The Philadelphia Eagles brought the Vince Lombardi Trophy back to Philadelphia Monday afternoon, hours after overjoyed fans mobbed the streets in a sometimes unruly victory celebration nearly 60 years in the making.
Hundreds of fans shouted and screamed as they waited for the team to arrive at Philadelphia International Airport.
A chorus of cheering and renditions of "Fly Eagles Fly" erupted when Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie held up the trophy for all to see, eventually passing it to head coach Doug Pederson.
After getting off the plane, Lurie, Coach Pederson and stars like tight end Zach Ertz and running back LeGarrette Blount approached the fence separating the team from the fans, smiling, pumping their arms and shooting video with their phones. Fans stood on cars and news trucks to catch a glimpse.
"It's been a long journey to redemption," said John Hall, 49, who works at SEPTA. "We don't have to hear the negative anymore, that we don't have a ring. It's official now."
Dan Mazzoli, 53, a disabled construction worker and die-hard fan from New Jersey, shared the moment with his 12-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter.
"We've been waiting for this all our lives," he said.
Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles, the unassuming backup quarterback who took over for injured star Carson Wentz and played brilliantly throughout the playoffs, wasn't on the team plane. Foles headed — where else? — to Disney World, riding a float at the Orlando resort and fist-bumping Mickey Mouse amid a shower of green confetti.
"It's all right to yell," he told the cheering crowd. "We're world champs! We did it! We did it!"
The underdog Eagles won their first NFL championship since 1960 on Sunday night with a surprise 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots, ending a drought that had long tormented the city's football-crazed fans. Philly was the only team in the Northeast Corridor to have never won a Super Bowl.
The Eagles boarded buses to the NovaCare Complex in South Philly. Portions of Interstate 95 and Broad Street were closed to allow the team's caravan to pass.
The city is preparing a victory parade for Thursday. And they've officially closed all schools so students, teachers and families can celebrate Philadelphia's first-ever Super Bowl win.
The 5-mile parade route will stretch from the Eagles stadium complex to the steps of the Philadelphia art museum, whose steps Sylvester Stallone ran up during "Rocky." It's a fitting ending point for a team that Stallone had cheered on throughout the playoffs.
Revelers along the parade route will be able to indulge in free Bud Light at two dozen bars, thanks to a promise the beer maker made to Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson before the season.