by Colten Hagadus
58 years it has been since Philadelphia has seen its football team on top. That changed last weekend when the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl 52. It has been truly a cinderella season for the Eagles as most analysts did not pick them to finish above 4th in the NFC East. The team silenced the critics by starting the season on a 12-1 run and ended up finishing the season 13-3. The adversity surrounding the team was sky high as they were plagued by monstrous injuries that seemingly should have ended their season. When a team’s starting quarterback, left tackle, and middle linebacker go down, you are left with backups at the sport’s most important positions. This did not seem to phase the Eagles as they used the “next man up” mentality and made sure they did their job on every play.
Projected to lose every game they played in the playoffs, the Eagles dug deep and grinded out wins against the Atlanta Falcons and Minnesota Vikings. They embraced being the underdogs in ways that really connected the players with its fan base. Fans got tattoos as “underdog” t-shirts, masks, and hats promoted by players Lane Johnson and Chris Long. The slogan “Dilly Dilly” which first appeared in a Bud Light commercial really caught on in the Philadelphia market. “Dilly Dilly” changed to “Philly Philly” as even Bud Light embraced it as they promised free beer to Philadelphia if they won the Super Bowl. Turns out they had to follow through with their promise because the Eagles sacked Tom Brady with 2:16 left in the game to go on and win the Super Bowl. Nick Foles won MVP and Nelson Agholor came away with 9 catches. However, no one made a bigger play in the game than Brandon Graham. The whole game was an offensive shootout with neither team’s defense being able to make a stand. Graham then changed the complexion of the game by shocking the world by making the biggest strip sack of his life.
The storybook season finally came to an end after the closing speeches on a sunny but brisk Thursday in downtown Philadelphia. The parade was a great success as Eagles center Jason Kelce gave arguably the greatest speech in sports history. Philadelphia really came together this week as people from all generations were able to celebrate this special victory.