Be bold. Do we always live those words?
In Super Bowl LII on the weekend the Philadelphia Eagles did.
After losing their starting quarterback to injury earlier in the season, how could the underdog Eagles—with their backup QB and a head coach who only nine years ago was at the high school level—beat the New England Patriots dynasty that is Tom Brady and Bill Belichick? Any team that’s made it this far has already proven they are able to make the big plays to gain control of the game. But staring down the Patriots on the biggest stage in sports would require something beyond accuracy or helpful referees. It would require the Eagles to be bold.
So fourth down at the end of the first half—do they go for the touchdown or settle for three? They go for it. Eagles’ tight end Trey Burton threw the pass to a wide-open QB Nick Foles for the touchdown. Yes, you read that right. Nick Foles becomes the only quarterback ever to both throw and catch a touchdown in a Super Bowl. It was a play for the ages that you almost never see in professional football, let alone in this game, and the Eagles made it look easy, leaving the Patriots looking dumbfounded.
That one incredible play changed the tide for the Eagles for the rest of the game. But they didn’t stop there. They went for another huge play on fourth down again in the fourth quarter, solidifying their lead the only way an underdog knows how—through creativity, a little luck, and total boldness.
Were they ever worried? A lot could have gone wrong, and armchair quarterbacks around the world would never have let the Eagles forget if either play had fallen apart. After all, the Patriots never made it easy for them. Tom Brady, despite taking the loss, still made history that night by setting the Super Bowl record for passing yards in a single game. But Pederson knew the team had to play for a touchdown, and that he needed to pull off something special in order to defeat the greatest team of all time. He had a confidence they could execute, he believed in his team—regardless of whether his QB was a back-up or an All-Star—and he dared to be as great as their opponents.
Yesterday’s game reminds us we need to keep being bold—it’s an important lesson to inform what we are doing here at FHR with our merger.
It’s also a great lesson for brands that want to stand out and want to win. To recognize that if you want a big reward you need to take a big risk. To win you can’t just settle for a field goal—you need to put yourself out there and go for it.
Boldness is about making the decisions that set you apart, not those that follow the status quo. This is a playbook we can all follow.
And if nothing else it made for a fantastic football game.
Charles Muggeridge with Lauren Treadgold