ORLANDO, Fla. — Eagles owner Jeff Lurie has seen the replay of Super Bowl LII seven times since watching his team win the game live in Minneapolis on Feb. 5. Every time since the first, he knows damn well how the story ends.
It doesn’t matter.
When Tom Brady hits Rob Gronkowski for a fourth-quarter touchdown to put the Patriots up, 33-32, Lurie gets nervous. And when Nick Foles is about to deliver that crucial fourth-down pass to Zach Ertz later in the quarter, on the game-winning drive, Lurie can’t help but hold his breath.
“You’re sort of like a fan who just can’t believe it at times,” Lurie said.
Lurie held court with Philadelphia reporters Tuesday night at the lavish Ritz-Carlton Orlando during the NFL’s annual meetings and said the Super Bowl championship sinks in every day. Every morning, he enjoys waking up a champ. The Eagles have already begun designing their championship rings.
More than anything, though, Lurie expressed how big of an impact hearing stories from fans have meant to him.
“The incredible nature of being able to see Eagles fans fulfilling their championship dreams is indescribable,” he said. “And it wasn’t just the parade, it wasn’t just on the field with the confetti, it’s every day since. And the stories, I can’t tell you how many times people come up to me, wherever it is, there’s always Eagles fans everywhere, and they may just see you and start crying. They may see you and start hyperventilating.
“The stories they have with their mothers, their fathers, who they got to experience it with. I don’t know if you could explain it to fans everywhere in the country, but those of us who know the passion and the love for this football team and how much they’ve wanted the Eagles to win a Super Bowl, it’s like it gets played out every day in a real emotional, real personal way. I always say we’ve got the best sports fans in America, if not the world. But the personal stories are what drives it to be so special.”
Lurie said he considers himself among those who got to experience the Super Bowl victory with someone special. His 90-year-old mother Nancy was able to get to Minneapolis on the Saturday before the Super Bowl and watched the game the next day with her son. Nancy Lurie stayed out until 2 a.m. as the Eagles partied into Super Bowl Monday with the Lombardi Trophy.
When asked if there was a special moment in all of this for him, Lurie said when Brady’s final pass dropped incomplete and he realized there was no time left, it was an “enveloping emotional feeling” that quickly passed when he realized he needed to get down to the field. He said his goal was to not become the first Super Bowl-winning owner unable to lift the Lombardi because of tears in his eyes.
Of course, Lurie lifted the Lombardi and soaked in the moment. But the next day, he was already talking to Howie Roseman and Doug Pederson about how they could improve the team. Since then, it’s been a balancing act between euphoria after winning and desire to do it again.
“I was obsessed to begin with,” Lurie said. “I’m equally obsessed to be the first team to try to repeat in a long time. And try to put us in a position over the next several years to have an opportunity to repeat what we just accomplished.”