Why the Eagles’ Win Means So Much to Me

By WENDY McCLURE | Feb 21, 2018

I’m sort of embarrassed at how much joy the Philadelphia Eagles winning the Super Bowl has brought me. I mean, I had absolutely nothing to do with it. It was a bunch of guys I had never met – although I did meet Coach Pederson before the season started; really, I have a picture – playing a game I have never even attempted to play.

I know I am not alone. Most people around here are over the moon with the win. But I am taken aback with how I feel about the whole thing. It really is one of the greatest things to ever happen to me. And again, it didn’t really happen to me.

Was it better than my wedding day? Probably not; that was a pretty great day. I don’t have kids so I don’t have to worry about that comparison. Is it better than when I finally got my dream job? Not really. Did I feel more joy when I graduated school? It was so long ago that I don’t really remember, but I was probably pretty happy on those days as well. Was it better than some of my getaway dream vacations? Yeah, it may have been.

Again, I’m kind of astonished at how exciting this whole experience has been. I mean, people are congratulating me as if I really am on the team. So, I shouldn’t question the pride and joy, right?

Looking back, I realize I have been watching football since the 1990 season. That is 28 years in my lifetime and I didn’t even start watching until I was 20. People have much more time invested than I do. I have spent most Sundays, if not every, in front of the television cheering on this home team of mine. So that is 16 Sundays a year, not including the playoffs and preseason, which I usually partake in as well. By the time August rolls around every year I am so football starved I take whatever I can get.

It’s the competitiveness that draws me in. It’s the athleticism, the discipline, the commitment to being the best you can be. It’s also the roller coaster ride that you go on for every game you watch. I can’t tell you how many times I have said “I love this game!” only to say a few minutes later how much “I hate this game!” So if I do the math, that is 400 games just counting the regular season and playoffs. So, 400 times (so far) I have put on Eagles-related gear and sat down to cheer my boys on.

For the last 20 years I have gone out to watch games, I have watched with friends and I will even sit home alone and watch the game, if I must. But every year when football starts, I know I will have something to do most Sundays (bye weeks and Monday Night games be damned!) and an excuse to drink beer starting around noonish.

I was there watching intently when we drafted high-profile players for high-profile positions. (Hello, Donovan McNabb!) I was outraged when we picked up questionable players (Michael Vick) and felt like my team put me in a position to have to defend someone I didn’t want to defend. In the end I reasoned it was the team I rooted for and not one player, so I pressed on.

I worried about coaching and staffing changes: Was it time for Andy Reid to go, the excitement when Chip Kelly came on board, the questioning about what kind of coach Doug Pederson would be. I was disappointed when some of my favorite players were traded but realized the Eagles are pretty good at recognizing when players are not as valuable as they used to be. I am not part of the team, but I sure feel like I am. I feel as invested as if I were a playing member.

So when I examine all of these reasons it’s beginning to make sense why this has brought me the elation, pride, camaraderie and ultimately relief that this team has finally done what no other Eagles team could do before them. And, of course, it’s not just me.

Millions of people turned out to watch this group of men gather and ride down Broad Street. We proved all the naysayers wrong and were well behaved. We got along and we left all our differences aside for those few hours to celebrate the boys who brought us what we’ve all been so starved for, that trophy that proves we can finally say, “Super Bowl champs!”

Wendy McClure lives in Manahawkin.



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