MINNEAPOLIS — Talk to them in Philadelphia. Talk to them in Minneapolis. Talk to Eagles fans wherever they are, and they say one thing: The Eagles are going to win the Super Bowl.
Sports talk radio has been boastful all week. Philly sports Twitter is already staking out places along the parade route. My mailman said they’re gonna win. My hairdresser said it, too. The beat writers are picking the Eagles. The waitress in an Eagles cape and dog ears at the airport restaurant predicted a blowout. My uncle, the guy who was complaining the Phillies didn’t score enough runs in the bottom of the eighth inning of a series-clinching World Series win, said the Super Bowl will be the start of an Eagles dynasty. The city is supremely confident.
This is ridiculous. The Eagles are Super Bowl underdogs. The money’s on the Eagles; picking against Vegas seems like a fool’s errand. The Eagles’ quarterback is Nick Foles, who no matter how well he played last week is still a backup making his sixth start of the season. And the Eagles are going against the football juggernaut of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. The Eagles, who were 7-9 last season, are playing against the five-time Super Bowl champs. The team has the same cold all of Philadelphia currently has.
Yet everyone in Philadelphia is confident. The Patriots have been playing like crap recently and caught a friendly schedule to get into the Super Bowl. Tom Brady is 40. Bill Belichick is ripe to get that blowout he avoided last year. The Eagles defensive line has been dominating teams and the Patriots offensive line is the best matchup yet. Doug Pederson is a secret genius. That cold that’s going around Philly right now isn’t too bad, the cough just lingers a bit. These are all arguments I’ve heard about the Eagles’ chances. Seriously, I’m just kicking that cold. It was no big deal.
After a lifetime of fatalism about Philadelphia sports, the entire fanbase has decided to go the opposite route for Super Bowl LII.
And the past two weeks have been a blast. Every sports fan in Philadelphia is ending their sentences with “Go Birds.” People who usually say the word “sportsball” are talking about Nick Foles’ career playoff passer rating. The city’s not only hyped for the big game, they are confident they’re going to get a parade in a few days.
To a lot of Eagles fans it seems like tomorrow is going to be the end of a lifetime of heartbreak. Everything’s going right this weekend. Paul Domowitch successfully lobbied Brian Dawkins into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Eagles fans say they’re going to check off another bucket list item Sunday. People are just so excited for the Super Bowl, and so superbly confident the Birds are gonna win it. And I can only think one thing:
This never ends well.