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Spadaro: It took a long time, but the Super Bowl well worth the wait

The fans won the Super Bowl too.

By Dave Spadaro

By every standard, it was an epic event. We knew it would be that way, right? The Eagles won their first Super Bowl on a Sunday night and on the following Thursday afternoon the city of Philadelphia bathed in Eagles green, shouted to the chorus of E-A-G-L-E-S, EAGLES and gleefully rubbed shoulders with neighbors and strangers alike in the Parade of Champions.

Here we are, a week later, and the vibrations from the world championship and the parade resonate. The air seems just a bit crisper in the region. The traffic jams are more palatable. The angst of life has lessened to a degree, all because the Eagles won the Super Bowl.

It’s impossible to accurately quantify the social impact, the quality-of-life impact from such a historic sports achievement, but there is no doubt Eagles fans — who stretch the entire regional and socio-economic spectrum — are enjoying life more in the afterglow of the Super Bowl LII 41–33 victory over the New England Patriots.

“These are the kinds of moments in sports that impact an entire city and then some in a very positive way,” Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said. “Sometimes you don’t take that into account when you’re in the game, when you’re a player or a coach. But we’ve seen all season what kind of bond the fans and the team have had. It’s been pretty remarkable.

“The fans had a big part in this. The way they responded when we played at Lincoln Financial Field definitely made a difference. And then when we played on the road, it always felt like a home game. Now that we’ve won the Super Bowl, I see it. I hear the stories from the fans about how much it meant to win it all. I feel it. It’s just different.”

There is no question the fans played their part in the Super Bowl season. The Eagles went 7–1 at Lincoln Financial Field during the regular season, losing only the end-of-the-year, didn’t-matter-in-the-standings game against Dallas. Then in the postseason, the fans never took a seat, standing and shouting and providing a more significant home-field advantage than at any time in wins over Atlanta and Minnesota.

The fans won this Super Bowl, too.

“There isn’t another fan base like this in the NFL,” safety Malcolm Jenkins said. “Every player hears it before they come to Philadelphia. The Eagles matter to these fans and the players, trust me, appreciate that. Football matters to the fans and you don’t find that in every city. In a lot of places, if a team is not playing well, the fans aren’t going to show up. Here, if we’re struggling, the fans are going to show up. They may not be in a good mood, but they’re going to show up and let you know how they feel.

“Seeing what’s happened this season, it’s just very, very special. This is one of those seasons that you don’t want to forget. We, as players and on the team, we have to move forward and prepare for next year. I don’t think the fans want to do that quite so soon.”

Why should they? Let the good times keep rolling, if only for a little longer. Winning feels good in the City of Champions. ••

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