Eagles won, I ate my column, but I'm not apologizing | Stu Bykofsky

Making good on his promise to eat his words, columnist Stu Bykofsky on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018, eats his newspaper column in which he predicted an Eagles loss in the Super Bowl. The column is shredded inside a Wawa turkey hoagie. ( TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer )

A column I wrote last week predicted the Eagles would lose the Super Bowl.

I was not wanting a loss, but my opinion was based on a matchup of opposing quarterbacks, backup Nick Foles vs. five-time champ Tom Brady; the experience of the opposing coaches; and, of course, knowing that the football gods hate Philadelphia.

If the Eagles win, I wrote, I will eat this column.

And I have. Keep reading.

Stu Bykofsky eats his words

After the column ran, I heard from many of you — the vast majority civil or funny. Only a few suggested I commit an impossible sex act on myself or wished death upon my children. Yes, actually death on my children, and that includes my daughter who lives in Massachusetts and who attended a New England-dominated Super Bowl party in an eagle costume she made.

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My daughter in the Eagle costume she made to wear to a Super Bowl party in New England

For those of you who demanded I retract what I wrote, the answer is no.

I won’t apologize, because I didn’t come to my opinion lightly, or emotionally. If I again poured the same facts into the cocktail shaker, I would come out with the same pessimistic expectation — Eagles lose.

How many of you certain of an Eagles win expected a 41-33 score? Most of the predictions favoring the Eagles gave them point scores in the 20s. So they were pessimistic, too, but maybe not as much as I.

The game was supposed to be a defensive contest, not one that set a Super Bowl record for yardage.

The Eagles gave up 33 points. Only once during the season did they give up more points — 35, to the Rams on Dec. 10 — and beat them with 43 points.

As my colleague Bob Ford wrote in the game recap, Nick Foles’ “outdueling Brady is mind-boggling. The Eagles had to win on a night in which their defense faltered against Brady … until the very end.”

In my column last week, I wrote: “Noble Nick Foles has had a few great games in his career. What are the odds that Sunday will be another?”

The odds were excellent, it turns out, as the 29-year-old Foles conjured up Rocky. He not only passed his way to Super Bowl MVP, but actually caught a touchdown pass. How many loyal fans saw that coming?


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Stu Bykofsky shreds his pre-Super Bowl newspaper column before eating it in a hoagie on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018. ( TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer )

Neither did Bill Belichick, so props to our coach Doug Pederson, who should have won Coach of the Year honors but didn’t in another slight to Philadelphia. It’s those football gods again.

By the only measure that matters, the 2017-18 Eagles must be considered the greatest Eagles team of all time, because they took us to the Promised Land.

Columnists are not paid to make you happy or tell you what you want to hear. We are paid to analyze and present an honest opinion, even when — especially when — most of you won’t like it. It is only an opinion, don’t have a cow.

That brings us to the column I ate, which so many of you asked about.

Some of the newsprint was placed, after being dunked in extra virgin olive oil, onto a Wawa turkey hoagie — very Philadelphia — and, for dessert, the rest was sprinkled like jimmies atop “Eagles Gelato,” pistachio cannoli infused with white chocolate pretzels from Center City’s Gran Caffe L’Aquila, which is Italian for Grand Cafe of the Eagle.

Lunch was nutritious, lo-cal, local, and filling. I regret nothing.

Least of all being a fan of the Super Bowl champions.