Maybe Next Year is a documentary about love and passion and the emotional tole loving something so much takes on a person. No, this isn’t a documentary about the love between two people. It’s a love story between a sports teams, the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, and the fans who bleed green and white for them.
Maybe Next Year looks at the 2017-2018 Philadelphia Eagles season. At this point, the Eagles had not won a Super Bowl since 1960 and for its fans, it has been a long 57 years. But no matter how fantastic the victories or how bad their record or how frustrating the losses, Eagles fans remain loyal to their team until their dying breath. Director Kyle Thrash shows us the 2017-2018 Eagles season through the eyes of some of the Eagles most die-hard fans, all incredibly different with one common love.
The 2017-2018 Eagles season was an emotional rollercoaster. The season started off great, as they had the best record in the NFL, led by their quarterback, Carson Wentz, who was on track to winning the league’s Most Valuable Player award. The city was buzzing with excitement and everyone was thinking that this was the year that the Eagles would break the 57-year-long drought and win it all. But late in the season, Wentz tore his ACL on rushing play, ending his season and presumably the Eagles’ chances of winning a Super Bowl.
But much the like the city itself, the Eagles, led by backup quarterback Nick Foles, scrapped their way through the playoffs and eventually to the Super Bowl, where they defeated league M.V.P. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in a game they were heavy underdogs in. Thrash shows the ups and downs of the city during this season, all culminating in the sweet, glorious moment when the Eagles hoisted the Lombardi trophy and thousands of Eagles fans across the city shed tears and sprayed alcohol in celebration.
Though there are number of Eagles fans that Thrash shows us throughout the film, none of them are the center of attention and we never dive too deep into anyone, which in most documentaries would be a problem, but not here. These people that Thrash shows us represent the city of Philadelphia and its football team. They’re scrappy, blue collar, hard working people. They are societal underdogs who people look over, much like the Eagles are a team everyone in the NFL seems to look over. Philadelphia itself is an overlooked city, playing second fiddle to cities like New York, but this documentary shows us that the underdog is where Philadelphia thrives.
I’m a huge sports fans and continue to be as I grow older. Living close to Chicago, I grew up around Chicago Cubs fans, a legendary fanbase who had to wait over 100 years for a World Series. I myself became somewhat of a Cubs fan as I became older and lived closer to the city and Wrigley Field. My parents were born in Buffalo, NY, so I was raised a Buffalo Bills fan when it came to football, a franchise that made it to four consecutive Super Bowls in the 90’s, yet failed to win the big game. Watching Maybe Next Year epitomized all the emotions I have as a Bills fan and all the emotions I saw when witnessing and living the Cubs win their World Series title in 2016. It shows the frustration and the anger of not being able to bring home the championship, the dedication and passion the fans have while watching games, and the heartfelt emotion when they taste sweet victory.
Maybe Next Year is an exciting and sweet love note to the Philadelphia Eagles, the city of Philadelphia, and its overly dedicated fans that every sports fan will enjoy.
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