In case you missed it: The Philadelphia Eagles made history on Feb. 4.
Nick Foles’ baby likely learned how to spell “Eagles” by night’s end with how many times “E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES” echoed between Philly and Minneapolis.
After Foles caught that glorious touchdown (that he also passed because we don’t do anything halfway) giving the Eagles their first Super Bowl win in franchise history, fans stormed Broad Street and beyond in joy and delirium. Fireworks lit up the sky from every which way. Poles were climbed, grease and hydraulic fluid be damned.
It’s safe to say that Birds fans still haven’t recovered.
Stacey Rabbino and her 12-year-old son, Ethan, were waiting at the airport gate on Feb. 5 to leave Minneapolis to head back to Philly. She was running on maybe four hours of sleep, but it was worth it.
“It’s hard to even describe and put into words how much joy we felt,” said Rabbino, “and being able to be there with Ethan and have that moment with him is something you could never repeat.”
They heard Eagles chants everywhere and quickly formed bonds with other fans.
Ethan described the atmosphere as “loud, cheerful, excited, crazy.” It was also probably 70 percent Eagles fans by his estimation.
Ethan’s upcoming Bar Mitzvah is fittingly football-themed, and having the chance to go the Super Bowl was special — especially since in the week leading up to it he didn’t think he was going.
“It was really loud, but it was really fun and it was a great experience,” he said.
For some, in addition to the emotions and exhilaration, it offered an opportunity to share the experience even with those no longer with us.
Harris Bookfor honored his best friend, Dean Pastor, who passed away in 2015 and had long dreamed of a Super Bowl win for his Eagles.
The friends met in 1968 and grew up together in Northeast Philly. Pastor had a mini Eagles museum in a dedicated room in his home, Bookfor remembered. They went to many games together over the years.
“I promised him on his deathbed that I would wear his Eagles jersey when the Eagles won the Super Bowl,” said Bookfor, who belonged to Young Israel Synagogue, as did Pastor. “I told my kids that if I pass away before the Eagles win it, they will take both of our jerseys to Philly and march on Broad Street.”
Though Pastor moved to Florida 15 years ago, he kept his team close. Last Saturday, Bookfor said, he knew the Eagles would win the Super Bowl. He flew to Florida and put an Eagles Super Bowl 52 logo on Pastor’s grave marker.
“It was a very emotional moment for me,” said Bookfor, who now lives in Alexandria, Va. He drove to Philly with Pastor’s jersey to watch the game with his and Pastor’s friends who still live in the area.
“We decided to put Dean’s jersey on a chair in the room to bring us good luck,” he said.
After the win, Bookfor marched up Frankford and Cottman avenues in Mayfair wearing his friend’s jersey.
Others spread (flew?) brotherly love all the way to Israel.
Morgan Neff watched a livestream in her seminary in Israel at 1:30 a.m. with all the other girls from Philly. (Patriots fans weren’t invited.)
Avi Remetz watched the game at Mike’s Place Bar & Restaurant in Jerusalem. Though he had a table of about 10 Eagles fans set up in the middle of the bar, the rest of the place was Patriots fans.
Molly Wernick watched the game with a big group of friends who all grew up going to, and working at, Camp Galil together in the ’90s and 2000s.
“Bringing in the win with some of my oldest friends, in the city we all love, rooting for our team was such a dream,” she enthused.
They traded photos with fellow alumni living in Tel Aviv, decked out in their Eagles gear.
Synagogues have joined in the victory party as well. Congregation Rodeph Shalom came out victorious in its charitable bet against Temple Israel in Boston in which they wagered donations 18 times the difference in scores to an organization of the opponent’s choosing.
“We thought it was just a perfect way to channel our energy not only into the competition but also into doing a mitzvah,” Rodeph Shalom Senior Rabbi Jill Maderer said.
With the Eagles victorious, the Boston shul will make a donation to Philly Youth Basketball, though Rodeph Shalom will also make a contribution to the organization and the CTE Center at Boston University Medical Center.
The Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame is celebrating the victory with Philly — and the world, Chairman Stephen Frishberg said.
“Besides our joy and excitement for the city, we feel a special connection to the Eagles,” he added, noting their roster of inductees includes Merrill Reese, the voice of the Eagles, former team president Joe Banner and former owner Leonard Tose.
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