In the real world Anonymous is a group of hackers made famous for their attacks on various government-, corporate- and religious-based websites.
Anarchy is always cool to some, usually with a younger crowd that doesn’t know any better, but Anonymous really upped its Q rating with detractors this week by taking aim at ISIS, hacking into a site which supports the savages and replacing it with a message to calm down alongside an advertisement for an online pharmacy peddling Prozac and Viagra.
It may not be much but some argue Anonymous is doing more than the current administration in the battle against Islamic extremism by taking the battle to the group which uses social media to radicalize disaffected youth around the world.
So what does this have to do with football?
Well, the NFL’s version of Anonymous let loose in Philadelphia this week, as clandestine sources piled on the embattled Chip Kelly as the Eagles season continues to head due south.
The first step in any coach losing his locker room is when certain entities break away from the party line, and that’s exactly what happened at One Novacare Way leading into the Thanksgiving Day matchup between Philadelphia and Detroit.
After consecutive home losses to Miami and Tampa Bay, the latter of which saw Jameis Winston throw five touchdowns and “Muscle Hamster” Doug Martin gouge the Eagles defense for 235 rushing yards, Kelly’s much ballyhooed culture began showing signs of cracks thanks to sources cloaking themselves in that anonymity.
NJ.Com threw the biggest bomb Wednesday on Kelly’s 52nd birthday by quoting an agent of a “current Eagles starter.”
“Chip Kelly has lost the team,” the deep throat-like contract advisor said. “Between the losses and his bull(expletive) methods that aren’t working, I can tell you that the players have tuned him out.”
That same agent also claimed that at least one player was using an injury to stay off the field, because “he won’t play hurt for Chip,” sending some in a tizzy to connect the dots. (For what it’s worth, the most obvious answer is Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters).
The next salvo came from a former Kelly acolyte from college at the University of Oregon, courtesy of Sports Illustrated.
“I wondered if he would change a bit in the NFL, but it sounds like he hasn’t,” the anonymous player told Robert Klemko. “He’s stubborn, and he’s married to his system. His style worked when we were all fresh out of high school and didn’t know any better, didn’t have anything. Now these are grown men with salaries, and if you are going to tell many of them to do things on the field they have no experience doing, being cute with that offense, you better be winning. He’s not Belichick.”
Talked to an NFL player who played for Chip Kelly at Oregon… pic.twitter.com/Zs6flzFk0A
— Robert Klemko (@RobertKlemko) November 25, 2015
Those were hardly the only issues Chip was dealing with on a short week, however.
On Tuesday, struggling running back DeMarco Murray skipped his weekly media pow wow after an anonymous teammate questioned his effort and loyalty to Kelly’s culture.
Meanwhile, right tackle Lane Johnson upset the Philadelphia fans by questioning their support before quickly apologizing.
And all of this made many reactionary pundits, some of whom helped start this entire narrative by setting the unrealistic expectation that this was a potential Super Bowl team, to claim Kelly is now on the clock in Philadelphia.
— 97.3 ESPN FM (@973espn) November 25, 2015
The only criticism to take seriously here is the ex-Oregon player, who highlighted the real problem with Kelly — he’s a slave to his system.
And despite often being sold as the smartest guy in the room, some pretty impressive people disagree with Kelly’s inability or unwillingness to adjust.
Albert Einstein once said “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change,” and George Bernard Shaw believed “Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
Chip Kelly has two choices if he wants to continue coaching in the NFL and the circumstances of this week are just white noise…
Adapt or die.
It starts Thursday in Detroit.
— John McMullen is a national football columnist for FanRagSports.com and TodaysPigskin.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @jfmcmullen — Also catch John this season on ESPN Southwest Florida every Monday at 3 PM ET; on ESPN Lexington every Thursday at 6:05 ET, and live every Tuesday from 2 to 6 PM ET at the Golden Nugget Casino in Atlantic City for the NFL Wraparound on ESPN South Jersey.
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