I think back to the Eagles’ Super Bowl run in winter 2018, as I often do.
Going into that big matchup against the Patriots, I didn’t know how I felt about the Birds. I had worshiped Nick Foles in 2013, but had zero faith in him entering the 2017 playoffs. The Eagles narrowly escaped with a win over the Falcons in the NFC Divisional Round. Foles and the Eagles followed that up with a mammoth thrashing of the Vikings in the NFC Championship Game. It felt like divine intervention that Foles slung the ball around the field like he did that night. It was improbable. It was in explicable given the player he had been for the previous four seasons. There’s no way he could do it again, right? He torched a stacked Vikings defense, but how could he have a repeat performance against the greatest defensive mind of all time in Bill Belichick?
In talking with some friends about our thoughts leading up to that Super Bowl in Minnesota, some of us just didn’t even know if we could pick the Eagles to win. My friend Joe opened up my mind about fandom and rooting and our collective rationale. What he got at was that it’s pointless in the lead-up to a huge playoff game to go against your favorite team. What pleasure would you derive of doubting your team all week only to see them lose on Sunday? You’re still going to be upset that they lost regardless of whether you were shitting on them or all week or just soaking up the magnitude of the moment. If you’re vibing with the Eagles before they take on the Buccaneers, your mood is elated. You’re having a blast amping yourself up for the game. The excitement is frigging electric. If you’re that happy and they end up losing, guess what? You’re going to be upset, just as the guy who doubted them is. You might as well enjoy the ride rather than piss it all away in anger and negativity.
People are allowed to feel however they want, sure. I’m not saying Eagles fans need to have delusions of grandeur, already wondering how Jalen Hurts would play in the Super Bowl against Kansas City, but, hey, there’s a playoff game this week, let’s just be happy? I’ve seen replies to my own tweets and to some prominent beat writers in Philly asking about the NFL Draft and what’s to come in the offseason. They’re admitting that they’re resigned to likely defeat at the hands of a juggernaut opponent and just worrying about those three juice first-round picks come April. I can’t wait for the draft to to inject the Eagles with some young talent, but you want talent in order for your team to be in the playoffs one day. THEY’RE IN THE PLAYOFFS RIGHT NOW!
I understand that part of it is playing the GOAT and the defending champs, but think about the hellacious 2020 season Eagles fans endured. This is our reward for dealing with it, for dealing with all the Carson Wentz nonsense over the last 16 months, for dealing with everything. Hope is free. Let’s throw on some Meek Mill or Title Fight and go balls to the wall the next couple of days.
I vented all about this on the latest From the Bleachers episode I recorded for BGN Radio. Yes, I did have to break out the dog mask for the YouTube video.