September 06, 2018
In the time since Jigar Desai made Philadelphia history by running into a SEPTA subway pillar, his favorite team won its first-ever Super Bowl title and his sporting idol, Brian Dawkins, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
That momentous fan feat came hours before the Eagles curb-stomped the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Game (Go Birds!), but it’s been an especially rewarding eight months for the 42-year-old pharmaceutical company employee from Montgomery County.
In the time since, he and his family have basked in the love of “a whole lot of support and excitement from Eagles fans.”
“They made space for my kids at the parade, expressed gratitude for laughs and positive energy for the two weeks going into the Super Bowl and asked for pictures,” he recalled on Thursday morning, less than 12 hours before the Eagles start a regular-season campaign to defend their title.
“Things like that show how awesome our fanbase is," he continued. “Many people early on told me ‘I am Jigar Desai,' so that level of excitement and passion that I displayed is really not foreign to Eagles fans.”
While his painful brush with viral fame didn’t result in any meet-and-greets with players from the championship roster, he said he holds out hope that that might happen for him and his kids in the future.
With all due respect to our football/stick-figure guru Jimmy Kempski, I am relying on Desai’s predictions both for tonight’s game against the Atlanta Falcons and the season ahead.
Here are a few things that he thinks will happen:
• The Birds win by four tonight. Final score: 21-17.
• They will win the NFC East with a 12-4 record.
• There will be another parade on Broad Street in February 2019 after the Birds beat either Andy Reid’s Kansas City Chiefs, Jacksonville or, of course, the Patriots.
“The Rams and Saints seem formidable, but in my unbiased opinion, I think the Birds are poised to repeat,” he said. “The road to Super Bowl LIII will, in fact, go through Philly again.”
Should this season go according to that script, will he try to rile people up on the Broad Street Line again?
“There’s no way I can ever match that subway pillar incident, and the results thereafter,” he said. “Can’t match that even if I tried, but I’m going to continue being amped up for the Birds.
“Nothing really changes other than my head being on a swivel looking for pillars or people with camera phones. I can’t really stop my inner Dawk. I can only hope to contain him.”
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