If you woke up today and immediately checked your phone or put on the TV or asked your significant other if it really happened, you’re not alone.
On Sunday evening, your team won its first Super Bowl. You can pinch yourself until your purple, it’s not going away. The Eagles are the last team standing.
All the years of near-misses, season-altering injuries, controversies, and overall incompetence were washed away with one fell swipe by Brandon Graham, who stripped the ball out of Tom Brady's usually clutch grasp (see story).
We now find ourselves in the stage of, “So, this is what this feels like?” Folks are walking around the Delaware Valley today with a sense of euphoria, relief, disbelief. You name, you feel it.
The city’s most improbable championship had a fitting final act. Brady, the greatest quarterback to ever play, threw for more yards than any other player has against the Eagles, and the Birds still won (see story). The Eagles allowed more total yards (613) than any team in postseason history and still won. The Eagles scored a touchdown on a fourth-down play in a Super Bowl game in which an undrafted, free-agent rookie running back took a direct snap, pitched it to an undrafted, backup tight end, who then threw it for a touchdown to a quarterback who had been a backup until the 13th game of the season (see story).
Doug Pederson, maligned by many, outcoached the G.O.A.T. of coaches, Bill Belichick. Pederson, who became just the eighth coach to win a Super Bowl in his second season, doubled down on his gutsy, aggressive approach. At this rate, he will need a wheelbarrow for his man parts. The decision to go for it on 4th-and-1 from his own 45 with 5:39 left and trailing, 33-32, took stones, but it was the smart play. But Pederson knew his defense was getting sliced and diced and that giving the Patriots the ball back could have, and probably would have, spelled doom. The Eagles converted thanks to a Zach Ertz recpetion and capped a 14-play, 75-yard drive with a touchdown throw to Ertz that would prove to be the game-winner.
Even after the Graham strip sack and Derek Barnett's subsequent fumble recovery that resulted in a field goal to put the Birds up by eight, Brady and the Pats had one last gasp. Brady's last-ditch throw from the 49-yard line to the end zone felt like it was in the air for an eternity. And every negative Philadelphia sports thought flashed before your eyes as that ball came down to the mass of humanity before finally falling to the artificial turf in Minneapolis.
And with that, we dove headfirst into uncharted territory for most under the age of 65. No more lone team in the NFC East without a ring, no more 57 years without any kind of title, no more black cloud.
So take a deep breath, soak it in, and don’t fear going to sleep, because when you wake, your team, your Eagles, will still be the Super Bowl champions.