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Zach Ertz: USWNT celebrations helps team chemistry

While Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz was at mandatory minicamp on Tuesday, his wife, Julie, was helping the United States women's national soccer team lay waste to Thailand, 13-0, in the FIFA Women's World Cup in France.

After Philly's minicamp breaks on Thursday, the Super Bowl champion Ertz will be joining the World Cup-winning midfielder Ertz in Gaul, reuniting American sports' premier power couple.

"I'm excited. Obviously I wish every game was that stress-free going forward," Ertz told NFL Network's Mike Garafolo of the United States' opening rout. "It was very easy to watch. But I'm excited.

"I'm going to be heading over this weekend in time for that second game on Sunday. I'm just excited to go support my wife. I've seen the hard work that she's put in these past four years getting back after a World Cup, after an Olympics. All the adversity she's faced throughout these past couple years. Just really thrilled to go over there and support here as a supporting husband. ... It's fun to see her doing what she loves."

Along with the rest of the World Cup-watching world, the American-footballing Ertz also had an opinion on the USWNT's controversial goal celebrations as its lead of the overmatched Thai team grew out of control. Some commentators argued that the U.S. women showed poor sportsmanship in showing up Thailand by celebrating their late goals with such glee and creativity.

Ertz was having none of that line of thinking, citing the Eagles' Super Bowl run in 2017 as an example of the positive use and effect of team celebrations.

"I got a lot of thoughts. I heard it. I read about it," Ertz told Garafolo. "First thought is the first tiebreaker in the World Cup group stage is the goal differential and so they would be sick to their stomach if they took their foot of the gas and for some reason finished second in the group based off goal differential.

"The second, which is probably is the most underlining thing, when you're on a good team the best way to build team chemistry is seeing other people as happy for your success as they are for their own. And seeing the girls celebrate they were for other people's success really I thought was crucial for them long term. Because you see how close these girls were getting, these women were getting.

"I think you saw it a couple of years ago with us when we were celebrating. We really were just building that team chemistry because everyone was bonding through those moments. Everyone was seeing how happy everyone was for another person's success. I think that really speaks volumes about the camaraderie and team chemistry. So I had no issue with it obviously. I was actually for it."

En route to winning Super Bowl LII during the 2017 season, the Eagles were the most notable of teams taking advantage of the NFL's relaxed celebration rules. Philly was known for its coordinated post-touchdown antics, such as acting as human bowling pins, miming a home run, flapping together in a V formation and performing some variation of the Electric Slide. The latter celly was even awarded at the 2018 NFL Honors as the Celebration of the Year. One night later, the Eagles won the Super Bowl.

Correlation doesn't mean causation, but it's clear and obvious in this case that celebrations, at least in the NFL, lead directly to Super Bowl titles. It's science.

The likely message from one Ertz to another when they meet in France ahead of the USWNT's match against Chile on Sunday? Celebrate like no one's watching.

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