I’ve been doing themed weeks for the BGN Eagles Quarantine Watch Parties the last two weeks. This week, our poll was between three big time Birds wins from the 2001 season. Here’s what I wrote about the magic of that season for both the franchise and me earlier in the week:
2001 is an important year for both Eagles history and my fandom. It’s the first year I have concrete memories as an Eagles fan at the tender age of seven. I learned a hallmark of being an Eagles fan early: unbelievable hype and promise that ends in agonizing defeat. As I cried and begged my parents to let me take the day off from school after the NFC Championship Game loss against the Rams in St. Louis, I had a trial by fire that welcomed me into this twisted, exciting and devastating world where the Eagles were all consuming.
As for the Eagles franchise overall, 2001 marked the team’s first NFC East title since 1988. It was the first season that they beat the hated New York Giants during the Andy Reid era after losing to them three times (including the playoffs) the previous season. They reached the NFC Championship Game for the first time since 1980, kicking off a four-year streak of NFC title game appearances. It may be odd to say that this Eagles team was a juggernaut given that they didn’t even get a bye in the playoffs, but they finished first overall in DVOA and first, specifically, in both defensive and special teams DVOA (they were 12th on offense).
2001 was the dawn of a new era of Eagles football, as the Birds have reigned as the division’s premier team ever since.
The 2001 Eagles team made me the deranged, psychopathic sports fan that I am and I will both love and blame them for that forever. Given all of this, it felt fitting discuss this season on my latest episode of the From the Bleachers podcast.
I appreciate everyone who gives it a listen and who have also been keeping up with the pods and the watch parties. Eagles fans are the goats. Go Birds.