Defining Success

Can Vick live up to the raised expectations?

Like a lot of NFL teams, the Eagles hit the midway point of their season with a huge range of possibilities for where their season will end.  At 5-3, they’d currently be in a 3-way tie for the 6th, and final, NFC playoff spot.  But they’re also just a game behind the 6-2 teams that have the best record in the conference.

It was hard to know what to make of this team coming into the season, and the unexpected back-and-forth between Vick and Kolb at quarterback, along with a litany of injuries at other positions, have only clouded the situation.  So, what does this team need to accomplish for the season to be considered a “success?”  And, in the bigger picture, how do we fans define success for our teams?

For fans of some teams (mainly the Yankees), anything less than a championship is a failure.  Every year.  For most fans though, they have to find their own measure for each team, each season.

For example, in my mind, the 2009 Phillies undoubtedly had a successful season.  Considering how many teams win a title and then disappear from sight for ten years, the fact that they came back the next year and won the pennant, with a mediocre pitching staff, was really a great accomplishment.  Yes, they were manhandled by the Yankees in the World Series, but that couldn’t take away from everything else they did, and the entertainment they provided us fans.  That 2009 season also served to keep the ‘ball rolling,’ in a sense, and helped them sellout every home game in 2010, and may have been a contributing factor in their willingness to take on a contract like Roy Oswalt’s at the trade deadline.

The 2010 Phillie season, on the other hand, will go down as a failure.  But wait, I hear someone saying, they had the best record in baseball for the first time in their 130 year history.  And they won a playoff series!  Doesn’t matter.  Expectations for this team were, justifiably, sky high, and a loss in the NLCS put a big asterisk next to everything else the team accomplished.

So, that brings us back to the Eagles.  Coming into the season, I thought a playoff appearance would make it a success.  They were handing the reins over to a 1st-year quarterback, had a questionable offensive line, and were starting two rookies on a defense that was underwhelming a year ago.

Two factors have definitely changed that measure of success in this first half of the season.  One, Michael Vick has taken the QB job and has been one of the best players in the league, when healthy.  Two, the NFC may be as bad as its ever been, which is saying something when you think about how long the NFC has been the inferior conference.

I don’t expect the Eagles to win the NFC, but I do think they have a decent shot at it.  And so, at the midway point of the season, anything less than a trip to the Super Bowl in Dallas would be a failure.  I don’t deny that just making the NFC Championship Game would be an impressive feat for this team, but Eagles fans have just seen too many losses in that game for it to ever really feel like success.

How would you define success for this Eagle squad: a playoff appearance, a loss in the NFC Championship, a loss in the Super Bowl, or nothing less than a title?

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One Response to Defining Success

  1. Right now it looks like Drupal is the preferred blogging platform available right now.

    (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on your blog?

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