t give a crap. And I loathe my team for making me feel this way.

  38. 38 ACViking said at 3:06 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    Re: Schiano & Tampa

    I’m watching the Bucs.

    That’s a pretty good team with a bunch of young talent.

    Schiano’s made the Bucs more disciplined and very physical.

    When Jeff Lurie’s looking for a new coach, I really hope he looks at Stanford’s David Shaw.

    Runs a pro-style offense . . . like Schiano.

    Runs a physical offense . . . like Schiano.

    Has pro experience . . . like Schiano.

    PLEASE . . . NO RETREADS — like Gruden.

    No coach has ever led two different teams to an NFL title . . . except Weeb Ewbank (’58 and ’59 Colts, ’69 Jets.

    Several coaches have had the chance (Don Shula, Dan Reeves, Bill Parcells, Holmgren, and others).

    New is good. Let’s go new.

  39. 39 bdbd20 said at 3:09 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    I can’t wait to see this NYG defense against ATL, BAL and NO. Should be entertaining in an otherwise miserable season.

  40. 40 ACViking said at 3:10 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    Re: Jeremy Maclin

    T-Law . . .

    What the heck has happened with him? He’s regressed just like Vick.

    He doesn’t even seem as fast as a couple years ago.

    Also, I think you description of him as a bigger version of D-Jax — i.e., the *small* WR — is spot on.

  41. 41 ACViking said at 3:12 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    Re: The G-men

    As someone smartly remarked earlier this week . . . the Giants are entering into their annual lull.

    New York is keeping the entire NFC East competitive all by themselves.

    If the Eagles could just get going . . . .

  42. 42 ian_no_2 said at 3:32 PM on November 11th, 2012:

    I assumed if I kept reading about football I’d find something I could cite on my history paper. Does anyone know the exact quote of what Ricky Watters said at the Tory convention?