Brandon Graham, May We Never Know “What If”

fantasy football

For a while there, we as Eagles fans were so bitter. We could have drafted the leader of the Legion of Boom Earl Thomas but instead, we selected Brandon Graham with pick 13 in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft. What if the Eagles selected Earl Thomas? In all fairness, Earl’s early career play was incredible- call it scheme, call it talent around him, but the dude could play. We are Philadelphia after all, we LOVE a hard-hitting safety…so naturally Brandon Graham just wasn’t going to cut it playing at the rate he started. Analysts, coaches, and maybe some intelligent fans saw Graham’s potential and preached patience, but no one could have predicted Graham would have one of the most memorable and game-changing plays in Eagles history, a strip-sack of the goat, Tom Brady, in final minutes of Super Bowl 52.

Over the years, well before the Super Bowl and now well after, Graham ingratiated himself into the hearts of Eagles fans everywhere, just like he probably knew he would even when we didn’t. He always has a smile and a “we’ll be alright” message for the fans and playful banter with NBC Sports longtime Eagles reporter Derrick Gunn. Graham never shies away from the media, he embraces the city and the good and bad that comes with it, so when another unexpected playoff run in 2018 ended on a pass through the hands of Alshon Jeffrey, Graham was emotional as this was potentially his last game in an Eagles uniform with an expiring contract and some years on the odometer. As he worked his way through the tunnel, he stopped for an embrace with his longtime frenemy Gunn, then his Super Bowl-winning head coach before entering the locker room. He was our Super Bowl hero and the heartbeat of our team, imaging the Eagles without Graham seemed impossible but he was a free agent who could demand a lot of money on the open market, money no one knew if the Eagles would be willing to pay to an aging DE…

When the news broke that Graham had agreed to a deal to come back and hopefully finish his career with the Birds, the city was elated. Having just finished watching All or Nothing on Amazon Prime focusing on the Eagles 2019 season, I can’t help but think, what if the birds didn’t re-sign Graham? Amazon and the NFL should rename the series, All or Nothing Brandon Graham because he is everywhere, having fun, but also lifting up his teammates on both sides of the ball. We know Graham is a leader on and off the field, we know he loves his teammates and coaches, and we know he brings a smile everywhere he goes, but seeing just how dedicated he is day in and day out following big wins and worse losses, reminds me that we are very lucky we never had to find out “what if”.


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