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America Won the Super Bowl

Can last night’s win finally end Philly’s underdog story?

THE EAGLES WON THE SUPER BOWL!

Really, what else is there to say? Maybe that this is not just about the Eagles, or about football—but about Philadelphia and (can we say it?) America.

You know what else was remarkable—besides Nick Foles’ touchdown pass/touchdown catch last night? The amazing run up to the game over the last two weeks.

Stories abound of folks buying each other Wawa after spotting an Eagles caps, and plotting how to get to Minneapolis, just to be there, or flying home to Philly from all over just to be with their peeps, and making Eagles green cupcakes and soups and pretzels…We had more smiles than grey January deserves, more love for each other and our city than we’ve felt since the last time the Birds were in the Super Bowl—probably more than we should, considering this was just football. (Yes, I said just football.)

We also heard ad nauseam about how we were the underdog, how we’re always the underdog, in everything we do. And we proved them wrong. Again. Can we now put to rest the same old stories about Philly—the batteries and snowballs and jackass fans and stupidity, as if other cities—Los Angeles; Detroit; Chicago; even Boston—don’t also explode in paroxysms of idiocy when their teams take home the championship trophy.

Because you know what else happened over the last two weeks? People started looking at us differently. These Eagles are a remarkable team, full of love for each other and their communities, and their earth and their country. And so is Philly.

The national eye should be on us. We started America. We all but cured leukemia. We also hosted the best NFL draft in history, and the Democratic National Convention, with no incidents but good ones. We’re a potential HQ2 for Amazon. We are rife with problems—oh, the list is long—but also rife with ideas and solutions and hope. And sometimes, you know what? That hope pays off. (See THE EAGLES WON THE SUPER BOWL.)

In the last week, writers and pundits and fans took to the airwaves, the print, the Internet to express why Philadelphia should win the Super Bowl, should be America’s team, should be the one everyone but born-and-bred New Englanders root for. They were all right.

Here’s what some had to say:

In Buzzfeed, novelist and Philly native Tom McCallister on why America needed this win:

“We’ve been living through two years that feel like the middle movie of a trilogy, where all the bad guys just keep on winning, and there is only the faintest glimmer of hope. So why shouldn’t it be Philly that begins to turn the tide? Why not the birthplace of American democracy? Why shouldn’t this place that I love — with all its anger and anxiety and passion and restless energy — be the one to finally put an end to the tyranny of the Patriots?

This is what I’m saying: We don’t need you on Super Bowl Sunday. But you need us.”

In Slate, local journo Jim Saksa on why Philly needed the win:

“A first-ever Super Bowl title for the Eagles will blow up the city’s long-standing inferiority complex, too. A city defined by self-loathing is now, in the words of Philadelphia magazine, “walking with a certain swagger.” The city’s confident Amazon bid, too, led local business leaders to say we’re Negadelphia no more. A Super Bowl win would be the final straw that breaks the camel’s back—a camel that’s been spitting in the city’s eye for decades.

In Medium, Philly native, and FOX radio commentator Michelle Pollino on why the Eagles should be America’s team:

“Like Rocky Balboa said, the world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s mean and nasty and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees, if you let it. But it’s about how hard you get hit and you keep moving forward, how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. If you know what you’re worth then you gotta go out and get what your worth. You gotta be able to take the hits, and not point fingers, but to dig down deep and work harder. It’s not about how many times you get knocked down, in Philly it’s always been about how many times you get back up. We are better than that.”

In ViceSports, our own Malcolm Jenkins on how he needs football more than ever:

“I need football now more than ever, too, because the work off the field never stops. We’ve been able to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time through the Players Coalition, but there is no time to celebrate. It’s like climbing a hill and as you go to celebrate what you’ve just conquered you see, off in the distance, hill after hill after hill. We’ve still got so far to go.”

There was also what is bound to be this legendary Saturday Night Live skit with Tina Fey. It wasn’t the most flattering depiction of Eagles fans—but you can’t not love it anyway:

Go. Celebrate. Because THE EAGLES WON THE SUPER BOWL!

Header photo: Mural by Meg Saligman Studio

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