Gonna Fly Now
With temperatures peaking in the low 30s, roughly two million fans of the Philadelphia Eagles lined the city’s streets on Thursday for a parade.
A parade honoring the Super Bowl champions.
It still sounds a bit weird.
The Eagles won an NFL championship in 1960, failed in their two previous Super Bowl appearances and then, in Super Bowl LII on Sunday, defeated the New England Patriots 41-33 for that elusive crown. They beat the defending champions behind a backup quarterback, Nick Foles, and with a second-year coach, Doug Pederson, making gutsy play calls.
The parade was set to begin on Broad Street at 11 a.m., but true Eagles fans were “tailgating” along the route well before that. The parade route included City Hall and the famed Rocky Steps at the Philadelphia Art Museum.
Perhaps the parade will allow Philadelphia’s sports fans, who are among the nation’s most vulgar (relax, they admit it, relish it and don’t think it is an insult) to bury their long tradition of self-pity. The city’s previous championship in a major sport came in 2008, when the Phillies won the World Series. Of course the Phillies have been playing since 1883 and that was only their second title.
The NBA’s 76ers haven’t won since 1983. The NHL’s Flyers captured the Stanley Cup twice (1974, 1975), but not since.
So Thursday became a holiday in Philly. Schools were closed, free beer was given away by Yards Brewing Company (though not to students) and the streets were packed and joyous.
As the theme from Rocky said, “Gonna fly now.” Buckle your seat belt.
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