Think head coach Doug Pederson is having the most stressful week of his life as he prepares for Super Bowl LII?
You'd be wrong.
On September 2, 2016, Pederson's father, Gordon, passed away nine days before his head coaching debut against the Cleveland Browns. One day later, his starting quarterback at the time, Sam Bradford, was traded to Minnesota vaulting Carson Wentz, a rookie with just a half of preseason experience, into the starting lineup.
Pederson won that game against the Browns and established the culture that has allowed the Eagles to overcome a litany of injuries to key players to reach the Super Bowl in just his second year on the job.
Wednesday marks Pederson's 50th birthday and his father's memory helps guide his coaching style.
"I think about him all the time, especially at this time of year. He would love to be a part of these games to be coming to this game, being it's a chance to play for the Super Bowl and all of that," Pederson said. "It's definitely been on my mind and the kinds of things he might say to me."
Gordon served as his son's first football coach which provided some challenges that proved to be beneficial in the long run.
"He always had high expectations for me and my brothers and he coached us a little bit different than the rest of the team. I just think having that same mentality with the guys, just sort of a tough-love mentality with the guys now and having that relationship with them is something my dad and I had," Pederson said.
"He was positive and uplifting, but at the same time wanted to make sure we were doing things right and if we weren't, we would hear about it. That's kind of the same way how I treat what I'm doing today."
What Pederson is doing is working wonders. Not only has he been a phenomenal playcaller on offense, the players have said that the bond in the locker room is a special one and it's all because of the head coach.
Can Pederson motivate the team to get past one final hurdle to become Super Bowl champions? He said that his close friend and teammate of eight years in Green Bay, Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre, will address the team during its meeting on Saturday morning.
And after the game, hopefully, there'll be enough ice cream to go around for everyone.