Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 4th 2018 Contents A28 sports
Sunday, February 4, 2018
A frosty welcome for Eagles as Brady's Patriots chase history
Everyone loves an underdog, right?
Well, at Super Bowl LII today there's
a clear one, as the Philadelphia Ea-
gles come up against NFL thorough-
breds the New England Patriots.
Most of the Eagles' players will be
appearing in their irst Super Bowl
- in fact, their entire 53-man roster
has seven appearances in the show-
piece between them, a igure Patri-
ots quarterback Tom Brady has all
Patriots coach Bill Belichick,
meanwhile, will rack up an incredi-
ble 11th Super Bowl outing as the Pats
look to equal the Pittsburgh Steelers'
long-standing record of six titles.
So, given all that, surely the locals
in Minneapolis are getting behind
the Eagles as they face this uphill
Not in the slightest.
You see, it was these very same
Eagles who crushed the Minnesota
fans' own Super Bowl dreams at
Lincoln Financial Field Stadium just
under two weeks ago.
The Vikings enjoyed a brilliant
regular- and post-season built on
the foundation of a rock-solid de-
fence and were one game away from
making history by playing in a Super
Bowl in their home stadium when
they ran up against the Eagles in the
recent NFC Championship game.
The Eagles mauled the Vikings
38 7 with quarterback Nick Foles to
the fore, and it appears the locals are
now getting their own back.
Philadelphia players have been
taking to social media to recount
some of their experiences this week,
with defensive lineman Vinny Curry
claiming that when he enquired
where he might get Eagles memora-
bilia at a local NFL shop he received
the reply: "Not in this mall."
One bar offered "free beer" to Ea-
gles fans with the added caveat that
it would be "thrown at you!", while
some locals have been seen wearing
purple shirts with a Patriots logos on
bearing phrases such as "I'm a Vi-
kings fan, Go Patriots!".
At a media session, meanwhile,
many of the Eagles players were
booed by the paying fans in attend-
"They're apparently still not over
last week, but it is what it is," said
Eagles tight end Zach Ertz.
Some of his team-mates appeared
to enjoy the occasion at least, with
defensive end Brandon Graham
wearing a dog mask in a nod to his
side's billing as underdogs.
If the Eagles are to upset the odds
they'll have to stop Brady in his
tracks by putting him under constant
pressure - it's a well-known tactic
but so hard to execute for the full 60
Brady has won ive Super Bowls
and four MVPs while throwing 15
touchdown passes in the big game.
He came back from the dead at 28 3
down to stun Atlanta last year and
engineered a late 10-point comeback
to beat the Jaguars to return to the
NFL showpiece this season.
No quarterback is better under
pressure, but the Eagles generate the
right type of pressure up the middle
of the ield without using too many
players - it's a similar style to the New
York Giants teams that have handed
Brady his only two Super Bowl de-
Brady is also a slow starter - his
teams have never scored a irst-quar-
ter point in seven Super Bowls - so
watch for the Eagles to swarm all
over him early on. If they're too slow
he'll cut through them with short
passes, but if he's constantly under
pressure and being hit, Philadel-
phia's underdogs might just stand a
The half-time show is as impor-
tant as the football for some Super
Previous performers have in-
cluded Bruce Springsteen, Michael
Jackson and Beyonce.
This year, Justin Timberlake will
take to the stage. A few eyebrows
were raised when he was given the
nod as his previous Super Bowl ap-
pearance included Janet Jackson's
infamous "wardrobe malfunction".
He's giving little away regarding
his plans but he has ruled out an
Two-time Super Bowl winner Osi
Belichick is the key for me; as
long as he is there they are going to
be successful. They are showing no
signs of slowing down, and as long as
Belichick is the coach over there they
are going to keep winning games.
Everything he has done is quite
frankly unprecedented. We have
never seen anything like this before.
He is using players who aren't the
top, top players and he is winning
every single year, it's ridiculous. And
that's why I say he is the best coach
we have ever seen, because of what
he has been able to do in the NFL,
a league that is ultra-competitive.
When he leaves, that's when you will
see the Patriots fall off the cliff.
Jackson: I'm not
performing at Super
Bowl with Timberlake
MINNEAPOLIS --- Together again?
Not so much.
Janet Jackson has shut down any
rumors that she will be joining Jus-
tin Timberlake during this year's
Super Bowl halftime show.
"To put to rest any speculation
or rumors as to whether I will be
performing at the Super Bowl to-
morrow; I will not," Jackson said
in a statement released yesterdayy.
"Thank you for your support and
I do look forward to seeing you all
Timberlake is returning to the
halftime show 14 years after a
wardrobe malfunction with Jack-
son caused a national controversy.
Timberlake was Jackson's special
guest during her performance at
that year's game and ripped off a
piece of her clothing, revealing her
nipple. Timberlake later described
it as an unintended "wardrobe mal-
CBS, which aired that Super
Bowl, was ined $550,000 by the
Federal Communications Commis-
sion, but the ine later was over-
SEE PAGE A30
The Eagles mauled the Vikings 38-7 with quarterback Nick Foles.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) yells out at the line of
scrimmage during the second half against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock
PICTURE STEVE MITCHELL COURTESY USA TODAY SPORTS
SUPER BOWL LII
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