By Shannon Reardon
Being an Eagles fan isn’t a choice, it’s a right of passage that is transferred down through our bloodlines, and the bond that holds the city of Philadelphia together.
Part of the Philadelphia Eagles spirit comes from the preseason hope that “this will be our year,” though it never is.
Except for this year.
This year started the same as all those that preceded it, overly excitable fans filling the lower level of Lincoln Financial Field on two hot August days to watch the full team participate in Training Camp.
After Training Camp, fans had to wait until week three for the Birds to play at home against the New York Giants.
Just like every other home game for the season, the parking lots were filled with the smell of charcoal grilled hot dogs, the echoes of E-A-G-L-E-S chants from various tailgates, and the colors green, black, and white as far as the eye could see by 9 a.m.
I tailgate with a group that is unlike any other. They call themselves “4th and Jawn,” a weekly podcast group that report solely on the Eagles.
We do things the same as everyone else, drinking and talking about football, with the added bonus of beer bong baptisms for newcomers or anyone who is looking to drink in the name of Carson Wentz, Howie Roseman, and Doug Pederson.
As the season progressed this year, the usual feeling of disappointment never reached us.
Sure, we suffered some devastating player losses with Darren Sprouls, Jason Peters, Carson Wentz, and other key players, but the “next man up” mentality carried us through the season.
I’ll be the first person to admit that I did not think that post season was even in the cards for us. I pictured us as having eight wins at best.
But this was our year.
It was a year filled with excitement, then tears, trepidation, and, finally, tears of joy.
Watching the Super Bowl, I was again so sure that the Eagles were bound to lose, but I was there along for the ride.
Man, was I wrong.
Nick Foles stepped up to the plate, the eyes of the country on him, knowing he was our second string quarterback, and he gave The Patriots the Philly Special: he sent Tom Brady home ringless.
Things in our house erupted, my stepdad couldn’t control his excitment as he kept yelling, “What?”
I sat just staring in disbelief.
Did we really just win the Super Bowl?
It took 52 Super Bowls for The Eagles to win a Championship. They finally brought the Lombardi Trophy home to Philly, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.
I’ve never been more proud of a group of men, and for our city, who desperately needed a win to show the true tenacious spirit of Philadelphians.
Contact Shannon Reardon at firstname.lastname@example.org. edu