A Guy From Philly Nicknamed “Philly” Is in the Super Bowl

Plus: Two other local guys — one from Philadelphia, one from the suburbs — are on teams playing in the Super Bowl next month.

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Corey Brown (10) runs for a touchdown during the first quarter against the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Championship football game at Bank of America Stadium.

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Corey Brown (10) runs for a touchdown during the first quarter against the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Championship football game at Bank of America Stadium.

Corey Brown didn’t want to be called “Philly.”

It makes sense. Plenty of people drop their college nicknames when they leave school. Corey Brown only became Philly Brown to differentiate him from the other Corey Brown already on Ohio State’s football team.

He was always Corey Brown before that: While playing for the Oxford Circle Raiders as a little kid, while starring at several positions for Cardinal O’Hara in high school. Then he went to college and became Philly.

While he told Comcast SportsNet before the 2014 NFL Draft he didn’t want to come back to the city. “I don’t want to go back. It’s just not a place where you want to raise a family, not right now at least. Besides, I want to go somewhere hot.”

He ended up with the Carolina Panthers, and called himself Philly Brown. He played in 13 games his rookie year. He announced he was going back to Corey Brown — and his college number, 10 — after his rookie year. But after dropping a bunch of passes in preseason, Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he was going to call him “Philly” again.

“I’m going to call him Philly,” Rivera said. “Philly catches the ball. Corey is a nice young man.”

Brown — Philly or Corey — had a nice year. With the Panthers losing receiver Kelvin Benjamin for the year in preseason, Brown was inserted into the starting lineup for 11 games. He caught 11 passes for 447 yards and 4 touchdowns. But he really made a name for himself on Saturday evening in the NFC Championship Game: Near the end of the first quarter, Brown caught a pass from Cam Newton and raced the rest of the way to the end zone. It was an 86-yard touchdown, the longest playoff pass play in Panthers history. He finished the game with 4 catches for 113 yards in the Panthers’ 49-15 win. Now he’s headed to the Super Bowl.

Though he now wishes to be called Corey and doesn’t want to live here, he still reps Philly. His Twitter account is full of “Go Sixers!” tweets, and he even rooted for Temple when they played Notre Dame last season. He also posted one of the all-time great Vines of a block party in Philly.

Brown isn’t the only local playing in the Super Bowl this year. Robert McClain was out of the NFL in the fall, but started in the NFC Championship at cornerback for the Panthers. He was signed late in the season after a series of injuries to Carolina’s defense, and had five tackles in the win over the Cardinals. McClain grew up in Philly, but moved to Maryland when he was 10 years old.

On the other side, Broncos kicker Brandon McManus lettered all four years in high school at North Penn and kicked and punted for the Temple Owls in college. He hit two field goals and two extra points in Denver’s 20-18 win in the AFC Championship Game. His accuracy was the difference: The Patriots trailed by two after their late touchdown only because their kicker, Stephen Gostkowski, missed an early extra point.

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