Last night I found myself struggling to fall asleep. I was excited for the big win and how great Carson looked, I was excited to see them play 4 full quarters, but that’s not what kept me up. I began to think about last season and the Chip Kelly era and all of the years with Andy. I began to think about the stories my dad would tell me as well as the stories my uncles would talk about during holidays. I thought about my dad and I in the backyard having a catch. I thought about the first jersey my dad ever bought for me, Dawkins of course. I thought about him telling me stories about how cold it was during the 1980 championship game, and just like that all of those memories came to me all at once because this Tuesday I will be a dad for the first time.
Any day now I am having a son and I can not stop thinking about watching Eagles football with him. Teaching him about the game and hoping he loves it the way I do. Hoping he lives breathes and eats Eagles football the way I do. I think about him waking me up on Sunday’s to get ready for game day with a smile on his face. I think about having a catch in the backyard and giving him his first jersey. I think about how much I love football and can’t wait to share that with him. Last night was the last Eagles game I will ever watch without my son. Not something I thought I’d be saying 9 months ago when the Eagles beat the Vikings 38-7 but here we are. 9 months after the most memorable exciting and fun time of my life, I am about to experience a new feeling of joy and new types of memories.
Now I’m not a crazy person and going to say the Eagles gave me this chance by winning. That due to the Eagles victory in the NFCCG I am now becoming a dad. That is crazy talk, however! They do give me something that has always brought me close to my dad. They give me a gift that I now can pass on because it was passed on to me 27 years ago. It was my birthright and now it’s his.
Many people close to me know that my pops and I have never had the best relationship. He was always hard on me but gave me everything I ever needed, he is the greatest father a kid can ask for him and I don’t tell him that nearly enough. He taught me about football. He taught me about the Eagles and brought me to my very first game in the Vet in 2001. Ironically enough a game where we dominated the Vikings. I was 10 years old and in love. He taught me how to hate the Cowboys because I had an older sister who liked to go against the grain and decided she was a Cowboys fan just to piss my dad off. She tried to get me to root for the Cowboys and at times I almost listened but the way my dad talked about football and talked about the Eagles I was head over heels in love with football and the birds. I love my dad for giving me that gift, a gift I can not wait to pass on next week.
My dad gave me the gift of Eagles football. His dad gave it to him and on Tuesday I get to give it to my son. I can’t hold it, I can’t play with it, it doesn’t sit on a dresser or go in a picture frame. It stays in my heart. 24 hours a day 365 days a year I love Eagles football. I cherish it and hold on to it in the bad and the good times. Sometimes I may not show it the best side of myself and likewise in return but it’ll always be there for me no matter what. I can’t wait to give that gift to my son because my dad gave it to me. Thank you dad, I know I don’t say it enough, but the only thing greater than Eagles football was having you for a dad. I love the Eagles, and I love you.
Forever and Always an Eagles Die-hard,
Let me wobble back to my corner, Joe Pa knew.