It may be Philadelphia’s day – or week – but Ferndale is celebrating right along side the “City of Brotherly Love,” as one of their own is a Super Bowl champion head coach.
Doug Pederson, who was born in Bellingham in 1968 and graduated from Ferndale High in 1986 before playing college football at Northeast Louisiana and a 14-year NFL career as a backup quarterback, and his Eagles beat the New England Patriots 41-33 Sunday in Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis.
Ferndale may not be planning a ticker-tape parade or doing anything crazy, such as changing its name to “Pherndale,” but it is proud of its native son. On Monday the City of Ferndale by mayoral proclamation declared Tuesday, Feb. 6, “Doug Pederson Day.”
It’s not just Ferndale and Philadelphia that are giving love to Pederson Monday. Suddenly, his genius, aggressive style and blue-collar work ethic is no longer Ferndale’s little secret, as he’s become one of a handful of national media darlings from the Eagles following the game.
USAToday.com’s Mike Jones wrote that Pederson was one of the biggest reasons the Eagles claimed their first Super Bowl title because he didn’t back down against legendary Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
“Doug Pederson didn’t care that he was going up against Bill Belichick, arguably the greatest coach and master of in-game adjustments of all time,” Jones wrote. “He didn’t let the pressure overwhelm him or force him to go out of character as many Eagles opponents have. Instead, Pederson remained just as aggressive as ever.”
SBNation.com’s Thomas George echoed similar sentiment, writing, “It is the instincts part, the gall, the gumption, his foot-on-throat approach, that led to the Philadelphia Eagles first Super Bowl championship.”
Newsday.com columnist Bob Glauber details how far Pederson’s relationship with Philadelphia fans has come since his days as a backup quarterback when they “threw batteries and beer” at him in 1999.
Perhaps no play call showed Pederson’s aggressive approach to the game better than his decision in the final minute of the first half to go for the end zone on a fourth-and-goal play from the New England 1 with a gadget play dubbed “Philly Special.” CBSSports.com detailed the play and the call, saying it was “a play call no one outside the Eagles saw coming and a play call everyone on the Eagles was hardly surprised to see.”
NBCPhiladelphia.com quoted Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich and his reaction to the play call, when he said, “What a gutty call. That epitomizes Doug. It really does.”
NBCSBoston.com reporter Albert Breer tweeted that Eagles tight end Zach Ertz, who scored what proved to be the game-winning touchdown, said that Pederson deserved to be NFL Coach of the Year, rather than Los Angeles Rams coach Sea McVay:
He’s not the only one talking about the Eagles coach on social media, as Pederson is even more popular than the kid who took a halftime selfie with Justin Timberlake. Here’s a look at what they’re saying on Twitter: