by Jack Kerwin | firstname.lastname@example.org
Have my memories, my heartaches, my favorite players.
The days of living and dying with the Philadelphia Eagles, their successes and their failures, though, passed for me a long ago.
Life, my life, steered me away from that kind of passion … to the point where, yeah, still love the sport, but “merely” like certain teams.
Put it this way, it doesn’t kill me if one of my teams loses. Even the Eagles.
What does truly affect me is how their performance affects and impacts the lives of others.
So, for me, tonight’s Super Bowl between the Birds and New England … well, not really pulling for a Philly victory in a typical selfish way. My hope is Nick Foles, Doug Pederson and the rest of the guys demolish all those demons in the franchise’s closet, first and foremost, for themselves. But then, along with it, do me “a solid,” with appeasing a special Fab Four of Midnight Green Nation.
Do it for dad, a nephew, a lifelong friend and the most tortured and genuinely loyal Eagles fan in my life no matter how much it has hurt him.
Closing in on his 87th birthday, my dad has enjoyed “championship” history with regard to Philly’s pro football entity that few others have. He was around for NFL titles in 1948, ’49 and ’60, and still talks glowingly about Tommy McDonald, Chuck Bednarik and, in his mind, the greatest Eagles of all, Steve Van Buren, as if their final snaps on the gridiron happened within the last decade.
Like the others, though, he has struggled through some serious hardship in the “Super Bowl era.” It’s been painful to see him endure crap, mediocrity and near-misses mixed in with the 14-year drudgery of Andy Reid proclaiming that he was “taking full responsibility” for whatever wrong happened and then never doing a damn thing to correct it.
Jason, the young pup of the group, is my almost-20 nephew. Doesn’t even live in the U.S., never mind the Philly area, anymore. But he’s into the Birds, big time. In a way yours truly was back in the day … when he was an almost-20. Has resided in Scotland ever since he was a little kid. But the Eagles’ bug infected him years ago, and, thus far, it ain’t leaving. Kid has parties at home – my sister’s house – for games. For the uninformed on time, that means, say, for this one, starting at 6:30 p.m. here, him and his friends are cranking it up there for an 11:30 p.m. kickoff.
Through phone calls, e-mails and what have you, we've had the checks on Chip, Doug, Carson and you name anyone else the last handful of years. He’s up on it. As much as anyone within driving distance of Lincoln Financial Field is.
Fred, my best friend, well, we got hooked by Dick Vermeil. The guy just oozed hope when he took over a disastrous, charred remains of a dumpster-fire operation in the mid-‘70s and justified those vibes by turning the team into a playoff contender in short order. Spent every weekend of my late grade school/early high school life at Fred’s house, us always hunkering down on Sundays to watch our beloved Birds stoke emotions and loyalties in us that we didn’t even know were possible.
He remains as loyal and invested as ever.
Gordon, a season ticket-holder for generations at this point, is as funny and witty as anyone a person could hope to meet. Can tell you not only the history to every Eagle in uniform tonight, but to anyone who ever wore the midnight or Kelly green in the past four decades and change. Has the same kind of feeling for players we loved, such as Jerry Robinson, and others we didn’t, like Randall Cunningham. A true fan, through and through. Even when he criticizes the team, or a player or a coach, it pains him. Really doesn’t wanna do it. Just gets ticked off, ya know.
He, to me, reps the whole city, the whole region, all of Eagles Nation. They all do.
So, for them, yeah, an Eagles win would be wonderful. They, and so many others not mentioned in this, deserve it.
All the fans do. Everyone in and around Philly does.
Them getting to enjoy it, along with the Eagles themselves, would be as good a memory as can be.
For me ... selfishly or not.
An Eagles win would be wonderful. They, and so many others not mentioned in this, deserve it.