Philly fans once booed Santa, but they’re cheering for Siposs to play Super Bowl

Philadelphia Eagles fans are rated among the fiercest in the NFL – they once booed Santa – but plenty of them have been cheering for Australian punter Arryn Siposs to return from injury to face Pat Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in Monday’s Super Bowl.

Eagles fans have been typically forthright in their desire to see Siposs returned to the punting role despite being out with a serious ankle injury since December 11, when he went down against the New York Giants.

Arryn Siposs is waiting to find ut if he will be selected to play in the Super Bowl.Credit:AP

The Eagles are chasing their second Super Bowl win since 2017, a drought-breaking title that sits with pre-Super Bowl “NFL championships” from 1948, 1949 and 1960.

Philadelphia sports fans are notorious for their fury and Eagles supporters are their standard-bearers. In 1968, they were so angry at their struggling side and substandard half-time Christmas pageant that they began booing and throwing snowballs at the 19-year-old who was filling in as Santa Claus.

Thankfully for Siposs, the Philly faithful see him in a better light and he has declared himself fit and ready to go should the team opt to bring him back into the line-up to face Kansas City at State Farm Stadium, Arizona.

Eagles coach Nick Sirianni told media in Phoenix on Wednesday morning (AEDT) that the team was “still working through” whether Siposs would play.

But Sirianni added that he was impressed with how Siposs looked at training last week.

Siposs has made big strides in recent weeks, with the team elevating him from the injured reserve to a “21-day practice window”, which gives them the chance to play him in the Super Bowl.

“I don’t know just yet, all I know is that I’m getting better every single day,” Siposs told SEN on Wednesday.

“I’m training with the guys and doing everything I need to do. When the time comes, I will be ready to go.

“I know what I need to do to get out there and play. I will be well and truly prepared and ready to go for Sunday [Monday AEDT].”

Usually, the punter position wouldn’t get too much attention given the two sides are filled with superstars led by quarterbacks Pat Mahomes from the Chiefs and Jalen Hurts from the Eagles.

But sections of the Eagles’ fan base have been pushing for Siposs’ return after being unhappy with replacement Brett Kern’s punting in the NFC championship game in which his net-average was just 35 yards – although one of his kicks hit the high-wires used to hold up a TV camera.

“Kern was almost unplayable … never did a punter mean so much in Philadelphia sports history,” tweeted one Eagles fan.

“Never thought I’d be this happy to see Siposs back,” tweeted another fan.

But another Eagles fan was down on both options: “I’d rather just bring in near 50-year-old Sav Rocca,” the fan tweeted, in reference to the now retired Australian punter.

Siposs had slightly better averages over his 13 games compared to Kern’s stats over six games, but his punt placement stands out. Sixteen of his kicks have landed inside his team’s defensive 20-yard area compared to just four from Kern.

With Mahomes and the Kansas City offence one of the most dominant of this era, Siposs could be a key player for the Eagles if he can force the Chiefs to start their attacks from deep in the defensive end.

He admitted his transformation from a 17-year-old AFL draft pick to a 30-year-old NFL punter was one he could never have dreamed.

Siposs played 28 games and kicked 22 goals for St Kilda between 2011 and 2015 before training to become a punter. He played for US college side Auburn, then moved in to the NFL where he was with the Detroit Lions in 2020 and then the Eagles since 2021.

“It’s been quite a journey,” Siposs said.

“It’s spanned over 12 years from being in the AFL as a 17-year-old to being delisted at 22 and not sure how it will pan out.

“You try and work your way back into the AFL system and an opportunity comes up to make a life over here potentially. Did I expect this to happen? Absolutely not. Was my dream to make the NFL? Absolutely. After that, everything else is a bonus.

“This is something I will treasure for the rest of my life.”

Siposs said he will have his brother travelling to the US for the game along with his wife’s parents, sister and her boyfriend, while his own wife and young daughter will also be at the game.

If Siposs plays, he will be teaming up with another Aussie in offensive tackle Jordan Mailata, who played under-20s with NRL side South Sydney in 2017 but decided to chase a future in the NFL via its international pathway program.

“That man over there [Mailata] is an incredible person,” Siposs said.

“He has become one of my good friends and if we can do this together it would be quite a story.”

News, results and expert analysis from the weekend of sport sent every Monday. Sign up for our Sport newsletter.

Most Viewed in Sport

From our partners

Source: Read Full Article