Clinton, South Carolina, Monday, February 5, 2018, 10:39 a.m.
The 52nd Super Bowl – LII if you’re as overly formal as the National Football League is – is over, and as, in a memory that makes me more inclined to think of him as Keith Jackson recently died, it was a dandy.
The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots fairly and squarely, 41-33, and a journeyman quarterback named Nick Foles outplayed the man popularly considered the best ever to hurl a spiral, Tom Brady, just as fairly and just as squarely.
In the parlance of journalism, this is what is known as a “man bites dog story.”
Foles is a backup quarterback, which aligns him with heroes of the past such as Gary Cuozzo, Zeke Bratkowski, Don Strock, Earl Morrall, Jeff Hostetler and his own head coach, Doug Pederson.
The Patriots have lost Super Bowls before, in 1986, 1997, 2008 and 2012. Brady and head coach Bill Belichick were only involved in two of them (three now). This was the first time the two lost to a team other than the New York Giants, a quarterback other than Eli Manning and a coach other than Tom Coughlin.
Men have bitten dogs before. Patriots have faltered. Eagles have flown.
Americans can get back to hating one another for their political beliefs, completing their income taxes, and complaining incessantly about both.
Now NASCAR can begin. Pitchers and catchers can report. Basketball and hockey can complete their seasons, and fans can take notice. The Winter Olympics lie immediately ahead, reportedly in a place called Pyeongchang, which is in South Korea, and not Pyongyang, which is in North Korea.
The host city is not a city at all. It’s a county. In 2013, its population was 43,666. As a means of comparison, Laurens County (i.e., here) is larger and warmer. Pyeongchang has the Winter Olympics. Laurens has Squealin’ on the Square.
The National Bird beat the Founding Militia. What could be more American than that?
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