I love eagles. They are so majestic as they soar high above us, or sit seemingly motionless while surveying their domain. Eagles appear so peaceful and serene while coasting on the high altitude breezes, yet they are anything but peaceful in reality. Eagles are well known as ferocious predators and defenders of their young. We often consider eagles as representative of courage and tenacity; indeed, the eagle is universally admired or revered for that very reason. The eagle is frequently associated with warfare and is thus often referred to as a “War Bird” or a “Thunderbird.” One of the U.S. Army’s elite airborne divisions is the101st Screaming Eagles, and Oklahoma’s own National Guard Infantry Brigade Combat Team wears the emblem of the Thunderbird.
The eagle was chosen as the national bird to represent the brand-new United States of America. The choice was not unanimous among the nation’s founders. Benjamin Franklin, who wanted the turkey selected, was overruled by his fellow Patriots (a little humor there). The delegates met in Philadelphia to create the government that enabled the founding of this country. There is little question, then, why the organizers of a professional football team in that city chose the eagle as their mascot. The Philadelphia Eagles football team has been a journyman team over the years. They have had some very good players and some very good coaches, but they had not taken the national championship trophy home to Philidelphia until now.This year, the stars aligned for the mighty Eagles; this was to be the Year of the Eagles! Then, disaster struck just before Christmas. Their star quarterback, the NFL regular-season player of the Year, was injured and sidelined for the remainder of the playoffs. The year of the Eagles was already over. The Eagles’ backup quaterback was a throwback to the old journeyman days. He had already left football once and decided to give it one more try. He was a good team player and a likable young man, but being likable does not win NFL championships. The Eagles’ coaches had decided, however, that he was whom they needed to back up their star. Suddenly, he was no longer a backup; now he was going to lead the team into the playoffs. The future looked bleak.
Somehow, the nice guy, journeyman, backup quarterback found his eagle’s wings. Under his leadership, the Eagles were unstoppable. They marched through solid NFL teams who also believed that it was their year to shine. The Eagles, from the city of philadelphia where our nation began, marched right into Super Bowl 52 to meet the Patriots, namesake of those who formed our nation. The Eagles had never been in a Super Bowl; the Patriots had won five Super Bowls. One does not need to be a professional gambler to determine the odds of winning this one. The mighty New England Patriots would be in for a scramble, but they would be victorious, as usual.
On Sunday, February 4, 2018, Nick Foles, 29 year old brand-new father and back-up quarterback, led the Philadelphia Eagles to a 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII. Nick Foles was named the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player. Such is the legend of the mighty eagle.