I Am Your 2018 Super Bowl Champion


Open Thread is where Waypoint staff talk about games and other things we find interesting. This is where you'll see us chat about games, music, movies, TV, and even sports, and welcome you to participate in the discussion.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/a34gnb/i-am-your-2018-super-bowl-champion


I grew up in Northern Ohio and still have great sentimental attachment to the area, so my feelings when the Cleveland Cavaliers won the 2016 NBA Finals are similar to Austin’s with the Eagles. Before that it was hard to believe any Cleveland pro sports team would win a championship in my lifetime (despite the Indians coming oh so close a couple of times over the last 20-ish years). I still have no hope for the Browns though.


I’m in the same position as Austin on this. I’m Philly fan who grew up in Dublin, Ireland. I’ve never gotten to see them play live. I picked them as my “team” about 20 years ago when I played a game of Madden and thought their logo was cool. Since then I’ve followed them every year and see them make it to playoffs time and time again but never win the big one.

This year after Wentz went down I had resigned that it was over for it. But then Nick Foles turned it up and the team kept going strong. Seeing them win the Superbowl is a stupid dream I’ve had since I’ve been 10 years old. I ran around my apartment, swung my partner around while screaming “holy shit they won!” over and over.

I didn’t do anything to contribute to them, but it was so sweet and unbelievable to see that team win. Austin’s tweets on Sunday night (Monday morning for me) resonated in a way that I totally got. I was terrified on that Hail Mary pass and when I saw it hit the ground I exploded.

The Eagles are playing in London this year and I’m going to do everything I can to get to see them.


Whenever Drew Scanlon won Mario Party


I get this watching professional wrestling all the damned time. Watching Angelico dive off the roof of Dario Quetos office to save his legitimately injured teammate who he has been forced to tag with to give them an opportunity to win the championship was just such an incredible moment for me. Maybe it’s because Angelico has a body type similar to mine which I always got bullied for as a kid. Maybe it was because Son of Havoc (Matt Cross) is straight edge like me & friends with CM Punk who I really admired that one year I watched wrestling in middle school. Maybe it was because Ivelisse is latinx like me & that show was the real first time I felt like I could identify with Latin Americans in media. Maybe it was because when I first saw that team I was at my lowest of lows & I could identify with the dysfunction of the team. Or maybe it was a combination of those things. That team didn’t even have a name but I felt like that team was made for me specifically even if wrestling is a fantasy land not entirely comparable to organized sports.

Also I’m a D.C. sports fan (except that one) I don’t know what victory feels like, just bitter disappointment…every year.

Oh & the finale of Project B.E.A.S.T.


I grew up and Orlando and just moved to Boston last year. Watching Orlando City Soccer has been a weirdly big part of my life the past few years. The 2nd season opener they were down by two and managed to score 2 goals to tie in the 90th and 93rd minute (if I remember correctly). While it technically wasn’t a win it sure felt like one. I was running up and down the row it was down right intoxicating.

I’ve given a lot of thought to “your” sport team win. And it’s definitely something that’s ingrained in our humanity. It’s a good way to blow off steam and much like playing games getting a win, no matter how arbitrary, just feels good. And in 2018 I could use some more wins.


I have a distinct memory of when I first saw Datto and his clan get first and second place in the race to Worlds First for the very first Destiny raid. I had enjoyed Destiny up until that point but the lackluster story and sparse endgame meant I had started to slow down on playing the game. I wasn’t following bungie’s weekly game updates so I had no clue about raids until I happened upon Datto’s stream the day they were attempting the raid for the first time. This seemed like an entirely different game to me! Watching his team solve the encounters in that raid, people in chat theorizing and cheering along, the sense of absolute elation when a new checkpoint was reached, it made me want to play Destiny again. And when the final boss was finally killed, it absolutely felt like we all won, regardless of whether we had contributed any correct theories on mechanics or not, we had been along for an amazing 14 hour journey. It turned me into an evangelist for the game, so that some day I could delve those depths with friends and experience what (to me) is still one of the best co-operative experiences gaming has to offer.


Let’s go Caps…


What a cool topic. I felt this way when GB East beat Mario Sunshine, when Vinny finally beat Dan in Soulcalibur, and when Austin and Patrick got their first (on-stream) chicken dinner.

Outside of gaming, I always feel a sense of “victory” or validation when a small-ish band I like lands a spot on a late night show or SNL or something.


I was born in Philadelphia and lived just outside the city until I went off to college a couple of years ago, and it’s hard for me to remember a day that ended with me being happier than I was Sunday night. Maybe when I was 13 and watched the Phillies win the World Series but hey, it’s the same deal. One of my earliest concrete, happy memories is of watching the 2001 NBA Finals in my parents’ room as a five-year-old, followed by that string of Eagles NFC Championship games in the early-2000s (which, as history remembers, ended with a loss to the Patriots in the 2005 Super Bowl). And watching with some college friends in an upstate-New York sports bar on Sunday, it felt like that kid for whom those memories—which, as happy as they were, all ended in disappointment—had finally gotten some closure.

And while all of what I’m about to say may be completely obvious, sports are a narrative medium—just written as they go by athletes and coaches. And as a narrative, they also invoke this ultimate synecdoche; i.e., teams become a synecdoche for their cities, and a proxy for the way those cities’ people view themselves. They represent a community through, as Austin mentioned, this “lore” that surrounds them and the specific ethos that they exhibit. And when that sense of community combines with a compelling overarching narrative (here: The Legend of Nick Foles), it just makes it all the more enrapturing.

So like with video games, it’s all a participatory narrative. And almost like a long-running TV show, people tend to participate in it for years. Imagine if show that represented your community ran for two decades, with all the peaks and valleys that a team of writers could make, and finally paid off in something that not only resonated narratively but with the core of what you identify with as a person.

And sure, it’s not yours, per se—a participation in something fueled by another person’s time and effort and work—but all stories are that way. Every time you read a book or play a game, you’re leaving yourself and becoming part of something else, something larger than an individual, something that someone else’s experience built. I think being overjoyed at a sports victory is just another form of that narrative engagement, which arises in so many different forms that I think it’s impossible to separate from just… being human.

(Oh, and all that said, one more time, fuck Tom Brady.)


I’m from New England so the Pats are technically “my” team but I’ve never felt a connection to them. I’m from the South Western part of Connecticut which is the football fandom equivalent of Donetsk, so New York teams were literally and psychically closer for most of my youth.

I didn’t really care about football until I went off to college though, and that happened in Pittsburgh so now I’m a Steelers fan despite all the odds.

I guess I feel a real kinship with that city and I understand what the Steelers mean to people there, so maybe that’s why they’re the team I have the most emotional investment in. It also helps that they’re good without being, well, the Pats.

I didn’t watch the superbowl this year, I was taking advantage of the fact it’s secretly the best possible time to be on the highway, but hearing that the Eagles won was still immensely satisfying.


#TeamBrad is the most thrilling thing I have ever witnessed.


Rock that red T-T


I’m a disillusioned Panthers fan, and I feel the same way about football. There’s so much of it that’s gross and I hate, and I’ve been trying to care about it less, but then things like that super bowl happen and it’s so good and feels fucking great. Go Eagles, fuck Tom Brady.

Two moments stick out that have had a comparable effect: when Awful Squad won their first chicken dinner, it was unbelievable. That was the first time I’d ever seen someone win PUBG, and it was the most intense thing I’d ever seen. The second is when Tim Turi beat Cyberia on Replay. That game looked like absolute hell, and Tim was a champ in the face of it all. There was such a tremendous sense of relief when the credits rolled, it was spectacular.


Being in that room when that happened at the PAX West meetup was… incredible.


Wrestling is SO interesting with this because there are multiple levels of cheering. Partially, you’re cheering as the fictional audience member who believes in what’s happening going on in the ring as real, contributing to its power as a performance. But partially, you’re also able to cheer on incredible performance: Big spots, clear in-ring storytelling, perfectly executed gimmicks. And then, on top of BOTH of those, there’s the deeply real feeling of seeing a wrestler you’ve followed FINALLY get a “push,” and the chance for their big break. So good.


In Australia there are a couple of major sports, in NSW and Queensland the dominant sport during the winter is Rugby League. In Rugby League there is a 3 game series played every year called State of Origin, where the best players from NSW (the Blues) and Queensland (the Maroons), play against each. The series is marked by its brutality and intensity. A common occurrence in these games is a full team brawl.

In 2014 NSW were looking to achieve their first series victory in 8 years, Queensland dominance was unprecedented. They fielded a team made of champions and players that will one day be considered the greatest of all time and were coached by another legend in Mal Meninga. NSW usually had a strong team but nothing compared to the Maroons.

The first game was played in Queensland and was won by the Blues 8-12 and was only won due to two penalty goals made by NSW halfback Trent Hodkinson.

NSW hosted Game 2 in Sydney. Queensland held the lead from 14 minutes into the game (games are 80 minutes long) with a penalty goal from Johnathon Thurston one of the single greatest players ever. He kicked another at the 30 minute mark.

The tension in the air was unbearable. Turnovers from the Blues made it look certain to go to game 3 when, Hodkinson scored a try to level the game in the 71st minute, and converted his own try to grab the lead with 7 minutes to go (time doesn’t stop for conversions). No one in NSW was celebrating because of how good Queensland are.

When the final siren blew and NSW were crowned the winners, it was like the whole state erupted, the next day was like a cloud had been lifted from the NSW fans.

Sorry i know this is a long an poorly written thing, but for me it was one of those moments that i go back to every now and then, NSW haven’t won since and Queensland still have a champion side. but we won in 2014 and that’s all that matters.


Despite growing up in Europe and never having set foot anywhere close to Northeast Ohio I will probably never experience the amount of joy and happiness I got when the Cavs won the title in 2016. It was a singular moment that gratified over 10 years of sports fan frustration, in the most epic setting imaginable against a team that had seemed practically invinsible all year and that I utterly hated at the time.

It felt like justification for the countless nights I’d spent over the years, staying up 'til 4 in god damn morning to watch my team get blasted to smitherines , every single organizational fuck up, every mindless turnover, every D-league scrub that donned the Wine and Gold. At that moment it all seemed complete, like the perfect ending to long and terribly arduous journey. Even in hindsight, with the team looking like an abject disaster and a screaming trash fire even going forward, I still look back on that monday morning at 6 am with a smile and think it was all worth it. watching LeBron James and Kevin Love embrace each other with tears running down my cheeks in my parents guest room in the middle of nowhere in Denmark, I felt more like a Clevelander than anything else.

It is so utterly ridiculous and silly that it effected me in that way, considering my ties to Ohio start and end with basketball, but through interacting with the community and sharing in it’s victories and myriad losses I just couldn’t help but feel like I had been part of the same historic moment. When LeBron bellowed out “Cleveland, this is for you, I felt, and still do feel, that even though I was 10000 miles away, he still spoke to me, as well”


For me it was the batlfip seen 'round the world. For context, consider the fact that the Blue Jays had not been to the playoffs since 1993 (incidentally the last year a Canadian team had won a big 4 sports championship), and here was hometown hero Jose Bautista punching our ticket for the American League Champion Series. I can’t even describe the elation in Canada that October, with seemingly everyone in the country decked out in Jays gear, buzzing about the latest news and sharing their favorite memories about the team. Canadians owned every pitch and strike, and the dramatic triumph was claimed by us all.

On a related note, we’re only 5 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting. Baseball is nearly back baby!


So uh… how about these 17 year old Americans killing it in Olympic snowboarding? The redemption of Shaun White? Jamie Anderson’s second slopestyle gold?

When are we getting a new SSX game? A good new SSX game?