The high after the Eagles’ epic win is one we will surely be riding for quite a while.
From the guy who ran by my apartment at 5:30 a.m. parade morning waking the neighborhood with a rousing “E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!” to the countless digs at Tom Brady and praises of Nick Foles, the city is bleeding green and celebrating the team that brought home the Lombardi Trophy for the first time in 52 years.
So of course we wanted to join our fellow Philadelphians and cheer on our champions as they made the trek from South Philly to the Philadelphia Museum of Art for a rousing and uplifting Thursday afternoon.
As a kid interviewed on 6ABC that night said, “I’ve been waiting a whole 10 years for this!”
And a special shout-out to Jason Kelce for the epic speech that encapsulated the day and will live on forever.
There’s nothing like a giant crowd of literal millions of people to remind me of just how short I am.
My friends and I stationed ourselves at Broad and Chestnuts streets, continually inching our way closer to better see the buses that would eventually drive by after hours of standing in the biting cold.
A group of guys (one of whom took a nap) climbed to the top of a green newsstand (because of course they did) and served as our eyes, alerting us when the buses were actually getting closer.
Much like a concert, as soon as the main attraction came into view, people started rushing forward, phones in the air, hoping to snap a picture of our heroes.
Well, as someone who stands proudly at 5-foot-1, I saw less of Foles and crew and more of the details of people’s jackets.
But I did catch a glimpse of the Lombardi Trophy while I cheered for the players on a bus I couldn’t actually see.
After heading to a bar to find warmth and a ladies’ room, I craned to see the screens to watch the livestream of the epic speeches.
A decidedly tall guy in front of me looked down and saw I was watching through the crevice of his elbow and moved over. “How tall are you?” he asked, before offering to put me on his shoulders. (As we were indoors, I declined.)
But at the end of the day — an exciting, love-filled, high-energy day at that — there’s no one I would rather give myself a neck cramp for than this team.
One of my favorite hobbies the last few weeks has been trying to get a variation of “Dilly Dilly” or “Philly Philly” somewhere in the pages of the Exponent, solely because of how much Managing Editor Andy Gotlieb hates it and its accompanying Bud Light commercials. (Cue evil laugh.)
So I was very happy to see the catchphrases circling the sky during the parade. I was less happy that I wasn’t actually able to get one of the free beers promised to me by the Bud Knight. Upon reaching the bar at one of the establishments I thought was participating in the promotion brought upon us by Lane Johnson and Bud Light, instead of being given a token in exchange for a free beer, my friend was charged for it.
But it was green, so I guess that makes up for it. Dilly Dilly!
Millions of Close Friends
Amid all the chaos and car-flipping portrayed on national news, there’s one word that describes the day’s festivities well: friendship. As a non-native Philadelphian (and just generally not a football person, sorry), I was quickly welcomed into a jam-packed shoulder-to-shoulder crowd for one sole purpose.
Whether you bleed green or not, you did that day. Friends left the parade to find a bathroom and returned to us with travel-sized bottles of wine.
I watched on as a group of girlfriends surrounded another to help her pee in a Solo Cup (ew). Ironically, she left shortly thereafter because another friend wanted to go home. Now that is true friendship.
I observed a woman pass on a container of green glitter to one in our group, who then threw it in the air — and no one was upset about it.
I continued to watch strangers pull up young and old on top of things that shouldn’t be climbed, or those who booed a couple who perched themselves on top of an awning. (I assume they wanted to avoid some bad PR from the previous week.)
Overall, you could feel the happiness in the air as it reverberated off the buildings along Broad Street and back into the alleyways. Either that, or parade-goers just found a place to urinate and they’re still coming off the euphoric high of relieving one’s self.
A Golden Moment
Mass quantities of alcoholic beverages were consumed at the Eagles parade, which meant all that liquid eventually was going to make a reappearance. And Eagles fans took many routes to relieve themselves when a bathroom wasn’t available.
While making a pit stop during the day at the Jewish Community Services Building — to use a real bathroom — a glance outside found several men (and one woman, shielded by a car door) using the tried-and-true tradition of relieving themselves on a wall.
A walk along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway after the parade showed many availed themselves to “reusing” the original beverage container.
One guy talked about how his friend used a device called The Whizdom (available on Amazon!), which bills itself as a “personal urinary device” for men. It’s essentially a long rubber tube that extends down the leg and, uh, well, that’s enough detail.
And then there was the guy standing nearby who just didn’t care and attended to business right as the speeches were ending. In a sea of humanity, he quickly became an island.
Driving in: The Pros and Cons
The ride into town via the Schuylkill Expressway was no worse than any morning. It seems that pleas to take public transportation spooked many into leaving their cars at home.
I parked in my usual lot, which also was no more crowded than normal (although it later did fill to capacity). I patted myself on the back for my foresight.
Getting out, though, was a different story: It took more than an hour to go four blocks, but once I managed to make it to Walnut Street, it was smooth sailing.
Intellectualism Takes a Vacation
While the crowd was raucous and good-natured, you’d never know that there are more institutions of higher education in the Philadelphia area than anywhere in the U.S.
The parade will never be compared with the Algonquin Round Table, when you consider that big ovations were saved for 20-year-olds who managed to climb a branch or two of the sycamore trees lining the parkway and then consume a beer.
Equally loud cheers were reserved for the guy whose sign questioned Tom Brady’s masculinity. Same with anyone who shouted out “dilly dilly” or “Philly Philly.”
Note to self: When did I become the old guy yelling at everyone else to get off their lawn? At the age of 51, I was older than 90 percent of the people on the parkway.
No Couch Potatoes
The night before the Eagles parade, I was driving along 22nd Street with Editor-in-Chief Joshua Runyan and saw two men struggling to heft a full-sized couch toward the Parkway. That’s crazy, we thought, and we watched them struggle like two ants schlepping a hoagie roll.
The next day, as I was trudging through packed crowds between South Philly and Fairmount, the idea of bringing a couch didn’t seem so bad. I even envied the folks who had actually pitched camping tents along the Parkway starting at 3 a.m.
I’ve never seen the city with that many people. A lifelong Philadelphian, I was anticipating disaster and mayhem. But the worst I saw was public urination — which isn’t much different from a Mummers Parade — and one woman who did some Mardi Gras-style flashing from atop a trash truck. Crowds in South Philly were especially mild-mannered, filing neatly back to their homes after the buses passed by.
There were lots of crazy costumes (including the one worn by parade MVP Jason Kelce), lots of loud music and dancing, lots of litter and not enough port-a-potties. The mood was buoyant but not let’s-loot-a-Sunoco buoyant. A fellow parade-goer put his arm out as I walked by with my boyfriend and grabbed his arm. “We won the Lombardi!” he said. The Eagles win made friends out of strangers all day long.
It also left a lot for city cleanup crews to handle.