The Grand Finale
Well, here we are. The moment we’ve yearned for and the game we always wanted has finally arrived. And to think, all it took was:
Teddy Bridgewater hurting his knee so the Vikings had to give up a first round pick with which we took Derek Barnett, trading our star receiver a few weeks before the season to get a corner, losing that corner a quarter into the season with a foot dislocation, an article slandering the head coach the day before the season started, winning on a 61 yard field goal with a rookie kicker off the practice squad, losing your All Pro all purpose running back to TWO injuries, winning on the road on a short week without your All Pro tackle, overcoming the refs giving you a 124 to 1 penalty yardage discrepancy, losing your up and coming middle linebacker, then losing your future Hall of Fame tackle a quarter later, trading for a disgruntled running back, having your owner called a racist for illegitimate comments about Kaepernick, losing on the road in Seattle which got us labeled a pretender, losing your starting quarterback who was playing at an MVP caliber level, playing in the brick cold on Christmas with your new quarterback to no one’s pleasure, getting blanked by the Cowboys at home, stopping Julio Jones on 4th & Goal from the 2 yard line and obliterating one of the best defenses in the league at home.
If it sounds unbelievable, that’s because it is. It’s all the more reason to appreciate the ride we’ve been on, the highs and the lows. Sometimes the odds don’t fall in your favor, the ball doesn’t bounce your way, the 61 yard field goal falls short, the injuries are too tough to overcome. But this team, this chemistry, this city is different this year. No matter what obstacle has been thrown in the road, this Eagles locker room has blown past it unphased, killing Negadelphia in the process. One game away from releasing the demons and justifying all the heartbreak that has come before now. In the perfect moment in the perfect match-up, as the new Philly underdog going against the franchise who’s stranglehold on the league is loosening. This team, OUR team, never won before now because it was our calling to end this reign the New England Patriots have had in the most Philly way possible. Everything happens for a reason, we’ve reached that reason.
Call me crazy or call me cocky, but I’ve never been more confident in a gut feeling than I am now in thinking we are finally going to be Super Bowl champions. When they clock hits 0:00 and we are finally crowned, hug your dad. Hug your loved ones, hug your best friend, your brother, your wife, hug the people who have experienced the heartbreak because they will know how to share in the joy and elation with you when it’s finally said and done. Yeah, getting shitfaced at the parade on free Bud Light will be a hell of a time. But, that’s not what this not what this game is about. This is about the embrace you have with the people you watch the games with after they win, where the fear of the crowning moment never happening is replaced by the long-lasting happiness of knowing that the Philadelphia Eagles are Super Bowl Champions.
And if by the off chance the Patriots somehow prevail again, and the Eagles lose this game, I still want to say thank you for the ride. Win or lose, you have taken the city of Philadelphia to new heights and provided a million stories we will tell to our kids and our kids kids. Even if we go back to the Super Bowl next year, this season and this game will still be a once in a lifetime moment. Through a $20 dog mask on Amazon shipped from God only knows where, you united a city, and that’s as Philly as it gets. This season, Eagles fans have proven to be the best in the league. Whether it was taking over stadiums that weren’t ours, selling out Amazon of dog masks or shattering the Minnesota Vikings fan base, we couldn’t have done it without the inspiration this team has provided.
Super Bowl 52 is our moment. All the defeats, the anger, the letdowns, they all had to occur to get us to this moment. Now that we’re here, it will mean so much more. Given the chance to end the Patriots dynasty and begin a golden age of our own is more than a season or a game in the making. It’s the opportunity a lifetime in the making. Win or lose, the next, and most important chapter in Philly sports will be written by the time the game ends. Win or lose it will be a triumphant one.
I’ll never be able to to explain the gut feeling I have, but it tells me that this is the moment. This is our moment, 85 years in the making. My gut and my heart knows what the outcome of this game will be. But, even if it’s wrong, thank you to the Philadelphia Eagles for the ride.