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If the underdog Eagles manage to defeat the New England Patriots in Sunday’s Super Bowl, when will Philadelphia hold its parade?
That’s a question on the mind of every Eagles fan ahead of this weekend’s game. Unfortunately, no one’s talking.
Philadelphia officials are keeping a tight grip on any preliminary plans for a potential parade, including what day and time it might occur. The city said fans shouldn’t expect any information to be released until the conclusion of the game, but past parade schedules and speculation suggest the parade would take place on either Tuesday or Wednesday.
“No plans right now for a parade — we don’t want to jinx it!” Mayor Kenney wrote on Twitter. “Our planning right now is focused on public safety surrounding Sunday’s game.”
The only thing we can confirm is that the city isn’t planning on greasing poles with Crisco again, though Police Commissioner Richard Ross hinted that the city had other plans to prevent fans from climbing up the lights in the event of an Eagles win.
There’s good reason for keeping the information so heavily guarded. In 2005, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick used the city’s preliminary planning as fodder to motivate his team heading into its Super Bowl match-up against the Eagles.
“At first, I couldn’t believe it, but it’s actually true,” Belichick told his players in a team meeting the night before Super Bowl XXXIX. “I’m talking about the Philadelphia parade after the game, all right? It’s 11:00 in case any of you want to attend that.”
Perhaps having learned their lesson, in 2008 city officials waited until minutes after the Phillies won the World Series to send out preliminary information that included the day, time, and basic route of the celebratory parade. The Phillies won on a Wednesday night, and the city held the parade at noon Friday. That celebration originated at 20th and Market Streets and traveled south down Broad Street from City Hall, ending at the sports complex.
In the event the Eagles win their first Super Bowl, attendance at the parade is expected to be massive. In 2008, media reports pegged the attendance at the Phillies parade at two million, though no official estimate was released by the city.
“We did not establish . . . any official number, ” a spokesman for Mayor Michael Nutter told the Inquirer in 2009. “The two million was floated around, and we’ve never refuted nor confirmed.”
Among those who have said they would be in attendance in the event of an Eagles win is Al Michaels, the longtime play-by-play announcer for NBC’s Sunday Night Football, who will be calling Sunday’s Super Bowl.
“They can win a Stanley Cup, which they’ve done. They can win a World Series, which they’ve done. They can win an NBA championship, and the way they’re playing right now, that may be sooner than later with the 76ers,” Michaels said in November of Philadelphia’s sports teams. “But nothing, nothing, would eclipse the Super Bowl champions and the Lombardi Trophy in the parade down Broad Street. I’m flying in for that one.”
NBC sports broadcaster and 2018 Olympics host Mike Tirico responded: “It would be cold, and it would be special.”