Thou Shalt Console Thy Brother

alshon jeffrey drop

Alshon Jeffrey did not lose the game. His dropped pass near the 20 yard line in the waning moments of the Divisional Playoff game against New Orleans in the Super Dome certainly would have put the defending Super Bowl champions in position to score the winning touchdown, but it just didn’t happen this time.  Primed for another miraculous comeback victory, Nick Foles drove the Philadelphia Eagles into scoring range down just six points to the No. 1 seed Saints ahead of the two-minute warning.

Then, zap. The magic was gone. We all hoped that Saint Nick had one more trick up his sleeve and we all believed that he could pull just one more rabbit out of his hat, but his pass, which was right on target, was dropped by the Eagles best receiver.  “Foles zipped a pass to his top receiver, Alshon Jeffery. The ball slipped through the wideout’s hands and landed in the gut of Saints corner Marshon Lattimore. Drop. INT. Comeback bid evaporated.

The interception epitomized the Eagles’ offensive struggles the final 45 minutes of the 20-14 loss to the Saints. And Jeffrey felt like he had blown the game all by himself.

“I let my teammates down. I let the city of Philadelphia down. That’s on me. We’ll be back next year for sure,” Jeffery said in the locker room. “One play don’t define me. I mean, all of the greats, they have missed game-winning shots. … So it happens. It’s part of football. I just hated the way it happened in the playoffs and it was the final moment.”

It’s hard. I mean, it’s really hard because he’s so down,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson told reporters of his message to Jeffery. “But for me, it’s about staying positive. Listen, he’s made many, many big catches for us this season and he will continue to do that. He’s just got to keep his head up. Don’t let one play define you. It’s not who he is. He’s too good of a player. He’ll embrace it obviously and he’ll be better for it, but I told him to keep his head up and keep playing.”

The Eagles started the game scorching hot scoring back-to-back 75-plus-yard touchdown drives to open the game with a 14-0 lead to stun the Superdome fans. The Eagles gobbled up 151 yards and eight first downs in the opening quarter.

But then the momentum shifted and Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints scored 20 unanswered points to overcome their biggest deficit ever in post season play. There were a lot of plays between the first quarter and the fourth quarter that got away from Eagles, and that’s why Alshon shouldn’t shoulder the weight of this loss on his own.

But back to the play that said it all for the Eagles. Nick didn’t play all that well, and the defense, while holding Brees to 20 points, gave up too many big plays.  And Alshon Jeffrey did not lose the game. No he did not. The moral of the story is this: “one play and one day does not define you.” No it does not. And those of us who understand life and living know that a legacy is not built or destroyed in a day. Your legacy is built on the test of your character over time.

Keep your chin up. Hold you head high, and be an encouragement to someone who may have failed today but has the promise of destiny tomorrow.  Because failures are not final, and God has a plan for you, and he plans on using the good and the bad, the happy and the sad of your life to make you better.

So always remember, after a tough loss, the first commandment with promise is “thou shalt encourage thy brother.”

Heart Warming Super Bowl LII Stories

Nick Foles SI Cover

I read this great article first posted in Bleeding Green Nation and it’s too good to improve on so I reprint it here in it’s entirety.   Nation https://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2018/2/5/16974874/aftermath-heart-warming-stories-super-bowl-lii-philadelphia-eagles-nfl-nick-foles-tom-brady-patriots

 

The Eagles have cemented their legacy as Super Bowl champions. From underdogs to top dogs, the Eagles stand above the rest of the NFL, but throughout and after the journey there have been many different storylines that made the win that much sweeter for the fans and the organization.

Brent Celek wins a Super Bowl

The longest tenured Eagle, Brent Celek was a part of the Eagles’ run to the NFC Championship game in 2008. It seems like every year since 2013 he’s been a candidate to be cut, but every coach to come through Philadelphia has loved his work ethic and what he brings to the team. Used primarily as a sixth offensive lineman in recent years, Celek has never wavered, providing veteran leadership and doing whatever has been asked of him. After 12 years, the patience and perseverance has paid off.

Nick Foles

Once considered the franchise savior, Nick Foles’ journey has been one for the ages. After convincing the Eagles’ fanbase to buy in to the “27-2” season, Foles struggled in 2014 before breaking his collarbone two months into the season, ending his first tenure with the Eagles. Fast-forward two years, Foles had contemplated retirement after a rough stint with the St. Louis Rams. Foles ultimately decided against retiring, and spent the 2016 season backing up Alex Smith in Kansas City. After becoming a free agent in 2017, the Eagles brought Foles back and he met the expectations that Eagles fans had of him after the 2013 season.

Jon Dorenbos gets a ring

Very rarely does a long snapper receive the sort of recognition and fanfare that former Eagles long snapper Jon Dorenbos has. Dorenbos is well known for his magic tricks that he has displayed on competition programs, as well as his appearances on Ellen. After he was traded to the Saints during training camp, it was revealed that Dorenbos had a life-threatening heart issue that required immediate surgery. The trade was eventually voided and Dorenbos had surgery. Dorenbos played for the Eagles from 2006-2016, and for his contributions, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie has told him that he’ll be rewarded with a ring.

Jerome Brown

Former Eagles great Jerome Brown was one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL in the late-80s, early-90s. He was a part of the famed Eagles defensive line that terrorized offenses and according to Football Outsiders, the greatest defense in NFL history, the 1991 Eagles. After an accident in the 1992 offseason, Brown’s life was lost, leaving a hole in the hearts of Eagles and football fans alike. Brown’s birthday was Feb. 4, coincidentally the same day the Eagles won their first Super Bowl.

Nelson Agholor

A year ago many Eagles fans and analysts — myself included — believed Agholor was a bust and the team would be better off without him. We all couldn’t have been more wrong. Agholor had the bounce-back season of a lifetime and made numerous big plays and tough catches to keep drives alive in the Super Bowl. Credit to Agholor for turning his career completely around and becoming somebody that Eagles fans now have full confidence in.

Howie Roseman

The Eagles’ GM was an afterthought for a year when Chip Kelly took control of the team in 2015. After returning from the shadows in 2016, Roseman immediately turned the franchise around by resetting the roster, ridding the Eagles of the disastrous contract Kelly handed out. Roseman’s biggest impact may have been learning from the organization’s 2011 free agent acquisition’s, bringing in the right players at the right positions in 2017.

Brandon Graham

Brandon Graham hasn’t had to hear he’s not Earl Thomas for a few seasons, but if by chance he was still hearing it, those days are gone. Graham played through an injury in the second half of the Super Bowl and made the play of the game on defense when he strip-sacked Tom Brady deep in Patriots territory with under three minutes to go. From a guy that fans wouldn’t have thought twice about letting him sign with the Giants to Super Bowl hero.

Do The Eagles Have a Date with Destiny?

Eagles Nelson Agholor

The Philadelphia Eagles dominated the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Game and are now on their way to the Super Bowl in Minneapolis. How ironic is that? 

Now the Eagles will face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII  and seem to be a team of destiny. Picked as underdogs AT HOME, the Eagles flipped the script and became the best NFL underdogs ever.

They said they were the worst team in the 2017 playoffs. They said that they couldn’t win without Wentz. And they all said better luck next year. The Eagles were the No. 1 Seed in the playoffs but no one, and I mean NO ONE outside of Philly gave them a chance. But Nick Foles and the Eagles shocked the football world and won the NFC Championship Game in convincing fashion to give the City of Brotherly Love another chance to win a Super Bowl.

“It was an accepted truth that if the Eagles were to win, it would have to be in rugged, low-scoring fashion. The two defenses were expected to turn the game into a field-position battle as the backup quarterbacks, Foles and Case Keenum, plinked about the field and did what they could with limited opportunity.”   Not so.

So much for the expected, or the probable. We have been transported into the land of the unexpected, where a largely immobile backup can have a career day that and shred the best defense in football.  And what about that Philly Defense!

So, I ask you, are the Eagles a team of destiny?

Destiny is defined as purpose, calling and future.  The Eagles had a storybook season with their storybook quarterback, Carson Wentz. Without him, they said the story was all but over and they would need a miracle. With their trusted but recently untested back up, Nick Foles, the Eagles entered the playoffs needing the miraculous to have a storybook ending. A dominating 38-7 whupping of the Vikings is not a bad start to a glorious finish.

And so far, they’ve got one. As they say, so far, so good. We’ve got one win to go.

Eagles-rout-the-vikings

 Go Eagles!

How High Can The Eagles Fly?

Eagles Nelson Agholor

Bald eagles can fly 10,000 to 15,000 feet high at about 65 mph. They can glide for hours without rest on warm updrafts of air. With their acute vision, they are able to spot prey a mile down below. Eagles swoop down at amazing speeds of 200 mph and lift up the prey with their strong talons.

Wow.  That’s incredible.

So hat’s off to any and all teams that adopt the eagle as their mascot.  And that brings us to my Philadelphia Eagles. This year’s Eagles have promise and potential that previous teams had but with one twist: now we have a quarterback and a coach and a contingent of fans that are rallying around the fact that this could be THE year. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, I know, I know; you’ve heard this before but we will say it yet again.  Before was then but this is now.  

Now is a 2017 team that’s confident, not cocky; self-assured but not self-righteous; relevant and not arrogant.  And one of the big reasons that the Eagles are flying high at 5-1 is the play of wide receiver Nelson Agholor. He had is problems last year, but this year he’s a totally different bird. Talk about turnarounds. 

Now is a 2017 team that has a big game coming up on MNF, Monday Night Football against the heated NFC East rival Washington Redskins. And if the Eagles win and to 6-1, then I say that the sky is the limit.

And that’s the life lesson that sports teaches young and old, rich and poor, big and small, first round draft pick and last-minute walk on; the sky is the limit to what we can have.  Start with your dream, proceed with your desire, progress with your drive and be determined to fulfill your destiny and finish.  

So how high can these Eagles fly? Or more importantly, how high can you fly?  Don’t let anything stop you from climbing higher and flying farther and soring faster than you can even ask or think. And herein lies the beauty of Christianity. The prophet Zechariah put it this way:

 He that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David.  

Zechariah 12:8

“Here is a marked difference between all other beliefs and Christianity. So clear, full, and efficient shall be the salvation of believers under the Gospel, that the feeblest among them shall be as strong, as full of courage, and as successful as David when he went against Goliath. Ergo, the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John the Baptist.” (Adam Clarke’s Commentary)

Fly Eagles, fly.

Which Way Are You Trending?

Wentz_1200_si

We have heard this and we have seen this sit-com before; “The Eagles are for real!” The Eagles are for real.” Yeah, yeah, yeah. But this time we mean it, right?

My Eagles have a penchant for “being for real” at the begging of the season. In fact, last year this time, we were all screaming, “the Eagles are for real” when they began the season 3-0. But they ended the season 7-9, Doug Pederson’s first year in Philly as head coach. And the year before that, we began the season with high hopes, but also finished a disappointing 7-9. And thankfully, that was Chip Kelly’s last season in Philly (I MEANT that thankfully thing).

The Eagles tend to start hot and end cold. They tend to fly high and then land hard. They tend to raise expectations to heaven and then dash hopes to smithereens. But this year is different, right?

All of Philly is hyped, amped, excited, and overjoyed. Why? Because the Eagles are 5-1 and looking good doing it.  Yes, you gotta believe that my Eagles Are For Real! This time.

Carson Wentz and the Eagle “D” stood up to Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers 28-23 in Carolina, and they looked good doing it (for the most part). Except for too many penalties (do I hear the conspiracy theorists crying foul) and a few missed reads by Wentz, the Eagles looked great on both sides of the ball.

So all of Philly is hoping and praying that this year is different. Because you tend to follow your tendencies, right?

What about you? What are your trends and tendencies? What are your propensities and predispositions? Are they good or not so good? Either way, let’s all work or how we trend. Let’s work on which way we lean. You want to trend up, not down. You want to trend the right way, not the wrong way. You want to continue to progress, and not regress.

So, we all have work do. Let’s all work on finishing, and not just starting.