What would a Super Bowl win mean for Philadelphia?
One win away…the Philadelphia Eagles are one win away from the first Super Bowl title in franchise history. If the birds are somehow able to take down the reigning Super Bowl champion Patriots on Sunday the ultimate underdog story will have an unlikely conclusion and the city of Philadelphia will finally have their champion of champions.
There is no doubt that Philadelphia is a “football town” first and foremost. Even Ryan Howard, who helped bring the last championship to Philadelphia with the 2008 Phillies, has said that a win by the Eagles would surpass the celebration that his Phillies teams brought to the city. Howard gets what Philadelphia is about. Just like every other fan base Philadelphia has a few bad apples in it but overall the kinship amongst Eagles fans brings a sense of community that the national media fails to show. Philadelphia will be insane if the Eagles are victorious on Sunday because to the people of Philadelphia this is not just a win in a football game. This the end of life of misery and a celebration of a new beginning.
To draw a parallel comparison, Philadelphia as a city is in the same boat as Boston was pre-2004, Chicago Cubs fans were before their curse ended, and Cleveland was before the Cavs took home the top prize for the NBA. Philadelphia is a community brought down by year after year of close calls, runner-ups and could of beens. Eagles fans in particular have suffered through loss after loss when they thought that it was their year.
Whether it was losing in the Super Bowl to the Raiders, Randall Cunningham getting injured in the early 90s, losing 3 straight NFC title games in the early 2000s, or losing to the Pats in their last Super Bowl appearance the Eagles have always sent their fans through a roller coaster of emotion. The ups and downs of Eagles fandom is something passed down from generation to generation. A badge of hope passed from fathers to sons, mother to daughters, etc… Generation after generation of “we can win it this year” and “we are just one move away”. It all would be worth it with a win on Sunday.
Former Eagles players are viewed by the community as family. This win would be for all the players that never got to hold the Lombardi Trophy. It would be the culmination of a long journey consisting of players that were loved, players that were hated, and players that left everything on the field for the city. It will not only be a victory for this 53 man roster. It will be a victory for all the Eagles teams that played on the horrible Veterans Stadium turf, Ron Jaworski and his team that fell one win short, and most of all it will be a sweet redemption for the 2004 NFC Championship team that lost to these same Patriots.
The importance of Sunday for Philadelphia is hearted in the generational bond with the fans. A win will be for all the grandfathers, fathers, mothers, brothers, and sons/daughters that weren’t able to see the team reach the top. Amongst the celebration tears of joy will fill the streets. The ultimate monkey of being the only team in the NFC East without a Super Bowl title will be lifted off of the cities back. Fans won’t have to hear “Where is your Super Bowl” from every Cowboys, Giants, and Redskins fan. Philadelphia will finally have its redemption.
It is fitting that in order for this Eagles team to win the ultimate prize they have to take down the ultimate dynasty that is led by the greatest quarterback of all time, and one of the greatest coaches of all time. Philadelphia wouldn’t want it any other way. To be the best you have to beat the best. Sunday the city will find out if it is finally on the top of the football world.
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