Minnesota, Thanks For The Memories!
Sunday, February 4, 2018, in Minnesota; Super Bowl LII. The best sports day of many Philadelphia Eagles fans’ lives, including my own. It was such a wonderful day to spend with family and friends to make a memory that will last a lifetime. Although the Super Bowl is supposed to be a day filled with euphoria and pure love of football, there can always be some hiccups involved. I was lucky enough to attend the Super Bowl in Minneapolis with my family. It was a day that was supposed to be nothing but pure bliss and excitement. However, it was not as fun-filled in the beginning.
In The Beginning . . .
After arriving in Minnesota and picking up our tickets at Target Field, we were finally on our way to U.S. Bank Stadium! The crowds of people were as large and enthusiastic as expected.
Unfortunately, the jubilation came to a screeching halt about two hours before game time. As we were approaching the first checkpoint leading up to security, we realized our tickets had been stolen. After the initial shock of realizing that our tickets were gone, the reality of what that meant began to sink in. As my brother, sister, mom, dad, and I all looked at each other; we began to realize that we flew halfway across the country in freezing temperatures, quite possibly, just to have the most joyous moment ripped away. It did not feel real; it was like something out of a movie. We really might have just lost our opportunity to see our Eagles battle for their first Super Bowl victory.
As a die-hard fan, I was not going to walk away or give up until I knew that my family had tried every single way to solve our problem.
Determined To See Our Eagles Fly
The first person I spoke to about the situation told us that we needed to talk with an NFL representative before the tickets were used, or there would be absolutely nothing they could do to help us. We brought all of the confirmation information with us just in case something like this were to happen. We were hopeful the papers would assist in relieving the situation.
The folks employed to stand out in the negative temperatures to make sure the Super Bowl flowed smoothly deserve all of the credit in the world. Every individual I spoke with, whether it be security, police, NFL representatives, or members of the team at the ticket center, were warm and welcoming and did everything possible to help my family.
Luckily, we were able to be assisted quickly through security to have the ticket center flag our tickets as stolen. By having all of our information, they were able to issue us reprinted tickets so we could get into the game.
Return To Euphoria
Once we entered the venue, the euphoric environment was back. U.S. Bank is a beautiful stadium, and the atmosphere was electric. Eagles fans took over once again and made it feel like another home game for our Birds. It was loud on defense, louder on scoring plays, and absolutely deafening when that clock hit zero. Eagles fans were on their feet from start to finish; they let the team know they were there to support, and also make the Patriots know what fan base had the majority.
During the game, it was never comfortable; there were moments of “this is really happening” and moments of, “oh no, the Patriots are about to do it again.” It was one of the greatest Super Bowls ever played. Tom Brady did exactly what you would expect Tom Brady to do. He threw for over 500 yards and three touchdowns. However, it was the Eagles defense that came out on top, forcing a crucial turnover close to the two-minute warning of the fourth quarter.
The stadium was electric in that moment, but there were 67,000 fans in attendance who knew they would be holding their breath for the next 120 seconds.
Holding Our Breath
The Eagles needed a first down to clinch their first Super Bowl title in franchise history. They did not get the first down, but they were able to kick a field goal, increasing their lead to eight points. Their special teams unit pinned the Pats down inside their own 10. The Birds defense had to make one final stand.
Every Eagles fan in attendance was on their feet and screaming until their faces turned purple. When Brady threw the final Hail Mary pass up to Gronk, the stadium was silent until the ball was on the ground. Then, all together, the Eagles fans saw the ball hit the ground and realized the clock was in fact at zero.
We Did It!
At that moment, it was pure pandemonium. The Eagles had just done the impossible; they had stopped the Patriots on a potential game-tying drive. I dropped to my knees and sobbed and got back up to hug my dad while we cried together. As we all cried together, I hugged every single Eagles fan around us.
A Super Bowl victory for the Eagles means so much more than just the title. Every Eagles fan has a relative they wished could have still been alive to see this game. No matter how old or young, every Eagles fan has experienced the heartbreak that comes with every season. No longer can every other fan base ridicule us about not having a ring. The sweetest part about this victory is that the Eagles were undisputedly the better team. Our backup quarterback played a phenomenal, and more importantly, a complete game against one of the best sports dynasties of all time.
Thank you, Nick Foles for bringing this level of joy to the city of Philadelphia. To the entire Philadelphia Eagles organization, thank you for fighting through all adversity that came our way and delivering a Super Bowl victory.
Thank you, Minnesota
After a crushing 38-7 loss to the Eagles, Vikings fans were looking for some revenge. There were two weeks-worth of reports warning of Vikings fans planning on organizing groups to throw items at Eagles fans; they were also signing up as Uber drivers to drop Birds fans in incorrect locations. This was going against everything Minnesotans believe in regards to being warm and welcoming, and overall kind and hospitable people. These reports could not have been further from the truth, as far as I could tell.
The atmosphere in U.S. Bank Stadium was electric. The enthusiasm of Eagles fans is unmatched by any other fan base. The emotion was felt by all, as thousands of fans came together to witness history. First and foremost, the incredible environment of Super Bowl LII was created by the hospitality of the people of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Without their warmth and friendliness, we would not have gotten to see the Super Bowl. Thank you to the people of Minnesota, the NFL Representatives, all of the members of security, and the folks at the ticket center for making this day one to remember for so many Eagles fans, and for doing everything they could to ensure my family got the opportunity to watch our Eagles fly.
*** All images provided by Jessica Towne ***
Article originally posted on Tha Sports Junkies 101.