February 07, 2018
Since helping lead his Eagles team to a Super Bowl title on Sunday night in Minneapolis, life's been a bit of a whirlwind for head coach Doug Pederson. Actually, that might be an understatement – it's probably felt more he got sucked up into the world's longest-lasting F-5 tornado.
The second-year coach, whose team delivered the city its first football championship in 57 years – and first Lombardi Trophy ever – by beating the defending champion New England Patriots, used words like "crazy" and "exciting" to describe his life since the big win.
But, like so many Eagles fans throughout the area, Pederson also admitted that the full impact of what was accomplished on Sunday night hasn't quite hit him yet. He thinks that will happen on Thursday, when an expected crowd of over three million people line Broad Street and the Parkway to catch a glimpse of the championship parade.
In other words, it's the fans celebrating in the street that will really complete the journey for Pederson.
"It's a little surreal. I don't think it's fully sunk in yet," he said Wednesday, during his final press conference of the season. "I'm sure tomorrow, it'll probably hit everyone tomorrow, seeing the excitement. My wife and I were at dinner last night and people just kept coming up and [saying] congratulations. Just listening to the stories of the people and their families and how they've wanted and waited for this for so many years, for us to be responsible for that joy in their lives, that's part of what we do this for. That's exciting."
However, Sunday night was not Pederson's first time winning a Super Bowl. He was a member of the 1996 Packers team that beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI, backing up Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre.
This one, unsurprisingly, was just a bit sweeter.
"I think it's probably a little more special for me now as a coach," Pederson said. "I think because you're responsible for a lot of different – the people, the players, the coaches, the organization. A lot of responsibility there. I'm just honored to represent not only the Philadelphia Eagles, the organization, Mr. Lurie, but the City of Philadelphia. It's pretty special, as a coach."
If he thinks it's special now, just wait until he looks out over the sea of Eagles fans – millions more than there were to see the Pope back in 2015 – lining the parade route on Thursday.
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