An open letter to Eagles fans: We’re a family.

The initial 24 hours after a game are always interesting, especially after a loss. Today, Cody Parkey has been shamed nationally on the cover of a newspaper and been the subject of disturbing and malicious tweets from so called “fans”. This article is to not only to defend Parkey and explain why he isn’t to blame for the loss, but to discourage these kind of actions in the future.

To start with, the kick itself was rushed. Chip Kelly spent so long deciding on whether to attempt the field goal or not that by the time the six man unit got onto the field, Parkey had run through his pre-kick routine and lined up to attempt the 3 pointer, there were just five seconds left on the clock. It’s not an excuse, but it certainly doesn’t help matters.

Sam Bradford perhaps summed it up better than anyone by essentially saying that if the team had converted on 3rd & short then the situation would never have taken place. The team were stuffed with one yard to go and Kelly couldn’t see a way through. With three easy points and a lead up for grabs it made sense to play the conservative game knowing you may well see the ball again and have the momentum to drive down the field and score to close the game.

Every kicker misses field goals. Nobody is perfect and Cody Parkey had a great rookie season, a pro-bowl rookie season. But he also suffered a groin injury in pre-season, one that we’re still unsure he’s recovered fully from. Reports state that Parkey was holding the muscle after the there still an underlying issue? Regardless of the answer, every kicker will miss occasionally. If Parkey showed the (lack of) consistency of Akers then nobody would mention it. Nobody would slate him and he certainly would not have to bear the teams loss on his shoulders alone in the national press. But because he started out so well, the world expects nothing but perfection and unfortunately that’s life. There were so many other factors that contributed to that loss. Without getting into detail as these have been/will be explained in articles:

  1. The Offense should have been more prominent sooner
  2. The Defense should have been much more conservative when marking Julio to avoid digging the hole
  3. The Eagles overall should have been much more composed as to avoid penalties
  4. The referees should have done a much better job officiating the matchup
  5. Chip Kelly needed to be more adventurous.
  6. Matthews should have made that final catch (again, debatable)

These are just a few other factors that contributed to the Eagles loss. There’s no particular aspect that cost the Eagles a win on Monday, there were too many holes in the pipe and the pipe exploded.

Cody Parkey should not have to be subjected to tweets which involve death threats and demoralising insults. Telling a player to die/commit suicide/inform him that his city hates him and telling them quit their job etc just because they missed one field goal? Words hurt. Parkey is still young at 23 and with his name being all over the media today, the last thiScreen Shot 2015-09-16 at 03.37.11ng he needs is his personal phone being blown up with abuse. We’re human, we make mistakes. Whilst it may seem like a “funny” idea to send a “harmless” tweet, you have no idea how personally the player is going to take it. A lot of people in this world suffer with mental health problems, from depression to anxiety. Comments like that could carry a lot of weight and ruin a career. It’s times like these fans should be offering their support to Cody Parkey, telling him they believe in him and that he can move on from this.
We’re from Philadelphia and yes we have a reputation. But we’re not classless. Sometimes we let the passion get the better of us. Please just be sure to pass this on and ensure that we retain dignity, class and respect for ourselves and the players we root for in a minimum of 16 games a year. We’re more than just fans in this city, we’re a family. So let’s act like one.