The Philadelphia Eagles are going to Super Bowl LII, to be played next Sunday February 4th, 2018, in sunny Minneapolis, Minnesota. This is only their third trip to the Super Bowl. They lost to the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XV, and lost to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX.
I was 18 years old for Super Bowl XV. I painted my face green for the game, which I watched with my roommate in our dorm room. It was a decision I regretted, as the Eagles didn’t play very well that day. They lost 27-10, but the game wasn’t even that close.
I was 43 for Super Bowl XXXIX. Instead of painting my face green, I went to the Super Bowl in Jacksonville. That Super Bowl was much closer (the game was tied after three quarters), but my team had a coach had clock-management issues and a quarterback with regurgitation issues, and the Eagles lost 24-21.
The last time the Eagles won a football championship was before the existence of the Super Bowl. They won the NFL Championship on December 26, 1960. That was 368 days before I was born.
I’m 56 years old now, and the Eagles are going to the Super Bowl again. So I have to go to the Super Bowl again. That is how it is. I have been going to Eagles games since I was 4 years old, when the Eagles played their games on a college campus (Franklin Field).
In the movie “Tangled” (a remake of the Rapunzel tale), Rapunzel is talking to her friend about her dream of looking at the night sky. She says “I’ve been looking out of a window for eighteen years, dreaming about what I might feel like when those lights rise in the sky. What if it’s not everything I dreamed it would be?”
Her friend says “It will be”.
Rapunzel then asks “And what if it is? What do I do then?”
Her friend replies “Well, that’s the good part I guess. You get to go find a new dream”.
Watching the Philadelphia Eagles win the Super Bowl would be a dream come true for me. Celebrating a Super Bowl victory is on my bucket list. I want to check that off my list next week.
The 2004 Boston Red Sox won a World Series for the first time in their team history. That win meant a lot to so many people in the Boston area. Sportswriter Bill Simmons wrote a book called “Now I Can Die In Peace” about that season and that World Series victory.
In the book, he wrote about generations of families who celebrated the victory together, and about offerings made at cemetaries, churches and temples to honor the victory.
My father took me to all of the Eagles games I attended in the 1960s and 1970s. I will bring him a souvenir from the Super Bowl. (I offered to take him, but he isn’t up for the travel anymore).
My mother, who died in 2009, had a treasured Eagles blanket at her nursing home. When she died, I took that blanket as a treasured memory. I still have that blanket.
If the Eagles win next weekend, I am going to stop by her cemetery and let my mom know that they won. Then I’m going to visit my father and shake off 56 years of losing.
I would be willing to trade every Phillies World Series victory (2), every Flyers Stanley Cup (2), every Sixers World Championship (2), and every Villanova NCAA basketball championship, for one Super Bowl victory.
I’ll even toss in Smarty Jones and Joe Frazier into the mix.
Just once is all that I ask.
Then I can die in peace.