With 2 minutes and 21 seconds left in Super Bowl LII, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots had the ball. They were trailing by 5 with only 75 short yards between them and their seemingly inevitable victory. Their previous three drives had sliced through the Philadelphia Eagles defense like a scythe through whatever it is that scythes scythe through, leading to three touchdowns. And again, they had Tom Brady playing quarterback.
At that moment, despite their deficit, what chance would you have given the Patriots to win—65 percent? 85 percent? 95 percent? The friend I was sitting next to said he’d need 12-to-1 odds to bet against the Pats in that moment—12-to-1! And they were losing the Super Bowl by 5 with 2-and-a-half minutes left!
And yet, two plays later, Eagles defensive lineman Brandon Graham strip-sacked Tom Brady, then followed that up with a field goal and an effective Hail Mary defense, leading to the most improbable outcome: the Eagles fucking winning. The Patriots were vanquished by a non-Manning foe, and it was at the hands of the Eagles!
The Eagles, which had never before won the Super Bowl. The Eagles, which lost their MVP-caliber quarterback and left tackle this season. The Eagles, which were coached by the guy who sat next to Brett Favre when the guy sitting next to Brett Favre wasn’t someone who went on to have a notable career. The Eagles!
I should note at this point that I, suffering from a really bad cold/flu situation, and have been hopped up on some combination of Ny and DayQuils for the past 96 hours, and none of what I just recounted may have happened. Rather than break down the game in a more sophisticated way, here’s what a list of things I’m pretty sure transpired in the football-game-slash-flu-addled dream I had on Sunday:
• Hyundai kidnapped people under the guise of security theatre and made them hug cancer survivors.
• Former Carson-Wentz-backup-cum-punchline Nick Foles (Nick Foles?!?!) hit Alshon Jefferey for an incredible touchdown in the back of the endzone to put the Eagles up 9-3, and I damn near lost my mind. Nick Foles was incredible. Nick Foles won the MVP. Nick Foles. Nick Foles!
• Prince’s explicit wish to not have to duet with random pop singers after he died was denied during Justin Timberlake's Super Bowl Halftime Show. And rather than a hologram, he was, instead, just a lousy projection on an old bed sheet.
• Eagles running back Corey Clement (who!??!) made an incredible touchdown catch that appeared to wiggle ever so slightly as he came down with it… and yet the refs decided not to overturn what was a well-earned touchdown!
And one more thing on this… which Eagles receiver do you think ended up with 100 yards? Was it Alshon Jeffery? Or maybe Zach Ertz, a tight end who can run routes better than Jimmy Graham and not drop balls like… uh… no Seahawks tight end I can think of? Or perhaps the redemptive figure Nelson Agholor, who was so dreadful as a rookie it was thought he could be out of the league this year, but instead, was a key cog on a Super Bowl winner? Or maybe journeyman speedster Torrey Smith, master of the explosive pass catch? NOPE. IT WAS THIRD-STRING RUNNING BACK COREY CLEMENT. WHAT?????
• The Patriots, meanwhile, got 100 yard games from Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola, and Rob Gronkowski, and they STILL LOST. It’s possible this whole game was devised by Bill Belichick to prove that even if three wide receivers go for 100 yards each in the Super Bowl you can still lose the game. I’m not sure why he’d do that… it’s a really weird way to approach game planning for a Super Bowl, but I’m just saying… look at the results.
• Also, I think Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. tried to sell me a Dodge.
• Tom Brady had the best Super Bowl of his entire career (505 yards! Three touchdowns! No interceptions!), and still lost in no small part due to the fact that he dropped a pass! This echoing the last time he lost a Super Bowl when his wife, supermodel Gisele Bündchen, yelled at a fan “My husband cannot fucking throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time!” It was true, Gisele. It was true.
• Meanwhile, Nick Foles (NICK FUCKING FOOOOLES!??!?!?!?) caught a touchdown thrown by tight end Trey Burton on a fourth down call that was so gutsy, he scaled the Agrocrag as a celebration. Also… I guess Nick Foles’ wife’s husband can catch and throw. Weird.
• The Aerosmith guy CGI’d his face to the past… and I didn’t care for it one bit, no sir.
• Because football is terrible, we were robbed of Patriots deep threat Brandin Cooks getting to star on the biggest stage because of a brutal concussion. It was really hard to watch, and on replay it was shocking not to see it flagged.
• Also shocking? Bill Belichick benched Malcolm Butler because… Malcolm Butler was sick? And then his team got lit on fire by NICK FOLES???!?!?!?!? Again, I cannot prove any of this happened, I’m just recounting images as they come to me.
• Going into this game, I kinda wanted New England to win, just because I’m greedy and petty and want as few teams and fanbases to feel the joy I felt when the Seahawks finally won a Super Bowl four years ago. Watching the game, though? I couldn’t help but root for the Eagles; they just played so damn well. I think Philadelphia is currently completely on fire, and their legendary fans will surely make me regret this but… good on you, Eagles. You ended a largely wretched football season on a really fun note.