You know the type.
Big fan. Always worried about the outcome of plays, games, seasons. Pooh-poohs the team's chances all the time, just to prepare for possible, if not inevitable, failure. Downplays interest and/or hope in the team, undervalues it and its players, especially the top ones, or the best known ones ... all as a means to protect oneself. To build a Teflon-like seal around their heart, in order so it never gets broken.
Yeah, you know the type.
If only a few of them existed among Eagles supporters these days.
Glory be to Jeffrey Lurie, people. Jeez. You sure it might not be a good idea to calm down on those 11-, 12- or 13-win predictions for 2017, or the Canton bust for Carson Wentz?
Not to put a damper on the upcoming campaign or anything, which starts Sunday in D.C. against the NFC East rival Redskins, but what in blue blazes – Dallas or Giants blue, your choice – is going on here? What, really, are we looking at with this team?
Not pie-in-the-sky, wishing thinking, but real, honest to goodness, legit looking ...
Thing is, aside from hope, where is all the hype coming from?
While most seem to have a Ph.D. in picking apart opposing teams on the schedule to rationalize upcoming success before any season begins, the masses have confidence – unfounded confidence – in the Birds and their abilities to a new level this time around.
Why ... umm, not really sure.
Think about it.
The team is coming off a 7-9 campaign in 2016 that yielded just four victories in final 13 games, which is not exactly a rousing display of growth.
The head coach, Doug Pederson, has been pegged as the main reason – well, him and a lousing receiving corps – for that stunted development. Yet, here it is, a year later and he's back. Perhaps on the hot seat, but he's back.
The quarterback, the reputed franchise guy, the savior of all things Midnight Green or related alternative attire used to fund Lurie's bank account, Wentz, well, for all the amazing intangibles he somehow shows as tangible, the kid threw 16 touchdowns and 14 picks a year ago and had a penchant for being high and wide with his intermediate throws and far too short on his bombs all too often.
The two big off-season acquisitions brought in to make his life easier – wideout Alshon Jeffery and running back LeGarrette Blount – have, putting it lightly, a lot of wear on their proverbial tires. Jeffery had back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons in 2013-14 and has been rather meh, or injured, ever since. Productive when healthy, yes, but ... well, he ain't healthy all that often.
Blount, meanwhile, supposedly had the season of his life last year ... and averaged just 3.9 yards per carry. Yeah, sure, almost 1,200 yards and 18 TDs on the ground. For the Patriots. With Bill Belichick as his head coach. Umm, hello. Eagles ain't the Patriots and Pederson ain't Belichick.
On the other side of the ball, you got tackle Fletcher Cox, who, if you're being honest, is the defense's equivalent of yearly tease Zach Ertz, just with a much bigger paycheck and far more forgiving group of critics.
Linebacker Jordan Hicks? China doll. Unfortunately.
Safetly Malcolm Jenkins? Nice player whose nice career is winding down.
Reasons for optimism? Sure, center Jason Kelce put on a few pounds and rookie Donnell Pumphrey probably won't see the field.
But, let us digress ...
Hope can be a killer, people. In life and in sports. Be careful with investing your heart without accepting the realities of the situation.
Unless you're OK with it getting broken.