An Ode to the GOAT

I have always believed in magic. I mean, just take a look at some examples in history. David Blaine, the Orlando Magic in 2009, and Dr. Strange going toe to toe with Thanos are all very fine and great examples, but I’m thinking a different kind of magic. The type of magic that makes no sense whatsoever, but also all the sense in the world. The kind that follows the greatest quarterback in the history of the Philadelphia Eagles, Nick Foles.

Yes, I said it. The greatest. Sure, there’s Donovan, Randall, Jaws, Koy Detmer (I am kidding..kinda). All of the legends make a compelling argument, but none greater than St. Nick, BDN, whatever you want to call him. Whatever you do, you can add GOAT to that list too.

But, Tyler, you’ll say to yourself, what a SILLY thing to say. McNabb had 158 starts with the Eagles and Foles only has 37. McNabb is a borderline hall of famer (depending on who you ask) while Foles has played in 54 total regular season games and only started 44 of them.

YES, I get all of that, but when he puts on the midnight green, it’s different. I can’t explain it, you can’t explain it, nobody can. But let me try.

Image result for nick foles rookie year
Photo: Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports

2012, the long haired quarterback showed up from Arizona. The season was Andy Reid’s last in Philadelphia, and when it became evident that it was going to be his last, Foles was inserted to see if he could be the future of the team. He struggled, as most rookie quarterbacks do, but there was one game where we saw it. We saw the magic.

Eagles were down 21-10 with a little over 7 minutes left in the fourth quarter. How that ended you ask? Well, you know how.

In a play that would go on to look a little familiar (more on that later), Foles showed a vision of what the future would entail.

So Andy Reid comes and goes, Chip Kelly comes in highly touted from his throne in Oregon. Now, Nick Foles has never been a track star out there, so not many are too optimistic about his chances in that offense. The trade speculation kicks in, and while he doesn’t get traded, Vick starts the season and lights it UP.

Vick ended up getting hurt, leaving Foles to come in in relief for the injured Vick. Well, Tyler, THEN what happened? Really? You have to ask? 200 yards and 2 touchdowns and a come from behind win in the meadowlands.

Foles went on to start the rest of the way, and didn’t do nothing too out of the ordinary.

You know, normal stuff. 8-2 as a starter, Eagles return to the playoffs for the first time in 3 years and nearly win the wild card game against the Saints (he left the field with the lead.) Nicky 6 finished the season going for 27 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, which is the best TD to INT ratio ever. Capped off with a smooth Pro Bowl MVP, Foles finally cemented his status as the future of Philadelphia, and rightfully so.

Or, so we all thought.

The following year comes along and while Foles isn’t lighting up the scoreboard like the previous year, his record to start the year was 6-2 before going down to the collarbone injury that ended his season prematurely in 2014. The Eagles failed to make the playoffs and, with full team control, Kelly pulled off the unthinkable.

Certainly the shock wave nobody was expecting. Just like that, Foles and his 15-9 record as the Eagles starter over three years was over. Foles said his goodbyes to the Eagles and that was that.

Two years goes by and everybody knows the story. Foles stinks in St. Louis, he’s cut, nearly quits, gives it another go and signs with his old coach Andy Reid in Kansas City to backup Alex Smith. Foles has to play in two games while Smith recovers from a concussion. Guess what he does?

You guessed correct. He wins both.

After the year living in Missouri to reinvigorate his love of the game, something happens. Something I don’t think anybody ever thought was possible. The former franchise, the winner from nowhere, the last quarterback to take the Philadelphia Eagles to the playoffs came back.

With Carson Wentz fully in tow, Foles comes in automatically becomes one of the better and more experienced backups in the league at this point in time. Not many quarterbacks would go back to the place that dumped them for a guy who played the same position as you coming off two bad knee injuries thinking they were better off, to be the backup no less! But he came back anyway, without the weighted expectation as last time. Nonetheless, the guy came back.

And then, we wouldn’t see ole St. Nick for a long while, you know with Wentz going on to be the would be MVP. Until one late afternoon in Los Angeles on December 10th, 2017, Carson Wentz scrambles into the end zone, comes up gingerly. Wentz goes on to throw another touchdown to add to his MVP caliber season, before taking the ill-fated walk to the locker room.

Thrust back into the role of starter once more, Nick Foles, wearing number 9 in midnight green like he did all those years ago, takes the field down to the red hot Rams in Los Angeles. The franchise guy goes down, and all hope is lost.

You will NEVER ever guess what happens next.

Following the late come from behind win and the news of Wentz’s injury, it would be up to the former 3rd rounder from Arizona to lead the team to the playoffs. The guy who nearly quit the sport of football less than two years ago, was going to lead the Eagles to finish their glorious season. Going into this adventure, did you really think that this would be the guy to bring it home? This is the stuff of make believe, something you would see in one of your favorite Marvel movies.

Well, according to our fine friends of Merriam-Webster, the definition of a superhero is a fictional hero that has extraordinary or superhuman powers.

Every superhero has their beginning, an origin story. First, they have the fast realization of their power. Secondly, they have the quick fall, where they lose everything and get humbled. Finally, they rise to occasion to stop the big bad and save the day.

In our story so far today, we’ve seen the sudden grasp of power and the fall, but every origin story has it’s ending. The ending where they save the day.

Like I said, with 3 games to win, his back completely against the wall, and his believers up to 0, you think Nick Foles would actually be able to pull this off?

Storybook ending. The Evil Empire vanquished by the hero. The guy who was traded for scraps just 3 years prior, returns home to finish the job. From backup to legend. In some stories the hero wears a helmet and an arc reactor on his chest, in this one, he wears a winged helmet and a number 9 on his.

Let me ask you this, what’s better than an origin story where the hero comes out on top? The Sequel. Defending a title is never easy, let alone coming off an injury. With Wentz back and Foles back on ice covering for him as the backup, the Eagles struggle and fall to 6-7, seemingly falling out of the playoff race. But, a new injury to Carson Wentz later, our old hero is called upon once more.

Now with their backs against the wall, and with the season in doubt, the Eagles need three straight wins, surely he can’t do it again, can he?

Narrator: He did….again.

Now in his element once more, Foles: The Sequel is at the height of his power. 6 point dogs in hostile Chicago, the biggest, baddest defense in his way. And there are people out there who actually thought he’d be stopped. CLASSIC.

In the midst of the second miraculous run as backup turned savior, Nick Foles has shown he’s more than the hero of our story today, but has proven his place in Eagles lore, Number 1.

Counted out more times than you could remember, cast out, falls out of the game, returns to the place that cast him out, sits for 4 months behind the MVP *Wentz should have won regardless of the injury*, and then come in against one of the best teams in football, win, and then go and win it all against the greatest quarterback and. Then, after all that, go back to the bench, only to come back when Wentz goes down again, and take a dead team and make them a contender once again against the SAME team he did the year before. All of this going on while knowing each game wearing midnight green could be his very last before he hits the market this off-season.

That’s not luck, that’s magic. Magic from the greatest Eagles quarterback of all-time.

Regardless of what happens on Sunday, make sure you address him as such.

Image result for nick foles super bowl

Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images


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Tyler Downey

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