I used to live in Georgia, so I know what a megachurch looks like.
But, holy crap, “Calvary Baptist” up in Souderton is HUGE. The place looks like Episcopal Academy and has a small convenience store inside the building. Seriously. My brother-in-law walked over to some Starbucks-looking area and came back with a bottle of water and a soda.
That’s not why we were there, however. I didn’t drive 90 minutes up Broad Street and Route 309 for a soft drink. We dropped in on 1210 WPHT’s Nick Foles “Speaker Series” event, part of the tour to promote his new book, “Believe It: My Journey of Success, Failure, and Overcoming the Odds,”. 100% of proceeds from sales will go to various charity efforts.
But before I get into the Super Bowl MVP, I wanna shout out morning host Chris Stigall, who was tasked with addressing the crowd during a 40 minute delay before Foles hit the stage with Dom Giordano. It was a restless crowd, but Stigall held his ground and got the job done, like some burgeoning young comic that had the misfortune of opening for Dave Chappelle.
Foles and Giordano spoke for about 70 minutes, and I’ve never seen Nick so loose. He really shelved a lot of the guarded athlete-speak that you hear from him in media scrums (no duh). He spoke openly about a lot of things in the book and his relationship with teammates, coaches, and family. He was not, however, asked about the Eagles’ canceled White House visit or the national anthem controversy, which I’m 99.9% sure Dom has talked about on his midday show. I’m told it was Dom’s decision not to go down that road and keep the discussion rather straightforward and non-controversial instead.
There’s a lot to parse, so I figured I’d just go chunk by chunk and give you some of the highlights:
On trade rumors, Foles felt like he was sure he was going to be dealt by the Eagles this offseason:
“There’s a business aspect, so you’re not quite sure what’s going to happen. I was always convinced I was going to be traded. So we were trying to plan it as to what’s going to happen – this is really tough, being dealt away from Philly twice.”
“I think that we’re in such a unique situation, that Carson Wentz is an amazing quarterback. He’s the quarterback of the future for Philadelphia. I understand that and I’m comfortable saying that. Some people say that’s crazy to say that, but that’s not how I roll. I don’t like being that quarterback. The best guy is going to play. It’s a team sport and if the best guy is playing in front of you, keep working hard and supporting him. If he gets injured, you want him to support you in the same way, and that’s how I approach the game.”
Giordano asked Foles a list of “lightning round” questions:
DG: Your favorite quarterback other than Carson Wentz?
Foles: Alex Smith.
DG: A word to describe Tom Brady?
DG: Has he congratulated you yet? (crowd jeers)
Foles: I’m sure I’ll have a conversation with Tom one of these days, and when I do, I’ll probably let him know (laughs). But I think we all know he’s one of, if not the greatest of all time. We’ll have a good conversation and I look forward to that day.
DG: Favorite coach other than Doug Pederson?
Foles: Andy Reid.
DG: Favorite film?
Foles: I’m gonna geek out a little bit. Right now it’s the Marvel films… The last Avengers and Black Panther were amazing.
DG: Who should play Nick Foles in a film?
Foles: I’d go with Ryan Gosling right now.
DG: Favorite band or singer?
Foles: I love country music, but right now, one of my favorite things to do with my daughter is watch music videos.. right now our number one band is Maroon five and the song is “Girls Like You.” It’s got like 200 million views and Lily and I have 20 million of those.
DG: Something we don’t know about Nick Foles?
Foles: I have a tattoo under my left arm (inaudible, but something about two truths dating back to a college communications class).
One of the more interesting quotes was Foles describing his first impressions of Philadelphia when he came out of Arizona as a third round draft pick.
“It’s a little intimidating before you’ve been here. When Andy was sitting me down in his office he said, ‘you’re pretty confident, you’re a young guy.’ Then he says, ‘do you think you can play here?’ I said, ‘yes, I think I can play here,’ but I didn’t say it with that much confidence. And then he said, ‘this city has ripped grown men apart.’ So there was a part of me that needed to figured out more about the city and what it was like.”
“I love this city. I’ve been traded away from this city. It was really tough; you can ask my wife. It was really tough when I was traded away, realizing that I would never come out of that tunnel in an Eagles jersey again. That’s what I felt; you never really come back to the team you’re traded from. I’ve been fortunate to play for great fans, but there’s nothing like Philly fans. You’re tough on us but I know where your hearts are. Y’all aren’t fans. I know you’re classified as fans, but the whole Philadelphia Eagles family base is something special. Y’all are family, and when I hear the stories, everything is generational. It’s history. I’ve heard so many stories about the Super Bowl and the tears and the experience. We knew when that clock hit zero what it meant for the city.”
Nick obviously had a lot of good things to say about Doug Pederson and Andy Reid. He spoke specifically about Andy Reid giving him a chance to rekindle his love of football in Kansas City and also giving him his first NFL shot back in 2012.
“Andy Reid had a big impact on my life and is one of my favorite coaches. He knows how to handle his business in an appropriate manner. He might not give everything to the media, but you also have to understand that sometimes there are questions that are asked that need to stay in house. Because the facility, the brotherhood we have there, the reason we’re able to win 4th quarter games, overtime, win the Super Bowl, that’s because we’re a tight-knit group in that facility. Andy Reid was always like a father figure when I played for him. And he’s tough on you, he’s going to expect a lot from you. He’s a disciplined coach. If you’re late to a meeting, there’s going to be discipline. But a few days later he’ll crack a joke, wink at you, he’ll do something that your dad would do – ‘I disciplined you but I’m doing it because I love you.'”
On Doug Pederson, Dom asked if he was an Andy Reid clone or if there were differences between the two coaches:
“So the great thing about coach Pederson, and the thing about coach Reid, they always said to let your personality show. That means be who you are. Andy Reid is an amazing teacher. He’s taught Doug so much. But coach Pederson has had so many great mentors. The thing I appreciate about coach Pederson the most is that he’s the same person as a head coach that he was as my quarterbacks coach. He hasn’t changed as a person. Now his responsibility and role has changed. He’s got a lot of similarities to Andy in structure and how he approaches things, but he does different things – how he does a team meeting, how he talks to us, some quirky sayings, but that’s who he is. It’s something I’ve always respected about Doug Pederson.”
There was more, a lot more, mostly some good stories that are likely repeated in the book. I’ll read it and do my book report, or maybe just pass that assignment off to Russ instead.