The reign has finally been halted.
Outside of the two years Eli Manning and the New York Giants pulled off absolute miracles in the last minutes of the big games, the New England Patriots always found a way to win every Super Bowl the team played in. The late game improbable comebacks became the latest theme for New England. Super Bowl LI, a crazy late regular-season victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers this year, and even trailing in the AFC Championship by double digits in the fourth quarter, the more the Patriots came back, the more realistic it seemed the franchise would never lose again.
The team has known ties to the controversial 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump. The franchise hasn’t had any player come out publicly against the grain in terms of political statements and the team passed on signing Colin Kaepernick after trading away back-up quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and signed the inferior Brian Hoyer.
The Philadelphia Eagles, on the other hand, represent “the culture” more than perhaps most other teams in the league. Defensive stars Malcolm Jenkins and Chris Long have spoken against social injustices, have demonstrated gestures during the national anthem, and have led activism efforts. Jenkins was the leader of the player’s coalition group that led to the NFL promising to donate close to $100M to organizations that are going to uplift the Black community. Long has still spoken out about the Charlottesville, Virginia terrorist attack to this day and put his arm around Jenkins when Jenkins threw his fist in the air during the anthem. On the field, the team did the electric slide on the sideline and even came out to Meek Mill’s “Dreams and Nightmares” while being introduced at the Super Bowl.
Throughout the season, many doubted the team. Many of the wins early in the season were ugly, second-year quarterback Carson Wentz looked manageable before the team caught fire. After a 1-1 start, the Eagles went on a nine-game winning streak and Wentz looked like the best quarterback in the game. The Eagles, however, were still doubted, because the winning streak was simply just a team getting hot during the regular season. In Week 14, Wentz tore his ACL and the little bit of hope fans built for the team were stopped.
For sure a team was not going to keep winning with a back-up quarterback, although Nick Foles has started in the NFL before. The team marched into the postseason and defeated the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons and stars dawned a dog mask after the game, embracing the team’s “underdog” label. Philadelphia then went on to blow out the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Game, but for sure the team wasn’t going to defeat the great Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, right?
After New England made its expected comeback, the Eagles scored again and then the team’s outstanding defense sealed the deal to give the city its first Super Bowl ever.
There are only two words to use in celebrating the team win for “the culture”: Free Meek.