The slogan is on T-shirts and hats, banners and balloons.
“It’s a Philly thing.”
That’s the cryptic playoff mantra for these Philadelphia Eagles, and it’s working pretty well so far — the team is heading to its second Super Bowl in six seasons, this time against the Kansas City Chiefs.
“This is something you dream about your whole life,” Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said in the aftermath of a victory over San Francisco in the NFC championship game. “Like I said to the guys: We’ve all been dreaming about it, whether you were dreaming about it when you were 2, 10, 14, 18 or when you got in the NFL.”
The game Feb. 12 in Glendale, Ariz., reunites Chiefs coach Andy Reid and the Philadelphia franchise he coached for 14 seasons.
The last time these teams played each other was in October 2021, when Kansas City won 42-30 in Philadelphia with Patrick Mahomes throwing five touchdown passes.
It was a landmark win for Reid, his 100th with the Chiefs. He therefore became the first coach in NFL history to win at least 100 games apiece with two franchises, having won a club-record 140 with the Eagles.
Philadelphia put up a fight in that game, with Jalen Hurts throwing for 387 yards and two touchdowns. But three other would-be touchdowns were wiped out by penalties, meaning the Eagles had to settle for field goals three times in the red zone.
Seeding was introduced in the NFL playoffs in 1975, and this is the 13th time since then that the league’s final game pits teams seeded No. 1 in their respective conferences.
This marks the first time brothers will play against each other in the Super Bowl — Philadelphia center Jason Kelce and his younger brother, Travis, star tight end for the Chiefs. However, a pair of brothers have squared off in the Super Bowl: In Super Bowl XLVII, Baltimore coach John Harbaugh led the Ravens to a victory over his younger brother, Jim, who coached San Francisco.
Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie hired Reid and Sirianni out of relative obscurity. Those coaches briefly crossed paths in Kansas City in 2013 when Reid became the head coach and Sirianni was part of the previous regime, as wide receivers coach under then-head coach Romeo Crennel.
So Reid actually showed the future Eagles coach the door, although Sirianni later said the seasoned coach was kind about it.
“Coach Reid was charged with the task of telling me I wasn’t working there anymore,” Sirianni recalled later. “So, you know, but he was awesome. It was actually an awesome conversation I had with him. And I really respected the fact that he took time to meet with me, tell me what he had heard about me.”
Reid’s staff in Kansas City is loaded with coaches he worked with in Philadelphia, among them special teams coordinator Dave Toub, running backs coach Greg Lewis, tight ends coach Tom Melvin, trainer Rick Burkholder, and former Eagles running back Eric Bieniemy, now in his fifth season as Kansas City’s offensive coordinator.
The last six times the Eagles and Chiefs have played, Reid has emerged victorious.
He has beaten the Eagles three times as coach of the Chiefs.
And the three consecutive wins before that?
It’s a Philly thing.