How much the Eagles defenders were to blame for maybe their worst performance in a championship season and, yardage-wise at least, the worst in Super Bowl history, is difficult to assess. Brady is like the Minnesota cold. Teams can brace themselves for him, layer on extra protection. But there's virtually no way to stop the icy sting.
Every Super Bowl journey, it seems, must pass through western Pennsylvania. Sports' biggest game has been enhanced by its links to this football-fertile area. And though he grew up in a suburban town, Wisniewski's road to the Super Bowl is another story based in Pittsburgh
The compulsion to enumerate and reiterate Philly's fanatical faults runs deep - both in the national media and, somewhat less explicably, in ourselves. Yet somehow, one incident worthy of inclusion at or near the top of any such list has disappeared from the narrative.
Carson Wentz's knee isn't the first belonging to an NFL QB that Dr. James Bradley has worked on. He did Ben Roethlisberger's in 2016 and Charlie Batch's in 2004, though neither operation was for a torn ACL.
In an era when media revenue is vital for any franchise, Pittsburgh's TV market is downright tiny, the 63d largest in the U.S. (Philadelphia's is No. 4). Pittsburgh is also among the smallest NHL and baseball cities.
Last April, when the champion Red Knights were feted with a parade along 13th Street, consciously or not mirroring a route Reading-born author John Updike famously described in a short story about 1940s' high-schoolers here, the population of this red-brick city joyfully amassed, as if drawn by an unseen force.
Frank Fitzpatrick has been an editor and writer at the Inquirer since 1980. A onetime beat writer for the Phillies, Eagles, and Penn State football, he also has covered nine Olympics. A 2000 Pulitzer Prize finalist, he now focuses on sports projects for the Inquirer and Daily News and writes a Sunday column.