I am not a football fan by any means. Before this past Sunday, I had no clue how many points a touchdown was, could barely name five players on the Eagles, and didn’t really care much about the game at all. I live right outside of Philly so needless to say the people around me were so excited the weeks leading up to the big game. At our school talent show, one of the administrators got us all to sing “Fly, Eagles Fly”. My friend and I just looked at each other and laughed because we felt slightly guilty that we knew absolutely no words to it. I don’t think that’s a problem because you shouldn’t be forced to like something just to fit in, but needless to say my lack of knowledge was a little setback to the full experience.
Then, a few days before the Super Bowl my mom and I went to the post office, and we saw a guy with an eagle mask. My mom, who hates football even more than I do, was so confused at why that man was wearing such a creepy “hat”. That’s how out of the loop my family is about football. Woops.
The day of the Super Bowl, we went to Acme, and I insisted on getting some wings and guacamole. We weren’t having a Super Bowl party, and we weren’t going to one either, but I wanted to at least get a touch of the Super Bowl experience. I spent my night annotating Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” for English class while stuffing my face with food, and to me it was a night well spent. I had the game playing in the background and would take a break from annotating every few minutes to check the score and look at the commercials that would be talked about the next day. Toward the end of the game, when the score was close, I FaceTimed my friend and we watched the end of the game together. We both almost cried when we saw the Eagles win.
It’s so weird to think that a sport you usually don’t care about can suddenly mean so much to you. I won’t pretend to suddenly be a football fan now, but I definitely have a greater appreciation for what the sport brings to people’s lives.
The Super Bowl was the best thing that’s happened to Philly in years. In a time in which we’re so divided about social, economic, and political issues, the Super Bowl brought us a sense of unity. Unless you are the rare Patriots fan in our area, you felt a sense of togetherness and spirit. It’s a spirit that goes far beyond the game itself. This spirit brought me greater appreciation for our beautiful city. Philadelphia is not perfect by any means, but it does not give up by any means either. Everyone thought that without Wentz, our shot at the win was gone. And if there’s anything Philly loves, it’s a challenge. We now are energized any time we think of how we underdogs beat one of the best teams in the NFL. We got it done.
All over social media, I saw the happiness in Eagles fans’ faces. Everyone was jumping, cheering, hugging people they barely knew. They were so genuinely excited about this.
A Super Bowl win is one of the few things in this world that you can’t make someone feel guilty about being giddy over. My fellow Philadelphians didn’t need alcohol or drugs to get them so excited. They were literally high on life, and I think that’s so beautiful. In a time in which many teenagers rely on bad decisions to have a good time, the Super Bowl brought a joy so much more meaningful and healthy than any drink ever could. It was a HEALTHY thing to enjoy.
The next day at school, everyone showed up in their Eagles gear, more proud of their city than I ever thought possible. We sang “Fly, Eagles Fly” again, but this time instead of being embarrassed that I didn’t know any words, I sang along with the few lines that I learned from the past couple weeks. It felt so good.
My math teacher hung up five different newspapers that announced the win from the previous night. He’s the biggest Eagles fan I know, so seeing him beaming with joy was so so so endearing. It’s amazing how such a simple sport can make so many people so happy.
My foot is still injured from running, so my parents told me going to the parade the following Thursday wouldn’t be a good idea and I agreed. But again, everyone there was SO. FREAKING. HAPPY. AHHH!! They endured the frostbite to support their city and bask in the glory of this historic moment and that’s so amazing to me. My school was half empty because of everyone that went, and teachers barely taught for that reason, recognizing that missing school to go to the parade was not only acceptable, but commendable. Days like yesterday make me love my school so much.
Do us Americans go a little crazy about sports? Objectively, yes. But the past few weeks made me realize, who cares?! Sports wins make us much happier, and in return kinder to each other because of our good moods, and that’s a huge deal!
Sports don’t make sense to a lot of people and that’s okay. You don’t have to be an Eagles fan or Patriots fan or a football fan. But do find something that makes you this passionate. If you find that thing in your life that you love and if it’s HEALTHY for you to love, enjoy doing it. Whether it’s sports, music, art, you name it. It’s okay to put off doing that research paper for a little if you’re busy being passionate about something you love, as long as it’s in moderation.
I still have very limited understanding to football, but I do know that the Super Bowl was the best thing that’s happened to Philly in a while. Thank you, Nick Foles and your whole team, for making your city so happy. A lot of good has come from this.