Will an Eagles Win Thaw Frozen Hearts?
Written By Peter Kravitz
The Philadelphia Eagles have defied the pundits, bookmakers, media football experts, the NFC’s No. 1 defense and the Vikings’ god Odin. Can they finally win a Super Bowl by miraculously defying the NFL’s greatest dynasty?
Eagles’ fans hope so. Because they most recently won it all on a December Monday at Franklin Field in 1960. My dad and uncle witnessed that Eagles’ 17-13 championship victory over Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers. Suburban Philly (Radnor) native Ted Dean scored the winning TD and Chuck Bednarik pinned Jim Taylor as time expired on a Packers’ 1st and goal.
Since then Eagles’ fans have yearned for the next championship.
My father’s tales of Steve Van Buren overpowering 1940’s tacklers enroute to back-to-back titles nourished my childhood. Dad took me to my first Eagles’ game at Franklin Field in 1969. The Eagles won 13-10 over the winless Saints. Quarterback Norman Snead outdueled Billy Kilmer and scored the Eagles only TD, shockingly, on a bootleg run. (Snead ran in slow motion.) Joe Scarpati dropped five picks before finally clinching the game by holding on to one.
However, I must apologize to my fellow Philadelphians. You see, a beautiful blue-eyed, blonde-haired girl from Long Island lured me to New York in 1988. We married and raised a family here. Our children picked their sports’ teams. My son chose the Giants – an unforgivable offense among the Philly devout. My girls didn’t really care.
But for 30-exiled years I’ve clung to my Philly devoutness. I’ve insanely tried to watch every Eagles’ game on TV or at least listen to the thrilling baritone of Merrill Reese on radio. I even watched the Birds on live TV at 3 a.m. in Israel and under a steaming volcano in Ecuador.
Though I haven’t been to a home game since the last Monday Nighter at the Vet, a 2002 win over the Giants, I’ve trekked to Jersey, most recently to this season’s 34-29 win over the Giants at Metlife Stadium where we Eagles’ fans outroared Giants’ fans making it difficult for Eli Manning to bark his plays.
Sadly, much of my 49 years as an Eagles’ fan has been disappointment: Carson Wentz’s devastating dive for the endzone in L.A.; Ron “Jaws” Jaworski’s first pass picked off in Super Bowl XV; Brady and Belichick edging the Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX; Dick Vermeil’s burnout; Buddy Ryan’s defense (led by Jerome Brown and Reggie White) crushing the Giants 31-13 on Monday Night only to see New York win Super Bowl XXV that year; Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb going 1-4 in the NFC title game; Randall Cunningham’s season-ending injury in Richie Kotite’s coaching debut in ‘91; Richie Kotite.
Eagles’ fandom is a bipolar blitz from hell.
Can the Eagles finally do it? What sneaky tricks are up Belichick’s ugly sweatshirt sleeve for Super Bowl LII?
Yes we can. Only the Eagles hung a postseason loss on Lombardi’s Packers – the second greatest dynasty in NFL history. Believe in Pederson, Foles, Cox, Ajayi, Blount, Ertz, Robinson, Johnson, and the Schwartz. Chris Long donated his salary this season and his old man, Howie, starred at Villanova. That’s gotta give us karma or something. Right?
While the Patriots aren’t quite the enemy the Soviets were in 1980, most of America is fed up with their five Super Bowl wins. Enough. Even New Yorkers are rooting for us. Well, Jets’ fans are but only a couple of Giants’ fans.
Do you believe in miracles?