'Maybe Next year' Review: Eagles fans, this is for you; a tribute to hardcore fandom of Philadephia's NFL team
The life of a sports fan is hard. That of a fanatic fan is even harder. Wins are meant to be celebrated like there's no tomorrow. A loss, or a string of them, irrespective of the sport being an individual or a team one, ask for the fan to walk a head held high, a puffed up chest, and a smile on the lips. For Philadelphia and the people who are united by their football team, the Philadelphia Eagles, it's pain and celebration that comes in generous doses depending on the team's performances.
'Maybe Next Year' isn't all about the epic Eagles Super Bowl journey in 2017 where they ripped the New England Patriots apart. It was about the people who egged, rooted, blasted, mocked, cried like there was no tomorrow for their team. Safe to say, the Eagles are the heart and soul of the people of Philadelphia. It's an emotion. For some, their team winning a Super Bowl would be their dying wish. This isn't an exaggeration. Honestly, this is the absolute truth.
What sets this documentary apart is the fact that it looks into the lives of fans— a factor integral to a team's success. Their mad obsession with the Eagles, the connections they make with the team — often personal and very emotional. It's like Rocky uniting Philadelphia as they cheer him to knock Mr T out of the ring. It's heartening. The documentary by Kyle Thrash follows the 2017 season of the Eagles and the 80-minute feature captures the lives of a few fans who're rightfully the shining examples of the Eagles fandom.
A YouTuber with breathtaking anger issues, an old man with an Eagles locker room where his friends and family get together and watch Eagles games. These are fans who's breath stops when there's a touchdown, groan with expletives when there's a fumble and 2017 was a special season for them. Things are fine until their star QB Carson Wentz injures himself and is out for the season. Nick Foles is his replacement and in addition to winning games, he needs to earn the respect and faith of the Eagles faithful.
And under Foles, the Eagles start winning, against all odds, and the fans who slammed the city around after news of Wentz's injury start to hope again. It's compelling, riveting, and fun to watch as these adults live with the childlike excitement and during gametime, everything else in their lives — the problems, no matter how big, take a backseat. These guys redefine hardcore fans and the docu is a breezy affair that captures the lives of these people and the love for the team.
Kyle Thrash keeps things simple. There's no need to talk about the team or analyze their performance. The essence is to record the raw emotions and that's done to near perfection. While some may argue as to why we need to celebrate the fandom that's often called unkind and fickle, he goes on to show there's more to them than just root for a team. Sports fans as a whole, especially the Eagles ardents will have every reason to watch this.