PHOENIX (WPVI) -- Even though Super Bowl 57 will be played in Phoenix - some 2,400 miles away from Philadelphia - there is already a built-in legion of Eagles fans ready to welcome the Birds!
Thousands of people who now call Arizona home were born in the Delaware Valley. While their location may have changed- they never stopped bleeding green.
"It's a dream come true. Once in a lifetime, in my backyard, I get to go see my team play in the Super Bowl," said Ray Paxson, original from Mt. Laurel, New Jersey. "It's phenomenal."
Paxson is taking his dad, who's from Media, to the big game Sunday.
"It's going to be really, really sentimental and just awesome," he said.
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The Paxsons aren't the only Eagles fans in the Grand Canyon State.
Bob Shaw has already taught his children the Eagles chant. He grew up in the city's Roxborough neighborhood but lives in Arizona.
"I had season tickets at the Vet in college, so the fact that they're in the Super Bowl where I live - it's meant to be," Shaw said.
Most of the Eagles fans who are coming from the East Coast haven't made it to Arizona yet, but these now-Arizona locals say that's okay. They'll hold down the fort since their loyalties truly are rooted in the Delaware Valley.
Jody Eckrote moved to Phoenix from Dover, Delaware in 2005, but he's teaching his son all things Eagles.
"We're just trying to soak up as much of the atmosphere as possible. We're not going to the game, just watch it at home, but wanted him to be able to experience some of this. It's super exciting," Eckrote said.
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"It was fate. We said it was fate, it's all fate again," said Michael Musonda, originally from Ardmore, Pa. "I haven't seen anything but Philadelphia fans."
"It's a different emotion versus the last Super Bowl, it's just phenomenal. It's a team of destiny, a great establishment, a great city," said Joe Thompson of Drexel Hill. "There's no city with more love than Philly."