How Eagles Fever Re-United The City of Philadelphia

The Eagles Fever Re-United The City Of Philadelphia

Life has been good for Philly fans after the Eagles won the SuperBowl--here's the story.

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With the game on the line, beloved quarterback Nick Foles dropped back, his eyes locked onto wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, and released the ball. In what seemed like a moment from "The Matrix", the pigskin passed through the fingertips of Jeffery and ended up in the hands of the Saints defense. The score was Saints 20, Eagles 14, and the Saints would run off the remainder of the clock, sealing the fate and the season of the Eagles. Many may view this moment as a dark time for Eagles players and fans alike--however, the effect that this gritty, hard-nosed squad has had on the city is nothing less than impeccable.

Historically, Philadelphia sports were not considered a force to be reckoned with. The Sixers, largely considered a joke of a franchise, haven't won a championship since 1983. Mind you, this roster featured Hall of Famers Julius Erving, Moses Malone, and Maurice Cheeks. Before the current "Trust the Process" Era, they were barely relevant since the Allen Iverson days and subsequent trip to the Finals in 2001. The Phillies, aside from their powerhouse years of 2007-2011, have only captured 2 World Series rings in their 136-year existence. Since their World Series loss in 1983, they've reached the playoffs a whopping 6 times. The Flyers won 2 Stanley Cups total, dating back to 1974 and 1975. Since the 2010-11 season, they have missed playoffs 3 times and only gotten as far as the Conference Semifinals in other years, getting battered each time. While each team has slightly improved over recent years, most notably the Sixers and emerging Phillies, fans didn't have much to look forward to.

A defining moment in the history of Philadelphia was when the Eagles defeated the Patriots, 41-33, to win Super Bowl LII. Eagles fans will never forget the day, February 4th, 2018. The birds were considered a massive underdog to the dominant New England Patriots and all-time great Tom Brady. Eagles sensation Carson Wentz was injured before the playoffs began, catapulting backup Nick Foles into the driver's seat. All momentum built during the season was gone, and the Birds now had a snowball's chance in hell at advancing to the big stage. Miraculously, Foles pioneered the team to a high-flying, shootout victory in Minneapolis. The key moment of the game was a gutsy play call by coach Doug Pederson, named the "Philly Special" or "Philly Philly". The ball was snapped to running back Corey Clement, pitched to tight end Trey Burton, and thrown to Foles for a tricky touchdown. It's the first and only Super Bowl title that the Birds delivered to the City of Brotherly Love.

As someone who witnessed the historic march from Broad and Pattison Street to the Art Museum, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. For fans that hold such a distasteful reputation nationwide, I have never seen so many people, young to old, small to large, in such a state of pure bliss. Citizens that would normally walk on the opposite side of the street to avoid each other--were embracing and hugging each other. Diehard fans cracked open bottles and were on Broad Street at six o'clock in the morning. Tears were gushing out of the eyes of the Philly faithful. Masses of students skipped classes and adults did the same for work. Philadelphia schools were shut down for the celebration. The Eagles unified those in a manner that would forever be impossible to replicate.

It is now commonplace in Philly and surrounding areas to say "Go Birds", which can translate to just about anything. "Thank you", "you're welcome", "be safe", "I love you". The Eagles, after years of mediocrity and low expectations, have invigorated their fans again. There is a noticeable difference in the air, and if you live in Philly or surrounding counties, you can feel it. The future of Philly sports teams is beaming with promise. The Phillies are quickly rebuilding their roster and looking to add major offseason acquisitions in sluggers Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. The Sixers have a "Big 3" and a bright, young core in Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Jimmy Butler. The Flyers, no doubt about it, will follow suit. The Eagles, even after the devastating loss, are in prime position for years to come.

Most importantly, don't forget how we got here. A heartfelt thank you to the Philadelphia Eagles for sparking life back into its fans and believers, and making Philadelphia truly the City of Brotherly Love again.

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5 Reasons Participation Trophies Shouldn't Be a Thing

Participating does not mean you deserved to be recognized
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1. Who Learns By Winning All The Time?

Growing up, I know for a fact I learned a lot more from doing something wrong than when I did something right. In baseball, if you don’t get in front of the ball, odds are it’ll end up going right past you. The way I see it, life should be lived the same way. Sometimes life flies right past you. It takes some failures to realize that in order to keep moving forward, you have to stay in front, and take the challenge head on, no matter what it is. It took me a long time to learn that lesson. If it were not for failures, no one would know how to take challenges head on, much less want to. If no one ever failed, there would be no motivation to succeed. If everyone gets a participation trophy, no one learns any lessons.

2. Everyone Needs To Learn How To Lose

Losing is inevitable. Everyone loses at some point in their lives. What separates people is how they take those losses. We need to teach people how to take losses with honor and with humility. How do we expect to teach these qualities when children grow up believing they have always won, when they have always received a trophy no matter what place they came in. We may think that we are keeping kids from their feelings being hurt, but when does the real world ever care about peoples’ feelings? What we are really doing is telling kids that they will never lose. This only sets them up for greater failure down the road.

3. Since When Is Competition a Bad Thing?

Participation trophies eliminate any competition in sports. If everyone always wins, then they lose all motivation to get better. This is just another metaphor for life in the real world. Those who grow up receiving participation trophies their whole life, thinking they have never lost, believe they will magically get their dream job and dream life. In the real world, competition lies at every doorstep, and in many cases, there is only one winner, one person eligible for that dream job position. Those who have received participation trophies believe that they are entitled to that position and that is just simply not the case.

4. Many Want To Win, Few Put In The Work

I remember vividly the first time I did not receive a trophy after a season of playing soccer. It was my team’s end of the year party and the coach had finished the cliché speech on how he had a great time coaching our team and wishes us the best in the future. After the speech, everyone just started heading home. I immediately looked to my dad and asked where our trophies were. His response was very blunt; he told me in a laugh, “You have to win to get a trophy.” It was at this moment that I became one of the most competitive people I know. A lot of kids today are never taught this lesson. They believe that they can go through life being mediocre and still achieve everything they want. The few people who have put in the work to become winners and earn their trophy are the ones who end up succeeding in life. These are the same people who have also felt what it was like to lose. They have taken those losses and turned them into motivation in order to work harder and do what it takes to win. These people will always come out ahead of those who are happy to settle for participation. Now, what I have written may seem harsh, but I am not only writing about participation in sports. I am writing about settling with participation in life. If you want to succeed in life, you must not settle for mediocrity. You have to strive to better yourself every day. That is the difference in receiving a participation trophy and earning a winner’s trophy.

5. Sometimes, Life Just Isn’t Fair, and That Is Okay

Sometimes, even when you try your hardest, even when you take all the right steps, things just don’t go your way. Sometimes, you really do deserve that winner’s trophy and you just don’t get it. It is at these times when you have to keep pushing. The world does not give everyone an equal opportunity. Some people have to work much harder than others. However, The ones who work hardest, and continue to work harder, always end up where they want to be. The fact is though; no one is going to want to work hard if they are being rewarded for something below their best. No one will work their hardest if all their lives, they have been given a participation trophy.

Cover Image Credit: HBCU Sports

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Will The Seahawks Extend Bobby Wagner?

The star veteran linebacker will turn 29 in June.

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The Seattle Seahawks have made a few notable moves so far in the 2019 NFL offseason. They traded star pass rusher Frank Clark to the Kansas City Chiefs for significant draft capital and made quarterback Russell Wilson the highest-paid player in NFL history after his self-imposed April 15 deadline for a contract extension. In addition, they selected Ohio State wide receiver D.K. Metcalf in the 2019 NFL Draft after he surprisingly fell to the 64th overall pick at the end of the second round. However, there are still a few questions to be answered. Most notably, will the Seahawks extend veteran linebacker Bobby Wagner?

Seattle drafted two linebackers in Cody Barton and Ben Burr-Kirven in this year's draft. However, Wagner has been one of the NFL's top linebackers throughout his seven-year career and is considered by many to be the best along with Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly. Although a versatile player, he is perhaps most known for his elite tackling ability and efficiency in that department. In the 2018 season, he missed only one tackle out of 139 attempts and was given a 139.0 tackling efficiency score from Pro Football Focus, more than double the score of runner-up Jon Bostic. However, he is entering a contract year and approaching his 29th birthday, so Seattle must make a decision on his long-term future.

Wagner is expected to become the highest-paid linebacker in the NFL after being overtaken by five other players of his position since he signed his initial four-year, $43 million contract extension on August 2, 2015. He has been one of the most consistent linebackers in the league and has stayed relatively healthy throughout his career with few character concerns. After Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley set the market for the position with his five-year, $85 million contract, the Seahawks will have to offer a significant amount of dough to their star to keep him. Wagner has stated that he will play the 2019 season as if it is his last in the Emerald City and reports say that he is not keen on taking a hometown discount to stay with the team.

The Seahawks were in a similar situation with veteran safety Earl Thomas last offseason when he held out for a contract extension that paid him his perceived value. We all know how that turned out. Could the same scenario happen with Wagner? All we know for sure is that Seattle has another large decision to make for another veteran star player.

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