Weekly Standard writer Jonathan Last had a take for the ages about the Super Bowl between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots.
Last isn’t getting his hopes up at all that the Eagles will win, but it’s the argument he’s taking that is the best.
He wrote in part:
We want them to win a Super Bowl. Dear Lord, do we want them to win. But maybe we need them not to. Maybe winning a Super Bowl would just turn us into Pittsburgh or New York or some other fanbase that’s “passionate” but doesn’t carry around Philadelphia’s level of foundational angst about the duality of human nature revealed in sport, about the exquisite tension between being and becoming.
Or at least that’s the story I’m telling myself this week.
I’ll be honest here. I love this approach. It’s so entertaining to me, and I’ve been there myself. I knew there were big games that my Wisconsin Badgers had gotten into that I didn’t think we’d win. You try to convince yourself ahead of time that you’re just happy to be there.
Doesn’t exactly make the loss hurt any less, but it prepares you. I’ve walked myself through this process multiple times in the last 25 years of my life. This dude is getting ready for a potential blowout loss, and I feel for him.
But hey, does he even want to win? After all, a win might ruin their passionate fan base. Nothing more fun than bitter and angry fans, which Philadelphia has in spades. See, it’s officially a win no matter what happens with this viewpoint. Obviously it’s awesome to win the Super Bowl, but even if you lose now your fanbase stays just as angry and bitter as they’ve always been. So much winning that it’s exhausting.