By Peter Gleason
The dust is still settling on Eagles’ coach Chip Kelly’s firing last Tuesday night by owner Jeff Lurie.
Forget the recriminations and faux outrage expressed in the local lame-ass media.
Now comes a report from CBSSports.com’s Jason LaCanfora that Kelly refused to attend Lurie’s Christmas party unless the date was changed, and that entered into Lurie’s decision to let Kelly go!
Hard to believe, as are many other “reports,” but here it is:
Lurie has always taken considerable pride in the team’s holiday party, going to great expense to throw the large gathering, with it becoming something of a prized tradition with him.
According to numerous sources with knowledge of the situation, Kelly basically refused to attend it this year on its normal Monday night, and ultimately Lurie had to move it to a Friday afternoon onsite to facilitate Kelly’s schedule.
Kelly argued Monday night would disrupt the coach’s planning for the week — a fair enough claim — but Lurie apologized to the organization for the haphazard way the party was conducted this year and told others it would not happen in that fashion ever again.
In and of itself, it’s not a big deal, but given the timing, with the team falling out of the playoffs around Christmas and with the atmosphere in the organization growing more toxic, it exemplified the growing divide between the way Kelly operated and what Lurie wanted his organization to be.
“That’s just part of a long list of reasons why Jeffrey made this move,” said one source close to the situation, “but the whole thing with the Christmas party just epitomizes the split from what Jeffrey wants the Eagles to be, and what he felt like they were becoming.”