By Susan DeLay
Fasten your seatbelt and break out the hot wings–The Big Game is coming! Come February 12, the Kansas City Chiefs will meet the Philadelphia Eagles in a battle for Super Bowl bling and the chance for a player on the winning team to look into the camera and respond to the age-old question: What are you doing after the Super Bowl? (Spoiler alert: It has something to do with Disney.)
The last year the Eagles went to the Super Bowl was 2018. They beat the New England Patriots 41-33 and I’m convinced I had something to do with it. I was praying for them because I liked how open many of the players were about their faith in Christ.
The story below is my ode to the Eagles five years ago in 2018 when they beat New England 41-33.
Shortly after Americans are reasonably sure there will be six more weeks of winter, regardless of what the groundhog says, we shell out the equivalent of a mortgage payment on guacamole, chips, wings and Budweiser, and gather for the second biggest food fest of the year—the Super Bowl.
Reasons to Watch the Super Bowl
Granted some fans go to the parties to watch the best-of-the-best in commercials. And some show up at the party for the spread and a few plates of the 1.35 billion wings (with ranch or blue cheese) served on Super Bowl Sunday. (Estimated wing consumption in 2023 is 1.42 billion. Probably because of keto.)
And Then There’s the Football
AFC champions, the New England Patriots, return to the Super Bowl for the 10th time to try to capture their sixth ring. They’ll face the NFC’s champion team, the Philadelphia Eagles, who have won three national championships—the last one in 1960. So it’s fair to say the Eagles have never won a Super Bowl because the first one was in 1967.
Gotta Love an Underdog
Despite the excitement around Philadelphia’s 2017 winning season, the Eagles are the underdogs. To be fair, any team facing quarterback Tom Brady is officially an underdog, unless it’s a game of trivia, where apparently he’s a loser. Don’t feel too bad for him. He’s a loser with a net worth of $180 million. (In 2023, his net worth is more like $250 million. That will buy a lot of wings.)
The Eagles take their underdog status with a wink and a smile. Following their win against the Atlanta Falcons that locked them in as Super Bowl LII contenders, the Eagles players pulled on dog masks and let the barking begin. Dogs and barking—underdogs, get it? The crowd got it and they went crazy. Call me Polly Purebred, but I love a team with a self-deprecating sense of humor.
I Need a Dog in the Race
I think going to a Super Bowl party, and saying I don’t care who wins, sucks some of the fun out of the big day. The game is much more fun when you’re cheering for a particular team. So, I want a dog in the race.
This year (2018), my team is the Philadelphia Eagles. This isn’t a decision based on talent. Face it, no team gets to the Super Bowl without talent. I will be a Philly fan this year partly because I love an underdog. And partly because, as an unapologetic Christian, I have been moved by the number of Christ followers suiting up in the midnight green of the Eagles. May I hear an Amen? (In 2022, the Eagles exchanged midnight green for Kelly green.)
Carson Wentz: Born Again Leader
The clear leader of the team is born-leader Carson Wentz, who is not without controversy. But, the 24-year-old starting quarterback leads Bible studies, goes to services at Connect Church in Cherry Hill, NJ with several of his teammates, and started a foundation called Audience of One (AO1). The foundation provides service dogs to Philadelphia youth, outdoor opportunities for those with physical disabilities and military vets in the Midwest, and assistance for underprivileged youth living abroad. As Wentz says, the foundation was created to “demonstrate the love of God.”
The Eagles’ Biggest Cheerleader
Sadly, Wentz won’t be strapping on shoulder pads or a helmet for the big game. He tore an ACL in December and will be on the sidelines, but not as a spectator. He’ll be the team’s most ardent cheerleader.
Win or lose, it seems Wentz will take the game’s outcome with the same attitude he took following his injury. He’ll lean into God and trust Him regardless of who wins. Wentz backs that stance with the Scripture in Proverbs 3:5-6.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek His will in all you do,
and He will show you which path to take.
Path to the Trophy?
So amidst the commercials, the halftime entertainment, the innocent football pools and the wings (I’ll take mine with blue cheese, please.), I’ll be praying that the talented underdogs are on the path that leads to their first Vince Lombardi trophy.
Fly, Eagles, Fly—on a (hot) wing and a prayer.
In 2023’s Big Game, it will be harder for me to pick a team. Patrick Mahomes, QB for the Chiefs, and Jalen Hurts, QB for the Eagles, are both strong Christians. Does that matter? It does to me, and it might to God. So, this year, I’ll pray, hoping for another win for the Eagles, but deep down, knowing I can’t lose.
Susan DeLay is from the Buckeye State where she took her first paying job at the age of 15, writing a newspaper column called Teen Talk.
An industry veteran in publishing services, PR and media relations, Susan wrote “DeLayed Reaction,” a newspaper column, for 25 years. The column is now a blog at www.susandelay.com. She is a member of American Society of Journalists and Authors, The Florida Writers Association, Writers League of the Villages, Working Writers Critique Group and Pen, Paper & Pals.
Susan is currently learning that poems don’t have to rhyme and is working on a novel entitled “Saving Jesus.”
Check out “DeLayed Reaction”, Susan DeLay’s blog, at www.susandelay.wordpress.com
5 thoughts on “On a Hot Wing and a Prayer: Fly, Eagles, Fly!”
So reassuring to know Jesus and god have skin in the game. But perhaps they might better spend their time preventing earthquakes. Dang. Just occurred to me those folks aren’t Christians. OK. Back to the game. And I’ll take KC.
Nicely written article until I got to the part where you wrote about Carson Wentz. Sounds like you think highly of him. I did too for some time
but I no longer do.
I know Wentz was good in his day, a good athlete, a good Christian , but when the team drafted Hurts as a backup quarterback
since Wentz was always getting hurt, his feeling were hurt and he wanted to be traded.
So after a time in Indianapolis, he wore out his welcome and was traded to Washington .
Will he be on the sidelines routing for the Eagles? He may, but I don’t think so. I will though.
Thank you for your comment,Ben, and I agree with you about Carson. This post was a throwback to the 2018 game, when I was a fan. I find his behavior has been disappointing. I think his foundation is a worthy one, tho’. I am a Hurts fan now, so as long as Da Bears or The Browns aren’t in the Super Bowl, which is highly unlikely in the rest of my lifetime, I’ll be a Hurts fan (and a fan of Caron’s AO1 foundation). I’m a much bigger fan of Mike Singletary, a man of integrity always. He still plays football, but mostly with his grandchildren.
Susan! I so enjoyed reading your short story/article. So well-written and easy reading too. Your title is a clever play on Super Bowl food fare (hot wings and Eagles) and is restated in the last line. I say it’s easy reading because your story is separated by subtitles, but you’d know that since you’re an avid blogger! (I’ll definitely be signing up for your blog – right now!) Love the spoiler alert too, though with Disney laying off 7,000 workers, the after-party may have to be at Universal. Your writing wit is unmatched. Thanks for writing this and thank to Hallard Press for publishing. And . . . thanks for mentioning Pen, Paper and Pals Writing Club in your short bio. You’re one of our invaluable players there!
P.S. Patrick is my boy for this game, but I promise to root for your hot wings with blue cheese.