Matt DiSanto, Staff Writer
The 2017 Philadelphia Eagles are Super Bowl Champions.
It’s hard to believe, I know, but they took down Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and the Patriots on the nation’s biggest stage in a dramatic 41-33 victory on February 4th, 2018.
Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles threw for over 370 yards and three touchdowns and outdueled a terrifying stat line from Tom Brady, who threw for 505 yards and three scores himself. Foles also caught a perfectly thrown touchdown via Trey Burton in a trick play, dubbed the “Philly Special”, that will go down as one of the gustiest play calls in Super Bowl history.
Head Coach Doug Pederson lead the Birds to their first Super Bowl victory with aggressive-yet-brilliant play calling that kept the Patriots on their toes for much of the game. Pederson successfully went for it on fourth down twice in the game, including the Philly Special, which helped to extend their drives and keep the momentum on the Eagles’ side.
While the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory will certainly go down in history as possibly the greatest moment in Philly sports history, it means more than just having a shiny Lombardi trophy in the locker room.
First and foremost, this team really was the underdog all year. Before the season started, every analyst on ESPN, Fox Sports, and NFL Network was constantly questioning Pederson’s coaching ability and the team’s strengths.
“The Eagles won’t make the playoffs”, they said. “The Eagles won’t win the division”, they said. “The Eagles can’t go far without Wentz,” they said. “The Eagles won’t win a playoff game”, they said. “The Eagles won’t beat the Vikings”, they said. “The Eagles won’t beat Tom Brady”, they said.
While they doubted, we listened. And while the media kept talking about how they couldn’t, the Eagles kept proving that they could. Nobody noticed this more than veteran center Jason Kelce.
In an enthusiastic speech during their parade festivities, Kelce reminded everyone that this team was made up of underdogs, filled with players that teams didn’t want or didn’t believe in. Many players were drafted in the back half of the draft or simply weren’t drafted at all. Some were told that they didn’t have it anymore, while others were let go by their previous teams.
Everybody told them that they weren’t good enough, that they were too old or too slow or simply didn’t have it anymore. This team came together to shock the world, prove the league wrong, and win this city their first football championship since 1960.
Without any doubt, this championship means the most to Philadelphia’s fans. These people have waited tirelessly for generations, longing for a Lombardi and a parade down Broad Street. Luckily, that’s exactly what they got.
Over three and a half million people took over Philadelphia for the Eagles’ championship parade, coming in droves to witness history being made. Thousands upon thousands of fans came together for a common cause, celebrating and living life to the fullest for just one afternoon. Street lights were climbed, a trophy was raised, and Eagles chants could be heard in every direction.
The passion of fans is about more than just football, though. The Eagles mean so much to Philadelphia families. Going to games and following the team is a lifestyle of its own. I can’t tell you how many copies of the Daily News I saw laid down at the graves of loved ones following the Eagles’ win. Heck, I even saw multiple people on social media scattering their loved one’s ashes at the parade on Thursday.
The bottom line is, these are simply the best fans in the NFL. Passionate, charismatic, and intense, Eagles fans finally got what they deserved through the Eagles first Super Bowl victory.
This victory wasn’t just for the team. It was for the city of Philadelphia. It was for the countless fans who woke up every day for 52 years without a Super Bowl championship. One of the biggest football fans in the nation finally got what it deserved, and the fans couldn’t be any happier.
The best part is, this is likely only the beginning. Carson Wentz is one of the fiercest competitors in the game, and he certainly wants to win a Lombardi for himself. The entire Eagles roster is locked and loaded, with most players signed through the 2020 season, and they certainly want to turn this victory into a dynasty.
Like Doug Pederson said at the parade on Thursday, this is going to be the new norm. This isn’t going to be Philadelphia’s last celebration on Broad Street. This Eagles team is going to come back next year better than ever.
“You won’t repeat as champions”, they said. We’ll see about that.