Wyatt Cushman, Staff Writer |
Eagles fans all over the world celebrated their team’s first ever Super Bowl victory this past week, and probably will continue to for the entire offseason. They all screamed to the heavens, celebrated with their families, and probably had one too many celebratory drinks. While Eagles fans around the globe were undoubtedly very happy, nothing can compare to the city of Philadelphia and the celebration that went on February 8.
Philadelphia has held championship parades before. In the late 70’s, the Philadelphia Flyers won back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships, giving the city plenty to cheer about during that time. In 1980 and 2008, the Phillies were World Series Champions, but the Eagles had never won the big game—until now.
The week leading up to the parade was a super exciting time for Philadelphia. There were fans everywhere wearing Eagles gear, people walking around the city with big smiles on their faces, and stores selling out of the latest championship gear because every person in the city was looking for something to commemorate this monumental win. There was just a certain vibe that could be felt. Everyone knew it had happened, and it was all starting to sink in—the Eagles had finally done it. All the jokes about how the Eagles had never won the big one were over, and everyone was relieved.
The actual parade began on Thursday, February 8. As someone who was in Philadelphia, all night long the only thing you could hear was the roar of people outside on the streets screaming nonsense about the Eagles and how they had waited their entire lives for this. This wasn’t even close to the center of the city, where I’m sure the roars were even louder. Television showed thousands of people waiting at Philadelphia’s Art Museum, which was where the parade was set to conclude, and where the team would give their speeches.
The parade was set to commence at 11 a.m. The Eagles would leave from Lincoln Financial Field and head down Broad Street further into the center of the city. This is where I was, right at the beginning of the parade, waiting to watch the Eagles and everyone involved drive by on double decker busses with the Lombardi Trophy. Even here, which was miles away from the real party, there were hundreds of people. You had to get there hours before the team went by just to get a decent spot to watch the parade. The whole time you could hear chants of “E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!” Each side of the streets seemed like they were competing to see who could be louder, normally ending with both sides chanting in unison so everyone could win. After all, everyone was a winner that day.
As the team went by, everyone was screaming as loud as they could. When you recognized a player, you shouted out their name so everyone would know who was going by. Cell phones were out to take multiple videos and pictures so that this moment would be saved forever, unless you were unfortunate enough to have your phone die just as the team drove by (like the gentleman standing next to me). After about 20 minutes, the parade was over, and many people looked as though they were heading home, but for me it was time to catch the subway and head deeper into the party.
I thought where I watched the parade from was a pretty crazy scene, but I was proven wrong once I saw what was waiting in the center of the city. You couldn’t even move or stand comfortably without bumping shoulders with another person. Everyone was once again shouting and chanting different phrases, each of them louder than the last. There were empty beer cans at everyone’s feet, and people made any alley they saw their own personal bathroom. It was so hard to go anywhere that the group I was with and I found the nearest business we could and watched the rest of the parade from there, trying our best to avoid all the chaos outside.
It was one of the best days for everyone in Philadelphia. The pure joy and pride exuded by every single person was apparent and everyone seemed like they were best friends all day long. It was an amazing experience and something I’ll never forget. Hopefully, it is something that I can experience again in the future.