Its hard to not want to root for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Yes, even diehard New York Giants fans.
After all, this Philadelphia story is so compelling, so what sports is all about. If you didnt get goosebumps or at least admire what they accomplished on Sunday night at Lincoln Financial Field in Philly, you cant be a real sports fans.
The Eagles werent supposed to go to the Super Bowl. Not by any stretch of the imagination.
NFL on Twitter
The BEST @Eagles play from every game of their NFC Championship run! #FlyEaglesFly #SBLII https://t.co/9j4jGBk2rQ
Not before the season started.
Not after they lost All-Pro left tackle Jason Peters.
Not after they lost middle linebacker Jordan Hicks.
Not after they lost star QB Carson Wentz, who was en route to winning the leagues MVP award.
Oh, no, baby.
The season was supposed to be over and done once the injuries piled up like trash on a city street during a sanitation strike.
It didnt happen.
Instead, the Eagles trip to the Super Bowl is Rocky all over – except its on a field with helmets and pads and not in a ring.
Bill Conti – Gonna fly now (Rocky) HD
Bill Conti – Gonna fly now Trying hard now it’s so hard now trying hard now Getting strong now won’t be long now getting strong now Gonna fly now flying high now gonna fly, fly, fly
Oh yes, and the Eagles were underdogs just like Rocky Balboa, the fictional fighter from Philly.
Its why fans wore dog masks to the game. Their team was counted out by many who strongly believed they couldnt win.
Most teams, when they lose their starting quarterback, the seasons over, center Jason Kelce said. Not this team.
Its a credit to our front office for putting a guy back there who can get it done.
Enter Nick Foles. He was the backup QB, the man who led the Eagles and their fans on a night most will never forget – kind of like their first kiss or their first cheesesteak.
Tony Dungy on Twitter
I told Eagle fans back in December when Carson Wentz got hurt your team could still win. Eagles have a complete TEAM and a great coaching staff. Thank you Nick Foles for making me look good.
And after they thumped the Minnesota Vikings, 38-7, some will try to claim now that they saw this coming. But it would be a lie.
The Vikings entered the game with the No. 1 defense in the NFL. They allowed just 15.8 points a game in the regular season.
Plus, Minnesota came into the NFC Championship after its thrilling walk-off TD win to shock the New Orleans Saints as time expired.
That, plus their stingy defense, was the reason Vegas made them the favorite, giving Philly points in their own crib.
None of it mattered.
We knew Philly played defense. The Eagles were fourth-best ranked defense in the regular season. They shut down Atlantas high-powered offense in their first playoff game to win 15-10 in a defensive struggle.
Against the Vikings, Foles was amazing. Against the toughest defense, he completed 26 of 33 passes. He had three TDs and no picks. It was a performance suitable for framing.
Philadelphia Eagles on Twitter
One more game. #FlyEaglesFly https://t.co/Atdr9JX5bC
I havent even had time to really comprehend what is going on, to be honest, Foles said to the media after the game. I dont know if I ever will. When I was up on that stage, thats something you dream about as a kid.
And you can bet, few were thinking about Wentz on Sunday. Wentz was supposed be be Foles, leading the Eagles to the championship before he tore his ACL in Week 14.
Theres no disrespect, though. Its just what this team has become. They fight on with the healthy bodies available. Most teams cant pull it off.
Despite all we saw on Sunday, a well-oiled machine dismantling the Vikings like they didnt belong, the Eagles are the biggest Super Bowl underdogs since 2009. The line opened with the Eagles getting 5.5 points.
Good. It fits this team perfectly, to be honest.
The Shadow League on Twitter
We spoke to some Eagles fans and they are SUPER pumped about the upcoming matchup against the Vikings in the #NFCChampionship. https://t.co/2UlKSekVkd
The Eagles have won the second-most playoff games (17) in the Super Bowl era without winning a Super Bowl.
They, of course are the underdogs against the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl in two weeks.
I know, Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson said. Hey, Tom Brady. Pretty Boy Tom Brady. Hes the best quarterback of all time, so, nothing Id like to do more than dethrone that guy.
The last time the Eagles made it to the Super Bowl was 2004. They played and lost to the Patriots.
It wont matter to the Eagles this time around. Everything has gone against them and they just keep winning.
Thats the reason many will be on their bandwagon this time around. And rightly so. Their story feels good.