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Eagles get heroes' welcome at Philly parade

Eagles fans at the Super Bowl LII victory parade packed Philadelphia on Thursday.
Thousands of Eagles fans flooded South Philadelphia to watch the Super Bowl Champion Eagles parade on Broad Street, many showing up in the early morning, celebrating for hours as the parade passed. (Charles Mostoller)

They came from all around Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Fans who had moved away drove back from their new homes. Nearly every single person wore Eagles green or Birds apparel. Some carried small urns containing the ashes of beloved family members, Eagles fans who died before seeing their team reach and seize Super Bowl LII.

The champions of Philadelphia were honored for their Super Bowl win by a group of hundreds of thousands of fans, estimated to possibly be in the millions, who filled a parade route of 5-plus miles.

“No one likes this team. No analysts like this team. And nobody likes our fans,” Eagles center Jason Kelce shouted to the crowd from the Art Museum steps, before beginning to chant, “We’re from Philly, f—ing Philly, nobody likes us, we don’t care!” as fans chanted along.

Kelce and the other Eagles showed off the Lombari Trophy from the Art Museum around 1 p.m. They spoke through microphones wired to speakers lined along the length of the Parkway and were broadcast on 14 Jumbotrons set up for the overflow audience who filled miles of streets.

The Parkway, the area around Broad Street, and many of the major streets through Center City were literally chockablock with Eagles fans and police as the Eagles victory parade began at Broad Street and Pattison Avenue at 11 a.m.

Across the entire parade route, from South Philly to the Art Museum, massive crowds of fans lined up hours before the parade took place. As Metro previously reported, SEPTA significantly altered service for the parade, and multiple roads were closed along with courts, libraries, city offices and schools.

SEPTA quickly became so crowded the Broad Street Line began skipping Walnut-Locust Station, which was too full of people for anyone to get in or out.

Only two arrests were reported. While some violence was spotted, including people climbing poles and a Broad Street road sign being stolen, the crowd was overall joyous and peaceful.

For many fans, the Eagles are more than a sports team.

"The Philadelphia Eagles’ performance in the Super Bowl and their close-knit bond reflects the Philadelphia story: our city’s grit and our spirit of brotherly love,” Mayor Jim Kenney tweeted during the parade. “Let's celebrate what our Eagles have done and thank them!”