When Rocky Got Real

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In honor of the Eagles Super Bowl win, I broke out my New Years resolution to make a totally new sammy. The rules were simple: It had to be out of this world tasty, super rich . . and it had to be something I wouldn’t mind treating myself to on lazy- non running- mornings now and then. Simply put, it doesn’t make my roster if I wouldn’t make it again.

This particular sammy scored a roster spot. And while it may not be my starting QB, that’s plenty fine. I mean, it worked out pretty well for Nick Foles . . .

Here’s the blueprint for my Winna Bagel: 

Plain bagel, toasted and lightly buttered
Lebanon Sweet bologna
Jalapeno cream cheese
Muenster cheese
Scrambled egg (whipped frothy with S&P and a little Half and Half)
Sriracha honey chicken
Bacon
Guacamole

I put the sweet bologna on first. Next up was my cheesy scrambled egg, which was gooey in the middle with the cream cheese and Muenster. It had some delectably crunchy cheese nibbles on the edges. I topped that with chicken, bacon and a ‘lil guacamole.

The first thing that hit me was the smoky flavor of the sweet bologna and next came the creamy wave of the scrambled egg. The sweet and spicy chicken played well with the bacon and they danced madly with the guac. Needless to say it was a title winning flavor.

As for the game. best Super Bowl I’ve ever seen.

The back and forth scoring, the trick plays and ballsy calls by Doug Pederson. The middle finger Tom Brady threw at Father Time as he shattered passing records. And Nick Foles, the dude who almost retired a couple years ago, matching Brady and then beating him when it mattered most.

My Top 5 Venti Vents:

5- Defense was either optional, or those squads just decided to get a head start on the off-season.

4- I did not watch the halftime show, because while I dig JT, I don’t dig all the hype that surrounds the event.

3- I have nothing against Chris Collinsworth, but he really annoyed me for some reason.

2- Instant replay was introduced as a way to correct egregious calls. Unfortunately, it has taken out the human element of a bang/bang play that should be left alone and in most cases it STILL gets shit wrong! Even with a million different camera angles.

1- Sense was made of the nonsensical when a football neophyte brought enlightenment to my Super Bowl party.

“If he catches the ball, what’s the problem?” She asked.

“Well, he has to make a football move or it’s not considered a catch,” I replied.

“Oh, so he can prove he’s playing football and not hockey?”

“Well, it’s not that simple,” I insisted.

“It IS simple. And why are they reviewing this catch?”

“To see whether or not he had possession of the ball,” I replied.

“It’s in his arms!! Hell, if it’s enough evidence to get you arrested, it should be enough evidence for a football game!”

Now, if a fan who only watches football on occasion can get it right . . what’s up with the league office?

Other than that . . .

This game was a microcosm of the Eagles season. To paraphrase Rocky Balboa, no matter how hard they got hit, this team just kept moving forward. And in so doing, they exorcised the demons of so many heartbreaking endings. And they settled up with a town whose love for its hometown team would be dangerous if it weren’t so fucking romantic.

Take all that, and add this. I think the team that never won a title before Sunday is going to go down as the team that brought down an empire. Because I think Bellichick is getting out of Dodge, and while Tom Brady will probably continue doing Tom Brady things, it’s gonna be different.

Personally, I think this title tops all the other sports droughts that came before it. The Eagles didn’t have the romance of a ‘curse’ the way the Cubs and Red Sox did. And while Cleveland and San Francisco can most definitely bring the passion and love, Philly is a whole ‘nother beast. Because no town can match the psychosis of a team and its city in this way. And that’s kind of what this marriage has always been, psychotic. Fanatical doesn’t quite describe what Eagles fans truly are.

No less an authority on winning than Giselle pointed out how Eagles fans have waited a million years to call themselves Super Bowl champions. It probably does feel that long for a fan base that didn’t have a dynasty to fall back on. But that’s okay, because if you asked them how it feels to finally get their one, they’d probably all say the same damn thing.

Worth it.

 

 

The New England Invitational Turns LII

Minny 2018

I can’t believe it’s Super Sunday already. It feels like only yesterday that I was putting together my fantasy league team whilst under the illusion my Dolphins had a chance to see January . . . if only for sixty minutes.

The Patriots are making their annual trip, preparing to take on yet another bird. Last year’s Falcons replaced 2015’s Seahawks who have been unseated by this year’s Eagles. Soooo, Cardinals fans might want to book their Atlanta trip for next year’s Super Bowl before Patriots fans grab up all the best tickets.

The good news for Eagles fans is that Tom Brady will eventually succumb to Father Time. The bad news is, it ain’t happening soon enough. And if you happen to be one of those peeps who is suffering from Patriots fatigue, well . . .there’s always baseball!

A top 5.2 thoughts before I get to my Super prediction? Sure . . .

#1- Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery said this: 

“Ain’t no ‘if,’ man. When we win on Sunday, ain’t no telling what we’re going to do,” Jeffery said. “But we’re probably going to celebrate, have some fun.”

New England quarterback Tom Brady thought this: 

Umm,Alshon? Don’t poke the bear.

2- The Eagles insist they are getting no respect. 

What I hear when the Eagles rail on about the lack of respect people are showing to a 13-3 Super Bowl team . . .

3- Justin Timberlake will perform at this year’s halftime show. It will be his first appearance since the infamous “Nipplegate” episode with Janet Jackson. 

What everyone watching will see as they watch this year’s halftime show. 

 

Okay, I just had to sneak that video in because it’s fucking hilarious. No kids, the correct answer is Nipples for a thousand, Alex! 

4- The Eagles have a bevy of big deal fans rooting them on at this year’s game. From the Angels Mike Trout to actor Bradley Cooper. Ya got Will Smith, Carl Lewis, Kevin Bacon, Sylvester Stallone, Tina Fey, Tara Reid, Pink, Bob Saget, Kevin Hart, Carrot Top, Dr Oz, Jake Tapper, Questlove, Sofia Vergara, Charles Barkley and former Vice President Joe Biden. 

The Patriots have Giselle. 

Advantage Patriots. 

5- Vegas books reported a multi-million dollar wager was laid on the underdog Eagles. This elicited a conversation with a pal of mine that went something like this.

Okay . . . that was verbatim. 

As far as my .2 thought on today’s game? I won’t be watching the halftime show unless Janet Jackson shows up. And since that doesn’t seem likely, Imma go ahead and tell ‘yall what’s going to happen in Super LII, so there really is no point in even watching . . .

In the first half, absolutely nothing happens.

The halftime show proves to be a nipple free affair, but NBC puts a thirty minute delay in place just in case. The time lapse plays havoc on television viewers, and Fox News erroneously calls the game for the Patriots as a result. The Russians deny any involvement in the snafu.

Sommee Cards Super Bowl

The third quarter is when things really start cooking. Nick Foles pulls the Statue of Liberty play on the Pats and Jay Ajayi takes it eighty yards to the house to open the scoring. From there, the Eagles score thirty five unanswered points. They head to the fourth quarter with a 38-3 lead. In spite of this, Pats coach Bill Belichick is overheard saying “We have ’em right where we want ’em!”

In the fourth quarter, the Patriots stage a historic comeback (yep, again) and tie the score at 45 with just under two minutes to go. Tom Brady tosses six touchdown passes, including a Hail Mary to himself. Rob Gronkowski leaves the game with concussion symptoms after Brady slaps his helmet with his 283 diamond Super Bowl ring during a touchdown celebration.

Nick Foles and the Eagles take over at their own five yard line with a minute and a half remaining. A false start by Philadelphia moves them back to the goal line and three incomplete passes later, they are staring down the barrel of a fourth down and forever. Coach Doug Pederson sticks to the script that got him here by deciding to go for it. It seems that only a miracle can save the Eagles now. Or gravity . . .

On fourth down, Foles drops back into the end zone and flings the ball straight up into the air. Upon returning to earth, the ball is deflected by several players before falling into the arms of Eagles wide receiver Nelson Agholor, who picks up the first down by half a yard. The play is dubbed “The Isaac Newton” and it revs the green engine as Philadelphia marches down the field and with twelve seconds left, the Eagles have a first and goal at the Patriots nine yard line, Pederson inexplicably decides to leave his field goal kicker on the sidelines rather than have him attempt the Super Bowl winning field goal. As he would later explain, “I don’t trust Jake Elliot unless it’s from fifty yards out,”.

After a play action pass sails out of bounds, there’s time for one more play into the end zone. Against a heavy New England pass rush, Nick Foles finds Zach Ertz for what appears to be the game winning touchdown with one second left. But referees convene and the play comes under review to determine if Ertz did in fact make the catch.

Announcers Al Michaels and Chris Collinsworth debate what constitutes a catch.

Michaels: It’s when the catch is conceived! 

Collinsworth: No! It’s when the football is physically visible! 

Sideline reporter Michele Tafoya suggests that if the NFL cannot decide what constitutes a catch, the Supreme Court should step in. She then uses several replays that show Ertz juggling the football, proving that he did not make the catch. Her argument is eerily reminiscent of the JFK investigation.

Tafoya: As you can see Ertz enter the turn, the ball snaps back . . and to the left. See it guys? Back . . and to the left. Back . . and to the left . . Back . . and to the left. 

The instant replay review drags on for more than an hour, allowing NBC to air two episodes of Will and Grace. Despite the sitcom’s popularity, viewership plummets since there’s no Tom Brady to root/hate on. In response to the deflated numbers, Commissioner Goodell tells Brady not to leave town.

When they finally come to a conclusion, Head Referee Gene Steratore tweets out their decision before making the announcement . . . Touchdown! The Eagles celebrate for several minutes, drawing one penalty another until Coach Pederson feels comfortable enough to let his placekicker attempt a sixty yard extra point, which he nails as time expires.

Final Score: Eagles 52- Patriots 45

The front page headlines of the Philadelphia Inquirer say it all. Ertz So Good! Bud Light follows through on its promise to buy beer for the entire city of Philadelphia, and the City of Brotherly Love is transformed into a real life version of The Purge. After the game, Tom Brady announces his retirement and signs with the Cleveland Browns. Coach Bill Belichick decides to follow his dream and become a fashion designer. Patriots owner Bob Kraft begins drawing up plans to turn Gillette Stadium into a strip mall.

As for the champs, Nick Foles signs on with Fox/Paramount to star in the Napoleon Dynamite reboot. Fletcher Cox apologizes for his team’s poor defensive performance by donating his winner’s share to the charitable organization Free Melania, and Carson Wentz sues a Nevada town and wins the rights to “Carson City”, after which he guarantees the Eagles will repeat as champions.

The NFL scores record ratings despite all those peeps who insist they’re boycotting the sport forever. Commissioner Goodell announces he will step down at the end of his current contract to become the wealthiest Buddhist monk, ever. Giselle Bundchen lambastes the NFL as nothing more than  “a primitive blood sport that thrives on violence and crooked decision makers,” before revealing that she is buying the Miami Dolphins because “they have beautiful uniforms and they don’t hit anyone,”.

Richard Branson wins the rights to host Super Bowl 60 on the moon, and construction begins on a 100,000 seat bio-dome. When a reporter criticizes the locale by asking where fans will spend the weekend leading up to the big game, Branson snarkily replies.

“Uranus.”