Foles Wants His Story to be Bigger Than Football
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (973espn.com) - If Hollywood was trying to come up with a script for the selfless backup who was forced into action before leading the team to the unlikeliest of championships, it might throw away the narrative surrounding Nick Foles.
Too far-fetched the movie exec might say.
In 2018, there just aren't many people like Foles, the bit player forced to take the baton and play like a superstar only to willingly return to the anonymity of being Carson Wentz's backup when the time comes.
Foles was front and center Monday morning at the Mall of America, accepting his Super Bowl MVP trophy and in typical Foles' fashion, there was no boastfulness or bragging about being the guy to match Tom Brady in Super Bowl LII and finally bring the Lombardi Trophy home to the NovaCare Complex.
Instead, Foles used his platform to speak about his shortcomings in order to try to buoy so many others who may have fallen down in life.
"I think the big thing is don't be afraid to fail," Foles explained when asked about his success. "I think in our society today, Instagram, Twitter, it's a highlight reel. It's all the good things. And then when you look at it, when you think like, wow, when you have a rough day, 'My life's not as good as that,' (you think) you're failing."
When people talk about the underdog aspect of the Eagles' run to Minneapolis and their exciting 41-33 win over the Patriots, it lacks context.
The spin that people didn't believe in the Eagles was a flawed one. What they didn't believe in was Nick Foles.
Full disclosure here: I did dozens of radio hits across the country leading up to the big game, ones in which I picked New England to win. In each, I explained that the Eagles had more talent than the Pats but Tom Brady's advantage over Foles at the game's most important position would swing things in New England's favor.
Brady actually lived up to his billing as the G.O.A.T and then some, riddling a talented Eagles defense with body blow after body blow. Conversely, Foles matched a true superstar each and every step of the way.
It was an amazing performance but one that left Foles as humble as ever despite being the guy who ultimately accomplished what Ron Jaworksi, Donovan McNabb and so many others could not over the past half-century.
And he only did it after failing with the Rams and contemplating retirement before deciding to march on, first as a backup to Alex Smith in Kansas City and then as Carson Wentz's caddie here.
"Failure is a part of life," Foles surmised. "It's a part of building character and growing. Without failure, who would you be? I wouldn't be up here if I hadn't fallen thousands of times."
Foles doesn't want the people of Philadelphia to revere him until the end of time for beating Tom Brady and Bill Belichick on one unspeakably cold night in the Bold North. He wants you to learn from his journey and keep fighting through your own.
"We all are human, we all have weaknesses, and I think throughout this to be able to share that and be transparent, He said. "I know when I listen to people speak and they share their weaknesses, I'm listening. Because (it) resonates. I'm not perfect. I'm not Superman. I might be in the NFL, I might have just won a Super Bowl, but, hey, we still have daily struggles, I still have daily struggles. And that's where my faith comes in, that's where my family comes in.
"I think when you look at a struggle in your life, just know that's just an opportunity for your character to grow. And that's just been the message. Simple. If something's going on in your life and you're struggling? Embrace it. Because you're growing."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen