LOS ANGELES — I knew it as soon as I saw Carson Wentz walking to the tunnel. The Eagles had just scored a touchdown to take the lead. The Coliseum, which had to be about 40 percent Eagles fans, was rocking. But from Row 93 I spotted it. Wentz was walking to the tunnel with a towel over his head.
If it were an injury he could’ve come back from quickly, he would’ve been jogging. Not long after he was ominously ruled out with a left knee injury.
The Eagles would win the Roman Gabriel/Ron Jaworski Bowl, 43-35, after Nick Foles led the Eagles to a pair of field goals and the defense scored a touchdown on a failed lateral-down-the-field play with no time left.
Eagles fans were pretty happy at first. But walking out of the stadium, the news spread quickly. “Adam Schefter says it’s a torn ACL,” a man behind me said. (Schefter hadn’t reported that.) A reply came quickly: “Shit. That dude is always right.” (Schefter later reported Wentz will have an MRI back in Philadelphia today to determine if it is indeed an ACL tear.)
I spent all season constructing ways the Eagles’ dream year would crush Philly fans in the end. I came up with a few plausible scenarios, I thought. Maybe the Eagles would lose to Sam Bradford in the playoffs. Maybe they’d lose to Andy Reid in the Super Bowl. Maybe they’d lose to a returning Aaron Rogers and a 6-seed Packers team. Maybe they’d lose to the fucking Cowboys.
I hadn’t considered a Carson Wentz season-ending injury. Perhaps my brain had subconsciously blocked out the most painful scenario. Like every Eagles fan, I was pretty bummed postgame despite the exciting win. I kept notes on the things I overheard from Eagles fans while leaving the stadium. A sampling follows.
- “It’s over. We’re fucked. They suck. Go Minnesota, I guess.”
- “He’s still going to win MVP, right?”
- “This is going to be like the year Jeff Garcia picked up for McNabb, except we’re gonna win it all.”
- “We’re fucked. Cement-shoes Nick Foles blows.”
- “Do you think we can get Tony Romo?”
- “Maybe Doug Pederson can play quarterback himself.”
- “At least the backup isn’t Chase Fucking Daniel.”
- A group, chanting: “Big dick Nick! Big dick Nick! Big dick Nick!”
- A man, chanting by himself: “Kaep-er-nick! Kaep-er-nick!”
- “Yo, type in ‘eatdatpussy eagles’ and see if he’s done a video on this shit yet.”