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Eagles Continue To Fly And Soar As Philadelphians Celebrate Super Bowl Win

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Another story now - days after winning its first Super Bowl, Philadelphia may have set another record today - biggest attendance ever for a city event. Early estimates say the Eagles parade drew even more people to Philly than the pope managed. Bobby Allyn of member station WHYY reports.

BOBBY ALLYN, BYLINE: Standing outside the Eagles stadium in South Philadelphia in a sea of green jerseys, it was hard not to get caught up in the chant.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: E-A-G-L-E-S - Eagles.

ALLYN: Dan Gregory says he and his father cried when the Eagles beat the New England Patriots on Sunday.

DAN GREGORY: No one gave them a chance. No one said we could do this. They believed in themselves and proved to the entire world that, you know what, we're going to prove everybody wrong.

ALLYN: While government offices, schools, courts and businesses citywide shut down for the day, bars like Cookie's Tavern in South Philadelphia had their doors wide open. Joe Clark was having a beer. I asked him how the city's feeling days after the Eagles' first Super Bowl win. He didn't think it was a very deep question.

JOE CLARK: Say what? Look around. What are you, blind? Come on.

ALLYN: Clark was right. No matter where you looked, the euphoria smacked you right in the face.

CLARK: Underestimate the wrong team; that's what you get. You get a championship in Philadelphia.

ALLYN: Decked out in Eagles sweatpants and an Eagles jacket, 70-year-old Robert Kendrick says he's been waiting for this Super Bowl win all his life.

ROBERT KENDRICK: It feels fantastic. I still got to wake up every morning, turn on the news to know that it's true. I keep thinking it's a dream, I'm waking up from a dream.

ALLYN: After the Eagles won Sunday, some fans ripped down traffic signals and jumped off tall utility poles. Would this be Kendrick's response is the Eagles won the Super Bowl again?

KENDRICK: Oh, no. I might do a backflip, though.

ALLYN: Amid mostly Philadelphia area natives, Eagles fan Selynda Norton, who traveled from New York City, didn't feel out of place. Even her friends who are loyal to New York teams gave the Eagles their due this year. She says that's a rare gesture.

SELYNDA NORTON: They hate us, but they actually gave us respect this year, and they gave all the congratulations like it was our birthday. They was really happy for us.

ALLYN: The parade ended its 5-mile trek at the entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It's where Sylvester Stallone ran up the steps in the "Rocky" movies. Many fans said no matter what the team does next season, the Eagles, like the fictional boxer, will always be an underdog deep down. But sometimes that means you have the most heart. For NPR News, I'm Bobby Allyn in Philadelphia.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FLY, EAGLES FLY")

UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Singing) Fly, Eagles; fly on the road to victory.

UNIDENTIFIED MEN: Fight. Fight. Fight.

UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Singing) Fly, Eagles; fly. Score a touchdown - one, two, three.

UNIDENTIFIED MEN: One, two, three.

UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Singing) Hit them low. Hit them high. And watch our Eagles fly. Fly, Eagles; fly on the road to victory. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.