“Dream team”: a nightmare term

Matt Lichtenstadter ('12) / Eastside Sports Editor

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “Dream Team” as “a team whose members are preeminent in a particular field”. This team would have to be the best at whatever it does, as one could get no one better to perform a task, or play a sport.This summer, a new “dream team” has popped up, this time in Philadelphia with the revamped Eagles. New quarterback Vince Young called these new Eagles a “dream team”. Even though it is only the preseason, the national media has joked around with this characterization, and now even the Eagles themselves don’t want to hear this anymore. This proves that the term “dream team” should only be used sparsely in sports.

Aside from Vince Young, what many people think of when they hear “Dream Team” is the great U.S Men’s basketball team at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.  Even the fans from other countries wanted to see possibly the greatest collection of basketball players in the history of that sport.

“It was like Elvis and the Beatles put together,” said head coach Chuck Daly of the team that had players like Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Christian Laettner, Larry Bird, and Patrick Ewing amongst many other greats of basketball.

In fact, all of the players and 3 out of the 4 coaches are currently in the basketball hall of fame. So if Vince Young was trying to draw a comparison to that team, all many people can say is “yeah right”.

With all of the free agent acquisitions this offseason, the Eagles already have plenty of pressure to succeed, and high expectations to meet. It doesn’t help that many feel that this will be the year that they break their 51 year championship drought, while the rest of Philadelphia revels in the Phillies setting the baseball world on fire. The players, along with Andy Reid, know that they want nothing of the use of the term “dream team”, anymore either.

“Obviously, dreams aren’t reality, so the reality will come when I get my hands on them and we get them into practice and start grinding here like the other guys are grinding. That’s reality,” said Reid.

The players don’t want the added pressure (with the exception of Vince Young, which no one truly can understand why), and Andy Reid surely doesn’t want the pressure. As this is the NFL, no team can truly be a dream team: because no team will beat every opponent by at least 4 touchdowns. The 1972 Dolphins had trouble beating some teams, and the trailblazing 2007 Patriots came one game short. The NFL chews teams up and spits them out fast, so these Eagles have a lot to fight through if they want to be in the same category as these 2 great teams of football’s past.

A funny thought is to think about what Vince Young will say about his “dream team” if he has to start games because of injuries to Michael Vick. Will he swallow his words then? If he plays like he did in Tennessee, he probably will want to. Hopefully for his sake, he never has to experience that ridicule again.  So hopefully, this national ridicule and jokes about this characterization will do something many sports fans want done. That is, put the use of the term “dream team” to bed for good.

“Dream Team” is not a term that can be thrown around to any team that becomes the Super Bowl champions of free agency, no matter if the moves they may were amazing or innocuous. It’s not worth the added pressure, and it’s not worth the extra national media attention and expectations, and the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles have already learned it the hard way (look at their 2nd preseason game). Very few collections of sports talent will ever rival that of the true “Dream Team”, and to even think that one team will get close is about as crazy as saying that Vince Young will lead a team to a Super Bowl. The Eagles may become a better team through the adversity, but the use of the mantra “Dream Team” will hopefully be neutered enough so that it’s rarely uttered and used again.