Philadelphia Eagles News

Newfound Fame Hasn't Changed Nick Foles

  • ​Nick Foles spent Tuesday in New York City promoting his new book. He was open and candid about his journey to becoming a Super Bowl MVP and his wife Tori's disease.

NEW YORK - Nick Foles etched his name in Philadelphia sports history by throwing - and catching - touchdowns on football's biggest stage back on February 4 in Super Bowl LII.

It was a stage that had more than 67,000 spectators witness in person and millions more watch on television.

Although millions got to know Foles a little bit better that day, it was a much more intimate environment Tuesday when he allowed a group of about two dozen get to know him on a more personal level.

For Foles, he intends to let people know that, despite the fact that his father placed a football in hand the day he was born, he is more than just the receiver of the Philly Special.

He is a human being that goes through the same trials and tribulations everyday citizens endure.

Foles expressed as much during a Town Hall at SiriusXM Studios in New York, where he sat down with SiriusXM host and former NFL quarterback Jim Miller for a special that SiriusXM subscribers can listen to here.

Foles goes into even more detail in his new book, Believe It: My Journey of Success, Failure, and Overcoming the Odds, which went on sale Tuesday.

"Most athletes, most people, you become identified by your vocation, by what you do, but it might not be the root of who you are," Foles told Miller during the interview. "It's a piece of who you are.

"The struggle I was going through was several years ago when I was stepping away and lost the joy of the game, was I was solely being identified by who I was on the field, how I played the last game. Sometimes you're treated by how you played the last game."

Foles has been treated pretty well since his last game was a 373-yard MVP performance in the Super Bowl, but he still deals with the brutal realities of life. Among them is his wife's disease.

After Foles' rookie season with the Eagles, his wife, Tori, became very ill. After weeks of tests, Tori was diagnosed with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome or POTS.

POTS is a "condition that affects circulation," according to ClevelandClinic.org. It is a "form of orthostatic intolerance, the development symptoms that come on when standing up from a reclining position, and that may be relieved by sitting or lying back down."

The primary symptoms are lightheadedness, fainting, and a rapid increase in heart rate.

Although POTS can affect both men and women, "most cases are diagnosed in women between the ages of 15 and 50," according to the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.

"She does well day-to-day because we learned how to deal with this illness, but she still deals with it every single day," Foles said of his wife. "If she has to stand up for a long period of time it's very difficult, but she's such a warrior, and she can do anything she wants to do."

"She's unbelievable. She inspires me every single day."

Foles and his wife have taken it upon themselves to raise awareness of POTS by supporting Dysautonomia International's POTS Research Fund. Even proceeds from Believe It, all of which will be donated to charities and churches of some kind domestically and abroad, will go toward funding POTS research.

"When my wife and I sat down and talked about it, we wanted to be honest, transparent, and everything, our journey and what we've been on and her journey with POTS," he said. "The big thing was also whatever we receive for the book, giving it away, so we literally won't get a cent for doing the entire thing."

Among the things that have helped Foles endure tough times is his faith, which he delved heavily into during his time at Michigan State.

His short time in East Lansing, Michigan wasn't all that pleasant for Foles, as he nursed a shoulder injury and carried around the feeling of loneliness being a long way from his native Texas.

However, it was his faith that pulled him through. He eventually transferred to Arizona and became the school's most prolific passer.

The start to Foles' professional career held a lot of promise, as he earned a Pro Bowl nod after only his second season, but after his third, things changed dramatically, as he was traded to the then-St. Louis Rams.

Foles told Miller on Tuesday that he received the news of the trade during a workout.

"I remember getting a phone call that ultimately I had just been traded to the St. Louis Rams and 'Thank you for all you've done,' and the phone call is over and probably a minute later, Jeff Fisher is calling me to welcome me and is super excited, but I'm just sitting there in a gym at the leg press like, 'What just happened?'" Foles remembered. "That happened in about three minutes."

Foles said he didn't finish his workout. He just sat there for five minutes trying to digest the fast-paced life of the NFL.

Unfortunately for Foles, there wasn't much time to take it in, as he was on a flight to St. Louis, introduced to the local media, and handed a new playbook to learn in less than 24 hours.

"In your mind, you're like, 'I don't even care right now.' I don't want to see a playbook. I really just want to go through the emotions of what is going on," he said.

Foles was quite frank Tuesday when describing his time with the Rams, saying that he "wasn't playing well."

After only one season, his time with the Rams was done and he thought about putting an end to his football career altogether.

After some convincing and some tough conversations, Foles eventually decided to continue his football career with the Kansas City Chiefs. After only one season there, he signed with the Eagles as a free agent.

The rest, as they say, is history.

"I wasn't trying to hold on to football," Foles said. "I decided to go back into football with a different perspective."

"I know who I am to the root of my heart and it's not a football player. I'm very blessed to be able to play the game of football. Every time I step on the field, I thank the good Lord that I'm able to do that. I know I couldn't do it without him."

Photo Credit: Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM

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