Vick in his customary position
Wake up and smell the turf, sports fans.

This morning, my barber chirped exuberantly, “Hey, yo’ Eagles lookin’ good this year! They 4-2!” Um, what? Granted, my barber is one of those barbers, you know, who likes to talk with little regard for what he’s saying. Unfortunately, he’s not the only one spellbound by a team with a flashy profile and trashy production. Sports amnesia is one thing, but for the last two seasons I’ve witnessed a bizarre condition I’ve dubbed SHS—sports hypnosis syndrome—and the Philadelphia Eagles are the Svengali of the NFL.

Every bloody Sunday that I’m at Ted’s, my drunk buddies and random strangers exhort, “C’mon! They’re gonna win!” while Vick keeps throwing picks, Andy keeps dissing Shady, Nnamdi keeps giving the receiver half a field’s worth of cushion. I pound the bar, rattling shot glasses, yet they insist: “Why you worried? They’re totally gonna win!”

Am I the only one in this joint watching the game? Am I the only one here who’s been watching this team? The Philadelphia Eagles are 11-11 in their last 22 games. In 2012, they’ve won only three games by a total of 4 points. They got crushed by freakin’ Kevin Kolb and the Cardinals (a franchise against whom they are 54-57 all time, by the way) and coughed up a 10-point lead against an immature, thugged-out Lions team. They have 17 turnovers, second in the whole league only to the Chiefs. What exactly about that says, “Winning!”?

Don’t assume you’re above contracting this insidious disease. You, too, may be suffering from Eagles-induced SHS. Slap yourself stupid and seek immediate help if you possess the following key symptoms:

(1) You had MV7 on your fantasy team in 2010.

(2) You think seasons are won in free-agency/believed Vince Young/only watched the last four games of 2011.

(3) You think defensive and offensive coordinators are interchangeable. (Yes, I know he’s gone, but why was he ever there in the first place?)

I can only hope the bye-week lends some perspective to the delusional. The hard truth is that the Philadelphia Eagles are (miraculously) average on the field, very talented on the roster and virtuoso at turning a 3-3 record into 4-2 in the minds of sports fans and barbers near you.