Lance Scranton: Nick Foles was the forgotten man turned Super Bowl MVP
February 6, 2018
If things had turned out differently Sunday, and the New England Patriots had won in their all-too-familiar comeback style, the Super Bowl discussions would be very different this week. While Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are, not even arguably, the greatest coach-player tandem in the history of the NFL, it took a second-string quarterback and a first-year head coach to figure out how to find the chink in the Patriots armor. The contest was one of the best I've ever seen, but what it should teach all of us is something that goes well beyond the game.
Most of us have lived through situations and circumstances in which we figured there wasn't much we could do and that the outcome was almost certainly beyond our control or influence. Sports does such a great job of helping us remember that, no matter the situation, we have a choice as to how we will behave and confront the situation. Sure, it's just a game, but standing behind a line and shouting out signals against as formidable opponent as the Patriots would, in my mind, be much like being put in a situation where we are being asked to do almost the impossible.
Tom Brady is like the person who always knows what to do, always seems to get his way and always manages to beat the odds, while Nick Foles was the forgotten man who, only a few seasons ago, was considering other employment. But that, as they say, is what makes the story so intriguing; he is pressed into action because of an injury to the "franchise" quarterback and plays well enough to get them into the postseason, then turns into the patriot-piercing missile who explodes onto the scene to become the Super Bowl MVP.
It is the story of doing what you can with what you've got in the circumstances you've been placed in and making yourself the very best you can be for however long you can.
Sounds like a great way to live life: uncertain as we are presented with a challenge and deciding we are going to do everything we can to manage how we respond to a situation we find ourselves in. And remember, the Patriots played well enough to win — but they didn't, because the Eagles played just a little bit better.
It's what makes our journey through life so rewarding; when we can, for a brief moment in time, watch as the countless reasons for not doing everything to make things better are tossed to the wind, and we watch a young man transcend his situation to help an underdog team pull of a truly memorable Super Bowl win. If this isn't a story that motivates you to pull up your socks, throw out the excuses and do the best you can with what you've got, then you aren't living the American Dream.
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Lance Scranton is a teacher and coach at Moffat County High School.