The Philadelphia Eagles have a worldwide following consisting of millions of fans and they had been waiting for that first Vince Lombardi trophy for a long, long time. Sunday’s 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII finally brought that first championship to Philadelphia, but to one fan it meant more than most.
Jon Dorenbos was a member of the Eagles organisation for 10 years, playing long snapper on special teams between 2006-2016 after 1 year stints with the Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans. On 28th August 2017 he was traded to the New Orleans Saints for a 2019 7th round draft pick, but during his medical the Saints discovered an aortic aneurysm – his heart had enlarged to approximately 1.5 times it’s regular size and immediate heart surgery was required. He was released by the Saints on the 8th September and was forced to retire from the sport.
When the Eagles made the Super Bowl their owner, Jeffrey Lurie, made sure Jon wouldn’t miss out on any of the experience. He was invited to Minneapolis as an honorary member of the team, and when it came to the trophy presentation he was up there on the podium with Lurie, head coach Doug Pederson and game MVP Nick Foles. He will also be presented with a Super Bowl ring when they are handed out at the start of next season.
“Had I played, I’d die. If you can’t play in it, this is the next best way to enjoy it,” Jon said in an interview with The New Orleans Advocate.
This is a very classy move from the Philadelphia Eagles organisation, well done to them and well done to Jon for battling through adversity to be crowned a champion.