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Eagles' Super Bowl win created memories of a lifetime for Philly fans

Eagles' Super Bowl win created memories of a lifetime for Philly fans

“The Eagles won the Super Bowl.”

I must have said that out loud a hundred times last night.

I didn’t know if those words would ever be true. But now they are. So I’ll say it again. The Eagles won the Super Bowl and the city of Philadelphia rejoiced unlike ever before. I know I did.

The confidence in Philly going into the game terrified me. The nerves and anxiety I experienced last night were unlike anything I can remember. I was a mess. I didn’t really know if we were going to win. I had bad feelings at times watching Tom Brady torch us. We all did. But the Eagles found a way. That’s not to say I doubted them. I knew they could do it, I just couldn’t believe it until it was real.

And I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Before the game, I stressed about watching it. Who, what, where, logistics. But it all worked out.

Philadelphia will never forget this moment. We were just treated to some of the best memories of our lives. I’ve got a few.

I’ll remember never being so nervous for anything in my entire life. The anxiety. My heart. The hype video didn't help.

I’ll remember Nick Foles catching a touchdown and thinking to myself that maybe the sporting gods were with us tonight. Dude was throwing dimes.

I’ll remember thinking, multiple times, how much I love Malcolm Jenkins. And how freakin’ gutsy and beautiful Doug Pederson is. Alshon making the incredible happen. Zach Ertz on the podium shouting out what Philadelphia would have done if they overturned his touchdown. Guys were ballin’.

I’ll remember hating Cris Collinsworth and pacing the room over those stupid reviews.

I’ll remember the football being batted around near Gronk, hanging in the air, and finally hitting the ground.

I’ll remember jumping up and down in my living room like an insane person. 

I’ll remember the parade of green people growing block by block, E-A-G-L-E-S chants growing louder and louder, and finally turning into a sea of smiling faces as we reached Broad Street.

I’ll remember my sister Kaitlin taking photos of the shiny green bulbs on the pilgrimage down Pine. I’ll remember high-fiving lunatics hanging out of car windows with football helmets on.

I’ll remember the beautiful fireworks echoing off the buildings with tens of thousands of buzzed fans lighting up underneath.

I’ll remember FaceTime-ing my brother Mike and nephew Julian from Broad Street, making sure they got a taste of the mayhem.

I’ll remember the congratulatory texts from everyone who knows what this means to us Eagles fans, including my friends from college in Boston. They know we needed it.

I’ll remember my wife Allison leading hundreds in front of the Kimmel Center in “Fly, Eagles, Fly.”

I’ll remember the guy with a 30-pack of Natty Light standing on the median making best friends with my 63-year-old dad.

I’ll remember my peeps from Fishtown and Point Breeze showing up at my door at 1:00 am because the bars along Broad Street closed and the celebration needed to go on. Also, real talk: they needed our bathroom. I’ll remember Dreams and Nightmares and Hall and Oates on repeat.

I’ll remember lying in bed with a beer at 3:30 in the morning reading tweets, watching celebration videos, and thinking I’ll remember the moment forever.

I’ll remember all the “GO BIRDS!” and the camaraderie in the city of Philadelphia on social media.

I’ll remember hugging my dad when the game clock struck zero and it actually happened.

“We did it.”

I’ve got all these great new memories. All because the Eagles won the Super Bowl.

*

Here are some of the other sights and sounds from a Super Bowl celebration we'll never forget.

Nick Foles caught a touchdown. On 4th down. In the Super Bowl. Never forget.

I loved this line from Ertz:

Ray Didinger getting emotional is everything:

Jason Kelce with his Chase Utley moment:

Nick is going on vacation.

https://twitter.com/WaltDisneyWorld/status/960410855572688896

This moment between Carson Wentz and Nick. "Wow."

This bit from the Assoicated Press quoting MY DAD:

Rick Campitelli, 63, who came into the city to watch the game with his son, said he wished his father-in-law could have been alive to see this moment.

"This is the greatest," said Campitelli, wearing the jersey of Wilbert Montgomery, the former Eagles running back to whom he once sold insurance. "I was hoping they would do it before I died, and they did it."

Cops loving life:

We didn't just climb poles:

Beau Allen with the tweet of the morning:

Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid getting in on the Philly love:

Just some band dudes hanging out a window playing the Eagles fight song.

https://twitter.com/SInow/status/960518890924122112

I mean, when is it not fun to love the Phanatic:

Eagles could struggle to afford Brandon Graham beyond 2018

Eagles could struggle to afford Brandon Graham beyond 2018

If there’s one Eagles player who deserves a contract extension and a pay raise right now, it’s Brandon Graham, whose strip-sack in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LII helped cement a world championship.

Unfortunately, there are a bunch of factors working against Graham entering the final year of his current deal. He’s 30, the Eagles don’t have a ton of salary cap space and the going rate for a top NFL edge defender is somewhere around $17 million per season.

The question is whether the Eagles can even afford to keep Graham long term.

It’s a valid concern, seeing as the club was incapable of rewarding its longest-tenured defensive player earlier this offseason. In fact, the Eagles had to jump through hoops to get under the cap in March. They released a handful of key contributors, restructured some deals, then watched as most of their free-agent class walked. The money that did become available was put toward adding new talent or navigating more immediate contract crises than Graham’s.

Today, the Eagles sit at $6.094 million under the 2018 cap, according to figures provided by the NFLPA. That’s not a lot, and a sizable chunk of that cash only became available with the release of Mychal Kendricks a few weeks ago.

Estimates currently project the Eagles to be over the cap in 2019 as well.

There seems to be little doubt the Eagles would like to keep Graham beyond this season. The nine-year veteran is a leader in the locker room, a positive force in the community, an extremely hard worker, an all-around decent human being and, now, a hero to the city of Philadelphia. He happens to be pretty good at football, too.

Yet, so far, the club’s perceived willingness to re-sign Graham has not been matched by reports of progress on a new contract. And when pressed for an update in March, Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman sounded noncommittal about the future. 

“He’s been one of the most productive players at his position,” Roseman said. “He deserves whatever he can get. At the same time, we have a cap and we’re trying to fit everyone in. We’re trying to fit in as many good players. We went through this yesterday a little bit. We have a lot of players who are under contract, not just for 2018, but 2019, but when we get into the 2020s. And they’re good players and we want to keep as many of them around as possible and add players on top of it. That’s the puzzle we’re trying to figure out.”

Graham registered a career-high 9½ sacks during the 2017 regular season and finished tied for ninth in the NFL with 15 tackles for loss. He also got to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for the pivotal strip-sack in the Super Bowl while playing through a high ankle sprain that later required surgery and a pulled hamstring.

Despite being “one of the most productive players at his position,” 25 edge defenders carry a higher cap figure for 2018 than Graham at $8 million — five of whom are set to earn more than double, according to OverTheCap.com.

The Eagles are facing a significant pay increase here, but where’s the money coming from?

Graham realizes he’ll be 31 next season, which could impact his earning power, and he wants to remain in Philadelphia, a combination that suggests the so-called hometown discount is a possibility.

He’s also content to play out the season and test free agency. If it comes down to a bidding war, the Eagles will be at a disadvantage.

In the meantime, the Eagles appear to be preparing for the worst-case scenario. First-round draft pick in 2017 Derek Barnett is gearing up for a larger role in his second season, veteran Chris Long’s contract was extended and three-time Pro Bowl selection Michael Bennett was acquired in a trade. The team is built for life without Graham should things come to that.

The harsh reality is Graham’s run with the Eagles is in danger of coming to an end. The two sides have over eight months to hammer something out, which is plenty of time, though what they could really use is more cap space.

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At 44 years old, Terrell Owens is still an athletic freak

uspresswire-terrell-owens.jpg
USA Today Images

At 44 years old, Terrell Owens is still an athletic freak

Even though Terrell Owens is 44 now, not much has changed. 

He’s still as divisive as ever; he’s also still as athletic. 

The soon-to-be Pro Football Hall of Famer, who recently gained headlines for turning down the HOF’s invitation to the induction ceremony this summer (see story), apparently still has it. As in, freakish athletic ability. 

That’s nuts. If that’s true, that means a guy who hasn’t played in the NFL since 2010 just ran a sub-4.5 40. 

*Eyeballs emoji*

Of course, the T.O. comeback ship sailed long ago, even though it seems like as he ages well into his 40s, Owens clearly still thinks he can play. 

Back in 2012, this ESPN story calls Owens a “physical marvel” for running a sub-4.5-second 40-yard dash at age 38. That was six years ago, and he apparently hasn’t slowed down. I think we used the term “physical marvel” a little too soon. 

To put T.O.’s alleged 4.43 time into perspective, just five receivers at this year’s combine ran faster. 

That would be a faster time than Shelton Gibson’s time (4.50) and Mack Hollins’ time (4.53) at last year’s combine. 

And if T.O. really ran a 4.43 or 4.44, he’s faster now than Alshon Jeffery at his pro day (4.47) when he came out of South Carolina in 2012. 

That’s insane. 

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