It is always risky to write about losses. If you even hint that the loss was unjustified, people will accuse you of crying sour grapes. When a man I’d been dating broke it off, my criticism of his moral failings were viewed as churlish ramblings over someone who’d kicked me to the relationship curb.
To be clear, there was indeed an element of “meow” in the comments about his lack of taste in women and his inordinate taste for beer, but there was also a great deal of truth in my comments on his misplaced priorities. The Catholic in me was not thrilled with his almost dystopian view of religion, something that I’d overlooked during our two year relationship because he was kind of hot and….he was kind of hot.
I never pretended to have the virtue of Mother Theresa.
The point is that even if there may be some ulterior motives in complaining about what we view as unfairness and cruel turns of fate, the fact remains that there can still be a kernel of truth in the lamentations.
That was brought home to me yesterday, when the Eagles lost the Super Bowl championship to the Kansas City Chiefs. At the outset, I have to congratulate the Chiefs for playing extremely well under some less-than-ideal conditions, both on the field and with their injured quarterback. Patrick Mahomes, League MVP is a stellar player and a stellar human being, although his own taste in women runs toward the vapid, large-gummed bleached blonde cheerleader who spends far too much time on Instagram. But who wants a perfect man, right?
Moving beyond the obligatory congratulations, I think it’s only fair to point out that the Chiefs benefited from three things: some stupid mistakes by butter-fingered Eagles receivers, a less-than-impressive ability to get to the QB in the red and yellow, and referees who forgot to get cataract surgery before stepping on the field.
The first two are things that kept us from blowing the competition out of the water, or wooder, since our offense was quite exceptional (with, as I said, the exception of the slippery football.) We looked solid in three quarters of play, and our own quarterback was absolutely fearless in both throwing the ball as if he were threading the needle through which the biblical camel could not pass, as well as running into the end zone. To be honest, Jalen Hurts is the future Patrick Mahomes, and he will outshine the guy with the crazy wife in about two seasons, tops.
But the last thing was something over which we had absolutely no control, and which killed us. That final holding call was abominable, and even though the poor fellow who was called for the penalty was forced to admit that he’d made a mistake (check it out, he looks like someone in one of those hostage videos filmed by ISIS,) the general consensus is that it was a ridiculous call.
And even if there were some small sliver of logic in making the call, the timing was both suspect and outrageous. That sort of call should not be made in the last few minutes of a championship game, when you are essentially giving the victory to the other team. That sort of penalty should not have been used to favor a current MVP over a future MVP, particularly when the game was tied and there were but seconds left to play. I don’t care who looks at what angle, there was no justification for making a call that is normally “ho hum” but in this context allowed Andy Reid to do in 2023 what he’d done to Philadelphia for fourteen long years: engage in an act forbidden in several sections of the aforementioned Bible, including Leviticus. And close to Valentine’s Day, no less.
And I suppose here is where I sound like I’m singing sour grapes. A lot of people think that we should simply show class and congratulate the winners, shrug our shoulders and look to the future. That is what our coach Nick Sirianni did, and he is a very good man.
I, however, am neither a man nor very good. What happened last evening was reprehensible, and there will always be an asterisk in this championship season for KC. And even if I’m the only one that sees it’s, that’s fine. I’m from Philadelphia. We tend to look at things differently, through rosé colored whine glasses.
Christine Flowers is an attorney and lifelong Philadelphian. @flowerlady61