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You fired him for that?Posted Wednesday, March 11, 2009, at 12:44 AM
It's the time of year for great joy and great sorrow for NFL fans. Between trades, free agent pickups and free agent departures, it can be a roller coaster of emotion.
Chiefs' fans experienced great joy and the feeling that they might have a real football team next year with the arrival of Matt Cassel. Locally, Colts fans were saddened to lose Marvin Harrison, even if it was time for the hall-of-famer to go.
In Buffalo, they watched with a mixture of intrigue and fear as T.O. was announced as the Bills' newest acquisition. No one knows what's going to happen in Buffalo this year, but it will get a lot more attention.
For the first time in franchise history, rest assured that Rachel Nichols or Wendi Nix will be encamped outside Bills' headquarters basically every week. When you sign Mr. Owens, you also sign a permanently implanted ESPN correspondent.
They were also saddened in Philadelphia with the departure of Brian Dawkins to Denver. For years, the safety has been the heart of that defense. Sure, he's older than he used to be, but he's still effective. Besides, no Eagles' fan wants to see the departure of one of the key cogs who has sent them to five NFC championship games in the last eight years.
So who can blame Dan Leone for posting his displeasure with the move on his Facebook page. (He did call the move "retarded," which in 2009, is certainly not considered acceptable. But there's nothing wrong with the sentiment that the team made a bad move.)
Eagles fans, perhaps more than any others, wear their emotions on their sleeves. I can't fault them for that. They cheer for a franchise that, besides the aforementioned Owens, has never signed a top-flight wideout for Donovan McNabb and whose coach is a certified idiot, especially in key situations.
Here's the problem, though, Mr. Leone was a ticket taker for the Eagles. I say "was" because the Eagles fired him for what he posted on the page.
Now, I understand that if you are an employee of a company, it isn't always a good idea to badmouth any business decision your employer makes. But at the same time, this poor sap was a ticket taker! He wasn't a guy who worked directly with the GM who later criticized a move he didn't like.
The guy was essentially a HUGE fan who had a sweet job every Sunday that allowed him to hang out at the stadium. He was basically like any other fan, only he got a small paycheck from the Eagles for eight days' worth of work (unless they hosted playoff games) each year.
Oh, what should we do? This guy has questioned the sanctity of the almighty Eagles. Let's can him.
I also have a question for the Eagles' brass: What would you have done if McNabb or Brian Westbrook had questioned this move? Would they be looking for a new job right now? No. Even though What they say and think could have a HUGE impact on the team's performance, they would still have their job and any punishment would be handled privately.
In a city known for its classless moves (booing Santa Claus or booing rival Michael Irvin as he was wheeled off the field with a career-ending injury) this one ranks high in the running for least class.
I would like to believe that if I posted on my Facebook page (which I don't have) any displeasure with a move the Banner had made (which I also don't have), I would, at worst, get a write-up and a demand from Randy and Daryl that I retract the post.
I don't know. It's a path I don't plan to tread, but just the same...
This guy got hosed. The Eagles are, once again, my least favorite organization in sports. And that includes the Patriots and the Yankees.
That's some evil company to be in, my friends.
P.S. -- I just learned a knew twist in this story, so I'm making a late addition. Mr. Leone also has a neurological disorder that has made it difficult for him to stand while performing his job. He actually has to use a wheelchair at times, but when doing his job, he would stand and take care of business. And yet, he still selflessly served this franchise that was so quick to sack him.
The Eagles are even bigger jerks than I thought.
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Jared Jernagan is a 2003 graduate of Wabash College and has been in journalism since 2005.