Ring! Ring! Ring!
The sound of Facebook notifications disturbed the script of Nick Foles saying, “You want Philly Philly?” that continued to replay in my dreams. I could feel the adrenaline boiling in my veins from jolt of the alarm. When my eyes opened, I knew that today was THE day. It was Thursday, February 8th. The day of the Eagles’ first Super Bowl parade.
I wiped the drool off my face, turned to the side of my bed, and looked at the phone that was vibrating like a laundromat machine from hell. Catching up on 10 missed messages, I suddenly realized it was 2 o’clock in the morning. Instead of catching the 7am train in Thorndale, we decided to throw a hail mary and take the 4:30am train in Paoli. Double socks and gloves? Check. Packs of hand warmers? Check. Sandwiches and drinks? Check. It was 3:30am when we arrived to the Paoli station hoping to beat the crowd. We were dead wrong.
The train station was a zoo. A huge sea of green encapsulated the train station, while the line for the 4:30am train wrapped around 4 blocks. As we continued to walk towards the back of the line, the thought of us missing the train to Philly began to cut deeper than a knife. Worse yet, it was as cold as a polar bear’s picnic. The train arrived, Eagles fans began marching like zombies smelling fresh meat, and hope was on the horizon.
There aren’t many species that are able to combat 2-3 hours of sleep and the bitter jaws of winter. Enter: the Eagles fan. An Eagles fan is part of an extraordinary flock with a rare form of identity complex and aspirations of shapeshifting into a dog. Whether it’s 70 degrees and sunny, or 0 degrees and foggy, you will always find this breed singing and flying together in unison.
It was 4am when we got our spots on the train. As we began to move, the crack of fingers and aluminum could be heard zigzagging across the train. We arrived at 30th Street Station around 4:50am and a blanket of bitter ice covered the streets of Philadelphia. To no one’s surprise, hundreds of people were already standing at the Art Museum by 5:15am.
Our wolf pack huddled together in order to avoid the blistering and icy winds. Around 10am, the replay of the Super Bowl began with boos echoing across the Benjamin Franklin Parkway every time Chris Collinsworth’s face showed up on the big screens. The parade began in South Philly, and the dance music turnt up, as a massive dance circle began while awaiting their final stop at the footsteps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. At long last, we gave every last ounce of oxygen from our lungs to the NFL gods as an offering when the players and coaches arrived at Rocky’s statue.
A mass of barking dogs howled during the speeches from Eagles players and coaches. Until the moment. You know the moment. Jason Kelce walked up to the podium and gave fans a speech that will live on in Eagles history.
To be an Eagles fan, you need to meet three requirements: Loyalty. Immense passion. And a resiliency that is unseen in any other fan base in the world. It took 52 years to get to this day. It was a roller coaster of emotions as we retold our stories of the Super Bowl with strangers around us. We celebrated the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. We celebrated with tears and laughter. We celebrated our team’s first Super Bowl win as a family. In reality, the day belonged to Eagles fans. It was an Eagles day. A green day. A day no one will ever forget.