Philadelphia unites to celebrate Super Bowl LII victory
Seven hundred thousand Philadelphia Eagles fans filled the streets of Center City to welcome home their winning team, with Lombardi trophy in hand, for the first time in history on Feb. 8. St. Joe’s students were granted the day off to join in the festivities.
Though the nearby Overbrook train station was bypassed on its usual Paoli-Thorndale line, students still found plenty of ways to make it to the celebration. Some found other trains, while others tookUbers despite the surge pricing. Some biked and some even walked the five miles to the Art Museum.
Gabby Stevenson ’21 took a train into the city in the early morning, but ended up walking back due to the mass amounts of people trying to get out by train.
“I’m not the biggest Eagles fan, but what a story to tell,” Stevenson said. “Freshman year, the Eagles won their first Super Bowl ever and I’m in the city of Philadelphia, so why not go.”
The Eagles Parade of Champions fittingly commenced at Lincoln Financial Field in South Philadelphia, where the Eagles began their victorious season. The route continued down Broad Street to City Hall, where it eventually turned onto the Benjamin Franklin Parkway until it reached the Art Museum steps, a symbol of Philadelphia’s courage and triumph after its appearances in the “Rocky” franchise.
Despite the cold weather and crowded streets, fans reveled in finally getting to see their Eagles fly to a Super Bowl win. Dante Galletta ’20 showed his spirit by shaving the team’s logo into his head.
“I shaved the eagle in my head as a spur of the moment idea, because I’m an Eagles fan and I love this city,” Galletta said. “I don’t know if there’s another time in my life where I’ll have the opportunity to design my head again.”
Young people, presumably college students, climbed statues, bus stops and even garbage trucks to get a better view of the Lombardi trophy. The police presence at the event was strong, but they understood the excitement and even donned Eagles gear themselves. There were a few arrests, but for the most part, the crowd remained relatively mild. With a lot of families in attendance, it was a very different atmosphere from the night of the Super Bowl win just four days earlier.
“After the Super Bowl, it was more a feeling of destructive euphoria, and at the parade, it was more of genuine happiness,” Galletta said.
After the busses carrying the world champions made it to the Art Museum at approximately 1:30 p.m., players took to the steps to stand in front of their loyal fans. Eagles center Jason Kelce embodied the Philly spirit, dressed as a mummer to pay homage to the Mummers Parade held every New Year’s Day.
Quarterbacks Carson Wentz and Nick Foles also addressed the crowd, but Kelce’s speech about underdogs and overcoming adversity was easily the most memorable of the day. He went on to talk about the team’s success in beating the odds and proving everyone wrong, and he didn’t forget about the fans.
“Any of you know who the biggest underdog is?” Kelce asked the crowd. “It’s y’all, Philadelphia. For 52 years, y’all have been waiting for this. You want to talk about an underdog? You want to talk about a hungry dog? For 52 years you’ve been starved of this championship.”
As the celebrations came to an end and crowds dwindled, fans reiterated one thing – this may be the first, but it certainly won’t be the last celebration of an Eagles Super Bowl victory.