February 06, 2023
PHILADELPHIA - NFL football is such a rollercoaster of emotions for the passionate fan bases around the country that many have to cope with the disappointment of a lost season with rationalizations.
With everyone looking for that Super Bowl sure thing when it comes to prop bets, the free guarantee here is that Carl Cheffers, the Super Bowl LVII referee, is public enemy No. 1 in either Philadelphia or Kansas City Monday morning.
Former All-Pro running back Arian Foster had a little fun with that kind of sentiment recently while appearing on the Barstool Sports podcast “Macrodosing” (your first hint Foster was preparing to offer up some laughs) and “confirming” that the NFL indeed handed out scripts during training camp that lay out the entire season:
Former NFL player arian foster admits NFL is literaly rigged pic.twitter.com/RSfqF1OwKI— PFT Commenter (@PFTCommenter) January 31, 2023
Furthering on Foster’s WWE-like light-heartedness, when the league’s head of creative deems it’s the Eagles’ time, you already know the script: the plucky underdog plagued by a constant stream of disrespect overcomes the Evil Empire by somehow traversing the meridian trench to find the thermal exhaust port that’s only two meters wide.
Forgive the "Star Wars” references, but the point here is that the path to victory is always very narrow for the city “where no one likes us and we don’t care,” which roughly translates to “no one likes us and we care so deeply about that view it becomes an obsession.”
That’s old-school creative, though. A tired, cliched storyline that should be left in the past except when it comes to nostalgia and Jason Kelce’s clothing line.
The 2022-23 Eagles are a Triple H story: innovative, exciting, and new while fighting back against every trope that the team’s own fan base believes.
Nick Sirianni’s club is the literal favorite in Super Bowl LVII despite facing off against one of the best coaches of all time in Andy Reid and the most dynamic player in football, Patrick Mahomes.
In fact, the Eagles have been favorites in every game this season, save for Christmas Eve at Dallas, the third of three consecutive road games and one without their starting quarterback against America’s Team that always gets a little bump to take advantage of the squares in the betting markets.
Believe it or not, NFL creative leaked the denouement of the script for the savvy to see when they announced the riser list of Super Bowl Opening Night at the Footprint Center.
For those who don’t know, the high-profile members of the Eagles and Chiefs get the podium treatment for the kickoff show so that the idiots in costumes can go viral for 15 minutes.
After the coaches, the Eagles’ list is a who’s who of Miles Sanders-coined All-Stars from Jalen Hurts at podium No. 2 all the way down to Sanders himself at No. 12. In between are A.J. Brown, Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson, Jordan Mailta, Haason Reddick, Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, and Darius Slay.
After Reid, the Chiefs are very top-heavy with Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and Chris Jones before a Grand Canyon-like dropoff to Frank Clark at No. 5.
The league’s internal ranking of the game’s babyfaces and heels may not be perfect but it tells you what Park Avenue thinks.
And that’s the foreshadowing for Jim Kenney to shift some budget money for pole lubricant.
There will be no rewrites for this script.
John McMullen is a contributor to PhillyVoice.com and covers the Eagles and the NFL for Sports Illustrated and JAKIB Sports. He’s also the co-host of “Birds 365,” a daily streaming show covering the Eagles and the NFL, and the host of “Extending the Play” on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at email@example.com
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