Since becoming a Philly sports fan in the late-80’s, I’ve heard “team of destiny” too many times to count. Every, single team that made a deep playoff run was, at one point, labeled as a team of destiny. While it was always fun to entertain, it wasn’t usually backed by anything other than a few unlikely wins.
This year was different. Not just because the Eagles finally won the Super Bowl (still can’t get over writing these words), but because there really was something special going on inside the NovaCare Complex, we just couldn’t see it.
The team tried to tell us on several occasions, we just didn’t want to listen.
To be clear, I’m not arguing that the players and coaches actually knew they were going to win the Super Bowl, but they clearly believed they had a chance when nobody else did. They created an energy and willed it into existence.
Looking back at all of the mentions of a Super Bowl, it gets a little creepy.
Carson Wentz was the first to bring it up in the final game of the 2016 season. “Next year we go”.
Then there was Alshon Jeffery who, at the end of the Bears’ 2016 regular season finale, before even signing with the Eagles, made a bold statement.
“I guarantee we win the Super Bowl next year.”
When he was asked about it later, he said that he never specified the team in his quote.
Even Jason Peters, known for his quiet demeanor, jumped in after signing a one-year contract extension in June. When was asked about the team’s decision to sign him, he discussed winning a Super Bowl: but also nailed it with how they’d get there:
“Do you want to win a Super Bowl or do you want to save some money...it’s their decision. I give us a good chance on a line to help all the other guys and get where we want to go.”
Then later detailed how it would happen:
“The fans deserve a Super Bowl, get in the playoffs, make the Linc rock, get home field, and go from there. The city of Philly deserves it.”
Most predictably, Lane Johnson also threw his hat in the ring with his now infamous promise to Philadelphia fans:
“I have a lot to prove to this city. I think if we have a few big years and make the playoffs, if we win a Super Bowl, I’m giving out beer to everybody.”
Well Lane, I think you’ve proven yourself. Now, for the beer part.
Lastly, probably the best and most criticized quotes of them all was future Super Bowl winning coach Doug Pederson comparing this Eagles team to the Green Bay Packers teams of the mid-90’s:
The best part about this quote is when he says “right?” at the end. He believed it so much that he just assumed everyone else did too when that was far from the case.
Well Doug, you nailed it!
Maybe this was a team of destiny?