Flight searches suggest Philly fan invasion looming at Super Bowl

Flight searches suggest Philly fan invasion looming at Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is a bucket list item for many sports fans. But if your team is making it to the big game year after year, does that allure of a big, expensive trip to cheer on your squad wear off? Or does any one fan want to blow thousands of dollars on a trip to the big game more than once in their lifetime? Maybe twice?

That line of thinking would suggest that there would be less demand for New England Patriots fans to travel to Minnesota this season than the demand for Philadelphia Eagles fans to travel out to the frigid Midwest.

Tom Brady isn't the only one who has been there before. Patriots fans have also been there.

And you know what? There is data to suggest the above hypothesis to be true.

Airfare Watchdog says searches last week indicate a significantly higher desire for Philly fans to travel to Minneapolis than for New England fans to do the same.

"Fare searches (search period: 1/21-1/26) from PHL (Philadelphia) to MSP (Minnesota) are up nearly 416% from this time last year, while searches from BOS (Boston) are only up 96% from last year for the same time period," they say.

And the day of the conference championship data is even more pro-Philly: "Fare searches on January 21st 2018 (the day the two final competitors were decided) from PHL to MSP were up 705% from that date last year, versus the 198% increase we saw from BOS to MSP."

Searches are obviously not tickets sold, but the difference is still clear.

We also reached out to Jess Lawrence of secondary ticket market website TicketIQ, who said traffic to their website is "5:1 Eagles:Patriots."

Tickets on the Eagles' side of the field are currently more expensive than elsewhere.

"My advice for Eagles fans who want the best possible deal is to not worry about what side they're on, as this is shaping up to be Broad Street North."

Birds fans of a certain age likely remember the sea of green that seemingly took over Jacksonville the last time these two teams met in the Super Bowl back in 2005. It appears as if 2018 is shaping up similarly, with a different outcome to the big game of course.

The Process is ready for primetime

The Process is ready for primetime

Basically, you saw everything you'd want to see from Ben Simmons, Dario Saric and Joel Embiid during the Rising Stars Challenge on All-Star Friday night, as they kept doing what they've basically done all February: winning. 

Ben Simmons was electric all over the court, ending with 11 points (5-5 FG, mostly dunks), six boards, a game-high 13 assists and a team-high four steals. A still-locked-in Dario Saric was the beneficiary of a handful of those dimes, ending with 18 points (7-11 FG, 4-7 3PT), three boards and five assists. 

Joel Embiid had an underwhelming stat line in his thankfully clipped playing time (just eight minutes after sitting out Wednesday's game -- we'll see him more on Sunday), ending with just five points and two boards, and not exactly displaying the defensive dominance we're accustomed to from our big man. But the five points came on back-to-back possessions in the third, where JoJo nailed a top-of-the-break three and then scored on a dunk following a Fultzian spin move to the basket, showing the range of his skills in an appropriately breathtaking (and Internet-slaying) manner. 

And of course, the Sixers -- I mean, Team World -- won handily, outscoring Team USA in every quarter and ultimately triumphing 155-124. Even though Sacramento's Bogdan Bogdanovic took home MVP honors on the night for his white-hot shooting night (26 points on 9-16 FG, including a handful of Steph Curry-esque extended pull-up triples), I thought Simmons was the best all-around player on the floor, another thumb in the eye of the All-Star committee that snubbed him (four times!) for the proper game on Sunday night. 

Perhaps more importantly, the Sixers' presence just dominated the game altogether. Hell, they made up 3/5 of Team World's starting lineup -- no other team had more than two representatives, across both squads, though the Lakers would have were Lonzo Ball available -- and in the broadcast booth, the TNT guys couldn't stop talking about Embiid all night, comparing him to Hakeem and debating whether they'd ever seen a big man of his versatility before. 

And to think, this year they'll actually be represented on Saturday and Sunday, too. Hopefully Ben and Dario get a nice, relaxing All-Star break from here -- they've certainly earned it -- and now, it's Embiid's spotlight. The Process is ready for Primetime, baby, and longtime Trusters should make sure to enjoy this moment as much as JoJo himself undoubtedly will. 

Chris Long defends LeBron James after attack from Fox News host

AP Images

Chris Long defends LeBron James after attack from Fox News host

Chris Long is beloved by Philadelphians for much more than rocking a full-lenghth faux fur during the Eagles' Super Bowl championship parade. Most in Philly respect Long because he is one to speak his mind on whatever topic he sees fit. He's also a man of action, not just talk.

So when Fox News host Laura Ingraham attacked LeBron James and Kevin Durant for expressing their views on Donald Trump, Long stood up for his fellow athletes.

"Keep the political commentary to yourself, or as someone once said, 'shut up and dribble,'" Ingraham said.

As someone who hears "stick to sports" on a regular basis, this commentary hit close to home for the Eagles defensive end.

Long took exception and wanted to point out some of the people Ingraham's own network has on for their own political commentary. He launched into a Twitter thread pointing out some of the political experts.