And now that time in between to reflect. So many years following the eagles, having season tickets before The Linc opened, going to games when I could. But I think of all those players who came before this team. Reggie, Jerome, Seth, Eric, Dirty Waters, Randall, Heath Sherman, Keith Jackson, Keith Byars, Hershel, Arkansas Fred, Mamula, Ricky Watters, Rodney Peete, Bobby Hoying, Ty Detmer, Mike Mamula, Tra Thomas. Hollis Thomas, Correll Buckhalter, Todd Pinkston, Todd Herremans, McNabb, Westbrook, Freddie Mitchell, Trent Cole, Hugh Douglas, Trott, Duce, Thrash, Ryan Matthews, LeSean, DeSean, TO, Akers, Bobby Taylor, Cox, Lane, Celek, Ertz, Alshon, Mills, Jones, Clement, Burton, Graham, Allen, Curry, Smallwood, Blount, Wentz. Foles, Torrey Smith, Barnett, Elliot, Jones, Peters, Vaitai, King Kelce, Wiz, Sproles, Dawkins, Dougie P, Bradham, Walker, Barner, Ags, Johnson, Hollins...anyone I missed.
I mean, you grow up here, it’s like instilled in you to root for our sports teams. You live in Philly and root for the teams and people become phriends and people become phamily. The earliest days, my sisters, my cousins, my parents, my grandparents, my uncles, my aunts, my friends. Philly or nothing. You just don’t go and root for some other team.
That Sunday, February 4th, 2018. I woke up around 8:03am. Marchianos downstairs started letting people in to buy their famous breads and strombolis. A buddy asked me to secure a few for him and I figured I would get two for myself. I am not even out of bed and I can hear the DJ playing music and I am awakened by “Fly Eagles Fly”. I immediately start smiling. Adrenaline starts pumping. I can’t even lay still. Throw some shorts on and my Go Birds tee (mind you it’s pretty damn cold this time of year). Roll in there and full line and beers in coolers. Give hugs to Daneen, get my 4 strombolis and get to register and hear her whisper, “give him half off…” Godfather Special. Ha. Already started the day off right. I had so much to do, but it was like moving fast in slow motion. Went to the gym. Felt like I could leg press a house. Went home and got my buddy’s two bolis, dropped them off and shot the shit, then go get a haircut. Go back home and it’s complete mayhem. Singing, dancing, people driving by honking horns, and just in total celebration mode. The Marchianos crew throwing bolis like fastballs. One makes into a truck bed. Music blaring and everyone just so happy. Me and my buddy Brian head over to Penn Valley for some food. Some beers and fried food to get the Super Sunday started.
Head home for the quiet before the storm. Not much time before the start of the game. My cousins both suggested heading down to a buddy’s house down in South Philly. I had never been. So I wait a little. Hoping I will miss the rush of traffic. Rain starts. Pouring. Game actually starts on time. I get the uber and head down. I get to Ellsworth Street and the house with the red door. I walk in and there’s no one in sight. I am wondering if I am even in the right house. A side note, I actually went to the wrong house first and knocked on the door. Ha. So I get in, realizing the game had started and everyone is downstairs. Jake’s buddy Mark has an amazing house and setup. I head down and there’s about 30 people all in front of a huge projection screen. Waves to my cousin Jason and Jake and set my ass down as first quarter is mid-way through. Commercial break and make my way over to say hi to Jason, Jake and Mark. Make friends with the people in the back. Like I said, new friends, old friends, all Eagles fans. Start putting down some beers and settling in for what would be a great game.
The entire game was back and forth. Really was an offensive battle. We got out ahead in the first and second quarter. Some clutch throws by Foles. Laying in to Jeffrey after Blount’s run. Jenkins laid out Cooks and that really woke everyone up. Cooks never came back. Blount had a nice 20 yard run and into the end zone. Dougie P runs the Philly Special and Trey Burton throws a great pass to Foles open in the end zone. Foles lays a pass into Clement that doesn’t even seem physically possible. Literally like under two Pats defenders, into Clements arms and touchdown. Pats keep coming back now. Elliot kicks a field goal to make 33-32 Patriots. Then, Foles finds Ertz on a 10 yard pass. He jumps into the end zone and the ball pops out, but Ertz maintains possession. With Brady driving, probably the biggest defensive play in Eagles history. Brandon Graham’s strip sack of Brady and Barnett’s recovery. Complete insanity ensues at Mark’s house. People hugging….it’s not over yet. Eagles get it back and FG by Elliot for some padding. Here we are. Mr. Perfect. Tom Brady….90 yards and 58 seconds. His last ditch effort for the end zone makes it to the end zone, tapped around, batted, falling…falling…falls to the ground. Your Philadelphia Eagles are Super Bowl Champions.
A blur. A what the fuck just happened? Has time run out? Yes, I see :00 on the TV. Looking at Jake, Jason, Mark, Mark’s friends. Everyone in green. Can’t even believe it. Hearts pumping. Is this real? Did we just see what happened? I didn’t even watch any more of the TV. It was real. It did happen. We are the world champions. This rush of relief, joy, excitement, adrenaline, and just over all happiness rushes over you. Everyone in the room is just like, “did that just happen?” we’re the winners?!!! It was hard to process. You saw it, but you were still processing.
Look at Jason, Jake, Mark….well, we’re heading out Broad Street. Grab our jackets, grab our gear. Grab some road sodas. Head out and it’s complete and utter pandemonium. I can’t even explain it, but will try. A sea of people. Sea of green. Cars driving by. People hanging out the windos. All races, all creeds, all ages, all classes. One city. People are just running around, hugging, screaming, running, laughing, yelling. Fucking Super Bowl Champs!!! Someone lighting fireworks right in front of Mark’s house. We all head out to Broad Street and start the walk to City Hall. Tons of people all around. All in Eagles gear of some sort. Anything. It didn’t matter. Run into Marissa and her friends out of nowhere. Take a swig of someone’s jungle juice, grab a picture on the back of a paddy wagon, enjoy this time with the family, enjoy this time with the city. Heading toward City Hall. Fireworks start going off. Amazing. Not little fireworks. Huge fireworks. Everyone just looking up. Realizing how special this night is and enjoying the moment. I know when I’m old and gray, I can say, I know where I was when the Eagles won their first super bowl. I was either with the people I love or thinking of everyone I care about in my life who loves our team. All our friends and family who truly bleed green. This is our time. One city. One win. One Championship.