Eating Crow

Nobody likes to eat crow.  Truthfully, there’s no good way to eat crow. No matter how you prepare it, crow tastes bad.

Here’s a modern example. Doug Pederson just coached the Philadelphia Eagles to their first Super Bowl victory. Everyone is calling him a genius. That wasn’t always the case.

Flashback two years to the beginning of 2016. When the Eagles hired Pederson the so-called experts went crazy.

“Terrible hire,” one guy said.

Another sarcastically tweeted, “My first impression of Doug Pederson is I wonder who the Eagles will hire as head coach in 2017.”

They said things like, “Pederson is less qualified to coach a team than anyone I’ve ever seen in my 30-plus years in the NFL.”

ESPN ranked Doug Pederson as the worst coaching hire of 2016.

But then the improbable happened. The Eagles started winning. By mid-season, they were the best team in the league.

Finally, IT’S time for the experts to eat some crow, right? NOPE.

Rather than admit their mistake the so-called experts pointed to the brilliance of the Eagle’s young quarterback, Carson Wentz.

“Look how good Carson Wentz is!” They said, “He’s going to win the MVP.”

Wentz is good. No question. But nobody would admit that Wentz’ success was due in large part to the guidance received from his coach.

The Eagles had the best record in the NFL when Wentz went down with a season-ending injury. Philly fans were devastated. Snakebit. That’s how they felt. The football fates had once again crushed the dream.

The entire Eagles nation went into mourning. They started talking about what might have been.

But then the improbable happened again. The Eagles kept winning.

I guess now the experts were ready to eat their crow. Nope.

They looked at what was happening and said, “That General Manager of the Eagles is brilliant.” No doubt he did an amazing job. But last time I checked general managers don’t call plays or rearrange the offense to fit the fill-in. Pederson’s Eagles were winning without at least five key starters including the quarterback.

Surely the pundits were ready now to eat their crow? Nope.

It was stunning. The guy that said Doug was the least qualified coach in 30 plus years blogged, “Why I still think hiring Doug Pederson was a bad idea.”

Despite having the best record in the NFL Doug GOT 1 VOTE FOR “Coach of the Year.”   Doug’s not complaining of course because he has as many Super Bowl rings as coach of the year votes.

Why couldn’t they admit that Doug was at least partially responsible?

Then the Eagles beat the Falcons in the first playoff game. Still, the writers found other ways to spin the story.

The headline read, “Falcons have nobody to blame but themselves.”

Then in the NFC championship game, the “underdog” Eagles took the Vikings to the woodshed.

Finally, it’s time to eat some crow, right? Nope.

ESPN’s headline after the NFC championship blowout Read.

“Prominent defense propels Eagles into the Super Bowl.”

That’s a backhanded way of ensuring no credit went to Pederson because though he was the head coach he was most closely identified with the Eagle’s offense.

Seriously? Sure the defense played great, but a backup QB Who was nearly out of the league a year earlier, completed 26 of 33 for 352 yards and three TD’s against the number one defense in the league?

Doug was magnificent. Why won’t they admit it? All of this shows how badly people hate the taste of crow.

IN THE SUPER BOWL Pederson was lights out in a toe to toe, nose to nose punchout against the greatest coach/quarterback combination in NFL history. Doug never blinked. Instead, he called a trick play on fourth and one at the Patriot’s goal line. The “Philly Special” worked brilliantly.

That game made it patently obvious to even the most ardent Pederson detractors. Doug Pederson, that Coach you so viciously maligned, was the secret to the success.

Now be quiet and eat your crow.

To their credit, ESPN had a mouthful of black greasy feathers as they wrote, “INSIDE THE PHILLY SPECIAL THE GUTSIEST PLAYCALL IN SUPER BOWL HISTORY.”

As I’ve tracked Doug Pederson’s improbable story I’ve been reminded time and again just how badly we hate to admit when we are wrong.

We all hate the taste of crow.  I know I do.

And there are so many reasons we hate it. For one, we hate to stare into our own frailty. For another, we fear consequences. But I think the main reason we hate the taste of crow is that we fear losing face.

Nobody wants to lose respect.

Ironically, not admitting mistakes does far greater damage to your reputation than if you go ahead and eat crow.

Think about that prognosticator who said, “Pederson was the least qualified coach in the NFL” and then defended his statements mid-season when it was obvious that he was wrong. That guy has zero respect in Philadelphia these days. He’s a meme for mule-headed obstinacy. How different might it have been had midway through this amazing season he said, “Man, was I ever wrong about Doug Pederson.”

We don’t gain respect by refusing to admit mistakes. We lose it.

Eating crow makes your reputation better, it heals relationships, and best of all it opens the path for forgiveness.

I was thinking of this as I read the story of Saul and David in the book of Samuel.

God told Saul to “utterly destroy the Amalekites,” but for whatever reason, Saul didn’t do it. Instead, he lied and said he did. When that didn’t work he blamed the people. Then he attempted to rationalize, and finally, he tried to manipulate his way out of it. Read 1 Samuel 15.

Samuel related heaven’s response, “Your kingdom is done. It’s over.”

Contrast that to David.

David committed adultery with a woman. When she got pregnant David had her husband murdered.

That’s really dark stuff. And yet, when David was confronted by Nathan the prophet he admitted his sin and genuinely repented. Consequently, God restored David’s kingdom.

Here’s the weird thing. If you could grade sin then David’s was way worse than Saul’s. Saul was partially obedient. David ran his own sick twisted combination of Monica Lewinski, Watergate, and the Soviet KGB.

And yet, David was restored, but Saul was rejected.

Here’s what I learned.


If you want to be forgiven then quit making excuses and open your mouth and chew.

Oh, and one last thing. Crow is never good but it is best when eaten fresh.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Samuel Eddie Murphy says:

    Bill Dye’s article about Doug Pederson was well-written. I wrote an article on Facebook stating that all of Doug’s hard work finally paid off. Doug has been exposed to a lot of great coaches from high school through college. He has a great personality and paid attention to details about football. All of Doug’s life skills have helped him to be a well balanced Coach because coaching Professional players can be difficult. Now the Eagle organization and their fans have their first Super Bowl trophy. After some time off the Eagles need to regroup and start again for the 2018 season.
    Fly Eagles Fly!!!


  2. Vicky says:

    I love this so much. Marshall and I have been talking so much about how Doug is still not given the credit and accolades others would have. He is such a class act.


  3. Kathy Dophied says:

    This is such a powerful message, Bill. As always, you mined the scripture for perfect tie-ins to the modern illustration. We are so prone to draw a line and protect our position in spite of contradictory evidence. Thanks for speaking truth once again. I hope I’ll remember and profit from your words.


  4. Bobby Knickerbocker says:

    Good job pastor. Your message makes perfect sense as usual.


  5. Donna Goodman says:

    I’ve certainly tasted a bit of crow in my lifetime. (I also watched the entire Super Bowl on mute because I refuse to listen to the idiots’ commentary!)


  6. jody says:

    Really enjoyed this and read it to my 5th grade class at ocs yesterday – they loved it – we are planning on turning it into our chapel service next week if you don’t mind us using it – jcalloway

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10


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