An Eagles’ fan’s rooting guide to Super Bowl 58: Andy Reid, Deebo Samuel & lots of Philly flavor

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Super Bowl 49ers vs chiefs eagles
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Rashee Rice (4) is congratulated by wide receiver Justin Watson, left, and quarterback Patrick Mahomes after scoring against the Miami Dolphins during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Spoiler alert: the Philadelphia Eagles won’t be playing in Super Bowl LVIII. Hopefully, all those diehards who bought into the early hype were granted full refunds on those direct flights to Las Vegas. Ahh, dreamers can dream. Moving on.

There are a few storylines that Eagles fans can monitor when the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers knock helmets on Sunday. It’ll be bittersweet to watch this year’s game from the couch — one year after the City of Brotherly Love had been preparing for a championship parade down Broad Street. Alas, here we are …

Boo Deebo Samuel:

The 49ers star receiver can’t seem to stop running his mouth about the Eagles and last year’s NFC Championship Game loss. It wasn’t enough for San Francisco to exact revenge in humiliating fashion during their 42-19 stomping of Philly on December 3. Nope. Samuel is still talking trash, dismissing the Eagles-49ers blood feud as nothing more than a blip on the radar, not even worthy of a true rivalry: “I consider rivalries close games. We ain’t going to talk about that no more. That’s over with.”

2. Jason Kelce Watch

The Pro Bowl center is already working the blackjack tables in Vegas where he and his celebrity friends won an epic hand. He was loud. He was excited. He was funny. And he was dressed in his traditional dad wear. It’s going to be fun to chart Kelce’s travels all weekend in Sin City, TMZ style, in a Where’s Waldo kind of way. He’s expected to be seated in the Chiefs’ suite alongside superstar singer Taylor Swift again, with Momma Kelce running interference … so how does the Eagles legend top his shirtless, beer-fueled rendezvous from a weeks ago? Is it even possible? Stay tuned. Whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce walks off the field after an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Monday, Dec. 18, 2023, in Seattle. The Seahawks won 20-17. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

3. Ring for Todd Pinkston

Every card-carrying Eagles fan has a Todd Pinkston joke, including his former teammates and coaches. But, forget all that, and let’s give the former receiver his due. The man nicknamed “Stinkston” by the national media has parlayed a rather mediocre playing career into a successful coaching career. He started as an intern for the Eagles in 2009 before settling into a full-time role as Chiefs running backs coach in 2023. Pinkston unleashed Isiah Pacheco (935 yards) this season as he inches closer to his first-ever Super Bowl ring. Good for him.

Broncos vs. Chiefs eagles Isaiah pacheco eagles
Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco (10) runs with the ball as Chicago Bears linebacker T.J. Edwards defends during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

4. Ring for Javon Hargrave

The Pro Bowl defensive tackle caused a mini-controversy when he said 49ers practices were “more demanding” than Eagles practices. Hargrave has since clarified his remarks, adding that the two franchises simply have “different styles.” He was never trying to say one was better than the other. Anyway, the “Grave Digger” racked up 23 sacks during three seasons in an Eagles uniform, then cashed in with San Francisco in free agency with no reported offer from Philly on the table. He was always a good soldier and a great locker-room guy, so let’s not hold a grudge against him.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 18: Philadelphia Eagles Defensive Tackle Javon Hargrave (93) heads to the locker room after the first half during the game between the Baltimore Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles on October 18, 2020 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

5. Enough with Andy Reid

Big Red will be hunting for his third Super Bowl ring as a head coach and fourth overall counting his time as a Packers assistant. Yes, he’s already punched his ticket to Canton as he approaches luminary status (see: Bill Belichick). While it was nice to see Andy Reid win his first Lombardi Trophy after years and years of near-misses (mostly in Philadelphia), let’s be honest: that ship full of goodwill has sailed. Eagles fans should be over Reid’s feel-good story, bordering on regret for him not figuring it out sooner. Especially after reading Asante Samuel’s comments about Reid not holding Donovan McNabb “accountable enough” back in the day.

6. Boo the Hall of Fame

How in the world is Eric Allen still not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame? The league announced the five-time Pro Bowler wasn’t selected for enshrinement for the Class of 2024 after (finally) becoming a finalist for the first time in his fourth year as a semifinalist. The disrespect is mind-boggling. Allen retired with 54 career interceptions, including eight returned for touchdowns. He deserves a Gold Jacket. Stop the nonsense. It’s perfectly acceptable to boo the Hall of Fame Selection Committee as well as Commissioner Roger Goodell for allowing the disrespect to abide.

AP Photo/Charlie Riede