The Eagles started their 2017 season at the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art 10 months ago, drafting Derrek Barnett in the first round of the NFL draft.
Flash forward 13 wins, three playoff victories and a strip sack recovery by the aformentioned rookie, and the Eagles ended their season in exactly the same spot. Celebrating at the end of an epic Super Bowl championship parade with more than two million fans — estimates suggest.
What’s it like to see more than two million people smiling at once? Ask any Philadelphian. It was fantastic.
Champagne was flowing, beer was free, cigars were lit (a few other illegal substances were consumed) as Eagles fans climbed trees, light poles and statues to get a better look at their heroes.
Jason Kelce, one of the last Eagles to speak at a podium at the steps of the museum, feet away from the famed Rocky statue, summed up the Eagles underdog mentality.
“Jason Peters was told he was too old,” Kelce shouted, doing his best professional wrestler impression while dressed in full Mummers Parade garb. “Didn’t have it anymore. Before he got here, he was the best freaking tackle in the NFL. Big V was told he didn’t have it. Stefen Wisnieski ain’t good enough. Jason Kelce’s too small. Lane Johnson can’t lay off the juice. Brandon Brooks has anxiety.
“Carson Wentz didn’t go to a Division I school. Nick Foles don’t got it. Corey Clement’s too slow. LeGarrette Blount ain’t got it anymore. Jay Ajayi can’t stay healthy. Torrey Smith can’t catch. Nelson Agholor can’t catch. Zach Ertz can’t block. Brent Celek’s too old.
“Brandon Graham was drafted too high. Vinny Curry ain’t got it. Beau Allen can’t fit the scheme. Mychal Kendricks can’t fit the scheme. Nigel Bradham can’t catch. Jalen Mills can’t cover. Patrick Robinson can’t cover. It’s the whole team!!!
“This entire organization is a bunch of driven men to accomplish something. We’re all a bunch of underdogs and you know what underdogs is? It’s a hungry dog.”
The dance party on the parkway — with musical choices ranging from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme to Meek Mill — broke loose onto the streets as the multitiudes of fans skipping work looked to return home. All of them inspired. All of them proud underdogs. And eager to boast theit championship status across the world.