How USC Football helped win the Super Bowl for Philadelphia

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 04: Nelson Agholor /

This past Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles won their first ever Super Bowl. While Nick Foles was named MVP, USC Football was key to their victory.

Dreams and Nightmares

The Super Bowl victory was surprising to many, especially since the Eagles were never favored in any game this postseason. The city of Philadelphia took inspiration to this slight by buying every dog mask in the world and donning them before and after games.

Because Philadelphia rioting isn’t scary enough, they had to do it while being dressed up as drunk and angry German Shepherds.

It looked more like “The Purge” than a city celebrating a championship.

The masks were only one part of the underdog persona they rallied behind. They also made the song “Dreams and Nightmares”, sang by Meek MIll, their unofficial anthem for their championship run. They played it after they won the NFC Championship, and as their intro before the Super Bowl.

In the song, Meek Mill chronicles his rise from rags to riches, and dark side of fame. Guess the Eagles will have to wait until the confetti has stopped falling in Philadelphia for the latter. Although I would think fans celebrating by eating horse poop shows the negatives of becoming world champions.

There’s many reasons the Eagles choose this song. Meek Mill is from Philadelphia, and choosing his song was a way to show solidarity towards the rapper, who is currently serving a jail sentence for violating his probation from a 2008 gun and drug case. Many believe his punishment is unjust and the Eagles using his song as a rallying cry has led to a greater discussion on the criminal justice system. As much as a Super Bowl run can, at least.

But before the city of Philadelphia was screaming “#FreeMeekMill”, there was another team that was using his song to pump themselves up before a big game: The USC Trojans.

The USC Trojans played “Dreams and Nightmares” before defeating Penn State in dramatic fashion in the 2017 Rose Bowl. The Trojans were underdogs in that game as well. Many believed they didn’t necessarily deserve to be in that game considering their 1-3 start to the season. But USC proved them wrong, by rattling off nine straight wins, capped off by beating the Nittany Lions 52-49.

Did the Eagles discover a similar strategy on their own volition or did they take a page out of USC’s playbook?

Not to mention, this was before Meek Mill became a martyr for criminal justice reform. When USC used his song, it was at a time he was getting clowned on the internet for everything he did. Drake disses. Slipping on ice. Sad Instagrams.

Last year, Meek Mill took more Ls than the Cleveland Browns. That didn’t stop the Trojans from using his song as inspiration in big games.

“The Philly Special”

One of the biggest plays of the game happened near the end of the first half when Philadelphia decided to go for it on fourth-and-goal. Instead of running it on the one-yard line (who would want to do that against the Patriots), the Eagles decided to use a little razzle dazzle and call a trick play.

Foles faked like he was barking (get it?) instructions to his offensive linemen and the center snapped it directly to Corey Clement, who then flipped it to Trey Burton on a reverse and threw it to Foles in the end zone.

The play gave Philadelphia a 10-point lead before half and enough momentum to survive a lengthy and mediocre halftime show by Justin Timberlake. Timberlake’s honoring of Prince was more Purple Lame than Purple Reign.

After the game, Eagles offensive coordinator, Frank Reich, told the media that they took the inspiration for that play from the Bears, who used it last year against the Vikings. The quarterback who ran that play for Chicago was none other than USC alumni Matt Barkley.

Would Chicago have run that play if they had a different quarterback? Probably. Then again, if they had someone different under center, they probably wouldn’t have needed to break out any misdirection to score their lone touchdown in a 28-point loss to the Vikings.

Let’s give Matt Barkley all the credit he can get. I

Nelson Agholor

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Let’s not forget that Foles played at Arizona. So with his play, and the factors from the Trojans that contributed to their Eagles victory, the Pac-12 is quite literally the conference of champions.

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