As you know, I am a purveyor of the fist pump. The pumping of fists. This… was a good one.
Here now, the Crusher Pump:
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) January 22, 2018
Contained within it are all the haters, the doubters, the dickhead bloggers who called you a stupid boob not worth your weight in salt and pepper hair. Who called you a nepotistic hire at the hands of an owner desperately reaching for the past.
It houses the emotions of an entire city used to losing, or at least conditioned to doing so, now expecting to win. It’s a Trojan Horse for years of failures and a disappointments carrying within it the DNA of success.
There’s a hint of I told you so, but a strong through-line of euphoria.
Also in the frame is a GM who resembled, if nothing else, a slightly more seasoned version of the coach. He, too, was a proxy for an organizational movement that seemed to be embracing all of the wrong elements of progress.
And somewhere behind all of this, figuratively at least, is the owner, who doubled down on emotional intelligence and was somehow proven right.
Yes, there are plenty of I was wrongs to go around today, but this is about something more. There is genuine joy in that fist pump. Elation in not just winning, but also doing it the right way with a group no one thought could.
The underdogs trope runs deep in sports. Every coach tries to use it in some capacity. I’m sure that asshole Bill Belichick did yesterday by citing strife and injury in the court of his dynasty. But what the Eagles, and Pederson, and Roseman, and Foles, and Lurie have done is truly remarkable and worthy of the moniker.
One could have at least expected to reach the Super Bowl after an improbable season if some combination of Carson Wentz, Jason Peters, Darren Sproles, Jordan Hicks and others remained healthy. The Eagles were the class of a twisted conference. There would have been some level of disbelief, but it all would have made sense. To do it with this group, however, is truly, truly wild. It’s no fluke, either. The Eagles just dismantled one of the best defenses, and teams, in football. They broke them over their knee and discarded them on the sidelines, offering them only a ride back to Minnesota on their way to the Super Bowl. If I shall be allowed to make a Villanova reference, this reminds me A LOT of their Final Four destruction of Oklahoma. The win was so convincing that it becomes easy to think they can beat the powerhouse (North Carolina), even if they are the underdogs. Suddenly it doesn’t look like a long shot, but almost an inevitability.
So if I had to breakdown this fist pump, I’d note the joy and mild disbelief in the initial hand raise. WE WON it screams out. The rock-back has a distinct Peter Laviolette feel to it, like it was finished in used Lavs barrels, which just slightly impacted the flavor. But there’s a pivot mid-way through– it finishes not with the expected punch em out follow through, but rather with an over-the-top hook as if to say oh holy shit I can’t contain myself. This is the moment where the pump tosser – in this case Crusher – decides that it’s not about fucking the haters but embracing the moment. The leap at the end just seals the deal. Howie Roseman in the background doing the same is yet just the latest anecdotal example of this team being in lock-step all season long.
That’s what it comes down to– it’s not about I told you sos, it’s about celebrating achievement that none of us, the coach, GM and owner included, expected. Mr. Lurie said so himself:
It sure is, Sir. And guess what? It’s a feather in the cap for emotional intelligence. You have it. The team has it. And most importantly, the coach has it. And he gives one hell of a fist pump. I give it a 9.