Mark your calendar for April 26. That’s the first night of the NFL draft. And it will be worth staying up to the very end to see Commissioner Roger Goodell stand before those yahoos in Dallas to announce, “With the 32nd and final pick of the first round, the World Champion Philadelphia Eagles select . . . “
The Eagles don’t have a 2nd-round pick, but I’ll trust Howie Roseman to get one. Round 2 comes the next day, and I need Brian Dawkins to strut to the stage and represent our team. Perhaps No. 20 will sing a chorus of “Fly Eagles Fly,” as those Cowboys jackwagons cry into their Lone Stars.
These are just a few of the early benefits we’ll see from our great city’s first Super Bowl win. See, even as you’re still warm in the afterglow of Brandon Graham’s strip-sack and Thursday’s parade, the great times are just beginning. The Eagles championship promises to drop fun bombs throughout the rest of the year that we’ve never experienced before.
There will be NFL Network specials on the Eagles that you’ll save on the DVR. Nick Foles and Carson Wentz will throw out the first pitch at the Phillies opener. There will be lovefests at the open training camp scrimmages (here’s hoping the Eagles increase the number). From Callowhill to Conshohocken to Cancun you’ll nod at fellow fans everywhere in championship swag.
The title-winning team usually holds its ring ceremony around June. It may be a private affair, but you’ll get to watch coverage. My hunch is that owner Jeff Lurie springs for jewelry the size of a bagel, with the Eagles logo in emerald green, surrounded by 52 diamonds.
In August, Dawkins and Terrell Owens get inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. A midnight green sea of fans will engulf Canton, Ohio just as a tsunami of Phillies red overtook Cooperstown when Richie Ashburn and Mike Schmidt got baseball immortality in 1995.
Of course, the best night will be Thursday, Sept. 6 as the regular season kicks off with the defending champions playing at home. The NFL tries to schedule a compelling opener, so I’m guessing we’ll see an NFC title game rematch, with the Vikings coming here under new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo.
Arrive early. You don’t want to miss seeing the first “Super Bowl Champions” banner unfurled above Lincoln Financial Field. Bring a hankie, you may need it.
That should be the first of six primetime games – the maximum the NFL allows a team. The Eagles – your guys – are now the league’s marquee franchise. Or the gold standard, if you will. If you believe Cris Collinsworth is biased against the Birds, you’ll take immense pleasure each time he has to cough out the words “world champions.”
The benefits of this one will never end. Ten years from now, you’ll reenact the “Philly Special” at tailgate parties. Twenty years from now you’ll attend a championship team reunion at the Linc (or wherever they play then), marveling at how well Doug Pederson has aged.
They’ll give Kelce center stage at that 2037 reunion, although the Mummer’s costume might fit more snugly. And he’ll belt out a reprise of The Speech.
And you’ll remember, and savor, every last word.