MINNEAPOLIS -- He's going to vomit. He just knows it.
On Super Bowl Sunday, Brandon Brooks, the Philadelphia Eagles' Pro Bowl guard, is going to run to the toilet.
"Before every game, I throw up," he said.
He will then step on the U.S. Bank Stadium field and feel a pressure, a rising in his chest, a tension enveloping every corner of his 6-foot-5, 346-pound frame. The return of the fear.
What if he misses a block? What if he allows a sack? What if he makes a mistake that costs the Eagles?
"I can't stop thinking about letting my team down, letting the world down, the microscope being on me," he said.
There was a time this fear caused him to vomit all day and night, causing him to miss the game. He has been sick enough for teammates to surround him in prayer, and for team doctors to send him to a hospital where he would watch those teammates on TV with his head stuck in a bowl.
It happened twice last year. It's happened four times in his five seasons as a starter.
But it won't happen this time. On Super Bowl Sunday, Brooks will be ready for the fear, prepared to engage it in battle.
He will take deep breaths. He will realize that this is how his body processes the pressure. He will understand how he works. He knows it will pass. He will not vomit a second time.