Attention Philly: Here Come the 'Boys

The last thing any Eagles' fan wants to hear is progress and positive strides being made at Valley Ranch. They cringe in their collective cheese steaks when Jerry starts spending money and the NFL watch dogs call the Cowboys' off-season productive and draft results impressive.

"Tick…tick…tick."

Care to venture a guess on this sound's source and corresponding sense of urgency?

Logic might point you to the general impatience of the Cowboys' fan. Others would render a vote for the Bill Parcells coaching tenure watch. The optimists among us will register a ballot for the countdown to training camp in Oxnard.

All fine guesses with valid backing, but there is another very real phenomenon at work in a city comprised of recent success and massive paranoia.

While not a sadist by nature, when it comes to this venue, I'm all for tortured souls and sleepless nights.

The ticking you hear is the collective and increased pulmonary beating within the heart of every Philadelphia Eagles' fan.

Cowboys' faithful, these are huge, dedicated and championship-hungry power plants firmly cemented in the vaunted and hated Eagles' following. It's also the precursor to a time bomb, which will be heard worldwide if they can't stake a claim to Lombardi hardware before the Cowboys start their ascent up the ladder of renewed success.

They'll never admit it, but this is their greatest fear in life.

The last thing any Eagles' fan wants to hear is progress and positive strides being made at Valley Ranch. They cringe in their collective cheese steaks when Jerry starts spending money and the NFL watch dogs call the Cowboys' off-season productive and draft results impressive.

And especially knowing the football mind of Bill Parcells (he of the two Super Bowl ilk) is directing traffic.

To the casual observer, South Philly is alive and well with Eagles' mania in full swing. Externally, yes. Goes back to the Jersey/Philly mantra: never let them see you sweat.

However, the inner core of the average Eagles' fan, once you peel away the blue collar and the pom-pom waving, divulges extreme unrest and fear of failure.

It's their M.O. Always has been; always will be. Continuously waiting for the other shoe to fall. Thinking, somehow, they're not supposed to win.

Trust me on this one. I'm plugged in and very close to the pulse, and at every opportunity; I'll pour a bag of salt on any open Philly wound or toss a gallon of gasoline on the Lincoln Financial campfire.

I'm the straw that stirs the Molotov cocktail.

Why?

Because it works.

My bets have been placed since The Tuna arrived in Dallas Harbor. A case of beer here. A "C" note there. From fantasy football entry fees to plane tickets, the stakes are all over the board and backed by the same proclamation. The Cowboys will hoist their sixth Lombardi Trophy before the Eagles can sniff their first. These bets were made when the arrows of both organizations were pointed in opposite directions. Polar opposites.

They hear the work/cowboy boots on the ladder inching closer and closer. They hate us more than any other NFL entity, and don't let them tell you differently.

They despise our historical accolades and bravado. It's been a most pleasant 10 (way too long Cowboys' Brethren) years for these jokers. Our former Scouting Department and head coach Dave Campo are revered in the City of Brotherly Shove. They're wondering what happened to all the White House jokes and Joey Galloway deals.

They fear the changing tide and cannot tolerate me stirring these gems into the poisonous elixir. "How are things in Bridesmaid and Maid of Honor land?" "So close, yet no ring." "In Dallas, it's not scoreboard, it's trophy case."

It's like waving the red cape in the face of the raging bull. The wicks/fuses are very short on Broad Street. Short, like Todd Pinkston's alligator arms and T.O.'s commitment.

Later this year, I promise a column titled "The Tale of Two Cities."

It'll lend credence to the noted observations.

I've lived in both locales, and I think you'll find the comparisons both humorous and compelling. For the record, I like Donovan McNabb, admire Andy Reid and tout Brian Dawkins as the best safety in the game.

But that's the extent of my Philly praises.

I thoroughly hate the Eagles. Tenfold to the Redskins and a hundredfold to the Niners. And you know what? It's about time the Dallas Allegiance developed and directed venomous ways towards this divisional menace.

Pray 2005 is all about gap closing. Nothing would behoove me more than stirring up a little "we're baaaaaaaaaaack. Try not to wet yourselves as we blow by you in the NFL passing lane heading straight towards the hardware store (again)."

"Tick…tick…tick."

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