McMullen: Super Bowl Hype ‘Guarantees’ Nothing
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (973espn.com) - Much is made of the video where Bill Belichick is seen addressing his troops the last time Philadelphia and New England matched up in the Super Bowl.
That's when the future Hall of Fame coach revealed to his players that the City of Philadelphia had already put together plans for the parade down Broad Street.
To those who don't understand the logistics of running a city, that was unforgivable. To those who do, obviously you put together contingency plans for both outcomes and Boston and Foxborough surely did the same.
Belichick, though, is a master motivator and used the leaked news as a tool to fire up his players, who ultimately disposed of the Eagles 24-21.
Fast forward 13 years and the rematch is tonight in Minneapolis.
This time, it's almost if Belichick has Ben Stein-level speechwriters and they reside in the Eagles' locker room.
Whether it's the usually understated Alshon Jeffery turning into Joe Namath and essentially guaranteeing by victory or Doug Pederson playing into the thought that he and injured quarterback Carson Wentz could put together the next Belichick/Tom Brady-like dynasty.
You even have Lane Johnson promising to by people who never need another beer another beer at the victory parade that oh, by the way, is rumored to be set for Tuesday.
Finally, Brian Dawkins, a star on the Eagles' Super Bowl XXXIX team who currently works within the organization in player development, let the high of getting elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame get to him a little bit and wrote a check a new breed of players will have to cash against Brady and Co.
The Eagles clearly believe in themselves and if they do win at U.S. Bank Stadium, their confidence will be applauded. On the other hand, if the Pats capture their sixth Lombardi Trophy during this run, Philadelphia's swagger will be re-imagined and peddled as arrogance that did them in.
The reality, as always, is somewhere in between.
High-level athletes always believe in themselves and you can spin that any way you want once the final seconds wind down.
But, Super Bowl LII will be won by the players who executive better on one February day in Minneapolis, not motivational speeches, guarantees or another round at the biggest bar on the East Coast.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen