Like any good Eagles fan, Craig Chenosky was up late Sunday celebrating the Birds' stunning playoff-clinching victory. Yesterday, he was hoarse and a little shaky.
"I am seriously hungover," confessed Chenosky, better known as Quimby to the Green Legion, an unofficial Eagles fan club and travel agency that specializes in away-game packages.
Right. But work waits for no one, so at 7 a.m., Quimby was out of bed, working the phones, looking for hotel packages and blocks of airline tickets to Minnesota. Like many die-hards in the region, he scrambled yesterday to nail down travel plans for Sunday's game against the Vikings.
Actually, there wasn't much scrambling involved. It turns out that tickets for the game are still affordable - as of yesterday, some seats were going for less than $50 a pop on StubHub.com.
Quimby figured the whole package, with four people to a hotel room, might cost less than $350 per person plus airfare, which could be had for less than $400. The e-mails and phone calls inquiring about prices started early, too.
"It's dirt-cheap right now," said Quimby, 38, who earns a commission on each package sold. "It's Minnesota; this isn't hard at all."
Quimby says he thinks he'll sell anywhere from 50 to 100 packages to Minneapolis, nothing like his best-selling trip (an '04 trip to Dallas for a Monday-night game, 675 packages sold) but it is just after Christmas.
"People will probably be working without all the disposable income they normally have, because of the holiday. And as we know, disposable income was already down because of the economy," said Quimby, an Eagles lifer who grew up in Pottstown, now lives in Miami, and was doing business yesterday from a friend's Center City apartment.
And though the pickings are rich now, Quimby predicts it might not always be that way.
"It's Eagles fans," Quimby said. "We're ready to go at the drop of a hat. We will definitely drive the price of tickets up."
In South Jersey, superfan Keith Czaban was consulting with his fiancée whether they should splurge on a pilgrimage to Minnesota.
Czaban knew where he stood.
"I want to go," he said. "If I had my way, I would go to every home game and every away game."
Czaban, who grew up in Roxborough and lives in Voorhees now, works in information technology and runs Phillytailgate.com and Philly Ticket Outlet, a ticket-selling business. By yesterday afternoon, he had already fielded about a dozen phone calls asking if he was getting a package together.
Tempting, he said.
"I'm trying to get there," said Czaban, 32. "I ran a trip to Minneapolis in '07, and it was a great time. You think Midwest and boring, but it was really surprising."
And then there was Damien Kalpokas, a Lancaster County painting contractor and filmmaker who doesn't quite have the cash for a flight but is desperate to get to Minneapolis.
So he and a few friends are piling into a Saturn and driving to Minnesota. It'll be Kalpokas, his partner Luis Ortiz, "the Tat Man, and some other guy." (The Tat Man is so named for his Eagles tattoos, of course.)
The drive will take about 16 hours, Kalpokas estimates. The group will leave Pennsylvania on Friday and start for home Sunday after the game.
It figures that he feels a special pull to the Metrodome. When he was a kid, Kalpokas, who grew up in the Feltonville section of the city, used to sneak into Eagles games at the Vet.
And for the last two years, Kalpokas and Ortiz have been shooting Green Fans, a documentary about the Birds' faithful. They hope to finish it either in time for a Super Bowl run or for training camp this summer.
"For me, it's a trip that has to be done," said Kalpokas, 33. "For the film and for me personally."
And yes, the faithful are well aware that if the Eagles win, next up would be the Giants at the Meadowlands.
Quimby, for one, is trying not to plan that far in advance. He's savoring that this roller-coaster season ended on a serious high and getting ready to lay out the cash he needs for Minnesota.
"I've been screaming at the Eagles' front office and the coaching staff all year," Quimby said. "But the Eagles are like your parents. You don't have to like them, but you have to love them, because they're the only ones you've got."