Bryan loves his Eagles no matter what. The passion he shows for his team has been present for most of his life.
Thursday Bryan and his cousin, Glenn, made their annual trek to the Linc to see a pre-season game. This one was against the Patriots. Glenn always allows Bryan the choice of which game to attend. Glenn buys the tickets. Bryan pays for food and parking. As Bryan calls it – this is his favorite “male-bonding” time.
Each Christmas and birthday, Bryan requests gifts revolving around his precious Eagles. The amount of gear he owns is staggering. Huge banners, plaques, calendars, posters, welcome mat, wind chimes and many articles of clothing stuff his tiny apartment.
He watches the games avidly each football season with or without his roommate. Not too many have been as rabid a fan as Bryan. Every summer – as soon as the season schedule becomes available online – Bryan hand writes the Eagles schedule for his family – usually five handwritten schedules in all. It lives on our refrigerator door from July through December. It must take him hours to print all of these. The recipient’s name is carefully printed above the schedule.
When Bryan was younger, Eagle losses, which were frequent, resulted in him throwing his Eagles coat and other assorted gear into his Eagles trash can with an angry huff.
Now he still gets quite upset when they lose, but his reactions are not as extreme. Perhaps it’s maturity. Perhaps it’s due to a lot of experience with game losses, like last night’s!
However, each game following a loss awakens a refreshed hope in Bryan. He always expects the win. Hope springs eternal.
I am so glad Bryan was finally able to experience a Super Bowl win by his beloved Eagles. He was hosting the annual Super Bowl party for his family in his apartment that year. The cacophony of shrieks, tears and cheers was deafening after the final play of Super Bowl LII. It was wonderful to be able to celebrate the First Victory Ever together.
Dovetailing on that once-in-a-lifetime victory (well, hopefully NOT!), Bryan’s sister and brother-in-law arranged for two very special post-win events for Bryan’s birthday. They purchased a copy of Nick Foles’ book, “Believe It”, which was signed by the star quarterback in Bryan’s presence. Nick looked up from the flurry of signings to see Bryan beaming in front of him. “Hey, man!” Nick said. “Oh, THANK YOU, sir!” Bryan responded with awe.
Later that summer, Amy and Kevin gave Bryan Part Two of his birthday gift – a behind-the-scenes- tour of the Lincoln Financial Field. He posed at the press conference podium. Stood between the lockers of his two favorite players, Carson Wentz and Nick Foles. And the best part? Being given a Zach Ertz autographed photo of him scoring the winning Super Bowl touchdown.
Amy took a video of Bryan walking down the entryway onto the lush green grass of the Linc, crying with joy as he walked in the steps of his favorite football team.
They won against the Patriots in that Super Bowl of 2018. Not so last night. They choked miserably. Bur the season has officially begun and Bryan will cherish every game his Eags play – win or lose.