As Kendrick Lamar’s song “HUMBLE.” played over the sound system near the Philadelphia Museum of Art at the Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl parade, Colin Larmond ad-libbed his own lyrics about the Eagles’ victory.
“Boston, sit down!” said Larmond, 49, of Pottstown, Pennsylvania. “’Cause this is Philly time, Philly time.”
Larmond was one of an estimated 700,000 Eagles fans who celebrated a victory parade on Thursday for the Eagles, who won their first Super Bowl in franchise history. They defeated the New England Patriots, 41-33, on Sunday in Super Bowl LII.
Beginning at 11 a.m., more than a dozen buses carrying Eagles players, cheerleaders and coaches traveled from Broad Street and Pattison Avenue to City Hall before heading west on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. They stopped at the Art Museum for a final ceremony around 1 p.m.
Temple canceled all classes, except for those at the Harrisburg campus, on Thursday.
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Many attendees gathered along Broad Street and around the Art Museum hours before the buses arrived near Eakins Oval around 1 p.m. Eagles chants rang out across the crowds of fans, some of whom climbed trees, small buildings and even portable toilets for a better view of the stage on the museum’s steps.
After the buses completed the parade route, several Eagles players and staff members spoke on stage to thank fans for their support, even after regular-season MVP candidate quarterback Carson Wentz suffered a knee injury in December, Nick Foles took over as the starter and the team became known as “underdogs.”
“You know who the biggest underdog is?” center Jason Kelce told the crowd at the museum. “It’s y’all, Philadelphia. For 52 years, y’all have been waiting for this. … For the last 52 years, you have been starved of this championship. Everybody wonders why we’re so mean. Everybody wonders why the Philadelphia Eagles don’t have the nicest fans. If I don’t eat breakfast, I’m f—– pissed off.”
Some fans traveled several hours to attend the parade.
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Sarah Butler, a 2016 media studies and production alumna and Bucks County native, traveled to the parade from New York City, where she works. Although she watched the Super Bowl from New York, Butler said all of her friends supported the Eagles.
“I had a few Philly fans, I had a few Giants fans, but everyone came to support the game,” Butler said. “Everyone hates the Patriots…so we all rooted for the Eagles.”
Butler remembers attending the Phillies’ World Series parade in 2008 as an eighth grader. But now as an adult, she said she better understands how significant winning a championship is for Philadelphia.
“To be graduated and actually appreciate it, it’s completely different,” Butler said.
Eagles fans Lawrence Cook, 41, and Tim Robinson, 60, also had to travel to enjoy the festivities. Cook, who grew up in West Oak Lane and now lives in North Jersey, drove to Philadelphia early Thursday morning to attend the parade.
An unforgettable day. pic.twitter.com/XJ0Ksg63uZ
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Robinson, Cook’s cousin, moved to Florida in 1982 after growing up in Camden, New Jersey, but said he has stayed a loyal fan for more than 30 years. He booked a flight from Orlando, Florida, to attend the parade shortly after the Eagles beat the Patriots.
“The city was starving for a winner,” Cook said. “So now that this team has rose to the occasion, not only made the playoffs but won a Super Bowl, this is why you have a turnout like this.”
Cook’s 66-year-old uncle, Frank Scott, started rooting for the Eagles as a teenager and, like many longtime fans, supported the team through some disappointing seasons. The Eagles played in four straight NFC Championships in the 2001-04 seasons but never won a Super Bowl.
He hoped the team could make the playoffs in 2017, but he didn’t think the city would end up with a Super Bowl championship.
Now, Scott said, the Eagles are “ahead of schedule.” Several Eagles players, including Wentz, told fans on Thursday to get used to the winning feeling.
“This is a culmination of all the years and all the frustrations,” Scott said. “This is the pinnacle today. It’s a wonderful thing, man.”
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