Super Bowl LII May Just Be The Most Important Super Bowl In American History, Hold Onto Your Hat

Super Bowl LII May Just Be The Most Important Super Bowl In American History, Hold Onto Your Hat

Will Brady take away the Eagles' Cinderella finish?
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With plenty of hype and buzz surrounding next Sunday’s Super Bowl between the Patriots and Eagles, there are plenty of storylines to look out for leading up to, as well as during the game. Whether it be the potential for Tom Brady and the Patriots to build upon their already impressive résumé or Nick Foles and the Eagles to play as the ultimate underdog, the implications for this year’s game, which happens to be a rematch of 2004’s Super Bowl, are bigger than any game in recent memory.

For the Patriots, Super Bowl rings are the only piece of hardware that matter, and with a win over the Eagles, Tom Brady could lead New England to a Super Bowl championship for the 6th time during his tenure at the helm of the team. After pulling off a historic comeback against Atlanta in the final minutes of last year’s Super Bowl, Brady has already cemented his legacy as the greatest quarterback of all time, and now, all he’s doing is tacking on extra accolades before he inevitably retires.

However, with Brady prioritizing longevity alongside his success, who knows how long he could remain in the league? In addition to Brady’s undeniable greatness, Patriots coach Bill Belichick is also looking to add to his already impressive résumé with his 6th Super Bowl win, all of which have come alongside Brady in New England.

Although New England experienced apparent rifts in the organization between coaches, players, and ownership, a Super Bowl victory would erase any doubts or dark clouds hovering over the Patriots organization.

In regards to the Eagles, a true Cinderella story is on the table in Super Bowl LII. After star QB Carson Wentz tore his ACL in Week 14 against the Rams, veteran backup Nick Foles took over as the signal caller for Philadelphia. And while many fans had suspected Foles and the Eagles to roll over and give up on a seemingly hopeless season, the team did the exact opposite, beating formidable opponents in Atlanta and Minnesota en route to the franchise’s third Super Bowl appearance.

The most striking part of the Eagles’ QB debacle is that Nick Foles could lead the team to their first Super Bowl championship in the team’s 85th-year history; and play as a backup next season, if he even plays at all. For Foles, this game is about rooting yourself in the history books forever and becoming a legend among the streets of Philadelphia.

Finally, it’s important to note that Philadelphia is five-point underdogs in this game, making the Super Bowl the third time this postseason that the Eagles have not been favored to win the game. Although Philly finished the regular season with the best record in the NFC, the loss of Wentz for the remainder of the year surrounded the team with plenty of questions going into the playoffs.

But now, after the Eagles have pulled off incredible upsets over the Falcons in the Vikings, anything is seemingly possible against a Patriots team that showed signs of weakness against a scrappy Jacksonville team in the AFC Championship Game. And now, with everything on the line, the road to a 6th title for Brady and the Patriots might be a lot more difficult than initially as expected; as Nick Foles is truly paving the way for America’s greatest Cinderella story.

Cover Image Credit: @espn

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To The Coach Who Ruined The Game For Me

We can't blame you completely, but no one has ever stood up to you before.
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I know you never gave it a second thought, the idea that you're the reason I and many others, never went any farther in our athletic careers.

I know you didn't sincerely care about our mental health, as long as we were physically healthy and our bodies were working enough to play. It's obvious your calling wasn't coaching and you weren't meant to work with young adults, some who look to you as a parent figure or a confidant.

I also know that if we were to express our concerns about the empty feeling we began to feel when we stepped onto the court, you wouldn't have taken the conversation seriously because it wasn't your problem.

I know we can't blame you completely, no one has ever stood up to you before. No one said anything when girls would spend their time in the locker room crying because of something that was said or when half the team considered quitting because it was just too much.

We can't get mad at the obvious favoritism because that's how sports are played.

Politics plays a huge role and if you want playing time, you have to know who to befriend. We CAN get mad at the obvious mistreatment, the empty threats, the verbal abuse, “It's not what you say, its how you say it."

We can get mad because a sport that we loved so deeply and had such passion for, was taken away from us single-handedly by an adult who does not care. I know a paycheck meant more to you than our wellbeing, and I know in a few years you probably won't even remember who we are, but we will always remember.

We will remember how excited we used to get on game days and how passionate we were when we played. How we wanted to continue on with our athletic careers to the next level when playing was actually fun. We will also always remember the sly remarks, the obvious dislike from the one person who was supposed to support and encourage us.

We will always remember the day things began to change and our love for the game started to fade.

I hope that one day, for the sake of the young athletes who still have a passion for what they do, you change.

I hope those same athletes walk into practice excited for the day, to get better and improve, instead of walking in with anxiety and worrying about how much trouble they would get into that day. I hope those athletes play their game and don't hold back when doing it, instead of playing safe, too afraid to get pulled and benched the rest of the season.

I hope they form an incredible bond with you, the kind of bond they tell their future children about, “That's the coach who made a difference for me when I was growing up, she's the reason I continued to play."

I don't blame you for everything that happened, we all made choices. I just hope that one day, you realize that what you're doing isn't working. I hope you realize that before any more athletes get to the point of hating the game they once loved.

To the coach that ruined the game for me, I hope you change.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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I Wouldn't Trade My DII Experience To Play DI Athletics Any Day

I'm thankful that I didn't go DI because I wouldn't have had the best four-year experience as a college athlete.

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As a high school athlete, the only goal is to play your varsity sport at the Division 1 level in college.

No one in high school talks about going to a Division 2 or 3 school, it's as if the only chance you have at playing college athletics is at the DI level. However, there are so many amazing opportunities to play a varsity sport at the DII and DIII level that are equally fun and competitive as playing for a division 1 team.

As a college athlete at the DII level, I hear so many DI athletes wishing they had played at the DII or DIII level. Because the fact of the matter is this: the division you play in really doesn't matter.

The problem is that DII and DIII sports aren't as celebrated as Division 1 athletics. You don't see the National Championships of Division 2 and 3 teams being broadcasted or followed by the entire country. It's sad because the highest levels of competition at the DII and DIII level are competing against some of the Division 1 teams widely celebrated across the country. Yet DII and DIII teams don't receive the recognition that DI athletics do.

Not everyone can be a DI athlete but that doesn't mean it's easy to be a DII or DIII athlete. The competition is just as tough as it is at the top for DII and DIII athletes. Maybe the stakes are higher for these athletes because they have to prove they are just as good as DI athletes. Division 2 and 3 athletes have just as much grit and determination as Division 1 athletes, without the glorified title of being "a division 1 athlete."

Also, playing at the DII or DIII level grants more opportunities to make your college experience your own, not your coach's.

I have heard countless horror stories in athletics over the course of my four-year journey however, the most heartbreaking come from athletes who lose their drive to compete because of the increased pressure from coaches or program. Division 1 athletics are historically tougher programs than Division 2 or 3 programs, making an athlete's college experience from one division to another significantly different.

The best part of not going to a division 1 school is knowing that even though my team doesn't have "DI" attached to it, we still have the opportunity to do something unique every time we arrive at an event. Just because we aren't "DI" athletes, we still have the drive and competitive spirit to go to an event and win. We are great players, and we have broken countless records as a team.

That's something we all have done together, and it's something we can take with us for the rest of our lives.

We each have our own mission when it comes to our college athletic careers, however together we prove to be resilient in the fight for the title. Giving it all when we practice and play is important, but the memories we have made behind the scenes as a team makes it all worth it, too.

The best part of being apart of college athletics is being able to be passionate about your sport with teammates that embody that same mindset. It's an added benefit to having teammates who become your best friends because it makes your victories even more victorious, and your defeats easier to bare.

No matter what level an athlete is playing at in college, it's important that all the hours spent at practice and on the road should be enjoyed with teammates that make the ride worthwhile. The experiences athletes have at any level are going to vary, but the teammates I have and the success we've had together is something I cherish and will take with me forever. I'm thankful that I didn't go DI because I wouldn't have had the best four-year experience as a college athlete.

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