Super Bowl Sunday is finally upon us. Usually this would be a time when football fans take part in enjoying the year’s top two teams competing for the big prize. However, this year is a difficult one. The game features two teams that many fans loathe and cannot stand the idea of watching either hoisting the Lombardi trophy into the air.
You have the team that everyone loves to hate, the New England Patriots, with their winning and dominance over the league during the last 17 or so years. You got to admit, they’ve caught some lucky breaks over the years - including the Tom Brady “tuck rule” game in the AFC Championship against the Oakland Raiders, the Russell Wilson pick at the goal line when everyone went nuts after they didn’t hand the ball off to Marshawn Lynch, and then last year’s complete fourth quarter debacle by the Atlanta Falcons. The Patriots are a good team indeed, but they are fortunate to have five Super Bowls in their trophy case. (Of course, they had some breaks go against them, too. David Tyree anyone?)
Then there’s the Philadelphia Eagles. For most of the country, they are the beloved underdogs. Sorta like Philly’s most heralded sports figure, Rocky Balboa. Everyone outside of the New England area is hoping the Eagles pull off the upset.
Well, almost everyone.
I, like many of my fellow Cowboys fans, will not be pulling for the Eagles today. No way, no how. If someone told me that Tom Brady mistreats kittens, I’d say, “that’s a shame, but I’m a dog lover.” If Bill Belichick was somehow responsible for global warming, I’d say, “time to put on some sun screen.” That’s right, I will ignore all the atrocities that are associated with the Patriots as long as they can just do me this one solid - beat the Eagles.
Why is it that I feel this way? Well, here are five reasons why I am begrudgingly rooting for the Patriots today.
1. Don’t want to lose the “no Super Bowl wins” joke
Sure, this one is petty. The Eagles winning one measly Super Bowl isn’t much of a threat to the five the Cowboys have already won. It’s not going to tilt the scales in the debate of which is the more successful franchise. But it’s just adds an extra bit of enjoyment to know those guys in Philadelphia have no Super Bowls to brag about. Look how quickly Emmitt Smith quieted the Philly trolls with his “how many rings to you guys have” comment.
Emmitt Smith at the Dallas radio station and Eagles fans are harassing with eagles chants https://t.co/nZyQ9x7WFR— Jon Marks (@JonMarksMedia) February 2, 2018
How do they come back from that one? They don’t. They just sulk and get angry until they happen across something they can throw at people. Let’s keep it that way, please.
2. I don’t want the Eagles to be a great team
You don’t reach the Super Bowl on a whim, as such the achievement is a testament that you’re a good team. And let’s face it, the Eagles are a good team... right now. But will they be a good team next year? The NFC has lost the last three Super Bowls and in each of these instances the loser has never returned to the NFC Championship game. The San Francisco 49ers were thought to be on the rise again when they reached the Super Bowl in 2013, but things didn’t pan out and they have since hit rock bottom.
While there is no reason to believe the Eagles are going to suddenly become a bad team, there are also no guarantee’s they’ll be back again next year. It takes more than one good season to be a team capable of sustaining success. Cowboys fans understand that first hand.
Beating a very good New England team not only puts the Eagles on the board, but that’s also a good indicator to just how talented this group is. We don’t need any of that.
3. A sixth Super Bowl for New England doesn’t bother me
Some Cowboys fans will ask me, “why would you be okay with the Patriots moving ahead of the Cowboys in Super Bowl wins?” That’s a fair question, especially when you consider the Eagles have none. But here’s the thing with New England. First, whether you consider them cheats or not (and I do), what they have accomplished since the turn of the century is remarkable. It just is. What happens in today’s game won’t change that. Their legacy is already set.
But as remarkable as this run has been, there are always going to be those who stick an asterisk on the Patriots championships. When you get caught video taping and deflating footballs to give yourself an advantage, it inevitably tarnishes what you have accomplished. So if New England wins another one - who cares? Those who are impressed already will stay impressed and those who think they cheat will think very little of another Super Bowl victory.
4. A possible draft payback in April
Drew Pearson’s epic announcement of Chidobe Awuzie in last year’s draft right in the house of the Philadelphia Eagles was legendary. It’s a memory I will treasure.
Well, this year’s draft will be held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Nothing would be worse than having to listen to the Eagles announcing their draft pick by saying, “your Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles select....” right in our own house. You know the Eagles will be salivating at the chance to stick it to Cowboys fans after Pearson trolled them hard last year. It would be nice to avoid that.
5. No other reason needed except the franchise’s fans
Not all Eagles fans are bad people. Maybe it’s not even their fault that they’ve been influenced in such a negative light to root for an inferior team. I’m not here to judge (yes, I am). But despite a few good apples, we can’t get past how terrible some of their fans have been at times. For example, this is a fan base that has thrown batteries at their own quarterback and spit beer on him. And that quarterback was none other than their current head coach, Doug Peterson. This is also group that famously threw snowballs at Santa Claus. I mean, who doesn’t love Santa? In fact, there are whole lists dedicated to bad behavior from the Eagles fan base.
But what older Cowboys fans remember the most is when Eagles fans cheered when Michael Irvin suffered his career-ending neck injury. That’s all a Cowboys fan needs to know about which team they should root for this weekend.
This isn’t just a past generation of fans. A couple weeks ago, their behavior was back on full display when they threw beer bottles at the Minnesota Vikings bus as they were leaving the stadium. And this was following an Eagles victory! Imagine what would have happened had they lost?
As you can see, I’m convicted in my ways as to which team will be garnering cheers today. What about you? Who will you be pulling for in today’s game, and why?