Greetings sports fans and welcome to Super Sunday. I’m reporting live from the Pahrump Nugget Hotel And Casino https://www.pahrumpnugget.com/ in sunny downtown Pahrump, Nevada. The atmosphere is charged and all are in fine spirits as kickoff time finally approaches.
Many locals and some folks from as far away as England are gathered here with me in the William Hilll sports book on this warm February afternoon. They’ve come to cheer on their favorite team as the 5 time and reigning World Champion New England Patriots take on the upstart Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII.
The crowd here’s at capacity and seating is limited. Happily I have a comfy front row armchair for the Nugget’s Super Bowl party closest to the 300 inch HDTV and the buffet. Priorities.
The New England Patriots are the odds on favorite to win but many fans are hoping the underdogs from Philly can knock the Brady Bunch off of their throne and hoist the Lombardi Trophy in the City Of Brotherly Love for the first time in franchise history after having failed in their last 2 attempts. The last of which was a heartbreaking 21-23 loss to New England in Super Bowl XXXIX.
Heavy favorites or not; it’s certain the Eagles defensive line will put pressure on Tom Brady trying to rattle him and force errors that could cost him the championship while quarterback Nick Foles and the Eagles offense tries to keep them ahead on the scoreboard until the final whistle blows and the weight challenged lady sings.
The temperature is hovering at 2 degrees but it feels like -13 in Minneapolis as we watch the Philadelphia Eagles take the field. There are some cheers and some jeers from the crowd here as the New England Patriots now emerge from the tunnel and come onto the field accompanied by Ozzy Osbourne’s Crazy Train.
I have an ice cold draft, some BBQ sliders, a plate of taco rolls, and popcorn. I am ready for some football. Most of the crowd here stand hats in hand as Pink sings our National Anthem and beautifully. The Eagles win the toss and elect to receive. #87 Rob Gronkowski kick off and the crowd goes wild. Super Bowl LII is officially underway.
The Eagles come out strong on their opening drive at the 24 yard line. The first flag of the game goes to the Eagles for a false start. The Eagles fail to convert the effort for 7 points when the Patriot defense stops them on 3rd down after they landed 1st and goal on the 4 yard line . A 25 yard field goal attempt by #4 Jake Elliot is good and it’s 3-0 Eagles.
Brady and his bunch take their first possession of the game and march downfield in the face of a determined defensive line. Already Tom Brady is feeling pressure from the Eagles pass rush. A handoff to #14 Brandin Cooks fails to convert a first down on 3rd and 2 and New England settles for a 26 yard field goal attempt. The snap is bobbled just enough and the kick goes wide to the left, hits the upright and bounces out. No good it’s still 3-0 Eagles who take over on downs at their own 20.
Philadelphia goes the first 3 and out of the game and Brady takes over again. A pass to the 40 yard line finds Brandin Cooks who is immediately hit by a freight train wearing an Eagles jersey and Cooks is taken off the field unable to return due to a head injury. An ill omen for New England. Brady drops a pass on the sideline on 3rd and 5 then fails to convert on 4th and 5 so the Eagles take over again on downs.
After a decisive drive including 2 runs and 3 completed passes Foles hand off to #29 LeGarrette Blount who powers his way into the end zone for 6. The Eagles opt for the 2 point conversion but fail to score. Eagles 9- Patriots 0
New England drove at them hard but Philly pushed back even harder harder still for the entire length of the game. Many are saying that some of the calls made by the referees were way off the mark but it’s in the books now and all else is irrelevant. New England would pull ahead for a brief time only to see Philly coming right back at them again.
The New England defensive line had their hands full with #30 Corey Clement who ran the ball at them with remarkable efficiency. Clements’ by now world famous “toe jamb touchdown” on the end of the end zone will surely be argued in sports bars until after Judgement Day but after booth review the play was upheld and the Eagles gained 7 more. Case closed.
In the end New england failed to mount a comeback in the closing seconds of the 4th quarter giving up the ball to Philly on a fumble. Time expired seconds later, and then there was one.
Nick Foles’ reception of a touchdown pass from Trey Burton was easily one of the best plays of the game but we can surely all agree that Super Bowl LII was one Super Bowl to remember. For myself, a die hard Dallas fan since 1972 it was a real nail biter until the final whistle because we all know full well that the New England Patriots are undisputedly great champions worthy of respect. Any play can turn a game on its ear.
But the Philadelphia Eagles , upstarts who embraced the label of underdog, always have been great spoilers. In Super Bowl LII they took it to a whole new level. Giant Slayers.
Congratulations Champs on a spectacular victory. Bravo!
Final score: Eagles 41 Patriots 33