The Super Bowl is debatably the biggest championship game in professional sports. At Muhlenberg, this year’s title game held extra weight. Eastern Pennsylvania’s local team, the Philadelphia Eagles, were playing in Super Bowl LII vs. the New England Patriots. Because of the proximity to campus and large population from the Philadelphia area, the Eagles are an extremely popular team among staff and students on the Muhlenberg campus, as well as those in the Muhlenberg community.
Anticipation for this game was felt within “the Muhlenbubble” in the days leading up to matchup. Despite posting a stellar 13-3 regular season record in 2017, the Eagles entered the Super Bowl as heavy underdogs against the Patriots, one of the greatest professional sports franchises of the 21st century. After being the underdog in all three of their playoff games this year, the Eagles actually embraced the idea of being the “underdogs” because of an injury to their starting quarterback just before the playoffs started. It became common to see fans and players alike adorned in dog masks, to further welcome the underdog mentality.
Many Eagles fans on campus had the opportunity to travel home to watch an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with their family and friends. After over three hours of back-and-forth football and one of the greatest and most closely contested Super Bowls of all time, Philadelphia came away with a stunning 41-33 victory. Within minutes of the game’s conclusion, fireworks could be heard from the snowy and icy streets of Allentown.
Mike Cooperman ‘19, a lifelong Eagles fan, was fortunate enough to watch the game back home in southern New Jersey, with his family full of fans bleeding green and white.
“When the final Hail Mary hit the ground, I just looked at my brother and we just started yelling and jumping around my living room. I’ve been an Eagles fan for as long as I’ve been alive and members of my family have had season tickets for over 40 years. We have supported the Eagles through great times and tough times and the support has never wavered. This was just an amazing ending to an even better season and I just look forward to the parade today,” said Cooperman.
This win marked the Eagles first ever Super Bowl victory and their first NFL title since their 1960 NFL championship win over the Green Bay Packers. Despite the Philadelphia Phillies’ World Series win in 2008, recent times have not been too kind to Philadelphia professional sports teams. The 76ers and Flyers have struggled for decades, failing to bring a title of their own to the ‘City of Brotherly Love’ since 1983 and 1975, respectively.
Jack Mangas ‘20 is another Muhlenberg student hailing from the Philadelphia area that was thrilled about the Eagles victory. In the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, he remained confident in his team, and his belief in his team was ultimately rewarded.
“I honestly feel like I haven’t fully processed [the victory] yet. I’ve spent so much time thinking about what I would do if the Eagles ever actually won the Super Bowl, and how great that it would be, that it still feels like a dream and not something that’s really happened. I’m obviously incredibly happy, but my strongest emotion right now is the pride in the team, the city and the fans. They came together despite losing some of their most important pieces, and still managed to pull it off when everyone doubted them. It’s an amazing feeling,” said Mangas.
With the parade set to take place today in Philadelphia, many Muhlenberg students will make the short commute to Broad Street to celebrate with their families, with their friends and with their city. This is a great moment not only for Philadelphians, but for the state of Pennsylvania as well. It’s an incredible time to be an Eagles fan at Muhlenberg College. Fly Eagles Fly.