As I sat watching my Philadelphia Eagles play The Los Angeles Rams last night I looked on in horror as the worst possible situation for an Eagles fan came to fruition, our star Quarterback Carson Wentz went down with a knee injury. Initially, it didn’t look bad. He even stayed in the game long enough to throw the touchdown which ended up being responsible for the victory, after being injured. That is the pedigree of a true winner, to play through the pain for the sake of your team.
As I watched Carson throw a touchdown after the play he was injured on, I and everyone else assumed he was okay. He was then taken into the blue tent on the sideline for observation, as is protocol when a player is hurt. It was all downhill from there as he was then taken back into the locker room which typically means the player is done for the rest of the game.
With a quarter left to play, The Eagles brought second string Quarterback Nick Foles off of the bench to finish the game. With our star out for the rest of a potentially division clinching game, I knew someone else would have to step up and shine — regardless of their position — if The Eagles hoped to win the game. With just under ten minutes remaining in the game, Eagles defensive end Chris Long forced a huge fumble which was recovered by Eagles safety Rodney McLeod.
Down by only two points with a single second remaining on the clock, The Rams once again fumbled the ball which was returned for a touchdown by Eagles linebacker Brandon Graham, leading The Eagles to a 43–35 win.
The Philadelphia Eagles went on to clinch their division — the NFC East — with the hard fought victory. Being as I work at a sporting goods store here in Philadelphia, I knew this meant we would have customers lined up outside for NFC East Champions gear a half hour before we opened this morning.
My prediction was correct except the line was significantly longer than I imagined it would be. What I couldn’t have predicted is that my department manager, a hard working woman who has given 23 years of her life to the company and is very much like the Carson Wentz of our team, would be hospitalized last night and thus unable to make it to work today.
Not only were we short a vital staff member, with a line out front before we even opened but we also had a truck delivering 300 boxes to us outback. With our star out and all the new hires we have for the holidays, this left me with the most seniority in our department. I knew I had to step up for the rest of our team, as well as our customer’s sake. It put me in mind of the game I watched the night before, one in which The Eagles found a way to win despite adverse circumstances. I could complain or I could adapt and adjust while doing what needed to be done.
I did exactly that. We got through the morning rush as well as handled the delivery of the incoming 300 boxes smoothly and without any major hiccups. My General Manager not only thanked me but he pulled me aside and complimented me on how well of a job I did stepping in for our missing department manager. He stated it would not be forgotten come evaluation time.
Essentially, I turned an adverse and overly busy Monday morning into an opportunity to show my boss as well as the rest of the staff my full potential and I have what it takes to manage a very large department. I wasn’t thinking about myself as I did what needed to be done. I wasn’t trying to shine nor step on toes, I just wanted my team to succeed and get through the day.
This article is not about a single football game or work day. It’s about adversity, tough circumstances and what needs to be done to get through them. Adversity breeds champions, it forces you to reach within and pull the best out of yourself. It’s nice when your favorite team has an easy schedule on a given year, until it comes time to play a tough team in the playoffs. Easy schedules don’t toughen individuals or teams up, adversity does.
The road will not get any easier for The Philadelphia Eagles as it was announced this morning Carson Wentz has a torn ACL and will be out the remainder of the season as well as playoffs. The Eagles can use it as an excuse or each and every other player on the team can use it as motivation to step up. A Super Bowl trip will be very difficult to pull off without their star Quarterback but not impossible. It will come down to the other 53 players on the team.
In any endeavor, you are bound to face adversity on the road to victory. Running into unforeseen circumstances is apart of football like it is apart of life. Easy schedules and ideal circumstances don’t breed champions, adapting and adjusting to tough circumstances while overcoming adversity does.
Edit: While it’s obvious by the date I published this I wrote this the day after Carson Wentz went down — The Philadelphia Eagles went on to win The Super Bowl. Essentially proving the headline of the article correct. It should be noted, the only thing I’ve changed since publishing this article back in December was the featured image, this edit and opening it to all members. I find that pretty fucking incredible but maybe that’s just The Philadelphia Eagles fan in me.