I can hardly put into words the excitement I felt from the moment my brother Tom asked me if I would like to go with the family to the Super Bowl. WOW! I knew this was the opportunity of a lifetime. My only regret was all the people I would need to leave behind, many of whom I would have liked to put in my pocket to give them this chance as well. Trust me, I did take you along with me, in addition to many others I carried in my heart, especially my dad, who died an avid Eagles fan, and my brother Frank, our only sibling who was unable to come after suffering a severe stroke last year.
Conditions could not have been more ideal — several inches of snow and a frigid, 10-degree temperature — for Philadelphia Eagles fans to pour into Minneapolis for Super Bowl LII. This was our chance to show our team that the grit and grace they had demonstrated all season long was contagious. We were there with them and for them. Yes, we are the city that loves you back!
We’ve often heard it said that “it’s only a game.” Truth is, I often have to remind myself of this, when I’m totally caught up in the highs and lows of each and every game I watch. But I know I’m not alone when I say with all sincerity that the Philadelphia Eagles win (41-33) over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII was so much more than “only a game.” I can’t think of a more powerful symbol to express and point toward all that is most noble and good, wholehearted and selfless, in our human nature than this Eagles team. Yes, their overwhelming show of love and support, of unity and trust, of total self-giving is who we are at our best and who we aspire to be more often than we are. Nothing that we do is for ourselves alone. How often did Eagles players remind us before and after the big game that we are part of a whole; no one lives or works or plays in isolation. We belong to one another.
After searching far too often in vain for role models among our political and social leaders, we found them right here in our great city. This is what it looks like to be “men for others” — donating their paychecks, supporting public schools, serving in Haiti, praying together, caring for one another and witnessing to a unity in diversity that leaves no one behind. Yes, as the Eagles thanked God for their gifts and for their success, I have no doubt that God is returning the thanks, blanketing our land in Eagles green. Winter will soon give way to the springtime color we wore with such pride on that cold day in February when we carried home the Lombardi trophy to become for the first time in our history — the city the whole world now recognizes as world champions. This is a day we will never forget! GO EAGLES!
Sister Cathy Nerney, Ph.D.