If you’re not an Eagles fan or not from the Philly area, you just wouldn’t understand. So let me try to explain it to you.
Like every other Eagles fan, I have waited my entire life for this. We (Eagles Nation) have endured a lifetime of disappointment. A lifetime of “maybe next year,” playoff failures, horrible clock management, inept coaches (yeah you Andy, Chip, Marion, etc.), marginal players, HORRIBLE hires (Vick – really??) and an empty trophy case.
We’ve been ridiculed by fans from teams that have won in the past. LONG past (I’m talking about you, Cowgirl fans). The national media make our fans out to be monsters and continues to remind the world over and over again about a snowball incident that happened 50 years ago. We watched our baseball, hockey and basketball teams win championships. We even made it to the big game only to be left at the altar. Twice.
We grew to embrace the disappointment. It was a badge of honor. I would often say, “hell, any doofus can be a Pats/Steelers/Cowgirls fan. That’s easy. Try being a lifelong Iggles fan! THAT takes grit and commitment”. We would boo our team when they didn’t give us the 100% we expected. We taunted our own team with Flyer’s chants to show them not only how disappointed we were but to show them that we hold ALL of our teams to a higher standard. A standard of winning.
So last night’s victory was more than just winning the Super Bowl and hoisting a trophy. It was silencing the naysayers. It was ending the Lombardi curse. It was appeasing the sports gods and William Penn’s ghost (thanks to the Iron Workers who welded a new statue to the top of the new Comcast tower). It was for every kid who idolizes our players and can now say they saw their team win the Super Bowl. It was for every living adult in Eagles Nation who probably cried tears of joy last night (like me). It’s for the fan who sat in his living room, in the same exact chair, wearing the same exact shirt so as not to jinx anything. It’s for the guy who cleaned out his bank account so he could see the game in person.
And more importantly, it’s for the fans who are no longer with us. The die-hard fans who took the years of disappointment with them to the grave. People like my childhood friend Mario. My in-laws who spent every Sunday yelling at the TV. One of my best friends, fraternity brother and professional mentor, Joe Tait. For Mayor Frank Rizzo. For sportscaster Gary Papa. For Gerome Brown and the Minister of Defense, Reggie White. For every Iggles fan who never got to see what we saw last night.
Fly Eagles Fly!