Why The Eagles Are America's Team
This year’s Superbowl is more unique than others. It truly represents America’s story, especially at this politically divisive time. You have the polarizing and elitist New England Patriots, the winningest team in American football. Taking on the scrappy underdogs, the Philadelphia Eagles. It’s reminiscent of the American government dealing with the rising tide of populism evident in the excitement over the campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Yeah, sorry, I am making that comparison. And full disclosure? I am, in between fits of gut-wrenching terror, and pure elation, an Eagles fan.
Okay, they are called the “Patriots,” but what the hell is patriotic about deflategate or spygate? The team’s helmet is is affixed with Pat Patriot aka Flying Elvis, which symbolizes the revolutionary war heroes who fought the British and their imposition of tyrannical rule. But oh, how the tables have turned. What once had underdog status is now the corrupt overlord, doing what it pleases and getting away with it. It’s almost like the Patriots are like the tyrannical Brits, imposing their rule.
But really, what symbolizes America more than that of the Eagle, soaring high over this incredibly rich and diverse country? (I will answer that. Nothing.) And Philadelphia IS, after all, the birthplace of our great nation. The city is home to the Declaration of Independence, the Liberty Bell, (yeah it’s cracked but that just adds character,) and Betsy Ross sewed the damn flag there! What could be more American than that? Whoever said Dallas was America’s team is sadly mistaken.
But this is more than symbolism of cities and uniforms. This is about the people. Philly is home to the scrappiest people in the world, (they even eat scrapple) going up against a bunch of self congratulatory players who are worshipped by the media.
Philly is NOT worshipped by the media. In fact, the NFL, its announcers and its pundits, all hate Philadelphia and its fans. There is so much bias against the Eagles, mostly because of their fans, people like me get a certain amount of joy out of it. It literally spurs on my love for the team even more. Sound familiar, kinda like the more you hate the President, the more his supporters love him.
Back in 1968, the Eagles were mired in one of the worst seasons in franchise history. On Dec. 15, they wrapped up their season playing the Vikings. They would finish the year 2-12, with the most losses in franchise history. During that game, a man dressed as Santa Claus came out on the field to lift the spirits of the fans. Instead, they belted Santa with snowballs but, you know what, they had good reason. They had enough! And that’s pretty damn American if you ask me. Philly fans give their heart and soul to their sports teams and if you are not giving it back, then you deserve to pelted with snowballs, no matter what outfit you are wearing. What can we say, we have passion. And yes they greased up the poles with Crisco (now gear oil) and fans climbed them. They were just spreading “Eagles Fever” to get the crowds going. It was really pretty harmless. And they did it all because they love their team like it's their own family because it is.
There has never been a team like this in our history. This team has been to the Superbowl 2 times before but never ever won. IN 1980 The Eagles looked like they could not be beaten, they won a then club-record 12 games, However, the Eagles lost to the Oakland Raiders 27–10 in Super Bowl XV. That team though had all the stars players going into that final game. This year it’s different, this Eagles team has seen many key players fall to injury, however, the next guy in line stepped up, they pushed harder and they kept moving forward.
But, still, this team was underrated. When they lost their MVP quarterback, Carson Wentz, they again were dismissed. Offensive tackle Lane Johnson heard this so often from the biased commentators he started wearing a dog mask.
But they kept winning, each week. Much like the Sanders and Trump movements. What this team has proved is that its not about a person. Or a figurehead. It’s about a feeling. That’s what most MSM and Celebs don’t get yet, it’s not about Trump, and it wasn’t about Sanders, it was about the people. It’s unstoppable. It’s the collective feeling that creates energy, starts movements, and leads to real and lasting change. When you watch the celebrities in Patriots Jersey’s, tucked in to the warm vestibules of million dollar boxes on that field in Minnesota, think about the working class families that pulled out their last dollar, painted their face green, packed up that cheese steak wit, that Philly pretzel and that hoagie and grabbed their favorite Eagles Jersey to sit in the freezing cold to watch their Eagles Fly.
Because like Rocky Balboa said, the world aint all sunshine and rainbows. It’s mean and nasty and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees, if you let it. But it’s about how hard you get hit and you keep moving forward, how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. If you know what you’re worth then you gotta go out and get what your worth. You gotta be able to take the hits, and not point fingers, but to dig down deep and work harder. It’s not about how many times you get knocked down, in Philly it’s always been about how many times you get back up. We are better than that. It's a Philly thing.