Joe Palmieri is four weeks overdue for a haircut.

“I said, ‘If they lose to Atlanta, I’ll get it cut.’ Then, ‘If they lose to Minnesota, I’ll get it cut,’ ” Palmieri said of the Philadelphia Eagles’ playoff victories in January. “Now I have to hold off another week.”

A morning host for Portland’s sports-talk radio station, “The Big JAB,” Palmieri knows the outcome of the Super Bowl doesn’t actually rest on his head. But like many diehard Eagles fans in the heart of Patriots Nation, he’ll take all the luck he can get Sunday against New England.

Philadelphia fans have good reason to feel uneasy. While New England has won five of the last 16 Super Bowls, the Eagles lost their only two appearances – most, recently in 2005 to Tom Brady and the Patriots.

“If the Eagles don’t win, it’s going to be especially tough on Monday,” said Palmieri, who grew up 30 miles outside Philadelphia. “I went through this 13 years ago. It doesn’t get any easier.”

Last year, when New England beat Atlanta in the Super Bowl, Falcons fans were few and far between in Maine. Not so with the Philadelphia faithful.

“To be honest, it’s been very tough watching all the success the Patriots have had,” said Morgan Grumbach, a Philadelphia native and Eagles fan who works with Palmieri as the station’s sales manager.

Grumbach plans to hunker down at home for the game and surround himself exclusively with Eagles fans, such as his 3-year-old son, who enjoys chanting, “E-A-G-L-E-S.” Grumbach will wear the same hat and T-shirt while sitting in the same chair as he has every Sunday this season – a ritual born out of habit and a little superstition.

“I’m too nervous to have a big party,” Grumbach said. “I’d be a lot more confident if the Eagles were playing any other team.”

Another longtime Eagles fan, Linda Gorman of Berwick, was nervous about her husband watching the NFC championship game two weeks ago between Philadelphia and the Minnesota Vikings.

“Every time he didn’t watch the Eagles, they won,” she said of Ed Gorman, a Philadelphia native who converted her into a fan. “Even his friends in Philly would tell him, ‘Don’t watch it!’ I thought he was going to jinx us.”

He didn’t, of course. The Eagles beat the Vikings 38-7 to advance to the Super Bowl. Nick Foles, the Eagles’ backup quarterback until their starter, Carson Wentz, tore his ACL, threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns against one of the NFL’s stingiest defenses.

“You don’t get this far because of luck,” said Keith Costello, a Philadelphia native who owns a Philly cheesesteak joint in Portland called The 5 Spot. “We’re a good team. Nick Foles is the best backup quarterback in the league. Tom Brady is the best of all time – I get it. But every dynasty has to fall, and I think this weekend is going to be the time for that.”

Since opening nine months ago, The 5 Spot has become a hub for Eagles fans. Costello said the restaurant’s Facebook page has gotten an additional 200 likes in the past week or so.

“Honest to God, you have no idea how many Philadelphia people are here,” he said. “We have hundreds and hundreds of fans who are transplants from Philadelphia, south Jersey and the Delaware area.”

If the Eagles win, Costello said he plans on serving free food Monday.

“I have zero animosity for the Patriots, but Patriots fans have had enough success,” he said.

“Share a little!”

Taylor Vortherms can be contacted at 791-6417 or

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