(Warning: I’m a nut… and language.)
Despite being surrounded by wings, cheesesteaks, pizza, dips, chips, and every other food a football fan could imagine (and quite a few I couldn’t), I refused to eat a damn thing. I wasn’t hungry because of the nerves.
Somehow the Philadelphia Eagles made it to the Super Bowl. With a backup quarterback, nonetheless. But the team’s greatest challenge lay ahead. They faced the Greatest of All-Time and his evil empire. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
I drank eight beers before the game even started. This put me in the right state of mind to cheer the Birds, as us die-hard Philadelphia Eagles fans called them. If you’re a fan of the Birds, beer is necessary. It eases the pain of letdown, which the Eagles have done to the city of Philadelphia since 1933. Nearly a hundred years of existence and no Super Bowl trophies to show for it.
On the couch around the TV, hostile people surrounded me. All of us grew up ten minutes outside of Philadelphia, but most of my friends hated the Birds. One of them picked his favorite team by getting handed a Washington Football Team lollipop as a kid. Another got a Dallas Cowboys card in his cereal box. A bunch of frauds if you ask me. Less than a handful of my friends (and my father) supported the Birds. We were severely outnumbered.
The Eagles got the ball first.
They went right down the field and scored a touchdown.
Good guys were winning.
I belted the Eagles Fight Song and polished off another Bud Light to celebrate.
But the Patriots weren’t going to lay over and give the Eagles the Super Bowl trophy.
It was a tight game.
Every time the Eagles made a bad play, everyone cheered.
Whenever the Eagles made a great play, I made sure everyone knew about it
Claps, high fives with Birds fans, screams, smack talk, and beer down the hatch.
The hops flowed like a river down my throat.
Right before halftime, the Eagles drove down the field to the end zone.
Three tries to score from inside the ten-yard line.
The Birds couldn’t punch it in.
It was fourth and goal.
With the score 15-12, the Birds elected to go for a touchdown rather than a field goal.
I hated it.
Take the points!
On fourth and goal, Nick Foles, the Eagles quarterback, ran behind his offensive tackle, yelling at his linemen.
He was confused about the play.
The Birds were going to blow it!
The ball was snapped to the running back behind the center. The running back tossed the ball to Trey Burton, a receiver who ran behind the running back, who had the ball in the backfield. Nick Foles leaked out into the end zone. Trey Burton threw the ball to a wide-open Nick Foles.
I knew they’d pull it off. I danced around the room. Another beer can was crushed flat. The Eagles went into halftime leading 22-12.
I went outside for fresh air.
I didn’t see a lick of the halftime concert.
Someone told me Justin Timberlake killed it.
I forgot he was even performing.
With no food in my belly, I chugged another beer before returning to the couch for the second half.
I didn’t finish thirty beers before the game ended, but I was damn close.
Like the game was.
Back and forth.
Anyone could win the game.
The beer was cold and delicious with each nervous sip… or gulp.
The Eagles led most of the way. Tom Brady and the Patriots took a lead late in the fourth. The Eagles responded with a time-consuming drive to once again pull ahead. On the next New England Patriots drive, Tom Brady fumbled. The Eagles recovered the ball and eventually kicked a field goal. The good guys were up by eight points with time running out in the game.
But with time still on the clock, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots still had a chance. Any amount of time in a game was too much when a team plays against Tom Brady. Especially a one score game.
Tom Brady drove the Patriots to midfield with less than ten seconds left in the Super Bowl.
The ball was snapped.
Tom Brady somehow escaped a sack and launched the ball fifty yards.
To the end zone.
It was tipped.
Still in the air.
It couldn’t be.
Not another miracle by Tom Brady.
Not this time.
The ball fell helplessly to the turf.
The clock displayed three zeroes.
The game was over.
The Eagles won their first Super Bowl.
THE EAGLES WON THEIR FIRST SUPER BOWL!
I screamed and ran for my father, who I embraced in tears as green and white confetti covered the field on TV.
I chugged another beer in victory and cried harder than I ever have.
A score I’d remember forever.
But I couldn’t remember the celebration.
Too much beer, I suppose.
There was only one thing I did remember.
That the Philadelphia Eagles slayed the greatest dynasty in sports and were world champions for the first time.