On Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII, getting revenge for their 24-21 loss to the Pats 13 years ago in Super Bowl XXXIX. My friend Noah and I had talked about driving to Pittsburgh to watch the Super Bowl if they made it to the Big Game. Then my beloved Steelers were stomped by the Jaguars in the divisional round.
Luckily, Philly’s only about two hours from Baltimore, so we adjusted the plan and hopped in the car to watch the game with Eagles fans. After waiting in the rain for a few hours, we were next in line at an Irish pub when we were denied entrance.
“That’s a wrap, you’re not getting in,” the bouncer told us. Another 20 minutes of searching and we found a great place called the Toasted Walnut that wasn’t at capacity and didn’t require getting there at 10 a.m. to buy a ticket.
The excitement in the air was electrifying. I could barely hear anything over the cheers for Eagles quarterback Nick Foles and the boos whenever New England’s Tom Brady took the field. But the real excitement came as those final seconds ran off the clock with Brady’s failed pass attempt to tight end Rob Gronkowski. The entire bar erupted in an instant. Strangers hugged and couples kissed while others just stared at the TV in astonishment.
After all these years, at last, they’d won.
We quickly paid our bill and rushed outside to see Eagles fans flooding the streets. A sea of green and white had taken over Broad Street. Thousands of people were out, pushing and shoving and cheering and yelling. The endless stream of expletives aimed at Brady and Patriots fans were met with just as many chants of encouragement for Foles—these also were filled with expletives.
We stayed in the crowd for about an hour and a half, watching the celebrations unfold.
Fans climbed anything with a handhold; street lights, window ledges, bus stops, a garbage truck. One woman played music from a car while she danced on top. Someone else fell through a bus stop and at least one car was flipped. Another person was walking around with her face full of blood.
I lost Noah in the crowd twice. And when we weren’t being carried away in different directions, he acted as my spotter, pointing out good shots while ensuring that I didn’t get trampled.
Even though my team didn’t make it this year, it was fun to be an Eagles fan for a day.