You’ve all heard of Dr. Faustus, the fellow who sold his soul to the devil in exchange for a couple of decades of power, material wealth, and earthly pleasure. His fatal flaw was greed, and it led him to sacrifice the only thing of any value: his eternal self.
Selling my soul is not a feasible option, even accounting for 56 years’ worth of depreciation. (How much could I expect to get for it anyway?) But there are some things for which I’d give an arm and a leg, an eye, some teeth, or even my self-respect.
One of those things is a Super Bowl championship.
On Facebook, shortly before the NFC championship game, I wrote the following:
I’ve thought about this, deeply. Prayed over it. Had a few dark nights of the soul. And I’ve come to the conclusion that this is the Faustian bargain I must make. If the Eagles go to the Super Bowl, meaning if they win Sunday’s playoff game, I will write a favorable column about DA Larry Krasner. And if (salt over shoulder, spit spit on the sidewalk, evil eye ready) they actually win the Super Bowl, I will ask the editors of the Daily News and Inquirer to let me take a new profile pic wearing a pink crochet hat.
Of course, I hoped we’d win the playoff game, but to be honest, I wasn’t really holding out that much hope, which explains my reckless offer of a positive Krasner column.
The prospect of actually winning the Super Bowl was (and still is) so gloriously improbable that I’m not expecting to have to wear a pink crochet face-covering burqa, which is the only way you’ll get me in one of those things.
And then we won the NFC title and my first thought was, Hallelujah! My second thought was, Oh, damn.
So to avoid having to write that Krasner column this week, I was thinking I’d go double or nothing on the wager and make a list of offensive things I’m willing to do to ensure we snag the Lombardi Trophy. They are mentioned in no particular order of revulsion, humiliation, or complete loss of self-respect. They represent the absolute lowest I am willing to go to be a winner. And believe me, there are a few levels of “low” beneath selling your soul.
If I thought it would guarantee a win in Minneapolis, I’d marry Chuck Schumer. Then I’d get him to support that wall, just so I could live on the other side of it from him.
If it maximized our chances to be champs, I’d invite Colin Kaepernick to lunch and tell him how much I respect the fact that he takes a knee during the national anthem. I’d then tell him how much I respect the NFL for making sure he stays on that knee until retirement age.
If there were the vaguest hope that Nick Foles would be telling us on national television that he’s headed to Disney World, I’d publicly forgive Jane Fonda for giving comfort to the enemy in Hanoi. After all, so many people opposed the Vietnam War, and she shouldn’t bear the lion’s share of the blame.
If I truly believed that it would deactivate Tom Brady to the point that his delicate digits couldn’t grasp his, um, deflated ball, I’d hire Gloria Allred to represent me in a #MeToo lawsuit against that fellow who held the door open for me at Walmart the other day and then told me I had a nice smile. Vile, predatory pig.
If it would encourage the gridiron gods to say, “Hey, let’s screw with Dallas this year,” I’d spend a whole hour of my radio show trying to find good things to say about Gov. Wolf.
If it would mean the Eagles will really soar to victory on Super Bowl Sunday, I’d volunteer at the injection site the city is keen to open so that people addicted to drugs can stick needles in their arms under medical supervision.
I’d do all of this, and even eat a disgusting pizza with pineapple on it, if it would bring this city a championship to savor.
But one thing I won’t do is tailgate. As I said, I’m trying to avoid going to hell.