While Las Vegas casinos lost millions after New England Patriots lost Super Bowl LII there were three celebrities who knew all along Eagles would win, including a former high school classmate of quarterback Nick Foles.
Of course Kevin Hart, who was born and raised in Philadelphia, showed his support for Eagles on ESPN’s “First Take.” He predicted Eagles would win their first ever Super Bowl during a live recording in Bloomington, Minnesota the Friday ahead of Super Bowl Sunday. After apologizing on behalf of Eagles fans who threw bottles at Minnesota Vikings fans when hosting the NFC Championship game, Hart said he believed in their backup quarterback Foles. During the red carpet of “Leather & Laces” event in Minneapolis two nights before the big game two made a case in a one-on-one interview Eagles could in fact win.
CBS Radio host of “Mouthing Off” Olivia Caridi, a contestant on season 20 of The Bachelor, was pulling for her former high school quarterback at Westlake High School in Austin, Texas. She was a freshmen during Foles senior year when he led the team to a state championship game in 2006.
“I drove to San Antonio to watch him play in the state championship,” Caridi said. “We lost but he had the most amazing game and I’ve always thought he was so cool, high school hero. Now [I’m going to be] watching him play in the Super Bowl, its just really cool to go full circle.”
For Caridi it truly was full circle as Foles outplayed Patriots five-time Super Bowl Champion quarterback Tom Brady, who was named the game’s MVP in four of those wins. On a night where both total offenses combined for over 1,000 yards to set an all-time postseason record, Foles came out on top completing 28 of 43 passes for 373 yards, three touchdowns to only one interception. His passing performance accumulated the highest quarterback rating in postseason history but Foles’ reception touchdown is what stood out most. Foles coming up with the catch on fourth down not to long after Brady dropped a big catch will go down as an iconic moment in sports history.
When it came to Philadelphia as a team an Eagle rival and three-time NFL Super Bowl champion Michael Irvin, the Dallas Cowboy Hall of Famer himself, backed the Eagles.
“Oh they have it in their DNA because the DNA that they have is connectivity,” Irvin said. “You hear them talk about they’re underdogs and no one believes in them. If they ride that connectivity they can get it done.”
Drawing from his playing days he saw a slight similarity with the Cowboys, before they won their first Super Bowl, and that Eagles team who went up against five-time champion head coach Bill Belichick.
“I see our early years when we got our first Super Bowl and I remember playing Buffalo and we were the young team,” Irvin said.
Bills were making their third Super Bowl appearance against the Cowboys before Irvin won his first ring similar to Patriots making their third appearance in four years against a young Eagles team. While Irvin’s team came out on top he believed Eagles could do the same with some added motivation.
“Eagles are trying to win a Super Bowl for their city while the Pats are trying to win another one for their city and the Pats somehow have to match that early hunger of those Eagles,” Irvin said.
While bookies probably should have been listening to both Caridi and Irvin, they lost out on millions of dollars favoring Patriots. But with EA Sports NFL Madden 18 predicting another New England Patriots Super Bowl win it would have been tough to bet against them as they’ve correctly predicted 10/14 Super Bowls. When simulating Super Bowl XLIX they accurately predicted the score, a 24-14 Patriots comeback over Seahawks and a game winning touchdown catch by Julian Edelman.
But like Irvin said, with Eagles understanding everyone was counting them out their connectivity and hunger gave them an advantage over the Patriots which they used to come out on top 41-33 in Super Bowl LII.
Gino Terrell is a 37-time journalism award recipient accumulating honors from Associated Collegiate Press, Society of Professional Journalists and National Association of Black Journalists (most notable: NABJ Student Journalist of the Year). Since 2014 he’s landed bylines in professional news organizations in the United States 15th largest media market Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota landing bylines in St. Paul Pioneer Press, Hubbard Broadcasting, Inc. KSTP TV (kstp.com), MinnPost, Twin Cities Daily Planet, AdpotAClassroom.org (national campaign based in Minneapolis) and Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. As a college student he founded national award winning student-magazine Pipers In-Depth at Hamline University (St. Paul, MN). Follow him on Twitter: @Gin026 & Instagram: 26_gino