The story of how the Eagles saved my life


Picture this, a newbie to the PSN brand, bringing esports to a sports website asking if he could write on the biggest topic the website has, the Eagles. The pure cheek from this newbie that he could just waltz in, write a couple of articles and then instantly enter the big time. Well that newbie is me and for some reason Liam actually allowed me to write on the Eagles, so here I am.

Now after I got the all-clear from the boss, that sounds way more dramatic than it should, I was hyped up and wanted to write a piece for you straight away, so you can imagine my disappointment when I struggled for a good week to come up with an idea on what to write about until I read a fantastic piece from one of our Sixers writers Yamil Roman and how basketball and the Sixers helped him with his mental health issues and it inspired me to do something similar, I hope you don’t mind Yamil!

Now, I’ve always had the belief that you should know the writers personally if you are a regular reader of their work, and hopefully, you guys will be one of the people that read my stuff regularly. I’ve always believed that you should understand the backstory to their sporting beliefs, how they got into a sport and all the details that may add more context and help you understand some points they make which you may not agree with. So that’s what this piece is going to be about, me, as you can tell I am quite egotistical! Please stick with me during this, I may ramble in places, but I will try to make jokes throughout this piece as the Eagles are quite easy to make fun of recently!

My name is Stephen Beavon, I am 20-years old and I was born and live in England (Yes, the same place as Liam, but we’ve disowned him due to the fact he puts a stupid amount of Garlic Mayo on his pizzas). The first American sport I got into was basketball and I support the Boston Celtics, yes, I know leave me alone, I know the Sixers are 2-0 against us this season, but it wasn’t until 2010 when I got into the NFL.

My best friend at the time was a huge NFL fan and one night when I was staying around his house, we sat and watched the NFL. He was a Patriots fan at the time and so the first NFL season I watched I followed the Patriots. Going into the second season in 2011, I was looking for a team to support, I knew that picking the Patriots would be the easy way out and one day I stumbled upon an Eagles game. I cannot remember what game it was; I think it was the week 3 loss to the Giants, and I overheard the commentator state that the Eagles had never won a championship before. Instantly, I decided to choose them as my team, I love an underdog story, that’s why I support the Eagles in football and the Twins in baseball, and from there the dreadful, love-hate relationship started.

Before I knew it, I was down the deep rabbit hole that is the stats and facts game of American football and I loved every single minute of it, apart from most of the minutes the Eagles were playing… Whether it was watching the games, studying game film, trying to remember as many stats as I could, it was fantastic, up until the summer of 2012 where my whole life was thrown up in the air.

When I was 13, I was diagnosed with a rare skin condition, basically, my sweat glands are all blocked and I struggle to release my sweat, meaning it builds up in the body, creating huge boils in seriously unpleasant areas so I’ll save you any more details. Anyway, when I was diagnosed, I was told that there were things that could help with the condition but I’d never be cured and I’d be going through different types of treatment my entire life. The news itself was heartbreaking to me as a 13-year-old kid who had to stop playing any type of sport full time and at the time I was playing multiple sports full time.

After a month or two I was put on these experimental tablets, these tablets were in the early stages of being used as treatment and I was up for anything to try and help with the pain. Little did my parents and I know that the tablets cause some serious side effects, including severe depression. We never really noticed for the first 6 months apart from a few weird mood changes like I’d just start randomly crying for no reason. We brought it up to my doctor at the time and he played it off. It wasn’t until I was 15, after some serious breaks in my mental health, that my mum found out what the drug was actually doing to me. She read a newspaper article, an interview with a parent of a 16-year-old who had taken his life due to being on the same tablets as me.

After reading that and connecting the dots my parents were scared as hell for me and my whole life changed forever. In protecting me, they didn’t allow me to go out with my friends, they had to pick me up from the bus stop whenever I finished school even though it was a 5-minute walk to my house because they were scared, I’d try anything. I wasn’t allowed to drink alcohol because we didn’t know what I was capable of when I was drunk. My social skills just never developed and ever since I’ve struggled to socialize with people, having normal conversations and knowing what to say at what points, etc is extremely difficult for me. I struggled with the fact that because I couldn’t work out, or play sports, I put a load of weight on that I may never lose. This then led to bullying in school, which just made me hate people more.

I’ve tried to take my life 3 times; I believe there was a 4th when I was younger but my parents keep saying it didn’t happen and I really hope it didn’t because it’s just horrific. I’ve tried to walk into the road twice and let cars hit me and the third time I tried to overdose on tablets. Trust me this story does circle back around to the Eagles and this is where it does.
Like I mentioned earlier, I seriously lack social skills and I struggle to express myself but that wasn’t the case when I was talking football and the Eagles. Sport, in general, gave me a voice, it gave me a reason to speak to people, even if it is like this and over the internet. I was so passionate about talking on topics like the Eagles, why they are struggling, what they need to do to fix their issues, or back in 2017 it was, what the bloody hell happened to my Eagles and why are they playing like an actual football team?!

The Eagles saved my life, it’s as simple as that, they gave me a reason to live, even if they didn’t help by losing each week sometimes. It might sound sad to people that I didn’t want to live for my family, or my friends, etc but at the time of me getting into the NFL and supporting the Eagles, none of that mattered to me. I didn’t have the passion I had for the Eagles for anything else and I genuinely owe my life to the Eagles, because they saved me without even knowing I existed.

Hopefully, this piece I decided to do as an introduction to me writing on the Eagles has done what I wanted it to do. I want you to know that I always make a laugh and a joke, I may take things a little too far and hopefully you now I understand why I may not realize some of the stuff is too far in your books. Hopefully, this doesn’t mean you’ll go lightly on me on Twitter or the PSN discord if you hate my takes or my opinion, because please, hit me with your best shot.

To finish off this piece I want to shout out a couple of people and say, for starters, that my DMs on Twitter and Discord will always be open for anyone who feels like they are struggling, I’ve experienced this for almost 8 years now so I probably know exactly how you are feeling.

The first person I want to shout out is Yamil, thank you so much man for your piece, it was truly inspiring!

The second person I want to shout out is Liam, thanks for everything you have done for me so far in my time at PSN, thanks for giving me an outlet to express myself and help with the struggles of day to day life and even though I rip you at every point and chance I have, I utterly respect you and I hope one day I can somehow repay you for what you have given me.

Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports