Office politics can be a body-splattering, meat-wagon game.
I’m not saying that the Eagles’ front office in recent years was a steel-cage Texas death match, with Andy Reid and Joe Banner taking turns walking on the lumps of shrapnel bursting around them.
Still, the volcanic heat in the organization was fanned to an inferno because they never have had that supernova of a Super Bowl-winning season — compounded by The Dream Team blowing up into the Notorious Nightmare last season.
Not sure if the fallout in the Eagles’ front office made the attack on Pearl Harbor sound like woodwinds, but somewhat mighty winds did reshuffle the deck.
Banner, who always looked as out of place in the football realm as a grasshopper at middle linebacker, had been Jeffrey Lurie’s dwarf surrogate since the former bought the team. Now Banner merely is a strategic advisor to the owner. Banner is claiming he went willing to the rack, saying he did not lose a power struggle with Reid and GM Howie Roseman. The cynic in me says otherwise.
Don Smolenski replaces Joe Banner as president, but that chess move has no relevance to the on-field product. Smolenski will be in charge of all non-football, boring matters. Reid and Roseman will oversee the football operation, which is only what fans care about.
Banner, who hardly had the melodic flair of a maestro, likely took the fall for The Dream Team debacle. And Lurie reportedly was tired of Banner’s bad guy rep with the fans, who wanted to work him over with a tire iron because they viewed him as a bloodless accountant who ran the team as if it were merely an accounting ledger.
So who is THE guy now? Reid? Roseman? Reid/Roseman tag team? Lurie (stick to your documentaries, Jeff)? Time will tell, sports fans.
Of course, if Lurie could jettison a childhood buddy like Banner, how safe is Andy if the team takes another pratfall this season? It depends on whether Reid does indeed have a firmer foothold in the wake of the restructured front office.
Awww. This season certainly promises to be a bit more interesting than discussing whether Jennifer Lopez is returning to American Idol.