PHILADELPHIA, PA – Around 5pm this afternoon, I was kneading pasta dough. I’ve only made pasta dough once before, but I had the recipe and ingredients ready for spinach ravioli. Concentration was required, but if things went well, I’d be having a delicious dinner.
It is important, as an Eagles fan, to have something after the game, beyond the game to look forward to and think about.
Today I realized that while the Team USA Eagles may or may not be making progress, I as a fan am most definitely making progress – as a fan and as a chef. It occurred to me that I might try to share the process of how to be an Eagles fan without going nuts.
My wife had made clear that spinach ravioli was something she wanted. When I learned Eric Fry and Mike Petri were starting for the Eagles in Monte Video, I made sure I was going to be able to build my day around not only watching the Eagles, but also making spinach ravioli after. Something for my wife and something for me. Saturday would be a great day for it.
At 3pm, I clicked refresh and refresh and refresh, waiting impatiently for the feed to come through. Being an Eagles fan requires a kind of diligence; it isn’t like rooting for prominent teams and franchises. When Duke lost on Friday, it was impossible not to hear about it. To keep up with the Eagles takes effort. The more effort you extend, the more it will sting when things don’t go as you hope.
Still, you can’t root halfway. When Niua put that first penalty over, I clapped and sat up straight and enjoyed. When the Uruguayan center was able to stay in touch despite Wyles’ tackle, I groaned. When Manoa romped his way in, I proclaimed my love for that beast of a man for all the neighborhood to hear. When the Eagles scrum failed and failed again and Uruguay scored in the corner, I cursed and slumped and just kept myself off of the floor.
The game ended, though, and I turned the smart TV off, stood up and walked into the kitchen. I took the flour out of the cabinet and the eggs out of the ‘fridge, and opened the cookbook. This is part of being a smart Eagles fan. That tie, and the mistakes the Eagles made that let Uruguay stay in that game, was the realization of our worst fears as fans. But I was ready because I was going to make pasta.
I kneaded, I rolled, I pinched the edges of the ravioli. When I was done, the Eagles draw with Los Teros had bounced off of me like an easy penalty kick off the upright.
The ravioli, by the way, were great. When the Eagles play the Los Teros in Atlanta, I will start the game with nothing but eager anticipation. However, I am also planning to make paella. I’ve never made paella before. It’ll be a nice thing to look forward to.
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For those that didn’t see the match, here is the link: