Jeffrey Lurie danced like nobody was watching after the Philadelphia Eagles won both of their playoff games.
Video cameras in the locker room recorded his awkward moves for millions of viewers Nevin Lawson Jersey , but the team’s longtime owner will be happy to lead a giant dance party if the Eagles beat the New England Patriots on Sunday to capture the first Super Bowl title in franchise history.
”This is the most passionate fan base in the NFL, if not in sports,” Lurie said. ”They care so much, they’re our partners, and we just want to win so badly for them.”
The 66-year-old Lurie grew up a passionate Boston sports fan. He even tried to buy the Patriots in 1993 but was outbid by Robert Kraft. So the former movie producer paid $195 million for the Eagles in 1994. Lurie vowed to win multiple championships for a city that hasn’t celebrated an NFL title since 1960.
He’s still waiting for No. 1. Nothing else matters this week.
”We’re here to win a football game,” Lurie said. ”That’s the bottom line. That’s why we’re here. I’m laser-focused on this football game and winning the Super Bowl. That is the only objective.”
While Kraft is known as a power broker in the NFL, Lurie is more of a behind-the-scenes guy who also has plenty of influence. He serves on numerous league committees, including the Finance Committee, Broadcast Committee, International Committee and the Super Bowl Advisory Committee.
”Jeffrey is a soft voice Taylor Decker Jersey ,” team president Don Smolenski said. ”He doesn’t seek to grab the microphone at every opportunity but when he does stand up, what he says is very thoughtful, very thought-provoking. It’s very respectful and the other owners listen to what he has to say.
”He’s very quietly influential because he doesn’t seek the spotlight and he doesn’t try to be out front but when he speaks, the fellow owners listen and I often see it after the fact when they approach him at a break and talk to him afterward.”
Smolenski and executive vice president Howie Roseman praised the way Lurie gets involved in personnel decisions without meddling.
”He allows us to do what he hired us to do but he also finds a way to push us to do our best, be our best,” Smolenski said.
”He likes to ask a lot of questions. He wants to understand the thought process. He wants to understand the reasoning behind (decisions). He’s always supportive but he’s looking to make sure we evaluated situations from all angles. He has fondness for chess.
”In the game of chess, you have to look at four, five, six moves down the road. So his line of questioning is often around that. We’re very fortunate to work with an owner like that.”
Roseman points to an example that’s played a big role in helping Philadelphia reach this point. When the team wanted to spend $12 million to sign backup quarterback Nick Foles, Lurie gave his blessing.
Foles was spectacular in the NFC championship game against Minnesota and is 4-0 in the four games he’s started that have mattered since Carson Wentz tore his ACL.
The Eagles released backup Chase Daniel last spring despite owing him $5 million and gave Foles a contract that included $7 million in guarantees.
The cap hit for Daniel and Sam Bradford Golden Tate III Jersey , who was traded to Minnesota in September 2016, totaled $12.5 million this season. For Wentz and Foles, the combined hit was $7.66 million.
”Jeffrey is incredibly smart,” Roseman said. ”He asks the questions. That doesn’t mean he’s going to overrule it, but he’s going to ask about the line of thinking and it challenges you to be better and all of us need that guidance and leadership.”
AP NFL website: The surging San Francisco Giants have made the NL West a little more intriguing.
Brandon Belt and Joe Panik drove in two runs each, Hunter Pence had a pinch-hit, two-run double, and the Giants completed a three-game sweep with a 9-6 victory over the division-leading Arizona Diamondbacks. It was San Francisco’s seventh win in eight games and their first sweep of the Diamondbacks since September of 2016. San Francisco moved into a second-place tie at 2 1/2 games behind Arizona for the first time since June 10.
A four-run fifth inning highlighted by Pence’s double off reliever Silvino Bracho gave the Giants an 8-3 lead. Cory Gearrin (1-1) got one out in the fourth inning to earn the win in relief of starter Derek Holland.
Afterward, manager Bruce Bochy praised the veteran Pence – who is primarily a bench player at present – for accepting his role.
”He is our spiritual leader. I know his role has changed and he has handled it so well. This is a little bit of a change for him and it is not easy,” Bochy said. ”He has a great attitude and just wants to help the club win.”
The Giants tagged starter Zack Godley (9-6) for seven runs on nine hits in four-plus innings Teez Tabor Jersey , ending his four-game winning streak. But Holland didn’t make it out of the fourth, chased after loading the bases with an intentional walk with San Francisco leading 4-3.
The Diamondbacks couldn’t take advantage, as Belt raced well beyond the first base bag into shallow right field to throw out Christian Walker at first and end the inning.
”We feel like we are in a good rhythm,” Pence said. ”It’s part of baseball and we feel like we are working on all cylinders and that is definitely momentum.”
Holland allowed three runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings.
Godley’s five walks were the second most he’s issued in a start this season.
”I couldn’t locate certain pitches and they took advantage of that,” Godley said. ”They’re swinging the bat really well right now, one through nine.”
Arizona rallied with two runs in the seventh on Paul Goldschmidt’s 18th home run of the season, and Jarrod Dyson became the eighth player in team history to record at least two hits, two RBIs and two stolen bases in a game.
The Diamondbacks brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth with two outs, but Will Smith struck out Jake Lamb for Smith’s second save.
”They kicked our butts. They came in here and beat us, straight up Christian Jones Jersey ,” Lamb said.
WALKER IN LEFT
Walker, normally a first baseman, started Sunday in left field for the first time in his 44-game major league career.
To help provide coverage for the bullpen amid a long stretch without a day off, Arizona called up Bracho from Triple-A Reno before Sunday’s game. Pitcher Jimmy Sherfy was sent back to Reno. Bracho has been recalled five times this season.
FIRST PITCH FOR FIRST PICK
Recently drafted Phoenix Suns big man Deandre Ayton, the first overall pick in June’s NBA Draft, threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Sunday’s game.
Giants: 3B Pablo Sandoval was hit by a pitch in the right elbow in the third inning and left the game before the bottom of the inning. X-rays were negative and the injury was announced as a deep bruise, with Sandoval’s status day to day. … 3B Evan Longoria is about a week away from taking some swings as he works his way back from a broken left hand, Bochy said. … RHP Jeff Samardzija’s final rehab start for Triple- A Sacramento is set for Monday and he is expected to pitch five or six innings with around 90 pitches.
Diamondbacks: INF Ketel Marte was held out after suffering a right leg cramp in Saturday’s game. Manager Torey Lovullo said he felt the team ”dodged a bullet” as far a more serious injury.
Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner (1-2) is set for his sixth start of the season in the series opener against the Colorado Rockies on Monday in Denver.
Diamondbacks: LHP Robbie Ray (3-0) is set to face the St. Louis Cardinals in the series opener at Chase Field on Monday.
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