Eagles fans started lining up for Thursday’s Super Bowl parade well before the first light of dawn fell across the city. With a lot of time to kill —and a lot of adult beverages to help keep everyone somewhat warm ‘n’ fuzzy —Broad Street was bound to be littered with more sharp one-liners than green and white confetti.
We collected some of the finest comments that were overheard throughout the day for you, dear reader.
A young guy and his brown dog stood together at Queen Street and Second Street about 7 a.m., both of them clad in Eagles gear. The guy wanted to start heading to the parade route, but had to wait for his dog to do his morning business.
Frustration set in as minutes ticked by. Finally, the guy called out: “C’mon Buddy, think of Tom Brady!”
And with that, Buddy relieved himself.
Sorry, Tom. Tough crowd.
A special appearance
An unexpected chant erupted at Broad Street and Washington Avenue just before 9:30 a.m. “Here come the Patriots!” multiple fans yelled…at a line of passing trash trucks.
Somewhere, we imagine, a lonely and dejected Tom Brady winced.
Department of TMI, Part 1
In South Philly, parade-goers noticed a Boston guy — no it’s cool, he’s an Eagles fan! — who was carrying a striking sculpture of a bald eagle. Things got a little weird from there, as multiple passersby called out: “He’s got wood!”
Joe Schwab, from Bucks County, lives in Boston. Runs the #eagles fan group there, which gets about 250 people per game. Before he left for the parade, members signed the statue and gave it to him. “He’s got wood!” Many a passerby astutely observed. pic.twitter.com/pbIQMfdc3w
— tommy rowan (@tommyrowan) February 8, 2018
Department of TMI Part 2
About 10 a.m., Eagles fan Rob Esh struck a pose in an attention-grabbing Eagles lucha libre mask. It was so striking, other fans kept asking Esh where he got it.
The mask had a backstory, of course. Esh said he got it Mexico, on his honeymoon. “Use it only on special occasions,” he said.
Rob Esh, from Overbrook, gets asked every 30 seconds: Where did you get that mask? He answers: “Mexico. Got on my honeymoon. Use it only on special occasions.” Amazing. pic.twitter.com/LSPtZO8kIB
— tommy rowan (@tommyrowan) February 8, 2018
Getting a little verklempt
Things got a little emotional near Eakins Oval, where Eetecio Bussie, 49, of Yardley, fought back tears. “The heartache, the pain. All those times they said, ‘next year’ — it makes it that much sweeter when we get it.”
Great, Eetecio. Now we’re welling up, too.
Characters, characters everywhere
It was easy to spot Ace Calloway in a sea of green near Broad Street and Pattison Avenue. He was the only guy dressed in a referee’s uniform.
Calloway brought buckets of confidence along with the quirky get-up. “I’m the sexiest ref they ever had,” he said.
OK, Ace. OK.
Ace Calloway of South Jersey wore a ref uniform. “I’m the sexiest ref they ever had.” He’s watched super bowl four times now. “And we won each time.” pic.twitter.com/GDHiTDqi86
— Andrew Seidman (@AndrewSeidman) February 8, 2018
We hold these truths to be self-evident
Former Inquirer reporter Matt Katz overheard a parade attendee offer a bit of universal wisdom: “New York is awful. It’s the worst place in the world.”
“New York is awful. It’s the worst place in the world.” – overheard @ #EaglesParade
— Matt Katz (@mattkatz00) February 8, 2018
The parade also left some people feeling a little existential. “I don’t care if I die now,” Jim Cramer, the founder of TheStreet Inc., told ESPN2. Hang in there, Jim —this team could repeat!
Bigger than Jesus?
A few blocks from Lincoln Financial Field, kids played touch football and fans reminisced about crucial plays that swung the Super Bowl back and forth while they waited for the parade to begin. Dwight Woods, of North Philly, mulled the size of the ever-growing crowd.
“I don’t think there’d be this many people if Jesus came back,” he said. “Eagles fans have been waiting for a very long time, man.”
After the parade made its way through Center City, another fan offered this not-quite-sacrilegious take: “That was bigger than the pope. The pope’s got nothing on the Eagles!”
Can’t stop, won’t stop
Eagles fans love to climb things. Street lights, traffic signals, trash trucks, decorative awnings — if the object is something that probably shouldn’t be climbed, it will be climbed. Just a question of when.
Philadelphia Magazine business editor Fabiola Cineas offered a reminder of this fact of life when she shared a video of a handful of fans climbing on top of a trash truck near City Hall.
“They’re climbing already?! Yoooo it’s too early for that, man!” yelled one man. It’s unclear if any fans climbed on top of him as well.
— Fabiola Cineas (@FabiolaCineas) February 8, 2018
Oh God, not again
A handful of Pennsylvania State Troopers made their way up Broad Street on horseback, forcing a number of fans to confront their inner demons, the kind that will be hard to explain to future generations.
When the Eagles beat the Atlanta Falcons during the divisional playoffs, a fan was arrested for punching a police horse. Everybody agreed it was a stupid move. But it happened again a week later, when another fan was arrested for punching another police horse before the NFC Championship game.
Things got much, much darker after Super Bowl LII ended, and one Eagles supporter somehow decided that he should eat horse poop. (“Eagles fan stoops to new low, even for Philly” the New York Post wrote. Touché.)
With all of that in mind, some parade attendees began yelling out apologies to the police horses on Thursday. But one woman killed the good vibes. “Who’s going to eat they poop?” she asked, according to PlanPhilly reporter Jake Blumgart.
Everyone in the crowd is changing apologies to the horses. One woman: "Who's going to eat they poop??!" pic.twitter.com/dVZCnWVjwe
— Jake Blumgart (@jblumgart) February 8, 2018
Dilly Dilly indeed
“I wanted to get drunk. I don’t even watch football,” one woman muttered at Logan Square. She declined to divulge her name, but helpfully shared her profession. “I’m a nurse,” she said.
Near a cluster of porta-potties in Center City, another woman explained her plans: “I’m trying to get one of those free beers today.”
Bud Light promised to dish out an untold number of free brews at 34 bars near the parade route, while Yards Brewing gave out free pale ales at its brewpub at Fifth Street and Spring Garden Street.
Closer to City Hall, fans cheered a rebroadcast of Super Bowl LII. “This is my favorite show of all time!” one guy yelled, as foghorns blared in the background.
On the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, “Shut up Chris Collinsworth!” chants broke out while fans watched footage from the Eagles’ victory over the Patriots. The city’s hatred of the NBC analyst grows deeper by the day.
I’m walkin’ here
“You’re the a-hole for driving,” one fan barked at a honking motorist as they both tried to navigate the area around 22nd and Brandywine Streets.
Super Bowl romance
Eagles center/presumptive future mayor of Philadelphia Jason Kelce generously dropped f-bombs throughout the epic speech he delivered at the Art Museum.
Fans rewarded him with some of the loudest cheers of the day. But afterwards, some parade attendees couldn’t get the big guy in the Mummers costume out of their minds.
Eric Seybold, 24, of Atco, summed it up best: “I think I’m in love with Jason Kelce.”
Staff writers Tommy Rowan, Dan Spinelli, Julia Terruso, Caitlin McCabe, Andrew Seidman, Samantha Melamed, Amy Rosenberg, Maddie Hanna, Rob Tornoe, Grace Dickinson and Rita Giordano contributed to this report.