It's been 57 years since the Eagles last won an NFL Championship. FIFTY. SEVEN. YEARS. Before the Super Bowl was even a thing. For me names like Concrete Charlie and Norm Van Brocklin are more folk lore than real life. I grew up on the Buddy Ryan Eagles and reveled in the Andy Reid led Eagle teams as we rose to the cream of the crop in the NFL.
We enjoyed a lot of success under Big Red, but just enough to get our hopes up, only to come crashing down. This is the life of an Eagles fan. There's always next year, right?
Being an Eagles fan is not something you choose, you are born into it. It's passed down for generations. Your dad is an Eagles fan, his dad was an Eagles fan, your son will most certainly be an Eagles fan, and on it goes. This city doesn't just love it's team, it's a family, we are an extension of the team. Or more aptly put, the team is an extension of us.
My dad raised us right. I can recall countless nights of him letting me stay up late to watch the Birds on Monday Night Football, and taking me to the Vet on a Sunday afternoon. I still remember the moment he told me that Jereme Brown had died. I cried my little 10 year-old eyes out, and wrote 99 on EVERY piece of Eagles gear I owned. It's generational. It's deep.
I have tried to soak in these last two weeks leading up to Super Bowl 52, because I know it doesn't come around that often. It's been 12 years since the Donovan McNabb and Brian Dawkins led Birds played on the big stage. And it was 24 years before that. Anxiously waiting for kickoff, believing that — THIS. IS. OUR. YEAR. It just feels right.
Every Eagles fan I've talked to is doing the same thing, watching the game with their dad, or brother, or family. This is more than football! We've been waiting a lifetime for this moment.
This team embodies the city of Philadelphia. It's not about one person. It's the definition of the word team. It's about overcoming adversity, being told you're not good enough, you can't do it. It's about hard work, grit, perseverance, faith, and a lot of fun along the way. It's about being called the underdog on your turf, constantly disrespected and forgotten.
But you know what we do in Philly when we get knocked down? We get right back up, and we swing even harder.
So on Sunday night when the whole world is watching you better believe we are swinging for the fences. Matt Stairs into the night, Rocky knocking out Drago, Moses Malone Fo, Fo, Fo, Broad Street Bullies, Brian Dawkins — GIVE ME SOME RESPECT RIGHT NOW!
WE ALL WE GOT, WE ALL WE NEED!
FLY EAGLES FLY!
Being counted out is nothing new in Philadelphia. We thrive off the chip on our shoulders mentality. We are not New York City or Washington D.C., and we don't want to be! We are Rocky Balboa, Chase Utley, Allen Iverson, Vince Papale, Bobby Clarke, and Bernard Hopkins.
We may not be the prettiest, or the biggest, or the fastest, and maybe not even the most talented, BUT WE ARE THE TOUGHEST! We are blue-collar, die hard, wear your heart on your sleeve, hard-working — TOUGH. And the 2017 Eagles embody that to the core!
From day one Doug Pederson was counted out, he was described as "less qualified than anyone ever." Thanks Mike!
This season, Pederson has silenced the haters. Devastating injury after devastating injury and the battle cry remains the same, "NEXT MAN UP!" All-Pro left tackle Jason Peters, out for the season. The most dynamic offensive player Darren Sproles, out for the season. Starting middle linebacker Jordan Hicks, out for the season, Chris Maragos, special teams ace, gone for the season. The nail in the coffin franchise QB Carson Wentz, gone for the season.
Being a Philadelphia sports phan is filled with a lot of highs and some crushing lows. This was as crushing as it gets.
The sports world counted us out. The Eagles are done, they can't win it all with Nick Foles. The NFC is loaded with experienced and more talented teams, the Panthers, Saints, Rams.
Where are these teams now? The 6th seed on the road vs. the 1 seed, yeah but the Falcons are hot and the Eagles, well they have Nick Foles under center. Where are the Falcons now? Who else ya got!?
The Minnesota Vikings. They won't count us out again, will they? We can't possibly be the underdogs again, can we? Well guess what, WE THE DOGS!
All we've seen this week is Minnesota miracle this and Minnesota miracle that. The Vikings and their top D, the feel good story of Case Keenum's resurrected career.
You know what, I'm okay with that. Keep counting us out, keeping calling us the underdogs, keep telling us we aren't good enough, or fast enough, or talented enough. Because that chip on our shoulder just got A WHOLE LOT BIGGER!
We all we got, we all we need!
There is something special happening in Baseball Town this year! The classic ballpark and the crazy hot-dog vendor are well worth the drive up north. But the amazing talent on the field makes a trip a must this year! The R-Phils are bashing there way to a 48-19 record, which is the best in all of affiliated ball! A large part of there is success is thanks to one of the most dangerous lineups in baseball led by under the radar prospects RF Dylan Cozens and 1B Rhys Hoskins.
Howie Roseman's galavanting of full control of football operations continued yesterday as he packaged a king's ransom to Cleveland for the #2 overall pick in next week's NFL Draft. Let the Negadelphians rant! Now I have been a Philadelphia sports phan since birth. It is our duty as phans to whine, sulk, anger, and flat out oppose the actions of our beloved sports teams. It's what we do best! Decades of not quite good enough have developed this unique characteristic trait among us. And we certainly could play GM better than half the idiots in charge, or so we think.
Oh the difference a year can make. The Phillies open up the 2016 season in Cincinnati with a drastically different look than they did a year ago. Gone are MOST of the familiar stalwarts from an historic era in Phillies baseball. Say goodbye to the likes of Pap and Kenny G. At the helm Andy MacPhail, Matt Klentak, and Pete Mackanin are the trio charged with moving the rebuild forward. Only 9 players from the 2015 Opening Day roster are on the Phillies 2016 roster (quick, name them). So needless to say when looking at the 2016 Opening Day roster, there are players that make even your more than casual phan say, "Who is that guy?"
So without further adieu, your Opening Day starting left fielder, Cedric Hunter:
How cool was that to see the Big Club in Baseball Town?!? The Big Man getting a much deserved standing O and then proceeding to go Oppo Boppo over the LF fence. Then the fans chanting "We Want Chooch," Petey sending him in and then Chooch getting a standing O!
Add that to being able to catch of glimpse at what the team's Phuture might be with the likes of Franco, Crawford, Herrera, Williams and Quinn all being on the same field! It was a great night!
In only 8 days the Phillies will back playing games at the Bank! It doesn't really seem real that Baseball season is almost here! It has been a very interesting spring as more roster spots have opened up as we get later in camp. Right now I have 19 roster spots locked up with 6 still up for grabs! That's a crazy amount of spots still left open with as many 13+ players vying for those 6 spots. It should be an interesting battle as the Phillies close up camp and head North next week!
Baseball is king! To the casual, adrenaline seeking sports fan baseball often sits at the bottom rung of favorites. But to the sports purists baseball is number one. Major League Baseball and pure may not seem like the perfect fit. In decades past the game has certainly been tainted. Steroids? HGH? Cheating? No, I'm talking about the DH! MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred seeks to add another blemish to the game with a push for bringing the designated hitter to the National League in 2017.