Two huge playoff wins have propelled the Eagles beyond the odds and into an incredible Super Bowl appearance. The Birds will fly into the Lion’s den next Sunday, with the contest taking place in Minneapolis, home of none other than the Vikings. With Tom Brady and Bill Belechick on the other side of the field, it won’t be easy…but Philly will be hoping for an injection of Midnight Green next weekend to help tilt the balance.
The home field advantage gained by the Eagles since the arrival of Doug Pederson has been outstanding. They boast the best home record in the NFL since the end of the 2016 season and in their two toughest contests of the season with a Super Bowl dream on the line, a sold-out Lincoln Financial Field provided a hostile environment for the Falcons and Vikings. The Patrick Robinson pick-six sent Philadelphia into a roar and we’ve all seen the fan video from three miles away, showing a clear ability to hear the Philadelphia faithful screaming at the top of their lungs.
This is a neutral field however. No E-A-G-L-E-S chants here, just those passionate enough to secure tickets for the big game. But the Eagles coaching staff seem confident that they will get at least a little taste of the home life.
“I do know this, and I felt this after the game, I think everybody here felt how much the city celebrated with our team.” Jim Schwartz told reporters earlier this week. “It’s been a while since the Eagles have been in a Super Bowl. We haven’t won one. I think that the fans that are able to make it to Minneapolis, just like the fans that made it to Los Angeles and so many other places along the way for us, they will turn it into a home crowd for us. I think that’s the great thing. Our Eagles fans travel. It’s tough travel. The Super Bowl’s a tough ticket. But I think that we’re going to see a lot of green and we’re going to hear a lot of people singing our fight song, as opposed [to the Patriots’ fight song]. So I’m hoping that it’s not a neutral site.”
The Eagles have almost become America’s team. The dynasty of the New England Patriots has become vilified with those who refuse to appreciate dominance in a league that tries to hard to balance the equation, or those who simply cannot stand the amount of conspiracies and questionable circumstances that are associated with the team. The gritty underdog is something we can all resonate with, as Doug Pederson said earlier this week.
“They’re a lot like us.” The Eagles Head Coach explained when asked about the passionate fanbase. “We’ve been underdogs for the last couple of weeks, and our fans feel that and they understand that. We’re excited to have won these last two games, obviously. We hope to have the entire Eagles nation up in Minneapolis for a game in two weeks.”
The dedication of Philadelphia fans cannot be questioned. And now, with a whole realm of new fans standing behind them, ready to cheer for one of the most incredible underdog stories ever told, there is a very good chance that Minneapolis of all places, plays host to not just fans of the Eagles, but to fans of anyone but New England. That alone, is enough to swing the idea of a neutral field in favor of the NFC Champions.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports