The day has finally arrived. The smell of wings and peperoni pizza fills the air in a West Chester University apartment, and voices screaming E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES and Go Birds! make it impossible to hear the commentators on the TV screen. Fans in green, black and white jerseys, holding cans of Natural Light sit anxiously in front of the TV as they watch their team play in Super Bowl 52 against Tom Brady and the Patriots. There is an overwhelming feeling of hostility and resentment flooding the room, because this game means everything to Eagles fans. “They cheated in ’05!,” screams an intoxicated fan as Tom Brady takes the field. Another shouts “F*ck Tom Brady,” and the other fans join him unison.
The game is starting, and everyone’s eyes are glued to the TV. You can tell this is much more than a game to Eagles fans. A win for them would not just be a win for the team, but a win for so many families who grew up watching the Eagles, and a win for the city of Philadelphia. It’s been 13 years since this rowdy fan base have watched their birds compete for a Super Bowl ring. Going into the season, there was immediate attention on the Eagles for their potential; the main reason being QB Carson Wentz. Their dream was destroyed when he tore his ACL, or that’s what everyone thought. Backup quarterback Nick Foles had no choice but to step up and fill the shoes of Wentz. Since then, they’ve been considered the underdogs.
“In Foles we trust!” screams an excited fan.
Foles lead them to the number one seed, to the NFC championship, and to today. Super Bowl 52. Chatter is scattered throughout the room, all on the same topic. The focus is on nothing but the players in green. The game is tied 3-3, and Eagles fans are anxiously waiting for a touchdown. “Yeah, go birds baby!” screams a fan, as Nick Foles passes 34 yards for what they’re been waiting for. It’s exhilarating throughout the room. People high five each other and start shouting the Eagles fight song. It’s only the first quarter, and the chaos has already been unleashed.
The attention on the game and the spirit of the fans is incredible. A girl in a pink Eagles beanie and a black NFC champs t-shirt calls her dad in between commercials to discuss the game. “We might do it dad! You can finally see the birds win a Super Bowl,” she says excitedly. Before the Super Bowl was established, the Eagles won a National Title, but after the merger they have not been able to say they have won a Super Bowl. This is why this game means so much. Fans have been waiting for this for years. They want to finally earn the right to claim that their team are Super Bowl champions, especially when everyone has been counting them out.
The chaos is paused at the halftime show, as everyone takes a seat and gawks over Justin Timberlake. The halftime show is always a highlight of the Super Bowl, and brings people together. Fans link their arms together on a teal wrap around couch, and sing along to some of JT’s greatest hits. There is happiness and hopefulness in the room, as the birds are up 22-12. There’s a side conversation going on in the kitchen between two 20-year-old men. “Eagles football is literally my life. My dad, brother and I love watching this team every Sunday, they have to win it,” says one. The dedication and the love fans have for this football team is what brings people together.
The third quarter is about to start, and everyone locates back to their spots with a beer in their hand. 30 minutes stand between what could potentially be one of the biggest Super Bowl celebrations yet. The room gets louder as the minutes go by. Everyone is on the edge of their seats, because this game is a boxing match. Each team keeps taking a punch, and no one is giving up.
33-32 Patriots. The anxiousness in the room is overwhelming, and everyone is out of their seats pacing back and forth. Touchdown Eagles! Yes, everyone is excited, however there is still time on the clock against arguably the greatest quarterback ever. “We need to pray Brady doesn’t go out there and do what he does best,” says a nervous fan. After coming back from a 25 point deficit in last year’s Super Bowl, who knows what Tom Brady will do.
“Hey, hey hey. Goodbye!” is chanted throughout the room, as the Eagles have kicked a field goal, and taken an 8 point lead with just a little over a minute left to play. You can tell fans know they’ve made history, but they still wait until the clock says 0:00.
Beer cans spray everywhere and tears stream down the faces of some Eagles fans. The birds have done it. They flew their way to a victory, and the atmosphere is electric. The room is cleared out, and the streets of West Chester are overflowing with people. It’s one of those once in a lifetime moments. “I’ve waited 13 years for this to happen!” screams a fan as he pops a bottle of champagne. The streets of High and Gay are packed with hundreds of people wreaking havoc in the small town of West Chester. Dog masks and green jerseys are found everywhere you look. Everyone is ecstatic, and the mood is contagious. You can see this means the world to Eagles fans. They were counted out, but they did the unthinkable. They flew their way to a sweet, sweet victory.