The sad truth about the Super Bowl is that while one team will celebrate the victory of a lifetime, another will have their heads down as tears flow while they walk back to the locker room in defeat.
There are some, though, that decide to stay out on the field to watch the celebration, wanting to feel that pain as a motivating tool. Though Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts didn’t do that, he knows that this 38-35 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night in Arizona will be a life lesson that he will carry with him moving forward.
"I think the beautiful part about it is everyone experiences different pain and everyone experiences different agonies of life," he told reporters after the game. "But you decide what you want to learn from it. You decide if you want it to be a teachable moment. I know what I’ll do."
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Win or loss, Hurts came into this game putting naysayers to rest. The Eagles had the best regular season record in the NFL and ran through the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers to reach this point of the season. And Hurts’ elite play was a major factor.
"I think you want to cherish these moments," he said. "You want to cherish these moments with the people that you come so far with. Your family, your loved ones, your teammates, your peers, everyone you do it with and do it for. I’m so proud of this team. I’m so proud of this team for everything we’ve been able to overcome. Obviously we had a big time goal at the end that we wanted to accomplish and we came up short."
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It wasn’t for the lack of effort from Hurts, who certainly would’ve been named Super Bowl MVP had it not been a Chiefs victory. He rushed for three touchdowns and a two-point conversion that tied the game at 35 apiece, while throwing a 45-yard bomb to A.J. Brown in the second quarter for his only passing touchdown.
Hurts finished with 304 yards on 27 of 38 through the air, while rushing for 70 yards on 15 carries.
It’s efforts like this that head coach Nick Sirianni has seen from Hurts all season, so all he could do after the game was remind him how far he’s come this year.
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"I just told him that I was happy for him," Sirianni said. "It just wasn’t this year and I told him I thought it was his best game that he’s played. It wasn’t just this game, it was this entire season he’s shown to be a special leader, a special player and I’m sure glad that he’s our quarterback."
This isn’t the first time Hurts has faced adversity in his football career, and it likely won’t be the last. But like he said, people can either let the loss consume them, or use it moving forward.
"It’s something that I know that will motivate me," he said.