A little more than 24 hours from now, we’ll find out whether our beloved Birds will be able to climb to the top of the mountain. In the pantheon of Philadelphia sports, the Eagles inability to win a Super Bowl has been our biggest sports disappointment. I can’t tell you how many people have told me that seeing the Eagles win a Super Bowl is first on their bucket list.
During the almost two weeks since the Eagles beat Minnesota, our town has been on a wonderful roller-coaster ride. Most of the time, our spirits have soared as the underdog Eagles have been the subject of national attention. But occasionally, our self-doubts have crept in, and people will often stop me and say, “What are we going to do if we lose?” Well, guys and gals, the sun will come up on Monday if the Eagles lose, and we should be consoled by the fact that with a young team, led by the guy most had penciled in as NFL MVP before his injury, Carson Wentz, there’s a strong likelihood the Eagles will be back in the Super Bowl maybe as early as next year. Having said that, I am like everyone else. As the days have ticked by, I have gotten more nervous. I almost can’t bear the waiting. And as you’re reading this column, I’ll be thinking of the song “One Day More” from Les Miserables, my favorite Broadway show, which includes the line “Tomorrow we’ll discover what our God in Heaven has in store. One more dawn. One more day. One day more.”
On Eagles PostGame Live after the NFC Championship, I predicted the Eagles would win the Super Bowl, 23-21. I believe their offensive and defensive lines are far superior to the Patriots and that they’ll be able to jump out to a solid lead, but Doug Pederson, Frank Reich and Nick Foles won’t turn conservative, realizing that the only way to beat the Patriots and Tom Brady is to outscore them. Because Pederson has done a spectacular job of putting Foles in a position to succeed, I believe he’ll have another good game and may even emerge as the Super Bowl MVP. If that happens, it is inevitable that some people will say that it wasn’t Wentz that took the Eagles from 7-9 in 2016 to Super Bowl champions, and that any solid quarterback could have led this talented team to the same result. But that will be dead wrong because Wentz’s contributions are not just limited to what he did during the 13 games he played. What he did to make the Eagles champions was infusing into teammates the belief that they could beat anybody. His optimism, leadership, enthusiasm and incredible talent changed the culture and turned this team into a juggernaut that believed they could beat anybody, anytime, anywhere. So, when the Eagles go all the way, there will be no denying Foles’ contribution, but Wentz didn’t just help them win for the first 13 games of the season, he’s helped his team win every step of the way, including when they win the Super Bowl!
So, thanks Wentz. Thanks for giving the fans and your team 13 games of your great talent and energy, but most of all thanks for making your teammates believe they could be great. If you hadn’t done that, when you went down, the team would have fallen apart. But they didn’t. And when your teammates take the field Sunday they will carry with them the belief that they can achieve their destiny thanks in large part to you. GO BIRDS!!!