Eagles fans have really been through it all

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Eagles fans have really been through it all

The last time the Eagles played in a conference championship game was the 2008 season. The two Super Bowls the organization has taken part in were 24 years apart. Their last championship was 1960. Following that win over Vince Lombardi’s Packers, they didn’t reach the playoffs again until 1978. There was a stretch from 1981 to 1988 without a playoff appearance.

This is not an exercise in pointing out the futility of the organization. Eagles fans have been through enough heartache. It’s more of an attempt to illustrate that opportunities like Sunday against the Vikings don’t come along very often.

Yes, Andy Reid’s clubs played in four consecutive NFC title games, winning one. An impressive sustained stretch of success. But any Eagle follower old enough to remember still bares the scars of those losses, in particular, the Tampa Bay and Carolina defeats.

For fans of teams like the Patriots, getting to Super Bowls has become a birthright. Not here. Anyone even remotely old enough to remember the 1960 title win is on life’s back nine. If you told them then, some 57 seasons later, their team would still be searching for a championship, they rightfully would not have believed you. Now, they would like to win one before they get to the great clubhouse in the sky. And anyone 62 years or under has no idea what winning a football championship feels like.  

I personally would love to see the Eagles win this week, then in two weeks in Minnesota for my dad and my uncle. Both were young men in attendance that day at Franklin Field. Both are now pushing eighty. I’m not alone. How many of us have heard from a parent or an older relative, “I just hope I see an Eagles' Super Bowl win before I die."

A little morbid? Maybe. But as real as it gets. Philadelphia real. I would also like to see the city enjoy that feeling it had in 2008 with the Phillies. I can only imagine what the celebration and parade would be like if it was an Eagles win. 

This 2017 run has been particularly sweet because it was not expected. The Eagles have sped up the process that many thought would take another year or so for them to be Super Bowl contenders. On top of that, they’ve overcome so much from an injury standpoint. To be playing in a conference final is a testament to a mentally tough team and coach, a front office that has made more than its share of moves to help get them there.

But this comes down to the fans, young and old, who have endured a lot and stayed loyal. Enjoy the build-up and the moment Sunday. You never know when the next shot is coming along.  

Nick Foles vs. Tom Brady matchup headlines Eagles' 2nd preseason game

Nick Foles vs. Tom Brady matchup headlines Eagles' 2nd preseason game

Will it actually finally happen? Will Tom Brady actually shake Nick Foles’ hand?

That might be the biggest drama going into the Eagles’ second preseason game, Thursday night against the Patriots at Gilette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.

Brady famously blew off Foles after the Eagles beat the Patriots in Super Bowl LII Feb. 6 in Minneapolis.

Instead of meeting his counterpart at midfield for the customary postgame handshake, Brady slunk back to the Patriots’ locker room, never to be seen again.

Foles has downplayed the lack of a postgame handshake, but it was definitely perceived by many as a lack of class by the four-time Super Bowl MVP toward the 2017 Super Bowl MVP.

“It’ll happen when it happens,” Foles said after practice Tuesday. “We practiced with the Patriots (in 2014) and I got to stand there and talk to Tom quite a bit he’s a great guy. I have all the respect in the world for him.

“I think everyone’s making a big deal about this and it’s not a big deal at all. I’ve already talked to him before, he’s a guy I’ve always looked up to. You’ve got to admire someone who’s probably the greatest ever and still going strong at even at his age.

“He seems to get better and better. I already had a conversation with him before when we practiced. If we have one in the future, we have one and it’ll be cool.”

Foles didn’t play in the preseason opener against the Steelers because of neck spasms, but he’s practiced this week and will start Thursday night in Foxboro.

Head coach Doug Pederson wouldn’t say how long Foles will play or which of the other quarterbacks would play.

“I do expect him to get in the game,” Pederson said. “For how long I don't know, but I do expect him to get a few plays in this game.”

Obviously, Carson Wentz won’t play and presumably Christian Hackenberg isn’t ready, so Pederson will have Foles, Nate Sudfeld and Joe Callahan available.

And even though Foles won’t say it, there is a certain irony that he’s making his 2018 debut against the team he beat six months ago in one of the most exciting and dramatic Super Bowls in history.

“Pretty familiar with the opponent,” Foles deadpanned.

But as far as seeing deep meaning in a Super Bowl rematch? Foles isn’t having any of it.

“We’re in training camp right now, we’re grinding through it, we’re growing as a team, we have new players, guys rotating in and out, so you stay pretty busy throughout the day.

“Now that we’re getting closer to gametime, we’ll be honing in on who they are and what they do, what coverages they like, what they like to do on defense, but not any reminiscing.

“This is a new season, new people, new players. Obviously we wear the same logos as last year but we both have a new identity. This is the time of year we grow together as a team and that’s really all I’m focusing on.”

More on the Eagles

Roob Knows: Jason Kelce trivia with … Jason Kelce

Roob Knows: Jason Kelce trivia with … Jason Kelce

On the latest edition of Roob Knows, Reuben Frank explains why this is the deepest roster Doug Pederson has had in Philadelphia. The Eagles are loaded at wide receiver. Why there is absolutely no downside signing Christian Hackenberg. Also, Roob tests Jason Kelce with trivia questions about Jason Kelce.

1:00 - Deepest team Doug Pederson has had.
5:00 - Injury updates.
8:30 - Eagles stacked at WR.
12:00 - Looking forward to preseason game 2.
14:30 - Why did the Eagles sign Christian Hackenberg?
18:30 - Jason Kelce answers trivia questions about Jason Kelce.

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