When the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl for the first time in 2018, the city was packed with beaming fans, ecstatic over the first victory and full of regional pride. Known as a Philly thing, countless Eagles fans climbed poles and lamp posts to celebrate the monumental triumph and scream out from above for their city. The Philadelphian pride is inarguably high when it comes to sports in this city, which is why it’s no surprise that Philadelphia police take precautionary measures prior to big games, including blocking off almost an entire square mile around City Hall and greasing poles and light fixtures all throughout the city.
Though the dangerous pole-climbing isn’t encouraged, we, as Penn students, must get in on this spirited action. The first step: actually watching the Super Bowl. If there could be an All-American award for a sporting event, it would go to the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is a prime example of American culture, as it reflects the secular religion that is sports. In 2015, a record-breaking 114.44 million Americans watched the Super Bowl. It's clear that these grand numbers are not just made up of crazy football fans. The Super Bowl is the biggest pop culture event in America. It is viewed by not only the fans of the competing teams, but by people who are excited to watch the halftime show, people who feel regional pride because the Super Bowl is occurring in their home state, and people who get a kick out of the enticing commercials year after year, and so on.
What’s more than the game itself, the Super Bowl is an event; one we all should take part in. Super Bowl parties fill homes across the nation, selling out local grocery stores of chips, beer, and chicken wings. The Super Bowl and food alike are means of communion, things that bring people together. So why not get your hands greasy in a plate of chicken wings with your friends while cheering on your city!
I encourage every Penn student to find themselves at a Super Bowl celebration this Sunday. Support a local restaurant or sports bar by watching the game with members of your local community. What better way is there to integrate in your college town and adopted community than by joining them on the biggest sporting event of the year? Especially this year, when the Eagles are playing, we mustn't shy away from getting out of Van Pelt for the day and finding somewhere to watch the big game. Even if that somewhere is a lounge in the Quad, make it happen. Fill yourself with Philadelphian pride and feel the brotherly love that comes with cheering on the team from your new city.
As a school, Penn lacks football spirit. Even though the Quakers had a great season this year, Franklin Field was usually half-empty, as students demonstrate a lack of interest and pride in the great American sport. This is even more reason to cheer on the Eagles this Sunday. It’s exciting to be a part of something historic and partake in the traditions that take place with this event. If the Eagles win, Philadelphia will be lit up with joy and streets will be crowded and paraded through.
We Quakers should get in on this fun, especially since we may get the day off from classes! Let's (metaphorically) ring the Liberty Bell and join the Philadelphia community in celebrating our (hopefully) big win and be a part of something outside the Penn bubble. Even if you have no idea how football works, at least buckle up for Rihanna's halftime show! Considering Rihanna hasn’t performed live since 2018 or released new music since 2016, we’re lucky to be able to watch this live performance of a lifetime. Especially for international students, or students who have no idea what the Super Bowl is like, watching the big game in a communal environment will be a truly American experience like no other. So, let’s support our Philadelphia community, get our hands greasy with some chicken wings, tune in, and be prepared to climb those greased poles! Fly Eagles fly!
SOSE HOVANNISIAN is a College first year studying sociology from Los Angeles. Her email is email@example.com.