Sunday, August 11, 2013

Turf Wars

By Xavier Husser (New York, New York)

On Aug. 9, at Lincoln Financial Field, the crowd roared in both excitement and contempt. Smoke billowed out of the home team’s entrance. Football is not just a game or a form of entertainment; it is an ever-changing battle between two well-equipped armies. Football is also like chess: pawns fiercely fight to gain even a single yard. 

The Philadelphia Eagles waged war against the New England Patriots in the Eagles’ and Patriots’ first preseason game. The Eagles, who have not been able to beat the Patriots since 1999, have never won the Super Bowl. The Patriots have won three Super Bowls and are one of the best teams in the NFL. Even though all can change in football with a good coach or just one great player, the Eagles were the undisputed underdogs.

Michael Vick, the once-disgraced Atlanta Falcon, is a possible starting quarterback for the Eagles. After 12 years on the field, Vick knows his way around this artificial battleground. At 33 years old, Vick does not have a ring. With time running out in his career, he only has a couple more years to win the most sought-after prize in football.
Tom Brady, one of the best quarterbacks playing in the NFL, is also a veteran. Brady aided the Patriots in their defeat of the Eagles in the 2005 Super Bowl, and is considered an aerial threat with close to 45,000 career passing yards and more than 330 touchdowns. Not only does Brady throw red-hot Hail Marys, but he advances to the end zone in the blink of an eye. A rival team’s worst nightmare, Brady is not undefeatable, but is comparable to a football demigod.

The Patriots’ touchdown in the first three minutes of the game set a tone of dominance. Vick quickly answered back with a touchdown of his own, but by the end of the second quarter, it was clear that the Patriots were in charge, at 24-14. The Patriots have a tendency to capitalize on a team’s mistakes and break through even the best teams’ defenses.

In this real-life David versus Goliath, David’s stone could not find a flaw in Goliath’s armor. After the smoke settled, the Patriots stood victorious, 31-22. The Eagles fought with all their might, but could not stop Brady and his army. Preseason games may only show a small glimpse of the regular season, but first impressions are important. Brady is still a dangerous player, but Vick also showed signs of becoming a threat this season.

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