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What The Eagles' Super Bowl Win Means For Philadelphia

Feb 5, 2018
Originally published on February 5, 2018 9:56 pm
Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

And now to that game that happened last night.

(SOUNDBITE OF SUPER BOWL LII)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: The Philadelphia Eagles are Super Bowl champions. Eagles fans everywhere, this is for you.

SHAPIRO: That's how it felt to NPR's Gene Demby - like it was for him, for his family, for his city. He grew up in South Philly, and as an adult, he says his relationship with football is complicated. But that didn't take anything away from what he felt late in the fourth quarter.

(SOUNDBITE OF SUPER BOWL LII)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Brady gets hit. The ball is out and Philadelphia has it.

GENE DEMBY, BYLINE: I don't remember the next 20 seconds of my life. I just blacked out. I was yelling so loudly.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

DEMBY: Let's get it.

Everyone I was watching with was just jumping up and down.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

DEMBY: Yes. Yes.

I called my mom, and she picked up. And I whispered. I was like, Mom, we're going to win the Super Bowl. And she started giggling. I still can't believe we won the Super Bowl. And I felt concentration of joy for several minutes, like, to the point where I felt like I was going to, like, pass out. And we went outside. We walked down Broad Street. Some dude sets up some fireworks right on the corner.

(SOUNDBITE OF FIREWORKS)

DEMBY: People are just running down the street with Eagles flags, standing on top of garbage trucks around City Hall. There were people climbing on everything that was, like, jutting out of the ground - on top of statues, on top of light fixtures, on top of street signs. And there were people chanting, you know, the Eagles fight song, "Fly, Eagles Fly."

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: (Singing) Fly, Eagles fly.

DEMBY: E-A-G-L-E-S, Eagles.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING

UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: E-A-G-L-E-S, Eagles.

DEMBY: And I feel like the Phillies have white fans. The Sixers have a fan base that is more diverse but is much younger. But everybody in Philadelphia is an Eagles fan, right? It's, like, it cuts across a lot of demographic lines, across ages and across races and across economic locations. And so there's a way in which understanding Philadelphia means, like, understanding the Philadelphia Eagles. And as a Philadelphian, like, when I think about the block I was raised on and the woman who raised me, I think - I don't know. I was just so happy for us. And I was so happy and proud to be from this place, you know?

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SHAPIRO: That's Gene Demby, correspondent and co-host of NPR's Code Switch podcast.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.