It’s time, kids, for the year’s biggest day in television. This Sunday in Glendale, Arizona, the Philadelphia Eagles will take on the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII. That’s “57” for those of us who never learned Roman numerals larger than 10, uh, I mean “X.” With these two evenly matched teams — along with the billion-some-odd dollars’ worth of cinema-quality advertising and a surefire banger of a halftime show by the Caribbean Queen, Ms. RiRi, She Whose Money You’d Better Have, the lovely Rihanna — the evening’s viewing has all the makings of your usual Super Bowl spectacle. I, along with around 100 million other folks, will be tuned squarely in.
So I don’t completely come off as Mr. Bitter Cowboy Fan, let me go ahead and get some begrudging acknowledgment out of the way right here at the jump. Even though my blood pumps silver and “bad luck blue,” I recognize that (allow me a brief moment to choke down the bile rising in my throat as I type these words) the Eagles, and quarterback Jalen Hurts in particular, have had a stellar season. The jump that Hurts has made in his second full season starting under center and that the team as a whole has made under the tutelage of Head Coach Nick Siriani, is truly remarkable. It is also pretty obvious that if Dallas had been able to muster even an average offensive performance against the 49ers in the Divisional Round a few weeks ago and had therefore had to face these Eagles in the NFC Championship Game, Philly would have absolutely resurfaced the proverbial Astroturf with the Cowboys.
Anyway, motherfuck the Eagles! To quote one of my favorite lines from The Big Lebowski, “Look, man. I’ve had a rough day, and I hate the fucking Eagles, man!” There’s perhaps no sequence of words in all of recorded history that I relate to more. It is my own personal “I think, therefore I am.” It should be the name of my autobiography. Or carved on my headstone.
Though the film’s hangover-addled protagonist is referring to the bloated country-rock band of the same name (and I sincerely hate them, too), I do absolutely hate the Philadelphia Eagles. From their hideous Division-III-technical-school uniforms to the grating, make-you-want-to-commit-a-double-Van Gogh “fight song,” their Yuengling- and bravado-fueled street-bro fanbase, and all the way up to their infinitely punchable head coach (is there a more smug sonofabitch to wear a headset in the history of the league?), literally everything about the organization is obnoxious. The only thing worse than the Cowboys not winning their sixth Super Bowl (again) is the possibility of the Iggles getting a second.
Again, I admit the Hurts story this year is pretty amazing. To go from a bubble starting QB to the leader in the MVP clubhouse in one year is commendable. He also seems like a genuinely nice dude and a good role model, and his teammates seem to genuinely love playing behind him. If he wore literally any other uniform, it would be pretty easy to root for him. Alas, the sides of his helmet are tainted with the white wings of wickedness, and he must therefore suffer the agony of defeat in front of 100 million people.
As if my hatred for Philadelphia weren’t enough to juice my rooting interests, the guy on the other side of the field is easy to root for, too. The thankfully recently retired Tom Brady is the inarguable GOAT (and I will forever relish that he lost to the Cowboys in his last ever NFL game), but if he’s ever to be dethroned, Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes is the most likely to do it. Already appearing in the third Super Bowl of his young career, a second win could put him in legit future Hall of Fame status. Mahomes is already on a better Super Bowl pace than TB12. He’s only played in five seasons, and in each of those years the Chiefs have done no worse than making the conference finals. For those keeping count, that’s five more conference championship appearances than the six first-string QBs the Cowboys have had since Troy Aikman combined. Mahomes can also play at least 10 more years. Maybe 15. How many more trips to The Big Game™ will he have in that span? Brady’s legacy right now seems untouchable, but before his time in the league is done, the former Texas Tech Red Raider could make it interesting. On top of his wildly entertaining freewheeling style, and despite his Muppet voice and Bible-thumping bullshit, the young superstar seems as likable as any player in the league.
Whether to cheer Mahomes on to further his legacy or to witness Rihanna and two Black quarterbacks make your conservative uncle red-faced angry — or to simply have corporations spend 25 mill a pop to worm their way into your eyeballs — there’s plenty of reasons to tune in. None more so than to pray for a chasm to open on the sideline and swallow the entire Philadelphia Eagles roster into the depths of Hades where they, each and every one, belong.