Philadelphia Eagles fans look at A.J. Feeley as rationally as many look at their exes. The way Jennifer Aniston sometimes still talks about Brad Pitt? That’s the way many Eagles fans goofily pine for Feeley.
But in Aniston’s defense, at least Pitt is a legitimate star. A.J. never has and never will be anything worth searching out in a quarterback.
A.J. Feeley is a scrub with a hot wife who plays an obscure sport. That’s it. His legend only exists in the minds of a certain segment of Eagles fans.
The segment that knows absolutely nothing about football but cannot stop screaming for anyone but Donovan McNabb.
When Andy Reid and Joe Banner orchestrated the uncharacteristically bold signing of Michael Vick, it looked like the team would finally be free of Feeley fever (and you really have to sick in the head to catch this, a sane man would take swine flu instead any day of the week).
One of the great underrated side effects of the Vick signing is that it essentially forced the Eagles to jettison Feeley.
Then, McNabb decided not to slide in Carolina Sunday and like a bad horror movie villain (or a Jehovah’s Witness at your door), the specter of A.J. suddenly returned.
Acting with all the sense of a fool cold-calling an ex who never was very good for them while they were together, the Eagles brain trust once again reached out to Feeley and tried to bring him back.
Thankfully for Reid and Banner’s sake, Feeley turned them down to sign with Carolina.
This brings Jeff Garcia back instead, but amazingly, it still hasn’t completely quelled all the Feeley frenzy in Philadelphia. There are actually grown men declaring that the Eagles will rue the day they let A.J. go.
You know, the 32-year-old with a career 69.6 quarterback ranking, the rare athlete who manages to make the Philadelphia 76ers' $11 million-a-year, no-shot center Sam Dalembert look underrated by comparison. At least Dalembert actually plays.
Feeley never has. He's made 15 career starts in nine NFL seasons. He makes Scott Mitchell, Rob Johnson, and Matt Cassel all look they carried Joe Montana’s resume into their silly, senseless contracts by comparison.
Yet, the anxiousness over A.J. runs unabated. It’s all largely based on that 4-1 record the Eagles managed while Feeley stepped in as a emergency starter in the 2002 season.
A year later, McNabb heard those ridiculous "We want A.J.! We want A.J.!" chants during a Patriots pasting.
It's now six years removed from that...and still, there are Philly fans who remain almost as obsessed with Feeley as that stalker he once had. You think the most embarrassing thing about Philadelphia fans is the fact they once booed Santa Claus?
Please. That's nothing compared to Eagles fans' perplexing pattern of fixating on no-factor losers like A.J. Feeley and Freddie Mitchell. Only in Philadelphia, would a Feeley find devotees. Do you think anyone in Miami is pining for a return of A.J. ball?
But in Philadelphia, he's a hero with no skills.
Just remember one thing. Carolina Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme could probably throw three interceptions in a junior high school game at the moment. And he’s still better right now than Feeley will ever be.
There are a number of things to be concerned with as McNabb tries on flak jackets and Kevin Kolb works on his next excuse. But losing A.J. Feeley isn’t one of them.