ABOVE PHOTO: Eagles fans celebrate the first-time Super Bowl win on South Broad Street between Walnut and Arch Streets. (Photo: K-Len Anderson)
The Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl victory set off a celebration that has been 58 years in the making.
Just as Nick Foles and the Eagles clinched a surprising 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots in Minneapolis for the team’s first Super Bowl title Sunday night, the scene more than 1,000 miles away in Philly was jubilation and pandemonium.
As time expired, crowds across the city spilled out of sports bars, apartments and houses.
There were fireworks amid car horns blaring, and Philadelphians — young and old — descended on Broad Street, the iconic thoroughfare that will soon host a parade to commemorate the city’s first major pro sports championship since the Phillies won the 2008 World Series. It was the Eagles’ first NFL championship since 1960.
“The city deserved it,” said 66-year-old Lou Potel, who threw a party at his home just off Broad before joining a much bigger party outside. “It’s a great city, and now we have a Super Bowl to go along with it.”
Dustin Seidman, 42, and his wife Staci, 41, decided to bring their 10-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter to the festivities on Broad Street, even as drunken fans sprayed beer and climbed trash trucks, street poles and awnings. Social media video showed the awning outside the Ritz-Carlton Hotel collapsing with more than a dozen people on it, but it was unclear if there were any injuries.
“We wouldn’t miss this,” Dustin Seidman said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Philadelphia was left to deal with the cleanup on Monday, after some overzealous fans smashed windows, climbed traffic lights and trashed some convenience stores.
UMass-Amherst campus police said fights broke out, the crowd threw objects and set off smoke bombs and firecrackers. Police used pepper balls to disperse the crowd.
Officials said those transported to hospitals suffered from head injuries, lacerations and alcohol intoxication. Police say those arrested face criminal charges, and if they are students they face punishment under the student code of conduct.
In Boston, fans inside the Banshee Bar came to terms with a rare loss for Tom Brady. Some, however, took it in stride.
“I’ve got nothing to complain about,” Boston resident Bill Crowley said. “It’s the greatest dynasty in NFL history and this loss tonight doesn’t change that.
“They’ll be back,” Conor Hobert added. “One hundred percent, they’ll be back.”
Sam Murphy, 40, actually made the trip from Boston to Philadelphia, flying in Sunday morning before planning to fly back for work Monday. The longtime Eagles fan and Boston resident joked he couldn’t be within 100 miles of his home, instead deciding to watch the game with his old University of Pennsylvania roommate.
“This is Philly at its best,” said Murphy, as he, Ballenger and hundreds of other new friends paraded down South Street to get to the party on Broad. “This team is what Philly is all about.”