We interrupt this blog to talk about football because… the Philadelphia Eagles are Super Bowl Champions!
For people outside of the Philadelphia area, it is hard to explain what this means. Generations of Eagles fans have watched decades of tough luck and just misses. They last won a championship in 1960, seven years before the Super Bowl even existed.
I watched the game with my mother and father. My 71-year-old Dad worked a lot of Sundays when I was younger. He videotaped Eagles games and watched them when he came home from work. He was a freshman in high school when the Chuck Bednarik-led Eagles last won the NFC Championship in 1960. To put that in perspective he completed high school, finished college, was drafted, got married, started a family, moved to three different states, became a grandfather, retired, and waited. He was the one who taught me how to love sports and on Super Bowl Sunday I waited with him.
With us in spirit was my sister, who was watching the entire game in Ireland. It ended after 3:00 AM her time. She doesn’t even like football. She couldn’t pass this one up. You can take the girl out of Philly, but you can’t take Philly out of the girl.
I high-fived a random guy on my way home from my parents. He told me he had cried for five minutes after the game. I have never heard so many people honking horns. The main drag in Narberth was overrun by people going insane.
Watching local news was crazy. A cameraman got a little emotional when talking about the win. Thousands of people packed Broad Street and Mayfair. Philadelphia broadcast icon Jim Gardner lobbed an epic quip. After a reporter talked about a car being flipped over outside of the Bellevue hotel in Center City, Gardner had a guilty pleasure look on his face before saying “that’ll teach someone not to valet their car.”
There was something special about this Eagles team from the beginning. No one could have reasonably expected this. They were 7-9 last season. Throughout the year they lost the quarterback, future hall of fame tackle, and other key players due to injury. Yet here we are.
Throughout the whole season they said the right things and played the right way. They blocked with conviction. They tackled with ferocity. The lines moved with beautiful synchronicity. Guys like Malcolm Jenkins and Chris Long are amazing people. There was a “next man up” mentality every time a big name went down. Watching them play football was a pleasure every week.
After 57 years of frustration, Eagles fans finally got the dream season.
All four major pro teams mean something to Philadelphia, but the Eagles are the team everyone lives and dies with. People might be diehard Phillies fans, hoops fans, or puck heads, but everyone talks about the Birds around the water cooler on Monday. It doesn’t matter what you do for a living or what section of the city you are from. The Eagles are always the team you could bond over.
And now Philadelphia finally gets to celebrate. Decades of watching teams in other cities hoist a Lombardi Trophy are over. The bar arguments where Giants fans namedrop Eli Manning’s luck are a thing of the past. Listening to Cowboys fans talk about how great they used to be are done. The obnoxious “no rings” memes are meaningless. The Eagles are Super Bowl champions and it feels pretty damn good.