SuperBowl LII A Dogs Day
It’s finally here. After a dizzying two week wait, Super Bowl LII kicks off on Sunday. The media will return to their box seats, all the prop bets will be placed, and everyone will have their Super Bowl party underway. All that will be left will be a football game.
For a team that’s gone through the season they have, this Philadelphia Eagles team must find some inspiration in that. Only one more game. One more time to find a way to win. It may not be – it certainly hasn’t always been – pretty. It may not go the way all the analysts predict. But that doesn’t really matter. Sixty minutes. Four quarters of football. That’s all that separates this Eagles team from being yet another Eagles squad that got oh so close and being, well, immortal.
Of course, that was true of the 2004 team. And the 1980 team before that. And for any fans who remember either of those, the anxiety and weight of this one is all the more heavy. Hell, even for the old timers who remember winning the NFL Championship in 1960; this city needs a Super Bowl trophy.
And immortal is truly what this team would be if they win. There is always something special about the first one. To add that shiny Lombardi trophy to the case would be to validate decades of hoping. It would give something tangible to decades of passionate fans – to the deafening noise in the Linc and, before that, the Vet. Decades of the national media labeling us all as crazy. Decades of heartache and disappointment and, at times, plenty frustration. But mostly, it will validate decades – lifetimes – of love. Love from generations of Eagles fans for this team. Because that trophy is what it’s all about, and we would finally have it.
Of course, that’s a beautiful image. Thousands of fans of all ages clad in green, hugging on Broad Street or jumping up and town in pubs and living rooms all across the greater Philadelphia region. But it will not be easy.
That’s Tom Brady over on the other side. And Bill Belichick. Two guys who, whatever you feel about them, are arguably the greatest at what they do in the history of the game. That thing we want so very badly? They have five of them. They know how to get it done, and they don’t give a damn about how badly we want it.
But then again, nothing about this season was easy. We weren’t even sure how good we were supposed to be. It all felt surreal. Almost too good to be true. And then the other shoe fell. When Carson Wentz headed into the locker room, that feeling that Eagles fans know too well, deep down in the gut, was back. Maybe we really are cursed?
But then the Falcons game wasn’t supposed to be easy – and it wasn’t – but this team got it done. Over-achievers they said, the underdogs had somehow pulled it out, or maybe the Falcons had choked yet again.
Surely, though, the Vikings would be harder, probably too hard. They were the team of destiny who punched their ticket to Philadelphia with an all-time historic play. And then got blown out of the water. This Eagles team didn’t give a damn about their destiny either, and they simply couldn’t be stopped.
So that brings us here. This one should be even harder they say. It’s the Patriots and it’s the biggest stage in professional sports. We are down to our backup quarterback. We don’t have anywhere near the experience of the other guys. We’re the underdogs.
On Sunday, we’ll see who is right. Maybe the experts will finally be correct. Maybe we’ll all be back to the same familiar feeling we all know. Wondering what if, wondering if we’ll ever get there. Or maybe this team really is that special team, that one we’ll all remember decades from now. The team that got us our first one. Maybe that surreal feeling we’ve had all year has one final chapter of magic. Maybe that’s how it happens. You can’t believe what you’re seeing and then all of a sudden, the clock hits 0:00 and you have a Super Bowl parade down Broad Street to plan for. Maybe.
We’ll see on Sunday. Fly Eagles Fly.