Super Bowl Parade

Chiefs parade proved it again — the narrative is always different when it's Philly

USA Today Images/NBC Sports Philadelphia

Chiefs parade proved it again — the narrative is always different when it's Philly

As you all know by now, the Kansas City Chiefs are Super Bowl Champions, former Eagles head coach Andy Reid will finally get his well-deserved ring and we have reached the end of yet another NFL season.

All seemed right in the world, especially for Chiefs fans who flooded the streets for the parade to celebrate their win. But as the event progressed, a few things started to unfold which most people just laughed off, or deemed it as a happy city enjoying their championship.

This got me thinking  — if any of it happened in Philly (heck, some of it did), we’d have a whole new ‘throwing snowballs at Santa’ fiasco. Seriously, I was negative 29 years old when that happened. If this generation of sports fans can leave that in the past, it’d be awesome.

However, not quite sure if we can overlook the fan that ate horse poop on Broad St. to celebrate the city’s first Super Bowl. Maybe we can just pretend that never happened … but regardless, it had to be mentioned here since someone, somewhere would’ve brought it up. Now you don’t have to  — you’re welcome.

But alas, since it happened in Philadelphia, it will loom over us until the end of eternity.

Well, there were a few things that stood out like a sore thumb during yesterday’s parade that have to be discussed.

First off, have you ever seen a car chase to lead off a parade? After yesterday, Chiefs fans can say they have … and now all of the internet can say so, too. Luckily no one in the crowd was hurt but it was still a shocking sight to see. I’ve seen comments saying that Chiefs fans really know how to party and it was passed off more as a joke … but everyone knows if this went down in Philadelphia, it’d be deemed as reckless and tacked on to the city’s reputation.

Next is due to the unfortunate placement of a parking meter. Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes threw a football into the crowd of fans on the parade route and of course, who wouldn’t want to catch it? Poor guy didn’t take his eyes off the ball and ran right into the parking meter.

It’s almost like a weird parallel for Philadelphia with this one. While no one ran into things on the street during the parade (that we know of)  — mainly due to the fact the curbs were packed with fans and were essentially sardines who couldn’t move  — we do have this gem following the NFC Championship Game:

So similar, yet the reactions for both couldn’t be more different.

And finally, what is Philadelphia best known for when celebrating? Climbing things  — let’s call it the most intense ‘the floor is lava’ game the world has ever known. Turns out, it may be a skill that comes with living in the area …

... because this Chiefs fan did not have too much luck.

And yet, we’re made fun of for how we celebrate and this fella was living in the moment.

Nothing in this world makes sense.

Even though Philly has this kind of reputation … at least we can do it right.

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More on the Eagles

One year ago today: The Eagles’ Super Bowl parade exceeded all expectations

One year ago today: The Eagles’ Super Bowl parade exceeded all expectations

It was a question that had left almost every Philadelphian’s lips over the last six decades, from old friends congregating at corner bars to the guy who’s seemingly always hanging out at your barber shop despite never getting a haircut to those who might as well list “Jetro Lot” as their official residence:

“What are you going to do at the parade when Eagles win the Super Bowl?”

I have a South Philly friend, who shall remain nameless, who always said he would park his junked up old Mustang in the middle of Oregon Avenue, stand on the hood, throw cans of Miller Lite to whomever was walking by and tell everyone to help beat the crap out of his car with a sledgehammer he had waiting in the trunk.

I can’t speak to what happened to his car, but I can say he wasn’t alone in thinking he’d have such a passionate reaction to the most mythologized day in the city’s modern history. He, along with every other diseased Eagles fan who wears the same Brian Dawkins or Randall Cunningham jersey they’ve had for half their lives, wanted the Eagles parade to be cathartic, to rid themselves of the worries of the past by clinging to the shiny Lombardi Trophy at the end of life’s tunnel.

Those worries don’t ever have to be strictly from things that happened on the field. Beyond the demons of Ronde Barber, Joe Webb, and Ricky Manning Jr., there lies the troubles we’ve all faced in our lives. There have been bad jobs, bad relationships and the struggles of financial insecurity. Through them all, the Eagles have always been a solace to this city. When the Eagles won, we won. When the Eagles lost, we lost. The Eagles winning the Super Bowl represented Philadelphia’s greatest triumph over its citizens’ anxieties in life. The parade was the celebration of that triumph, the euphoric release of years and years of anger, sadness and disappointment while surrounded by a million of your closest friends.

With a lifetime of hype behind it, there was no way the parade was going to live up to it, right? But it did. It was so much more than what was imagined. Even a year later, I think about it every single day of my life and I doubt that will ever change. A half-century of middle-class rage and colossal sports failures felt like they were evaporated in a second when Doug Pederson rode down Broad Street and Jason Kelce slugged beers like it was his 21st birthday.

A year ago right now, you were probably hanging with your family or partner or lifelong friends, passing bottles of champagne and cans of Bud Light back and forth, listening to nothing but Meek Mill and Queen, as you were left wondering how a backup quarterback redeemed the soul of Philadelphia. The most perfect day imaginable was somehow more perfect than Philly could’ve ever dreamed.

I think back to my own life and my experience that day. Maybe you weren’t packing chicken cutlet sandwiches at 3:30 a.m. while listening to “Welcome to the Black Parade” by My Chemical Romance on loop like I was, but that spirit was replicated throughout the Delaware Valley. I had waited 23-and-a-half years for that morning, to be surrounded my best friends since first grade, making mimosas like a streetcar vendor, as we soaked up the early morning sun at Broad and Shunk.

My life has been strange. My struggles with bipolar disorder have left me on a rollercoaster for the last handful of years. It’s been hard. But on a day I used to pray for as a Catholic grade school student every night before I went to bed, it didn’t matter. My brain chemistry didn’t matter. My self-destructive past didn’t matter. The only thing that mattered was that I was surrounded by the people I loved most while we celebrated our wildest fantasy coming true. I was happy.

It was supposed to be the best day of my life and it was even more important than that. As you may know, I went full World War II sailor that day, kissing a stranger named Ashley I met on Twitter and going viral. I now live in an apartment in South Philly with her. What a world. What a life. What a team the 2017 Eagles were.

On the one-year anniversary of the most anticipated day in Eagles fans’ lives, the feeling I’m left with, one that I never thought possible, is contentment. Philadelphia, for maybe the first time ever, breathed a sigh of relief. The parade was everything. And more.  

How Jason Kelce ended up in a Mummers costume

How Jason Kelce ended up in a Mummers costume

On Tuesday night, as Bob Coyle was practicing with the other members of the Avalon String Band, he got a call from his wife Libby that sent him down into the basement of their headquarters at 2nd and Tasker in South Philly. 

The phone call became a mission. 

"She says, listen, ‘Do you have a Mummers suit for someone who's 6-foot-4, 300 pounds,'" Coyle recalled on Thursday night. "I said, honey, who the f--- needs that?"

The answer, of course, was Jason Kelce. 

Libby began cutting Kelce's hair around six years ago when the Eagles' center moved to the city and the two have become close friends in the years since. On Tuesday, Kelce called her and said the players were coming up with different ideas of what to wear for the parade in a couple days and he thought about a Mummers costume. 

So Coyle headed down to the basement and found one of about a half dozen costumes left over from the string band's 2008 "Ire-land of Leprechauns" performance. The actual costume belonged to musical director Jim Crompton, who played college football himself.  

"Jimmy's a big dude," Coyle said, "but it fit Jason perfectly." 

Crompton, 33, is a big dude. He's 6-foot-5 and is anywhere from around 275-300 pounds. After playing high school football at Archbishop Wood, he went on to play right tackle at Lycoming College. 

So with the big costume in tow, Libby showed up to the NovaCare Complex on Wednesday to cut Kelce's hair and then to help him squeeze himself into the giant leprechaun costume. Bob joked that she helps him get into his suit every year, so she was able to help Kelce too. 

"It fit him like a glove," Coyle said of the costume that Kelce wore in front of millions of people on Thursday afternoon, "and he fell in love with it immediately." 

On Tuesday night, Crompton started to get hints that Kelce might wear his old costume and then on Wednesday he saw photos of Kelce trying it on. 

He still wasn't sold. 

"I really didn't think he was going to do it," Crompton said. "We have some friends who are in the band who are police officers at the stadium and they sent pictures out saying he was in full-on suit. It was pretty cool. The whole day was just amazing."

And it wasn't just that Kelce wore his costume for the parade. Kelce was wearing it when he gave one of the most epic and passionate speeches in Philadelphia sports history. 

Kelce shouted into the microphone about what it meant to be an underdog and, of course, dropped a few F-bombs along the way. 

"Yeah, that's going to go down in the books. That speech was epic," Crompton said. "I think it kind of rang true for a lot of the members of the Avalon too. We've been kind of struggling the last couple years, have been the underdogs along with them. We definitely know where he was coming from with that speech. It had a lot of depth for us."

Coyle said it was especially neat seeing that speech come from such a genuine guy in one of his band's costumes.  

It's pretty clear Kelce's speech — and that costume — are going to be remembered. 

"Here we are, it's 10 years after Chase Utley and we still talk about that," Coyle said. "That was a great speech. But this speech that Kelce gave today, I mean, you could tell it was from the heart, it wasn't scripted and it was spot on. It couldn't have been any more Philly."