I think it is time for me to break my silence and speak openly about my beloved Philadelphia Eagles. The past 120 hours have given me an opportunity to cool off from the crushing defeat at the hands of the once hapless now Super Bowl bound Arizona Cardinals.
Starting as the final ticks of the clock signified the end to the Eagles season, I became unhinged. Emotionally unstable. Prone to fits of anger. Contemplating kicking my cat. I was more of a risk to my family than Michael Jackson on ecstasy in a nursery school. Sometime around midnight or so last night I regained my composure, my cat felt safe enough to sit on my lap and interestingly enough I discovered a clearer picture of sports in my life.
I am unsure about my fanaticism. Possibly born from the environment of my youth? I had uncles ravenous with Phillies Phever and displaying borderline sociopathic hatred for the Dallas Cowboys. But my parents didn’t exhibit the same sort of psychosis. While they were fans, they were not the sort of fans one might ready themselves for when visiting Philadelphia. I tend to believe my fandom was ingrained upon my DNA. I was fated to Philadelphia sports. Sort of like the Beast Master’s Dar, of the Emerites, being born from a cow. You knew that guy was going to be able to talk to spray painted tigers and see through the eyes of an eagle. Although I had no cow, I might as well have been born to the Phillie Phanatic(quite possibly explaining some things and much to the delight of my mother who had the discomfort of giving birth to me) In either case, environment or cosmic destiny, I bleed Phillies red, Eagles green, Flyers orange, and whatever color the Sixers decide upon this week. This blinding loyalty to my teams predictably clouds my good senses when having to critically examine players and games. This past Sunday was no different.
Then, as I said, last night it hit me. As much as my spirit had told me the Eagles hadn’t the desire to win on Sunday, my brain told me otherwise. Although the era of free agency has diluted the hometown team passion once symbiotic between players and fans, our players still thrive on competition and still want to win at all costs. To think the Eagles somehow were apathetic towards winning the NFC championship is something you might expect to hear from meatheads calling in to local sports radio programs. I know the Eagles gave it all they had. I also now know they came up against a Cardinals team better than they were on that day. I am now cognizant of the impact of all of this. It is just a game. The players know this. As a fan it is just harder to accept.
As difficult as it was to believe the sun would rise this past Monday morning instead of a Reign of Fire type of landscape I was anticipating, indeed I woke up to sunshine. I also woke up to my kids. And my wife. And in my home that I have been lucky enough to keep the heat on in and turn the lights on in. Even though the thought of burning down the NovaCare Center didn’t fully exit my mind until about Wednesday, I know it’s just a game(I keep saying this to myself, it helps).
Finger’s crossed I will be able to watch my kids grow up. Alicia and I will spend the rest of our lives together. God willing I will be able to see my girls get married and have their own families(with irrationally loyal sports fan husbands) before they throw me into a second rate nursing home. Hopefully my life will be filled with love, and health, and family, and friends. All of these things are thankfully not dependent on if the Eagles winning the NFC East either. All of these things mean so much more than if the Eagles offense can orchestrate a 2:00 minute drill in crunch time.
Regardless of whether or not my Philadelphia Eagles’ future has a championship ring in it, I know I have so much more around me that means so much more to me than the Lombardi trophy or a ticker tape parade down Broad Street. It just would have been sweet to see them playing in the Super Bowl. What a bunch of bums.
- Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for, I have grown not only gray, but almost blind in the service of my country (and bald...and cranky...and out of shape...in the service of being a parent) - George Washington
Seek and Ye Might Just Find