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Eagles have potential to be modern day Broad Street Bullies


It’s been a little over one week since the city of Philadelphia threw a parade for the 2017 Super Bowl Champion Eagles, and if you’re still trying to process what transpired, you’re not alone.


Yours truly wanted to take some time to make sense of it all before putting some thoughts into words. Due to illness, life obligations and a milestone birthday, I admittedly got around to watching the parade on television for the first time this week. It’s amazing how much of a different perspective you can get when you’re not in the freezing cold and have three million people breathing down your neck. Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins 


It’s still hard to believe, even when you say it out loud:


 The Eagles are Super Bowl champions.

It has such a nice ring to it, and you can say it for the next year.

The Birds’ unexpected ride down Broad Street is what happens when you combine the 1993 Phillies, 2001 Sixers and 2010 Flyers—but take it a step further and win the whole thing. This is, without a doubt, the most improbable, most unlikely and arguably most popular Philadelphia championship team in the city’s long-suffering history. The cast of characters, all referenced in Jason Kelce’s parade speech for the ages, are now legends in this town forever. Speaking of Kelce, he might be the only player Chase Utley ever has to take a back seat to in regards to celebrated championship anecdotes. In several minutes, Kelce perfectly summarized to the national media who we are and how we’re perceived.

The best part is, nobody saw this coming, which makes the ride all the more incredible. It wasn’t a Ron Jaworski-led squad coached by Dick Vermeil, it wasn’t Randall Cunningham and Buddy Ryan’s tenacious defense, it wasn’t Donovan McNabb and Andy Reid. It was a backup quarterback (Nick Foles), formerly the team’s starting quarterback, taking the place of the team’s rising star and possible NFL MVP (Carson Wentz). Moreover, the Birds were led by a coach (Doug Pederson) who some thought should be fired at the end of 2016. I know. It’s Philly. The first Super Bowl title HAD to be delivered this way.

Sure, both the Sixers and Flyers had their share of postseason experience by the time they made their runs. The ‘93 Phils were finally healthy after several years of injury-riddled squads, but to predict they would come up just short against the defending world champions in the Fall Classic was an unlikelihood not even the most loyal fan could imagine. Most “experts” had this year’s version of the Birds at 9-7, with a shot at the NFC East. Needless to say, expectations were exceeded beyond any of our wildest imaginations.

The Eagles' “us against the world” mentality, combined with their “underdog” status throughout the playoffs, is much reminiscent of another beloved Philadelphia championship team from decades ago.

Despite a roster including three future NHL Hall of Famers (Bobby Clarke, Bill Barber and Bernie Parent) and a Hall of Fame head coach (Fred Shero), nobody gave the Philadelphia Flyers (aka: the Broad Street Bullies) a snowball’s chance of beating another hated sports team from Boston (the Bruins) who stood in the way of championship bliss back in 1974. Much like the Eagles, the Flyers shocked everyone outside the Tri-State area, and promptly became overnight legends in the City of Brotherly Love.

Fly Eagles Fly!

Much like the Flyers, the 2017 Eagles, and their mutual love and respect for Philadelphia and its fans, are now also enshrined in the annals of Philly sports lore. You can easily see a player like Brandon Graham or Nick Foles stopping through a local Philly bar and having drinks with its patrons. The same scenario probably played out over 40 years ago at Rexy’s, with Rick MacLeish, the Watson brothers or any of the other interchangeable personalities who endeared themselves to a city starving for a winner.

Of course, it’s quite a different dynamic in the 1970s than it is in 2018. The honeymoon isn’t over for this Eagles team just yet, but success changes things. The Super Bowl victory against the Patriots was a total team effort, with no egos getting in the way of their common goal. Chemistry is fragile. Some might even call it lightning in a bottle. In all fairness, we've seen how tough it is to win just one title. Either way, it remains to be seen as to whether Pederson will have a tough job handling personalities who want to be compensated for their play and who embrace their newfound fame. Brandon Graham has already expressed interest in getting paid. Jay Ajayi, who by all accounts was a team player despite reports to the contrary in Miami, will almost surely want more than the $705,000 he’s set to make next season. Then there’s Foles’ situation, which might be the most difficult one of all. Don’t be so quick to want a draft pick for him until you know Wentz comes back healthy. When you factor the cap space issues Howie Roseman and company are facing, the Eagles might find out just how fragile team chemistry can be.

Check out our Eagles Super Bowl parade pics!

Even though the Birds are currently on top of the football world, most pundits outside of Philadelphia seem to either despise the Eagles, don't give the team proper credit deserved for their efforts, or flat out think the team is nothing more than a one trick pony (similar to the Broad Street Bullies). Former New York radio show host Mike Francesca, spoke out against Kelce’s speech, while the always Philly-hating Skip Bayless, has already dismissed next season’s team. Of course, it’s not like both can look at the scenario from a non-biased perspective.

Nonetheless. the same mentality towards the Birds is exactly what helped get them to the promised land. The Flyers took that momentum all the way towards another Stanley Cup, and even made it to a third. Right now, however, let the haters hate. I think the perfect response to this can be best expressed in a song “performed” by Kelce last Thursday. It goes like this:

We’re from Philly, f**king Philly

No one likes us, we don’t care

Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com


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