Are the Philadelphia Eagles Part of the 19%?

Baptism

Philadelphia sports fan are brutal.  They once booed Santa Claus.  As a Mets fan who has sat numerous times in the old Veterans Stadium to watch a Mets-Phillies game, I can testify to the ugliness.

But during the 2017-2018 Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl season, a narrative emerged that was strikingly different from the crudeness of the typical Philadelphia sports fan.  The Eagles were a team loaded with evangelical Christians.

Head coach Doug Pederson was the head football coach at Calvary Baptist Academy in Louisiana.  Quarterback Carson Wentz owns a Bible app and runs an evangelical foundation that serves the poor around the world.  Nick Foles, the hero of the Super Bowl, has appeared in Wentz’s devotional videos and is training to become a pastor.  So has Trey Burton, Zach Ertz, and Chris Maragos.  In October 2017, Jordan Hicks, Mychal Kendricks, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Paul Turner, and David Watford were baptized in a recovery pool in the Eagles practice facility.  Tight end Trey Burton performed the baptism.  Wide receiver Marcus Johnson was baptized in a hotel pool.  Third string quarterback Chase Daniels leads a couples’ Bible study that draws 20-25 people.  According to this piece at ESPN, during the season there is “Thursday night Bible study at the facility, scripture text chains, and late-night prayer sessions at the team hotel the night before each game.”  Some members of the team–including Wentz and Foles–call themselves the “Philadelphia Gospel Group.”

So it is certainly interesting that only ten of the Eagles, and perhaps less, were going to show-up today at the White House, leading Trump to cancel the event.  (Wentz and Foles said they would attend, but only if the Eagles voted to go as a team).  Are the Eagles part of the 19%?

“The Drum Major Instinct”

In case you missed it last night, Dodge (the automobile manufacturer) ran a Super Bowl ad using Martin Luther King’s 1968 sermon “The Drum Major Instinct” to sell trucks.  (The sermon was preached on February 4, 2018).

Here is the ad:

And here are some of the responses:

I do think that there is a silver-lining in all of this.  More people are listening to this inspiring sermon:

What Do the Philadelphia Eagles and Donald Trump Have in Common?

underdog
University of Pennsylvania historian Jonathan Zimmerman reminds us that the Eagles and Trump are underdogs.  Over at the San Francisco Chronicle, Zimmerman reflects on America’s love for the underdog.  Here is a taste:

In a 2007 experiment, people were presented with an imaginary contest between Team A (the favorite) and Team B (the underdog). Team B got more support until it was revealed that Team A had a much lower payroll. After that, two-thirds of the people backed Team A.

But our affection for underdogs ends if we think they’ll harm our own self-interest. Psychologist Scott Allison calls this phenomenon the “Walmart effect.” In theory, we favor mom-and-pop shops over big-box stores. But we’ll still buy our TVs and washing machines at Target or Walmart if we think we can get a better price.

Allison demonstrated this principle by asking a group of subjects whether they favored a large, established company or a small startup in awarding a contract to test drinking water. The subjects favored the little company until they were told that the water was in their hometown, and that it might contain “cancer-causing mercury.” After that, the majority of people changed their minds and backed the big business.

And that has big implications for the way we think about our contemporary political moment. When Trump was campaigning for president, opponents from every party scoffed at his underdog claims. How could a man who was born into enormous wealth — and who avoided paying federal taxes for many years — possibly play the little guy?

Trump’s answer was to focus on the so-called mainstream media, which had written him off. And on that score, he was right: Almost nobody who thinks seriously about politics foresaw him winning the White House. Indeed, if you believe Michael Wolff’s book, “Fire and Fury,” even Trump didn’t think he’d win.

Read the entire piece here.

I’m sticking with my prediction: Eagles 33 Patriots 0

Even Archbishops Wager on the Super Bowl

Archbishops

It looks like Archbishop Chaput (right) of Philadelphia and Cardinal O’Malley (left) of Boston have placed a friendly wager on the Super Bowl.

Crux reports:

NEW YORK – Ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl contest between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles, Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston and Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia have placed a friendly wager on the football game’s outcome.

Should the Eagles win, O’Malley has pledged to make a $100 donation to St. John’s Hospice in Philadelphia, which assists homeless individuals in finding stable residences.

If the Patriots win, Chaput has agreed to make a $100 gift to Catholic Charities of Boston, one of the major providers of social services in the archdiocese.

The two individuals are long-time friends, former classmates, and are both Capuchin friars. They also threw Boston lobsters and Philadelphia cheesesteaks onto their bets for good measure.

Read the rest here.

Quote of the Day

I don’t know who wrote this, but I saw it today on the FB page of one of my former students, Rev. David Beagley.

I have seen a lot of hate spewed in recent days about a man who is a constant winner and overachiever, and that’s what the people who support him like about him. Yes, he’s been caught in some lies and maybe twisted the truth a little but he’s still out there proving his haters wrong time after time! Some people are just jealous of someone who is successful and has money. Throw in a hot foreign model at his side and they hate even more. You may not have wanted him in his role, but he’s there now and there’s nothing you can do about it. Like it or not, Tom Brady is in the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl Commercials and the American Revolution

Andy Schocket, a history professor at Bowling Green State University in Ohio and the author of Fighting Over the Founders: How We Remember the American Revolution, is a true historical thinker.  He even thinks historically when watching the Super Bowl!

Over at his blog he analyzes three 2016 Super Bowl commercials that had something to do with the American Revolution.

I do not think the Jack in the Box/Washington’s Crossing commercial aired in the Harrisburg, PA market, but his analysis of the Apartments.com and PayPal ads are on the mark.

Here is a taste:

This next one will get a lot more attention. It’s an offering from Apartments.com. It’s another in a series of ads featuring longtime Hollywood actor Jeff Goldblum (The Fly, sure, and Independence Day, of course, but do you remember The Tall Guy?) in his continuing Apartments.com pitchman role as Brad Bellflower, “Silicon Valley Maverick.” It’s worth spending an entire minute of your life watching the over-the-top silliness of the whole commercial, much of which is a reference to the intro and theme song of ’70s sitcom The Jeffersons, but the part that interests us begins at :37, as we see, incredibly enough, on the penthouse, none other than some random actor portraying George Washington and rapper Lil Wayne, calling themselves George and Weezy, again a reference The Jeffersons’ title characters.

Read the entire post here.

BTW, Schocket did the same thing last year.

What Happened to the "Denver Broncos: 2014 Super Bowl Champions" T-Shirts?

World Vision will get them.  Mental Floss explains:

After a Big Game in any sport, fans and players are going to be clamoring for commemorative merchandise, often just minutes after the game ends. To meet this demand and cash in on the wallet-loosening “We’re #1” euphoria, manufacturers and retailers produce and stock two sets of t-shirts, hats and other merchandise, declaring each team the champ.
Based on strong sales after the Chicago Bears’ 2007 NFC Championship win, Sports Authority printed more than 15,000 shirts proclaiming a Bears Super Bowl victory well before the game even started. And then the Colts beat the Bears, 29-17.
That’s a lot of misprinted shirts that can’t hit store shelves, and seem like fine candidates for the incinerator, instead. And for a long time, that’s where they went, with all four major American pro sports leagues — MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL — requiring the destruction of incorrect post-season apparel.
Fortunately, the leagues have changed the way they do things and now all four – plus manufacturers and retailers like Reebok, Sports Authority, Dick’s and Modell’s — instead give the gear to a group called World Vision, which saves the merch from certain doom and puts it to use.
The international humanitarian aid group collects the unwanted items over the days following the game at their distribution center in Pittsburgh, then ships it overseas to people living in disaster areas and impoverished nations. After losing Super Bowl XLIII in 2009, Arizona Cardinals gear was sent to children and families living in extreme poverty in El Salvador. In 2010, after the New Orleans Saints defeated Indianapolis, the Colts gear printed up for Super Bowl XLIV was sent to earthquake-ravaged Haiti.
Read the rest here.