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The last time I cried was when my mother died. I am not a crying person. Sure, I teared up a little when we landed on the moon. And when JFK was killed. But, mostly, I am not a crying person.

Every year, we are invited, my wife and I, to a Super Bowl party. You know, a dozen people drinking, laughing, eating tiny hot dogs. A dozen people, and maybe four of them actually watching the game. We are invited to Super Bowl parties, but we never go.

You have to understand. When it comes to the Philadelphia Eagles, we are crazy people. No one else is allowed in the room where we watch the game. That is partially so we can concentrate on the plays, but mostly, it’s so we can curse at the screen.

“What kind of ****ing call was that?” “You don’t run the ***damn ball on third and seven, you ****head”
Watching with us is like sitting next to Jason Kelce for three hours. We’re down and we’re dirty. We have no big buffet. Just a bag of pretzels that usually ends up on the floor. Or being thrown at the TV.

It has not been easy being an Eagles fan. Sure, we’ve come close to winning it all a couple of times. We almost did it a few years back. And then our quarterback barfed in the huddle.

Our house is full of reminders of those seasons gone bad. There’s my Reggie White jersey and my Ron Jaworski jersey, and Brian Dawkins and Shady McCoy and Donovan McNabb. Nice guys all. But you know what they say about nice guys.

I have seen them play in person. At Franklin Field, at Connie Mack, at the Vet and at the Linc. I have eaten more than my share of bad cheesesteaks and tried to drown our sorrows with too many watery beers.

I have cursed Joe Kuharich, hated Buddy Ryan and booed Andy Reid. How dare they come to my town and not win the big one.

In my old age, I have gotten very superstitious about watching Eagles’ games. I have 14 jerseys and shirts in my closet. I start the year with my favorite jersey, a 1960 Mitchell & Ness Chuck Bednarik kelly-green No. 60. If we win the first game, I’ll wear the same jersey for game two, and so on, until we lose. And we always lose. I wear a lot of shirts.

But two years ago, I had a feeling. This Wentz kid was good. Really good. He, without a doubt, was going to be our leader for the next 15 years.

I even drafted him as my QB on my two fantasy teams. And, on his shoulders, I won it all. So maybe, just maybe, these Eagles had a chance. Well, you know what happened next. An incredible season – and then a busted knee.

Forget about it. Maybe next year. I have lived a life full of maybe next years. And then came Nick Foles and the Miracles of Pattison Avenue. Playing like a man possessed, he took us to the big game.

Come the Super Bowl, I was a nervous wreck. My stomach was in knots. As the game rolled on and the Eagles had the lead, my wife and I just looked at each other. We didn’t even speak. That would have jinxed everything.

And then it happened. The strip sack, the fumble, the recovery. The recovery from 57 years of pain and anguish. When it was over, when we had reached the promised land, I got down on one knee and thanked the gods of football.

And then I hugged my wife. And the two of us ran outside into the pouring rain like lunatics, screaming
“E-A-G-L-E-S” and waking up half the neighborhood. First, we laughed about it. And then I cried. I never cry. But this was worth it. This was worth every tear.

 

March 2018
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