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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

A big moment for a city on the rise

What the Eagles’ win means to the city of Philly

Philadelphia Eagles fans from the city, the surrounding area, and across the country watched as the team paraded down Broad Street on Feb. 8. We gathered there celebrating what the Eagles had done just four days previously: beat the New England Patriots in a down-to-the wire, nail-biting, nerve-wrecking game, true to form for this season’s team, to win Super Bowl LII. For the first time in our city’s history, the Eagles had won the Super Bowl.

We did it in true Philly style: against the odds and underdogs all the way (as Eagles center and Mummer captain Jason Kelce so eloquently pointed out in his speech at the ceremony). We lost our star quarterback to an injury. Our organization and our players were all underrated by analysts. And we were going to face the Patriots again, after a crushing defeat in 2005, fresh in the minds of young and old fans alike.

Against all odds, we won. Our team won for us, the fans, and for our city. On Sunday, thousands of fans flooded the streets of Philadelphia to celebrate together with their city. Fans visited the graves of their loved ones, who lived and died waiting to witness the Eagles win the Superbowl. On Feb. 8, we celebrated with the boys themselves.

It was a truly beautiful party all the way up Broad Street and down the Parkway, where Eagles flags replaced the flags of the world to celebrate the only country that mattered that day: Eagles country.

Far more powerful than the cold, the spirit of unity that ran through the city was undeniable all day. Parade-watchers kept time and lifted each other’s spirits with an “E-A-G-L-E-S Eagles” chant that never got old, despite ocurring every 1 minutes like the chimes in a grandfather clock.

The police officers stationed along the parade route played catch with and took pictures with fans as they waited for the parade to start. And literally nothing was more magical than watching a replay of the game’s highlights on the Jumbotrons, with millions of Eagles fans reacting like they were seeing the game for the first time.

From the early morning rides on SEPTA that felt more like a road trip with friends, to walking around the city after the parade, when every passerby had a “Go Birds” to share with each other, Philadelphia felt more like a small town celebrating the home team’s win than a big city on Thursday.

And that’s the beauty of our city. Despite our growing presence on the national stage, we haven’t lost our hometown character. Despite everything, we still are and will continue to be underdogs.

In his speech, Jason Kelce also led the city in a chant created by the Sons of Ben, a supporters’ association for the Philadelphia Union: “No one likes us, we don’t care.”

The chant embodies what it means to be a Philadelphian. Philadelphia is known for being the underdog. Philadelphia is known for its sometimes brash residents.

Other cities doubt our greatness, but Philadelphians don’t have time for that.

Some people are worried that this big win will change the way Philadelphians and the world view our city. But at the end of the day, this win doesn’t change anything about Philadelphia so much as it reminds us of what we already know. Philadelphians know that Philadelphia has been a city on the rise for a long time.

Since the period of massive debt, deep poverty, and population loss, economic downturn that started in the 1980s, Philadelphia has been pulling itself into a new period of revival, resurgence, and prominence. We still have some of our old problems to grapple with, especially poverty, and economic revival comes with problems of its own. But this week showed us that Philadelphia can face these challenges together. It showed us that the upward trajectory our city is on won’t be stopping any time soon.

No one likes us. We still don’t care.

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