Sports! — Fly! Eagles! Fly!

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

I was big into following sports, especially baseball and football, up until I was maybe 15 or 16. Then for a while there, about five or so years, other things just started to supersede watching the Eagles or throwing the Phillies on as they began a decade-long bottoming out as a franchise. But I ended up coming back to fandom later in college (as a much different person at that point), partly spurred by the Eagles revamping the team in 2016, but mainly because following sports became a way to connect back to a home I’d left and knew I probably wasn’t going to go back to. And then 2017 happened, and then I fell in love with the Phillies again, and now we’ve gone through probably the most successful five year stretch of professional football the city of Philadelphia has ever seen, and I’m here for life.

Which is all to say that I really enjoyed Austin’s story of his fandom and where it came from, and also go birds.

I can never remember where this goes so if I’m posting in the wrong spot I apologize.

The ad I got before the podcast was for and Acast podcast “The briefing room” which is essentially a show about cops, by cops, to “educate the public” about why cops do cop shit (somehow I doubt the answer they give is because racism) but don’t worry, they’re also going to discuss when cops “step out of line” or some such bullshit.

Don’t want to come off as critical, I know that you don’t have direct control over this, just a heads up.

Boo, Chiefs.

The league is scripted specifically to torture Broncos fans.

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I know the discourse around the call will be wild and terrible, but I don’t think it was that awful a call and I don’t think it actually decided the game. What it did do was render the end of the game a dull anti-climax after some really exciting football.

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That was one of the better superbowls I’ve seen. As a neutral (Seahawks fan) it was fun to see these two phenomenal offenses play the way they did and have it be so close by the end. I was generally leaning to the Chiefs (because Mahomes is a fun QB to watch), but on balance of play, I think the Eagles should have had it. That’s sports for you: the better team doesn’t always get the W.

‘The call’ was correct, but a bit soft, and it took away any possibility of the Eagles having a heart-stopping final drive. Which honestly makes it more surprising than any of the conspiracy theories around it, big money sports reffing tends toward supporting dramatic finishes and this was the opposite.

It’s hard for me to separate my feelings about the call from my rooting interest in the game — but even if I try, I just hate it because of how much it’s dominated the discussion about what objectively (ugh) is probably one of the maybe five, certainly ten best Super Bowls ever played. That was two quarterbacks at the height of their powers, seemingly scoring at will, and you had an ending shaping up where one would get the ball back down 3 with a minute and a half left, which is the best ending in football.

Like it was a borderline call but sometimes those happen. It just sucks that it happened in that specific moment.

Honestly though I’m more upset about the field. Those conditions would have been unforgivably bad for a preseason game and it’s a miracle that no one tore a major ligament slip-n-sliding on the turf. And they clearly though it was gonna be great, judging from the several pre-game twitter threads about how the field had been carefully curated for over two years and a billion dollars from the finest of sods and grasses. What a joke.

As southern Ohioan, the call just felt frustrating, especially after feeling like we got robbed similarly in the AFC Championship game. It’s infrequent that the calls that get made are wholly incorrect ones, but it’s when you look at the game as a whole that they start to get frustrating. Holds like that almost never get noticed until they’re flagged and change the momentum of a game. Would it be better to just not call it? Probably not, but it doesn’t make it suck any less. Mostly you just start to see other places where flags should have been thrown and weren’t.

Thinking back to the Bengals/Chiefs game, you had that weird play where they failed to reset the clock and instead of blowing the play dead, they let it play out and then just gave the Chiefs another down afterwards, which to most people watching was inscrutable. And then you get another ticky-tack holding call immediately after that which reset the downs for the Chiefs. There was also clearly a late hit on Burrow long after he threw the ball that wasn’t called on the Bengals’ last possession, which made the fact that the game deciding call was a roughing the passer call against the Bengals that much more frustrating. If you’re going to call hits like that, and we should because the game is increasingly dangerous, then you gotta call them fairly.

You take the calls like that, the ubiquitous rise of sports betting, and the fact that the game took place at the State Farm Arena, an insurance company who constantly runs ads featuring Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid and no wonder you get people upset about the outcome of the game.

And just adding, agreed that it sucked the life out of the end of that game. Regardless how you feel about them, the reason that QBs like Elway or Brady are talked about constantly was their ability to drive their team down the field with little time left to equalize or pull ahead. And it’s such a let down to watch a game that was neck and neck the entire time end feeling like it was decided by the refs and not the players.