Career assists for Flyers captain Claude Giroux

Fish ‘n Chips

Posted by Eric Fisher On February 7

People who think sports doesn’t matter should pay closer attention to what’s been going on since Super Bowl LII.

The Eagles’ 41-33 triumph over the Patriots in Super Bowl LII opened up the floodgates. Tears were shed by players. Tears were shed by fans.

The Eagles’ victory, whether because of the adversity they overcame this season or the 57 seasons since the franchise’s last championship, unleashed a torrent of emotions that stretched from the Delaware Valley to Minneapolis.

Players cried tears of joy after the game. They kissed the Lombardi Trophy as Darrell Green carried it toward the podium. Smiles and hugs were everywhere.

Smiles and hugs were also found in abundance on the streets of Philadelphia and beyond Sunday night. As the old song says, there was dancing in the streets. And plenty of tears.

On sports talk radio in the days since the Super Bowl victory, you can hear callers choke up as they try to hold back tears, often unsuccessfully.

But the impact of the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory went beyond sports. The victory also brought the community closer together. The community united in support of the Eagles. In a possibly blasphemous adaptation of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech during the 1963 March on Washington, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, and even hardcore fans and casual fans, have come together to celebrate the Eagles’ success.

Millions of fans will line the parade route on Thursday. The sea of humanity will be united in celebration. Hopefully, some of the sense of community and togetherness can carry over beyond football.

Some may think that the hope for togetherness is a pipe dream, but I have already seen evidence of the effect a Super Bowl victory can have on individuals. In his column for Phillyphanatics.com before the game, Gordon Glantz suggested that a Super Bowl victory would takes some of the edge off for him. He would become more tolerant and patient. Little things wouldn’t bother him as much.

As if to test Gordon’s theory, I was stuck behind vehicles moving 15-20 mph on streets with a 35 mph speed limit not once, but twice Tuesday morning. I didn’t even honk my horn. As soon as a I walked into work on Monday, I ran into an argumentative individual. I politely disagreed and then walked away rather than engage in an unnecessary argument.

Life just seems better with an Eagles championship. It’s been 57 years since the last championship, but, at least right now, it feels as if it was worth the wait.


TEAM EFFORT: As was the case all season, the Eagles’ triumph in the Super Bowl was a team effort. The obvious heroes were quarterback Nick Foles, tight end Zach Ertz and head coach Doug Pederson. Brandon Graham knocked the ball out of Tom Brady’s hand on the only sack of the game, producing a crucial turnover. But the list of heroes is much longer.

Rookie running back Corey Clement, Nelson Agholor, every member of the offensive line and executive vice president in charge of personnel Howie Roseman are just a few of the other heroes of Sunday’s championship victory.

The signature play of Super Bowl LII, as well as of the Eagles’ season, was the fourth down “Philly Special just before halftime. Think about it. The Eagles’ third tight end took a handoff from an undrafted rookie running back and threw a touchdown pass to a backup quarterback who nearly quit football two years ago. That play capsulizes the Eagles’ success.


PHILY FANS: Although many media outlets around the country relied on the lazy stereotype and tried to paint the Eagles fans as rioting hooligans, the spontaneous celebration Sunday night was relatively under control. There were a few stupid incidents to give Philly fans a black eye, but, if you were looking for rioting, you needed to look at the Amherst campus of the University of Massachusetts, not at Philadelphia.

In the Delaware Valley, enthusiasm ruled the day. The knuckleheads were the exception rather than the rule.


FOLES’ CHOICE: With Carson Wentz attempting to come back from a torn ACL sustained in December, it would behoove the Eagles to keep Nick Foles around. On the other hand, if he wants to move to a team for which he would definitely be the starting quarterback, the Eagles should try to accommodate him. Foles has earned that right.


HALL OF FAME EAGLES: The Eagles received a good omen the night before the Super Bowl when ex-Eagles Brian Dawkins and Terrell Owens were selected for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Owens is unquestionably a Hall of Fame receiver. The only thing that kept him waiting until his third year of eligibility was his, at times, divisive personality. We saw the best and worst of Owns during his relatively short time with the Eagles. He had an amazing season in 2004, and then he had an amazing finish, starring in Super Bowl XXXIX before his broken leg had an opportunity to fully heal. The next season, however, he was a major disruption, demanding a new contract and, in a surreal scene, doing sit-ups in his driveway before a media throng.

Dawkins, on the other hand, is one of the most iconic Eagles. For many years, he set the emotional tone for the defense and, one could argue, the entire team. The effort Dawkins put in during his 12 seasons with the Eagles has made him one of the most beloved Eagles in franchise history. There will be a sea of green in Canton, Ohio, next summer for the Hall of Fame ceremony because of Dawkins. The presence of T.O. will make that day even sweeter for Eagles fans.


COMMERCIAL SUCCESS: With the Eagles winning the Super Bowl, the Super Bowl commercials seem much less important. Instead of devoting an entire story to it, let me say that the Tide detergent ads, which spoofed past Super Bowl commercial, were the best commercials. The runner-up was the Australian Tourism Bureau commercial, which was set up to look like a movie trailer with actor Danny McBride as a Crocodile Dundee-type character.

The worst commercial was the Dodge Ram truck commercial that used a speech from Martin Luther King about the importance of serving others. I don’t blame Dodge for this travesty as much I blame the King family, which won’t make some of Dr. King’s speeches available for educational purposes or donate items to the Smithsonian, but is willing to sell his speeches to help sell pickup trucks.


GAMBLE GONE: I’ll take a momentary break from football to offer condolences on the death of former Phillies outfielder Oscar Gamble. I was too young to appreciate Gamble’s level of play, but I remember thinking he was really cool while I was growing up.


LACK OF SUPPORT: Because voting is concluded before the playoffs, I can understand how Eagles head coach Doug Pederson wasn’t voted NFL Coach of the Year. But I can’t understand how he only received one vote.


TRIVIAL MATTER: Now that Alshon Jeffery caught a touchdown pass in Super Bowl LII, Eagles fans don’t have to hear the trivia question about Greg Lewis being the only Eagles wide receiver to catch a touchdown in the Super Bowl.


CRACKED CRYSTAL BALL: Before the season, I correctly predicted that the defending-champion Patriots would return to the Super Bowl, only to lose to an NFC East team. Unfortunately, much to my shame, the NFC East team I picked to raise the Lombardi Trophy was the Cowboys.

Eric Fisher, who has been covering sports for more than 29 years, will attend his first championship parade in nearly 35 years.

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Side angle of Cody Parkey's missed field goal