So you are a substitute quarterback who not that long ago was thinking of leaving the sport and you lead your team to victory and land MVP of this year’s Super Bowl.
I wasn’t keen on watching this time. For one thing—along with fans in 49 other states I was not interested in regurgitating the New England Patriots. I wasn’t much more hyped about the Philadelphia Eagles.
To start with, they beat the Vikings in their final playoff game. And it wasn’t pretty. As someone who held Vikings season tickets for several years, this was not the way to win friends.
Even worse was that ugly response certain Eagles’ fans paraded through the streets — dishonoring an old woman named Millie. A lifelong Vikings fan, nearly 100 years old, who did nothing but dare to love her team. Who became a pop-up mascot for the Vikes in the playoffs. Something went out the door for me when I saw that.
The Super Bowl lost its shine. I said for the first time, “I don’t care.” Many people could say this because they don’t like the game. It’s boring. It’s a waste of time. What’s the point? Who gives a rip?
But when you do like the sport — have followed it all season — saying, “I don’t care” is different. Something has gone wrong that wasn’t supposed to. Disillusionment has slammed the door.
As it turned out we attended a large family get together Super Bowl Sunday — not for the game, but because our Alaska group was down for a visit. A rare moment with three of our kids together and 16 grandchildren rocking the place. The game was on but it wasn’t the centerpiece.
It was after the game — reading an interview with MVP quarterback Nick Foles — and learning this was the team’s first Super Bowl championship in franchise history — that turned the knob on my closed-down shut-door attitude. Foles said, “I wouldn’t be up here if I hadn’t fallen thousands of times, made mistakes. We might have just won the Super Bowl, but we all have daily struggles. That’s where my faith comes in. That’s where my family comes in. I think when you look at a struggle in your life, just know that it’s an opportunity for your character to grow.”
Okay — so the Eagles might not be so bad after all. Who am I going to listen to — some misguided fans or the leader of the team? He got his win and rightly so.
It’s a ways off. But Super Bowl LIII here I come.