The 2017 campaign will go down in history as arguably the most memorable season in Philadelphia Eagles history. Amidst the adrenaline filled highs and agony absorbed lows lay a year in which the underdog triumphed. David defeated Goliath and the Lombardi Trophy was hoisted above the crowds that filled Broad Street. A dream come true for many, the Eagles overcame every obstacle and setback pushed into their path and topped their campaign with a remarkable dismantling of the New England Patriots. The victory itself was larger than life, but for me, I felt that same feeling just a few weeks earlier.
When I started this website four years ago, I had no idea it would get this far. I was just a kid on the wrong side of the Atlantic who wanted bring some refreshing content to the table. Nobody seemed to really care that much, at least at first, but why would they? I was a teenager who was based a million miles away. What insight or value could I possibly bring to a sport that isn’t even natively played in my country?
As time went on, this happy turned into a passion and that passion opened up the opportunity to start a new career. Early on I realized the value of the internet and social media and how it really could level the playing field. I didn’t have to send off notes attached to Eagles in order to gain information, nor did I have to fly out to Philadelphia to network. I just needed to use the platform in front of me to my advantage and do the best work of my life, day in and day out.
As of right now, the website has surpassed 5,000,000 views which is more than I could’ve ever dreamed of. The most humbling moment of all however came from being able to report on the NBA game in London. For once, it really was a level playing field. I was no longer on a five-hour time difference. I wasn’t at a second job while news broke and I wasn’t relying on information passed on by others. I did all I could to show the world what I could do and how badly I want this.
The entire event felt like a drug. The more I spoke to players, coaches, GM’s, the more that fire began to rage inside me. This was everything I’d been working towards. The countless days I’d be up until 4AM watching film or writing notes only to be up in two hours for my other job that makes ends meet, they were all pushing me to this one week. This one week where I could finally make a statement and prove that while I may be young, drink a little too much Tea and be on the wrong side of the pond, I can make a living doing this.
But then the big one came. 2018 was already off to an explosive start, from interviewing Asante Samuel to this game, it was just magical. But as if the year couldn’t get any better, a little birdie told me that the Eagles would be playing in London. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it at first. The last I’d heard, the committee were pushing to bring the Birds to London but it all came down to scheduling. When the news actually broke a few days later, I did too.
While reporting on the NBA was a life-changing experience, this was everything to me. The chance to attend an Eagles game as a member of the media, to thank those who have been instrumental in my growth as a person and writer and to once again prove what I can do on a level playing field. This was a moment I’d dreamed of since the site’s creation and I don’t say that lightly.
So many people have dedicated their time and resources into helping me along the way. It’s been bumpy and there have been mistakes and big risks, but now I have a chance to thank those people. A chance to shake hands with those who inspire me and more importantly, to meet you. To any Philadelphian making the trip, or to any UK Eagles fan as excited as I, I want to meet as many of you as possible. Because without your support, disagreements, discussions and love, I would not have this opportunity and I want to share that passion with all of you. I’m going to try and host an event in the days leading up to the game to try and rally as many Eagles fans as possible into one place and really show just how strong this fanbase is. Because it’s more than that, it’s a family.
There’s a document saved on my laptop full of ideas. From videos to articles, interviews to features, event hosting and more. Since the day I created Philly Sports Network I’d been keeping tack of any concept that came into my head should the day ever arrive the Eagles come to the UK.
To cover an NFL game from the press box has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember
For the second time in 12 months it will be a level playing field again. No time difference, no handicaps. After four years of covering every aspect of the Eagles path to glory, from the practice squad to interviews with starters, hearing that the team will be playing in London was my Super Bowl victory. That was my larger than life moment and something I cannot wait to share with all of you.
I can’t promise what will or won’t happen, but I can promise I will give my all. I’ll make sure that the Eagles trip to London is covered in a unique way that involves as many of you as possible and that we make it a week to remember. Because for me, it’s a week I will never forget.
Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports