Sunday, February 4, 2018

The Eagles Have Flown

My dad would have loved this.

The last time the Eagles won the NFL championship, they hadn’t invented the Super Bowl.  Dwight Eisenhower was president, though he already knew who his successor would be.  The number one song in the nation was “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” by Elvis Presley, who was not an oldies act at the time.  A new house cost $12,700 – a shade over double the average annual income.  A new car would set you back $2600, gas cost 25 cents/gallon, and the minimum wage was $1.25/hour, which is higher than it is today when you adjust for inflation.

It was a long time ago.

But tonight they won.  Those magnificent bastards, they won.  After a lifetime of watching them put players out on the field who had their helmets on sideways, led by coaches who were quietly amazed to discover that the game had a clock, for the first time in my lifetime, they won the championship.  They are Super Bowl Champions.

To get to this point they beat the Brady/Belicheck Machine that is the New England Patriots – the team everyone outside of New England hates because they are ridiculously talented, incredibly well run, and entertaining if you can get past the perpetual smell of suspicion that follows them around like a wet puppy. They’re the Dallas Cowboys of the 21st century.

My dad was a huge Eagles fan. 

He took me to the only professional football game I have ever been to – a preseason game between the Eagles and the then-St.-Louis Cardinals, which I am sure that the Eagles lost because this was the early 1970s and they generally lost games then.  They had a quarterback who had to be watered twice a week so his roots didn’t die, and a place kicker who had half a foot and was by far the best player on the team.

He instilled the Eagles fandom in me, and we cheered them through good seasons (the Super Bowl years of 1980 and 2005, the powerhouse years of the late 1980s and early 2000s, and so on) and more than a few bad ones.  We’d always talk about the latest game during the seasons, comparing notes and observations.  And even in recent years, as my interest in American football waned, we still talked about the games because that’s one of the things we talked about.  That’s what sports does for you, it creates bonds.

The Eagles never won a Super Bowl.  Not while he was alive.

They won tonight. 

It was a good game.  Both teams played like they belonged there.  There were great plays by the Eagles and, much as it pains me to admit, great plays by the Patriots.  Between them they set an NFL playoff record for total offensive yardage, and there was a grand total of one punt.  Eagles quarterback Nick Foles became the only quarterback in Super Bowl history to both throw and catch a touchdown pass.  Fittingly, it came down to the last play.  When it ended, I had to check the clock to see that the game was over.  And it was.

I have no idea what awaits us after we die, whether there is some kind of afterlife or whether this is the only one we get.  I try to live my life so that it doesn’t matter which one is true.

But if there is a life after this one, I know my dad is happy that his beloved Birds have finally, finally, won it all.

And so am I.


LucyInDisguise said...

I didn't get to watch the entire game - I had grill duty and everybody who was watching the game wanted their steaks.

Happy to see your Birds have finally learned to fly. And, I'm certain that in at least one of the possible realities that may exist your dad is in the party hardy mode. Congrats all around. Still, once again, I utterly failed on the handicap - Lost two bets even though the Eagles won. I do not believe that there is any reality where 41-33=11

Yet life proceeds apace and we must all now return to our regularly scheduled rumpmare.


David said...

They also serve who grill steaks. In fact, they are the heroes of the festivities.

You know, that math doesn't even work in Base 7, so I can't help you there.

It's been a nice break from the ongoing political conflagration, this Super Bowl stuff. Bread and circuses, steaks and football, it's all the same. I think I'll bask in the glow for a few more days before I resurface into reality. It will still be there when I do. :)

LucyInDisguise said...

I should also like to point out, just in case you missed it, that yesterday I was outside, grilling steaks on the BBQ. It was 61° F.

February 4.

FEBRUARY 4th. And 61° F.

It should be in the 30s, there should be snow on the ground, and I should NOT have even been able to find the BBQ, let alone light it.

On a lighter note, I even tried base 12 (cause it looked promising) but nope - there does not appear to be any reality where 41-33=11 (you watch - some math nerd is going to come along and prove me wrong ... probably one of those math professor types where you work.)



David said...

61F?!? That's just wrong in February. If it's any consolation, it was 2F here, felt like -15F, and we got about 5" of new snow over the weekend.

I tried base 7 because you need 8 to equal 11 and that only works in base 7. But if a mathematician wants to correct me, I'd love to hear it.