PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia Eagles fans are kicking off their weekend with a Super Bowl pep rally in Center City.
When Eagles fans describe this season, they all seem to agree: it’s been magical.
“I just have a good feeling about this team. They’re special,” said Len Cornwall, a lifelong Eagles fan. “Back in the ‘60s when I was a little boy, my dad sat me in front of the television. I’ve been an Eagles fan ever since.”
WIP SportsRadio’s Jon Ritchie, a former Eagle himself, says the energy around the city and beyond for the underdog team has been electric.
“To put words to the hope that exists, the jubilant fan base, everyone loves this Eagles team,” Ritchie said.
That love was crystal clear at a pep rally at the Shops at Liberty Place in Center City on Friday.
“I’m just here to get a little more pep in my step,” said Carla Glover of Cobbs Creek. “It’s a great time for the city of Philadelphia.”
Fans like JoAnna Billings showed up decked out in Eagles gear from head to toe. She’s originally from Texas but has a deep love for the Birds, and she even wants to work for them one day.
“Mom just got me this shirt that says, ‘Winning is for the Birds,’ and I made my barrette,” she said. “When [Carson] Wentz got hurt, I was sad, but I had no doubt, not even for one second, that [Nick] Foles could bring us through.”
There are also a pop-up shops selling licensed Super Bowl gear around the city. But it’s not the only way super fans are showing their support for the Birds.
“I’ve been riding with the Eagles so long, praying and praying and praying,” said Michael Ta’Bon, who hand-drew an Eagles banner that is dozens of feet long.
He takes it to popular spots around the city and has gathered thousands of fan messages for the Birds.
“Philadelphia is the birthplace of America. We are America’s team,” he said. “This year is special. They understand they are the underdog.”
He plans to auction off the banner to ensure youth in the city have access to education. Ta’Bon hopes the effort will help prevent youth violence.
And ask any of them what they predict about the Super Bowl game, and they have no hesitation.
“I know they’re going to win,” he said.