Sunday, January 28, 2018

Fly, Eagles, Fly

I barely had time to enjoy Philadelphia's resounding (and unlikely) 38-7 victory over Minnesota in the NFC championship game a week ago than, presto, there it was: Eagles quarterback Nick Foles calling signals on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

You know. As in cover jinx. A week before the Super Bowl. Thanks.

Let me take a step back. Although I've lived in Lexington for more than 40 years, I am an unapologetic Philadelphian at heart. I grew up in the Lehigh Valley (for most of my formative years, anyway), which is located just an hour north of Philly. That in itself probably explains why the corpuscles in my bloodstream run either Phillies Red or Eagles Green (It probably also explains why I have this unchecked hankering for cheese steaks, hoagies and Tastykakes). I can't help myself.

Almost immediately after it became clear that the Eagles and New England Patriots were going to the Super Bowl, a huge sigh of ennui seemingly escaped from fans who still care about the NFL. One reason for that is because nearly everybody is tired of seeing the Patriots return to their 15 hundredth consecutive Super Bowl (actually, this will be their eighth in the last 17 seasons). Another reason is because Philadelphia, I think, has mostly a regional following. We didn't see much of the Eagles on TV here in Lexington. And, by God, they have the worst fans ever (Hmmm).

And the worst fight song ever:

Thanks to Facebook, I also discovered some people still resent the Eagles for hiring dog abuser Michael Vick to quarterback the team, even though that was nearly a decade ago. While I was never thrilled with that original hire, my Green corpuscles are asking what this still has to do with anything today.

There are some good stories coming out of Philly. Foles took over the offense when second-year starter Carson Wentz, who was having a spectacular year, tore his left ACL against the Rams in Game 13. Up to that point, Wentz had passed for nearly 3,300 yards and 33 TDs and an 11-2 record. Whoa.

Panic erupted in Eagles-world, of course, but then came Foles, who has performed adequately, if not always consistently, in his back-up role. He was 2-1 to close out the regular season and 2-0 in the postseason. That's a pretty good story right there.

Also, defensive end Chris Long will donate his entire season's salary to educational charities.

Foles will be going up against New England's Tom Brady, already a Super Bowl legend. While I, too, am tired of seeing the Patriots win all the time, I've acknowledged to myself that Brady probably really is the greatest quarterback of all time. I guess we (the Eagles, that is) should want to play against the best. It'll either make victory spectacular or defeat expected. The Eagles are already underdogs, as they have been through the entire postseason.

In the meantime, I'm trying not to jinx my team. I'm not talking to my friends much about the Eagles. I hem and haw when I'm asked about their chances. I remained subdued in their big win over Minnesota, and stayed quietly pleased when Foles rose to the challenge.

I'll be a mess on Super Bowl Sunday. I'll have the TV on, but I'll be pacing around the room. Or channel surfing through the rough patches. Or going to my laptop in the other room to check Facebook or play a computer game. I might even tell Kim she can watch the Home and Garden Network as long as I can do some live check-ins on the game between flipping houses.

Where's my cheese steak?

No comments:

Post a Comment