Philadelphia Eagles

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White House Drama Could Have Destroyed Other Teams… But Not These Eagles

Four months after the Super Bowl, the Eagles continue to show us how special they are.

This team showed us all year that their greatest strength wasn't running back depth or wide receiver balance or red-zone offense. It was unity. It was togetherness. It was that unique bond that gave them the ability to navigate through whatever challenge got in their way.

And whether that was losses to the Chiefs and Seahawks, or Carson Wentz's injury, and all the other injuries, or trailing at halftime in the playoff game against the Falcons, or trailing in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl, the Eagles faced those challenges together and sailed through them stronger for the experience.

That's why this was all so special. This wasn't just a football team winning games. This was a unique bunch of young men thrown together under a coach who had been booed out of town two decades earlier working together to accomplish something they kept being told was impossible. And they did it together every step of the way.

This is bigger than football. The Eagles taught us some pretty basic but important life lessons about working together, overcoming adversity, the sum being greater than the parts, and never giving up no matter how stacked the odds. Winning football games was awesome, but the fashion they did it in made this maybe the most beloved sports team in our city's history.

And what we've seen since the season ended has only reinforced what the season brought us.

This whole White House drama — "Will they be invited?" "Will they go?" "Who's not going to go?" "Were they really just disinvited?" — is enough to tear apart a team. To destroy a team. 

We're talking about 70 players from different religious, economic and political backgrounds. From different parts of the country … and other countries. All types of different racial backgrounds. All with different perspectives of a very complex and very difficult issue.

And still we see the Eagles speaking with one voice.

You know there are guys on this team who disagree with their teammates about Trump, about the White House visit, about the cancellation. But not one player — or former player — has made it personal. Not one player or former player has taken a shot at a teammate. Not one has made this about themselves.

Just like they did during the season, this remarkable football team with a Lombardi Trophy but without a 1,000-yard rusher or receiver has continued to place team unity above all else.

There are a lot of reasons teams don't repeat. Nobody since the Patriots in 2003 and 2004, nobody in the NFC since the Cowboys in 1992 and 1993. Most of those reasons are football related, but there's more to it than that. Super Bowl championships tend to get players thinking, "What can I get out of this?" Or "What's in it for me?" Or "How can I parlay this into something else?" That can fracture a team because now you have 53 guys thinking about themselves instead of doing what got them there, which was putting the team first.

The beauty of the 2017 Eagles — and quite possibly the 2018 Eagles — is that there hasn't been one sign of that. Some players have left for more money, but that really had more to do with the Eagles' cap situation than any individuals desperate to leave.

Whether it was the Eagles Autism Challenge or Carson Wentz's charity softball game or the events surrounding the planned White House visit, this team has stood as one. It always was about the team and it always will be.

They know they built something unique and special, and they're not going to let outside distractions — no matter how huge — tear it down. This team grew stronger and stronger throughout the season, and it seems like it's continuing to grow during the offseason. 

Even now, four months after the Super Bowl, the Eagles continue to show us what being a champion really means.

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