Messing with the Rocky Balboa statue is never a good idea. Especially not on the eve of Philadelphia Eagles’ home football games when the “Eye of the Tiger” is sure to deliver a reverse jinx to enemy fans.
Fans of the San Francisco 49ers decided to descend upon Sylvester Stallone’s bronze likeness under the famed Art Museum Steps on Saturday night, September 18. The numbers were in the hundreds as a group calling themselves “North Jersey Empire” raced up the steps and waived their 49ers banners with pride. It was a bold move, one that Minnesota Vikings fans have first-hand knowledge of going badly wrong (38-7, right?). Don’t mess with the Italian Stallion.
Head coach Nick Sirianni spoke earlier in the week about the importance of Rocky’s symbolism. The Eagles begin all homes games at Lincoln Financial Field by flashing a clip of Adrian encouraging her husband to “win.” It’s arguably the biggest Jumbotron motivator in sports.
“I’m going to be looking at that screen when Rocky comes on,” Sirianni said. “I’ve talked about Rocky before. But I’m going to be looking at that screen when rocky comes on, and Adrian says, ‘Win,’ and everybody gets juiced up. I’m going to have some energy when I see that.”
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Sirianni Talks About Managing ‘Temper’
Sirianni made headlines midway through training camp when he was caught yelling at Jalen Reagor on the practice field. He got caught up in the heat of the moment and nothing was out of line. Both Reagor and Sirianni talked about how much they grew from that incident.
“You know what my experience is,” Sirianni said on August 5 via Eagles.com, “is that if you’re helping a guy become better, that’s all that these players really want is how do we – can this guy make me better and when that is the case, I think you can coach them as hard as you want to.”
On Friday, September 17, Sirianni commented on the way he controls his temper during the season. It’s really not an issue. The first-year head coach uses emotions – good and bad – to pound his points home.
“I’m a yeller and screamer whether it’s good or whether it’s bad,” Sirianni said. “I mean, as far as – I’m not going to change based – they’ve got to look at me and know that I’m the same guy no matter what, right? It’s not all nice out there when we’re out there, whether it’s coaches, players, whatever.”
Eagles Ink Josh Sweat to 3-Year Extension
The Eagles inked defensive end Josh Sweat to a three-year contract extension worth $40 million on Saturday. The 24-year-old will earn nearly $13.3 million per year through 2024 with $26.9 million guaranteed, via ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Sweat had garnered hype all preseason as he battled Derek Barnett for the starting pass rusher spot opposite Brandon Graham. It was essentially a tie, with the two seeing equal playing time: Sweat saw 39 snaps in Week 1; Barnett saw 33. And Sweat’s teammates have talked him up all summer.
“I had no idea Sweat was as big as he is until I got here,” said Ryan Kerrigan, via the Eagles’ website. “I saw him up close and was like, ‘Wow, that dude moves like that on film, and is that big? He’s going to be a problem for years to come.”