It’s not a word you often associate with Eagles fans. But today, hope, excitement and yes, optimism are all swirling around in the air ahead of Sunday’s big Super Bowl matchup against the Patriots.
I must admit I’m not an Eagles fan, but as someone who has rooted for the Buffalo Bills his entire life, I know a thing or two about disappointment. Perhaps it’s all that bottled up passion that emerges every Sunday you see Bills fans crashing through flaming tables and Eagles fans punching horses.
Calm down, it’s just a joke. Though it did happen outside the Linc. Twice.
Just take a look around the region, and you’ll see signs of Eagles optimism everywhere. A giant Eagles logo painted on the ground at the Navy Yard. A “Go Eagles” banner hanging from the Art Museum. A guy wearing nothing but a rubber eagle mask has become a national legend. Billboards on I-95 read, “In Foles We Trust” and “Believe in St. Nick.”
Bloomberg is even reporting that an Eagles win would boost a reeling U.S. stock market, pointing out that gains could be almost twice as big compared to a Patriots win. Talk about consumer confidence!
Even in Bear, Delaware, Olive B. Loss Elementary School has a sign out front that reads, “Birds of a feather flock together. Wise Owls cheering Fly Eagles Fly.”
I spoke to the guy putting out the sign, and he admitted that he was a Cowboys fans. But he assured me that everyone who worked at the school was excited about the Eagles.
Long forgotten are the Andy Reid clock issues, Chip Kelly’s smoothies, and DeMarco Murray’s complaining.
In my mind, the credit for lifting the spirits of fans in the Delaware Valley goes to two main people — Eagles VP Howie Roseman, and the team’s head coach, Doug Pederson.
Roseman quickly turned around the debacle of the Kelly era, returning from exile to deftly navigate his way through an offseason that saw him shed several underachieving players and put the team in a position to trade for and draft phenom Carson Wentz. Roseman was able to convince the Vikings to give the Eagles a first-round draft pick for Sam Bradford. For that, he should be elected into the Hall of Fame.
Then there’s Pederson, who just about everyone (including myself) thought didn’t have the experience to take on the Eagles head coaching job. Turns out his ability to connect with players and his workman-like approach to the game of football has created a true culture of winning that is so successful, a cast-off like Nick Foles is poised to win the Super Bowl for the first time in the team’s history.
So enjoy the ride. The Eagles have been lovable losers as long as I’ve been alive, but on Sunday they have a chance to defeat the cheating dynasty of Bill Belichick and his villainous Patriots (I told you, I grew up a Bills fans). Tom Brady thinks drinking water can prevent sunburn. That’s all you really need to know to root against them.
Now, go Eagles. I’ll be watching my 401(k) on Monday.
Rob Tornoe is a cartoonist and WHYY contributor. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobTornoe