Here’s a little advice, Eagles fans: Savor this coming week. Enjoy every day. Remind yourself and your friends that, hey, our favorite football team is still the reigning Super Bowl champion.
Because on Sunday, of course, that all changes.
It’s going to be particularly painful to watch Super Bowl LIII between the upstart Los Angeles Rams and New England’s Evil Empire. Perhaps at the beginning of the game, CBS broadcaster Jim Nantz will make a perfunctory statement that the teams are playing for the title now held by the Birds (I promise you Tony Romo won’t give us a nod). But after that . . . it will be like our greatest day, as sports fans never existed.
We’ll be old news. The forgotten son. The ex-wife.
So follow my lead: Pull on your Nick Foles jersey, flip on the “Philly Special” highlight video one more time and race outside to see if you can gather the neighbors for a quick “E-A-G-L-E-S” chant. Maybe that’ll help.
Hey, it’s not like we didn’t see this day coming. I remember feeling a depressing emptiness that October night in 2009 when the New York Yankees supplanted the Philadelphia Phillies as baseball’s new champs. But at least the Phils were in that World Series trying to defend their crown. (Sheesh, Pedro Martinez, why didn’t you let the manager know you had the flu?)
This season, the Eagles reeled from a massive Super Bowl hangover before rebounding late to give it a decent shot. But, let’s be honest, they never displayed the mojo that carried them in 2017. So we won’t get to enjoy drowning in confetti on Broad Street a week from Tuesday; more likely, forecasters say, we’ll be covered by an inch or two of snow.
All of this is not aimed to depress you. Rather, I suggest you try to remember all the great moments from a year ago: Foles’ calm under pressure in taking down the monster, Brandon Graham’s clutch strip sack of Tom Brady and Jay Ajayi churning for important yards.
In part, make sure to recall those moments because all of those players will likely be gone soon. So, too, might be Darren Sproles, Jason Peters, Chris Long, Jordan Hicks, and Ronald Darby. Pro Bowl guard Brandon Brooks may miss all of 2019 because of a torn Achilles.
The Eagles face a tumultuous off-season – and I’m not even including that hand grenade of a story last week that called Carson Wentz selfish, egotistical, a poor tipper and nasty to puppies. Truth be told, that journalistic tripe will be long forgotten when the real news begins.
GM Howie Roseman will have his hands full. Whether you want to call it rebuilding, retooling or refueling, this franchise has challenges at several key position groups. Start with running back, offensive line, defensive line and secondary. Wentz’s future contract will also be a thorny issue.
Roseman and right-hand man Joe Douglas have performed off-season magic before. They’re going to have to do it again.
All of which just shows how tough it is to get to the Super Bowl, let alone win the damned thing. So when you’re moping through next Sunday’s game (by the way: Rams win), buck up. Reminisce about all the fun from just a year ago. Don’t let the euphoria that carried us through 2018 just slip away forever. Take one last moment to celebrate how great it all was.
Hey, we’ll always have the dog masks.