An Observation Concerning… Excellence

“Had the guts, got the glory, went the distance, now I’m not gonna stop.”
-Survivor, “Eye of the Tiger”

Congratulations to the Philadelphia Eagles for winning Super Bowl LII (“52” for all you non-numeral number people), the first in franchise history.

Thank you again, New England, for making it fun, but you probably understand why no one is offering sympathy for your loss.

Let’s cover a few things…

THE GAME: Great Super Bowl, but not the greatest – there were flaws (specifically, missed kicks).
FOOTBALL SQUARES: Jake Elliot and Stephen Gostkowski (see above) owe me $50 so they need to each pitch in and send me a check.
THE CATCH RULE: Change the damn thing already, NFL.
COMMERCIALS: Tide was the clear winner, they were spot on. That was dumb; it’s why I don’t write commercials.
NBC: Did anyone else find it ridiculous that NBC had to tell people to make sure to set their DVR for extra time to watch This Is Us in case the game went too long? Have we really reached a point in our society where people can’t think to do that themselves? We have.
THIS IS US: We finally saw Jack die. It was good (why would you say that?), but somehow not as climatic as it should’ve been.
JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE: Entertaining, but I didn’t understand why they had to use a flawless white grand piano during his tribute to Prince (other than the representation, of course), easily upward of $100k I’m sure, just so JT could hammer out a handful of basic chords anyone could’ve played – and apparently it didn’t bode well with Prince fans. What a waste of resources.
“CHAMPIONS” SHIRTS AND HATS: We really need to stop wasting resources (see above) and dressing developing countries in clothing that represents losing.

The Patriots don’t actually represent losing, and people hate that. There’s something to say about this though. We’ve come to a sad point in our society where greatness seems to be frowned upon. Not many people appreciate the idea of a dominant dynasty, the achievement of excellence whether it’s because of bitterness or jealousy. The mystique of greatness must be admired. I didn’t realize this until yesterday, but out of the eight “Brady-Era” New England Super Bowls, I’ve actually cheered for the Patriots six times. Let’s quickly go over that.

YOU: Oh come on. Do we have to?
ME: Yes; you have nothing better do and that’s why you’re reading this post, and don’t lie and say you’re jam-packed with work the Monday after the Super Bowl.

FOR- 2002 vs. St. Louis Rams: It was cool to see them win their first.
AGAINST- 2004 vs. Carolina Panthers: It would’ve been cool to see the Panthers win their first.
FOR- 2005 vs. Philadelphia Eagles: I’m a Washington Redskins’ fan (and amazingly not a racist).
FOR- 2008 vs. New York Giants: Again, per my loyalties, I just can’t root for rivals, but I can recognize and congratulate.
FOR- 2012 vs. New York Giants: See 2008.
FOR- 2015 vs Seattle Seahawks: There’s just something unlikable and annoying about Pete Carroll and his players.
AGAINST- 2017 vs. Atlanta Falcons: It would’ve been cool to see the Falcons win their first.
FOR- 2018 vs. Philadelphia Eagles: See 2005.

However, it was cool to see the Eagles win their first Super Bowl, and to do it by taking down the evil empire. There’s nothing wrong with the Patriots; they’ve displayed excellence in an era when most are content with average and believe the playing field needs to be evened in all aspects of life. Opportunity should be given, but you have to do the rest. I applaud New England for what they’ve accomplished – which is easy to say now because we’re finally at the tail end of this thing.

Yet, this is about the Philadelphia Eagles and the way they earned their victory when all hope was lost after Carson Wentz got injured in the latter part of the season. It’s okay; Nick Foles went out and won MVP. That locker room wasn’t handed anything, they weren’t settled on accepting their participation trophy, and because of that, we all got to witness something wonderful.

There’s a middle-aged man who works the front desk at the gym I frequent weekday mornings. He was in the best mood I had ever seen him in; greeting everyone with the longest grin imaginable and whistling between happy anecdotes. He’s an Eagles’ fan, from Philadelphia, and he actually said he can die a happy man now. Let’s not get too obsessed now. The footage of the pandemonium in Philly was fantastic; all the ecstasy and tears of joy was touching in a way (my friend and I set the over/under of arrests at 125). However, that overwhelming happiness wasn’t derived from contentment with average or good enough; it was given to these fans through excellence by a group of men who earned their success.

Congratulations again, Philadelphia, now you’re the most hated team in the league (you were up there to begin with). To be disliked for winning means you’re successful, which is better than being admired for a false sense of accomplishment.

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