Why Philly Fans Are So Excited!

Ben Simmons Dribbling

Giddy and giggly, exuberant and expectant can’t come close to describing the state of Philly fans everywhere, but these descriptive words are the best we can do. Philly fans are currently in a near state of euphoria.  And you know why.

Sports in Philly has gotten superciliously silly.  First, our Eagles won the NFC Championship Game in grand fashion and are going to the Super Bowl! Not the Cowboys, nor the Falcons and not the Vikings. The Eagles, baby!

Sports Fans in Philly are over the moon.  And for good reason.  The Eagles are going to the Super Bowl. Did I say that already?  The Super Bowl!  The defense looks great and Foles has never played better. So all systems are go and all hopes are riding on the faith that Foles and the “D” can do it again, and against the vaunted, New England Patriots, at that.

And, to make matters even better, our beloved Sixers are the hottest team in the NBA, next to the Golden State Warriors.  Both teams are 8-2 in January. Eight and Two! Ben Simmons, everyone’s favoirte for Rookie of the Year, is playing lights out and racking up triple doubles night after night. AND, the cherry on top of it all is that Joel Embiid is an NBA All Star Game starter!  Wow. 

Now, we just need the Flyers and the Phillies to step up to the plate and hit home runs, too.

So here’s a message to all Philly fans everywhere; let’s learn another life lesson. Let’s learn to be moderate and temperate, even keeled and steady handed at all times and in every circumstance. Let’s learn to endure the hard times (we have) and enjoy the good times (we are) and not get too excited or overly extended in our behavior.

Oops – too late!

Now, They HAVE To Win!


Foles and Wentz

Why should you be cheering for Philly on Super Bowl Sunday? I’ll tell you why. I’m a Philly fan. And, at least for this Super Bowl, you should be too. For a number of reasons, everyone outside of New England should be rooting for Philly.

So here we go:

No.1: The Eagles (pronounced Iggles for all those of you who want to jump on the bandwagon) have a compelling story. They’ve lost their darling, star, MVP-candidate quarterback Carson Wentz to injury.  They lost their All Pro Offensive tackle Jason Peters and then Darren Sproles and several other key players to injury.  And they STILL made it to the Super Bowl!  How can you not root for this team?

No. 2: Carson Wentz is genually happy for Nick Foles. He is. As much as he would like to be out their winning the games and playing in the Super Bowl, he’s a team player, and he is helping and aiding and assisting Foles so that the TEAM wins. And you can’t help but root for that.  

No: 3: The City of Brotherly Love is deserving of a Super Bowl Victory. That’s right. We’ve got some passionate fans (to say the least) and I’m one of them. And we’re Super Bowl starved to the point that a win on February 4th in Minneapolis would quench a lot of fanatic thirst.

No. 4: The fans aren’t that bad. No, we’re not. Yes you may have heard some harsh, horrific, wild and woolly stories about the fans. Don’t believe them all. When people find out I’m an Eagles, they say, “But you’re such a nice guy?” I love it.

No. 5: We’re playing the Evil Empire. That’s right; the Patriots are equivalent to the dark side of the Force and Bill Belichick might as well be Darth Vader at his nadir. So many people hate, and I do mean hate, everything that has anything to do with the Patriots, Tom Brady and all. So there’s plenty of room on the Eagles bandwagon for all of you who want to jump on board.

No. 6a: The Eagles are the underdogs. And they’re relishing this role.  And why not? It’s so spiritual.  God loves the underdog.  All dogs don’t go to Heaven, but all of Heaven is pulling for all underdogs who have been knocked down and shoved aside and left for dead. And if you’ve ever been in the role of an un-liked, unloved and unlikely little guy, you know how it feels to be voted least likely to succeed. And then when you do  succeed, it’s the best thing ever.

No. 6b: The Eagles were underdogs to the best defense in the league this year, the Minnesota Vikings. Yet and still their journeyman backup quarterback, Nick Foles, had the game of his life against them! Go Eaglesssssssssssssssss!

No. 7: The Eagles are destined to win. When Wentz went down, no one, and I mean NO ONE outside of Philly gave them a chance.  So now they must be the team with the date with destiny, right?

So, let’s borrow a movie line from a touching scene in The Hunger Games starring Jennifer Lawrence as Katnis Everdeen and a young Amandla Stenberg as Rue. After Katnis goes through all that she goes through to get to the goal line of a victory and was on the verge of a unbelievable upset win, Rue, the cute little caramel colored girl who eventually gets killed imploringly gives Katnis a prophetic word. Remember what she says? She uttered these immortal words: “Now you HAVE to Win!

After all the Eagles have been through, now they have to win.

 

Fly Eagles Fly!

The Minnesota Miracle

NFL: NFC Divisional Playoff-New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings

Sometimes, you just need a miracle. You only have 25 seconds left to win the game? No problem. The game was gone; done and won (and lost), just like that.

Gone In 25 Seconds! That’s how fast the lead left the hands of the New Orleans Saints. Drew Brees had just led his team to a potential game winning field goal to make the score 24-23 with just 25 ticks remaining on the clock. And what can you do with 25 seconds? Just ask Minnesota’s NFC Championship Game bound quarterback Case Keenum.

Talk about a stunner. The glory of this victory was nearly overshadowed by the agony and misery of the defeat. Keenum and Minnesota won, then lost and then won this game all over again. And Drew Brees lost, won, and then lost it for good.  It was one for the ages. How could this have happened? Why did it happen? And when it happened, all watching, victors and vanquished alike, were asking “What just happened?”

If you didn’t see it, you missed an overwhelming and awe-inspiring, crushing and humiliating, fantastic finish.  It was delightful and demoralizing, delirious and deleterious, depending on which color jersey you were wearing. The Vikings won on the final play of the game. With the clock winding down and the Vikings out of timeouts, Case Keenum found wide receiver Stefon Diggs for a 61-yard touchdown as the clock struck zeros.

It’s being called the Miracle In Minnesota. Keenum had the ball in his hands in the final moments and orchestrated a major miracle. Keenum threw a pin-point pass to Diggs, who came down with it behind the New Orleans secondary, stayed on his feet and stayed in bounds, then streaked into the end zone as the Vikes stayed in the hunt for that elusive Super Bowl title. Diggs finished the game with six receptions for 137 yards, with his late snag on Sunday launching him into Vikings lore.

Minnesota jumped out to a 17-0 lead early in the game on a pair of rushing touchdowns by their running back tandem of Jerick McKinnon and Latavius Murray. The two combined for 84 yards on 27 carries, outrushing the dynamic Saints duo of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara.

Drew Brees was a maestro for New Orleans, orchestrating a second half comeback with three touchdown passes. New Orleans had taken a 24-23 lead with less than a minute to play as Wil Lutz drilled a 43-yard field goal to put the team ahead, erasing a 17-0 deficit. There were four lead changes in the final four minutes alone, with the Vikings having the ball.

The Vikings move on to play the Philadelphia Eagles next weekend in the NFC Championship Game. The winner will move on the Super Bowl to face either the New England Patriots or Jacksonville Jaguars.

But you all know who you should be rooting for, right?

Go Eagles!

Expect The Unexpected!

sam-bradford-carson-wentz

My Eagles defeated the previously undefeated Minnesota Vikings 21-10 today in Philly, and it wasn’t that close. It was an ugly start to a wonderful finish for the High Flying Eagles, who improved to 4-2 after dropping two in a row to the Detroit Lions and the Washington Redskins. 

My Eagles started off 3-0, and now, with this huge win, we hope to continue with our (notice I said OUR) winning ways as we head to Big “D” for a mid-season showdown with the Boys at the Jerry Jones Dome in Dallas next Sunday night. It should be a doosey.

Very few expected the Eagles to win today. Including me. The Vikings had a vaunted defense, and their offense was clicking on all cylinders (Did I just pay Sam Bradford a complement?) so there was little to no reason to expect the Eagles to beat the Vikings today. That’s why, in the NFL and in life, we must learn to expect the unexpected.

The Eagles moved out of the doldrums and ended a short but unexpected losing streak and won to keep pace in the ultra-competitive NFC East. They did it by hitting Bradford with everything including the kitchen sink, by being opportunistic and taking the football away four times (one interception, two offensive fumbles and a punt team recovery) and by holding the fort on offense.

Eagles’ rookie sensation QB Carson Wentz overcame his two interceptions and played well enough to win. And that’s what you and I need to do. We need to believe that we can, regardless of what people and pundits say about us (how bad they think we are). We also need to believe that we can regardless of what people say about the competition (how much better than us they think they are), and expect to win even when the odds are against us.

And right now I’m talking to me, myself and I. And you need to talk to yourself too. Give yourself a pep talk! Pump yourself up!  Tell yourself that you can and will make it! So when others don’t expect good and grand and great things to happen in your life, expect the unexpected.

Don’t Beat Yourself

RGIII Vikings Loss 11.6.13

I like RGIII. I do; I really do. He’s athletic, affable, and articulate. He’s the kind of player you can root for, no matter who “your” team is. That being said, I don’t like the Redskins. I don’t.  For one thing, they (the Redskins) expect RGIII to put them on his back and carry them to the Promised Land. Aint gona’ happen.  Why? Because the Redskins keep beating themselves.

The Redskins led Denver by 14 points late in the third quarter and lost. They led San Diego by 10 points in the fourth quarter and needed a goal-line stand to force overtime. And they blew a 13-point lead against Minnesota. Don’t beat yourself.

Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder went 17 for 21 for 174 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. On the other hand, Griffin was 24 for 37 for 281 yards, three touchdowns and no turnovers and the Redskins led 27-14 early in the third quarter. He also ran seven times for 44 yards.  In other words, the Redskins lead the Vikings in nearly every statistical category except one: the final score. The Redskins won the battles but lost the war.  Don’t beat yourself.

And to top it all off, when they were out of time-outs, Griffin ran for 12 yards on fourth-and-1 at his own 49 right after the 2-minute warning. On fourth-and-goal with 32 seconds left, his throw to the corner of the end zone was caught by Santana Moss with only one foot in bounds.  Unbelievable. They snatched defeat right out of the hands of victory. Isn’t that supposed to be the other way around?

So, my message to RGIII and to the rest of us when we find ourselves in similar circumstances is this: don’t beat yourself.

At one point in his life, Peter was beating himself. He was cold-blooded and hot-headed. He’d cut you off and do you in, just for something to do. Peter was the kind of guy who couldn’t win for losin’; he just couldn’t get out of his own way.  Spiritually speaking, he had audacity and tenacity, yet he lacked veracity. When asked if he knew Jesus, he lied.  When asked if he would deny Jesus, he went too far.  He spoke too soon and moved too fast. In the Garden of Gethsemane, he unwisely tried to defend Jesus and in the process cut off a soldier’s ear.  Then, to top it all off, AFTER Jesus rose from the dead, Peter said, “I’m going back to fishing.”  Peter was beating himself.

But thank God for Jesus. Jesus was on Peter’s side.  Jesus reassured Peter, comforted Peter, and gave him another chance.  And Jesus always reassures us, and comforts us when we’re down and gives us another chance.  The world and the devil are forever trying to beat us up and tear us down. Don’t let them. Lean on the everlasting Arms, and encourage yourself in the Lord.  

Hang in there. Be patient; things will work out.  Hang (on) in there. Continue to try even though it’s hard and rough and tough.  Even though life and living can be very difficult at times, you can win when you have Jesus on your side. So don’t beat yourself.