Fans always have Philly's back

Philly fans want to see a winner, sure, but they want to see a team that is reflective of them. They want players to work hard, to care, to maximize their potential, whatever that potential is. Philadelphia is a blue-collar city that is proud of and passionate about its professional sports teams. Fans there want nothing more than for the Eagles to have a parade down Broad Street.

One former team employee used to joke during the Reid era that if the Eagles won the Super Bowl, they would have to remain in the Super Bowl city for at least a couple of days because Philadelphia would be on fire. And he was probably right.

First-year coach Chip Kelly has seen it in the short time he has been in Philadelphia.

"Just the memories that you kind of think back and listen to them, the 'We want Dallas' chants in the Chicago game or just how loud they were in the Detroit game in the snow," Kelly said earlier this week. "And there were a couple times that I don't think we could see the crowd because of how hard it was snowing down there.

"But they have been unbelievable, and I think it's the fact that we got a chance to win the division and get to come and play a game back at home is huge for us, and we are excited about playing at the Linc. We know it's going to be rocking on Saturday."

Against a team like the Saints, playing at home is a huge advantage. After enduring a 10-game home losing streak that stretched back to last season, the Eagles have won four straight at home. New Orleans was undefeated at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome but was just 3-5 away from it and the team was vastly different on the road.

So home field in this one should matter.

If the Eagles win, it will be their first home playoff victory since the 2006 season, when they beat the Giants at home in a wild-card game before losing at New Orleans in the divisional round. Seven years isn't an eternity -- ask Cincinnati, which hasn't won a playoff game since the 1990 season -- but for Eagles fans, it is.

All they want is a ring. Philadelphia has played in two Super Bowls, but lost them both. That lack of a Lombardi trophy is part of what fuels the fans' desperation. It is the one professional sports void in a city rich with tradition.

Philly fans are tough. Philly fans can be unruly. But there was never a doubt that Philly fans would show up Saturday night. That's what they do. I know. For the past 14 years, I've lived here.

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