Welcome to the NFCCG AFC Edition of WTS.
Well, we’re going to the Super Bowl. I’m not worried, especially after comparing both team’s starting QB’s, as highlighted in the graphic below:
That’s right. Regardless, most folks are rooting for the Eagles in this one. Brady and his Sith Overlord coach have experienced enough fortune, and it’s time to pass the reigns. From what I’ve read, national SB rooting can be fairly summed up by the graphic below:
I would’ve expected nothing less.On a serious note,
I wanted to take a moment to appreciate how far this team has come over the last few years. Since the firing of Andy Reid after the 2012 season and the subsequent Chipocalypse, which led us to the first consecutive losing seasons we’ve had since 1999, we have drafted a franchise QB, hired a franchise defining Head Coach, locked up several All-Pro and Pro-Bowl players to long term contracts, and secured our first Super Bowl birth in 13 years.
That’s not to say we haven’t had our bumps and bruises over the past 2 seasons, but nothing we’ve faced thus far has been able to slow what seems to be a destined path to sustained greatness. Even with the week 14 loss of our Lord and Savior Carson Wentz, we still prospered under the leadership of St. Nick.
I can’t speak for everyone, but I will share my own demons on this. I needed a kick in the ass. A wake up call. Here I was, ready to argue with anyone who didn’t fully believe, yet I had my own doubts. Maybe it’s something built into the DNA of a lifelong, generational Eagles fan, but deep down, I was always waiting for that other shoe to drop. Outwardly, I was proud of our team’s seamless ability to follow the mantra of “next man up”. I used that very line in countless debates, but I’m not sure if I ever actually believed it. And I didn’t realize that until we lost Wentz.
I fretted through the Carolina game without Lane Johnson, the games where Cox was ruled inactive, or Ertz couldn’t play, but still we persevered. Each time we lost another player to IR, from Sproles, Hicks, and JP, to Maragos and Sturgis, I would debate the historical resiliency this team had displayed all season to any nonbeliever, and admonish anyone saying that the next game was the “prove it game”. I swear we heard that shit every week, and I always felt they had proven enough to everyone else. Still, week in and week out, they had to prove themselves to me. Any little issue always felt like the football world was finally unraveling, that the shoe was finally dropping. When Wentz went down, my football heart shattered, and I found myself looking at this 1st seed team that had secured home field advantage throughout the playoffs, like a team that had no chance.
All of the sudden, the mantra of “next man up” no longer seemed to apply, and I found myself making peace with the season that “could have been”. After everything, they still needed to prove themselves. I suppose part of that is understandable, it’s almost build into our fandom to outwardly boast while inwardly breaking down every pattern or mistake in the hopes of identifying the beginning of the end before it crushed our feelings, basically finding that stupid f***ing shoe before it found us. We are a proud people that had been burnt too many times. I remember the 2004 season, and the fervor that surrounded it. Everyone expected us to win. That fervor was lacking going into the Atlanta game, where most assumed we would lose. I watched and yelled and cheered and talked the same shit I usually do, but deep down, I assumed the same. Once again, they proved me wrong.
Then the Vikings came to town, and the only thing people spoke about all week was the Case Keenum story and the vaunted Minnesota defense. And as they marched down the field and easily scored their one and only TD, I thought to myself ‘here we go’. But we won. And not on a fluke play or bad call, but on 3.5 quarters of pure total team dominance. This team had been telling me all season who they were, but I absorbed it as wishful thinking, coach speak, or player politics, never truly understanding how special this season really was.
And now we’re going to the Super Bowl as underdogs for the third straight week, led by a second year Head Coach who had been mocked relentlessly by media and fans alike while starting a backup QB who few believed in. And that’s when it dawned on me.
For us to truly be successful, for us to finally bring it home, it could be no other way.
You’re damn right, random Titan’s fan, You’re damn right.
Ok, serious note over. For those who actually read all of that, kudos to you. I wouldn’t have.
On to the game! This is just the AFC portion, expect the NFC edition out later in the week.