What began at Washington and ended in Minneapolis with a Super Bowl LII victory is still vivid in everyone's minds, the journey the Eagles made to become World Champions. On Monday night at the NovaCare Complex in front of a packed auditorium with invited season-ticket members on hand was a dramatic and intimate behind-the-scenes look inside the Super season brought to life by NFL Films, Cinedigm, and the National Football League.
The Official Commemorative* Film to celebrate the Eagles' first Super Bowl title, "Super Bowl LII Champions: Philadelphia Eagles," *is a 75-minute deep dive into history. It is available to every Eagles fan on Blu-Ray Combo Pack, DVD & Digital HD on Tuesday at the three local Eagles Pro Shops and on PhiladelphiaEagles.com.
"When fans see it, I think they're going to experience sheer joy of being able to live the season and experience it as if you're seeing it for the first time," said David Plaut, a senior producer at NFL Films who finished a superlative 42-year run at Films with the Eagles' video as his last project. It's especially poignant for Plaut, a multiple Emmy Award winner at NFL Films who raised a family of Eagles fans in the Philadelphia region and who understands, more than others, just how much the Super Bowl title meant and means for fans of this football team.
"The fans cheer as they see it for the first time, as if they aren't expecting it," he said. "To be able to see that and enjoy that and multiply that by the fact that this fan base hasn't enjoyed an NFL championship since 1960, this will give them a really good feeling. We make them so that in 20 years, they can pull it and watch it and put themselves right back in the moment or show it to a child who wasn't here for the Super Bowl and say, 'This is what we experienced that year. This is so special.'
"That's what I expect the reaction to be when fans watch this movie."
Game by game, the Eagles tore through the schedule as they overcame adversity with a slew of injuries and continued to dominate. From a 1-1 start after two road games, the season took off after Jake Elliott's franchise-long 61-yard field goal to beat the New York Giants at Lincoln Financial Field and the Eagles took a nine-game winning streak into December.
Of course, December was not easy by any means. Franchise quarterback Carson Wentz's injury on December 10 in Los Angeles was a significant loss, and as the Eagles went down the stretch with less-than-dominating wins at New York and against Oakland and fell in the regular-season finale to Dallas, the outside world questioned just how far the Eagles could go with Nick Foles at quarterback.
Of course, Foles was a star in the 3-0 postseason, with one of the greatest three-game performances in the history of the NFL postseason. He capped it off by throwing three touchdown passes and catching one in the February 4 Super Bowl LII win over New England.
One month later, the must-have video is available for purchase.
"I think what fans will take away the most from watching this is the access the team gave us to be able to capture the sideline sound and the wirings of the players and Coach (Doug) Pederson," Plaut said. "It's so raw and it's so honest and it's so immediate. Even if you look at it years from now, you're still going to feel that."
Plaut's career at NFL Films began with the highlight film of Dick Vermeil's first Eagles team, the 1976 season, and he "rode the coattails" of Vermeil until Vermeil left Philadelphia after the 1982 season. Plaut says he became a "very devoted Eagles fan" through those years after getting to know the people in the organization but, of course, working for NFL Films forces everyone to have a degree of neutrality.
This project, though, was a great way to go out. The very best.
"It is kind of magical," Plaut said. "My entire family went nuts when the Eagles won the Super Bowl, the way the game played out. It was so exciting and rewarding for everyone. The region got behind the Eagles 100 percent and for me, to be part of this project and to end my career with this, it's very special.
"My entire family is jazzed about this, unlike any projects I worked on in my years in NFL Films."
The fans will be as well, as NFL Films put together the true emotion and real story of the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles, the Super Bowl champions.