The League

Michael Kun

Michael Kun

Co-author of The Football Uncyclopedia. He is also the author of six other books and is a practicing attorney.

Banner Is a 10-Year-Old


On Saturday evening, we had a cookout at our home. It was a fairly lively event and, as you might expect, for a good part of the evening the men and their sons were gathered around the barbeque talking sports.

It was loud and fun.

Until the subject turned to the NFL and the 10-year-old son of one of our friends suddenly announced that the Eagles had the best team in football.

Then you could hear the proverbial crickets chirping as a bunch of grown men tried to figure out how to explain to a 10-year-old that, well, he was just plain wrong.

Not only are the Eagles not the best team in football, but, in our lifetimes, they have never been the best team in football.



The first thing to look at to determine whether they are the best team in football would be whether they won the championship last year, we explained to our friend's son. Did the Eagles win the Super Bowl last year? No.

Recognizing that sometimes fluky things happen and the best teams don't win (feel free to insert your own examples here), the second step in determining whether they are the best team in football would be whether they had the best record in the NFL, we explained. Did the Eagles have the best record in the league last year? No. They were 9-6-1. The Giants won 3 more games than they did. That's not a lot in baseball. But in football, winning 3 more games than your rival is pretty darned big.

Did something fluky happen to deprive them of a championship that they otherwise would have or should have won last year? No. Instead, a bunch of fluky things happened that help them get further than they otherwise should have. Like, oh, a tie game. And, say, a star receiver for the division rival Giants shooting himself in the thigh (thereby setting both NFL season and career records for most times a star receiver has shot himself in the thigh). And a star receiver for the division rival Cowboys shooting his mouth off and destroying a team that, on paper, was better than the Eagles.

Recognizing that last year was, well, last year, the third thing to look at in determining whether the Eagles are the best team in the league would be whether the Eagles made significant offseason moves that would leapfrog them over the other, better teams. Did the Eagles do that during this past off-season? No. First round pick Jeremy Maclin is a nice receiver. But not that nice. He alone isn't going to catapult the Eagles over the top. (And, besides, last I saw he hadn't even signed a contract yet.) On the other side of the ball, they lost Brian Dawkins. Say what you want about Dawkins, but until the Eagles prove otherwise on the field, they just won't be the same without him.

So, we asked the 10-year old boy as politely as we could, how could you say that the Eagles are the best team in football?

His answer: "Because they're my favorite team."

In an odd way, you have to respect that answer.

And, in just as odd a way, his answer is no different than Joe Banner saying that the Eagles have the best roster in the NFL, because Joe Banner's business card says, "President, Philadelphia Eagles" on it. And not only is it Joe Banner's job to promote the Philadelphia Eagles, but, presumably, they are his favorite team.

And if Joe Banner, President of the Philadelphia Eagles, doesn't believe the Eagles have the best roster in the league, he is nevertheless obligated to say so. Perhaps not morally or legally, but something close. Because while there probably would be few consequences if the President of the Houston Texans admitted that the Texans did not have the best roster in the league, the President of the Philadelphia Eagles could not admit that even if he wanted to.

Because, you see, his team plays in Philadelphia, and if you have ever been to Philadelphia, you would. understand precisely why he cannot stick his neck out like that.
So, do the Eagles have the best roster in the NFL?

Of course not. There are, off the top of the head, eight other teams that have better rosters, and they start with the Patriots and Steelers. Toss in the Giants, Colts, Vikings (regardless of what Brett Favre decides to do), Ravens and the Panthers. And the Titans, too. And we haven't even mentioned the Cardinals, Cowboys or Bears.

Does Joe Banner know that?

Of course he does.

Can he say that?

Of course not.

Because the Eagles are his favorite team.

That said, if you ever check out Joe Banner's bio in the Eagles media guide, he says that Dan Fogelberg is one of his favorite singers.

Why on earth would he admit that?



By Michael Kun  |  July 27, 2009; 1:38 PM ET  | Category:  Philadelphia Eagles Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Banner Lunacy | Next: A Small-Market Bounty?

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company