When In Doubt, Go For It – That’s What Philadelphia Did in Super Bowl

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2018/02/04/when-in-doubt-go-for-it-thats-what-philadelphia-did-in-super-bowl/

The Philadelphia Eagles’ play-calling in Super Bowl LII on Sunday night ought to be a lesson not just for sports teams but for anyone trying to achieve something with significant obstacles:

Don’t play not-to-lose. Play to win.

That’s just what the Eagles did on fourth and goal from the 1 yard line with a three-point lead late in the first half. Instead of kicking a field goal, which is what NFL coaches do in that situation about 98 percent of the time, the Eagles tried a trick play – direct snap to the running back, reverse to the tight end, who threw to the quarterback in the end zone, who was wide open, for a touchdown. (You can see the play here.)

Whether you care about the intricacies of football or not is immaterial. The play call took guts, and the players executed it perfectly. It gave Philadelphia a 10-point lead at the time, and it gave them some wiggle room later in the game when it looked as though the New England Patriots might take control.

The Eagles ended up winning 41-33, after a last-second heave into the end zone from midfield by Patriots quarterback Tom Brady fell incomplete (although tantalizingly close).

From a Boston sports fan’s point of view, the Patriots’ loss in the Super Bowl is disappointing, but not crushing. Winning so much in the past 17 years (five Super Bowls, three World Series, one NBA championship, one Stanley Cup) has been a blessing, and something we should be grateful for.

We should also salute Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, who seemed an inconsequential backup earlier this season but took over after starter Carson Wentz went down with a season-ending knee injury. Foles caught fire in the playoffs and never faltered. Just as important, the Eagles didn’t try to work around Foles, but instead let him go to work. The Eagles’ play-calling was aggressive and clever. Foles slung his passes, some into tight windows. He made some great throws, and no major mistakes. He played a heck of a game Sunday night, and deserved the MVP award he got.

Whether it’s politics, business, or other pursuits, his story tells us:  When you get your chance, don’t just try to survive it – try to make the most of it.

This is Philadelphia’s first Super Bowl win, and the team’s first NFL championship since 1960. Bostonians remember long droughts. We all wanted the Patriots to win, of course, but it’s hard not to feel good for Philadelphia fans.

And besides, we all know the best thing about Philadelphia:

At least it’s not New York.