Nick Foles wrote a Players Tribune article thanking Eagles fans and the city of Philadelphia. He wrote it in a way only Nick Foles could write. It wasn’t very long, it didn’t have a ton of substance and filler, but it got to the point and left you feeling emotional and hopeful. Much like how Nick plays on Sundays, not a lot of flash, not a lot of substance. When it is all over though, he got the job done and he did it great. It was an article that left me with tears in my eyes and feeling some type of way about the Philadelphia Eagles and Nick Foles in general. Nick said, “Eagles fans share their stories with me. Having them remind me of how we didn’t just win the Super Bowl; we won the Eagles’ first Super Bowl ever. Getting to hear from Philly natives about how their father, or father’s father, or mother, or mother’s mother, cried tears of happiness after the game.” I couldn’t help but read that and have to write this, a thank you for Nick.
You see, Nick Foles gave the people of Philadelphia more than a Super Bowl, more than bragging rights and more than a celebration. He gave us a bond, a memory, a story to pass down from generation to generation. He gave us history, he gave us a connection that we will have for the rest of our lives. He gave us something to look back on, in our worst moments and smile. He gave us a shot of adrenaline that will never go away and never die. For me, he gave me way more than that.
Everyone has a different relationship with a parent, a sibling, an aunt an uncle and no two relationships are a like. I’ve written about this before, my father and I have never had the best relationship. Conversations end in fights, fights end in not talking and it’s always been that way. Quite frankly I have only hugged my father once in the last 20 years and I’ll get to that day in a second. The one thing I have always had with my dad are the Eagles. Sure, we have the Flyers, the Phillies and the Sixers, and hold them dear to our hearts, but the Eagles are special. The Eagles are the heart of Philadelphia. We all love them as Foles said “The Eagles are family.” Thanks to Nick Foles as crazy as this sounds, he gave me my family back, he brought my dad and I closer and I can never thank him enough.
The last few years my father and I have not talked much. Our relationship was virtually dead and 98% of that is on me. We didn’t even talk about the Eagles, we just didn’t talk. My life began a to spiral in a deep dark place that I was great at hiding from the outside world. I had a great girlfriend, I had money, I had great friends and everything on the outside looked perfect. Inside though, it was hell. I began to push away everything that mattered to me, my girlfriend, my friends, and the last bits of my relationship with my dad that were good. Fast forward a little bit and there wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t think about leaving everything behind.
2017 rolled around and not much had changed for me mentally but I was getting better. I had fixed a lot of my broken relationships and brought back the people in my life that meant the most. The one person that I couldn’t seem to talk to over my own fragile ego was my father. The Eagles season rolled around and before I knew it my dad and I were talking a little bit more and things were getting better between us. Suddenly Carson Wentz tore his ACL and it was almost like the seemingly black cloud over the city of Philadelphia was now back over my father and I. The season seemed over, the Super Bowl seemed impossible and it was like we had nothing to talk about again. Then things changed.
The Eagles were playing the Falcons and we all remember how it went. It was ugly, Foles wasn’t great but my dad and I watched the entire game together and were very excited at the chance of the birds heading to the Super Bowl. In a werid way it felt like the things that had been bringing me down were going away. One week later came and the Eagles thrashed the Vikings as I celebrated with my father. Two more weeks came and the Eagles and the Patriots played the most exciting game in the history of the Super Bowl. with a little over 2 minutes left Nick Foles found Zach Ertz over the middle for the lead. My Father and I erupted in his living room. We couldn’t believe what we were seeing, the Eagles were going to win the Superbowl! Then as many of us did, we looked down we saw 2:21 on the clock and Tom Brady was going to come on the field and destroy us all.
As we all know now that’s not what happened. Tom Brady took the snap, stepped up in the pocket and BG forced a fumble that I can still see clearly in my mind. My father and I jumped into each others arms and hugged. Fast forward to the end of the game, the hail mary falls short and my dad and I hugged, for real this time. Living in the moment and living a moment we had not shared in two decades. It was a moment that brought us together. It was a moment that changed my life forever. All of my depression, anger, pain felt gone.
After a week of celebrating and living to see something I never expected to see, a month went by. I had found out that I was having a son. Sometime in between the Falcons game and the Vikings game my Eagles joy got the best of me. Now, I won’t go much into detail about how I reacted and how I told my father and all of that stuff. Quite frankly I just don’t feel like typing that much. Come October 17th 2018 the greatest miracle I would ever have would be born and my life would change forever. So, what does this have to do with thanking Nick Foles? I’ll get there.
The Eagles winning the Superbowl, and Nick Foles playing a near perfect game gave me my relationship with my father back. It gave me life, it brought me out of my depression and despite the great denial from my son’s mother, it gave me my son. It gave me hope and love and everything I felt I didn’t have, I know it’s weird for a sport to do that, but it did. It made me want to make sure I never let thing’s get so bad between my son and I that we don’t hug for 20 years. It gave me the strength to speak up when thing’s go wrong and to get help when I need it. That’s why I want to thank Nick Foles.
It’s not just about what Nick Foles did on the field but how he handles himself off of it, what he said when that game was over. “Failure is a part of life, that’s part of building character and growing. I wouldn’t be up here if I hadn’t fallen a thousand times and made mistakes. I’m not perfect, I’m not superman. I might be in the NFL and we might have just won the Super Bowl, but I still have daily struggles. if something’s going on in your life and you’re struggling, embrace it because you’re growing.” It’s a message that I think about everyday and am thankful for everyday, I want to thank Nick for that. I think it’s something we all should gain perspective from and grow from. Thing’s still go wrong sometimes, thing’s get bad and I still fail. But, I think about that message and it’s like a slap in the face to get back up. That’s what Nick did for all of us. that’s why I’ll always be thankful for him. That’s why I want to thank him. Thank you for choosing us Nick, thank you for the memories, thank you for everything. Hope to see you down the road again. You’ll always be family.
Fly Eagles Fly
Let me wobble back to my corner, Joe Pa knew.