This is how it was supposed to go this year for Philadelphia sports fans.
The Phillies were going to be terrible, but we knew that, and at least they'd finally embraced the notion of the rebuild. Sure, old favorites were going to get shipped off, but we'd see fresh talent brought in, and there would be some glimmerings of hope for the future.
The Sixers were going to be terrible, but we knew that, too. That was kind of the point, after all. They were going to be terrible for another year, reap another bounty of draft picks that hopefully wouldn't yield yet another big guy with bad feet, and then next year, the climb to contention would be begin. And if you looked carefully, you saw signs last year of improvement - a league-average defense, great shot selection - that could lead to the teensiest little bit of hope that the schedule might be accelerated in spite of itself.
The Flyers were going to be, well, whatever the Flyers are these days. They'd show up, they'd play hard, they'd probably lose, and everyone would agree that maybe it was the next goalie that would be the answer.
And the Eagles, they were the shining hope of the city, the one team counted on to be good. Sure, there were some questions going into the season, ones like "would the quarterback stay upright for any length of time?" and "Why did Chip Kelly get rid of all of his offensive linemen?", but the vibe was good. They'd brought in talented free agents. The team was going places. This was where the city could invest its hope while waiting for the other three teams to get their act together.
Today, the Eagles got lit up for 45 points by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their rookie QB, Jameis "Crazy Crab Legs" Winston. They did so behind backup QB Mark Sanchez, the starter having been pummeled into oblivion last week by the Miami Dolphins after being left out to absorb numerous unnecessary hits by strange play calling and behind a makeshift offensive line. Star offensive pickup DeMarco Murray has had more games with fewer than 10 yards than with more than 100. The offensive line is a disaster, and the defense, well, it just gave up five touchdowns to Jameis Winston. Meanwhile, the rumblings that coach-slash-czar-of-all-the-personnels Chip Kelly will bolt for one of those juicy college jobs that keeps opening up.
Last week, it was blocked punts and missed field goals and interceptions. This week, it was Tampa Bay 45, Eagles 17.
College basketball season's started, right? Right.