February 01, 2018
There is nothing as simultaneously important and unimportant as the music a team chooses for their introduction on Super Bowl Sunday.
On the one hand, it's a representation of your team, your city and all the people even loosely associated with the franchise. On the other hand, if you come out and play like crap, no one is ever going to care or remember what it sounded like when you ran out of the tunnel.
But the Eagles have apparently decided they don't want to mess with what's working.
Standing in as a pseudo theme song this year — with apologies to "Fly, Eagles, Fly" — the Eagles will storm onto the field at U.S. Bank Stadium with Meek Mill's "Dreams and Nightmares (Intro)" booming in the background.
Even if you don't recognize the name on sight, if you've been to an Eagles game this year you've probably heard it at one point or another. The boys in midnight green have been blasting it at every opportunity this year – during warmups, between kickoffs and every other time you can think of. They have taken the menacing beat of the song's second half and made it their own.
Several Eagles players discussed the choice with NFL.com's Mike Garafolo, and to hear them tell it this was hardly a tough call.
"If you're going to go with a Philly song, that's the one you're going with," said veteran defensive end Brandon Graham.
The choice makes plenty of sense on every level. You have the connection to the home city, a song about an underdog triumphing despite long odds, and a thunderous beat that could inspire blood pressure to rise in even the meekest Eagles fans among us. For a city with a constant chip on its shoulder, there is no better soundtrack.
Meek Mill has become something of a cult hero within Philadelphia, particularly with the city's professional athletes. After being handed a controversial prison sentence last fall connected to parole violations, a number of prominent Philadelphians have stepped up to support the local star, including Julius Erving, Malcolm Jenkins, Jalen Mills and several Sixers players, many of whom showed up at a "Free Meek Mill" rally held at City Hall shortly after his sentencing.
As rookie Derek Barnett described to Garafolo, the Eagles feel a duty to hold the fort down as the rapper's legal situation unfolds.
"Meek, you know, he's locked up right now, so we have to hold the city down for him," said Barnett. "It just gets us going. It gives us good energy. Just a little extra juice."
The Berks Street native has relayed his appreciation for what the Eagles have done and how they've responded to his music, and shared from prison that he is inspired by the way they've overcome adversity this season.
I’m so proud of my Eagles for making the Super Bowl and representing the city of Philadelphia. It really lifted my spirit to hear the team rally around my songs and that’s why I make music – to inspire others and bring people together. But the Eagles have also motivated me with the way they’ve overcome tough situations and injuries to succeed this year. That’s why I’m confident my guys are going to beat the Patriots and bring the Super Bowl trophy to Philly.
If you're like me and spend too much time on social media before, during and after games to see how everyone is reacting, you are probably all too familiar with a years-old Meek Mill tweet that circulates whenever the Eagles are struggling during a game.
EAGLES IS A DISGRACE!!!!!!!!— Meek Mill (@MeekMill) October 3, 2010
It is a hilarious, ever-present reminder that despite being a millionaire and a superstar, the guy still lives and breathes with his local teams with the rest of the city. There could not be a more perfect and Philadelphia choice for this squad.
So since the cat is out of the bag, feel free to go ahead and spin this song a couple (dozen) times between now and kickoff. Be prepared for some very NSFW language, though I assume plenty of that is going to be screamed at the TV on Sunday anyway.
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