When I woke up this morning, I was overcome with emotion. For the last two weeks, we fans have discussed every single possibility and gone back and forth on the Eagles’ chances of winning the game. You have heard it all week in the newspaper, on sports talk radio shows, and even the local bars—everyone is talking about it. We truly understand the magnitude of the game.
Sports has changed my life for the better. It has introduced me to people that I would not have met otherwise; it has strengthened my family bonds; and most importantly, I have been able to connect with others who I do not have much in common with. It is the love for our sports teams that unite us Philadelphian fans. And for these very reasons, I am so fortunate that my father introduced me to sports as a young five old.
After the Eagles just came off a trip to the Super Bowl, there was a special hype in the City of Philadelphia, and that is what gravitated me to Football. Back then, I did not understand the sport, but as I been watching it for the past 13 seasons, I now know every single part of the game—sometimes I read too much into it all.
The last time the Eagles were actual contenders was in 2008 when they made it to the NFC championship game. As a 8 year old, I still did not understand the social aspect of sports—how it brings together the city of Philadelphia. But now as an older, mature young man, I recognize the magnitude of the today’s divisional game against the Atlanta Falcons. Our city has waited a long near decade. It has been filled with hardship and misery, but our love for the Eagles has never faltered. We have stayed with our team through the ups and downs. We so richly deserve a chance to play in a home playoff game for the opportunity to advance to the NFC championship game. Playoff games do not come easy in Philadelphia, so all fans should enjoy the game without getting caught up in all the hypotheticals.
Although the Eagles are no longer the favorites to win NFC, let alone this game, I believe in the Eagles. Remember, anything is possible when the Eagles are playing behind their fans. We have been dispected the entire season. Once Sproles got injured, football experts claimed that our running game would be nonexistent. When Peters and Hicks went down, everyone said that our season was over. And, when Carson Wentz down, nobody believed the Eagles would win a single playoff game. Well today is the day to prove all the doubters that the Eagles are legitimate contenders.
I want Eagles fan all across the country to enjoy this game; it is going to be a great one. The Eagles defense has played exceptional for the majority of the season. If they are to win today, they must shut down the high powered Falcons offense of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. On offense, Nick Foles must move the ball and at least keep the Eagles in the game for them to have a chance. No, I am not asking him to be hero today; he must manage the clock and make the correct reads without turning the ball over. If he can be an effective game manager and the defense can shut down the Falcons, I believe the Eagles can win the game.
This moment has been years in the making, so make the most of it.